I often hear from Christian friends and relatives something like, "I don't always like what is happening in the church either, and I may at times be disappointed by the people in it, but I don't understand why you needed to leave. Why not stay and fight for the changes you think need to happen?" This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of why many are leaving the church or never bother coming in the first place. It is not any kind of disaffection, disappointment, or hurt.... they simply don't believe it. However, this is a hard concept for a believer to try to imagine. Belief sits at the fulcrum of their identity and ethos, so they have a difficult time imagining it not being there. For example, she says in the article:
"We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers."but then she goes on to say:
"Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus."So, as much as she may bristle at pre-packaged answers, she still expects those answers will fall within her established paradigm. To the non-believer, a pre-packaged answer... and an answer that is expected to fall within a certain framework, are essentially the same thing. At the end of the day, millennials of all stripes will probably fail to see a difference between what Rachel is offering, and what is offered by the church leaders she critiques.
From my perspective, what all of these young, hip, liberally minded Christians are missing is that there is no revival coming; there is no big movement similar to previous historical times that saw an upsurge in Christian fidelity. At this point, religion is noticing the first symptoms of what, in the end, will be a terminal diagnosis. The coming generations will see less and less people coming out of childhood with a default belief. Having not been indoctrinated with religion as a child, few will pick up the practice in their adult years. Within the next couple of generations, religion will exist as nothing more than small pockets of cult groups.
The patient is not going to recover. At this point, we have to start considering Hospice care - how to make the patient's last days as peaceful and painless as possible.