By Kathryn Wright
Over the past few decades, there has been an overwhelming exodus of young people from churches in the United States. Many Millennials (and Gen Z) who grew up in the church leave their evangelical roots and turn to post-modernism. These people are often referred to as “deconstructionists.”
Many deconstructionists are leaving the church because of bad teaching. I believe it is a valid complaint. Let me give an example.
A major complaint deconstructionists have with Christianity involves the popular depiction of eternity. I recently watched a video of a young woman who had deconstructed. She grew up in a Baptist church and was so passionate about her faith that she decided to go to seminary. While there, she started to question the Bible. She received her degree but no longer believes in a literal God. God is only a concept. In this video, she argued that if the God of the Bible is real and created this incredibly complex planet and universe, then the Christian depiction of heaven is too limited. She said that the way most Christians see eternity—everyone is the same and floats on clouds—contradicts what we see in the world, which is full of unique and diverse people, nations, and animals.
While this woman was clearly confused and influenced by liberal teachers at her seminary, her complaint about the majority view of heaven is valid. The majority view is wrong. We are told that when the Lord returns, He will make a new heaven and earth (Rev 21:1ff). There will be differences within the kingdom because He will reward people, depending on their faithfulness (Luke 19:12-26; 1 Cor 15:35-41). In addition, there will be a difference between the Nation of Israel and the Church. There will be different nations (Rev 21:24). Paul says we can’t even imagine the complexity of what the Lord has planned (1 Cor 2:9).
The basis of being in the amazing new world is not commitment, obedience, and perseverance, but faith in Christ for the everlasting life He promises (John 3:16; Rev 22:17). That message is appealing to Millennials.
Many churches have failed to teach these truths, which has led many people who grew up in the church to view eternity as boring and unworthy of their attention. Bad theology failed this young woman.
As a Millennial, I acknowledge that my generation has a lot of issues. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the spiritual baggage that many are carrying. However, I think it’s important to keep an eye on the real battle. Some deconstructionists may be delivered from falling away if they are taught sound doctrine. This is where Free Grace people have a unique opportunity. We can step into the divide, responding with grace and sound teaching. The battle for this generation is not done, and we have the privilege of being a beacon in doctrinal darkness.
Kathryn Wright and her husband, Dewey, live in Columbia, SC. She is the GES missions coordinator, women’s conference speaker, writer, and Zoom teacher.