The term “Millennial” is tossed around a lot today, mostly as an insult. While there are lots of millennial trends I’d rather distance myself from, I can’t deny that I’m a millennial by birth. Those in other generations are ok but they don’t get us in the same way that we get us! They merely adopted the term “millennial”, we were born in it, molded by it. But what is a millennial? dictionary.com defines a millennial as “a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S.; a member of Generation Y.” This definition will suffice.
I’m a millennial. I was born in ’91, I grew up watching Neo learn Kung Fu on the big screen and fight the oppressive machines. I remember those terrible Star Wars prequels and watching the struggle between the Jedi and the Sith (I secretly loved those movies, I bet a lot of you did too). I remember learning about civil rights marches in school and the abolition of slavery and feeling a deep burning in my chest for justice and equality. Today, there are lots of different subgroups within the millennial generation, but I specifically want to address 5 of them: The Postmodern, The Wounded Recoiler, The Erudite Modern, The Earth Keeper and The New Rebel.
Millennials get a bad rap today, from all sides, but within each of these 5 subgroups there is a lot of value and genuineness. They each have their own concerns, norms, heroes, directives, hopes, and dreams. Along with every historical movement, these millennial subgroups have their inconsistencies, misguided passions, and they endorse leaders who can’t give them what they’re seeking.
As the title suggests, I’m a Christian Millennial. The deep desire of my life is to show my generation that the logos, ethos and pathos they look for in their own subgroups can only be found in Jesus Christ, in following his way, and in loving him. My goal is to make you think, to make you wonder, and to make you act.
To the New Rebel, come join the rebellion that has eternal significance. Your dystopian fantasy can find its actuality in Christ.
Millennial rebels today are looking for a fight. They’re impressed by the civil rights movement of the ’60s and they’ve been taught by teachers with first hand experience “fighting the man”. So today we are itching for our own injustice to root out. I think it can be argued that Americans in general are born with the spirit of our ancestors, the “don’t tread on me” mentality runs deep, it’s ingrained in our culture and in us as individuals. Our Country was birthed in revolution and each generation looks for our cause to take up, our own flag to fly.
This explains our love for dystopian fantasy dramas like V for Vendetta, The Matrix, Equilibrium, X-men Days of Future Past, Animal Farm, 1984, A Brave New World, The Star Wars movies, The Terminator Movies and even the chick-flick versions like The Hunger Gamers and The Divergent series. We love to see the oppressive authoritarians get what’s coming. We love to see the brave few stand up to the evil dictators, to risk life and limb for a greater cause, to save humanity and those wonderful qualities that make us humans.
What makes the heroes of these dystopian futures so noble? No only do they fight for freedom, truth and love, but often times they do so against those whom they’re trying to save. In the Matrix the heroes are trying to set free more and more humans as they battle the machines. Eventually they want to bring down the machines all together to save the human race, but while they are fighting in the matrix anyone can turn on them, at any moment they could become an agent and kill the very people who are trying to save the human race.
Christians can relate to this love for heroes and dystopian future stories because the gospel message is a greatest dystopian story of all time. The story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is not merely about ending specific oppression throughout history, though it has been successfully used for that. Rather, the gospel message is about ending spiritual oppression as well as all other forms of oppression.
In the gospel story, the entire human race was under a black cloud of death and despair. We disobeyed God, the source of goodness, life, and peace, and we turned in our rebellion to the dark side of sin and death. We were held captive in our sins, in the dominion of darkness, held down by the cosmic powers of evil and the schemes of the Devil. But God had a plan. God himself entered human history, in the person of Jesus Christ, to set captives free, to break the chains of spiritual bondage forever. But like the heroes in the other stories we love, those whom Christ came to save didn’t understand his plan and they sought to murder him at every turn. Eventually they succeeded and the forces of evil overcame Jesus, and death swallowed him up. For three days it seemed like the light of the world was extinguished for good, along with the hope for humanity. The chosen one was dead, the plan had failed. But the Sunday after the chosen one was killed we saw the true brilliance of God’s plan. God allowed death to kill Jesus and in so doing, death committed suicide. Now anyone who puts their faith in Jesus will not die but have eternal life.
Jesus was raised from the dead and before returning to his thrown in the heavenly realm he inaugurated his continued plan for the liberation of the human race, “The Great Commission”. The mission for the Christian believer is to go out into all the world and proclaim the good news of God’s forgiveness through Christ. Just like our savior, we will face opposition even unto death. Those we seek to save often don’t want to be saved or misunderstand our message. We are to travel to every tribe and tongue even if it costs us our lives.
Christianity provides the necessary foundations for human dignity, freedom, love, justice, and our inalienable rights. Our doctrine of man is grounded in the “Imago Dei”, the image of God. We have dignity because we have been made in the likeness of The Creator God Himself. Our rights are inalienable because they’ve been given to us by our Creator and not by our government or any other human institution. God gave us our rights and other men have no right to take away that which they have not given. The Christian God of the Bible commands us to love Him and our neighbors as ourselves. He commands us to do justice and take care of His earth. God provides us with the ethical ought we need to compel others to join the fight for freedom and justice.
Do you want a cause worth fighting for? Fight for someone’s eternal soul. Do you want a leader who wont let you down? You wont find it in Marx or Hegel. Jesus is the greatest rebel, the only leader worthy of our lives. The Great Commission is the most epic battle between the powers of good and evil, darkness and Light. Through Christ, we know the ending to the story and so we can take up our own cross with confidence, we can man our own post knowing that even if the battle doesn’t go well for us, the war has been won and the victory is ours.
There is a reason we want to fight for good and justice, it’s because we’ve been made in the Image of the God who is good and just. The Revolution has begun, are you on the right side?