by Chelsen Vicari
Every year at the end of October, my alma mater holds a blood drive. As the leaves are giving up their vibrant green for a shade of cozy yellow or deep red, my friend and former graduate school chum, Courtney, shared with me her willingness to make a small sacrifice in the hopes of saving another’s life as a reflection of Christs sacrificial love for her. Unfortunately, not every Millennial I know feels this way. This, coupled with the coming of Halloween, got me to thinking about the blood shed for my sake, and the way so many in my generation have chosen to dilute its power.
As a Millennial, I am consistently confronted by people in my own generation who take it upon themselves to tell me that my stance for absolute truths make me uncompassionate. My generation scoffs at me yet tells me Jesus loves, and loved everyone. This is true, and I will be the last person to dispute that, but Jesus, in His infinite love, did not , and does not, condone everything done by His beloved ones. The more I study scripture, and compare it to the words of my generation, the more I am convinced that many Millennials are worshiping an idol dressed up in a Jesus costume.
Halloween being just around the corner caused me to realize that I live in a generation fraught with unapologetic trick-or-treaters. The Bible says that God set eternity in the heart of man, so, by virtue of the God who made us, we yearn to interact with the eternal. Sadly, many Millennial Evangelicals insist that the character of the God of the universe is a subject open to individual interpretation. Like trick-or-treaters, many Millennials desire to knock on the door and have it opened to them, but, when the door swings wide, they want only the sweet stuff. So intent are they on “acceptance” that they miss the point, Jesus came to save us from sin, not to show us how to feed it candy.
Children cannot survive in a happy, healthy manner on a diet of Snickers bars and Twizzlers. Children need nourishment, nutrition, and the presence of people who will feed them good things and keep them from destroying their teeth, and their tummies with the bad ones. Yet, my generation, seemingly unconcerned with authority of God’s Word, is taking the sweet, and telling the people with the veggies that we are mean parents.
I understand that sometimes Scripture may seem unappealing to some people. However, I’m reminded that we were an unredeemed people, dead in our sins, and everything that Jesus came to do, did, and continues to do is because He has relentless love for us. We serve a God who knows the number of hairs on every head in the world. We serve a God who causes the heart of an unborn child to beat before some mothers are even aware they are pregnant. Yes, He is a God who corrects us when we are wrong. He is a God who sets a standard for how we should live, and He loves us when we fall short.
He is a God of mercy, compassion, and yes, justice. He is true, and living, and righteous and He is not open for interpretation. Much of my generation thinks the costumed Jesus is better and more loving, but this imposter is rotting teeth and tummies of children who need to be, and yearn to be nurtured. In His Kingdom, there are no tricks, but His love, and His presence, are the richest treat you’ll ever taste.
Chelsen Vicari serves as the Evangelical Action Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy and is author of Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel & Damaging the Faith. Follow her on twitter @ChelsenVicari.