I would like to start off by sharing some background on my own faith. As I interview others and explore where young people fit in Christianity, I want to make sure I am honest and forthcoming as I am hoping others will be when discussing these topics.
I grew up in the church. I was baptized Catholic, as a kid I attended a Baptist church, became a part of an evangelical youth group, graduated high school and volunteered at a Covenant church, moved to the cities and became heavily involved in a non-denominational church, moved back home and became a youth director at my high school church, then moved back to the cities again to attend a conservative Christian college to get my journalism and bible degrees.
My time in these churches taught me many different things about what it meant to be a Christian. The main ones being that Jesus died for my sins to save me by grace and that the bible alone was authoritative. My question was this: If the bible is authoritative, how is it that each of these churches have such different interpretations and conclusions that they come to?
We live in a post-modern world where individuals are encouraged to seek out the truth for themselves. Does this extend to institutions as well? For as long as I can remember, I have believed in the authority and validity of the bible, but as I got older and saw the many ways people read and follow the bible, it caused a great amount of confusion for me.
My reaction to this was to say that apart from the gospel message (and even that in some parts), everything is subjective. There must not be a truth of the matter, or at least we must not have access to it. That was the only way I could compartmentalize things in my head and make sense of it all. I became more and more liberal and disillusioned as time went on. Looking back, had I not come to the understanding of the bible I now hold, I am sure I would have left the church within a handful of years.
I again hold to the conservative values and beliefs laid out in the bible and it was no easy task getting to that place. With a culture that is continually changing around us at an ever growing rate how do Millenials still hold on to conservative values in a pluralistic, scientific, postmodern age or is Christianity changing?