There has already an emergence of ideas that we talked about earlier. My generation is not only learning that about the integration of science and faith, but we’re also merging faith traditions in order to be a more unified body. We have a desire to be one, to be ecumenical. I have often told people that I am an Evangelical because I can’t decide whether I am Catholic, Mennonite, or Pentecostal. I firmly believe there will be no 95 Theses, no one will be hunting down Mennonites like Zwingli did. I think my generation wants to look across the table and learn from the other person. They don’t want the exhausting, egocentric walls that the Church has put up in the past. I think because we have all of history, all of culture at our fingertips, we don’t live with a lot of the same fears that previous generations did. In a culture that has been surrounded by pluralism and relativism, we see things on a much flatter playing field. We see equality as an important necessity because of the abusive power structures that have been exposed to us.
Millennials place a great deal of importance on relationships. Therefore, it is only natural that we would want an ecumenical, community-based idea of faith. We want the input of other individuals. We want the input of the other traditions around us. Maybe, because we aren’t scared because of the flat sphere around us, we are looking to integrate all of the wisdom of the traditions, both past and present. This ecumenical church holds a high regard for young and old, black and white, people who hold different values than we do. Because we have such a high emphasis on mission, we know that the work of the Church has to be done by all of us, not just by some of us. (After all, wouldn’t the Apostle Paul want that interdependence?)
I think (my generation) is growing tired of all the hostility, negativity, and diversion that has been placed in front of us. Last week we saw Catholics recognize how ridiculous their controversy over birth control is (since many to most Catholics use it). Last year, we saw how ridiculous Evangelicals responded to Love Wins, because the theology of Rob Bell wasn’t something they were used to (even though there have been theologians who have believed similarly before Bell).We see what happens when we place such strong political hatred towards one another in order to accomplish “God’s will”. I think this is why my generation looks to Stephen Colbert; he is willing to mock the religious and social idiosyncrasies that are before us. We are living in a time when we need each other. I think my generation gets that. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting new results. My generation needs new results to help overcome this global mess we are in, and, we need the Church to be a place where we can question, doubt, process, and develop new ways of responding to the reality we live in.