By Justin Kinsley, Student Ministry Pastor
Recently, in the realm of Christian authorship, a lot of ink has been spilled on the topic of the millennial generation and their departure from the church. Among church leaders and researchers, there has been much discussion regarding the reason for this trend among millennials.
I believe that the real problem is simple. We have an authority problem. This problem can often times easily be overlooked by the church. People who grew up in the church often assume that God’s Word is authoritative but fail to adequately emphasize its authority over man’s authority. Whether your child attends public school, private school, or is homeschooled, from an early age they will encounter a world that places the authority of man above God’s Word. We are told by our society that God’s Word deals with a very limited perspective and is only helpful to a point. For the vast majority of other issues, man’s discretion should be sought. You see, we have an authority problem.
Man, indeed, is deeply flawed because of the stain of sin on our lives. Man’s authority should never be trusted apart from God’s supernaturally inspired Word. Romans 5:12 says, “Just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so sin spread through all men.” Since man has been plagued by sin Romans 8:7 says, “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” The culture in which our children live is one that does not know God. It trusts its own word above the Word of God. So as children who are being raised in a church, but all the while living in a world that denies the existence of our God, the selfish priority of man can seem very enticing. It’s fun to be right and to do what you want. Who knows what’s best for you better than yourself? Right? Well…an all-knowing, all-powerful God. That’s who!
Knowing this, what do we, as parents, teachers, and preachers, do to help emphasize the authority of God’s Word above man’s? Well, the first thing we can do is emphasize God’s written word as the source of true knowledge. When man’s ideas about himself and the world conflict with what God’s word says, we should always trust God’s Word above the word of man.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “For all scripture is God-breathed….” Peter testifies to this same idea in 2 Peter 1:21 stating, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” God’s Word holds authority, not because of the individual words written down, but because God himself wrote them!
When we begin to hold God’s word as the ultimate standard of truth and source of authority, man’s influence cannot fool us any longer. Why should it? We have the Author and Creator’s guide in our hands. So how do we reach the millennial generation and other succeeding generations? As believers in God’s Word, we need to both practice and preach the authority of God’s Word in our lives. When we do this, the faulty ideologies that our world hangs on to so tightly are judged by the ultimate source of knowledge, God’s authoritative Word. Ultimately, man’s word will always fail in comparison to the timeless truth in God’s Word.