I am always curious to read articles telling us why Millennials are leaving the church. I want to see if the authors will go beyond looking at how the church operates and name violent theology as a reason why Millennials are abandoning institutional Christianity. It is rare to find someone so bold.

Millennials are being put off church by leaders teaching how God repeatedly acts violently to achieve his plans. A God who is love, yet who:

  • murders all of mankind in a flood, except for one family.

  • orders ethnic cleansing.

  • commands the killing of women and children.

  • destroys cities and people as his just response to sin.

  • cannot forgive until sin is punished.

  • kills his son Jesus to satisfy his own wrath.

  • sees LGBTQ+ people as an abomination.

  • treats women as subservient to men.

  • sends the majority of humankind to hell.

Such violent theology causes people to leave church even as they want to follow Jesus. This is because Jesus is nonviolent unto death, loves his enemies, forgives freely, embraces the outcast, is radically inclusive, and who came to heal not judge.

The main challenge raised by declining church attendance is our need to learn how to interpret the Bible nonviolently.

NonviolenceSteve Hall