Millennials, as now constituted, are those young people born between 1984-2000. Having been born in 1986 I am an older millennial. This letter is intended for younger millennials, specifically those born just before & in the year 2000. These are those who have been most impacted by the recent terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert.
To younger millennials outraged over the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester earlier this week:
Your outrage is justified. Terror attacks which take & maim lives are evil. That evil is only made worse by the fact that young children were targeted by these evil men. Children murdered by depraved religious fanatics; some of the children as young as 8 years old. Ariana Grande is right: there are no words to describe this unspeakable evil.
Many of you have shared memes & changed your profile picture calling on people to #PrayforManchester. Recent studies have shown that our generation is the least religious generation to come along. I am grateful you are praying to show that there are still many of us who believe God can make a difference in the world.
Moments like these are opportunities for personal growth. May I ask: for what are you praying? No doubt you are praying for the families, the victims, Ariana Grande. Christ tells us, “Love your enemies…pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6.27-28). While as Christians we love all people, there are those (obviously) who are at enmity with us. Have you been praying for those who perpetrated this act of violence & terror? If so, for what have you been praying, specifically? Justice? What specifically in this situation does justice look like?
I have noticed that many of you are engaging in debates, even arguments with those who have brought up some of the things Ariana Grande has said or done in the past. May I counsel you to stop engaging in the garbage on social media. The wise man Solomon said, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself” (Proverbs 26.4). Quite frankly, that is what is happening with many of you. Emotions have run hot & your profanity-laced personal attacks of those you are engaging are not winning the argument. Social media is not best place for this anyways. Rarely do profanity & memes win arguments. Yes, there is a time to “answer the foolish arguments of fools or they will becomes wise in their own estimation” (Proverbs 26.5, NLT). But now is not the time nor is social media the best way to do that.
I appreciate your zeal following this tragedy. My fear, though, is that this, like fidget spinners & dank memes, is just a fad due to fade away like the next popular gadget or meme. However, if this awakening is genuine (and I have no reason to doubt it is), there are equally large & perhaps even bigger issues we need to tackle:
- Boko Haram kidnapped 276 female students from a government school in Nigeria back in April 2014. While some have been released, there are still over 100 who are still missing. And that is just the kidnapping that got airtime on the cable news networks – in November of 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped another 300 children from Damasak; some of those children were younger than the 8 year old who was killed at the Ariana Grande concert.
- Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his people last month, killing dozens including small children. This is not the first time he has done this: in August 2013 more than 1,400 people were killed, including many children, when chemical weapons were used in an attack.
- Every day more than 3,000 innocent babies are slaughtered via the barbaric practice of abortion in America alone. Yes, it is legal; but is it moral?
The list could go on. Ariana Grande’s concert being attacked by terrorists is only the most recent example. However, this one struck a chord with many of you. While we lament over those 22 dead, let us also keep in focus the larger picture. How will we pursue justice for these atrocities? Do not allow these thousands of men, women, children, & babies to be tossed aside like so many fidget spinners.
Life is hard. Life is complex. I do not have nor do I see any easy answers to these real world problems. But I am willing to walk alongside & discuss with you.
Welcome to the conversation.
 The dates for millennial births varies depending upon you ask. For the most part, the consensus is those born in the 80’s & 90’s and came of age in the new millennium.