'Youth and Morality' is the solution

By: Karl Nelson, Social Media Manager, @KarlNelsonJR on Twitter

Monday, Armstrong Williams hosted a “Youth and Morality” TownHall at the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. As usual, the dialogue was unprecedented and provided people with unique perspectives about the spiritual disconnect we’re currently seeing among millennials. 

Why are millennials leaving the church?

Did you know that 59% of millennials raised in the church have dropped out? 

Should the church do more to reclaim millennials?

Like generations in the past, will millennials return to church later in life? 

Has church become too hypocritical?

Thirty-five percent of millennials cite the church’s irrelevance, hypocrisy and the moral failures of its leaders as reasons to check out of church. What should the church do to repair its image?

Are televangelist and mega pastors who flash their wealth hypocritical to the Bible’s message? 

Are millennials less moral because they don’t attend church? 

In the absence of church, is reason and logic enough to keep society intact? 

Is this a new paradigm shift? If so, how should we govern ourselves as today’s youth and millennials will be tomorrow’s leaders? 

Are we in need of a moral and spiritual revival to get our youth back on track? 

These are some of the questions that were posed during Monday’s TownHall. It’s a conversation that we as a society should be having more. 

The bottom line is everyone doesn’t have the same story or experience when it comes to spirituality. Like Dr. Devon Smith pointed out in a Facebook Live conversation on Tuesday, not everyone grew up in the church. Not every family attends church together on Christmas and Easter. There are young people who consider themselves agnostic — meaning they believe in a higher being, but they might not refer to that higher being as the God that most Christians claim to follow. That's another great point that Dr. Smith brought up.

In my case, I grew up in the church. I have parents who have been heavily involved in Christian ministry since I was a child, but that’s not everyone’s reality.

How about those who don’t grow up in the church? Those who have never been taught about God and how great His love for us is?

Don’t you think that those individuals will have questions? 

I believe that’s where many young people are today. They have questions. They have doubts. It’s not that there aren’t millennials who want to learn more about God. I believe if more young people knew God the way me and other believers do then they too would want to experience God’s grace and mercy, but they need people to step in that gap and build a bridge. Judging a person because of their lack of faith is not the answer. It’s about having more open dialogue about topics such as this one.

Youth and morality are not going to come together as one overnight, especially when young people are constantly opening up their social media apps and seeing all the hate, senseless violence, and lies that are currently plaguing this country and the world in general.

That’s where God’s true followers have to step in though. I’m not talking about the hypocrites and those who are disingenuous. I’m talking about the prayer warriors. The evangelists who are enduring persecution for the sake of their faith. Those are the people who have to continue to go beyond the four walls in the church and get out there and touch the community. Our communities are full of people from all walks of life who are hurting and who are in need of God’s love — a love that they don’t even realize they have traveling with them 24/7.

That being said, I don’t want people to lose sight of the fact that there are young people who practice “moral striving,” a phrase often used by Armstrong Williams.

That’s right. Let’s not forget that there are many millennials out there who do strongly believe in God. For me, that’s a realization I came to after attending Christian conferences like Acquire the Fire, a nearly 30-year Ministry that reached millions of young people, and churches like Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Maryland, and Hillsong in Times Square.

Walking the streets of New York City, you wouldn’t think you’re walking among other believers, but when I walked into a Hillsong church service in the middle of Times Square and saw hundreds of young people on fire for God, that was a reminder to me to never judge a book by its cover. 

The fact of the matter is we’ve gotten away from our morals as a society. There’s no question about that, but I’m one who believes that it’s ultimately going to be the youth who contribute to us getting back on track morally. However, for that to be done, evangelists, both young and old, must be genuine when stepping into the gap to build a bridge between nonbelievers and believers, and they must understand that young people will have questions and doubts about the notion that there is a God and what that means for them. 

Having a live TownHall is a great start in regard to educating our young people on spirituality. Now the conversation must continue to dig deeper and deeper in order to bring about solutions. | KMN

America is way beyond its 'tipping point'

By: Karl Nelson, Social Media Manager, @KarlNelsonJR on Twitter 

Armstrong Williams hosted a special TownHall, “Tipping Point,” on Monday, May 14th, on WJLA-TV. Williams and his guests discussed where America is today and the “tipping point” that many young people have appeared to reach. Just look at the numerous cases of senseless violence, especially the number of mass shootings that have occurred in recent years. 

Let’s take things a step further though. 

I’d challenge you to look at this country’s history and ask yourselves a question: Didn’t we reach a tipping point in this country decades ago?

I believe so. That’s evident when you look at the enslavement of black people, the Holocaust, both international and domestic terrorism, police brutality, the lack of a moral compass among people in this society, mass shootings, and the list goes on.

Although we’ve taken strides as a country, I believe it’s the things I just mentioned above that have caused many Americans to say: “Enough is enough.” And while there’s no question that we’re currently at a tipping point as Americans, if anything, we’ve reached a “new” tipping point because this is in no way, shape or form the first or the worst tipping point we’ve arrived to as a society. 

If you don’t believe me, take a trip down memory lane and look at the pain and suffering that individual social groups and the country as a whole has experienced and even endured.

As a matter of fact, since the “Tipping Point” TownHall zoned-in on the recent violence among young people, here’s a timeline of the “deadliest U.S. mass shootings” dating back to 1984, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times and CNN. | KMN

The following list has been edited due to length. 

May 18, 2018 -- At least eight killed in Santa Fe, Texas

March 20, 2018 -- Two injured (one of the victims was put on life support) in Lexington Park, Maryland

March 2, 2018 -- Two killed in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

February 14, 2018 -- At least 17 killed in Parkland, Florida

January 23, 2018 -- Two killed, 16 injured in Benton, Kentucky

October 1, 2017 -- 59 killed, more than 500 injured in Las Vegas

June 12, 2016 -- 49 killed, 58 injured in Orlando nightclub shooting

December 2, 2015 -- 14 killed, 22 injured in San Bernardino, Calif.

September 16, 2013 -- 12 killed, three injured in Washington, D.C.

December 14, 2012 -- 27 killed, one injured in Newtown, Conn.

July 20, 2012 -- 12 killed, 58 injured in Aurora, Colo.

November 5, 2009 -- 13 killed, 32 injured in Ft. Hood, Texas

April 3, 2009 -- 13 killed, four injured in Binghamton, N.Y.

April 16, 2007 -- 32 killed, 17 injured in Blacksburg, Va.

April 20, 1999 -- 13 killed, 24 injured in Columbine, Colo.

October 16, 1991 -- 22 killed, 20 injured in Killeen, Texas

June 18, 1990 -- 10 killed, four injured in Jacksonville, Fla.

August 20, 1986 -- 14 killed, six injured in Edmond, Okla.

July 18, 1984 -- 21 killed, 19 injured in San Ysidro, Calif.