One of the major emphases during the ICEJ/ACLI Conference in Washington DC was the “Israel divide” in the millennial generation. Those born between 1980-2000 are into young adulthood now and are statistically less supportive of Israel than previous generations. According to polls, less than 45% of Millennials are supportive of Israel, while 27% sympathize more with the Palestinians. That is problematic as tomorrow’s leaders emerge from that generation.
Dr Jeremy Roberts explained why, and what must be done to remedy the divide. The whys:
- Theological error. To significant degree, Millennials have fallen prey to false teaching such as Reformed Theology (a bent toward Calvinistic belief) leading to Replacement Theology (a belief that the church has replaced Israel), which in turn, leads to distorted eschatology (a disregard for end times, given less emphasis on a literal Israel).
- Political move toward moderate. Politically, moderates and liberals are less supportive of Israel, and Millennials are becoming more and more moderate/liberal.
- Technological dependence. Millennials are addicted to their devices, and social media developers are exploiting that addiction. Today’s social media platforms are literally designed to be addictive, and Millennials spend an average of 6 hours a day on their smartphones and other devices, becoming brainwashed by the liberal agendas of the media giants. (Need evidence, check out the growth statistics of Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram, all developed by liberal thinkers who have designed their products to favor liberal agendas.)
These elements (and perhaps others) have created the “Israel divide.” So, what can be done to remedy the divide?
- Live out your theology. If you have children or young adults, your influence is especially critical. Young people look to preceding generations, particularly family members and respected teachers, coaches and others who invest in them. Thus, your example must lead them to the right theology. Do that by praying faithfully, supporting Israel tangibly and teaching of the love of God for the Jews and for us who believe.
- Be politically active. Take the time to find out what electoral candidates believe, then align those beliefs with your own Biblical convictions, then VOTE your values. As you model that diligence to Millennials, they will sense the importance of “vetting before voting.” Don’t vote based simply on what the campaign ads tell you!
- Leverage technology. Depending upon your generation, you may or may not be highly comfortable and skilled in technology, particularly social media. But to whatever level you are comfortable using the tools, do so in a bold, firm way, but with kindness and love. Whatever you write or share, do so with intent and purpose, and use your platform to talk about Israel. Use your influence to spread the truth.
When it comes to standing for Israel, overcome those who desire to oppose you, overcome procrastination, overcome age (whether young or more mature) and overcome the enemy whose mission is to silence you!
Check back in this afternoon, as I plan to share some additional information and thoughts regarding the up and coming generations.
(For an outline of Dr Roberts teaching at the conference, click here.)