I think we're all old enough to remember when Kirk Franklin triggered a community-wide revolution that had us all milly rocking in the name of the lord. I didn't grow up going to church every single Sunday, but artists like Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary were partially responsible for solidifying my personal relationship with god.
While I couldn't understand what the pastor was preaching in the pulpit, and grew tired of learning about Adam and Eve in children's church, Kirk and his gang of contemporary genre-mates helped me connect with God in a way that I hadn't experienced.
In 2018, The Pew Center released a study that said more than half of the polled participants that identified as "religious nones" were under the age of 35. After years of witnessing scandal, greed, hypocrisy, and injustice committed by the institution, studies show that millennials are just over it.
Recently, our gospel-composing Uncle Kirk slid through The Breakfast Club with some knowledge about the reason why people are leaving the church in droves, and what members of the clergy can do to avoid it. When asked by a critical Charlamagne about the lack of love that exists in many religious institutions, the "Love Theory" musician had this to say:
"One of the reasons why I feel millennials are leaving the Church is because we showed them our scriptures without showing them our scars."
It's Pride Month, and it's only right that we acknowledge the hateful history that exists between the Black community's beloved church and members of the LGBTQ+ community. While many churches preach that homosexuality=hell, Kirk recommends that new-aged pastors take a different approach. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and we're all guilty of fostering our own demons. I may not be a theologian, but I do know that isolating non-traditional Christians is not the key into the gates of heaven. He explained:
"All Scripture is God-breathed ... but what we have to understand also is that the Canon of Scripture still is coming from a place of a loving God. God is not built to hate gay people. The Bible is not a manual on how to hate gay people."
God says come as you are, but does Sister Shirley who's been attending the First Tabernacle Baptist Church Of New Zion since 1982 really feel that in her spirit though?
Kirk said that the secret to bringing young people back to Church is realizing that even though you may have different beliefs from the person sitting next to you, you still have a spiritual responsibility to love them despite your opposing views.
"It's all about walking out life with men and women and to see everyone created in God's image and basically no one group of people will ever be monolithic; everybody has different views even inside of different communities. But it's all about learning how to agree to disagree and still letting love lead the narrative."
I get it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The problem with that statement is, according to the constantly breaking news headlines, religious groups can be some of the most fractured institutions. God is love, and there's nothing god-like about persecuting someone for being exactly who they are.
Kirk agreed with this sentiment and encourages everyone that loves God to walk in their truth, despite the persecution they may receive from "religious folks". They hated Jesus too. Kirk continued:
"If [we] continue to keep isolating these individual things and make that the premise of what God is and who God is we are missing the [point] ... that there is room at the cross for all of us. And all of us got something and to make your something bigger than my something is to miss how big the love and grace of God is. God is a God of truth, I believe that God's love is the truth. There's no truth without love and love can't exist without truth."
Why do you think millennials are giving up on religion? Watch Kirk's full interview below an let us know in the comments!
Kirk Franklin Talks God, Healing, New Album 'Long Live Love' + Morewww.youtube.com
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