It's no secret that Millennials — generally perceived as individuals ages 18 to 35 — are more out of tune with faith and religion than any other generation.
And as many churches struggle to attract young adherents, one professor is claiming that traditional views on sexuality aren't necessarily resonating with this cohort, with Millennials diverging from mainstream church perspective in how they view the ongoing debate over homosexuality.
Dr. Teresa Delgado, professor of theology and ethics at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, recently told the Christian Post that she's noticing a pattern among her mostly Roman Catholic students.
"It seems that there is a generation gap ... and they seem to be moving more in the direction of looking at the Christian tradition more through the lens of love and compassion," she said.
In this sense, Delgado said that students would view any relationship, regardless of whether it is platonic, heterosexual or homosexual, as being rooted in love and compassion.
"They are definitely moving in a direction that is away from the traditional orthodox interpretation of the biblical text and the church's teachings," she continued.
Watch her discuss these issues below:
Polls seem to reinforce what Delgado said about Millennials and their views on sexuality.
Consider Gallup's research earlier this year of Americans' views on gay marriage, which found 55 percent of the nation expressing support for same-sex matrimony; that proportion jumped to 78 percent for individuals between the ages of 18 and 29.
Research from the Public Religion Research Institute also found earlier this year that nearly one-third of Millennials who had left their childhood religion did so due, in part, to church teaching about homosexuality or "treatment of gay and lesbian people."
The same study found that Americans in general (58 percent) and Millennials in particular (70 percent) believe that religious cohorts have been alienating youths with judgmental views on gays.
And as Barna noted earlier this year, "The issue of sexuality is particularly salient among 18- to 29-year-old Catholics, among whom two out of five (40%) said the church’s “teachings on sexuality and birth control are out of date."
As TheBlaze previously reported, much ado has been made over the Pew Research Center's 2012 finding that one in three young adults are “nones” and are, thus, unaffiliated with a specific faith. The results also highlighted that one-third of those individuals under the age of 30 fall into this category.
This marked a record for Pew, with young people ending up the most religiously unattached they’ve been in the firm’s polling history. Now, this doesn’t mean that 32 percent of young people left or lack a specific faith; it simply means that one-third of Millennials as a whole are counted as unattached.
As we noted at the time, unaffiliated doesn’t necessarily mean “atheist” or “agnostic.” Currently, about four percent of the U.S. public calls itself atheist or agnostic. An additional 12 percent simply claims to have no religious affiliation.
Either way, with young people showing less interest in organized religion overall and with sexuality continuing to be a sticking point for some, it's likely that Christian churches will need to continue exploring how to navigate the issue, while also abiding by biblical teaching.
Read more about young Christians and the reasons they might be leaving churches here.
(H/T: Christian Post)