The opinion I was having trouble stomaching, is that millennials are a “me” generation therefore are not going to tithe as their elders have.
I have two problems with this:
A. No, we will not be tithing as our parents did at the moment. But you have not asked why? First of all, let me say, I think that tithing as part of jubilee economics has the potential to be a radical economic practice that redistributes wealth and forgives debt. However, this is not the way we have put it in practice. Rather we support our church institutions through 10% of our income, some of which redistributes wealth and much of it which supports aging buildings.
That aside, do you want to know what 10% of my income is: less than zero. Why? Because of student debt. I do not believe it is helpful for credit card companies and banks, who invest their money in projects that are counter to my sense of social and ecological justice, to make interest on my money so that I can donate to my church and its organization which I hope will work to counter these injustices. My friends, top of their class in high school with advanced degrees, are pushing thirty without full-time jobs, on year by year contracts, holding down debt, paying into the big black hole that is rent, no hope of buying their own home – maybe ever. The point is the game has changed since our parents were thirty and that needs to be acknowledged.
B. This does not mean we don’t care about social/environmental change, it just means we devote our resources differently. Obviously, Millennials are short on cash. This, in itself, is motivation to bike, use public transportation, craft, makes things ourselves. We are a generation who grew up with more stuff, more privilege, and more parental support than maybe ever before. But it doesn’t look like we can provide this for our children. We are also the generation of slow food, growing up with climate change activism, and “act locally think globally.”
In short, yes, we care. It just isn’t coming out in dollars; it is coming out in volunteer hours, social media campaigns, consumer choices, “maker” campaigns, etc.
And frankly, I think that this concentration in addressing our privilege might even be more effective in producing change than giving our money away.