In a live recording, Mikhaila Peterson and Jon McCray (host of Whaddo You Meme?) joined Justin Brierley on The Big Conversation to discuss if young people are ready to find meaning in religion again. The episode, which is the sixth and final video of the series, aired on 29th July to wrap up season four.
Mikhaila Peterson is daughter of renowned author and psychologist Jordan Peterson and has established her own significant YouTube and podcast following. She recently revealed she had found God through a series of spiritual experiences. McCray runs the popular YouTube channel ‘Whaddo You Meme?’, responding to atheism and engaging popular culture.
As millennials with a large Gen Z audience, Peterson and McCray discussed their journeys of faith and the search for meaning and spirituality among the digitally connected next generation. Peterson spoke in great detail about how her mother’s faith through a terminal illness diagnosis played a major role in her transition from lifelong agnosticism to devout Christianity this past year.
“My mom got this rare cancer and there is minimal to no research on it. The death rate was 100 per cent and she was told she had eight months or less to live,” Peterson said. “My mom was in the hospital being fed through a tube and claimed she’d be better by my parents’ anniversary in mid-August. We thought it was the morphine talking, but by their anniversary she recovered, and nobody understood how or why––but my mom said it was God.”
Peterson went on to talk about the stressors she endured with not only her mother battling cancer, but also her father being in and out of the hospital for two years with multiple misdiagnoses and frustrations of him becoming sicker. Peterson was going through a divorce at the time when she relocated to Austin where she met her now husband, who has had a significant role in her faith, as he has helped her grow closer to God. In addition to her mother’s faith influencing her own, Peterson also opened up about how her conversion and her mother’s faith have influenced her father.
“I think that the change that he saw in my mom really impacted him because her personality changed in a positive way and the change was dramatic. She has become more patient, happier and she is nicer,” said Peterson. “He prays before he eats. I do think this has made him more likely to believe in God, but I am not sure where he stands right now. When I share the experiences I have with God, he believes me and doesn’t try to logic it out.”
McCray spoke about following in Jesus’ footsteps by sharing his faith through his YouTube Channel. “I think we take the model of Jesus in the sense that he always met people where they were at,” said McCray. “That’s what I try to do on my channel to be able to communicate the gospel in a way my audience can understand and appreciate.”
These topics and live answers to viewer questions are all included in the final episode of The Big Conversation season four, which is now available here. This popular video series from Premier Unbelievable? features world-class thinkers across the religious and atheist communities discussing faith, science and what it means to be human.
Premier Unbelievable? has amassed millions of followers throughout the world, most notably in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. The series is produced by Premier Christian Radio in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation.