Young Adults Leave The Church At Their Own Dismay

By: Curtis Ophoven 0 Comments   5/29/2012

For several years now there has been a growing trend among young adults and teens.  Many are leaving the church that they grew up in.

David Kinnaman is the Author of “unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters” and his recent book “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith

David has been studying this trend for several years and documenting his findings.  

According to David, young people today think that Christians are against sexual perversion, anti-intellectual, self-righteous, judgmental, bigoted, boring, too political and hypocritical.

Instead of blaming the young people for refusing the believe in Christ and his teachings, David concludes that the church is basically to blame and he goes on to give suggestions for the church to change how it is doing church so that it can reverse this trend.

I have to say straight up that I do not buy it for a minute. This trend is not because the church is failing to do something, but because the next generation is rejecting Christ, just as foretold in the bible at the end of the church age that we are in.

Scoffers Will Come

For example, Matt 24:10 says, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” and Matt 24:12 says “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” and what about Peter 3:3, “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.”

David does not seem to consider or address these passages.

Peter goes on to say what we should be doing in the last days,

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” - 2 Peter 3:14.

Instead of this, David suggests the church make itself friendlier and the message softer on our ears.  But the church has already been doing this for many years and rather than attracting young people, it has driven them away.  If God's Word contains the bread of life, that we cannot live without, than why would 'less of God' ever be an effective strategy?

The only churches that this ‘seeker sensitive’ strategy has attracted people are where they have also replaced trust in God will trust in self.  But this is changing the entire gospel.  This is exactly what Timothy said would happen;

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Tim 4:3

For the most part, I do not agree with David that the churches are to blame for young adults leaving.  When young people today think that Christians are judgmental, bigoted and hypocritical – it is because this is what the anti-Christian culture told them and they believed it.

These false claims should be denied and reputed. They have no foundation in Christianity and they contradict each other.

If anything, David’s research tells us that the cultural influence has become so great that it is convincing the next generation to exchange the truth for a lie (Romans 1:25), to abandon the search for God and his righteousness which leads to a good life and instead put their life in the hands of ideas that have proven to destroy lives.

It is like if young people want to blame the church for their unbelief. But the church is not accountable to be perfect in man's eyes so that all men will believe in God.  God is not going to accept this excuse. “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” – Rev 2:4

When young people today leave the church or the teachings of Christ, they are leaving their lifeline. They are leaving the only place where fellow believers gather together to grow in knowledge of Christ, in which nothing compares to.

“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” - Philippians 3:8 

Hard To Believe

It is not easy to believe in Jesus.  Believing in Jesus means following his commands. (John 14:15)

It's not easy to be a Christian anymore in America like it was a few generations ago. Today it takes real desire to seek God and the abundant life that results.  But it's worth it, because the easy path that many are choosing does not result in a good life.  The anti-Christian culture is all a lie, they do not want the best for young adults - they want to destroy them.

If you want the best for your life, the anti-Christian culture will make you fight for it. It will make you fight to keep your relationships with your parents, friends and spouse God-honoring, pure and sound so that they will remain a solid foundation to build your life upon.

It is a trap.  The anti-Christian culture is tricking young adults into leaving the church or abandoning the teachings of Christianity by calling them names (bigots, hypocrites, etc.), telling them they are not cool, directly lying about Christianity and its true intentions and the rewards it produces.

Young adults need to realize that the culture that claims to be their friend is not their friend at all.  It is Jesus and his followers that have the answers and the solutions to the difficult questions of life and the rewarding life that results.

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