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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Why are Young People Leaving the Church?

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Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453

 Re: Why are Young People Leaving the Church?

I lost faith and walked away from the church as a teenager, not because the church failed to hold the line on a 6000-year-old universe, but because the arguments of "Christian Apologetics" were so preposterous that they rendered faith impossible. How is an intelligent adolescent supposed to believe the infallibility of Scripture when it is predicated on the belief that the universe is 6000 years old? or that Satan put dinosaur bones in the ground to trick us into believing in evolution?

Apologetics begins with the proposition that the truth of the Bible can be proved logically, then seems to prove the opposite by the sheer lunacy of the "logical proofs" offered. It doesn't bolster faith; it stultifies faith, and is probably the main reason so many young people aren't buying their parents' religion. In fact, it was apologists like Josh McDowell and Peter Stoner who first planted doubts in my mind and then confirmed those doubts by the weakness of their arguments.

Kids trust public school science because Sunday School science is so badly reasoned. Creationism as an article of faith is plausible. Scientific Creationism, as presented by Doctors Ham and Hovind, is scientific nonsense. If you ask them how we are able to see stars from billions of light years away, they will tell you that God created the light-waves between the stars and the earth when he created the universe - 6000 years ago. This falls on the wrong side of Occam's razor and does not even qualify as a scientific hypothesis - or even a theory - because it cannot be proved or disproved by experimentation. It is one thing to believe this as a point of faith, but it is misleading to call it scientific.

Besides, why would God create the universe with "vintage" so that it appears 13 billion years old when it is really 6000 years old? Or maybe Satan put those stars there to trick us into disbelieving young earth theory?

If the devil and his angels have a sense of humor, Christian apologetics must be the laughing-stock of hell. In fact, it may have originated in hell, since the only thing it has achieved is to make Christianity appear untenable.

Dr. Ham would do far more good in the world if he would just say, "It is a waste of time to offer logical proofs for the truth of the Bible. It is only by the witness of the Holy Spirit that we know the Bible is the Word of God."

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself. John 7:17

Wayne Kraus

 2009/6/16 0:03Profile

Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453


walter wrote:

If the days of creation are really geologic ages of millions of years, then the Gospel message is undermined at its foundation because it puts death, disease, thorns, and suffering before the Fall. The effort to define “days” as “geologic ages” results from an erroneous approach to Scripture—reinterpreting the Word of God on the basis of the fallible theories of sinful people.


Your beliefs about the origin of the universe are based on the Bible, and you conclude that science must be wrong because it contradicts the Word of God. This is a self-consistent line of reasoning and I wish creationists would just leave it at that instead of trotting out bad science to prove that the Word of God is correct. Whereas you judge science by the authority of the Scriptures, Dr. Ham and his crowd seem to think the God of the Bible needs validation from the god of science.

Wayne Kraus

 2009/6/16 0:24Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3450
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Why are Young People Leaving the Church? 3

Waltern wrote:
It is a good exercise to read Genesis 1 and try to put aside outside influences that may cause you to have a predetermined idea of what the word “day” may mean. Just let the words of the passage speak to you.

I'm sorry but your wording makes it seem that I've never read Genesis 1 before. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they've not studied as much as you have on the subject. I've read it many times and I've let it "speak to me" as you stated and in the end it doesn't really matter if we disagree, does it? I'm saved and so are you; believing in a young earth is just like believing in pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib or even once saved always saved! It's [b]NOT[/b] essential to our salvation.

Waltern wrote:
Like I said previously, I have personally met Hugh Ross. I met him in 1999 at a CBMC meeting(Christian Business & Professional Ministry for Men) and purchased several of his books and read them. I have since destroyed them, because I did not want to even put them in the trash because others might be deceived by what he has to say.

I"m sorry I didn't catch the part where you met him because I cannot read every word of your posts; they are so long they are exhausting and I'm sorry to be so blunt.

Dr. Hugh Ross has a different perspective than Ham does; to you that makes him wrong. To me, if the majority of Christendom is all for it, I step back and take another long look at whatever it is. I really haven't listened to Ross in a long time but this discussion has peaked my interest to get reacquainted with him again.

Waltern wrote:
The effort to define “days” as “geologic ages” results from an erroneous approach to Scripture—reinterpreting the Word of God on the basis of the fallible theories of sinful people.

Did you just call Dr. Hugh Ross a sinful person?


 2009/6/16 1:09Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3450
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Wayneman


Very well explained!

This is one reason why I like Dr. Hugh Ross, he doesn't (or he didn't years ago), discount science; no, science and the Bible go hand in hand, they both justify each other. But here again, this is just my personal opinion.

Anyway, I enjoyed your post.
God bless you,


 2009/6/16 1:22Profile

 Re: Why are Young People Leaving the Church?

Normally, this is the kind of question that I would love to answer, although not in the vein that its being mined in.

It's a crucial question of prime import to the Body of Christ, one that is to be discussed, explored, pondered upon, prayered over, but as past experience has shown me, it will be NOT be a discussion, a loving give and take, it will be a hammering of a single viewpoint, and those who have a divugence of view from this single viewpoint will subject to a veritable verbal crucifixtion, which is tyranny.

and that's a shame, because with so many fine minds here, such a discussion could be vibrant and edifying, but as the past dialogues have shown, it won't, baring a miracle. Such a shame, as we have this platform to speak in love and truth , graciously provided by Greg Gordon as led by the Lord.


 2009/6/16 3:44

 Re: Orphans

A much more likely reason for the exodus of the young from the Church, is the church's obvious Deadness and absence of God's Abundant life. In reality, there is no real community in the American church, with few exceptions. There is usually only a form of Godliness, and that under the regimen of a clergy driven priest class, which provides more of a lecture mentality; sing a couple of songs, listen to the preaching; sit and be quiet. Most, including the adults, can't wait to get out of there and enjoy themselves, be it football or Denny's.

I doubt if the reality of Creation ever crosses their mind, for if God is real, who would want Him anyhow? His representative church is boring, and surely without the Love and Life that He is supposed to be, after all, the young KNOW their parents; they live with them. Hypocrisy is often only hidden to the hypocrite, and the constant sting of living with the hypocrite; one who attends church religiously, and yet lives without joy or mercy or kindness, drives everyone away. Of course it is easier on the conscious to pontificate about the liberal agenda and media's attack on scriptures, when in reality it is the fault of a cold and dead church, still holding on to Religious form, but denying Christ in His abundant life.

The church is not the meeting! I could say this 1000 times. The church is the local body; the community, and that reality, or the lack there of...[ in Godliness and real love one for another ] is the real issue. No one leaves a joyful and loving home. After all, it's your family.

 2009/6/16 10:06

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


As a former youth pastor I can say that in my experience youth do not walk away from God for a lack of understanding, but because they did understand and rejected the Gospel as they resisted the Holy Ghost.

Apologetics is one of my favorite subjects. I have followed Hugh Ross off and on for about 16 years. Although helpful in some ways, these arguments are dead in the water to bring faith. Why? Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I'm not referring simply to scripture verses, but the 'VOICE' of God as He takes hold of His word and makes it manifest to the hearer.

In order for anyone to be born again they have to respond to God. You cannot teach a person to be a Christian; New Testament Christianity is a changed heart and a the receiving of the Holy Spirit. This is a New Creature. Unless the person responds to God in genuine faith and is born again- there is no real chance of any lasting connection with christianity. They will go their own way.

I have watched many youth hear from God and resist the Holy Ghost. The bottom line was, they did not want Christ to rule over their life. No need to look around and ask 'why' they are not attending meetings. No need to blame anyone. It is not in their nature to do it. Unless they are changed they will never have a desire for God. They cannot resist the Holy Ghost and receive Him at the same time.

So what is needed is to ensure that the 'voice' of God is being heard. When God's glory is present His voice will be present. When His voice is present 'faith cometh...' That is our obligation. To depend consciously upon God for Him to speak to the people as we minister. It is all we can do.

Robert Wurtz II

 2009/6/16 10:21Profile

Joined: 2009/2/1
Posts: 164


There are no pat answers to what the root causes of this pattern might be, however, I have some ideas based upon what I have been observing in both the church and the parachurch (Young Life, etc.)

Bottom line: the parents are responsible for bringing their own children up in the faith, not abdicating the responsibility to the institution of the church--if anything, this trend of young people falling away is a reflection upon the failure of parents, fathers especially, to follow the scriptural mandate to teach their sons and daughters. Parents will be held accountable for their failure to see this through. Christianity is an active faith--no passivity: we hear the Word and we do it--otherwise, we have a dead faith. The home should be the base camp where every need is supplied, where children are instructed in how to have a quiet time, held accountable for growing in godly character, have times of prayer and mentoring. The church is the community of these families who gather regularly for fellowship and support, but this is not enough to sustain anyone!!

Is Jesus exalted in the home? Is Jesus exalted in the church?

Look at the church today: if we trust the church to do what is required of us as parents, we will see failure, and so we do. Often, within the church today, the goal is to keep the bodies of the young in the building/fellowship, but there is little or no regard for the souls/spirits contained within those bodies of children/youth. There is a fear of over-exposure to God's word, that it will "turn them off." So anything spiritual must be toned down and treated like a dreaded bitter pill. The primary goal is holding their attention with stimulating songs, videos, activities, while downplaying the disciplines of the faith. The flesh is gratified with pizza, candy, punch and goodie bags. The children leave filled in the flesh but empty in spirit.

Vacation Bible schools have to have cutesy themes featuring caricatures of the heros of the faith, treating real saints like cartoon figures. Themes rule, and there is very little substance.

During worship at many churches, the youth often sit together as a group rather than with their families. Under the supervision of adults who are themselves stuck in adolescence--they text each other with abandon, or play games on cell phones and other devices. Families should sit together in church; no one will effectively train up a child in the ways and disciplines of corporate worship like the parents can.

Youth and children must get to know God and to fear Him and enjoy Him. The problem is, we are failing to guide our children into abiding relationship with their Creator.

JOHN 12:32


 2009/6/16 10:26Profile

 Re: Young Earth or Old Earth?

To Wayneman:

Wow, this is so interesting to me, honestly. Today, at the prophesized time, many Christians are no longer believing the truth, as found in the Bible, but instead many are believing the lie, as presented to us by the godless world. Is it a young earth or an old earth? The Bible tells us it is a young earth, and fallen man tells us it is an old earth. God has provided everything for us in His Word. The history of mankind, starting from the beginning 6,000 years ago, documented through the genealogies, found consistently throughout the Old Testament, that continue into the New Testament. Archbishop James Ussher published his Annals of the World in 1658 that used the Bible to document the beginning of time. What was that date? 4004 BC. This is a very good book, and I have read it.

[url=]Annals of the World- Archbishop James Ussher[/url]

A more timely book on the same subject is “The Chronology of Old Testament –A Return to the Basics” by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones (that I have read as well, and highly recommend). Dr. Jones, working independently of Ussher, derived from the scriptures the very same year of Creation- 4004 B.C.

[url=]Chronology of the Old Testament- Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones[/url]


These are just some of the verses where God has promised both to give and[b] protect His Word.[/b]
"Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it." (Jeremiah 1:12)

Here God says He is watching over His Word to perform it – to make all that He has said come to pass.

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." (Mark 13:31)
God did not promise to keep the original piece of material upon which His words were given. He says His Words SHALL NOT PASS AWAY. Therefore, this promise demands that we still have them on planet earth.

Jesus also says, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)
Why this verse if God has not preserved His Word?
"But the word of the Lord endureth forever." (I Pet.1:25)

[b]This is a direct quote of Isaiah 40:8. God has said that His Word will endure forever! He did not promise that the original piece of paper, rock or vellum would exist forever but that He would preserve the Word – forever.
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever." (Isaiah 40:8)

".. for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." (Psalm 138:2)
Look at that! God says He has magnified His Word above His name! That is incredible for supposedly THE name was so sacred to the Jews that they did not even pronounce it. [/b]

Jesus said "... and the Scripture cannot be broken." (John 10:35)

Thus, on the basis of God's many promises we have in our hands the absolutely infallible inerrant Living Word of Almighty God – that God has promised to keep His Word as revealed through these Scriptures. But there is more!

"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shall keep them, O Lord, thou shall preserve them from this generation forever." (Psa.12:6, 7)

This is a promise from God! Do you believe it? He says He will preserve it. He did not just promise to give the originals pure and free from error – He promised to preserve the text forever!

"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48)

Since God's Word will judge us, are we to believe that God will judge us by something which He meticulously gave us and then lost along the way? Would it be just and fair of God to judge us with these words if they are no longer trustworthy – to hold us accountable when our guide is not 100 percent reliable?

In Matthew 5:18, Jesus said not "one jot or one tittle" shall change in the Word of God. Specifically, He was speaking of the Old Testament. We are being taught today that perhaps the Old Testament is not true, that it is full of contradictions, scribal errors, etc., but Jesus said that it was true and unerring – even to the smallest detail – and He was not referring to the originals, but to copies of copies of copies.

"Do you not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47)
Was Jesus speaking of the "originals"? No, for they did not have the originals. They had copies of copies of copies of the originals yet Jesus said "not one jot or one tittle" had been changed.

If God has only promised the "ORIGINALS" to be pure then Jesus erred in His assessment of the Scriptures. Should these statements of Jesus concerning the Scriptures be inaccurate then He is not Lord, no longer all knowing, no longer all God.

"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." (John 5:39-40)

The ultimate purpose of the Scriptures is to lead us to Christ – and then to guide our lives. If the Scriptures are not accurate, if they have been changed or altered, if they have been lost so that we no longer have the Word of God, how can we come to Christ for they are the Holy Spirit's implement to testify of the Lord Jesus.

[b]Do we believe God, and in His preserved Word, or do we believe the lie, fed to us daily by the God rejecting Word? That is the issue[/b]



[url=]Dinosaurs and Man walked the earth at the same time![/url]

[url=]The Dinosaurs & Giants of Texas[/url]

[url=]Institute for Creation Research[/url]

[url=]Institute for Creation Research Museum[/url]


wayneman wrote:
I lost faith and walked away from the church as a teenager, not because the church failed to hold the line on a 6000-year-old universe, but because the arguments of "Christian Apologetics" were so preposterous that they rendered faith impossible. How is an intelligent adolescent supposed to believe the infallibility of Scripture when it is predicated on the belief that the universe is 6000 years old? or that Satan put dinosaur bones in the ground to trick us into believing in evolution?

Apologetics begins with the proposition that the truth of the Bible can be proved logically, then seems to prove the opposite by the sheer lunacy of the "logical proofs" offered. It doesn't bolster faith; it stultifies faith, and is probably the main reason so many young people aren't buying their parents' religion. In fact, it was apologists like Josh McDowell and Peter Stoner who first planted doubts in my mind and then confirmed those doubts by the weakness of their arguments.


 2009/6/16 10:44

Joined: 2008/5/6
Posts: 61


I haven't really read any of the other posts...I'm not very good at debating. And I'm not a very deep thinker as far as theologically and such. But I do have something I'd like to share. I am a youth leader at my church and I also have a teenager at home. We have a small group of teens, between 2-6 show up every week, depending on what else is going on. Of course my son is always there, but I wonder if he would be there if I didn't make him's hard being a teenager. I remember when I was one, not that long ago, I might add. :-D It was difficult to know how to act or what to do. Trying to fit in with the "IN crowd" was priority. I was in church, but not actually "in church". I went because my friends went. I went to hang out with them, not with God. I was "saved" when I was a senior in high school, but I was never discipled. My parents weren't in church. So, I never went anywhere in the Lord. I believed in God and Jesus and I knew about the Holy Spirit, but that was about the extent of it. I knew Jesus had died for my sins and all of that and of course, I didn't want to go to hell...the Holy Spirit was nudging me, but after I made the step to receive salvation, I was baptized in water and that was it...nothing else became of that. I assumed that was all there was. I grew up in a Pentecostal church when I was smaller. From birth to about the age of 9 or 10. I knew there was something missing , but I didn't know how to go about getting it. (By the way, my grandma and granddaddy took me to church when I was smaller, parents still not in church) While going to church in my teen years, it was more of a ritual in the church. Go to Sunday School, read a lesson, maybe sing a song or two in the youth choir during worship service, opening prayer, sing a few hymns, listen to the sermon, closing prayer, shake a few hands, hug a few necks and go home. I never fell in love with Jesus. I would feel the occasional tug on my spirit, but nothing more. Oh how I wish things could have been different in my younger years...(by the way, I'm only 36 for those of you who are wondering...
:-) )
Back to the son, who will be 16 in a few months, is a good boy...if I do say so myself. He says that he has received salvation from our wonderful heavenly Father and he has been baptized in water as a public sign of his decision. A couple of years ago at youth camp he was baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues even. At the time we went to a church that didn't really have a good youth program, more about playing basketball and hanging out than the Lord. And I am a believer who believes that if you don't use what you have you can lose it...enough said. He goes to church and is involved in the youth group. He does not listen to worldly music or watch worldly shows, when he is under my roof. He goes to his dad's house on the weekend and lives in a house where his dad does not acknowledge God on any occasion and he is a Mason.(whole other can of worms, I know) He is not an atheist, but is very bitter towards any talk of religion. He calls me a "Holy Roller". Anyway, when Kristian (my son) is over at his dad's house, I don't know what he does. It is a whole other ballgame over there. He is exposed to things that he doesn't need to be. He sees and hears things that he shouldn't. I have no control over that, except to pray for his dad and stepmom's salvation. (I know that it seems as though I am rambling, but I am going somewhere with this.) Kristian is homeschooled, by me, along with his sister and two brothers. Yesterday he started Driver's Ed at the local high school. He has been homeschooled from 9th grade up until now, so it's been a few years since he has been in the public school environment. He was a little nervous to say the least, not knowing what to expect...and I was nervous for him. After the first class, he said that it was okay. He went on to tell me about this one boy who was really nice and well-mannered in front of the teacher, but as soon as the teacher left, this boy started using foul language and acting up...I expected this and I'm sure Kristian did too. I can't protect him from every evil thing in the world, but I know who can. Kristian wears a lot of Christan t-shirts...that's mainly what he wears all of the time... a few we picked out, a few he picked out. But yesterday he chose not to wear one. I noticed it right off the bat, but I didn't mention anything about it. He wears a Christian t-shirt just about everywhere we go, the ball field, church, the grocery store, practically everywhere, but he chose not to where one on this occasion...that seemed odd to me. Well, I made up my mind right then that I wasn't going to say anything to him about it because I want to see if he will wear one of his Christian t-shirts any of the days that he has to go. I know wearing a Christian t-shirt doesn't make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car, but it is the point of the matter...which is what I am trying to get at...He is not in love with Jesus. He has not come to love His Savior completely and totally...sure he loves Jesus and he wants to do the right things. But He can't live off of my faith and my salvation...He has to fall in love with Jesus for himself. I can't do it for him and I can't make it happen. That is a personal journey for each and every person, whether young or old. If a person is not in love with Jesus, he or she will not serve him with everything they have. My pastor tells me all of the time..."if they (the youth) ever fall in love with Jesus, you won't be able to stop them." But he is also quick to say that we can't make it happen. He also tells me that my main purpose for having a youth meeting is to bring them into the presence of God. To let them see Jesus in whatever I do on that particular night. And he is right, I can't make Kristian fall in love with Jesus, but I can as his mom and youth leader show him Jesus. I can live a life of love for Christ and let His love flow through me to him and the other youth, to everyone I come in contact with for that matter. The whole thing is this...we cannot force anything on our youth...we try to, but it will not work. We can play on their emotions and try to scare them into salvation, but it will not last. They have to be in God's wonderful presence and fall in love with their wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ for themselves. They have to seek God's face on their own. They have to hunger and thirst after righteousness. We can pray and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us in such a way that they are drawn to Him, but we can not force it on them. We can disciple them after they make that step of faith to receive Christ as their personal Savior, we can pour into their lives and pray for them continually, but we in ourselves can not make them get saved and follow Christ. I want very badly for my son and my youth group and all youth for that matter to rise up and take a stand for Christ, but I can't make it happen. I am nothing without Christ. I don't want anyone to go to hell, but I in my own power can do nothing to stop it. It's Christ in me, the hope of glory! The prayer from my heart is this...I pray that God in His infinite wisdom and glory will rend the heavens and come down on this generation. That He will reach out to the youth and draw them to Him. I pray that such a mighty move of the Spirit will come upon all youth everywhere that it will rock this whole world and cause Satan to quake and tremble. I pray that the generation that is being raised up now will fall so deeply and madly in love with Christ that they will put the old saints to shame( in a good way :-) ). I pray that they will have such a great hunger and thirst for righteousness that they will never be satisfied. I pray that they will want more and more and more of the things that God has to offer them. I pray that they will humble themselves before the throne of God and give their all to Him. I pray that their will would be God's will. That they be totally and completely sold out to Him. That they would count their lives as not their own. May they be broken vessels fit for the Potter's use. Equip them to be used for the furthering of Your Kingdom. Equip us, Oh Lord, to be examples and living epistles. May we fall in love with You over and over again. May every day be a new day in You. May we submit ourselves to You every morning. May Your will always be our will. May we never be satisfied with where we are in our walk with You. May we continue to grow in You every day. May we receive revelations from You every day. May we seek Your face every day. Thank You for Your love, Your mercy and Your grace. Thank You for saving a wretch like me. Thank You for keeping a wretch like me. Thank you for this wonderful website. Thank You for these wonderful brothers and sisters! I pray that You will bless each and everyone with Your presence today, tomorrow, and forever. May we grow in Your love each day! In Jesus' precious, sweet, and holy name, Amen and Amen.

This turned out to be a little longer than expected...the Holy Spirit started flowing and here ya go...I pray that God will minister to everyone in some way or another as a result of this! God bless each and every one of You! :-) I've said before I'm not good at debating, I believe what I believe! I can't stand up to over half of the folks here, because I'm not as learned as a lot of you are. But I do love God with everything I have and I live for Him daily. I'm learning and growing in Him daily. If I have said anything here that brings offense in any way I have only said what comes from my heart and I pray that it is taken with a grain of salt. I realize that everyone has different views on speaking in tongues and maybe even some of you are in the Masons organization...I just want you to know that I am not condemning anyone or talking down to anyone. I love you all with the love of Christ! I am here to spread the love of God not dissension among brothers and sisters. Thank you for allowing me to give my two cents!

 2009/6/16 11:01Profile

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