Why most church-going kids will leave the church, never to return
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
Are we losing the next generation of Christians? Statistics show that the majority of young adults who were raised in the church are no longer attending. And a huge number of these twenty-somethings have no plans to ever return! What in the world is going on?
We need only look at Great Britain to see what can happen to the church in a scant two generations. There, through World War II, churches were the valued center of spiritual and community life. But today many are now empty, having closed their doors for good or are attended by only a tiny fraction of their former membership. Spiritual decay has turned Europe into a post-Christian continent where Secular Humanism is the reigning religion.
And the disease is rapidly spreading to America. Pollster George Barna has found that 61% – nearly two-thirds of today’s young adults who were regular church attendees when they were younger – are now “spiritually disengaged.” Some will come back later in life, like the Prodigal Son, but why is the church so ineffective at retaining its next generation?
The Bible says that mankind “…suppresses the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). In a word, SIN works to keep us from loving the truth of God. This manifests itself in many ways. For one thing, our society and culture – especially the one that our young people are tuned in to – has become much more hedonistic. Pleasure, greed and pride are openly promoted and exalted. Recall that many famous evolutionists have freely admitted their fidelity to evolution because of their desire to justify immorality.
For another thing, families are increasingly broken and dysfunctional. Fathers are disengaged from their biblical role of training and instruction, leaving the media and the government to become the primary influences in a young person’s life. Though they may drop off their kids at Sunday school, even Sunday school and youth groups can’t compete, especially when they don’t address the critical issues supporting a biblical worldview!
In their new book titled Already Gone, Ken Ham and survey researcher Britt Beemer explore the problem of a generation falling away from church. Their survey reveals a “Sunday School Syndrome” that is having the opposite effect of the intention. Kids are actually conditioned into thinking of the Bible as merely a collection of “stories” or “fairytales.” As a result, they are learning to accept worldly culture and ideas!
This should not be! Church instruction should reinforce the truth of God’s Word. And it’s not enough to simply proclaim from the pulpit that the Bible is God’s truth. Young people especially need to know why and how the Bible is true – particularly in an age where the pseudo-science of evolution makes the Bible appear to be mythical.
I’ve written in my book, CREATION Spelled Out for Us All, about how important initial assumptions or presuppositions are if we are to be guided into the truth. Evolution has its own logic, which can captivate the minds of very smart people. But its various assumptions are incorrect, making its conclusions quite absurd. People need to understand how the assumptions which go into Biblical Creation make more sense than those which form the basis for evolution.
|Evolution’s Assumptions||The Corrected Corresponding Replacement Assumptions|
|Living things have some features in common because they have a common ancestry.||Living things have some features in common because they have a common designer.|
|Mutations can lead to increasing complexity of life.||Mutations follow the laws of probability and, therefore, as with the decades of irradiated fruit fly experiments, lead to decreasing complexity and function in life.|
|Natural selection can drive change between groups of species.||Natural selection shows no evidence of driving change between species groups, only within the pre-existing genetic limits of species groups.|
|Uniform processes of change have existed all through time; therefore, we can calculate backwards in time from the rates of change and cycling that we measure today.||Catastrophic change has occurred at certain times from the beginning of creation. Therefore, rates of change can’t all be assumed to be the same as those we measure today.|
|The very-old-earth extrapolations are the correct ones since evolution requires billions of years.||The old-earth extrapolations ignore the many young earth extrapolations as well as the distinct possibility of past catastrophic change. Old earth bias is simply biased in favor of “evolutionism.”|
|There is no God.||There is God, Creator.|
Feel-good Christianity needs something more, because in life we just don’t feel “good” all the time. Christianity needs the solid support of faith in the relevance and rationality of God’s Word. It is no coincidence that post-Christian Europeans have bought the lie of evolution even more so than Americans. It is no coincidence that post-Christian Great Britain honors Charles Darwin with his face on their 10-pound note and his grave at Westminster Abbey.
Our purpose at Creation Moments is to instill a firm foundation for Christian faith. We offer many materials for this purpose, and we are developing others. As I have said on many occasions, we live in critical times where we must boldly present the case against evolutionism. This is a key spiritual battlefield for today. And where the battle rages, there the Christian needs to be engaged. Won’t you please help us with your prayers and financial gifts? We depend on you. Thank you for standing with us, and God bless you!