A few years ago, in David Kinnaman’s book You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith (Baker 2011), Kinnaman argued that there are at least six reasons why men and women between 18-30 leave the faith behind.
Let’s examine the first three reasons.
Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective.
Indeed there is a failure in our churches to engage with challenges to Christian belief. In our culture, which is imbued with relativism, scientism, and pluralism, it seems that pastors are either unwilling or incapable of addressing questions which run headlong into Christian truth claims. Subjects such as evolution and geology bring into doubt Christian Doctrine and Biblical teachings so there seems to be either a “turn the cheek” or “ignore it” mentality.
Reason #2 – Teens’ and twenty-somethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
Often, youth experiences in church are more like social gatherings with scripture sprinkled in. There is a lot of superficiality in general church services today rather than solid Doctrinal teaching. Services often seem more intent on entertaining primarily which leaves teaching the Gospel a byproduct of the Sunday production. As Dr. William Lane Craig states, “…the time for simpering devotionals and feel-good Bible stories is past. We have to teach our kids sound doctrine and apologetics.”
Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
The Creation-Evolution debate which still, is undoubtedly a huge issue, is a sort of unholy alliance between New Atheists and Young Earth Creationists. If you think that the world is older than ten to twenty thousand years, you have somehow betrayed or contradicted the Bible. So, if you are convinced that those two ideologies are incompatible then something has got to give and the church will come across as antagonistic to mainstream science.
I will discuss the final three reasons in the next blog.