Thought Question: Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church

Millennials Conference LogoAccording to Richard Beck, a professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University,

So what happened? Why didn’t Gen X leave the church while the Millennials [also known as Generation Y] are leaving in droves?

The difference between Generations X and Y isn’t in their views of the church. It’s about those cellphones. It’s about relationships and connectivity. Most Gen X’ers didn’t have cell phones, text messaging or Facebook. These things were creeping in during their college years but the explosive onset of mobile devices and social computing had yet to truly take off.

So why has mobile social computing affected church attendance? Well, if church has always been kind of lame and irritating why did people go in the first place? Easy, social relationships. Church has always been about social affiliation. You met your friends, discussed your week, talked football, shared information about good schools, talked local politics, got the scoop, and made social plans (“Let’s get together for dinner this week!”). Even if you hated church you could feel lonely without it. Particularly with the loss of “third places” in America.

But Millennials are in a different social situation. They don’t need physical locations for social affiliation. They can make dinner plans via text, cell phone call or Facebook. In short, the thing that kept young people going to church, despite their irritations, has been effectively replaced. You don’t need to go to church to stay connected or in touch. You have an iPhone.

So, Beck argues, church worked in the past, despite its flaws, because it met a real, deeply felt social need. But since that need is now being met with technology, many young people will leave the church (or never join).

Do you remember all the sermons about Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community? The argument was that Americans are lonely people and the church should market itself as a great place to make friends (and, indeed, it is). Seems this was a shortsighted theory. Market the church as a place to make friends, then the church has to compete with other ways to make friends.

So, dear readers, how do we dig ourselves out of this hole we’re in? Or is Beck mistaken?

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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59 Responses to Thought Question: Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church

  1. David Himes says:

    Of course, Beck is both right and wrong. He's right for some people and wrong for others. But whichever side anyone falls on, it's difficult to argue that he's out in left field.

    It is obviously a factor that warrants review and consideration.

    However, more fundamentally, for me, Beck's view suggests a misplaced focus. Because it puts more emphasis on "the church" than on Jesus.

    I believe community, just like "loving one another" is part of our response to our gracious salvation — not the driver of it.

    Motivating people to "come to church" is not the goal — helping and supporting them as they find their relationship to Jesus — and God — that's what's it's about.

    So, once again — and there is no surprise here — if we remain focused on Jesus, then "church" issues will probably resolve themselves.

    Unfortunately, as in so many areas, we fail again. Thank God for his forgiveness.

  2. Adam Legler says:

    Being on who is just barely older than this generation and teaches this generation at the high school level (if my Google search on the years this generation was born is correct), I think there are many factors in all of this.

    I think parents play a big part in some of this. In education I see it as a lack of parent involvement. Is it the same when it comes to Christianity? I don't know.

    This generation has a lot less loyalty to tradition (most of them only stand up for the pledge because they are forced to), and a lot more confidence in themselves than I ever remember having growing up. So they don't feel compelled to do the checklist of church things to feel closer to God.

    This generation does value relationships. So social media obviously addresses that. They are willing to try out churches that aren't traditional and be apart of things bigger than themselves. But it has to be because they have been emotionally touched or truly understand the significance of it.

    I think David is on to something. There has to be more focus on Jesus. But it has to be on the love and grace part. Telling them they are going to hell if they don't have Jesus won't work. They have too much confidence in who they are to let that bother them. They'll just look for another religion that does not come off so judgmental or egotistical if that approach is taken.

  3. alanrouse says:

    The fate of the church does not hang on our ability to attract people to attend. The early church didn't grow because of the attractiveness of the assembly or the worship activities. It grew because the Holy Spirit, working through the transformed lives of individual Christians convicted the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit is still doing that, so the church will be fine. Of course any particular church or individual member might or might not be a part of that (Rev 2:5). It's our job to let our lights shine so that the world will give glory to God. (Matt 5:16)

  4. aBasnar says:

    Isn't it weird that sociuologists give every new half-generation a new name that makes themn seem so extremly different from all others that it seems almost impossible to interact with them?

    What if all these sociological categories are plainly wrong and hide from us the real dilemma: Our families are falling apart because of too much running after jobs and money (double incomes). materialism (more consuming – more money – more work), entertainment (instead of doing things together as a family or church).

    What – further – if it is not the calling of the church to attract the young people only, but all generations alike, especially those who are not highly esteemed in theis world?

    Someone is pointing us in a wrong direction here, creating fears we are not fear, but letting us miss what we should fear to miss. (I mean the one with these fancy horns on his forehead …)


  5. arkie55 says:

    Previous comments are good. I agree that the real focus must be Jesus. And I agree that family failure is a real root of societal decay. The church is manifestly a community, and in many cases has failed in that role. The business model has been applied, etc.

    What really struck me here though is how we do need community. The "third places" have pretty much been supplanted by – the rat race. Church is designed to be an important third place, but societally we have abandoned them and that includes church. What has replaced them is, to me, the pertinent question…

    And the answer to that is, counterfeits have replaced them. The evil one loves to pawn us with counterfeits. The social media are perfect examples. How many FB "friends" are really and truly friends? How many of them does the typical FB account holder even know? How well does the virtual community emulate the real, face to face communities that it is supplanting? I think the answer is self-evident…

  6. Rob Woodfin says:

    I am wondering if Professor Beck, when he says "leave the church," means church in the universal sense or "The Church of Christ." As often as I've heard the comment about how our "religious neighbors" simply go to church to be entertained, this observation sounds hauntingly familiar.

    To dig ourselves out, my first suggestion would be to consider alternate possibilities (other than the one presented) for why people assemble in the name of Jesus. Yes, the church has always been a "mutual edification society." That was part of the design. But in our own "neighborhood," why not look to see which flocks are growing and which are withering away. Are the progressive churches which are growing simply doing a better job of entertaining? (That is the answer you will get from the conservative side of the street.) But ask some of those members why they assemble where they do and I suggest you will be listening for a long time before they get around to talking about how "entertaining" it is.

    Now ask folks from dwindling congregations why they go to church and you will likely hear the command about the first day of the week, followed by the lament that this generation just doesn't care about doing God's will anymore.

    I submit that if we are solely talking about our own fellowship, we should take geography into account. When members of The Church find themselves withering away in waterless gardens, some have the opportunity to transplant themselves to congregations nearby where they truly feel led by the Spirit and yet remain under the banner of the CoC. But in many places that is simply not possible. So the question is, are the thirsty souls who are leaving The Church all walking into the desert, or are they finding living water at other wells that aren't stamped with our seal of approval.

    I heard a preacher from Australia talk one time about how beef producers in his country are able to keep their cattle assembled. He noted ranches there are usually larger than most counties here, a few are larger than some New England states. So fencing is not a realistic solution. "How do they keep the cows from wandering away," he queried. "They dig a well."

    Why are folks leaving our churches? Some may be looking for a better cell signal. Most, I submit, are desperately searching for water.

  7. laymond says:

    I just can't understand why the younger folks are looking for an alternative to the "CoC", They are being bombarded with ignorance, not only from the church, but their parents who attend that church. some of your posts and comments I have read assure me that the "CoC" is on life support and is fading fast.

    Why would the younger ladies want to come to "church" to be treated like third class citizens, #1 grown men/leaders, #2 boys / future leaders #3 females, women and girls / change diapers in nursery, and sing pretty.

    I recently read a comment,( on this blog) where a parent was asking what college was best if thier child was to go to heaven instead of hell, and naturally they got some response. and none recommended Harvard, or Yale. The progressives claim to be more inclusive, but they are really not, you are only included if you agree with them, if you are in the know.

  8. Skip Gross says:

    If people leave because they would rather connect to friends via text messaging, etc… then they almost certainly don't understand what the church is supposed to be all about.. "Church" is the community of believers that have Jesus Christ, the Word of God, Prayer, and fellowship in common. If Jesus is truly the Lord of my life, fellowship with fellow Christians is natural and vital and no tweeting, text messaging, emailing, etc… can substitute for face-to-face with brothers and sisters in Christ. What I suspect most is that the modern church has drifted so far from the original that the modern church is indistinguishable from a civic club. The sermons are irrelevant, the fellowship is shallow, and the purpose is unclear. If we get back to the vital fellowship as we read in Acts 2, many will start coming back and the church will grow dramatically.

  9. Bruce Morton says:

    I am convinced there is more here than a view of the church, and Scripture, and…. I continue to believe Delbanco has "nailed it" in his book The Death of Satan. As a nation a large number of people no longer believe in evil… and therefore the cross makes no sense to them. And it is more than just the "Millenials" that are affected.

    As to how we "get out" of this, Jesus' response to Satan remains critical counsel: "it is written." Both the message of Ephesians 6:10ff. and the "one another" teachings of Paul in the letter remain crucial.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas

  10. Price says:

    I'm with Rob… Where the Spirit of God is, there usually is something special going on… Where man doesn't need the Spirit and/or doesn't believe in or allow His presence, then things go south in a hurry… and most people can tell the difference and want to be in a church that feels ALIVE…

    However, that being said, it sounds to me like some prefer that we all be the same..Gone are the days that WE conform to RITUAL… It's amazing to me that we try and take a community of people made up of individuals as different from night and day in the "real world" but somehow manage to interact and get along in "community", and try to put them in a church "community" where they all should do and think alike…Probably not going to happen… The churches that are growing seem to me to be the ones that try and meet the individual need of and use the individual talents and gifting of…as many people as possible… That's what the community outside of the church building is doing…

  11. aBasnar says:

    One commentator (Ben Wiles) on Beck's Blog pointed out one of the major problems in Beck's understanding of church:

    I'm not too alarmed by the premise (younger people leaving the church more rapidly than their predecessors) or the conclusion (that it's Facebook's fault). Frankly, I don't think the data supports either conclusion. I would argue Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, but I don't really buy either Hoc.

    That said, one statement jumps out in an alarming way: "Church has always been about social affiliation. You met your friends, discussed your week, talked football, shared information about good schools, talked local politics, got the scoop, and made social plans ("Let's get together for dinner this week!")."

    Herein lies the heart of the problem.

    If this is what "church has always been about," then it has never really been "church." Maybe if "church" were less about "social affiliation" and more about authentic counter-cultural Christianity, we would be better able to retain those we teach.

    As it is, the "church" you describe is a pathetic, second-rate impostor that needs killing. If our young people really are figuring out that church should be more than a social club (I'm not convinced they are, but still), this is good news.

    I don't know if Beck's "Definition" of the purpose of the church is meant to be the primary purpose, or even if this is representaticve of the ACU's understanding of the church's purpose – but it is a "fine" example of what happens when worldly science gets mixed with theology. His Book "Unclean" (at least, what I have read about it on his web site) seems to have fallen into the same trap.

    This is quite disturbing. I am glad Ben Wiles saw this clearly.


  12. Jay Guin says:

    aBasnar wrote,“Maybe if “church” were less about “social affiliation” and more about authentic counter-cultural Christianity, we would be better able to retain those we teach.”Amen.

  13. Price says:

    Would the Lord's Supper as observed in the first century be categorized as a social event ?

  14. Doug says:

    Is it becoming more difficult to have a true spiritual experience with the Church? I mean by that the people who constitute the Church. Because if a person has ever had a real spiritual experience in the sense of communally loving someone with into the Body, I think it becomes very difficult to ever think of leaving the Church. In fact, that person would want that experience again and again.

  15. Jay Guin says:

    Doug and others,We’ve marketed the church as a great place to make friends (“build relationships” the ministerial class likes to say). We run teen and campus programs as social clubs with devos thrown in to Christian-ize them. We take kids on ski trips and beach trips to meet Jesus by playing.Our we try to sell spiritual disciplines as a legalistic path to salvation. “Have quiet times, pray, and read your Bibles and God will save you.”What we don’t do is present God’s vision of the kingdom as something our young members can be a part of. We preach rescue from damnation — but not the kingdom of heaven on earth today. We have no vision of the kingdom on earth. We’re even uncomfortable praying “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”What we need is a vision — not as marketing strategy! — but a vision of what the kingdom would be if God had his way with us.

  16. Royce says:

    Perhaps a fact that is being overlooked is that there are those churches flooded with just those young techie folks the study says are leaving the church.

    My view is that many local churches, in attempting to become more "relevant" to young people, have really become the opposite. For you see, these young folks are not stupid, they can spot a fake more easily than we think.

    The common mistake is to believe that smart power points, great cutting edge music, and a preacher with a minimum of one tattoo and one ear ring is what young people crave. The truth is that churches where Christ is at the center, where the gospel is a constant theme, are doing quite well. And, some of them have preachers with the above adornment and some don't. It is the preaching of the cross that builds lives that glorify Jesus. People don't need a weekly devo to make them feel good in their luke warm sinfulness, they need the transforming message of the worth and work of Jesus Christ our Lord. Never forget, young people are only younger sinners than older ones, they are cut from the same cloth and need the same message.

  17. Larry Short says:

    I doubt the premise of social network replacing face to face. In my town, night clubs, concerts, and other events are well attended. However if the main reason to go to anything was to meet friends and set agendas for the near future, yeah, Facebook is faster. So, quit playing friendship society, and glorify God and mutually share life in His will. Can't get that at the nightclub.

  18. I agree with Beck.

    I believe the church is entering the golden age of communion, and by "communion" I don't mean passing the trays of crackers and grape juice.

    You can't get a hug on Facebook. You can get everything else that happens in the church building via the Internet and get it BETTER than any single congregation can offer. I can find better preaching, better Bible study, better singing, better praying, etc., on the Internet than any single congregation can provide.

    I can't get a hug on the Internet.

    Words and videos and songs are encouraging, and I believe that encouragement and comfort are some of the most important things I give and receive when Christians assemble.

    Hugs are great encouragement and comfort as well, and I believe that is what will be the center of the golden age of communion.

  19. Adam Pierce says:

    A vision created through Christian imagination and creativity (not tradition) shared by a people in a common location, with common possessions.

    The vision must be amorphous enough to include a vast array of perspectives, peoples, ages, and talents. It isn't about homogeneity, but about unity through the diversity (young, old, rich, poor, black, white, insider, outsider, progressive, conservative – just like God's kingdom).

    It must be centered in the character of God – namely sacrificial and relational.

    Let the church be that (which is definitionally counter-cultural), and you will see a huge exodus out of the church from those who are just playing at it, and a huge influx of those who so desperately seek it.

  20. aBasnar says:

    Well: Change to house churches, then! 😉

  21. steven says:

    I'm definitely a fan of house churches, and I'm glad you are too. Here is an article that may interest you, given your comments over at the thread about girls praying.

  22. Bruce Morton says:

    I appreciate your post. The early churches also grew because the Word was read often. Remains interesting to me that Paul's simple counsel to Timothy to read the Word publicly gets forgotten or ignored as much as it does. (1 Timothy 4:13)

    I joined a Bible class yesterday that had that complexion. Much talk about feelings and about Jesus, but NO time spent reading the Word together. Not even one minute. And we expect "Millenials" to hear a difference from the world around them? Not going to happen where the Word of Christ disappears.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas

  23. Bob Brandon says:

    Or to paraphrase Stanley Hauerwas, maybe "church" should be more about confronting the world with the fact that it is the world? What kinds of disciples we would have? What kind would we be?

  24. Jay Guin says:


    I agree. The church and the world are hiding from evil and damnation. The solution isn't so much to preach the word but to live the word. Until we join God in his mission to redeem the earth — to actually work with God to cause his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven — we'll not be very persuasive. If we care nothing about hell on earth, people won't be persuaded that we care about hell in the hereafter.

    So, yes, we preach — but like Jesus, we preach while we heal and serve.

  25. Jay Guin says:


    For a few weeks, we arranged our chairs in a gigantic circle, with the preacher, worshi leader, etc. in the center. We really did face each other — and the singing was much more "one another" than usual.

    Unfortunately, the architect never imagined that we'd do such a crazy thing, and the sound and video equipment just couldn't cope with the arrangement. And so we returned to a 180-degree circle — which is still a whole lot better than the old horizontal pew system.

    It helps to have a church that meets in a gym. You can arrange the chairs however you want. But the sound system and lights and AV are hard-wired. Shoulda planned ahead.

  26. IDH says:

    I may be able to provide some insight. I'm squarely between the X and the Y generations.

    In my opinion, "it's complicated". My answer will differ from others, because I have a different circle of friends.

    At the root:

    Most of my friends (churchgoers or not) have realized on some level that something isn't kosher with the picture of "God" we've been raised with.

    While our elders seem willing to march on with "authority", and "mysterious ways" and "might-makes-right" mentalities about God, we younger folks don't stomach these "explanations" so easily. From my experience we tend to either reject that picture of God outright (as I have), or we concentrate on grace, love, praise, and "spirituality" while actively avoiding giving much thought to the uglier and sillier parts of "our" theology.

    In addition:

    Most of us work a lot. Sundays are great for sleeping, rest, work at home, and rare free time with young families. Many of us are working and are in school.

    Many of us no longer live in our home cities, so the social pressure to stay in church is eased.

    We've met people from different backgrounds. Our gay neighbors are friendly guys who recycle more often than we do. Our atheist/agnostic friends have taught us more about generosity and kindness than the "Christian examples" we grew up with. The Muslim at work is an honest, hard worker who loves his family. While our elders wrestle with things like musical instruments in church we often wrestle with how God (who "is love" after all) could be so shallow and petty as to torture someone forever over consensual sex with another adult or because they happened to be born into the "wrong" household/country to receive the "right" kind of religion.

    Personally, though I miss the sense of community and the love that came from church, I had to give it up. After all, had I kept attending while being honest about not believing in talking donkeys or resurrections, most of the good people of the church wouldn't have been so loving anymore. Then what would be the point?

  27. Alabama John says:

    One point we make when talking with our young people is there will be a judgment. That judgment will be made by God Himself who sees and knows all. We'll be judged individually. Points off for bad, points added for good.
    We can't imagine that kind of wisdom as His thoughts are so far above ours.
    That is why we are silly to argue over some issues and examples that God used to just give us just a glimpse of what is really to come.
    Keep in mind the other force is urging us on to divide and argue.
    God cannot lie, but, He can sure change His mind or disregard His own commands whenever He wants to.
    At judgment there will be allowances made for those ignorant of Him and His law. They will be a law unto themselves. Good deeds will be rewarded.
    Read 2 Peter 2:20-21. Would of been better to of not known the way of righteousness …. That covers most of mankind from the beginning til now.
    None of us will stand before God with clean hands but God is just.
    Man is the one that has so much wrong and our judging who will be saved or not is very wrong.
    Don't be like those you want to get away from and be just as guilty as they for your prejudging or giving up on God!!

  28. Darin says:

    IDH probably gives the most helpful response and the one I typically run into.

    From my vantage point I have trouble seeing how communication style or attempts at community could impact such unbelief.

  29. guestfortruth says:

    I recommend how to understand this issue from a Biblical Perspective not secularistic. You can find it in
    Faith For Life – 7 Reasons We're Losing Our Children and How to Save Them by Brad Harrub, Ph.D.:
    Dr. Harrub encourages parents to be intentional in rearing children who learn to fear the Lord. He knows that a few minutes each week in a Bible class is not enough.

  30. IDH says:

    I think the title of the book guestfortruth posted is itself quite telling.

    Let's be clear – it isn't "children" that the church is losing. Children in traditional/fundamentalist environments don't leave church, simply because they can't – church it is forced upon them by their parents. Moreover, these children aren't effectively given the option not to believe what they're told; the natural M.O. of child psychology is (generally) credulity. To make matters worse, credulity reinforced with guilt and other forms of social control make it difficult for a mind to escape. Realize that many of us have left church (and Christianity) as adults after very serious emotional struggles, and after much prayer and study. We are not children, and we will not be "Saved" by more attempts at indoctrination.

    Let's say you actively interested in keeping your children in "The Truth" throughout their lives. What approach should you take?

    We as humans are by nature susceptible to being "tweaked" in a variety of ways, especially as children. Volumes have been written on the psychology of cults and group adherence, but the basic recipe for a working method of indoctrination is generally straightforward. These aspects are ubiquitous in all religions, and work for one set of beliefs as well well as for any another.

    1. Dogma. Some ideas are "Truths" that are absolute and may not be questioned. Dissent is not tolerated. Social pressure maintains "The Truth".

    2. Isolation. In some groups isolation is physical and literal, in other cases this is more psychological. The group is "the chosen", or "the enlightened". The ultimate attitude, however, is that the group maintains "The Truth" while others do not. Others are unclean, heathen, uncivilized, or "not chosen". The group has access to special knowledge or divine revelation that other groups lack. Truth is only found within the beliefs of the group, and does not exist outside.

    3. Dehumanization and oversimplification of the out group. Outsiders are, at best, ignorant and wrong. Those who choose to leave or who reject "The Truth" once they are made aware of it are especially vilified. Those who reject are not viewed as genuine dissenters, but rather they are characterized as too rebellious or proud to accept "The Truth". This is very important in any cult/religion, as it protects the adherents from giving serious consideration to any challenge to their established "Truth".

    4. Devaluation of free thought and inquiry, valuation of authority and mystery. Thoughts or beliefs that lie outside of the beliefs of, or are contrary to the group are deemed evil or rebellious. Thoughts themselves become crime or "sin".

    5. Dependency. Submission to the group/leader(s) must be established and maintained. Hierarchies are formed. Sometimes leaders do not hold power themselves, but claim to speak for (or have spoken for) God.

    6. Charisma and/or fear. This emotional approach is especially effective on children or those in compromised mental states. Purity and guilt, along with emotional extortion are used as control devices. Often, public shame within the group is also used as a control device. Music, singing, and ceremony all reinforce the emotional convictions.

  31. Alabama John says:

    What I don't understand is why someone that doesn't believe in a reward or punishment in the next life would spend the time and effort trying to recruit others to that belief.

    Why does it matter what anyone believes if it is all bull anyway?

    Is there some kind of satisfaction to obtain by turning someone to become an atheist?

  32. IDH says:

    Hey John.

    I certainly can't speak for any other atheist. I have issued questions to others, or provided insight into my beliefs, but I can't say I've ever tried to "deconvert" anyone (unless you count asking questions or explaining my lack of belief as a deconversion attempt).

    Not all beliefs are created equal. Minor scams aside, belief in tarot reading or astrology rarely result in harm for practitioner or patron. Faith healing is troublesome indeed, especially when it involves children suffering for lack of medical care.

    A devout Jain is unlikely to perpetrate anything more nefarious than the death of a celery plant. Some branches of Christianity are similarly benign. More extreme factions of Christianity or Islam are cause for concern. Religion in this country, for any comfort and support the faithful reap, too often destroys families and lives. The rights of minorities are trampled, the minds of children are addled by ancient superstitions that fuel anti-science rhetoric, and people fall victim to charlatans and frauds. For many, life is made miserable by fear and guilt.

    I respect the right of anyone to believe whatever they wish. When a grown adults chooses to destroy a family because another member can't bring himself to believe in a story about a talking snake or a man who came back to life after three days (for example), this is not something I can respect or condone. I hope that by explaining why I don't believe in resurrections, virgin births, or talking donkeys, I can make the world a slightly more tolerant place for my fellow nonbelievers or believers of different faiths.

    At the very least, it's interesting dinner conversation. 🙂

  33. IDH says:


    I hope that helps!

  34. IDH says:


    Unfortunately, not everyone holds your opinions regarding faith and doubt and more non-literal approaches to belief. I'm not looking for a correct or incorrect approaches to hermeneutics, I'm simply stating that for some people (who hold less benign religious mindsets) non-literal approaches are utterly unacceptable. For many, not believing in … whatever it is they believe that their holy book says… is quite literally grounds for ruining lives (or ending them, especially if you happen to be an ex-Muslim).

    You are correct about me changing my mind if put in the "right situation". It will, however, take more than being told I have to have "faith" before that will happen. Faith to me is not a virtue, nor is it wise.

  35. Alabama John says:


    I appreciate your honesty and hope all goes well for you in this life and the next.,
    Many have been in your same mindset and I understand what brought many there.

    One bluegrass song I enjoy picking is "This life has many choices, eternity has two".

    Thank God He will do the judging after weighing it all as only He knows it all.

  36. guestfortruth says:

    Let's say you actively interested in keeping your children in "The Truth" throughout their lives. What approach should you take? __Those Millennials that we are watching today, they were raise in a home (Believer or Unbeliever) they both were at some point children raised with influence in their families see the example of Timothy (2 Timothy 3:15) for those that are raising children in a Christian Home , since they are toddlers they observe how devout you are to practice your beliefs and they try to imitate whatever they see, When they are in this world, us parents have the responsibility to set a good example and nourish t hem as the scriptures command us , not just materialistic but also spiritually. Because they are pure and belong to the Lord, until they have that brain maturity to discern between Good and wrong, God says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, __And when he is old he will not depart from it.” We are the first teachers of our children. That is even accepted in the secular field. continue…. next

  37. guestfortruth says:

    We talk about being missionary and our own mission field is our own home first, and that is being attacked with humanism out of the House. And if we are not founded in the word of God our children are going to be influenced by everything that is out there. Children as New Christians need to nurture their spiritual needs so they can grow 2 Peter 3:18 “ but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
    Have you seen the DVD Faith for Life? Do you believe that we are not responsible for our children that someday will be teenagers and later adults? When you talk about indoctrination are you talking about secularism “Humanism”?

  38. guestfortruth says:

    Why do we find the world in the state it is today? Tim LaHaye, in his book The Battle for the Mind, A subtle warfare (New York:Fleming H. Revell Co. 1980), P. 189. suggested: “ Our present society is in a state of moral decay, not because the majority of Americans love degeneracy, but because the influence of humanism has been greater on our culture that the influence of the church.” The question is this : Is it possible that the world is influencing our young people more that we are?

  39. guestfortruth says:


    About “Dogma” can be a rather worrisome word. Originally from the Greek dokein, meaning “to seem,” dogma often is interpreted as referring to a doctrine that is imposed in a somewhat authoritative fashion. Are you saying that the Bible is a Dogma? For all that God create has a purpose in this life. The sacred writer In psalms 11:3 wrote “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” Jesus taught in Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “ Where do we get wisdom? The scripture declare in Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Annually an enormous amount of money for medical research is spent. We want to know the truth about AIDS, cancer,heart deseases, and other diseases so prevalent in our world today.

  40. guestfortruth says:

    Just as there is truth in these areas, we must realize that there is truth in the spiritual realm. This truth provide the answers to the mysteries of the soul and unseen world. The philosophical questions that have been asked – where have we come from, what are we doing here, and where are we going- are all answered by Scripture. Not every detail of life has been answered, but we have been given the things necessary for “life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

  41. guestfortruth says:

    Is there such thing as universal truth? As Pilate posed the question to Jesus. “ what is truth? (John 18:38), we constantly face those who deny the existence of absolute truth, or who say that even if it existed we would be unable to know it. Isn’t it strange that one would suggest that he could know the truth about my inability to know the truth? How does he know, if it cannot br known? Truth is, of course, the word of God given to man and as found within the pages of the Bible. When I use the word truth, Word of God, and the Gospel that is included, I am referring to that which will make man free by obedience to it. (Jn. 8:32;17:17;Rom. 1:16;Eph. 1:13, Heb. 5:9; James 1:21-22). Now that ever Christians are attacked from the philosophy of relativism denying the Truth and some pick this idea from High School and Universities.

  42. guestfortruth says:


    The apostles knew by inspiration about this challenge to our faith 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God[a] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” if one cannot turn to the Bible and find a “thus saith the Lord” for that which he does religiously, then he is not able to give an answer to those who might ask a reason for the hope he has. Doesn’t the Bible admonish us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good”? (1 Thes. 5:21). Doesn’t the Bible say, “ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves”? (2 Cor. 13:5).

  43. aBasnar says:

    In replying Bruce Jay said something very important:

    I agree. The church and the world are hiding from evil and damnation. The solution isn't so much to preach the word but to live the word.

    This sounds clear enough, IF you have the right concept in mind. But such statements are so braos as well that is allows basically everything while believing one is still in good standing. Let me clarify this with a list a person might characterize himself who may consider himself a good Christian:


    * Cycling
    * reading
    * psychology
    * theology
    * philosophy
    * Chess
    * Go
    * backyard astronomy
    * playing guitar

    Favorite Movies:

    * The Matrix
    * Good Will Hunting
    * A Beautiful Mind
    * Phenomenon
    * Gladiator
    * Master and Commander
    * Apollo 13

    Favorite Music:

    * Over the Rhine
    * Derek Webb
    * The Beatles
    * Coldplay
    * Green Day
    * U2
    * John Denver
    * White Stripes
    * Journey
    * Brad Paisley
    * Nirvana
    * Pearl Jam
    * Bruce Springsteen

    Favorite Books:

    * The Denial of Death
    * The Blank Slate
    * Harry Potter
    * The gospel of Luke
    * Man's Search for Meaning
    * Walden
    * Leaves of Grass
    * Things Hidden From the Foundation of the World
    * Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    * Tao Te Ching
    * Dhammapada
    * The Varieties of Religious Experience

    Now let’s put a verse or two in contrast to this list:

    1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world.
    1Jn 2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

    Where is Christ in the list above? There are a few religious “interests”, but not on the top of the list. There are books, movies and music that Christ would not like. He reveals a worldly mindset. For me this is an example for a Christian who loves the world. (I won’t say who’s list this, because it could be mine and yours also – I don’t want to point on anyone.)

    Now, 1Jn 2:15-17 speaks about damnation for this world and the need to separate from it. If – as Jay said – living out the word is the solution, this means living as if we were truly convinced that this world will be judged. But I dare to say that we don’t really do this. We are far to much involved in the desires of the eyes, the flesh and pride – me NOT excluded.

    Millenials might leave for two reasons:
    a)They sense our hypocrisy and are done with it
    b)The want the real world not this wishy-washy worldliness the church offers them

    Well, a few might leave in the quest for the Kingdom, but they won’t find a home in worldly churches. Seriously: When I read this list of interests I asked myself: “What is the point in being a Christian after all?”


  44. guestfortruth says:


    My question is if you are not looking for the truth? Why are you here? what is your purpose in life? God has define a purpose for everybody in this world Acts 17:27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

  45. guestfortruth says:


    I recommend you the book " Convicted " by Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

    The way in which we answer the question about the existence of God greatly determines how we conduct ourselves while on this Earth.

    There is no question of greater importance than whether or not God exists. The answer to this single question affects all other questions. If there is a Supreme Being, then life has purpose and some form of meaning. If not, then our very presence on this Earth is simply the result of a cosmologic explosion, and we are the beneficiaries of climbing our way to the top of the evolutionary tree of life. The way in which we answer the question about the existence of God greatly determines how we conduct ourselves while on this Earth.

    After years of careful and deliberate study and research, there is one thing I know for certain. Not only am I convinced, I'm convicted.

    Brad Harrub,Ph.D.

  46. IDH says:

    Thanks A.J., good luck to you as well!

  47. IDH says:

    Hello GFT,

    "My question is if you are not looking for the truth?"

    Of course. I consider the search for truth to be my most important task.

    "Why are you here?"

    Assuming you're asking me why I'm here in a general sense, I'm here for a number of reasons. I'm here because my parents fell in love. I'm here because of medical technology. I'm here because I choose to remain. I'm here due to good nutrition and a prosperous economy. I'm here because of chance and luck. I'm here in spite of the odds.

    "what is your purpose in life?"

    My purpose in life is to love my wife, to raise my children to love and care about others, to study and to learn, to enjoy good music an food, to be thankful for my life, and to help others when I can, among other things.

    I've read (and own a copy of) "Convicted", but thanks for the suggestion.

  48. guestfortruth says:

    Thanks for answering my questions, Do you feel complete? There is something in your limbic system that tells you there are something eternal to follow? An universal Ethical Code? I understand your concerns about Cults ( that use brain washing techniques to make people do things with a blind faith) , Dogmas that are not founded in the truth taught by the creator, Have you notice the order that exist in every particle of the matter? Psalms 19:1 declare " The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork."

  49. guestfortruth says:

    From your answer I can see that you are a person looking for “justice” I don’t know what happened to you in your childhood but this life is a journey but God knows everything what is going on. The scriptures declare in Luke 18:7-8 “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Have you wonder How Jesus knew this fact?

  50. guestfortruth says:

    2 Timothy 3: 1-3 declare “ But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good” Is this actually happening? When the human being start doing amazing things can you see the image of God on them? Where do we get those amazing skills in medicine,sciences,math etc? Was a superior mind that create the heavens and the Earth? (Genesis 1:1)

  51. guestfortruth says:

    The problem is when we humans beings think that we have control in the genome and claim that we create what is being created not given credit to the creator of life. Who communicate with different ways to men in the past but now he reveal through Jesus ? (Hebrews 1:1-2 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds”) . I recommend you to visit, You’ll find out answerers about finding “the truth” Jn. 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus wants you to know the Truth. Have you read the Scriptures? Do you have questions about it? We are here to help you to find answers from the Creator.

  52. IDH says:

    "Do you feel complete?"

    More complete than I did as a theist trying to constantly expend emotional energy justifying beliefs that, for all my effort and prayer, simply wouldn't add up.

    "There is something in your limbic system that tells you there are something eternal to follow?"

    No, and I try not to think with my emotions.

    "An universal Ethical Code?"

    Only by benefit of what I am biologically. A "code" perhaps. Universal, not so much.

    "Have you notice the order that exist in every particle of the matter?"

    Yes, and I also notice a lot of disorder. In any event, I have no justification for believing that order is justification for believing in gods. Order happens every day without the necessity of any conscious agent.

    "Psalms 19:1 declare…The scriptures declare in Luke 18:7-8… 2 Timothy 3: 1-3 declare…"

    Would someone quoting the Qur’an to you convince you that it is true? How about the Book of Mormon or the Vedas? If your answer is no, then why would you think that quoting the Bible to me would somehow be a compelling way to make me believe anything that it says? I've read the Bible multiple times and have spent years studying it. Unfortunately I have much of it memorized, drilled into my head by force in childhood. Quoting it to me isn't really going to get us anywhere. It also isn't going to do much to convince young people, especially those who weren't heavily indoctrinated at an early age and held in isolation at older ages. Besides, I'm not so much interested in becoming the target of a conversion attempt in this thread – I'm trying to stay on Jay's topic by discussing why people in my demographic are leaving in droves.

    "I recommend you to visit, You’ll find out answerers about finding “the truth”…"

    I have a large number of their publications in my library, some bought, some handed down to me by my family. Even as a generally conservative Christian I found their attempts at apologetics to be ludicrous. In fact, in those days I often wondered how many deconversions took place due to such unsatisfactory scholarship and reasoning.

    In my opinion, should anyone wish to continue to "lose the children", by all means they should be continue to promote anything from Brad Harrub or the A.P.

    "Have you read the Scriptures?"

    Yes. More importantly I've also read about the scriptures.

    "Do you have questions about it?"

    No, but I do have one question for you. Is it possible that you are wrong about your beliefs? No need for major detail, one sentence will suffice.


  53. open - minded man says:

    I’m sick of the idea of labeling people a certain generation just because of the year they were born. What I look at instead are an individual’s TRAITS. For example, I was born in 1979 and consider myself a Millenial because I have almost nothing in common with Gen X. Just as well, I do not like to be labeled (most of us don’t like to be labeled a generation that they do not relate to). There are just some men and women who do not fit into the generation to which they were assigned, which is why their age does not matter. This whole “Millenials were born between 1981 and 2000” thing is really just a mass – media and marketing tool, and should not be done by those who are open – minded and do not believe in labeling others.

  54. Todd Collier says:

    And that is why when folks talk about Greatest, Boomers, X-ers and Millenials they usually make it clear that these are broad categories/groupings. They will not catch every individual but they do an excellent job of helping us understand trends. Also as officially described the generations have “cusps” of overlap going a few years either way – so a 1979 birth places you well within the “cusp” of a Millenial. And yes these groupings are sociological/marketing tools. That in no way under cuts their reliability or usefullness (in fact since they drive certain business decisions they have to be accurate to a large extent.) As far as open minded people, I have always thought that, as a group, they are usually interested in truth. The generational models effectively describe the majority of members of those generations and help identify differences between them. Therefore an “open minded” person would tend to at least look at the data provided. Describing and cataloging observed behavior traits is not “labeling” in the way you mean it. It is a scientific process in which humans have been engaged since creation with God’s blessing and direction.

  55. mark says:

    I want to use this reply to bring some attention to a topic. On the CNN belief blog there is an article asking why millennials are leaving church. The answer offered is atheism. The author, I believe, is an atheist but is a friendly one. All of you need to read it. Today, Wed, there was a link to it right on the front page of CNN. For all the fighting in cofC and within Christianity over a few issues and all the efforts put into arguing in churches and on blogs, the article is legitimate IMHO. There is also much that can be learned from it on what churches have done to contribute to the proble and how to counter it.

  56. alreadybeen2 says:

    Leaving in droves? Maybe they were never in deeply. The mysteries of the ages were never
    explained in a manner that captured imagination. Or they were simplified into a formula that made
    little sense. When telling a story you must start at the beginning but our basic model is flawed
    because it is so dry. Much of the interesting details are missing and we notice. The young
    aren’t inspired by an incomplete narrative.

    Later they become conditioned to follow but not with understanding. When the canon was
    adopted some very exciting elements were omitted. Elements that make you go WOW!
    Not all apocrypha or other extra-biblical writings meet the smell test but a few do. Naturally
    they will not be accepted as inspired in most churches but reading them could provide the
    student a fuller understanding of events not revealed anywhere else.

    Biblical characters had real lives, real experiences with other major figures and with God.

  57. Jay Guin says:


    According to Flavil Yeakley, in Why They Left: Listening to Those Who Have Left Churches of Christ
    , published by the Gospel Advocate (and a very worthwhile read), 1/3 or so of children raised in more conservative Churches of Christ leave organized Christianity altogether when they leave home. One out of three!

    Yes, they have been taught an “incomplete narrative,” but not the Apocrypha, but they miss the gospel itself in many Churches. Works-based salvation fails to convict many.

    To me, it’s not about how well the Bible stories are told but how well Jesus is taught.

  58. When a young adult leaves the nest and contemplates the direction of his life, and what he is willing to commit that life to, “Be here for an hour every Sunday,” is not going to compete well with other important things. And it is the reality of religion which they see in their parents and other adult models, not the talk, which fails to inspire.

    As to the “Bible stories”, I think we are so cautious to be accurate in our reading of the narratives, we let the meanings slip through our fingers. Reframing the stories so that these characters become our contemporaries is not only NOT doing a disservice to scripture, it fufills the mission of scripture.

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