A news article from The Week cites these three reasons why young people are drifting away from God. First, the right-wing extremists are turning them off: if they want to do good, these days, young liberal-leaning North Americans can find plenty of institutions (without the stain of homophobia, for instance) to be a channel for their charity. Secondly, the article suggests, atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, with his eloquent writing voice and great talent for saying pithy things on demand, took the stage and did a fine job selling their point of view. And third, the article suggests, is Liberal attacks on religion, that Christianity is a religion against which people feel free to voice their criticisms, or direct their mocking jokes. (Here’s the article if you would like a closer look: http://theweek.com/article/index/229276/3-reasons-young-americans-are-giving-up-on-god)
What’s the solution? Well, we have to change the message, and somehow remove that scary taint from our rep. Easier said than done. But for starters, it means being extremely clear about what we believe (and very vocal about what we don’t.) Perhaps that’s a question we should be taking to the youth in our church: ask them what draws them to the church, and what pushes them away? I have no doubt we’d learn from their answers.