In last Sunday’s Washington Post, conservative columnist Michael Gerson directly addressed the fears of evangelical Christians that their cherished values are under assault in contemporary American society. He concludes, however, that the greatest threat to evangelicals is their own lack of moral clarity.

Young people are leaving the church in droves. Why? According to Gerson:

“[F]ar too many evangelicals have tied their cause to a leader who is morally corrupt and dehumanizes others. Older evangelicals ... have ... compromised [their] moral standards for political reasons in plain view of their children. And disillusionment is the natural result.”

I would add to this that too many evangelicals have chosen to ignore and/or belittle the science of climate destabilization, jeopardizing the futures of their children and grandchildren rather than engaging wholeheartedly in “creation care.” Small wonder then that youth are abandoning what they see as hypocritical and expedient religiosity.

Dave Pruett

Harrisonburg

(14) comments

Chief601

"The truth of the matter is that our creator needs neither man made religious systems nor big government to touch the hearts of men. He can do that through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, and we can have a personal relationship with Him."



That post was well thought out, prod. I, too, am fed up with "a form of religion". All that matters is going to the source.

Chief601

driller - do you have anything except the stupid, simpleton cheerleading line?

Driller

Chief601 Yes. I do have more than that line and have expressed my opinions. When the cheerleading people stop the stupid cheerleading and use their brain to think and give some opinions, then I may stop using that line. With your post on Sept 15, you show me you want to join the cheerleading crew.

Donald

I will not attempt to speak authoritatively on why many Evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump, but I will speculate that they took one look at the alternative and ran screaming into the voting booths. It should be noted that Mr. Gerson, a member of the neo-conservative movement, actively took part in deceiving the American people into believing Iraq was a nuclear threat. Perhaps he actually believed this obvious fallacy, but if so, it calls into serious question any subsequent analysis he may present to his readers. Whatever else one might say about Mr. Trump, to date he has seriously weakened the fundamental neo-conservative goal of using military invasion and occupation to export democracy and facilitate “nation building”. This alone ensures that Mr. Gerson’s animosity as a “Never Trumper” will bias his political observations against those who voted for Mr. Trump.

R B Tate

Did you hear the one about the professor who learned about the evils of Christians by reading the Washington Post?

LVW

Well, maybe. Or they could be leaving because they concluded that their parents/grandparents belief structure is simplistic and inflexible.

prodigalson

Simplistic? No. Simple and inflexible, yes. There is only one way to God LVW, and His name is Jesus. Once one accepts that fact, everything else makes sense.

bishopsboy

Or they could be leaving because they are self-absorbed narcissists who fail to understand the world does not revolve around themselves and who wince at the thought that real faith requires sacrifice and putting others’ spiritual well-being before one’s own selfish desires….

prodigalson

Okay, I'm calling this one. Game, set, and match to Mufalme Bishopsboy. Well done, my royal brother!

R B Tate





Prodigalson…I agree that this letter writer is likely an angry, bitter old hoot, and am not convinced that young people are “leaving the church in groves”, but think you may be too quick to dismiss what LVW said. I’m not going to speculate specifically what he had in mind, but I have some (mostly anecdotal) babbling and scattered thoughts.

Many folks have always “concluded” in their young minds that their elders have been inflexible and rigid, both in churches and elsewhere. And it is probably an oversimplification to think that the church doctrine/policy/scriptural disagreements that lead to folks moving on, concerns just younger members. A number of church goers of all ages have, for many years, thought that many mainline denominations have become inflexible and rigid to the liberal side, which may explain the rapid growth of independent churches/mega churches. Some who rebelled from faith as youths, return or find a different style of worship. And yes, many, including those of faith, have abandoned regular church going all together. When I was a kid, some of the evangelical concerns (involving the young) were things like length of hair, music, dancing, television, etc. I had Pentecostal friends who left their churches over the issues of women wearing jewelry, cutting their hair. (Now days I know Pentecostal men who wear earrings, LOL). I went to school with some Mennonites who were later “churched” and shunned for such evils as getting an automobile, or joining the armed forces. I can remember an elder relative, who said that when he came back home from WWI, he was somewhat rebellious of his church’s opposition of early motion pictures and their belief in total abstinence of alcohol. And he told stories of his Confederate elders, and their differences with the Yankee puritan religious influences, many of the things that James Webb mentioned in his book about the Appalachian Scots-Irish and their brand of Christian fundamentalism.

I’m not really sure what this all means, but Americans have always been rugged individualists, with a rebellious nature.

Driller

prodigalson Keep on cheerleading!! You are the best.!!

prodigalson

R B, thank you for your very well written, very thoughtful post. I actually identify with some of the folks you refer to, and I, myself, have been disappointed over the years with "religious institutions" and their legalisms and abuses. It wasn't until I realized that it is not membership in a religious institution that is important, but a relationship with Jesus Christ, that I truly "got it". That is not to say that I think I have all the answers. I most certainly do not, and I enjoy hearing from (or in this case, reading posts from) folks such as yourself in my attempt to better understand our creator, and how he works in the lives of men. I do agree that many young people have seen through the empty and many times, hypocritical, legalistic religious systems that their parents adhere to, and in my opinion, rightly so. What I find so sad is the fact that many of these young folks have replaced worship of man made religious systems with worship of self (and by extension, big government). The truth of the matter is that our creator needs neither man made religious systems nor big government to touch the hearts of men. He can do that through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, and we can have a personal relationship with Him. Once we realize that fact, everything changes. Thank you so much for your post. It helps me in my understanding, as do many of your other thoughtful posts.

Chief601

Or they have not actually read the Bible and listen to what other people say about it. I find most that discount the Bible haven't actually read it. Oh, they probably read a few verses but they have no idea how it is completely woven together to present it's message. Just my opinion, but I wonder if it's not foolishness to not understand what it really says. One thing it says is that you are going to live forever, you just get to choose where. Selah.

prodigalson

Ahh, so "global warming" has now morphed into "climate destabilization". Got it. In other words, the weather changes. And let me get this straight, young people are leaving the church because Evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump for president? As an evangelical Christian, I voted for Trump with great reservation, but now, I am certainly glad that I did, and look forward to voting for him again. He has done more for the Christian cause than any president in my lifetime. Let's face it Mr. Pruett, you're bitter because you lost the election, and are looking for people to blame, and found what you thought was an easy target in Evangelical Christians. I'm sorry Mr. Pruett, but that dog just won't hunt.

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