Fake Christians. Christless Churches. Bewildered Teenagers. Thanks to CNN for reminding the Church that their chickens are coming home to roost. This is a train wreck that has occurred in slow motion in front of our very eyes. The ramifications of which are still echoing in Church circles. The Gospel is hardly chanced upon in Church sermons or in youth groups meetings. An evangelical youth pastor’s most dreaded complaint these days is hearing, “we are not being fed.” Such complainers will have their parents called up and are immediately advised that their children are being difficult. Ha! But worse seems to be brewing in our own back yards. And it seems it’s those who are belching from getting over dosed with modern church trends who are in a spot of a bother:
O pastor, We are not being fed!
If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:
Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.
Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.
Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of “Almost Christian,” a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity. She says this “imposter” faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.
“If this is the God they’re seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust,” Dean says. “Churches don’t give them enough to be passionate about.”
Well that seems to be the good news, apparently following a recent study something more disturbing was noted:
The study, which included in-depth interviews with at least 3,300 American teenagers between 13 and 17, found that most American teens who called themselves Christian were indifferent and inarticulate about their faith.
The study included [Christians of all stripes ]–both conservative and liberal denominations. Though three out of four American teenagers claim to be Christian, fewer than half practice their faith, only half deem it important, and most can’t talk coherently about their beliefs, the study found. Many teenagers thought that God simply wanted them to feel good and do good — what the study’s researchers called “moralistic therapeutic deism.” -CNN
Didn’t we see this coming? When we pushed the Bible off the pulpits into the drawers and made the church programmes sleeker to address felt needs, entertainment and self esteem? Didn’t we know we would lose our relevance? When you replace the preaching the word of God with entertainment and popularity over faithfulness with the gospel message this is the kind of conundrum you get stuck in. Thanks for those pragmatic church growth stategies and purpose driven church lectures. Now we have to look for those black books called Bibles that the janitors dumped in the bins with yesterday’s trash. Isn’t the Church duty bound to be Gospel driven and cross focused? More so, I would say in times like these when Mormons and Liberals are pushing for ecumenism.
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1Corinthians 1:21-24)
I just wrote on the same CNN article the other day. I enjoyed your comments on it. The sermon jam was really interesting too. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for visiting. I did read your article and do agree with you when you say, “our first and foremost task is to share and live out the Gospel. When that doesn’t happen, we leave ourselves and others starving.”
i agree with ya. the watered-down preaching in our churches is definitely hurting our youth(well, the adults are hurting too). With so many man-centered sermons belted from our pulpits, they (the youth) are totally unarmed upon entering college. College professors and other intellectuals, then, rip their beliefs apart doctine-by-doctrine. Its just sad.
Thanks Jamal-theres actually a common adage that ‘some forms of christianity are a mile wide, but a an inch deep’. Its high time christians knew what they believe and why they believe it.