J. Warner Wallace explains why young people are leaving the faith. “It’s time for believers to accept their responsibility to explain what Christianity proposes and why these propositions are true, especially when interacting with young people who have legitimate questions.”
“Why Young Ex-Christians Are Ex-Christians, According to the Latest Research” – J. Warner Wallace
14 thoughts on “Why Young Ex-Christians Are Ex-Christians, According to the Latest Research”
I tried to read this on the Townhall site, but a box popped up and blocked the article and I couldn’t close it.
Hmm that’s strange, I just accessed it. You may try it from twitter or something, i don’t know. Sorry!
I don’t buy this at all, but it is my studied opinion that liberal theology and their popular negation of the Bible is more to blame, and then the trendy anti Bible believing bashing of our politicians who demonize Biblical Theologians and systematic theology of the Bible truths have a wave of new agers (modernity liberalism) and the reason for the demonization of Biblical Doctrines declaring the necessity of Moral Values, Integrity, which go against those under the delusion that they are above moral law, and values. So those who exit the Christian faith simply reject the Truth and believe the lie, and God will send a strong delusion. When liberalism started preaching that the Bible was not the inerrant word of God and interpreted by the Holy Spirit; but rather, that we have spirit freedom to interpret the Word of God, and that God is not keeping up with his creation, and that God needed to evolve along with carnal man, then we have a disagreement in the just and holiness of God, the Creator.
J. Warner Wallace’s article is quite true and well put. Worth reading and thinking about. However, it fails to point out the root cause of what is going on.
For many decades now, in the churches, the word of God has played less and less of a role. I’ve visited many and varied churches over the years and rarely did I ever hear more then a couple verses from the Bible read. Sure, the pastor / preacher / priest would give a talk that was somehow related to the verses read, but it wasn’t the word of God.
This downplaying of the Word of God in the churches led to the downplay of those principles of Christianity that are based on the word. It started to become okay to compromise on parts and throw out (under the guise of ‘it was fulfilled) other parts, of God’s word. Leaders in fact taught this, all in the name of ‘keeping people in the churches.’
This compromising of the Word of God destroyed the foundation. The last couple generations have grown up in these churches whose only foundation was the charisma of the leaders or a changing, shifting set of ideas. And they eventually noticed!
Why stay in a “club” of people who, themselves, don’t know, or even really care, what it is all about. The world, at least, knows the foundational principles it is harking. And it is offering several.
Like it or not people like ‘standing’ on a foundation that seems solid. Most of Christianity is blowing in the wind, running around trying to ‘remain relevant’ to the young people. Yet it hasn’t gone back to its own foundation!
I was a member of one congregation for some years where quite a bit of scripture was read, and even the kids were there. Then there was a talk with discussion. Some of the most enigmatic (and often profound) contributors to the discussions were the young people (and even the kids at times).
The Word of God is living and active! The Word of God is that which is sharper then a two-edged sword. It is the Word of God that changes lives and gives meaning and purpose, not a pastor / preacher / priest’s words. The Word of God, unchanged and complete, is as relevant to today as it has always been.
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. … And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:25,27 (ESV)
The rains, floods and wind are the culture we live in and all of its messed up mores and principles and ideas.
The question is, which house is the church?
P.S.: Though I generalize about Christianity and the church in my comments above, there is a small, but growing remnant that holds to the Word of God. And before you say, ‘that is my church,’ take a good look at the church you are in and ask these three questions: Is the word of God read during the service (more then just two or three verses)? Does it have a growing, thriving population of people of all ages? Do the young people who attend follow Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), or are they there for all the activities and fellowship? It the answer is ‘yes’, then praise and thank God!
Could it worldliness within the Church…the world is better at it…so they follow the world.
In the 70’s, a church-going Christian may have heard about Walter Martin and his book The Kingdom of the Cults. This had info on cults, how some of their major teac hings are in error, snd scriptures to counter and correct the cults. But then—
More and more churches called themselves “Non-denominational.”
this makes it harder to criticize dome errors, as non -denominational is more vague and and doctrine can vary widely. But there’s more—
People such as Francis Schaeffer, Walter Martin, and Dave Hunt have passed away. Then we also had the rise of several “New Atheists” writing anti-christian books. And now we see many contemporary-service churches are all about non&judgemental “love” and the laxness of “Grace gone Wild” —and too many who are new to the Faith have no knowledge of history or Apologetics. They’ve never heard of Gary Habermas, N.T. Wright, Mike Licona, Josh MacDowall, Dave Hunt, Greg Boyd, Norm Geisler. They don’t bother to question or challenge what the see and hear on the Daystar christian TV network.
You stated — “Ex-Christians often leave the Church because they don’t think anyone in the Church can answer their questions or make a case.”
My response — I disagree in your opinion, I believe they leave for the other reason you provided in your article from their direct responses in 2016:
“most “nones” said they no longer identified with a religious group because they no longer believed it was true. ”
Combine this with your opinion above and you have the understanding that they ask questions (get answers) and then don’t believe they make any sense. The next step is to leave an environment that is nonsensical.
As a Christian, I myself had to address the reasons above and then take bold steps to distance myself from the nonsensical but keep the knowledge of God with me. I wrote my own articles on what I experienced when I joined the church. It may provide additional insight.
In context I copied what I posted from the linked article just in case someone wanted to review in wordpress.
The comments show that this is a conversation that needs to take place, especially today.
I think it’s important that we as professing Christians remain connected with God. I know that we have our downfalls and areas that we need help in. We’re human. But if we allow those downfalls and weak areas to overwhelm us we’ll shy away from our true calling. The Bible says that it’s only through His Spirit that we can mortify the deeds of the flesh.
The world’s grip is very strong and temptation is rampant in today’s time. When we’re in our first love our world is nothing but Christ. The minute that we lose focus, our connection starts to dwindle, and we stop talking about God. The most important thing we can do regardless of where we find ourselves is seek God and stay connected. Pray fora t least five minutes but don’t throw in the towel. God has the power to restore and if you persevere He’ll fulfill His purpose in you.
Maybe the people are Ex-Christians because they shouldn’t be Christians in the first place. Jesus volunteered to be killed on the cross. Maybe this doesn’t appeal to people. Maybe Hayden Clark themselves wouldn’t like to die on torture.
Jesus wanted people to hate their own parents. They wanted their disciples to brutally kill fish. Jesus talked against burying human bodies (but encouraged cannibalism).
Jesus personality does not appeal to modern people who don’t hate their parents, don’t torture fish, are not cannibals and do not think they could choose to be personally tortured to death on the cross.
The only people Jesus loved were ‘neighbours’ (in modern language: sponsors) who like the Samaritan donated large chunks of money to strangers.
Jesus has nothing to offer to the modern world. People these days are inspired by such celebrities like Marilyn Manson or Steve Jobs: they do not promote cannibalism, do not say that people should only be loved if they give you money, do not tell people to hate their parents.
I don’t know why would anybody follow Jesus, the violent idiot.
People leave because people like to use fear and strictness to control people. Say something certain people don’t like and they ostracize you. You want to talk about criticism of Christianity they will try to block you out because they think their idea is the only valid one. I’m open to discuss things and try not to get on the watch for people I consider wrong so I can just ignore them or shut them out. I just don’t like it when people who don’t believe in Christianity and are atheists try to say there is no possibility for a God. There actually is just about as much possibility for a higher power as some previously unknown or non-existent gas to blow up and create the universe really. You can study what we have now for clues but nothing really points to a definite gas explosion. However, I would say its the judgment of a people who have a saying, “Judge not lest ye be judged,” and continuously judge others.
People leave because they are dissatisfied, unfulfilled, bored, don’t want to change their lifestyle or are hurt by other people. But truly, most often, the only thing in life that stands in our way is self. And when that is out of the way life becomes so much easier.
We are called out, to be separate from the World. its not just ‘incorporating’ Christ into our lives by saying the sinners prayer and nothing changes, or just going to church every week, because that’s where it will stop. Satan is happy for Christians to go to church. In fact he loves it. Where he is unhappy is where Christians not only go to church, but continue to behave like Christ in their workplace, home, in the supermarket, on the streets, in their car, to the poor, to the widows and orphans, to their children, family, friends, parents, to the beggar at the street corner, the prostitute or the animal that is mistreated, and wherever they go, taking the church to the community, living a holy and righteous life and therefore becoming a wrecking ball against the devil, everywhere they go, without compromise. Living it out daily, as Jesus did. That’s for us all today.
If only people could grasp who they were created to be. People wouldn’t continue to leave churches because they are dissatisfied, hurt, not heard, alone, convicted, not discipled properly … but it’s not about YOU – The truth is, it never was. It’s all about a Relationship with Jesus, knowing who you are in Christ and living a life in relationship with Him without compromise – it’s life changing and powerfully exciting and liberating to the point that no matter what anyone says or does to you affects you. Reason with me – Only Christ gave His life for us, no one else, so why would anyone affect you because they never gave their life for you in the first instance. The message of the Cross is simply profound and profoundly simple. You are loved beyond what you can even think or imagine. And until that becomes a reality, then life is always going to let you down. It’s really not complicated at all. We should be so filled with Jesus that nothing anyone says or does can hurt or disappoint us. Sure it happens, but read the BEattitudes (Matthew 5..) and live them out and honestly, things Will change. Have fun.