Friday, October 06, 2006

The Decline of the (Evangelical) Christian! - Oh My!

Check out this article at It's about the loss of evangelical teens in the Christian faith.

There are a few things that bothered me about this article. First, the doom and gloom view of evangelical Christianity, second, the attitude of "if we can't beat'em, join 'em!' and thirdly, the mentality of "the bigger, the better!"

First, we have to realize that American evangelical Christianity is not the end-all of the Christian faith. God will always have a witness, so just because there is a decline in American evangelical teens doesn't mean that Christianity is doomed.

Second, it seems like the evangelicals are taking the cultural milieu and placing a "Jesus-face" on it. When Mr. Luce ask the teens in the arena to write the negative cultural influences on a scrape of paper and then throw it away, that is nothing but therapeutic mumbo jumbo. All he's doing is a new form of alter call minus the Gospel. The kids feel better, but do they understand the Gospel any better? Are they walking away from these events with a true sense of their depravity and necessity for Christ? I some how doubt it. But, hey it probably raises their self-esteem as Christian teens.

Third, why do the evangelicals have to have these huge events? Do we really think that these big arena events are the answer to a decline in teen Christianity? In the article, it's noted that Mr. Luce has more than 2 million teens attend his event over the past 15 years. Yet, there is still a decline in the number of evangelical teenagers? So is his show really an effective means of retention?

I consider myself an evangelical (Reformed), but sad to say it, most evangelicals, in general, are so muddled in their worldview and theology that maybe this is the result -- evangelical teen burnout! The sins of the parents visited on the children. We have lived such paltry, shallow Christian lives, why would a teen want to stay in the religion of his parents? In the end there is no difference between us and the world. But instead of this being a wake up call all we're going to do is take more polls and find the most pragmatic way to raise the numbers!. And you know what? In the end its really not about the numbers, but we don't get it.