Why Are Young People Leaving the Church? - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Why Are Young People Leaving the Church?

The following posts are from a series of emails distributed through The John Ankerberg Show email newsletter.  If you missed a post, would like to catch up or wish to share with a friend, we will continue to update this page as we send out resources to address each of the objections listed below.  If you have not yet subscribed to our email newsletter, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

Reason #1: God never shows up – They see no proof of God’s existence

Join us in praying for those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma…

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones. We continue praying for the workers who are trying to rescue those who are trapped and are ministering to the ones who have lost their homes or loved ones.

Many are clinging to hope in God, while others may be asking where God is in all this. Why and how could God allow this to happen? Where is He in the midst of tragedy? For some, it seems God never shows up – they see no proof of God’s existence, they see no evidence of intervention, especially in times of natural disaster. These are hard questions. We want to make some of our resources available to help provide answers.

Articles:
What is Apologetics?
Where is God When Bad Things Happen?

Media Clip:
What would evidence look like to point out that there is a God?

Series Transcript:
How Can God Help You Deal With Your Suffering?

We want to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are hurting. For those of us who aren’t able to be there physically we need to PRAY and be equipped to help those who have questions. PRAY – pray that we, as believers in Christ, will be firmly rooted in our faith, and available to those around us who are struggling.

  • Visit the PRAY area on our website and join us in praying for those who come to our site.
  • EQUIP – be equipped and equip others to give an answer for the hope we have.
  • Visit our STUDY THE BIBLE area for resources.

Our Mission at The John Ankerberg Show is to demonstrate that Christianity is true so that our viewers will embrace it for themselves and learn to share it effectively with others. The programs are designed to reach and appeal to a thinking audience of Christians and non-Christians alike. All of our resources are available to accomplish the Mission God has given us. We love being able to make those available to you so that you are equipped in every way.

In times such as these, people are looking for answers to their questions. A recent study listed these questions and reasons for many who are leaving Christianity.

  1. God never shows up – They see no proof of God’s existence
  2. The Bible contradicts itself
  3. Church seems overprotective
  4. Churches come across antagonistic to science
  5. Christianity is shallow
  6. How can Christianity be the only way? Aren’t all religions equally valid? If God is a God of love then why would He send anyone to Hell?
  7. Church is unfriendly to those who doubt

1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” We have many resources that will help equip you to respond to these reasons. Watch your email in the weeks to come as we address each of the reasons given above! We are convinced more than ever that what we are doing is making a difference and are compelled to continue presenting evidence for the Truth of Jesus Christ to all who are in our scope of influence.

Reason #2: The Bible contradicts itself

A recent study listed questions and reasons many are leaving Christianity. Here are two of them:

  1. God never shows up – They see no proof of God’s existence
  2. The Bible contradicts itself

An article written by Sean Ewart of the gadflypress, who presents himself as a former Evangelical to the parents of those who are leaving the Christian faith says this:

I didn’t pen this letter to drive a wedge between parents and their non-affiliated children – we’re not cutting you off. But we’re not satisfied by the arguments that won you over and we’re not going to pretend like we are anymore. And maybe when you listen to our reasons for leaving you’ll join us in our search for evidence based answers to the deepest questions – we’d love it if you did.

We gladly take this charge and pray you will as well. We want to respond to the reasons given above as 1 Peter 3:15-16 says “being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…”

In a recent email we addressed objection #1 – God never shows up, they see no proof of God’s existence. We pray you explored the recommended resources and found them helpful.

This week, we want to address #2 – The Bible contradicts itself and offer you several excellent resources that address this objection specifically:

Alleged Errors in the Bible (4 Part Article)
http://www.jashow.org/wiki/index.php/Alleged_Errors_in_the_Bible

Has Higher Criticism Proved We Cannot Trust the Bible
http://www.jashow.org/wiki/index.php/Has_Higher_Criticism_Proved_We_Cannot_Trust_the_Bible

How Can You Know the Bible is the Word of God? (2 clips)
http://www.jashow.org/wiki/index.php/Category:Evidence_for_Bible_Media_Clips

These are just a few of the articles that you can find in the Bible section of the JASWiki

Reason #3: Church seems overprotective

Today’s teens and young adults have access to an unprecedented amount of ideas and worldview.  Christians are expressing the desire for their faith and the world they live in to connect.  Many say that Christianity feels stifling and fear-based.

In a recent study, one quarter of 18-29 year olds said that Christians demonize everything outside of the church and that the church ignores the problems in the real world.  Many said that the church is too concerned with movies, music and video games. (http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/528-six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church)

So what does God say about being a part of church?  Is the Church overprotective? 

Here are some resources that will help answer those questions and address the concerns of those surveyed:

 Our Mission at the John Ankerberg Show is to demonstrate that Christianity is true so that our viewers will embrace it for themselves and learn to share it effectively with others. The programs are designed to reach and appeal to a thinking audience of Christians and non-Christians alike.

We pray you will be equipped to share with those who are leaving Christianity. 1 Peter 3:15-16 says: “being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…

Reason #4: Churches come across antagonistic to science

A recent study says “one of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science.” The Barna Group study says that 3 out of 10 young adults with a Christian background feel “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in.” Another quarter believe that “Christianity is anti-science” and nearly the same amount say they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” The study also reveals that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways to stay faithful to their beliefs while pursuing careers in science-related industries. (http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/528-six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church)

Because our mission at the John Ankerberg Show is to demonstrate that Christianity is true so that our viewers will embrace it for themselves and learn to share it effectively with others, we take very seriously our responsibility to address ideas like these. Our programs are designed to reach and appeal to a thinking audience of Christians and non-Christians alike. We have a wide variety of resources on Science from many of the leading scholars in the world. We encourage you to explore these at great length so you will be prepared to give a defense and to encourage those who are struggling to remain faithful.

Media Clips:

DVD Series:

This is the fourth of seven reasons given in a recent study for why many are leaving Christianity. We have addressed these first three in previous emails (see above):

  • God never shows up – They see no proof of God’s existence
  • The Bible contradicts itself
  • Church seems overprotective

We want to continue providing you with information that will encourage and challenge you as you face the world we live in with confidence in Jesus Christ and the Truth of the gospel. Watch your emails in the weeks to come as we continue addressing and providing resources for each of these reasons and questions.

Thank you again for your prayers and support.