Millennials Leaving the Church

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    Science Friction's Avatar
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    Millennials Leaving the Church

    I was watching the 700 Club last night and they were talking about this topic. The numbers are definitive- millennials are leaving the church in droves. Pat's son and Terry Meeuwsen were citing some reasons given by millennials for being anti-church.

    Some of the reasons cited were : millennials don't feel the Church is listening to them; millennials feel preached at, not mentored ; millennials don't feel the poor are a priority of the Church ; millennials do not feel valued by the Church, only judged; millennials do not believe the Church addresses controversial issues of the day that are important to them. Rather than talking with them about hot button issues, millennials feel the Church just gives an opinion and that's the end of it.

    What do you think? Is the Church guilty of driving young people away from the Church or has technology and the information-age helped to capture the hearts and minds of young people ?
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    theguru's Avatar
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    From Wikipedia:

    researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years

    So about 15 to 35 give or take.

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    theguru's Avatar
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    We all have access to the Internet and a wealth of knowledge about several religions.

    Or put another way, most religions are behind the times and when anything is behind the times it quickly becomes irrelevant.

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    You could probably see the same article since the beginning of organized religion.

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    Just as always young children can be indoctrinated to believe in just about anything, and many college age kids begin to question things more deeply, however it does appear that whereas in the past people were more inclined to hold onto religious beliefs into adulthood, a newer generation may be quicker to question the validity of what their elders pass off as factual while earlier recognizing with more clarity that these beliefs are unprovable.

    It has probably been a generational progression over the last 50 years where less and less parents are as intent or sure of their beliefs as their parents had been, so therefore they're less and less intent on making sure that their own children strongly believe.

    While growing up in my family, seeds of doubt were frowned upon, and to question things mostly discouraged, but perhaps many more of today's parents are more transparent with their children regarding their lack to true factual insight into anything for certain that sends a message to their children that they're not going to press it, and allow them to arrive on their own, if and what spiritual direction they may decide to take.

    Being the youngest of a large family, I did observe at around age 7 or 8 my oldest college aged sister having discussions with my parents regarding beliefs and doubts, which no doubt, along with lots of other things, had me thinking myself well before reaching college age. I witnessed my parents being cautiously fair, but firm with her, so I wasn't frightened to begin thinking too at an early age.

    Consider how our culture has been constantly changing from rigidity to being more and more casual, say from the 1950's until now. Folks can debate the good and bad of that, and point to increased crime or perceived "immorality" with each passing generation for example as a bad, but in many other respects the change has been for the "realistic" better.

    As a culture we seem to be aiming more and more at individuality and people getting real rather than being a cookie cutter clone of everyone else, whereas years ago it was discouraged to be yourself especially if it went against the established accepted norms.

    Certainly technology has advanced all the while from decade to decade, and while it could be considered a contributor, I don't believe that it alone has been the only determiner.

    The strongest determiner I feel has been society generationally becoming more casual, and with it a more natural progression to being real. This doesn't mean that people now have quit wondering what the ultimate truth is, but maybe more and more are just not so quick to grab something as the truth when it has become more and more apparent that no one really knows for sure.

    Certainly there are still believers, as I think there always will be, but maybe just less and less are holding these beliefs so tightly while being so fearful to questioning them.

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    Dear Millennials, I was always taught its not what you get out of church, it's what you put into it. It's not about you, its about God.


    That being said, I agree the Catholic Church s not doing much to endear themselves to the younger crowd. Places like Crossroads are doing a much better job. It's too easy for folks to be preoccupied now a days and not bother wth a church.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAC View Post
    Dear Millennials, I was always taught its not what you get out of church, it's what you put into it. It's not about you, its about God.


    That being said, I agree the Catholic Church s not doing much to endear themselves to the younger crowd. Places like Crossroads are doing a much better job. It's too easy for folks to be preoccupied now a days and not bother wth a church.
    Church is nothing more than a social event for the younger crowd. Its why all the party churches are booming right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Science Friction View Post
    I was watching the 700 Club last night
    The most shocking part of this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAC View Post
    Dear Millennials, I was always taught its not what you get out of church, it's what you put into it. It's not about you, its about God.
    ^This

    A man had steel stakes driven through his hands and feet, a crown of thorns jammed on his head, a lance piercing his side, and died a cruel death as a result.

    Church, and your active participation, is not supposed to be easy. Or comfortable. Grow up kids.

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    As a Catholic grade school student in the 70's we were obligated to attend Mass daily, and in my 8 years of that experience I witnessed very few children throughout the entire school who ever showed much interest, whereas the majority pretty much groaned that it was a dreaded chore, and an even lesser amount of those kids could be spotted attending the "you're going straight to hell if you miss the Sunday obligated Mass". I attended every Sunday until about 17 or 18 to comply with the ground rules of my parents.

    Judging by my parents, I can only assume that during their childhood they along with many many other children approached the experience with more dedicated devotion, and had a more serious fear of the repercussions if they didn't follow church law.

    Sure, it stuck with a few of my classmates into their adult lives, and the few that I now see continue the tradition are married with children. Not all who are married with children do, but the ones who do are married with children, and it appears that, whether or not they have any questions or doubts of their own, they feel an obligated responsibility to raise their children within the Catholic tradition, which appears to be an attempt at giving their children a life of structure for fear of what the results might be if they had just winged it. The tradition was strong enough for them in their childhood, and within their own families that it appears to be to them more of a valued plus than a minus to just continue on in that tradition.

    I do know people who fit this description who've I've personally had discussions with in our teen years who had questions and doubts, but I feel for certain that once married with kids, they put those doubts to rest and went about the business of raising their families just as they had been raised by their own parents with zero disclosure to their kids that they themselves had ever had any doubts.

    Using just the people that I attended grade school with as a test of measurement, who are now anywhere from their mid-40's to late 50's, I'd venture to say unscientifically that no more than 10% of them are church attending Catholics who also raise their children to attend, with most of those who do being on the older end of that spectrum than the younger, and definitely the ones who do are married with children.

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    Maybe off topic, but I don't understand it when person A says to person B "you are going to hell if you don't do X or you do Y". You don't go to hell for sinning. You go to hell because you don't REPENT for sinning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justsayin View Post
    ^This

    A man had steel stakes driven through his hands and feet, a crown of thorns jammed on his head, a lance piercing his side, and died a cruel death as a result.

    Church, and your active participation, is not supposed to be easy. Or comfortable. Grow up kids.
    I don't buy that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bengal Maniac View Post
    I don't buy that.
    Medals (or life everlasting) for everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by justsayin View Post
    Medals (or life everlasting) for everyone!

    You know I have so many snowflakes that I make a pretty good sized snowball, even some say that I have enough to make me the Abominal Snowman. However, that isn't one of my snowflakes.

    I will not belong to any church, organization, religion, etc that I can choose, where I am uncomfortable or will be uncomfortable.

    There are enough uncomfortable things in my life where I have no control, so I will not choose one where anything that will make me that. If a church makes me uncomfortable or says things that do, then I will find one that doesn't and there are those. That doesn't mean I have made choices that made me uncomfortable, I have, I imagine we all have. But I don't choose that unless it has to be that way or out of my control. Church is not either of those.

    Christianity to me is a joy and a blessing to me. Not a fearful or hurtful or judgmental place that some I have experienced are. If that is a persons cup of tea, good for them.

    Why millineals choose not to go to church is probaby multifaceted, but most likely it is just the age they are.

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