How can the church prevent its young people from leaving the faith?
I don’t know, exactly. But perhaps the current exodus from the church is at least partially our fault.
Recently I encountered a now-adult atheist who grew up in the church but became disillusioned with God in his teen years because God didn’t perform as advertised. God didn’t answer prayer in the way he’d come to expect.
I’m afraid young people have gotten the impression that God is “perfect” by some worldly definition of perfection, perhaps along these lines:
For the faithful and righteous believer, God answers prayers, provides health and prosperity, chases away sadness and despair, and shows up when needed. Every single time.
* * *
But there’s a different perfection at work in the Bible. Perfect required Abram to wait twenty-five years for a promise to be fulfilled. Perfect commanded the people of Israel to wipe out the Canaanites, chose Jacob over Esau, and established a portion of the Messianic line through incest and foreign (non-Jewish) persons.
Perfect came to us in the manger, the donkey and the cross. And of course the resurrection. This is the perfection young people need to learn. Perhaps they will then adjust their expectations accordingly.
Next post: Walking away, angry at the church.
Thank you for this Rick! Great food for thought.
Good one. And yet I want to weep, because of those who are shelving their belief and leaving the faith. So grateful for you and those like you who study and persevere. Keep on fighting the good fight.