Thursday, July 23, 2009

Revealing A Sad Reality

It was encouraging to us when we heard of this new book simply because we see this happening also - finally someone is breaking the silence, creating an awareness of this sad reality. To us it came as a surprise though, written by a man, Ken Ham, whom we've long admired for his contributions to the Kingdom of God through his creation science ministry with Answers in Genesis along with research scientist, Britt Beemer. We look forward to reading the book.

You may check it out @ "The next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it's not just happening on the nominal fringe; it's happening at the core of the faith! This powerful book reveals shocking trends and offers wisdom on how to win back our families, our churches, and our world!" -- CBD Review

515297: Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop ItAlready Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop It

" Many parents will fork out big bucks to send … students to Christian college, hoping to protect them in their faith. But the fact is, they are already gone. They were lost while still in the fold. They were disengaging while they were still in the pews. They were preparing their exit while they were faithfully attending youth groups and Sunday Schools."
Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, Already Gone

One of the hallmarks of American culture in the late twentieth century was the revival of the cult of youth. With its roots in Greco-Roman paganism, the worship of youth and the rise of a distinctively family-fragmenting vision of teenage life has dominated our media, our entertainment, our schools, and the very fabric of modern life. But nowhere is the conquest of the cult of youth more evident than in the Church. Frustrated with the absence of real parental involvement in the lives of the next generation, and desperately hoping to reach young people with some Gospel influence, the modern Church in America has drunk deeply from the youth culture phenomenon. This is most obvious in church youth groups, youth-driven worship programs, and even Sunday Schools. Now, after more than a half-century trend, the results are in, and they are not good — our youth are defecting en masse from biblical Christianity.
This trend has long been recognized by researchers — the fact that 61% of youth abandon the church during their 20s — but a common assumption has been that young people lose their faith due to their college experience. Thanks to penetrating new research spearheaded by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, a startling conclusion has emerged: Youth who regularly attended the most conservative, Bible-believing churches in America during their teen years were, in their hearts, already gone. To quote Ham and Beemer: “They were lost while still in the fold.”

Ham and Beemer have also uncovered hard evidence to support this surprising conclusion: that “Sunday School is actually more likely to be detrimental to the spiritual and moral health of our children.” Those who faithfully attend Sunday School are more likely to leave the church than those who do not — and to doubt the Bible’s reliability.

The evidence is in: The Church’s current model for reaching young people through youth groups and Sunday Schools is a failure. These programs are not only, on the whole, falling short of their aims, but they are actually contributing to the epidemic departure from biblical principles on the part of young people, as well as the massive defection from the Church of Jesus Christ. In short, the Church has proven to be its own worst enemy.

Already Gone, by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Brit Breemer of America’s Research Group, offers a thoroughly-documented diagnostic of the views of twenty-somethings who were raised in solid churches, but who are now no longer attending church — and it gives their reasons why. The book demonstrates why America’s churches have lost an entire generation of believers, and details how youth groups and Sunday Schools are contributing to the epidemic, rather than helping to alleviate it. This groundbreaking research is incredibly valuable for those who desire to understand our youth’s abandonment of the faith.


Carolyn M said...

Thanks for the information. I find this to be an interesting topic, because while we do see so many leave the church (in my case, the Church), I'm also witnessing a sort of underground among young adults to try to counteract that. Their solution is a return to Orthodoxy, a return to Traditionalism and the way it "used to be". Certainly in the Catholic Church, among the loudest voices calling for the return of the old ways is within my generation (and I have to admit, my own voice is being added to the chorus, albeit softly).
Anyway, an interesting and challenging topic. I will have to read the book.

Pam Koop said...

Auntie Darlene, do you guys have this book? And if so would you be up for lending it out? If not that is totally fine...may just have to get my own copy!

Darlene said...

Carolyn, that void, that only God can fill is in all of us. I'm glad to hear that there are more among your generation who are sensitive to that need. May each one find encouragement in the Scripture -- I am reminded of Matthew 6:33 "Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you."

Pam, you certainly may borrow the book once we get it and have read it (and can get it to you ... lol). "Books are for sharing" - they're meant to be read!