Study: Why Are Evangelical Kids Abandoning Jesus?
Ken Ham (founder of the Creation Museum) commissioned a study to find out why 2/3 of kids leave Evangelical churches when they reach their mid-20s. He’s also co-written a book, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it. The study results will astound you!
Ham commissioned Britt Beemer, founder of the American Research Group and a former researcher for the Heritage Foundation, to find out why two of every three Evangelical kids turn their backs on their religion when they reach their mid-20s. The number who leave has been well established; the reason was always thought to be exposure to the “secularist agenda” when in college. Not so!
Beemer contacted 1,000 20-29 year old young adults who used to attend Evangelical churches regularly, but no longer did so. He found, shockingly, that those who most regularly attended Sunday School were the most likely to question the truthfulness of Scripture, to defend same-sex marriage and abortion, and to flat-out leave the church than those who didn’t.
You read that right. The more regularly they attended Sunday School, the more likely they were to leave the church. Wonder why that is?
Ham has proposed a reason why kids aren’t buying Christianity, and it has to do with the church bending to secularism’s will.
Many churches today, even some Evangelical churches, teach that the age of the Earth is not an issue as long as you trust in Jesus and believe in the resurrection and the Gospel accounts. Free to consider that certain parts of the Bible — the Creation story in particular — are not true, these youths then start to question the entire Good Book’s veracity and accuracy.
As Ham says,
[Teens believe that] what they are taught in school is reality, but the church teaches stories and morality and relationship. Bible teaching is not real in the sense of real history.
Many churches say that belief in 6-Day Creationism is not a Salvation issue, even though it is key to belief that humans are a special creation, and introduces the doctrine of Original Sin, both important hooks upon which the Abrahamic religions hang.
Ham suggests instead that Christians should not reject 6-Day Creationism. Instead, they should arm themselves and their children with Creationist Facts, by visiting Ham’s website and coming to the Creation Museum. Certain atheists are chortling about this, claiming Ham only did the study to drive visitors to his website and museum.
Some Catholics are also offended, saying,
This is not good theology or Biblical study. The initial study is probably fine (although I am not a stat guy, so I wouldn’t know any way), but the conclusions are off-the-wall bad. The problem is not in evolution vs. the Bible. The problem is in how we parent our kids and don’t give them a solid basis in truly understanding who they are, who God is, what their purpose is, and the freedom to ask questions and then help them seek the answers.
Ken Ham believes he has shown the way. In order to keep children from turning from God as some sort of fairy tale like Santa Claus when they reach adulthood, he insists that parents cannot allow children to question any part of the Bible. They must — must – follow it to the letter, without trying to interpret it or put it in “historical context”.
What do you think?