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Why Are Teens Leaving The Faith?


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http://www.lifeway.com/Article/ministry-family-Why-are-Teens-Leaving-the-Faith?carid-bit-jc-leavingfaith-20120724

 

It's not comfortable or fun to hear my kids question things that I am firmly convinced are true. But they are in good company. Moses did it, Job did it, and Thomas did it. God was not intimidated by Moses' feelings, Job's questions, or Thomas' doubts. After their season of searching, each of them was brought to a new and deeper understanding of who God is.

 

Hey guys, It looks like we are all out on a "season of searching"! (I love these quaint little euphemisms xians come up with GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif)

 

This article's claim is that children who are raised with a "sticky faith" will all return like the prodigal son to the irresistible christian god. They gave good advice that parents should be patient, walk with their children, and let them explore questions. But perhaps they are a bit naïve in their belief that all lost sheep will one day return.

 

How is your "season of searching" going? Do you feel that you've reached a "new and deeper understanding of who God is"? I know there's a place in our info boxes for this definition, but I'll ask anyway: Who or what is your understanding of god?

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If there is a god, it is one who doesn't have a particular interest in specifics.

Nah, I don't believe in any god except perhaps a vague and undefined first cause and even then... definitely no deity that intervenes in human history.

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How is your "season of searching" going? Do you feel that you've reached a "new and deeper understanding of who God is"? I know there's a place in our info boxes for this definition, but I'll ask anyway: Who or what is your understanding of god?

 

The more I hear about God (from Christians), the more I realize that if such a god actually exists, he's a totally fuckwitted douchenozzle. And that's putting it mildly.

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How is your "season of searching" going? Do you feel that you've reached a "new and deeper understanding of who God is"? I know there's a place in our info boxes for this definition, but I'll ask anyway: Who or what is your understanding of god?

 

The more I hear about God (from Christians), the more I realize that if such a god actually exists, he's a totally fuckwitted douchenozzle. And that's putting it mildly.

 

The understanding of God I found is love and beauty; that God is a metaphor for those concepts. So I can't go back to xianity the way my xian friends might hope and pray for, because that's like going back to dunkiccino after you've discovered skinny venti triple caramel mocha macchiato!

 

[*edit- hit the button too soon] The bible god seems rather sadistic to me, (and nothing irks xians more than throwing that word around their god!) I'm not sure that god even makes any sense to the xians who subscribe to him, they seem to just blindly follow trusting that "god is god" and "his ways are higher".

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My searching took me far away from the christian god, and to Kemet. I'm a heathentastic polytheist now, with no belief that Abraham's little tantrum-thrower is omnipotent or even wise or kind.

 

Actually, as I think of the Divine, there are lots of gods, who are of one essence. No one god is actually omnipotent. They might as well be, from my perspective (being human, and They're all older, wiser, bigger, far more powerful than I can imagine), but the Big Whole God would be the sum of all the gods, and thus, not be personal at all. Basically, unable to communicate with. Irrelevant to talk to. It would be like trying to relate to a galaxy. This is why polytheism works for me - it's a functional choice. Break it into pieces I can start to understand.

 

Trying to make Abraham's mountain brat into that Giant Everything is 1. silly, when you read the bible, he's obviously not, and 2. baffling when it comes to worship, for me. I can't relate.

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How is your "season of searching" going? Do you feel that you've reached a "new and deeper understanding of who God is"? I know there's a place in our info boxes for this definition, but I'll ask anyway: Who or what is your understanding of god?

 

My "season of searching" is going well. I've come to a better understanding of who I am. There is no god(s) for me and I am okie dokie with that. I don't relish telling my parents about my unbelief and plan to be in my own place. I've discovered my own morals and why I believe the way I do about things and that is okay. Personally, I feel that I am a much better person because of my unbelief. So they can expect me to come back all I want....not happening.

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How is your "season of searching" going? Do you feel that you've reached a "new and deeper understanding of who God is"? Who or what is your understanding of god?

 

I've been thinking for awhile now that this would make an interesting topic.

 

As far as my season of searching, it's mostly over. I searched and searched for answers that would allow me to retain Christianity and didn't find any. I'm no longer searching for a religion that will suit me, as I no longer believe in revealed religion. Humanism works just fine, because it doesn't require a deity. I'm still searching on the topic of spirituality however.

 

As far as a God-concept, this probably won't make any sense. Should there be God, It is transcendent. I do not believe in God because God does not follow through on what the religious say that God should be doing. Then, there is the problem of infinite regress. Having said all that, a God-concept that makes some sense is what I recently found out was called dystheism, - a God who is both good and evil, such as is described in Isaiah 45:7. However the problem I have with dystheism is it is connected to the Abrahamic God and I do not believe the Abrahamic God exists.

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My favorite part:

 

Unfortunately, Christianity is often equated with bigotry, racism, homophobia, and sexism. Today's generation wants nothing to do with that brand of faith.

 

They wonder why the religion is equated as such? Do they ever read that Bible or watch the news?

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I remember one commentary on the prodigal son, that more or less said:

 

"God lets us wander off sometimes, because He knows that we will have a very unhappy time without Him and return."

 

Yuh-huh......

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Guest Valk0010

Having said all that, a God-concept that makes some sense is what I recently found out was called dystheism, - a God who is both good and evil, such as is described in Isaiah 45:7. However the problem I have with dystheism is it is connected to the Abrahamic God and I do not believe the Abrahamic God exists.

If god is a dystheist, then there is no way he could create ethics. Ethics become nonsense. He can't be good and say murder is evil, and bad and say murder is okay and be one in the same being. If he is good at all, then he would automatically avoid the evil part of his nature. Just as say, a good person would want to avoid taking the life of another. So lets assume then, that evil existed in theory pre creation. If god is good at all then, he would want to reduce the existence of evil. That is a suitation as in much as the same as we want to prevent evil if we can help it. That would mean not creating the world, because if he had no other option but to create more evil then he can't be good at all. And failing that creating the world would increase the evil in existence which would be against the concept of gods nature being partially good. If he had no choice in creating us he is not god.

 

So if the god of the old testament is totally evil, as I understand the term dystheism, then the laws of the old testament become a matter of evil telling us not do good because, so following the ten commandments would then be following evil if that god is evil. That would means things like murder would be a good. Of course this is a nonsense position because are moral sense if this god actually exist would be attuned at least generally to doing his actions. It also would mean that we would see a reason to murder on a whole rather then only reasons to not murder. It also says in the bible we are like gods, so if that god is evil and we are not evil, we are then not like god. And it isn't so that god can't exist. The god of the bible can't exist with those contradictions being the case cause the god is supposedly logical since logic couldn't be created by illogic. A evil god by this couldn't be abrahamic.

 

 

 

EDIT: Sorry for the thread hijack, I just recently learned about dystheism myself and have been playing it around in my head.

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So the conclusion they reach is more cult action! Funny. I find myself playing devils advocate of how a Christian would think in my scenario. Its not that i haven't heard enough of the other side, I am not convinced the other side has the answer.

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"season of searching" only to "return to him".

 

They really won't let go of proverbs 22:6 will they?

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Having said all that, a God-concept that makes some sense is what I recently found out was called dystheism, -

EDIT: Sorry for the thread hijack, I just recently learned about dystheism myself and have been playing it around in my head.

I'll answer you back in the dystheism thread when I get a chance, maybe this evening.
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I don't believe in the existence of anything that I would consider a god. I've always hoped to find telepathic spirit beings of some sort, or at least be able to connect with other human beings on some level above the mundane, but I haven't found it. I may go looking for such things again some day, but for now I have to focus internally to get myself in order. (Technically, if you pushed me, I would have to admit to being an agnostic atheist, but even that much of a suggestion that there might be Something Out There that I could run to to fix my life instead of taking care of myself would be harmful to me. So I just identify as atheist. Some day I hope to get my shit together well enough to identify as an "apatheist" - god(s) may or may not exist, but since they're not affecting my life I don't care.)

 

What I do try to focus on in the capacity for good inside humans, so if I had to pick some sort of god, I would say that we are all gods. Which is scary because we're pretty messed up, but I think we're all we've got. I do know that my will to live and the power I have to change the world around me comes from somewhere internal, and tends to get weaker when I'm too overwhelmed by external things. I try not to let the news that makes me angry also make me feel helpless, because I know that I'm not the only human who's angry and that there are groups of us working for change.

 

I don't consider nature to be divine because to me, divinity is supposed to have some sort of personhood. Maybe that's just my upbringing blinding me, but for me that's why nature is bigger than us, stronger than us, created us, and in the end will destroy us, but not a god. There's no consciousness, no will. It just is.

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I am no longer in a "season of searching" I have found my gods and am quite happy with them. The Goddess and Her Consort have blessed me with a family that I love and continue to give me lessons in life. Unlike most people seem to believe, I left Christianity in my teens and have never turned back. The questions are too much and questioning is more or less forbiden. In Wicca questions are good but no one has answers, you are expected to seek them out.

 

Unfortunately there are no people out there with "the answers" because each life we lead is considered to be a learning experiance where we are expected to seek out the lessons we are supposed to learn. It's not an easy thing as experiance is a harsh teacher, but the learning runs deeper.

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My favorite part:

 

Unfortunately, Christianity is often equated with bigotry, racism, homophobia, and sexism. Today's generation wants nothing to do with that brand of faith.

 

They wonder why the religion is equated as such? Do they ever read that Bible or watch the news?

 

And mine:

 

Most Christians are completely unprepared to provide logical, coherent, well-examined reasons for their belief in Christianity.
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Here's another gem:

 

God was not intimidated by Moses' feelings, Job's questions, or Thomas' doubts.

 

I beg to differ. Job was eviscerated by god for daring to question.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Why, yes, I searched out a deeper truth. And I found it. And realized what I knew about belief, deity, the universe etc. was wrong. Oh, and I got what amounted to a better offer from superior gods.

 

I reached a deeper truth and broke my Christian indoctrination. Kind of neat.

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Oh, this is a sad article. They don't look at the real problem which is themselves. They make it all about the culture challenging them and sucking their children away from their seat of ignorance. No, they will lose that battle, and to believe because historically those who stray from their roots often return to them after facing life crises when they are older will not be a factor as the guts of that sort of system is being eroded altogether. It is becoming more and more of some distorted caricature than a legitimate religious home.

 

Besides, what a sad consolation. Just because they reconvert doesn't mean they grew! Most who do 'revert' to their earlier programming says something more about the fact that they never did the harder work of self-discovery, which is vastly different that 'straying'. Those that truly go the path of asking questions can't return to that twaddle. It's like telling someone at 40 years of age to be a five year old again.

 

How is your "season of searching" going? Do you feel that you've reached a "new and deeper understanding of who God is"? I know there's a place in our info boxes for this definition, but I'll ask anyway: Who or what is your understanding of god?

I would say I have found my "home" now. You could say I freed God. Or another way to put that is I freed the mind to not try to define these things, and rather to explore them internally through mystical experience. Through that knowledge, it illuminates everything in ways that don't violate reason and rationality like your prerational mythic religions do.

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I may still be searching but there isn't any way I am going back to Christianity. This article doesn't say anything about going back and leaving again a second time!

 

Actually, I found out I can't go back because I know too much. Christianity seems very distant from reality to me. Its patently obvious that there isn't an almighty God who specially cares about me. I think people have to deceive themselves quite a lot to think otherwise.

 

I am a sort of polytheist, but I don't think the gods or higher beings are all powerful and I don't think they intervene in human affairs very much. Mostly the question of God doesn't concern me very much these days. I am more interested in the power of the human mind, and that's why Buddhism interests me.

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Oh, this is a sad article. They don't look at the real problem which is themselves. They make it all about the culture challenging them and sucking their children away from their seat of ignorance. No, they will lose that battle, and to believe because historically those who stray from their roots often return to them after facing life crises when they are older will not be a factor as the guts of that sort of system is being eroded altogether. It is becoming more and more of some distorted caricature than a legitimate religious home.

 

Besides, what a sad consolation. Just because they reconvert doesn't mean they grew! Most who do 'revert' to their earlier programming says something more about the fact that they never did the harder work of self-discovery, which is vastly different that 'straying'. Those that truly go the path of asking questions can't return to that twaddle. It's like telling someone at 40 years of age to be a five year old again.

 

Game, Set, Match!

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I don't see how anyone could ever go back, but then again, they apparently don't see how anyone could stop being a christian, so I guess we'll never understand each other.

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