RE: [asa] Youth leaving churches because of old earth

From: James Patterson <>
Date: Sat Aug 08 2009 - 13:32:45 EDT

On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 9:12 AM, Bill Powers<> wrote:

> Most of the churches that I have been involved with lean toward a YEC

> view, and yet there is hardly ever a mention of evolution, or the age

> of the earth.


I mostly attend a Methodist Church. They shy away from discussing origins -
too hot a topic. I think many churches do. And those that DO discuss it,
likely present it dogmatically as "God's truth" whether it is YEC, OEC, TE,
or whatever. I sincerely doubt that most churches discuss it much at all.


I wonder if this is the problem. I am not stating with conviction that it
is, mind you. However, I feel in my heart that this is problematic. Let me
see if I can write what I think is the crux of the issue.


A child goes to church. In Sunday School, they learn about Adam and Eve,
Noah and the Ark, and other stories that are likely to get children's
attention. I went to a Missionary Baptist Church out in the country as a
child, and it was certainly YEC in that these things happened 6000 years ago
or so.


In the Baptist church, young adolescents at 12 or 13 are educated about
Christ and urged to accept Christ as their savior. Most do, and if they were
like me, they did it so their parents would quit bothering them. In the
Methodist Church, confirmation happens at age 13, and the vast majority of
the kids do it, and I am sure some do just because of peer pressure and not
because they understand what it is they are doing.


That child grows up. If s/he is a "typical" American, s/he "believes in
God", goes to church regularly or occasionally, goes to a public school, and
pretty much lives in a secular world. For instance, the average American
family now watches about 8.5 hours of TV per day (Nielsen Media Report
2007), and it isn't "The Christ Channel".


By the time this child has graduated from high school, the probability of
them being unmarried, sexually active, having tried substances of abuse, and
being very involved in the secular world (in the world and of the world),
are all likely (refs on request). The probability of them being very active
in church and living a Christian lifestyle/having a strong Christian
worldview is not. Yet, because they still live with Mom and Dad, they still
go to church...occasionally, when they can't argue their way out of it, and
if Mom and Dad wake up in time, or are not working.


What do they learn from all this? They learn that God and Christianity are
not important. Sure they "believe in God". But obviously, God and religion
are not important.let's look at the evidence of what they have learned by
the time they go to college:


. The family of these "average" children do not think God is
important - They didn't do Bible study at home, didn't go weekly, didn't
life a Christ-centered life. Sure, 91% of Americans are a member of a
religion, and 83% think God is important, but only 47% attend church at
least once a week (Gallup Millennium Survey). A friend of mine who works for
the Alliance Defense Fund says that only about 9% of Americans life a
Christian lifestyle. I don't have a reference for that, sorry. But it brings
home a quote that was originally from Brennan Manning, and popularized by DC
Talk in a song:

o "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians,
who acknowledge Christ with their lips, then walk out the door (of the
Church) and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world
simply finds unbelievable."

. The public education system doesn't thing God is important. As a
matter of fact, because of the ACLU and similar atheist organizations, God
has been removed from the public school system. Christians are being
discriminated against for being Christian if they even try to pray or
worship God, never mind if it's in the science class or not.

. The public education system is in essence teaching children and
young adults that God doesn't exist. This is especially true in college.
This is not and never was what was meant by "separation of Church and
State", but the atheists who run the ACLU and the NAS and the NCSE don't
care. They are using the extremist liberal interpretation of this
foundational statement (intended to allow people to worship whomever they
want, however they want, without discrimination from the state) to force
secular humanism down the throats of children in the public school system,
starting in kindergarten. By the time they get to college, they are ripe for
the picking.


So let's see. Children are in class ~6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for about
34 weeks a year, from the age of 5 to 18 - 14 years. That's 14,280 hours. No
God there.


They come home, perhaps do homework, but spend 4 hours per day on the
computer or watching TV (that's conservative). That's average, daily, an
underestimate, and including weekends. By the way, in the year 2000, Baron
found that the average child saw on TV annually 12,000 violent acts, 14,000
sexual references, and 20,000 advertisements. This is up quite a bit from
1990, and it's likely ever higher 1990, the daily TV viewing per
household was 6.5 hours, not 8.5 hours. Now be aware, that's per household,
not per person. So we have 4h/day x 365 x 14 years = 20,440 hours as a
conservative estimate. Very little to no God there.


Let's say that the family goes to church 50% of the Sundays, and even goes
to Sunday school too, 25% of the time. They don't really talk about God at
home, outside of church. They don't pray over meals, they don't pray with
their kids. This goes on from age 5 to 18. That's 25 + 12 x 14 = 518 hours.


So the average young adult entering college believes in God, but has been
taught that God isn't important. S/he has had over 14,000 hours of secular
education, and over 20,000 hours of worldly education, and about 500 hours
of "Christian Ed". That's a 68:1 secular:Christian ratio. Yeah, they were
"saved" when they were young teens. I think the point is, are they really
and truly Christians?


It is my assertion that they are leaving the church in crowds because they
are NOT true or at least not "strong" Christians. Strong Christians are
those who not only have faith, but understand the evidence as best it can be
understood, and have not been living a secular lifestyle while pretending to
be Christians. If you're still reading this, you probably think I've gotten
off topic.let me bring this back to my point.


Our churches are not teaching children how to deal with secular education
about origins. They do not teach about the varying viewpoints. They are
either silent, or they are dogmatic on one "true" way. The "average" kid
I've described above is already at high risk. The few times they do come to
church, they learn very little about origins. Then they go to school, and
learn about the "truth" of abiogenesis, evolution, naturalism, along with
the implicit and underlying message that God is not needed. Nevermind
can't talk about God even in that context, remember?


My children go to a private, Christian (Episcopal) school, and even THEY do
not adequately integrate science and religion. They learn about religion in
one class, and science in the other, and never the twain shall meet. Kids
even ask about go.


It is my assertion that unless and until we as Christians decide to address
this issue, the *only* rational education the average child gets about this
is secular. Where do we all come from? Monkeys, that evolved from bacteria,
they evolved from soup, naturally. Once again, nevermind that process could
have been God-directed, they don't hear that, not in school, not at home,
and not in church.


Faith is belief based on evidence. "Blind faith" is a hollow ploy used by
atheists to try and convince others that Christians are idiots. And then, we
don't teach our children the evidence, we just tell them to believe. Hmm.


Now, I know that much of this doesn't apply to you (ASA members), or to me.
We very likely teach our children MUCH more than the "average" family. But
the fact is, we aren't average, and the average ones are leaving the church
in droves.


James Patterson









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Received on Sat Aug 8 13:33:30 2009

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