Jul 27, 2010

 
 

By Brandee Sanders

Sunday morning rolls around again, and I get the early wakeup call from my father. "Get up, Brandee. Get ready for church." My first thought is to go right back to sleep, because I don't want to go. It's not a case of Sunday-morning laziness; I'd just rather not be there, and according to a study conducted earlier this year by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 agree with me.

Church isn't appealing to me, and it never has been. I have vivid memories of sitting in the last pew as a child with crayons and a coloring book for some sort of entertainment. Since I've retired the Crayolas and coloring books and started paying closer attention to the sermons, I discovered that some of the messages in church are irrelevant to people of my generation.

Some of my closest friends are gay, but the pastor is telling me that "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34, but the pastor tells me that using condoms is a sin because it's a form of birth control. I live in a world where women are the CEOs of successful businesses and hold high positions in the government, but within the walls of the church, female leadership is often absent. Only 10 percent of churches in the United States employ women as senior pastors. These sexist, homophobic and conservative attitudes of the church are what is causing young people to question their faith, causing Gen-Yers to abandon the church in increasing numbers.

Many church principles simply don't reflect the views of young Americans. A recent study discovered that young people are more accepting of homosexuality: 63 percent of young adults believe that homosexuality should be accepted within society, versus 50 percent of adults in general. In most churches, discussing homosexuality is a taboo. "There's denial about homosexuality in the church," said Boyce Watkins, Ph.D., founder of the Your Black World Coalition. It's "even to the extreme where you have people who believe that if you pray enough, you will not be gay anymore," he adds.

We live in a society where open homosexuality is becoming common, but most in the church have yet to accept it. If God accepts us as we are, then why do some homosexuals feel unwelcome in church? Skepticism concerning church teachings about the Bible may be the reason 67 percent of young Christian adults say they don't read it.

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3 comments:

  1. I am 26 years old and I was born and bred in the church. I had my 'crisis' time between the ages of 21-24 where I couldn't stand the church-I felt everyone in there was hypocritical. However, I never stopped going to church because I believed I was soaking in a little blessing just by being there. Now I am happily married and solidly in the church-even back singing in the choir. My church believes in female leadership-our pastor is a woman. We don't agree with homosexuality and that is not going to change and I don't agree either. We don't have a 'condom' problem as we believe in abstenince until marriage-when you're married you can do what you want. I know that my life is so much richer for being in the church and I feel so sorry for others who haven't found a church/religion that they feel comfortable in. 'The church' isn't one building-keep looking-try smaller churches or even a bigger church. Just don't give up on God-I had to realize that salvation is personal and I want God to continue blessing me. I go to church for those reasons and to praise God who is good to me. It doesn't matter whose hypocritical or who has a problem with that and I think that's what people keep forgetting. STOP WORRYING ABOUT OTHERS and just do you!

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  2. The question is how to remain relevant and some churches have figured it out without compromising what they believe is right and wrong.

    Personally, I've had my frustration with the church, not so much because of hypocrisy but because of limitations. If there is one thing I've learned is God is not legalistic, yet there is a serious legalistic tone to alot of messages. If I'm free then I'm free.

    We put church leaders too high upon a pedestal and expect them to have answers for EVERYTHING and many times those leaders overstep their boundaries.

    I'm not surprised that people are losing faith in the church, but I don't know that it's any different than any other generation. Developmentally at the age, people tend to question alot of stuff including faith and the church.

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  3. I think Brandee just needs to find a new church. Sometimes the church you grew up going to isn't the right fit for you as an adult. If you feel yourself slipping away from God it's your duty to find your way back to Him. I think that instead of complaining about what the church doesn't have to appeal to young people our age, you find a church that does.

    I think that young people today are not only losing faith in the church, but are just losing interest in life in general. I see a lot laziness and people thinking things should just be handed to them. Being a Christian is just like anything else worth having. It requires hardwork, lots of studying of the Bible and 100% commitment.

    Like @Carmen, I went through a stage where I was battling with my faith and questioning my beliefs, but I was able to reign myself back in before it went too far. God is an important part of my life. And while it's tough sometimes to hear that God doesn't agree with the gay lifestyle some of my friends have, I don't take it personal. They have to live their lives according to what they believe. The Bible is plainly written. You either take it or leave it.

    I don't try to rewrite or requote the Word so that it justifies my sins and others shouldn't try to do that either. If you are uncomfortable with what the Bible has to say about the lifestyle you keep, then change it. As for birth control, I've never read about birth control being a sin although we know sex before marriage is. We just need to raise our standards and get back to our good wholesome morals.

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