Monday, May 08, 2006

Shocking News: Young People are Not Interested in Spirituality

A study carried out on behalf of the Church of England demonstrated that young people are very materialistic and have very almost no interest in spirituality.

Conventional ecclesiastical wisdom had held that young people are 'spiritual seekers'. Evangelism by the mainstream churches and also by some Evangelical denominations had reflected this assumption with a huge emphasis on offering spirituality. The Church of England will now have to seriously re-think its approach to reaching young people.

I think this study confirms my experience as a street evangelist. One meets the odd young person who has New Age ideas and there a lot of religious young people, but on the whole, the young people that I talk to have absolutley no interest in anything that could be called spiritual.

The big problem that confronts churches is that young people have been indoctrinated into believing in Evolution. They learn at school that Evolution is a fact and that religions are just opinions. Thus, why should they want any kind of spituality? They have never been confronted with a convincing case for God's existence and are blinded from seeing the daily reality of God's creation.

Why should I give money to a bank if I have no idea what investment is? Why should young people want a spirituality if they do not know that God exists or that He is a personal being that one can relate to?

The mainstream churches and even many conservative denominations have given up doing any kind of apologetics. They have just grown accustomed to the idea that young people will seek God out of a hunger for some spiritual reality. Well, money, sex and fun are a far bigger reality than anything they will get from a god whose existence to them is uncertain.

Part of the problem is bad cultural analysis. Christians have too quckly assumed that there has been a major paradigm shift from Modernity to Postmodernity. I think it is more helpful to talk about Advanced Modernity. Much of the thinking and ideas of Modernity are still very much with us.

A lot of Christians are under the impression that young people do not believe in absolute truth. This is absolute rubbish. Most non-Christian young people that I have talked to show very little sign of believing in philosophcial relativism. They are in fact very dogmatic about what they see is absolute truth. They believe with absolute conviction that Evolution is true and that Jesus is dead and buried. So why should they take any interest whatsoever in a Christian spirituality, even if it is presented with disco lights and dreadlocked dancers?

21 comments:

Libbie said...

Oh, that last paragraph was very good.

The plan of 'throw out all the certainties, light a few candles and read some poetry', is complete bunkum.

Young people aren't idiots. You can actually have conversations with them about doctrine and everything.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks. You are quite right.

I edited the post so, I am not sure which one was last when you visited.

Did you get bored of the muffin?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Redeemed said...

That's a great post.

My youth Pastor moved to Ottawa a few years ago and in his hunt for churches, he was shocked to find one where all the young people believed in evolution.

I agree with Libbie, you really hit it with that last paragraph.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Sarah.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Good stuff, Matthew. This does not surprise me. Did the study give any age designations for "young people" perchance?

Consecrated said...

I have nothing complimentary either about young people as far as the fear of God is concerned.

May God have mercy on us when this younger generation grows up to become the mainstream of our society in the coming few years.

Kc said...

Well said Matthew. I've missed reading your wisdom this week.

Charlie Wallace said...

Very good point. I've been thinking about this myself. In my own evangelistic conversations with non-believers, I've come to the realization that they are somewhate conflicted and have both modern and postmodern ideas. I think the line that seperates the two philosophies is little more blurred then most people think. Our generation grew up in a modern school system, yet the culture is supposedly 'postmodern.' I'm glad there is someone out there who sees this issue eye-to-eye with me.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Leila, yes that is worrying.

Kc, nice to see you again.

Charles, it is easier to write books refuting relativism than it is to write books presenting evidence for the truth of Christianity.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Libbie said...

Partly bored with the muffin, yes. I also think it's a good idea to show what I look like when I'm getting linked to with controversial posts - people tend to be a bit nicer if they know what you look like, and they think you're a smiley sort.

I'm a neurotic sort, you see.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, that sounds sensible.

I suppose I can be a bit neurotic too.

God Bless

Matthew

Palm boy said...

'I have nothing complimentary either about young people as far as the fear of God is concerned.

May God have mercy on us when this younger generation grows up to become the mainstream of our society in the coming few years"

HEY!!!
Lets not jump to conclusions here!
There are a LOT of younglings intersted in Christ.

Excellent Post matt.
File it under the 'Best of'

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, PB.

Consecrated said...

The family of God is a different body altogether.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Indeed.

H K Flynn said...

Great post, Matthew!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Jodie.

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0th3rs said...

I'm interested in knowing if there are any street preachers out there who actually do this. And where; what countries and in what situations. On the street corner as John Bunyon or by knocking on doors as JW's??

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I have not been street preaching for a while.

When I preach the Gospel on the streets, I just stand in the street and preach.