Perhaps you saw the news story out last Thursday that reported that young Americans are giving up on the concept of God:
“Young Americans are drifting away from God, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Only 67 percent of Americans under 30 say they ‘never doubt the existence of God.’ That’s down from 76 percent in 2009 and 83 percent in 2007 – a 15 percent point drop in just five years.”
While the survey did not include any potential reasons as to why this generation is abandoning God the story offered three theories.
(1) Fundamentalists are turning off some young people,
(2) atheists and agnostic role models are getting more vocal, and
(3) liberal attacks on religion are to blame.
I cannot leave the impression that such a report does not bother me. Any time there is an indication that people are losing their faith it has to be troubling. However, the reality is that while these are possible reasons that people are giving up on God they are not good reasons to give up on God. In fact they are themselves better reasons to strengthen our faith. Let’s put these theories into proper perspective and notice three reasons young Americans shouldn’t give up on God:
- Christianity is fundamental. The word fundamental has almost become a curse word in today’s society. But for something to be fundamental demands that there is a standard expectation. The problem we face as a society is not law itself it is man’s reaction to law. The story states that we are “evolving toward greater acceptance of divorce, premarital sex, women’s equality, and gay rights.” Society may be evolving but truth is standard. With society you never know where you are heading but with God you always know what you get (Hebrews 13:8).
- Skeptics are getting more vocal, thus so should we. This has been a problem the church has been facing for decades. It is not that more and more people are turning to atheism. The atheistic crowd actually makes up an extremely small portion of our populace. The problem is that they are just getting louder than those who believe. We’re not outnumbered we are just out voiced. Christians need to be too stubborn to be outworked by the devil’s army (Jude 3). I am encouraged to see an upswing in evangelistic activity among the church’s younger generation so hopefully this point is already in action.
- The attacks on Christianity are liberal. I have never understood the liberal concept either politically or religiously. The liberal mindset wants to loosen the stringencies of law. Social liberals despise the laws of the land and actively seek to skirt them. Spiritual liberals despise God’s law. The problem is that God’s law cannot be logically defeated so the only option they have is to attack it. We should be for anything the devil hates. It’s obvious from his servants that Satan hates Christianity and God so we should be for them at all costs and actively give an answer for our faith (1 Peter 3:15).
While the news story cited only lists these three theories there are many, many more reasons we should step up our efforts to exalt God. He is the only hope we have for our lives and for our world. Let’s not give up on Him!
-Andy Brewer preaches for the Phillips St. Church of Christ in Dyersburg, TN