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'Church is boring’, says new survey
The results of a recent survey published by the Barna Research Group a few days ago sent shock waves through the hierarchy of the Christian Church. The Barna Group is an evangelical Christian polling firm based in Ventura, California, and this particular survey was conducted out over the last five years. Researchers put their questions to a multitude of people, including young adults, teenagers, parents, young evangelic pastors and their older colleagues. The study of young adults focused on those who were originally regular churchgoers in the Church during their teen years and explored their reasons for abandoning church life after the age of 15. Overall, the research uncovered several themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect permanently from church life after the age of 15.
An in-depth analysis of the study revealed that most young adults dropped out because they felt that their Christian experience was superficial, shallow and lacking in depth. Barna revealed that more than 52% of those questioned stated that ‘moral, political or religious beliefs’ contributed to their leaving the Church, and 18% stated they did not agree with the ‘Church’s position in terms of political and social policies’. Almost 20% did not want to identify themselves with any organized religion at all, and 14% did not agree with the teachings of the Church about God. Approximately one quarter of people aged between 18 and 29 complained that in many cases ‘Christians demonize anything that is outside the Church’, adding that the Church ‘is unfriendly against those who doubt it’. Another one-quarter embrace the perception that ‘Christianity is anti-science’, and a third of the people interviewed said the ‘Church is boring’.
The issue of sexuality is particularly salient among 18-29-year-old Catholics, among whom two out of five (40%) said the church’s ‘teachings on sexuality and birth control are out of date’. Barna Group’s research is confirmed by other data. A study by LifeWay Research showed that two thirds of young adults who regularly attended a Protestant Church stopped attending between the ages of 18 and 22.
The results reveal that the modern world for young adults is rapidly shifting in significant ways, such as their immediate access to world-views via technological tools and their prodigious consumption of the popular culture, and that helps to expand their scepticism toward external sources of authority, including Christianity and the Bible.
Quote of the day:
"The only remedy for superstition is knowledge".