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Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 AM   #12
CelticJourney
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

I see the issue of youth leaving the church as pretty complex and have, if I might, some suggestions on 'further reading'.

Pearl and his ilk definitely appoach this issue from fear - but they approach most things from fear. In our recent chapter on The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse in the Bible Study forum the authors talk about being 'unable to leave' and how that dynamic gets set up. Issues of 'loyalty to our church means loyalty to God' along with 'we know best, we are the most pure, if you leave, you will be lost'. It's not that kids want to stay, it's that they fear leaving OR they see the unhealthy dynamic and run for the door at first opportunity.

The other side of the spectrum is no better. On this side are youth who are seen as 'old children' and not 'young adults' and therefore their entertainment seems parmount. They are fed no solids, they arrive at 'adulthood' (ie, you're in the college and career class now, no we don't do water balloon fights) and have no foundation of their faith and all the fun stops. They have nothing keeping them there. It does extend to adults - churches have become 'consumer oriented' in their focus. Does this church have enough programs to keep my kids busy? Is there a coffee bar? We, in many instances, have stopped being the body of Christ and started playing 'Julie, the cruise director' (I'm old -it's actually a Love Boat reference ). I highly recommend Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer. He takes a hard look at modern church practices and feels we are reaching a place were we have put 'church' in the place that belongs only to 'Christ'.
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Elizabeth

"Truth without love is divisive and hurtful & love without truth is anemic"--Pastor Estep

Arise, cry out in the night...pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children..; Lamentations 2:19

Last edited by CelticJourney; 02-21-2012 at 09:27 AM.
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