Author Topic: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?  (Read 6260 times)

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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2013, 07:11:22 AM »
A lot of young go through a phase when they will rebel no matter how correct or right the Church will be.  We just need to plant the seed and keep loving them.

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.  These kids are hostile.  Imo, it's not just worse right now--it's different.  Hence that whole "Matrix" sensation I get every time I leave my apt.  I think we're well-beyond the point at which this can be chalked up to normal teen rebellion and teen angst.  It's almost like The Children of the Corn out there.  No lie.

With an attitude like that you'll convert all young people within notime.

I disagree.  There's something else going on here.  It's bigger, faster, more.  Children of the Corn.  Never seen anything this bad.
A few years ago I read a title by Sam Harris because I was curious what atheists were saying in modern times.  I cannot remember the title, but it was the work where he argued that religion was not "rational."  Ever since then I would hear or read comments from atheists about any decision based on religious reasoning that the decision was irrational.  Do you think Sam Harris and the other aggressive atheists had an impact on the younger generation?

No. The majority of them don't care about books or fringe intellectuals like Harris and Dawkins.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 07:11:35 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2013, 07:21:32 AM »
I think you missed my point.  There's something else going on with this generation.  I'm not just talking about shirking the old ways or rebelling against parental authority, or playing rock music.  What's going on now is not as simple as that. 

What would that be?

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2013, 12:33:55 PM »
I think you missed my point.  There's something else going on with this generation.  I'm not just talking about shirking the old ways or rebelling against parental authority, or playing rock music.  What's going on now is not as simple as that. 

What would that be?

I've already stated my point twice now, and just don't have the energy to do it over and over and over again. 
Some of my questions might appear patently stupid to those well-versed in Orthodoxy, but I'm brand new, having no background in the faith.  Please grant me a great deal of patience and consideration as I learn the basics.

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2013, 12:36:29 PM »
A lot of young go through a phase when they will rebel no matter how correct or right the Church will be.  We just need to plant the seed and keep loving them.

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.  These kids are hostile.  Imo, it's not just worse right now--it's different.  Hence that whole "Matrix" sensation I get every time I leave my apt.  I think we're well-beyond the point at which this can be chalked up to normal teen rebellion and teen angst.  It's almost like The Children of the Corn out there.  No lie.

Have you considered that they might be seeing you that way?

I can't imagine how.

That's probably why you have such a low opinion of young people.

I've already stated why I have such a low opinion of young people.  Saying that in the previous context doesn't really make sense.  I can't imagine why young people might be seeing me the way that I see them, and so that would cause me to have a low opinion of young people?  Nonsensical.  That's not even a complete thought. 
Some of my questions might appear patently stupid to those well-versed in Orthodoxy, but I'm brand new, having no background in the faith.  Please grant me a great deal of patience and consideration as I learn the basics.

Offline Luke

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2013, 12:36:38 PM »
A lot of young go through a phase when they will rebel no matter how correct or right the Church will be.  We just need to plant the seed and keep loving them.

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.  These kids are hostile.  Imo, it's not just worse right now--it's different.  Hence that whole "Matrix" sensation I get every time I leave my apt.  I think we're well-beyond the point at which this can be chalked up to normal teen rebellion and teen angst.  It's almost like The Children of the Corn out there.  No lie.

With an attitude like that you'll convert all young people within notime.

I disagree.  There's something else going on here.  It's bigger, faster, more.  Children of the Corn.  Never seen anything this bad.
A few years ago I read a title by Sam Harris because I was curious what atheists were saying in modern times.  I cannot remember the title, but it was the work where he argued that religion was not "rational."  Ever since then I would hear or read comments from atheists about any decision based on religious reasoning that the decision was irrational.  Do you think Sam Harris and the other aggressive atheists had an impact on the younger generation?

No. The majority of them don't care about books or fringe intellectuals like Harris and Dawkins.
Yes they do.  A few years ago a pastor mentioned this book in a sermon, which got me curious, so I read it.  For the next few years I would read or hear atheists of all ages speaking of religious reasoning not being rational.  I still do.  A pew poll from 2012 also gives the influence of the "more vocal atheists" as one of the reasons:  http://theweek.com/article/index/229276/3-reasons-young-americans-are-giving-up-on-god

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2013, 12:39:43 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #51 on: November 10, 2013, 12:41:17 PM »
I've already stated why I have such a low opinion of young people.

Is it because some teens are discontented, afraid and roll their eyes...

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.

...or is it because you're grumpy and afraid of getting old?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 12:42:01 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline Luke

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #52 on: November 10, 2013, 12:43:30 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.
I have read or heard from many who have.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #53 on: November 10, 2013, 12:44:26 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.
I have read or heard from many who have.

Do you really think that young people bother to read or listen to Dawkins ramblings? They have other things to do. If Dawkins' arguments are the problem than it should be easy to solve, since he's full of you-know-what.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 12:48:17 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline Luke

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2013, 01:04:37 PM »
^They say they do.  If you do not want to believe them, that is your choice.

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2013, 02:02:19 PM »
I've already stated why I have such a low opinion of young people.

Is it because some teens are discontented, afraid and roll their eyes...

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.

...or is it because you're grumpy and afraid of getting old?

1) You don't know if I'm grumpy.  Everyone gets grumpy in threads on internet forums, especially when they have to keep finding brand new ways to explain points that have already been repeatedly explained.
2) You don't know I'm afraid of getting old, and who would be on the list of people who are not afraid of getting old?  Saying either way makes no sense.

I'm not the only one trying to figure out why young people are so mean, as should be apparent by all the news stories trying to figure out this same thing.  The current generation and the one coming up are MEAN.  Here's a laundry list of news sites trying to figure out what why--not whether--WHY young people are getting mean.  Many of these stories cite the results of studies conducted, though I have no idea why any organization or scientific body would expend time and money to conduct studies that proves what everyone who isn't young can already very plainly see, which is that young people are getting mean:

Too Cruel for School
Study: College Kids Are Getting Meaner
Are Girls Getting Meaner?
Are Children Getting Meaner Younger?
Are Kids Getting Meaner at a Younger Age?
Are Kids Getting Meaner?
Wolf-Pack Teen Bullying Case: Is America Getting Meaner?
Are Girls Getting Meaner at a Younger Age?
Kids Are Getting Meaner
So Many Mean Kids: Why Parents Need to go Back to Basics

They're attributing it to everything from weight to TV to video games--nothing new there--but regardless of the reason, everybody's noticing it.  Except young people, of course.  Why are so many people noticing it to the point that they're trying to figure out why it's happening?  Not whether it's happening, but why, because 'whether' isn't even a consideration.  

Personally, I attribute it to something else and I've already stated what that something else is:  we're grooming our kids at a younger and younger age for debauchery and addiction.  Why are we going to show them porn, violence, drug use, drunks, laughing at beer commercials and bongs, and then somehow expect 1) that nothing can possibly go wrong with that, and 2) that any kid raised in that, by that, around that, and finally accepting that and emulating that, would actually consider going to church??  

All that crap is 'the culture of death,' and atheism is a constant thread running through all of those things.  They teach kids that they aren't here for any special reason, let alone a higher purpose, that there is no God and you only believe in one if you're stupid, and that the only purpose of life is to get drunk, high, and laid.  That's the mentality.  Turn on the TV, there it is.  Turn on the radio, there it is.  Read a newspaper, magazine, or book, and there it is, there it is, there it is.

And we want to know why kids are leaving the church???


I can find the same number of websites tracking statistics on teen suicides and how the rates are going up--not down.  

So here's your culture of death:

We're making our kids mean
We're making our kids turn their backs on God
And we're making our kids kill themselves.  


Any questions?



« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 02:04:19 PM by newtoorthodoxy »
Some of my questions might appear patently stupid to those well-versed in Orthodoxy, but I'm brand new, having no background in the faith.  Please grant me a great deal of patience and consideration as I learn the basics.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2013, 02:21:23 PM »
Any questions?

Why, yes. Of course.

How do you measure "mean"? Was it measured two centuries ago? Three centuries ago? If not, how can you conclude that youngsters are more mean now than back in the days?

Here's a laundry list of news sites trying to figure out what why--not whether--WHY young people are getting mean.  [...] what everyone who isn't young can already very plainly see, which is that young people are getting mean

I never denied that older folks complain that the younger generation is worse (or meaner) than the previous ones. This has been a recurrent theme in western literature since its very inception. Take the poet Hesiod (~750 BC) for example. Nothing new under the sun.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 02:39:04 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2013, 04:15:47 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.

Did they follow the same ideas, have different ideas, or have no ideas?
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2013, 04:28:22 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.

Did they follow the same ideas, have different ideas, or have no ideas?

They agreed in so far as that they believed that there is no god and that believing in one is silly. Other than that, I don't know. Atheism doesn't have many dogmas.

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #59 on: November 10, 2013, 04:34:18 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.

Did they follow the same ideas, have different ideas, or have no ideas?

They agreed in so far as that they believed that there is no god and that believing in one is silly. Other than that, I don't know. Atheism doesn't have many dogmas.

I just wondered if maybe they had shown any kind of intellectual depth.
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #60 on: November 10, 2013, 04:35:17 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.

Did they follow the same ideas, have different ideas, or have no ideas?

They agreed in so far as that they believed that there is no god and that believing in one is silly. Other than that, I don't know. Atheism doesn't have many dogmas.

I just wondered if maybe they had shown any kind of intellectual depth.

Far from it.

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2013, 05:12:38 PM »
Personally, I attribute it to something else and I've already stated what that something else is:  we're grooming our kids at a younger and younger age for debauchery and addiction.  Why are we going to show them porn, violence, drug use, drunks, laughing at beer commercials and bongs,


Until recently with one room in a house and one bed within children used to have better opportunities to learn about sex than they do now. Same with violence, alcohol, and drugs (boiling poppy heads anyone?). Nothing really changed about that.
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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #62 on: November 10, 2013, 05:22:22 PM »
Give people what is true and good without hypocrisy and they will stay. (As for popular culture, the Church has always been at odds with it. It is unfortunate that some have swapped a generic 1950s-ish culture for Christian culture. This may have happened because there were few hermits around practicing radical ascesis.)

I agree with this.  Hypocrisy is Christianity's biggest issue, IMHO.  Even Gandhi once said that he liked Christ but didn't care for His Christians.  Christianity as a whole does not do a consistent job of articulating what is right from what is wrong so it's easy to see why people fall away and will not return. 

I also think another reason is that many churches are letting the culture dictate to them rather than vice versa.  For a lot of young kids I know who are involved in their respective churches, they do all the same activities as kids outside of the church.  What's the difference?  Maybe a prayer here and there, but it's essentially the same activity as secular group or club.  If church is just an extension of the everyday culture, why even bother with it?  It even extends into worship.  I hear rock n' roll all the time, why go to church to hear the same thing (or at least a very bad imitation of it)?   Making the church into a concert hall only encourages people to fall away.
THe church should be and remain counter-cultural.   

Here's another thing to consider.  Today's kids are always looking for the next high, the next big thing, the next fad.  They get emotionally caught up in what is cool and then when that high fades, they look for another.  The instant gratification that today's youth are accustomed to getting will always dictate to them to always search, never to be still.  It's always about the next big thing.  That issue needs to be addressed on a cultural level and at a parenting level. Kids should be taught that the can't and shouldn't always get what they want.  They need to be taught to be content with what they have.  Perhaps, if this were instilled into them at an early age, maybe even our own Orthodox children will be taught to see the beauty of the Church from just standing still for a second and listening.  Again, IMHO.
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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #63 on: November 10, 2013, 07:06:13 PM »

I also think another reason is that many churches are letting the culture dictate to them rather than vice versa.  For a lot of young kids I know who are involved in their respective churches, they do all the same activities as kids outside of the church.  What's the difference?  Maybe a prayer here and there, but it's essentially the same activity as secular group or club.  If church is just an extension of the everyday culture, why even bother with it?  It even extends into worship.  I hear rock n' roll all the time, why go to church to hear the same thing (or at least a very bad imitation of it)?   Making the church into a concert hall only encourages people to fall away.
THe church should be and remain counter-cultural.   

 
Here's another thing to consider.  Today's kids are always looking for the next high, the next big thing, the next fad.  They get emotionally caught up in what is cool and then when that high fades, they look for another.  The instant gratification that today's youth are accustomed to getting will always dictate to them to always search, never to be still.   It's always about the next big thing.  That issue needs to be addressed on a cultural level and at a parenting level. Kids should be taught that the can't and shouldn't always get what they want.  They need to be taught to be content with what they have.  Perhaps, if this were instilled into them at an early age, maybe even our own Orthodox children will be taught to see the beauty of the Church from just standing still for a second and listening.  Again, IMHO.

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #64 on: November 10, 2013, 07:35:39 PM »
The young might be leaving the Church, but there is always the small group of young devout, traditional, orthodox Christians that are well-educated to defend their Faith, and willing to defend it to the death. At a seminary "Come and See" trip this weekend, I met these kind of fellow young folk, and boy, was I happy. You have no idea how much of an experience it is to be surrounded by solid, like-minded Catholics, all with the same burning desire as you to do God's will and preserve and defend the Tradition of the Church against heresy. I felt like I was amongst kin more than with my actual kin. If this is the new generation of the Church, fear not; there is hope yet.
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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #65 on: November 10, 2013, 08:21:10 PM »
They're leaving, but will they stay gone?

I am only speaking from anecdote and not research, but based on observations of my high school cohort, people stop going to church around 18, have some fun in their 20s, have kids, get married, get to their 30s and start going back to church.
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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #66 on: November 10, 2013, 09:25:03 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.
I have read or heard from many who have.

Where? On the internet?

You realize that, contrary to popular belief, explicit atheists who read Dawkins and stuff are actually an extremely small minority in America, like even smaller than Orthodoxy in America? Most irreligious people in America aren't irreligious because the New Atheists are stealing their souls or whatever, but they're irreligious because they feel that religion is irrelevant to them, or unsatisfying, or that they become so busy in their lives that they forget about it.

The very tiny minority of explicit New Atheists in America all congregate via the internet because it's the one way they can communicate, making their population appear to be bigger than it actually is.

Dawkins is not America's bogeyman.

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #67 on: November 10, 2013, 10:06:26 PM »

Dawkins is not America's bogeyman.
I know athiests who wish he would go away.
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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #68 on: November 11, 2013, 07:56:54 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.
I have read or heard from many who have.

Where? On the internet?

You realize that, contrary to popular belief, explicit atheists who read Dawkins and stuff are actually an extremely small minority in America, like even smaller than Orthodoxy in America? Most irreligious people in America aren't irreligious because the New Atheists are stealing their souls or whatever, but they're irreligious because they feel that religion is irrelevant to them, or unsatisfying, or that they become so busy in their lives that they forget about it.

The very tiny minority of explicit New Atheists in America all congregate via the internet because it's the one way they can communicate, making their population appear to be bigger than it actually is.

Dawkins is not America's bogeyman.
Both Internet and general conversation.  I think you have some good reasons that the young are not in Church, but I still think some young are also influenced by the more vocal atheists.  We should not stereotype generations too much.

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #69 on: November 11, 2013, 08:24:00 PM »
I've met lots of (vocal) young atheists, and very few have even heard of Dawkins and co.
I have read or heard from many who have.

Where? On the internet?

You realize that, contrary to popular belief, explicit atheists who read Dawkins and stuff are actually an extremely small minority in America, like even smaller than Orthodoxy in America? Most irreligious people in America aren't irreligious because the New Atheists are stealing their souls or whatever, but they're irreligious because they feel that religion is irrelevant to them, or unsatisfying, or that they become so busy in their lives that they forget about it.

The very tiny minority of explicit New Atheists in America all congregate via the internet because it's the one way they can communicate, making their population appear to be bigger than it actually is.

Dawkins is not America's bogeyman.
This.

Add to the fact atheism is unpersuasive outside of the internet...
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #70 on: November 11, 2013, 09:33:21 PM »
I think Fundamentalism, narrow-minded dogmatics, and modernity in general is the problem. It's easy to go on the internet and see the massacre of people in Syria. I think these things alienate people to unbelief.

General ignorance about religion and spirituality is also prominent among unbelievers. The refer to 'religion' as a monolith, as if, like the Relativist classes tell us, that 'all religions are the same'. I think unbelievers tend to see religion in a monochrome glass.

For example, the Crusades is a common polemic against the evil of 'religion' although it wasn't really reflective of world religion in general, or of the Orthodox Church specifically. But I have seen it used as a polemical point anyway.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 09:35:44 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #71 on: November 11, 2013, 09:54:57 PM »
For example, the Crusades is a common polemic against the evil of 'religion' although it wasn't really reflective of world religion in general, or of the Orthodox Church specifically. But I have seen it used as a polemical point anyway.

In a way, that's our fault.  We have to do a better job of getting the word out on who we are and what we've always stood for and not allow ourselves to be tarred with a generic "Christian" brush.  For example, H.G. Bishop Antonious Marcos and the Coptic missionaries in sub-Saharan African have always made a point to make it very clear that the Coptic Church is an indigenous African Church and had nothing to do with - and does not endorse in any way - the European "missions" associated with brutal and discriminatory colonial regimes.  The result has been exponential growth of the Coptic Church throughout the continent.

Whenever somebody brings up the conquistadors reading their ridiculous Requerimiento from the deck of a ship - out of earshot of the Natives and in a language they couldn't understand - before heading ashore to rape and pillage the populace I always feel obligated to respond with the icon of authentic Christian witness provided by St. Herman and St. Innocent of Alaska.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 10:03:14 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #72 on: November 11, 2013, 10:04:04 PM »
In a way, that's our fault.  We have to do a better job of getting the word out on who we are and what we've always stood for and not allow ourselves to be tarred with a generic "Christian" brush.

It's called being a Christian.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #73 on: November 11, 2013, 10:08:15 PM »
It's called being a Christian.

Please elaborate.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline brastaseptim

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #74 on: November 11, 2013, 10:14:53 PM »
Personally, I think the main problem is there are two strains of thought in today's secular society- you have being "Christian"- that is, the crazy, gay/youth/woman/everyone else-hating bunch that spend their time in a dusty old church singing dusty old hymns in dusty old dresses, and won't step down from their "backwards" principles, and are viewed as intolerant; then you have the "Christians" lower-case, the radical, hip, contemporary ones who profess to be gung-ho about God, love everybody, go to church once a week, but are willing to "tolerantly" put aside their own principles in order to "love" their neighbour. With stereotypes like these, can we be surprised young people are falling away?
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #75 on: November 11, 2013, 10:21:21 PM »
Following Antonious' good post: We had an older Mexican lady and her Anglo husband at the liturgy this week in Las Cruces (the first one ever in that town). They specifically mentioned that they were interested in the COC in part because it is a church of indigenous people, unconnected to any colonial forces. The lady mentioned that it was preserved in her family that some of her ancestors had been Jews who were forcibly converted to Catholicism at some point. You could tell she was still upset about it, and very disillusioned with her past in the RCC. She also told Abouna Marcos "I have an uncle who looks just like you! It's amazing! You could be twins!" :) They said they hoped that we could have more liturgies in Las Cruces in the future so that they could come back. Abouna gave them a copy of the Agpeya to take home and a blessing. You could tell they really liked the whole experience of the liturgy, though I felt bad that the husband could not finish his coffee because people were mobbing him with "It's so nice to have you here"s and "It was great meeting you"s. Hahaha. Copts. ;D

Anyway, I don't see why it should be any different with young people. If they've been soured on Church or Christianity in the past due to hypocrisy, show them how you're different by sticking to your traditions in dogma and worship unselfconsciously and without deviance. It's easy to put all of Christianity in one basket when you don't know what it is actually about. I'm afraid that many people (Orthodox people included) are minimalist in this way that doesn't give those who might be struggling any reason or resources to hang on. They simply hear over and over that their Church is the true Church (something which every particular denomination says), but don't see it behaving like it is. I don't know if anyone else has mentioned it already, but it's also important to note that many polls which highlight the rise in "Atheism" also lump together all non-affiliated, non-religious, and "spiritual, but not religious" in with atheists, making it seem like these are all essentially the same thing. I don't believe they are. I have many, many friends who are not particularly religious and do not go to church who also don't profess atheism. That's most of my peers, actually (I'm in my early 30s; that may or may not fit any particular person's definition of "young" ;)). These are probably a much larger number in the world than we realize (precisely because they also tend to be the least vocal about their beliefs), and these are the ones we should be working much harder to reach, in addition to those who used to believe but fell away for various reasons.

Offline Math lover

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #76 on: November 12, 2013, 05:41:52 PM »
Prosperity leads people to feel they don't need God.
I have also remarked that many atheists are just unwilling to believe, because believing means being conscious of Divine reward and punishment, so it's easier to not believe, and in order to convince themselves, they try to act as smarter than the rest.
Some people just are atheists to think they are smart (maybe due to a lack of self-esteem).
As for going to religious places, I rarely go to the mosque, I pray at home. Not everybody is willing to go to places of worship every week.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #77 on: November 12, 2013, 06:23:16 PM »
Prosperity leads people to feel they don't need God.
I have also remarked that many atheists are just unwilling to believe, because believing means being conscious of Divine reward and punishment, so it's easier to not believe, and in order to convince themselves, they try to act as smarter than the rest.
Some people just are atheists to think they are smart (maybe due to a lack of self-esteem).
As for going to religious places, I rarely go to the mosque, I pray at home. Not everybody is willing to go to places of worship every week.

It's not just prosperity, but Materialism. If the material is all you know, that is what you will worship.
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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #78 on: November 12, 2013, 06:27:39 PM »


Parents need to take their children to Liturgy consistently.  If every Sunday is too difficult, then every other Sunday. 

 This book, Brandwashed, describes how corporations try to get children at a very young age to be exposed and hooked on their product for life.
https://exploreb2b.com/articles/five-marketing-takeaways-from-brandwashed
http://www.npr.org/2011/10/23/141470152/products-r-us-are-we-brandwashed

I'm not saying we need to brandwash our children, but this does show that what the child is exposed to at an early age affects his/her preferences for life.  If you don't take your babies and little children to liturgy consistently, they aren't exposed to the sound of the chant, the smell of the incense, the flickering candles, the icons, the feeling of belonging with a body of believers in Jesus Christ, the reverence and attention as the Gospel is proclaimed.....

Churches also need to provide some affirming and fun groups for children to hang out with their peers in an Orthodox setting.  Sort of like what Liza has described that she does for the children she teaches at her church. 

I think there also needs to be some projects kids can get  involved in, such as collecting supplies for the needy,  doing yard work for elderly, and so on.   People today are so lost and if they feel they are helping out others and doing important work, it makes them see the need to be spiritually engaged and to not be affected by the materialistic world.

Turn the tv off and limit the devices (Ipod, etc....) and get the kids out into nature.  Hiking, canoing, boating, camping..... For some reason I feel more connected to God out in his creation.......

Read, read, read to your kids!   Get them books and stories that support Orthodoxy...... Talk with them about what they are reading.


Well, those are my ideas......

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #79 on: November 13, 2013, 12:16:51 AM »
A lot of young go through a phase when they will rebel no matter how correct or right the Church will be.  We just need to plant the seed and keep loving them.

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.  These kids are hostile.  Imo, it's not just worse right now--it's different.  Hence that whole "Matrix" sensation I get every time I leave my apt.  I think we're well-beyond the point at which this can be chalked up to normal teen rebellion and teen angst.  It's almost like The Children of the Corn out there.  No lie.

Have you considered that they might be seeing you that way?

I can't imagine how.

That's probably why you have such a low opinion of young people.

I've already stated why I have such a low opinion of young people.  Saying that in the previous context doesn't really make sense.  I can't imagine why young people might be seeing me the way that I see them, and so that would cause me to have a low opinion of young people?  Nonsensical.  That's not even a complete thought. 

My point was that the very fact that you can't imagine why any young people might see you as hostile, despite a very openly negative view of the young, might have something to do with why they would act that way around you.
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Offline FormerReformer

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #80 on: November 13, 2013, 12:21:53 AM »
A lot of young go through a phase when they will rebel no matter how correct or right the Church will be.  We just need to plant the seed and keep loving them.

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.  These kids are hostile.  Imo, it's not just worse right now--it's different.  Hence that whole "Matrix" sensation I get every time I leave my apt.  I think we're well-beyond the point at which this can be chalked up to normal teen rebellion and teen angst.  It's almost like The Children of the Corn out there.  No lie.

Have you considered that they might be seeing you that way?

I can't imagine how.

That's probably why you have such a low opinion of young people.

I've already stated why I have such a low opinion of young people.  Saying that in the previous context doesn't really make sense.  I can't imagine why young people might be seeing me the way that I see them, and so that would cause me to have a low opinion of young people?  Nonsensical.  That's not even a complete thought.  

My point was that the very fact that you can't imagine why any young people might see you as hostile, despite a very openly negative view of the young, might have something to do with why they would act that way around you.

I'm torn. On the one hand, the part of me that thinks 15 was just yesterday completely agrees with you. On the other hand, 15 year olds these days need a good slap across the face. Their music is too darn loud (dubstep is crap. Why can't they listen to good ol' Wu-Tang Clan, OutKast, and Goodie Mobb?), and they need to get off my lawn.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 12:23:01 AM by FormerReformer »
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Offline Psalti Boy

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #81 on: November 13, 2013, 01:13:59 AM »
Maybe it's something to be said about what many kids are seeing or not seeing in their parents. If kids don't see a sense of urgency in Christian living through their parents then why should they think its important.
True, IMHO

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #82 on: November 13, 2013, 02:05:38 AM »
If there is a drastic difference between what's happening with kids today and what always has, and I'm still pondering that, I would say it's related to higher levels of educations and much higher levels of mass media. This meaning that any messages including those which are not in line with Christian ideals are not only much more widely available but also that more people have the educational capacity to understand them.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #83 on: November 13, 2013, 09:31:40 AM »
If there is a drastic difference between what's happening with kids today and what always has, and I'm still pondering that, I would say it's related to higher levels of educations and much higher levels of mass media. This meaning that any messages including those which are not in line with Christian ideals are not only much more widely available but also that more people have the educational capacity to understand them.

One of the differences I would note is that the sort of generation-spanning popular culture which sometimes served, in former days, to bind old and young together is now largely nonexistent.  For example, I think that FormerReformer and I must be about the same age and ran in similar circles [though his tastes seem to veer more towards the southern  ;)], but while I enjoyed my Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and Brand Nubian, I was also very much up on my Mom's Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, and Chaka Khan.  Not only that, but while I loved my Transformers and G.I. Joe, I also grew up watching just as many Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck from the World War II era.  I made a Danny Thomas spit-take joke in one of the other threads, and I sure wasn't around when that first aired, but I didn't always run things in my house (like some kids seem to today) so sometimes I had to sit through stuff the older folks wanted to watch that I might not have chosen.  Now, popular culture is so transient that there's no common frame of reference.  Kids don't have to listen to their Mom's music anymore - or become familiar with her old tv shows- because if she puts it on and they don't like it, they can fling on the old iPod or watch something else on their tablet.  Back in the day, if you made a joke about the "little man from the draft board" three generations in the room could laugh together.  Now, not so much.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Why are young leaving the church, what can be done about it?
« Reply #84 on: November 13, 2013, 09:34:46 AM »
I've already stated why I have such a low opinion of young people.

Is it because some teens are discontented, afraid and roll their eyes...

Definitely.  That's been since the beginning of time.  However, it's different right now.  We have other people planting seeds.  I think it's showing in their demeanor.  Anger, frustration, resentment, hopelessness and despair, and that annoying eye-rolling thing that makes me want to slap a cat.

...or is it because you're grumpy and afraid of getting old?

1) You don't know if I'm grumpy.  Everyone gets grumpy in threads on internet forums, especially when they have to keep finding brand new ways to explain points that have already been repeatedly explained.
2) You don't know I'm afraid of getting old, and who would be on the list of people who are not afraid of getting old?  Saying either way makes no sense.

I'm not the only one trying to figure out why young people are so mean, as should be apparent by all the news stories trying to figure out this same thing.  The current generation and the one coming up are MEAN.  Here's a laundry list of news sites trying to figure out what why--not whether--WHY young people are getting mean.  Many of these stories cite the results of studies conducted, though I have no idea why any organization or scientific body would expend time and money to conduct studies that proves what everyone who isn't young can already very plainly see, which is that young people are getting mean:

Too Cruel for School
Study: College Kids Are Getting Meaner
Are Girls Getting Meaner?
Are Children Getting Meaner Younger?
Are Kids Getting Meaner at a Younger Age?
Are Kids Getting Meaner?
Wolf-Pack Teen Bullying Case: Is America Getting Meaner?
Are Girls Getting Meaner at a Younger Age?
Kids Are Getting Meaner
So Many Mean Kids: Why Parents Need to go Back to Basics

They're attributing it to everything from weight to TV to video games--nothing new there--but regardless of the reason, everybody's noticing it.  Except young people, of course.  Why are so many people noticing it to the point that they're trying to figure out why it's happening?  Not whether it's happening, but why, because 'whether' isn't even a consideration.  

Personally, I attribute it to something else and I've already stated what that something else is:  we're grooming our kids at a younger and younger age for debauchery and addiction.  Why are we going to show them porn, violence, drug use, drunks, laughing at beer commercials and bongs, and then somehow expect 1) that nothing can possibly go wrong with that, and 2) that any kid raised in that, by that, around that, and finally accepting that and emulating that, would actually consider going to church??  

All that crap is 'the culture of death,' and atheism is a constant thread running through all of those things.  They teach kids that they aren't here for any special reason, let alone a higher purpose, that there is no God and you only believe in one if you're stupid, and that the only purpose of life is to get drunk, high, and laid.  That's the mentality.  Turn on the TV, there it is.  Turn on the radio, there it is.  Read a newspaper, magazine, or book, and there it is, there it is, there it is.

And we want to know why kids are leaving the church???


I can find the same number of websites tracking statistics on teen suicides and how the rates are going up--not down.  

So here's your culture of death:

We're making our kids mean
We're making our kids turn their backs on God
And we're making our kids kill themselves.  


Any questions?





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