Friday, July 30, 2010

Teens, Young Adults Still Leaving Churches in droves

A survey done earlier this year for Lifeway Christian Resources found that teens and young adults are continuing to exit the formal Christian Church setting in large numbers. This has been happening for over ten years.

The phone survey, with 1200 people between 18 and 29 years of age, found the following, and more:
  • 65% rarely or never pray with others. 38% almost never pray by themselves either.
  • 65% rarely or never attend worship services.
  • 67% don't read the Bible or sacred texts.
  • 50% are unsure Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
A different study of the Millenium generation by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life revealed 68% did not mention faith, religion or spirituality when asked what was important in their lives. However, 31% pray by themselves once a day. 

Who are they praying to? They say they are "more spiritual than religious." Is their God full of grace and forgiveness, who gives them what they need, or is it some type of Answer Guy who’s there if they want to ask Him for something good that they want?

Reasons for the trend may include:
  • Technical advances in computers, special effects, and methods of communication have sped up so quickly since 2000 that most churches just can’t keep up with what would attract teens and young adults in order to draw them into the message of what Jesus did for us (John 3:16).
  • Gen X, Gen Y and the Millenial kids are being taught eight hours a day in school about diversity - you must tolerate everyone and everything they do; but also the contradictory message that “it’s all about you.” Take care of number one.
  • They’re constantly hearing the Bible is taboo and that if Christians disagree with anyone else’s choices, we are acting “hatefully.”
  • Their college professors are 53-75% liberal atheists by most expert accounts, and some even outwardly criticize Christian students.
  • They're being told they don't need to listen to their parents' ideas.
  • They see people in church being “human” – i.e., having faults or even sinning, which they’re being told by the world makes Christians “hypocrites.”
  • They’re fed watered down sermons to attract seekers with shallow messages.
  • Their church leaders’ concentration has been on making the music more attractive than the message is convicting.
  • They’ve never been faced with negativity, criticism or losing, because the pop psychology of the past 30 years has said “don’t hurt children’s egos,” so we’ve built a bunch of egomaniacal, narcissistic kids who go ballistic at their first rejection.
But the Number One reason:
Is that they haven't been taught “religion” and “faith” are not the same thing. Faith and true worship, and understanding who God can be to them, have nothing to do with the outward trappings of man-made denominational “religion.” Faith and true worship must be in the heart.

Families have dropped the ball on biblical, faith based training in the home, because many of the parents are still young enough to have been through the same education system as described above; and older parents feel threatened by the new concepts of “Children’s Rights.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up..."

And Ephesians 6:1-4: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

(Verses are NIV, bolding mine).

Source of Phone Survey statistics: "72% of Millennials more spiritual than religious" Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today, 4/27/10.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Author's Corner: "Escaping the Cauldron" by Kristine McGuire

What would prompt a woman who had been a Christian for twenty-nine years to abandon her faith and embrace the occult?

Escaping the Cauldron reveals the view of a former Christian Witch and Medium.

Part biography and part biblical study, Escaping the Cauldron is author Kristine McGuire's testimony of how God saved her from eight years of a “Christian” occult lifestyle. The book offers a clear Biblical viewpoint throughout its short, riveting chapters.

Kristine explains:

"I went from being a committed, although perhaps legalistic, Christian to becoming a witch, medium, and ghost hunter until God restored my faith and life. The book is also a Biblical study which examines the current pop-cultural interest in the occult (in particular ghosts, hauntings, and mediums), and how this interest is affecting Christians and their beliefs about the supernatural."

Why call it Escaping the Cauldron?

"This is actually the first book in a series, “What Christians Need to Know About the Occult”—a series of collections written from my former experiences as a witch, developing psychic abilities as a medium, and ghost hunter. Although the book includes ghost hunting and other paranormal activities, I chose "Escaping the Cauldron" as the main title because witchcraft was truly my entry into the arena of the occult."

What do you think is the most important chapter of the book?

"I think there are several important chapters, but Spiritual Warfare and How Should Christians Respond are the two which bring together everything discussed in the previous chapters, in the hope of helping the reader understand their authority in Jesus Christ. This leads the way to a ready defense and response for any kind of paranormal or supernatural event they may experience in their life as a Christian."

What do you hope to accomplish?

"I hope to equip Christians with information about the occult. I pray the church will acknowledge the presence of this spiritual world around us, and listen to people with stories or claims of paranormal experiences without dismissing them immediately. When the church refuses to listen or offer any Biblical assistance, many people are forced to seek help elsewhere. This generally means seeking out ghost hunters, mediums, and psychics...

I also hope to encourage Christians who may be questioning their faith to seek a deeper relationship with God, especially if they are stuck in a form of legalism. Our answers truly can be found in Jesus Christ."

Escaping the Cauldron is available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon, or can be found in paperback and E-Book editions at Kristine’s blog site: Kristine ReMixed and Lulu Publishing.

Kristine is a Christian wife and mother who works with her husband, Thom, through Big Fish Ministries. Beside writing for her blog, she’s a Biblical Counselor and featured columnist for the website Positively Feminine.

The writer of this blog, 20-20 Faith Sight, Sheryl Young, has also written a book, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People. See right sidebar for info.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

ACLU caught red-handed in Free Speech case

ACLU attorneys in Florida have been naughty. They’ve pursued the defendants in a Santa Rosa School District case, while hiding the fact they had no plaintiffs to represent.

The court should have been informed, because having no client would make the ACLU’s position moot and could have changed the outcome of the case.

The case: The ACLU had approached the Santa Rosa School District on behalf of two atheist students who alleged that Christian teachers were forcefully witnessing during class time and within class lessons. 

“Evidence” of this was subjective and sorely lacking. Still, the School District was persuaded to enter into a “Consent Decree” forcing school personnel to sign the Decree saying they would cease and desist any Christian free speech - anywhere on school grounds, even free time. The case could have ended there. 

But the ACLU then demanded that the Christian school personnel should not even be able to pray at off-campus, privately sponsored events.

Soon, two school administrators found themselves facing a lawsuit for praying at an off-campus event. They were criminally charged for being "in violation" of the decree.

A school district employee who asked her husband to pray at an event, because she wasn’t allowed, was still included in the suit because – after all – he was her husband.

The three were cleared of all charges, but...
The unlawful ordinance was still being enforced. It was so worded that the ACLU and School District could keep trying to find charges against teachers, other school personnel, students, volunteers and even outside associates for not following demands like these:

-The school board could tell local pastors how to seat audiences for church services or events involving any school faculty or students.
-Students couldn't use faith expressions like “God Bless” in any situation.
-School personnel couldn't be seen praying, even to themselves – anywhere in public. Even on their own time.
-Teachers couldn't answer parents’ e-mails if anything about God was in the parents' text; nor could parents and teachers have faith-led conversations.
-School volunteers couldn't answer any questions regarding religion.
-Christian groups weren’t allowed to rent school facilities for private religious functions if it involves benefiting the students in any way.

A snag in the case for the ACLU:
By this point in time, the atheist students had graduated, and therefore no longer had legal standing as plaintiffs. Without clients, by law, the ACLU should have been barred from continuing litigation. But the ACLU never informed court officials.

Attorneys for the defendants found out and brought it to the court's attention. In March, the Court demanded that the ACLU explain why they continued pursuing enforcement of the Decree.

The defendants now have a case against the Santa Rosa School District for illegalities in the decree and violations against the students’ and teachers’ First Amendment freedom of religious expression.

An injunction against the further persistence and enforcement of the Consent Decree has been requested.

As these types of things happen more and more around the country, we as Christians can stand firm and pray. While peacefully exerting the avenues we have to petition the government with our grievances (another First Amendment right), we can know that God is with us.

"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say" (Luke 12:11-12, NIV).

More information with links to the case can be seen in my previous articles at The Underground Online Magazine, here and here.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Author's Corner: "Do Babies go to Heaven?" by Jack Wellman

What happens to babies, infants, young children and still borns if they die before having a chance to know Jesus?

When several of Jack Wellman’s friends, including a pastor, experienced losing a baby, his heart was stirred to research the Bible on this topic and then write a book to help them and other people everywhere cope with this unimaginable grief. 

The resulting book, Do Babies Go to Heaven? also examines whether mentally challenged people, kids with special needs, even pets and people in vegetative states can experience Christ – and also Why God Allows Suffering (the book’s secondary question).

“The answers are in the Bible,” Jack says. He was already a writer when this was laid on his heart.

“I actually began writing from an interest in Apologetics. But then I wanted to establish evidence for Creation and indisputable evidence backing Jesus Christ and His resurrection. I wanted to do this through the disciplines of history, biology, archeology and other logical, philosophical avenues.”

Wellman, a father and grandfather, desires for children to come to know Christ as their Savior. He knows that approximately 84% of children drop out of church once they leave home. So one way he tries to instill a love for God and Jesus is by being a longtime Sunday school teacher of third and fourth graders at his church.

After writing his first book to debunk evolution, (Blind Chance or Intelligent Design?, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible), he gave copies to all his former students who were about to graduate high school and go off to college. Most public colleges are nearly wholly devoted to the theory of evolution and the discrediting of creationism. 

But he also just has a general desire for people of all ages to know the one true God and find their way to Him. He works with the homeless, helping to provide all kinds of services, and is passionate for telling people the Gospel in every situation possible. 

Do Babies Go to Heaven is available here at, and Blind Chance or Intelligent Design here or as a Kindle book. You can also get to know Jack at, his blogsite or his column at Associated, which is where we first met and discovered each others’ writing.

The author of this blog, 20-20 Faith Sight, Sheryl Young, has also written a book, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People. See column at near right for information.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Condoms for Massachusetts Elementary School Students

This is an opinion editorial related to my exclusive Associated Content News article, Condoms for Massachusetts First Graders - Step Right Up, Kids

The Provincetown, Massachusetts’ School Board decision to give condoms to elementary school students – beginning in first grade – shows how easily school boards are influenced by the political correctness of “Children’s Rights.”

“Children’s Rights” movements started out of concern for child abuse, but have now extended to a child’s “right” to make all their own decisions. Of course, we all know that children as young as five have been around long enough to know what’s good for them. Some "children's rights" philosophies are:

-Kids don’t need to listen to their parents.
-Kids can do whatever feels good to them at any given time.
-Kids shouldn’t allow the influence of older peoples’ attitudes.
-Kids don’t need discipline.
-In fact, discipline should be avoided at every opportunity. No negatives. No criticism. We may hurt their little egos. This is why our children, when they get out into the world of jobs, can’t stand the littlest bit of critique.
-Even crazy statements like the one by Provincetown’s school superintendent stating the condoms must be distributed without parental knowledge to honor the children’s privacy.

Parents are all made out to be ogres who are going to beat and abuse their children. So kids, don’t tell your parents anything anymore. 

Thinly veiled temptations into sexual activity:
This school board decision is an example of the thinly veiled attempt to encourage children into the most dangerous sexual activity. It is a ploy invented by adults at children’s expense to sell more condoms and abortions and promote ultra-liberal sexual agendas—including the move to desensitize society to the dangers of pedophilia and child pornography. 

There is little proof that the last three decades of early sex education has prevented early pregnancy or the spread of AIDS. In fact most studies, like the ones cited in Part 1, show just the opposite. Kids who have taken sex ed courses are more likely to have sex.

The problem is, the school boards across the country are in the grips of outrageously liberal organizations who are allowed to walk in to schools to teach the kids about sex. They’ve bought the theory that kids are having sex younger and younger, and they need protection.

And why are kids having sex younger and younger? Because of early sex education in school! It’s not preventing sex…it’s encouraging it.

A 2010 Survey conducted for Seventeen Magazine, a fairly liberal teen girls’ magazine, interviewed male teens and young men 15-22 (“That’s What He Said…What Guys Think about Sex, Love, Contraception and Relationships”).

Among the things they said influenced them to experiment sexually at an early age was sex education (p. 7 of the study). More than three quarters said there is too much pressure from society to have sex (p. 3).

Carol Everett Shaw, once an owner of six abortion clinics, testified to Focus on the Family* that when she worked with Planned Parenthood, she was trained to go into public schools (in first and second grade level, sometimes even kindergarten) and begin discrediting parents to the children.  

She was trained to teach the children to make fun of the names their parents gave to sexual organs, and that parents were stupid for making up words.

Graduating to third, fourth and fifth grade, she was trained to begin influencing the children that their parents were too old-fashioned to know anything, and that it was okay to experiment sexually.

All this with the goal that Planned Parenthood explained up-front to their trainees: Have this mentality instilled in the children by age 13. If more girls turned up pregnant, more girls will show up at our clinics for abortions.

Pray for your children and grandchildren! They're being attacked from all sides by adults who care only for their own agendas and wallets. Most school boards and school administrators are ill-informed about the various studies mentioned herein. You can get more information to help inform them. See:
Boys and Sex;  
Condoms for Massachusetts First Graders (News version);
Teens, Pre-Teens and the “Hooking Up” Culture.

*Carol Everett Interview: “Sex Education and Our Children”, Focus on the Family taped interview, Dr. James Dobson, Carol Everett and Amy Stephens, cassette tape# CS946/15536, © 1995, 1998.  

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Supreme Court: Student groups must admit those who disagree

San Francisco’s Hastings College of Law must now force student groups to permit membership to students who disagree with the group’s philosophy and direction.

The Supreme Court made this decision in a 5-4 ruling (Christian Legal Society v. Martinez). It will no doubt set precedent for similar incidents around the country.

This policy means that religious student groups could quite possibly have to admit people of different faiths or even atheists, Republicans would have to allow Democrats, African American groups may have to admit white supremacists, pro-lifers would have to admit pro-choicers, and etc. Imagine a Jewish group being forced to admit neo-Nazis.

The case involved the Christian Legal Society’s on-campus student group. But, according to a report at The Underground Online Magazine, the Supreme Court did not address whether the school was particularly targeting the Christian Legal Society—which would ironically be an act of discrimination in itself.

The ruling states that public universities may supersede a religious student group’s freedom to choose its own leadership.

It’s a ridiculous ruling that shows political correctness running amuck. Our lawmakers and judges are so dense and out of touch that they can’t see this: The only reason people who disagree with a group’s philosophy would want to join that group is to change that philosophy. The person joining really has no interest in that group except to influence from the inside, change or negate the group’s agenda and make the group lose effectiveness in their community.

Case in point: A Christian ministry to the homeless in Tampa Bay, Florida admitted a lady of a different faith on to their Board of Directors. They were forced to do so when she threatened a discrimination suit against them. In the end, they hoped, if she wanted to be on the board, she would help the organization, as she knew from the start it was a Christian group that shared the gospel with those it helped.

This well-known ministry had been feeding, sheltering and clothing homeless people and those with drug addictions for over 50 years. They had a city-wide banquet every year where people they’d helped gave testimony that finding the Lord had changed their lives for the better, and thanked the ministry before an audience of various faiths.

But within a year of her membership on the board, this lady exerted various types of pressure within and outside the ministry, and influenced votes in the direction that they should no longer share the Gospel of Christ with the people they helped.

When the ministry announced it could no longer call itself a Christian ministry, and could no longer tell the people of the love of Jesus, they lost at least half their private funding, and the lady did nothing to call the people of her own faith into action. Instead, she shortly resigned her position. The organization became financially strapped and lost half their effectiveness in the community. 

It took about three years for people to rally back around and help the organization financially, but they still can't share news of the Bible.
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