Saturday, August 28, 2010

Three Quarters Christian

I received a tweet from CNN yesterday about an article on more teens becoming “Fake Christians”. It was a very interesting article to say the least. Mostly because it is a trend that I have been watching for a long while now. While the article’s focus is on teenagers. It should be, by default, applied to adults, as adults are responsible for shaping, teaching of young impressionable minds. Here are some quotes from the article.

“Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.”

I simply cannot agree more with this statement. It applies to American adults as well as teens, quite simply because teens are being led in this fashion of “new age” Christianity.

“Dean drew her conclusions from what she calls one of the most depressing summers of her life. She interviewed teens about their faith after helping conduct research for a controversial study called the National Study of Youth and Religion.

They have a lot to say. They can talk about money, sex and their family relationships with nuance.--Kenda Creasy Dean, author

The study, which included in-depth interviews with at least 3,300 American teenagers between 13 and 17, found that most American teens who called themselves Christian were indifferent and inarticulate about their faith.”

This is true for many adult Christians as well. Many Christians I have dialogued with on the subject of Faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, cannot articulate the principles of faith as it taught by the Word. Most of the time, I get a “story” of what Christ  has done for them in terms of their quality of life.

“The study included Christians of all stripes -- from Catholics to Protestants of both conservative and liberal denominations. Though three out of four American teenagers claim to be Christian, fewer than half practice their faith, only half deem it important, and most can't talk coherently about their beliefs, the study found.”

This trend I’ve been witnessing is not limited to a certain segment of Christianity, but has become a cohesive group of denominations with different practices and beliefs, but with the similar “foundation” of this “moralistic therapeutic deism”. It defines what I call the Culture of Christianity. Again, I cannot disagree with this quote in the least.

Many teenagers thought that God simply wanted them to feel good and do good -- what the study's researchers called "moralistic therapeutic deism."

“Dean, a United Methodist Church minister who says parents are the most important influence on their children's faith, places the ultimate blame for teens' religious apathy on adults.”

“She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.”

“But it's not enough to be radical -- parents must explain "this is how Christians live," she says.”

To read the article in full click here.