Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seven Reasons -- Part 2

Let's now look at two more of Piatt's reasons why young adults leave church.

There's No Natural Bridge to Church. This one's practical and commonsensical: Basically, there's not enough outreach on college campuses, and what little there is can be a guy with a bullhorn. That said, Piatt develops this point in a way that is remarkably selfish: "I could have used support in how to deal with my own finances for the first time. I could have used a built-in network of friends. I would have loved a care package, an invitation for free pizza at the local restaurant or help with my laundry." And Rick Warren -- seriously -- offered potty training courses at his church. Here again, it escapes Piatt that serious discipleship is not about What He Wants. Here's news for him: Christians in the Sudan could use some food, not money. The could use the community support of a worldwide church in their struggle to survive. They've never seen a pizza and their "laundry" is a stagnant pond that cows have pooped in.
This is not to say that the church has not failed Piatt and others in terms of community support. However, all of this is the result of the individualism that Piatt himself also covets. When the emphasis is on self-satisfaction, self-realization, and self-esteem, we shouldn't be surprised when "self" is left by itself.
We're Distracted. Here, too, the shadow of the selfish hangs heavy; Piatt says, "we have so many things competing for our limited time and attention that the passive things that don't offer an immediate 'interrupt' get relegated to the 'later' pile." Say what? What "things"? Television and video games? Getting ahead in the rat race? Buying a new car? Text messaging? This is hard to take seriously from a Western Christian.
Now to be fair, if things like "video games" are replaced by "serving at a soup kitchen," then the line is perfectly valid -- but it also means you're not "distracted," it means you're engaged, which is exactly as it should be.
I'll stop there with a link to an item in Christianity Today that discusses the "juvenilization" of Christianity. If you read this one, you'll get a good idea where the attitude manifested by Piatt came from -- and why it needs to be erased.
The only problem is,  it's so long and requires so much thought that the ones who need to read it most will probably get distracted.


  1. You know I think reading your blog just made a light bulb go off in my head. I've been trying to understand for the longest why so Christians are turning against the Biblical prohibition against homosexuality, and I think your blog provided a highly salient insight. In an age where self fulfillment is the highest value, the idea of someone denying the fulfillment of their sexuality is extremely offensive. Ironically, the Church has all too often played to this modern value of self-fulfillment.It's amazing just what effect culture has on how we live out our Christian faith.

  2. It also explains why our own marriages are failing in the church. It's not about how you can please your spouse but how your spouse is to please you. As one minister I heard once said, girls need to know that Prince Charming has bad breath and he snores loudly. We have sowed the wind of romanticizing marriage and we are reaping the whirlwind.