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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 01-11-2012
Category: Faith related
Why do they leave the church?

Why do especially young people leave the church?

  • The Southern Baptists report that 88% of children leave church never to return.(1)
  • George Barna found that 6 out of 10 active youth stopped being involved in their adult years.(2)
  • A Gallup poll reported a 68% loss during teen and adult years. (3)
  • Seminary survey finds that up to 50% of youth struggle in their faith after university graduation. (4)
  • USA Today reported that 7 out of 10 leave the church by the age of 23. (5)

Professor McKnight of the North Park University in Chicago named a few reasons:

  • Many doubt the idea that God rigidly dictated to the writers of the Bible.
  • They are put off by the apparent contradiction between science (read 'evolution') and the Bible concerning the origin of the universe and life.
  • The hypocritical lives of many believers, especially their sexual conduct, drive many away.
  • They question why God could send so many people to hell?
  • They picture God as a 'cosmic tyrant.' (6)

One can speculate about whether these reasons are valid or not, and try to give solutions. Our opinion is the following:

  • It is unfortunately true that many in the church don't know the Scriptures any more. They might have some very superficial knowledge, but research shows that Bible believers generally know very little about their Book. That has a snowball effect: they don't know the character of God as revealed in history. The Old Testament has become a strange and forgotten book, while it has the most wonderful revelations of God's attributes displayed in His deeds. There are even leaders and pastors that don't understand the heart of God, because they spend too little time with Him. A superficial gospel is preached: accept Jesus, your sins are forgiven, and you go to heaven. Relationship, love, intimacy with Jesus through the Holy Spirit and Scripture, prayer and persistence, are not that popular in our fast paced age. The present generation wants it quick and easy. God is not like that. He is meticulous and not in the least interested in some hasty profession of faith, and when the going gets tough, the tough leave and seldom return. The study of Scripture, especially the large percentage of history, is very important. Many people don't know that the God of the Bible revealed Himself in history. There is no other religion that can boast that. The Holy Spirit is indispensable. Without Him, the Scriptures indeed become a dead heap of letters.
  • In addition, the creation details of Genesis 1 are under a fierce attack. Why do people think that creation in 24 hour slots is so strange? Science has revealed that it is the only logical alternative. The following is one example. The energy source of the body is ATP (this is true of all organisms). ATP is so essential that without it, life ceases (the process used to kill the Jews in the Second World War was to interrupt the forming of ATP, by the poison cyanide). No life can exist for even 30 minutes without ATP. All the reactions in the body need it. There could have been no slow evolution of life without ATP. In addition the ATP motor is extremely complex and could not have developed instantaneously by itself without an intelligent creator who planned and manufactured it. Only fast, supernatural, 24 hour creation makes sense considering the scientific discovery of ATP and the complex ATP motor.
  • That brings us to another point. Many Christians believe that evolution is a side issue. Because their children are in church, they think they will remain in church. The statistics demonstrate otherwise, because they forget that their children are raised in an evolution saturated society. Young people have been indoctrinated that evolution is science and true. The pros and cons are not even discussed. Schools are forced by law to teach it. The goal of evolution is that there is no Creator God. If young people accept that, it leads to rejection of the creation account and eventually of all the Divine miracles in the Bible. They come to believe that the Bible is not the Word of God, but merely a product of man. That eventually results in atheism, which will cause them to miss heaven, and then parents say that evolution has nothing to do with the church. It has everything to do with the church. If there had been no reliable Bible, there would not have been a church and Jesus would have been just another ordinary man. Then there would have been no reason for evolution to present an opposing account of the history of the universe. It would just have been an interesting idea with no value. Today evolution has very little significance in experimental science. Yet it is tremendously successful in opposing the Bible's message. Do you think it is for nothing that the religious instruction of the Bible is banned in so many schools, while they teach evolution? It is all part of the anti-God agenda, designed to fill hell.

Please take part in this battle for the faith (Jude 3). Equip yourself by taking note of what is going on, but first make sure you know that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, despite what many liberal theologians say.


  1. sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc02/newsroom/newspage.asp?ID=261
  2. barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/147
  3. gallup.com/poll/6124/Religiosity-Cycle.aspx
  4. fulleryouthinstitute.org/college-transition
  5. usatoday.com/new/religion/2007-08-06-church-dropouts-N.htm
  6. N Jackson, Talle Verlaat Christen Geloof, Beeld, 2009/05/13.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27