A Year of Deception

YBW-cover-cropG. K. Chesterton said in his book “Orthodoxy” that:

“the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.

Chesterton well understood where Postmodernism was headed and his description of modern man’s inclination to doubt everything is exemplified in the Emergent church movement today. In Emergent circles it is common to have “question and response” sessions; “question and response” rather than “question and answer” because they believe that there are no absolute answers to any of life’s biggest questions. Rachel Held Evens, who has embraced this kind of postmodern theology, is rapidly becoming one of the most popular voices of the Emergent Church and over and over again in her writing she demonstrates the rebel against everything attitude that Chesterton described so well. Her new book, “A year of Biblical Womanhood: How a liberated woman found herself sitting on her roof, covering her head, and calling her husband master” is just one more example. It is rife with examples of poor biblical exegesis, false assumptions, and it appears frequently to be deliberately misleading but, like most of Rachel’s writings, she is consistent in her call to rebel against everything. Trillia Newbell has written an excellent review of Rachel Held Evans latest book and cites many examples from the book itself. She concludes with this thought “This book is not ultimately about manhood and womanhood, headship and submission, or the complementarian and egalitarian debate. At its root this book questions the validity of the Bible.”  I believe she has hit the nail on the head.

The Demise of the Evangelical Church

It is common today to hear “experts” proclaiming the coming crisis facing the evangelical church, a crisis they tell us will be the result of Millennials leaving the church in search of an “authentic” faith elsewhere, a faith that upholds “their values.” We are told that unless the church abandons its “archaic” beliefs and begins to aligns its doctrines with the values of the postmodern culture, that it will inevitably loose the next generation. Tragically those advocating these changes seldom ask questions about the biblical foundation for the doctrinal changes they are advocating. And the new and unorthodox doctrines that we are told to embrace stand almost entirely on a foundation built from anecdotal evidence that, upon examination, seems to be crumbling. The study cited in the following article from the Gospel coalition is just one of a number of recent studies that demonstrate the frailty of the foundation on which these claims stand and it is time for the church to stop reacting, out of fear, to those who proclaim the church’s demise and instead trust that Christ is strong enough to protect a church that remains faithful to him.

Who is Really Leaving the Faith and Why?
by Andrew Hess

faithstatsIt’s likely you’ve heard the news: the sky is falling. Reports have been circulating for a while now that our churches are on the decline and it’s the young people who are to blame. Articles, blogs and even books have been written warning ministry leaders and parents alike, the Millennials are leaving our churches in droves of hundreds and thousands. Intrigued by the implications of a generation giving up on organized religion, we set out to understand who is leaving and why. And what we found was surprising. Many of the most significant and encouraging findings are largely being ignored, while the less accurate and discouraging ones are being emphasized. Focus on the Family talked to respected sociologists of religion and studied the best, nationally-representative studies and found the bad news is not as bad as you might have heard. Our new report, “Millennial Religious Participation and Retention” draws out some very important research for those who are raising and ministering to the next generation Pew Research recently found that 18% of young adults leaving their faith altogether and another 20% are switching from one faith to another. This latter cohort, while leaving individual churches, are not leaving their individual faith. They might be switching to a church across town or to one near their college campus. With more young adults switching than leaving, it’s odd very few are talking about those switching. In fact, many, we suspect, have been counting them along with those who are leaving. Also interesting is the huge difference between conservative, Bible-teaching churches and mainline Protestant churches. The General Social Survey, perhaps the most academically-trusted source for demographic data back through 1972, recently noted a 2.2% decline in mainline churches and a slight 0.6% increase among conservative churches (from 1991 to 2012).

Continued Here

Why are Millennials leaving the church? A response from Trevin Wax

Trevin WaxTrevin Wax’s response to an article by Rachel Held Evans about why “Millennials” are leaving the church separates the rhetoric that’s repeated so frequently by the voices of the Emergent church movement from the reality that the church is really facing. The millennial generation has raised many valid concerns that desperately need to be answered by the church and it is truly time for the church to take the time to understand their concerns and truly seek to provide a biblical response. By remaining silent for far too long, we have allowed the voices of the Emergent church movement, like Rachel Held Evans, to provide all of the answers, answers that are spiritually bankrupt and leading a whole generation away from the truth of the Gospel. It is time for the church to step up and fill this gap.