More than previous generations, 20- and 30- somethings are abandoning the faith. But why?Excerpted from The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church, by Drew Dyck. The rest of the article is just as interesting.
When I ask church people, I receive some variation of this answer: moral compromise. A teenage girl goes off to college and starts to party. A young man moves in with his girlfriend. Soon the conflict between belief and behavior becomes unbearable. Tired of dealing with a guilty conscience and unwilling to abandon their sinful lifestyles, they drop their Christian commitment. They may cite intellectual skepticism or disappointments with the church, but these are smokescreens designed to hide the reason. "They change their creed to match their deeds," as my parents would say.
I think there's some truth to this—more than most young leavers would care to admit. The Christian life is hard to sustain in the face of so many temptations. Over the past year, I've conducted in-depth interviews with scores of ex-Christians. Only two were honest enough to cite moral compromise as the primary reason for their departures. Many experienced intellectual crises that seemed to conveniently coincide with the adoption of a lifestyle that fell outside the bounds of Christian morality.
Bottom line for the faithful: "He that thinks he standeth, take heed, lest he fall." Playing around with adultery may seem like the exercise of adulthood. Overindulgence of the new-found privileges of coming of age may feel heady and grown up and may not appear all that threatening. But beware. Intentional sin always greives the Holy Spirit and often leads to the very sin against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven. Take care, indeed, lest you lose the gift of faith that you were given at your baptism.