Friday, October 06, 2006

In case you were wondering if continuity was only a Jewish issue:

Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers

That's right. The doom-sayers who regularly predict that Judaism will end with our generation because we're not dues paying members of the JCC have their analogues in Christian megachurches. What's behind this sudden panic? Just like the inter-marry scare of the early 90's, which was spurred by an exaggerated estimation of how many Jews intermarry, "[the evangelical] alarm has been stoked by a highly suspect claim that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be “Bible-believing Christians” as adults." Holy shoddy statistics, Batman! And just as the Organized Jewish Community is attempting to address the loss of Jewish youth through cultural programming, the evangelical community is attempting to address their diminishing numbers through cultural programming. Teen Mania, a two day evangelical rock concert attracts two million young evangelists. Can you imagine if we held an event that attracted TWO MILLION TEENAGERS? Two million. And that's diminishing numbers.

In case you thought the similarity ended there, the young evangelists sound just like the young Jews that I heard speak at the Oyhoo Conference. According to Lauren Sandler, who wrote
“Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement,” (Viking, 2006) evangelical youth are not disassociating from the faith, but from the Organized Evangelical Community, the institutional church. In the New York Times article, she said, "This generation is not about church... They always say, ‘We take our faith outside the four walls.’ For a lot of young evangelicals, church is a rock festival, or a skate park or hanging out in someone’s basement.”

Sounds so very familiar. Which reminds me, anyone free to see So Called this weekend?

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