Friday, May 10, 2013

Ascension, Millennials, and History

Last night was Ascension, the celebration of Jesus ascending into Heaven 40 days after Easter. This being a relatively significant event to Christians because, let's face it, people don't ascend into the sky very often. Attendance at church was sparse. Especially among Millennials, Generation Y, myself being the only one past high school in attendance.

So I thought about it, why do so few young people regularly attend church? The problem is that question is too big and broad to really answer well. I can come up with reasons, the church seems fully of hipocracy, the church seems outdated, there was the sex abuse scandals and the issue of gays. Regardless, there are bigger more statistically significant questions to ask. Have young people always shied away from church? I don't know the answer, but it seems likely. Obviously, the number of Christians has risen and fallen throughout history, perhaps this is just a low point?

When people look at organizations, the ones that have been around longer have usually endured the lowest lows. For an organization of two billion people that has been around 2000 years, there really is not many other things to compare to it.

It is not that low church attendance on a Thursday night is the end of the world, but so many of the things that Christianity advocates are hard to see as anything but beneficial statistically. Low church attendance seems to be a sign that the values of the church are no longer relevant to large numbers of people. Is it better to have one parent or two? Most people would probably agree that two is better. Yet, single parent households are on the rise, and few would argue more single parent households has helped this country develop economically. And that is just one tiny example.

As often happens I'm not proposing any solution or recommendation. We first have to ask the questions before we can go about finding the answers.

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