"You Lost Me": Why teens leave church — UPDATED

Some sobering food for thought on a Sunday night, courtesy Religion News Service and the Barna Group:

Why do young Christians leave the church?

New research by the Barna Group finds they view churches as judgmental, overprotective, exclusive and unfriendly towards doubters. They also consider congregations antagonistic to science and say their Christian experience has been shallow.

The findings, the result of a five-year study, are featured in “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith,” a new book by Barna president David Kinnaman. The project included a study of 1,296 young adults who were current or former churchgoers.

Researchers found that almost three out of five young Christians (59 percent) leave church life either permanently or for an extended period of time after age 15.

One in four 18- to 29-year-olds said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church.” One in three said “Church is boring.”

Clashes between church expectations and youths’ experience of sexuality have driven some away. One in six young Christians said they “have made mistakes and feel judged in church because of them.” And 40 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Catholics said their church’s doctrine on sexuality and birth control is “out of date.”

Read more.

UPDATE: Marcel over at Aggie Catholics has a great post on this topic, with his own insight into the issue, based on his experience.  Check it out.

Comments

  1. Sobering indeed.

    In a different era – the year was 1972 and I left church and in at age 15. I came back 18 years later and here I remain.

    However, I can see why this happens. Some of it has to happen I think, you don’t know what you miss until you go away. However, the factors are so much more profound now I think.

    Is the doctrine out of date or is how we teach it the problem? That’s the money question for me to think about.

  2. I was in the fourth grade when I lost my connection to the church. It happened because I was blessed to attend a school that had many different students with various religious backgrounds, and we enjoyed visiting each other’s houses of worship. The spiritual leaders would always be warm and welcoming to each of us who were visiting. But one day my father changed from the church we’d always attended to a new one. This church was different: When we went up to receive the host, the priest pointed to my Jewish friend and said, “Are you a Christian my child?” When she replied, “No, but I fully respect that the presence of God is in this temple as much as it is in my people’s.”, he responded by saying, “My Go save you from the damnations of Hell…” in a loud voice in front of everyone there. We were both just little kids, and she ran out crying. I received the host like a robot after that and for the first time it held no spiritual fire for me, as I looked into the eyes of the so-called priest who’d done this. Of course today, I have enjoyed meeting my truly spiritual Christians who would despise such an action. But in a world were globalization is the norm, we as a younger generation need spiritual leaders who will guide them towards a spiritual path that recognizes the common humanity shared by all. This doesn’t mean one has to let go of one’s own beliefs. It just means that we need to encourage mutual respect and even appreciation for each other….for example, a Christian isn’t turning his/her back on Christ if he/she appreciates the lessons on compassion that Buddha’s followers cherish. And a Buddhist isn’t turning his/her back on Buddha if he/she appreciates the lessons on love taught by Christ. Muslims say that the Koran states the Divine has sent many teachers over the ages to all parts of the world. Who are we mortals to assume we have learned all that Creator would have us know?
    If Churches would help to prepare their congregations by including lessons such as the Good Samaritan in their services, they would lose less attendance – Especially as the Christian faith’s “air time” seems to be high jacked by the loudest mouths – those selling bigotry or those selling the ridiculous notion that environmentalism is bad because if the earth is polluted faster, the end will arrive sooner, and by default, so will Christ. (I’d love to hear the Franciscans speak up about that warped reasoning! Kudos to the current Pope for pushing for environmental stewardship as a show of gratitude to Creator for creation!) But we need to hear more moderate Christians speaking up against the craziness being attributed to Christ, and need to hear them calling such acts what they are: heresy. THAT would make the younger generations feel that the Church is beginning to listen to current concerns.
    In Dallas, we are using service to help bridge the gaps between interfaith relations via The Memnosyne Foundation’s Interfaith Service Network which has become a recognized ministry by the Presbyterian Church involving the participation of Ismaili Muslims, Catholics, Hindus, Bahai’s, Protestants, Buddhists, Wiccans, Sunni Muslims, Native Americans, and many more. Serving those in need results in not only building bridges of understanding between all demographics, but has resulted in a greater appreciation for their own faith traditions. Community gardens, feeding the hungry, and other real world situations are tangible ways to feel connected to one’s own spiritual path and are a way to honor the great spiritual teachers as well. Involvement in this type of opportunity might be one way to help others to feel connected to their Church as a means for spiritual growth.

  3. Sarah Gregory says:

    I left too, like Fran, also at 15. I returned around 17 years later. Had I not happened upon a place and some people who really earnestly tried to live their faith, especially with “the least among these”, I don’t think I’d have come back.

    As I noted on your FB post, my teenager (13) is wondering why to stay, although he remembers a line he heard in a homily back at our home parish when he was quite young, “Don’t let the Church get in the way of your faith.” That’s practically a mantra in our home.

    Most of his peers have already checked out. We go to Mass, we pray, but we spend far more time in direct service with immigrants, folks who live on the streets, and others, and I try to always make the connection between that and our Catholic faith. If his formation was left to what he hears in Mass and in school, which is all so detached from what he sees and experiences in the world, he’d be gone. He was out of town today and didn’t make it to Mass; had he been there to hear the first rendition of the new “Gloria” – which was so bad (musically and linguistically) that people were wincing and laughing – well… yeah. How is that supposed to speak to our young folks?

  4. Deacon Mike says:

    Perhaps the Chruch would be better served if the Bishops of Madison and Phoenix were spending a bit more time reading this than worrying about whether or not to have Communion under both species.

  5. justamouse says:

    Well, knowing of people who have brought their kids through those storms faith intact, it seems that a culture of Catholicism needs to be brought back, for the parents to *believe* not just go through the motions, and for them to foster a deep love of the Eucharist within their kids.

    That’s what I see, that’s what I’m trying to emulate. I’ll get back to you in 10 years and tell you how it worked. ;-)

  6. I think very few have a lifelong ongoing connection to either Church or God or much of anything else. Many who leave find that what they thought was important or real or modern proved to be hollow. Often something occurs in our lives that draw us to the conclusion that life without God is empty.

    I firmly believe that the most essential thing we can provide as parents is for a positive lifestyle driven by our strong belief and a heck of a lot of prayer. Parents also need to prepare their kids with solid teaching and there are many great books out there to help them when they are confronted by false teaching. Sending a kid off to college unprepared for what they will find waiting for them, even in so called “Catholic” universities is like sending them out without preparation for life itself. Pope John Paul II saw this which is why he called for all Universities calling themselves Catholic to have their religious professors obtain a mandatum from the local bishop. This should insure that they are not taught dissent by those parents should be able to trust. Frankly, what is done in many colleges today by this dissent is every bit as evil as sexual abuse if not worse. Causing one to lose their faith and perhaps their soul should be viewed as evil as anything one can do to another.

    But we all must pray our children remain in the Catholic Church and thus with the ultimate connection to Christ.

  7. Funny: I wrote about this today, too. We attended the wedding of a family member and learned most of her friends consider the young lady “nostalgic” thus, her interest in marrying in the Church. It wasn’t so different when my husband and I married 18 years ago. At the time, we knew not one other couple who had married and stayed in the Catholic faith.

    It is normal for teens to question -in fact I believe they SHOULD question everything and then make it their own. But we don’t help people understand the deep correspondence between their lives and Christ.

    http://ramblingfollower.blogspot.com/2011/10/reflections-from-family-wedding-church.html

  8. On this topic, I saw at Called by Name, the blog of Fr. Kyle Schnippel, the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, this review of the third book of an excellent triology “Childless”. Here is his blog and post on this book.. http://fatherschnippel.blogspot.com/2011/10/childless-by-brain-gail.html

    Here is what he had to say..

    In “Fatherless”, Brian Gail turned an eye to the past few decades to examine how the Culture of Death grew and became entrenched in American culture. “Motherless” examined the present day situation and how it has impacted families and the Church. Now, in “Childless”, (publish date: 11/2/11) the American Tragedy Trilogy series finds its fitting conclusion as he turns his eyes towards the future and what could possibly happen as the forces in the modern world push further towards the New World Order and seek to further marginalize the Church into the far corners of society.

    Picking up the story of Fr. John Sweeney as he continues to minister to his small flock in suburban Philadelphia, the trials and tribulations of his parish families serve once again as a backdrop for Mr. Gail to analyze the global movements pushing towards a New Age of Man, and what could possibly happen if the Church were to lose her voice in the Public Square, calling the world to conversion and repentance. The characters continue to have an emotional depth that moves the story forward as they struggle to deal with the trials and tribulation of daily life, especially as living their Catholic faith continues to be more and more an embrace of a White Martyrdom, if indeed, not an actual red Martyrdom.

    Certainly, this conclusion is a wake-up call to Catholics: priests, religious and laity; to take our call to be leaven for society seriously. We are called to change society, not to adapt to the whims of the ever-changing modern world. Moral courage will be tested, will we all have the courage to stand against the forces of the Enemy and be joyous witnesses of the great gift that is Life?

    A special note of thanks to Brian Gail and the publishing team at Emmaus Road for the review copy, it was greatly appreciated.

    By the way, Father is doing a great job with vocations for the priesthood in Cincinnati. We now have record numbers of seminarians with more each year. His blog is also excellent.

  9. “And 40 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Catholics said their church’s doctrine on sexuality and birth control is “out of date”

    Actually, I’m amazed those numbers aren’t a lot higher. ONLY 40 percent of young Catholics think church teaching on sex and birth control is out of date? That would mean 60 percent — a majority — are OK with these teachings.

  10. Deacon Steve M says:

    The big problem I think based on what I am seeing with the teens that my kids are firends with is that they are used to things being changed to fit what they want. Everything gets changed if one complains enough at school especially where if their parents complain they can not do homework etc. When the Church draws a line on a teaching that society thinks is wrong, teens expect the Church to bow down to the pressure of TV and music and Hollywood and “get with the times”, and when the Church holds firm they go looking for something that will change to fit what they want. The problem isn’t that the Church’s teachings are out of date, it is that we won’t change with the wind to keep people. I would bet that most of the 60% that didn’t disagree with the Church’s teaching on sex and birth control have no idea what the Church teaches on these matters. They are not addressed in most Confirmation programs that I have seen, and when I bring it up I am looked at like I have a second head or third arm.
    We as clergy do need to do a better job engaging teens with our homilies, but we don’t need to water down the teaching. Teens will listen and respond if we are honest and upfront with them. We need to stop treating them like they are stupid, or still in 2nd grade preparing for their 1st Holy communion. They need to be treated like they are almost adults (and they are adults in the eyes of the Church) if we want them to listen to us. I do this when I preach with at the Life Teen mass at my parish and it works.

  11. Elaine, right on.
    I might mention that, as a college philosophy professor who has taught at both Catholic and secular institutions, I deal with 18 and 19 year old kids who are, unfortunately, lost, lost, lost, spiritually and morally. They are staring at the shadows of puppets on the cave wall. So these results, even if they are presented in a shoddy way by HuffPo, sound about right to me, given what I see.

    Yet this isn’t the end of the story. These kids are also hungry for spiritual direction and truth, and they *know* that their belief-set is screwy and that they are watching puppet shadows, even if that knowledge is covered by false confidences to the contrary.

    They want the truth, and if it is presented in its fullness, they run towards it. It is terribly easy to not judge, and it is even easier living a life knowing that it is prohibited for others to judge you. If such a moral system really were *true*, then re-conversions to demanding and ‘judgmental’ moral systems would be drastically lower than they are. The Catholic Church would draw mere oddball personality types, and not the hundreds of thousands and millions that it draws out of the cave, year after year.

    Deacon Mike wrote,
    “Perhaps the Church would be better served if the Bishops of Madison and Phoenix were spending a bit more time reading this than worrying about whether or not to have Communion under both species.”

    Funny to read this. I was actually just going to write, “Perhaps we should all follow the lead of Phoenix and Madison…” und so weiter. Project Reconversion has lots of fronts. But one of them is reverent liturgy and proper worship. Yet I should think this is obvious even on the simple psychological level, earlier points about epistemology aside.

  12. If you remember the TV game show “Family Feud”, the object was to guess the answers that a previous studio audience had given to a question. The higher ranking the answer the more point/money a team would get.

    It seems like the #1 answer is contained in the survey – 40% think that the Churches teaching on Birth Control and sexual morality is out of date. What part of that teach should the Roman Catholic Church be changing?

  13. ron chandonia says:

    So, is Catholicism too hard or too easy for today’s youth? Both answers appear whenever the topic comes up. The original piece assumes it’s too hard, especially that “doctrine on sexuality and birth control.” But I think Deacon Steve M (#10) and Nate (#11) are closer to the mark: What young people find “boring” is a faith that asks nothing of them.

    However, I also think we too often confuse a very narrow “Thou shalt not” approach to sexuality with the real and far more encompassing demands of Jesus (see Matthew 5-7). In how many homes are parents actually trying to live up to those vastly more radical challenges? The Christian role model our kids need today is not the Church Lady but saints like Francis or Franz Jagerstatter. When they have the chance to meet such people, they are far more likely to embrace the truth rather than abandon it for the fads of pop culture.

    Case in point right here in Atlanta:

    http://www.georgiabulletin.org/local/2011/05/26/seniorebingerservingthepoor/

  14. Deacon Mike says:

    I think one of the largest “problems” we have as a church when it comes to our young people is the disproportianate emphasis on sex and sexual teachings. That certainly wasn’t the case with Jesus. In His parables and in His teachings He seemed far more concerned with how we were treating those among us who were hurting, poor, etc; whether or not we were being inclusive and welcoming everyone to the table (which is one reason my head wants to explode when I read about Bishops limiting the Cup, who can be EM’s and altar servers, etc.) It’s been my experience that young people respond with great enthusiasm when given the opportunity to share their lives with their brothers and sisters. Once they’ve been brought to that point, they are then far more open to the Church’s teachings on sexuality. When I listen to or read material in the Catholic media or watch it on TV, I find tons of stuff on chastity and personal morality; I rarely encounter anything on service to the poor and disenfranchised. I thnk that’s putting the cart before the horse and the result is what this article describes.

  15. We have seen a dramatic increase in our youth acceptance of all Church teaching after we put together a plan of action in eduation that challenged the youth and provided them with the information they would need to confront the world they live in with facts and truth.

    If you have no plan and those who teach do not fully believe and accept the truths themselves, it is no wonder that the youth would come out with a “whatever” attitude about their faith. Youth love to be challenged and giving them the responsibility to search and discover using solid Church documents such as Theology of the Body and Humane Vitae and others is essential to a well formed conscience and faith. When you have a solid core of youth, giving them the lead to teach others and set example is important as they take the mission as their own. If each parish had a solid youth group starting in the mid elementary years and going on through high school and university, you would see a dramatic change in your youth and parish life.

    The Parish needs to fully support these youth groups and to encourage them to be involved whether it is to the march for life, protest at abortion mills, education for voting, or larger programs such as world youth day. Once a month at mass our youth group is very involved in the masses for that day where we hear of their activity for the month after the liturgy is complete. We hold several fund raisers each year for the youth group and routinely raise amounts which would fund other parishes in total giving them the ability to spread the good news at many of the local Catholic schools and we have set up a model program which others can tap into and follow.

    In a survey of the youth of our parish at ages 18, we see over 90% belief in and acceptance of the teaching of the Catholic Church and feedback from local Catholic high schools and universites is always that our kids are the most informed in their class on Catholic faith often able to go toe to toe with University professors who are teaching dissent. Recently our group set up a visit to our Bishop to advise him that he had some severe problems in the local university with a couple of professors that he might want to address and pushed for him to seek a mandatum from these professors. They arrived with signatures of over 2000 students and several other faculty members. As you can see, we are proud of our youth and their solid faith. Many are now married and their large families will soon start filtering through the youth program. We are blessed.

  16. Deacon Mike,
    When you say Catholic media, do you mean sites like this? If one tallied the posts on pelvic issues from all Patheos bloggers over the last couple of weeks, I think a different story would emerge. Certainly, you aren’t suggesting that pelvic issues are the only thing talked about in homilies, right?

    If you are referring to, let’s say, Voris, I highly doubt that, like him or not, he is providing much of a reference point to the teenagers from the HuffPo piece in question. Certainly, you don’t mean the secular media. They, after all, have their own axes to grind. And anyway, we can’t help what they write about.

    As for the actions taken in Phoenix and Madison, I certainly disagree. But perhaps we could agree, at the very least, that these two dioceses could serve as a small empirical sample set given the issue in question. If I were to hypothesize, I’d say that the coming years will see an increase in youth activity and vocations in these two dioceses. I would imagine that you would hypothesize otherwise.

  17. I teach in a Catholic boys high school. When we have school liturgies, I usually stand in the aisle. At the consecration, I purposely kneel down and fold my hands in front of me. The students know where I stand on the issue of our faith. We are what we do. As St Francis said, preach the Gospel always and sometimes, use words. The students are impacted by us and how we treat them. They know I care about them.

  18. Deacon Mike says:

    Nate…
    When I speak of Catholic media, I’m referring to the larger sites like EWTN and my local Catholic radio station. I go to Deacon Greg’s site because I find it far more balanced, looking at a wide spectrum of issues and giving people with many different views (such as ourselves) a voice on what is happening in the world and in their Church. It’s neither “liberal” or “conservative”. While I believe the people at EWTN and Catholic are certainly well intentioned, I also believe they present the Catholic faith in a very limited, selective, and often legalistic way.
    I would obviously disagree as far as the youth activity and vocations in Phoenix and Madison. These decisions will certainly appeal to some people, and these people will be drawn to particpate more fully. But it will drive others away. I teach Middle School Religion in a Catholic school. If my students were given to understand that one reason to limit Communion under both species was to reduce the number of Extraordinary Ministers, they would be baffled as to why it was necessary to make such a decision. Was there a problem? If they heard that in Phoenix the altar servers were now being limited to males, they would be furious at the exclusivity of it and they would turn away. I could certainly educate them as to the “reasons” that these decisions were made, but they would see right through them.
    Our kids today are good and generous people, but they are growing up at a time vastly different then when I was younger (and I’m “only” 53.) The Faith needs to be presented to them in ways that they can understand and relate to….not watered down, but put in ways and in context to the world that THEY live in. That’s certainly what Jesus did back in 1st Century Palestine. When I see Dioceses like Phoenix and Madison taking a step back (in my opinion) to an earlier and idealized time (“The seminaries and the pews were full!”), I think that it may be emotionally satisfying to some people but will alientate a large portion of our youth who are living in the year 2011…which is just what this article originally referred to.

  19. Hi Deacon Mike,
    I think you make a good point about EWTN. I confess that they are not on my radar, but I think that they would indeed be a good example of what you are talking about. The few times I’ve caught programs on that station, it struck me as fantastically ‘tucked’. We certainly disagree about the wisdom of the moves in Madison and Phoenix, yet I actually think we agree more than we disagree. I am ‘only’ 32, and so I am not that far removed from the youth in question, in terms of what they have grown up with and what they experience on a day to day basis (I grew up with MTV and the like, and attended secular universities). I think we both agree that the fullness of the faith is not lived in a cultural bubble.

    Perhaps what we disagree about is what it means to ‘meet them where they are at.’ You are right that today’s kids, like kids from every other time, are curious, generous, thoughtful, good, and searching. I think this is precisely why the ‘context’ must be orthodox and unwavering, as these kids, like all kids, gravitate towards orthodoxy. I see the moves in Madison and Phoenix as helping in this regard. Justice in the Church is not the same as justice in the secular public square. Yet, precisely because the latter’s option is, in the end, vacuous, we can do much to draw in people by not collapsing our ethical standards to those of society.

  20. Sarah Gregory

    I would encourage you to learn more about your faith by listening to the folks who know it well.. Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Fr Larry Richards, Fr John Riccardo, Dr Colleen Mast to name a few. Listening to Catholic radio is a huge blessing and eye opening. I had to build myself up in the faith first in order to build my children up. Children will never build their faith up if their parents don’t believe it with all their hearts and minds. They might still not believe it but you will have shown them a model to follow one day. Sow the seeds, water them, and always pray, pray, and pray for them as Patrick Madrid says.

    God bless you and your family.

  21. As is too typical in these analyses, there is the assumption that everyone went to church in the past because they fully assented to church teachings and were vibrant in their faith. The single biggest change in the past 3 generations is the recession of familial and social relationships. The simple pressure of seeing one’s family in church and being with the people one worked and lived among is gone. The mutterings of conservatives and liberals are little more than boutique appeals, good enough to turn a profit in isolated places but not sufficient to coalesce 50% or 70% of a given community. As boutique appeal has come to the forefront, it is little wonder that young people cite a particular boutique appeal as not appealing to them. All the while people obsess over the boutique appeal, pretending that boutique appeal can be tweaked to be a mass phenomenon.

  22. Joe 17, great comments and action. It is not by accident that the Catholic Church has kneeling, standing, and sitting to show different positions that reflect our belief. Keep up the strong witness.

    Deacon Mike 18 says .. “If my students were given to understand that one reason to limit Communion under both species was to reduce the number of Extraordinary Ministers, they would be baffled as to why it was necessary to make such a decision.”
    I note the Bishop who made the decision in Arizona furnished a clear question and answer handout so all could read and gain full insight… http://www.diocesephoenix.org/uploads/docs/COMMUNION-Q-AND-A-092111.pdf

    If our bishop follows this, it would be what I would want our parish to do as well and to have the same type of Q&A provided.

    Nate 19, ” I think this is precisely why the ‘context’ must be orthodox and unwavering, as these kids, like all kids, gravitate towards orthodoxy. I see the moves in Madison and Phoenix as helping in this regard.” you are right on the nose on this one. If we teach them the full truth, they respond. I have seen this with Theology of the Body and Humane Vitae and a lot of other documents. Since this is now set as part of the GIRM current edition, seems like teaching anything but this is dissent.

    Joseph W. great list of names and I also love and contribute to Catholic Radio.

  23. Deacon Norb says:

    Now all of this conversation is helpful in many ways but I have not seen these two points being raised:

    –Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are not coming out of the grade schools and high schools anymore but out of the colleges and graduate schools. Vocations Directors from all over the world descend on such meeting as the National College Student Coalition and the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. That’s where their largest source of applicants can be found. It is a different world out there.

    –We have had “World Youth Days” for many years now. That experience for any who participate is “transformative” in its widest possible meaning. I’m not sure of any research data connecting participation in this event and religious vocations but it has to be there. A lot of those first participants are now in the seminaries and religious orders.

    Now, for those of you who are afraid we are losing the youth, let me quote an old mentor-priest — who up until the time of his death many years ago delighted in calling himself “The Other Paul.” His insight was known to his mentees as the Bo-Peep Theory of Pastoral Ministry to Youth. “Leave them alone. . .and they’ll come home . . . wagging their tails behind them.”

  24. “Leave them alone. . .and they’ll come home . . . wagging their tails behind them.”

    Reminds me of the mother of Augustine, Monica, narrated at the end of “Confessions”, Book III. Upset with her son’s affiliation with Manichaeism, she sought the advise of a bishop, who himself had been a Manichee. He advised her: “Leave him alone, simply pray for him to the Lord. He will find out for himself through his reading how wrong those beliefs are… .”

    When she persisted, the bishop, (as Augustine notes, a bit vexed) told her: “Go away now, but hold on to this: it is inconceivable that he should perish, a son of tears like yours.” Augustine wrote that, in her conversations with him later, she often recalled that she had taken those words to be an oracle from heaven.

  25. Deacon Norb

    I would respond that any given parish needs to have ministries that target each particular age group. The kids are poorly catechized even in catholic school. Yes they learn about their faith but not how to live and develop it. The ministries in our parish include: Blue Knights and Little Flowers programs that target the K-4 graders, EDGE for 5-8 graders. The parents are strongly encouraged to participate in the meetings and lead them. The teens have CYO. All of these are great but if the parents are not living their faith than kids fall out of the boat. Hopefully what they learned will help them someday.
    One thing I see lacking is a ministry for parents. I recently came across Parent Life and I am looking at getting that going in my parish, it’s a offshoot of Life Teen.
    We also need Deacons and Priests to teach the faith by giving good homilies during Mass. What a great way to feed your flock. We can pray for more clergy but if the faith is not being taught or watered down we will never build the people up.

  26. “Disproportionate teaching of sex and sexuality”?

    Are you nuts?!? NOBODY but the Pope and his curia ever BOTHER to teach ANYTHING about sex at church. I’ve heard precisely ONE, UNO, ICHI, homily about sex, and the poor young priest was practically lynched by the congregation for saying a “bad word” in front of the kids!!!!!

    Of course, the truth is that pretty much NO doctrine is ever preached at church, other than that Father says we should be good and try hard.

    That’s what’s out of date — hiding our convictions, pretending that the kids will understand without ever being explicitly taught what God says we should do, and generally being a nicey-nice club instead of a worshipping church full of believers receiving the Sacraments with awe.

  27. The bad word was “intercourse”, btw.

    The point is that, while we can’t even bear to say that men and women should only be having sex if they’re married, and only then in a manner that respects each other, kids are wishing somebody would tell them “Don’t have oral sex on the first date, and if you’ve been doing that, for goodness sake, stop it! You’re worth better than that! And no, you don’t have to have sex with anyone who seems vaguely interested, either. Look, we have a huge amount of teaching and experience on how men and women should get along; and we’re perfectly willing to tell you all about how God meant it to be, from the beginning.”

  28. # 17 Joe

    St Francis said : ” preach the gospel always and sometimes use words “. there is no proof at all that that St. Francis said this . if you care about your students , you should make sure that they understand : john 3 : 16 // eph 2 : 8-9
    john 17 : 3 // etc. they don’t need to be taught a system thats unbiblical , they nedd a personal relationship with JESUS CHRIST AND NO FOR SURE WHEN THEY DIE THEY WILL BE WITH HIM FOR ETERNITY !!

  29. Hey Jim, thank the Catholic Church for that bible you read, unless it’s the one with a few less books.

  30. youth today face real tough daily life questions our free SPREAD THE WORD TALK WITH THE LORD program inspires daily talks catch they need yhour help with first question our blogs help g hubbard po box 2232 ponte vedra fl 32004 http://talkwiththelord.blogspot.com/

  31. # 29 hey joe say it ain’t so. i thank the rcc for getting me started in spiritual things but by the grace of God i came to the ” real ” truth. i don’t need the apochropha , magisterium , the pope’s ex-cathedra announcements , church man-made rules and traditions , formal canon law and what ever is going to come down the pike. as far as i am concerned the rcc determines what is true and what is not. this makes the church a higher authority than scripture. i don’t need ” another gospel “.’let me leave you with 2 TIM 4 :3&4. hey joe , get out of the darkness and come into the light.

  32. naturgesetz says:

    Jim #31

    re: 2 Tim 4:3-4 — this calls to mind such myths as eternal security and the rapture, and teachers like Harold Camping and the whole word of faith movement. More generally, this sounds like a pretty good description of happenings in post-reformation Protestantism.

    BTW 2 Tim 4:1-8 is proclaimed at Mass on the Saturday of the 9th week in ordinary time in even-numberd years.

  33. naturgesetz says:

    Jim #28

    FYI,
    John 3:14-21 and Ephesians 2:4-10 are proclaimed at Mass every third year (year B of the 3-year cycle of scriptures at Sunday Mass) on the fourth Sunday of Lent
    John 3:16-18 is proclaimed at Mass every third year (year A of the cycle) on Trinity Sunday
    John 3:16-21 is proclaimed at Mass every year on Wednesday of the second week of Easter
    Ephesians 2:1-10 is proclaimed at Mass in even-numbered years on Monday of the 19th week in ordinary time
    John 17:1-11a is proclaimed at Mass every third year (year A) on the seventh Sunday of Easter and every year on Tuesday of the seventh week of Easter

  34. ## 32 & 33 naturegesetz

    Wow . i’m impressed ? every 3rd year , year a & b cycles , even & odd years , 3 year cycles , ordinary time / exta ordinary time geeeeeeeeez i’m exhausted.
    you forgot to mention that the priest, and in many cases preachers in protestant churches say : ” i ‘ ll see you at Easter ” after the Christmas service ends.
    FYI > Rapture ( taking away ) is for real as you can clearly see in 1 THESS 4 : 13-18. i want to comfort and encourage y’all !! eternal security a myth ??????
    naturegesetz , question ? > ” is your name written in the LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE ? “

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