I see this in our future.
My post yesterday, “Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church Really”, was in response to Rachel Held Evans’ article, “Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church”. Later in the day my good friend, Hemant Mehta, The Friendly Atheist, wrote his own response, “Why Are Millennials Leaving Church? Try Atheism!”. You’ve got to read it.
I found it fascinating because it is evangelism pure and simple. A friend of mine called it proselytizing.
When I was a teenage Baptist and Pentecostal, we were made to do door-to-door evangelism. I hated it. Haaaaaaated it! Basically, what we were offering people was:
- An answer to their questions of meaning (the gospel);
- A community (the church).
This open appeal to people to become atheists has the same feel. As atheism gains ground and adherence, atheism can now offer the same thing: answers and a community.
Did you know that there are now sunday assemblies for atheists? And it’s growing.
One of the things I suspect is going on with millennials leaving the church is that many people are suspicious of particular parties and official groups. They are hesitant to pledge their allegiance to any one vender of meaning. I know I won’t. So my question is, why quit one group just to join another? It’s back to my perpetual plea, why labels?
Even though I suggest atheism’s strength would be found in its resistance to organize, I still appreciate Hemant’s article. He isn’t necessarily offering an organization, but he is offering an intellectual and ethical alternative that many might want and even need. Many members of The Lasting Supper are atheists and agnostic. In fact, just yesterday, I interviewed ex-pastor now atheist author of “Hope After Faith”, Jerry DeWitt for our podcast. He’s a member of The Lasting Supper as well. I invite you to come join us. (See what I just did there? Ya, my own kind of evangelism I guess!)