The web article below discusses a recent Washington, D.C., conference where participants searched for a way to pass on their liberal version of the faith, often called the emergent church, to their children.
Today’s young parents were brought up in Sunday schools teaching about sin and that Jesus died because they were so bad. In its way, it is a story not so difficult to tell.
But, if the story is Jesus accepts everyone and sin and hell are not so important, what do you talk about for the rest of the hour? That is to say, parents know what they do not believe, it’s what their parents believed. Now, they have children themselves and cannot explain how they got to where they are.
Apparently, the conference did not come up with an answer–but reaffirmed an answer is needed. Liberal churches, like the conservative Southern Baptist Convention, are not retaining young people.
One of the presenters said that politicians have learned the language of preachers and people are associating with “tribes” accordingly, replacing the church. I would explain it as seeing young social conservatives sitting at one table in Starbucks on a Sunday morning discussing how gays should not be allowed to marry.
At another table, young liberals are discussing the injustice of gays not being able to marry. Neither group heads off to their respective churches because they would hear the same thing there.
The answer of what to teach young people and how to keep the faith relevant may become apparent in time. It’s not apparent yet.