Cohabitation Is Drawing Young People Away From Church

One would think Darwin and outrageous claims of miracles would tell people religion is not for them. Churches and those with no church are looking for a single variable that is driving young people from the churches of their births. They are leaving all churches.

A variable  some sociologists find important is living with someone out of wedlock. It sets the stage for permanently leaving the faith. I never would have thought that was such a big issue. On the other hand, next to announcing to one’s parents and church he/she is gay, cohabitation perhaps puts one across a stream from his/her previous values and it seems too far to swim back.

As the decades have gone by, young people in the U.S. have moved into a different dating pool. In my youth the other teens I knew were in my small circle, almost always part of my church life.

This has changed so the dating pool is much larger and more unlikely to be within the same religious circle. Living with someone of a different faith before marriage apparently sets the stage for many to not return to their church even if the never marry that early unmarried partner.

The age demographics of marriage also are pushing the change along. Marriage ages are averaging in the late 20’s. This has hurt the pattern of taking a break while young and returning to church after marriage and children.

The direction of social change is not predictable. But, we know the current trend.

 

11 Responses

  1. Rob

    As the article states, standards are lower for non Christians.
    It seems odd to me that atheists wear the lowering of society’s morals like some sort of badge of honor.
    I wish an atheist would take the time to explain just what the atheist code of good human behavior consists of.

    1. entech

      It seems to me that any explanations would be wasted on you. You have obviously been brainwashed from a very receptive age to think that any atheist, under any circumstance is always going to be wrong. The other belief you have is totally wrong, that seems to be that under all and any circumstances Christians are going to better than any atheist, not only that better than any non-Christian (probably better than anyone not from your denomination).

      1. Rob

        Just seems strange that certain atheists post with glee when long standing societal values- (notice I said societal, not religious)- and societal standards are lowered simultaneously with Christianity losing its foothold in society.
        As evolutionists I would think atheists would want the human race to ‘evolve’ to a higher standard of morality. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
        Again, i would just like to learn more about the atheist creed and standards for morality and ethical behavior.

    2. Rob 7:37 As the article states, standards are lower for non Christians.

      Hmm, “standards”. I looked at the article, it said standards for marriage. Maybe I over looked it but I think the term “standards” referred only to sexual practices. Standards on sexual practices has become the passion of the Christian right. That is why the Christian right meeting recently in Nashville issued a statement that dealt almost exclusively with condemning aspects of sex. Lots of other Christians criticized that statement saying there is more to the faith than condemning sexual practices.

      I wish an atheist would take the time to explain just what the atheist code of good human behavior consists of.

      I think most atheists would support our civic laws on behavior, sexual and otherwise. Some would like to add a few more, others take some off the books.

      1. entech

        Jon, if I may, I would like to expand a little on that. I would add something from the Jewish bible Hillel:
        He is popularly known as the author of two sayings: “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” and (2) the expression of the ethic of reciprocity, or “Golden Rule”: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
        I do prefer this “negative “injunction to the more common Christian version, “do unto others as you would they do unto you” – this carries the Christian baggage of “we are right, everyone else is wrong, we are obliged to spread the truth”.

        Toexpand this to what Robb has asked:
        Again, i would just like to learn more about the atheist creed and standards for morality and ethical behavior.
        The above is a pretty good start. It should include social behaviour as simple do the right by everyone.
        Interpersonal behaviour would be, a simple do the right thing by each other.
        Sexual behaviour, do the right thing by your partner, that includes anything that does not cause harm or pain, anything that does not cause embarrassment or displeases them.
        Briefly, it can be anything that the partners find pleasurable and acceptable and above done by a consenting couple in the full knowledge of what they are doing and the possible consequences. What this implies and includes is no affair of anyone else, especially not your God and what you consider is his wants.

  2. Juan Ruiz

    “that is driving young people from the churches of their births.”

    For the past few decades, young people have grown up believing the purpose of life is being entertained. That has been the purpose of technology: produce gadgets which are fun to use. Helps also explain the burgeoning of “reality shows,” which are overly scripted soap operas. But people don’t care that they are being snookered by the producers of fringe history, the paranormal, and multi-millionaire clans “living off the grid” 10 minutes from a town.

    Most church services are not entertaining. They are repetitive week to week, with the climax consisting of some guy pontificating. Some churches have tried to jazz them up with guitars and drums. What the megachurches have are ministers who are great speakers, unlike priests and pastors who mumble through their homilies and sermons. Even there though, you’ll notice as the camera spans, very few young people.

    1. Juan Ruiz

      I would hesitate to generalize on that. We have had 2-3 generations now who have engaged in physical intimacy outside the institution of marriage, and yet still attended church. I think the difference between them and previous ones is that they do not allow religion to dictate their every action. First-world Catholic women, for example, pretty much ignore Humanae vitae. Likewise, once married, they don’t view their role as producing 10 kids.

    2. entech

      Interesting choice of stage name
      Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

      Does this mean that apostasy is more noble than fealty, or does this only apply when Christianity is the beneficiary. When Christians in Goa wanted to revert to their native Hinduism the Portuguese burned them for apostasy.

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