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Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - CaptCrunch73 - 12-28-2015

CaptCrunch73 Wrote:Found this article at Red Alert Politics, ironically enough, its an interesting read.


Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches are making a comeback


Nearly every study tells us that Millennials are unconcerned with religion and feel unconnected to any sort of faith. But could it be that this same generation is actually returning to the traditional church?

Yes, 18-to-35-year-olds are still leaving mainline pews in ever-increasing numbers and some are leaving the faith entirely. But many are leaving in search of a different kind of church — a church that is traditional, reverent, and decidedly uncool.

There are more than enough statistics to remind us that each generation cares less about religion than the last, and that Millennials have far outpaced them all.

Research by the Pew Center, the Public Library of Science, and the Barna Group confirms those suspicions. It tell us that Millennials are quickly evacuating the church. They pray less, attend services less often, are less reliant on religion, and are less religiously affiliated than their parents and grandparents were at their young age.

Most recently, a particularly concerning poll by the PLOS found that Millennials are not just less religious, but also less spiritual. Researchers concluded that the results indicate, “A movement towards secularism among a rapidly growing minority.”

However, many individuals are leaving the church because it has failed to fulfill their spiritual needs.

Nicholas Hahn, editor of RealClearReligion, believes that numbers decline when the church ceases to be the church. Today this happens when churches become over involved in politics and when churches attempt to be hip and relevant.

“They aren’t looking for politics from the pulpit, they aren’t looking for entertainment from the pulpit. What they are looking for is prayer and spirituality from the church,” Hahn said.

Information from the Barna Group reflects this desire for church tradition. More than 40 percent of those 18-to-29-year-olds “have a desire for a ‘more traditional faith, rather than a hip version of Christianity,” the report stated.

Younger generations get lost when the church tries to cater to them.

“A lot of churches are trying to pander to the youth and it comes off looking ridiculous. Pastors are trying to be the cool step-dad, trying to gain favor with kids that aren’t his,” Hahn explained.

Instead, Millennials need, like all people, for the church to sustain their spiritual lives.

Kathleen Ward, writer for Church in a Circle and one of the first to identify this trend, understands why younger generations return to tradition.

“Young people today have been marketed to all their lives, and they can see past gimmicks and tricks. They find it refreshing to enter a building which openly proclaims itself as a worship space. They’ve swapped the salesman’s pitch for simple sacraments,” she said.

Hahn predicted that churches will continue to die off unless they “have a come-to-Jesus moment with their empty pews, and decide to change their course.”

Changing course means, in many instances, a full reverse, a return to the church traditions that have functioned for thousands of years.

Rachel Evans, the author of Searching For Sunday, describes how efforts to rebrand the church as relevant and modern have backfired. Trendy, coffee house style worship has failed to attract the young folks.

“What finally brought me back, after years of running away, wasn’t lattes or skinny jeans; it was the sacraments. Baptism, confession, Communion, preaching the Word, anointing the sick,” she wrote.

This should be a relief to the many churches straining to get the fog machine and light show running before 8 a.m.

Evans wrote, “The sacraments are what make the church relevant. They don’t need to be repackaged or rebranded; they just need to be practiced, and explained by a loving and authentic community.”

CaptCrunch73 Wrote:While I am not in the age range discussed in this article the issues in this article are also applicable to me. After wandering around to all kinds of fatihs, both Christian and others, the sacraments, the devotions and all the other things that go along with being Catholic are the salt and everything else is empty or just "missing something".

Politics are another offense entirely. In the last 50 years mainline churches have wallowed deeper and deeper into politics and seen their congregations dwindle as a result.

The best example of this is the Disciples of Christ denomination. In 1958, the denomination was the fastest growing in the country with nearly 2 million members. Since 2014, the congregation has dwindled to less than 500,000. During those decades, the denomination involved itself in politics, even becoming the first denomination to endorse gay marriage and taking a stand against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. The denomination’s leadership believed that these moves would help, “grow the church,” but their attendance numbers flat-lined instead.

Other politically affiliated denominations have suffered the same fate. Presbyterian USA lost members in 2014 when its members decided to pull their money from companies that sell to Israel. Even the Catholics are not immune. A recent papal encyclical drifted to suggestions on global warming and climate change.

As churches become more political and attempt to rebrand themselves as trendy younger generations will continue to leave the church. Not because they no longer need religion, but for just the opposite reason.

CatpCrunch73 Wrote:Politics are another issue entirely. Supporting politics in church has led to Christian denominations to support the secular state of Israel under the guise of of supporting the Jews as God's chosen people from the Old Testament.

Millennials need the church, now more than ever, but they need the church to just be the church. Concert entertainment, coffee, and friends can be easily found. But as Evans wrote, “Church is the only place you can get ashes smudged on your forehead as a reminder of your mortality.”

If churches return to the liturgy and tradition that has always sustained them, the pews will fill back up again. Until then, Millennials and other generations won’t find what they’re really looking for.


Re: - AntoniusMaximus - 12-28-2015

The sad thing is that the lefties that control many of the traditional churches recognize these trends and instead of realizing the mistake they made in abandoning traditional liturgies and discipline, rather they double down, saying these are just trends, fashions (where have we heard that before), they will go and we can have our tambourine masses and cultural enrichment by praying at mosques and synagogues instead of being devout to the Christian faith, being completely oblivious and naïve thinking that we can have peace in our time if only we go a little more to the left, embrace a little more. 


Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - Sequentia - 12-28-2015

I think this article hits the spot.

Some Baby boomers and past generations thought it was a good idea to dumb down the liturgy, introduce no-fault divorce, legalize murder, hand out "free" artificial contraceptives like candy, rally behind those who want to normalize sodomy, make pornography more "visible" to all, "breed" secular philosophies such as hyper-feminism, try to make cross-dressing and body mutilation (ie "sex changes") "hip and cool,"  moral relativism, etc....is it any wonder why the millennial generation-of which I am apart of-is in so much confusion?

Many of us can see through the idiocy and lunacy of these things that have destroyed the family and aspects of our society. For those who returned to the Church in their 20's and 30's, we mostly come back to a liturgy that has been stripped of its aesthetics, beauty, and mystery; instead we get Fr. Joe preaching to us how good Islam is for our society, Protestant Gospel music sung as the "hymns," and female "extraordinary ministers" giving me rude facial expressions every time I receive the Eucharist on the tongue.

You can tell it's bad when your parents want nothing to do with the Novus Ordo Mass and want to attend the divine liturgy with you at the Byzantine  Catholic Church (like my parents do)...at least they use incense there.


Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - little_flower10 - 12-28-2015

Interesting... I'm in that age range (under 30) and at some point, I began to be drawn to liturgy. I used to be a very "non denominational" Protestant. Now that I am Catholic and go to the TLM, I find there are many young people there and they tend to be involved in the parish as well.


Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - Renatus Frater - 12-28-2015

At the end of the day, who knows what Millenials think? We're a mishmash of hyper-sexualized, short attention span, narcissistic, despairing people. And yet some of us are nostalgic for something we only briefly—or never—knew.

Still, the more cool brands of Christianity—like the so called charismatic movement—attract some pretty weird, even creepy, people, but, at least from outside, they look numerous.

One thing I know: we should cling to traditional Catholicism even if it is utterly unpopular (this should especially hold for those with the extra, solemn and grave responsibility of raising children). In fact that's how I feel these days. As little Jacinta reported our Lord saying, the Church of Christ doesn't follow any fashion.



Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - dcmaccabees - 12-28-2015

I gotta tell ya kiddos, this thread has done wonders for my mood.  My generation was swamped by our idiot Boomer parents (your grandparents), we didn't have anything like the cultural clout you do.  It's a refreshing change of pace to see the felt banner crowd in panicky vapors...


Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - DeoDuce - 12-28-2015

I'll raise you level. I'm a millennial and my attraction to Trad Catholicism goes hand in hand with my attraction toward traditionalism as an entire worldview. That traditionalism has spread to most of all my views, including political. It was probably a mix of returning to Catholicism and studying political science. Modernity is a product of divorcing oneself from the reality that there is another realm besides the physical. And when that happens people become spiritually famished. Seeking fulfillment through all sorts of degenerative pleasures.  Yet never finding fulfillment.


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Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - GangGreen - 12-28-2015

Millennials have no idea what to believe. We were all taught next to nothing about the religion we were raised in. Most left, a few managed to cling to the NO faith presented to them (the numbers are quite small). Most millennials who came to traditional Catholicism are those who were lapsed and came back and knew that something wasn't right about the NO church.  They started to learn on their own and discovered what the Church once was and said this is what I need to obtain salvation and properly pay due worship to God.


Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - CaptCrunch73 - 12-28-2015

(12-28-2015, 03:31 PM)GangGreen Wrote: Millennials have no idea what to believe. We were all taught next to nothing about the religion we were raised in. Most left, a few managed to cling to the NO faith presented to them (the numbers are quite small). Most millennials who came to traditional Catholicism are those who were lapsed and came back and knew that something wasn't right about the NO church.  They started to learn on their own and discovered what the Church once was and said this is what I need to obtain salvation and properly pay due worship to God.

While not a baby boomer this describes me also, well put GG. I did live through the felt banner in CCD class experience...  :puke:


Re: Millennials have turned away from ‘cool’ Christianity, but traditional churches - formerbuddhist - 12-28-2015

I always thought that if you were going to do religion you may as well do it all the way. For me it was always about getting the whole package or getting nothing at all. A compromise was already a symptom of wavering faith. The only kind of Catholicism that moved me was the one full of stained glass, Gregorian chant, incense, miracles,relics, saints and angels and a whole worldview attached.

There was and is something half assed and non convincing about the externals of Novus Ordo Catholicism and especially the gimmicky mega church charismatic phenomenon within the mainline churches. That kind of minimalism was never something that could capture my heart. Give me a maximalist sacramental religion or give me nothing. I confess in my teen years Wicca with its symbolism, rituals and ties to the seasons was more attractive than the average Church.


Authenticity attracts. If Catholicism is to be authentic it must be traditional.  If you notice the Churches that are gaining millenials are at least authentic even if they aren't the True Church. The Anglican and Episcopalian churches returning to a more sacramental worldview and a life shaped around the  older BCP are more convincing to millennials than the Anglican churches with feminist priestesses who use the newer 1979 BCP and Novus Ordo style services just to use some examples.