this e-column really, really frustrates me. it’s a post about the swirl of media attention and panic surrounding the (truly) overly-hyped and HIGHLY suspect “fact” that all but a few christian american teenagers will leave the church and we’ll have no teenagers in a generation or two.
it just ticks me off.
the tone of the column is certainly a bit nasty, and much of the comments the author makes are a bit over-the-top, to be sure. BUT NO MORE OVER THE TOP THAN CREATING A HISSY-FIT OF FEAR AS A REACTION TO A DUBIOUS CLAIM.
what frustrates me so much is that — in the new york times article, and even moreso in this column — all christian youth workers are being lumped together into this (i believe) loud-but-minority response. i’ve just left the closing session of the charlotte site for the national youth workers convention, a collection of 2900 christian youth workers. at all four sites combined, we had 13,000 christian youth workers gather this fall. never ONCE did i encounter this fear-based call to arms. well, that’s not completely accurate, i suppose: i encountered it only in conversations where youth workers were expressing their frustration, disdain and/or distance from this kind of thinking.
calling together big meetings to ‘rally the troops’ and ‘wage war’ might be wonderfully effective at raising funds from people desperate to regain some (misguided) sense that we are a ‘christian nation’. but it’s not biblical, and it certainly isn’t jesus-y.
AND — this is the point of my rant here — it’s not what thousands and thousands of christian youth workers think! the fear-mongers do not speak for all of us, or even most of us.