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Reason #3 That young Christians leave the church – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.

“One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.”

Really?? Or is the true reason isnt’ that we are antagonistic but that we as Church don’t explain things well or we avoid challenging topics all together? Personally, I think we don’t discuss many of the tough topics with our youth.  Antagonistic is a harsh word to describe the tension that exists between church and secular issues but there is a definite tension present that youth are often caught in.  This tension is present when there is lack of discussion or an inability to handle debate on a difficult issue. In this case perhaps we are scared to tread on biblical teachings and to discuss what we believe or to challenge the various understandings on it.

Reason #3 is a great opportunity to talk and discuss hard questions that youth have. It’s a chance to listen, challenge and work through the issue in a positive aspect so everyone can learn and have a say.  It’s a challenge to read, talk and debate what the bible says, what our Church believes, our interpretation of these things and what we personally believe.  We aren’t antagonistic. We are often just aren’t communicating or we are avoiding the difficult conversations for more safe and neutral ones.

Talk it up! Learn and grow together. We don’t all have to agree but having a conversation and/or debate is a much better way to include those who have questions then simply hoping it will go away if we ignore it long enough. Tough questions and challenges are good. They engage not only each other’s intellect but our passion to understand and learn. So don’t be antagonised. Be thoughtful, creative and open to the tough stuff. Keep an open mind and help each other grow in faith through discussion and learning.

Laura Walton

About Laura Walton

Laura Walton is part of the Youth Initiatives Team for the Anglican Church of Canada. She is the half time youth minister at All Saints', Collingwood and has a private counselling practice in the area as well. As the mom of 2 teenagers, a Preacher's Kid, and long time volunteer in the Diocese of Toronto Laura has worked in the field of youth and children's ministry on the ground floor level for many years. Laura has a love for sports, music and challenging the status quo which she brings to her work in youth and children's ministry.
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