New poll: few Millennials describe belief in God as “very important”

Beliefs of millennials and boomers
Beliefs of millennials and boomers

I saw a very interesting article that compared the attitudes of young people about things like patriotism, religion, freedom, etc. The numbers are very discouraging.

So, here’s the article from the Washington Examiner:

The importance of patriotism, faith in God, and having children is significantly lower among millennials and Generation Z, compared to previous generations.

In a new poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, nearly 80% of people aged 55-91 said being patriotic is important to them, while only 42% of millennials and Generation Z, or those aged 18-38, said the same. Thirty percent of millennials and Generation Z said religion was important, compared to the over 75% of baby boomers, with just over 30% of millennials and Generation Z saying it was important to have children.

Areas where the younger generations had placed higher importance compared to boomers were tolerance for others and self-fulfillment, with financial security being almost tied between the two age groups.

I’m sure that everyone has seen other polls showing the decline of Christianity, especially in mainline and Catholic churches. Evangelicals are declining less, but they are still declining.

The reason I linked to this post is because I’ve noticed that some Christians don’t really think that there is anything to be concerned about. Everything is working fine, they say. Whatever we’re doing right now must be working, because there is no decline. We’re winning, and if you think otherwise, then you’re just complaining.

Well, I don’t really know why there is this decline, all I can do is speak from my experiences. I’ve met people through my blog who did lose their faith in college, and I’ve met ex-Christians in my office, too. I asked them what the problem was, and it seems to be that when they were growing up, they often bullied into behaving like a Christian without being able to ask any questions about whether it was true. And then as soon as they got to college away from their parents and pastors, they just dumped the whole thing.

I remember listening to an amazing lecture a while back by Dr. Scott Waller. I think it was a lecture he gave for the Stand to Reason “Masters Series in Christian Thought” in 2003. The lecture was about Postmodernism in the University. Postmodernism is the view that there are no true or false views, especially with “soft” issues like religion and morality. In the lecture, he talked about how a father had sent his devout Christian son to university, and the son had returned an atheist after one semester. I remember Dr. Waller quoting the son telling his parents “I have come to think of my time growing up in this house as the dark period of my life”. The father was very upset. So Dr. Waller told him what to do. He said, you’re going to need to read a few books on the most common questions that your son has, and then work through the answers with him. And he made a little pile of books about common questions that college students ask, and pushed the pile across the table to the father. And the father pushed the books back across the table to Dr. Waller, and said “well, I don’t have time for reading so many books… but could you just talk to him instead?”

Another thing that seems to cause a lot of young people to  leave the faith in college is sex. Now if I were trying to convince someone to be responsible about sex, I’d try to show them studies and statistics to explain why there really are best practices to relationships and marriage. For example, I’d might show them that the number of premarital sex partners increases marital instability, or that sliding into cohabitation early tends to make marriages less stable. But this takes a bit of work, and you have to work through it with the young people. I just don’t know if parents really reason with their kids like this. But in churches, I’ve noticed that trying to make an argument using evidence isn’t very popular. To me, if I were trying to be convincing to someone about something, I would use evidence. It’s just natural to me to make a case if I’m trying to be persuasive. But making a case just hasn’t been a really big priority in the churches I’ve attended.

So, I guess if I had to give any advice to parents of children, or pastors in churches, it would be that Christianity is in decline, and we need to do more than just order people to memorize Bible verses and creeds, go to church, etc. It’s hard for me to know what’s really going on in everyone’s home, and in everyone’s church. But I don’t think that whatever we’re doing in our homes and churches is working to convince young people that belief in God is very important.

4 thoughts on “New poll: few Millennials describe belief in God as “very important””

  1. Sometimes I wonder if Christianity is in decline or churchianity is in decline? I saw a recent poll where only 5% of Americans have a Biblical worldview. And that might be based mostly on doctrine and not even include the weak practices of Western Christians.

    If 5% of Americans are true Christians and 25% of Americans go to church regularly, then, if my math is correct, that would mean that at least 80% (if all of the 5% are a subset of the 25%) of those who go to church regularly are NOT born again followers of Jesus Christ – and probably a lot higher than that number because I know a lot of Christians who get marginalized in churches for talking about sin, Judgment, Hell, abortion, gay “marriage,” divorce (the favorite “Christian” sin), transgendering children, etc – all of the things that the pastors will NOT talk about – and therefore do not attend churches because the churches are lukewarm at best.

    Those numbers are just very rough examples, but I think it indicates that a lot of people who believe in “god” are not necessarily believing in the Christian God. I have liberal relatives who all claim to be “Christian” but clearly have zero understanding of the Bible and it carries over into their practices, including voting for Dimms, supporting abortion and the Gaystapo, etc.

    I think we may be at the point where if a man can identify as a “woman” even though he is still male, then a lot of apostates are identifying as “Christian” even though they are really apostate. Regardless of this, it argues even MORE so for good apologetics, since the situation is far more dire than we might realize. The good news is that there is almost no place to go but up from 5%, and that number is likely to increase under Marxism when the multitudes are stripped of any comforts whatsoever and can only rely on Christ. (That is NOT an argument for supporting Marxism, just pointing out that God can work His Good even through the gross evils of Marxism. We should still resist Marxism, including medical Marxism, in ways great and small.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My thoughts exactly. Working hypothesis: The % of authentic Christians is much more steady, but the cultural Christians have gone from feeling pressure to be in church to feeling pressure to be anti-church. Their defining characteristic is succumbing to peer pressure.

      That said, I agree that more apologetics at younger ages is key. If people reject it, that’s because God hasn’t made them spiritually alive (John 3:8). But I want them to know they are rejecting the truth and not their straw-man version of Christianity.

      Liked by 2 people

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