Something is wrong. The stories usually involve a close friend or family member who once attended church faithfully but left. In many cases, these once-active churchgoers adopt an openly secular worldview and lifestyle, rejecting all semblance of Christian belief and values. Most churches, it seems, are full of Christian parents, Sunday school teachers, and pastors who tell similar heartrending stories. They just can’t believe what’s happening.
No church is safe. Next time you attend a morning service, look around you. Who’s next? One of the chattering young people, the teens huddled in the corner, the single adults busily pursuing their careers? They may seem happy and engaged, but is Christ really at the center of their hearts and lives?
You can’t just assume God’s Word rules everything they think and do. If you could ask a few probing questionsabout creation, abortion, marriage, and the exclusivity of Christ’s salvationyou might be surprised by their answers. They’re on a dangerous path. Six out of ten may eventually leave church. Many of the restlike Matthew Vines who now promotes homosexual “marriage” in churchesmay stay but not believe like you do!
I believe this is a huge warning sign to the church. When a generation no longer builds its worldview on the foundation of the absolute authority of God’s Word, the new generation begins to question everything it says, including its morality. Then they do what is “right” in their own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25). Eventually we reach a tipping point, a twisted perspective where, like Israel, we “"call evil good, and good evil"” (Isaiah 5:20).
The ARG study asked where these younger Christians believe the Bible has errors. The most common answer was the age of the earth (37%)! This group of Christians also believe science has disproved the book of Genesis and that the Flood did not occur during Noah’s day. In other words, origins was a major issue among those who believe the Bible has errors.
Doubting Genesis has had horrendous consequences. It should come as no surprise that as generations are trained to disbelieve the Bible’s account of origins, they also increasingly doubt the rest of the Bible. That’s a part of the greater Satanic strategy that had its origin in the Garden of Eden. All biblical doctrines (including marriage) are founded (directly or indirectly) in the history found in Genesis 111. We see the direct result of this doubt and compromise reflected in the increasing acceptance of same-sex “marriage,” abortion, and so on.
As the newest ARG research reveals, at the heart of what’s wrong with our churches is a failure to accept and teach clearly what the Bible reveals about the age of the earth. It is the big “elephant in the room” that most Christian leaders refuse to acknowledge. Or worse, they endorse compromise by accepting the evolutionary idea of millions of years.
This illustrates that there is considerable biblical illiteracy among the twentysomethings, and significant compromise among church leaders. In most cases, the twentysomethings said their high school teachers convinced them not to trust the Bible! Many of them said they wished someone had prepared them better, but no one did.
Not only is this a warning to parents about where they send their children for education, but it is a warning to church leaders and parents about the importance of training the coming generations to be able to defend the Christian faith and strengthen their belief in God’s Word.
One of the key reasons kids don’t embrace their parents’ and church’s faith in adulthood is because they never learned how to “own” their own faith. They never asked tough questions about their faith in a safe environment. Perhaps they were raised in a church or home where questions and doubts were discouraged. Whatever the case, they never worked through some of these difficult issues while they were young; therefore they were never challenged with what they believe or why they believe it.
Every generation has the same decision to make: Will I serve the God of the Bible or a false god? Every newborn must be taught the truth from scratch, or that soul could be completely lost.
I believe the Christian faith is very much like a relay race. One generation carries the responsibility to pass on the faith to the next. As we have seen from the new ARG research, the church is currently failing this critical task in many areas.