59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by hawkgrrrl » 11 May 2017, 16:29

I think there is also a considerable amount of anti-religious bullying amongst millenials, particularly on social media.
Good point.

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SamBee
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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by SamBee » 11 May 2017, 18:44

hawkgrrrl wrote:
11 May 2017, 16:29
I think there is also a considerable amount of anti-religious bullying amongst millenials, particularly on social media.
Good point.
There are also widely propagated perceptions that Christians are bigoted, enable child abuse, are hypocritical, uneducated etc etc. Some are but not all are.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by hawkgrrrl » 11 May 2017, 19:42

And while some religious people have those issues, I don't think it's the majority. Kids, who have less life experience, struggle to understand that.

ydeve
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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by ydeve » 11 May 2017, 21:06

To be honest, in my experience, most Christians are bigoted. They just don't recognize it as such because it is less extreme than what they typically associate with the word. Misogyny and homophobia are widespread in Christianity. Many of us view these as more condemning flaws than older people do. Just because you don't throw slurs at me does not make you not homophobic. You don't have to be as misogynistic as Trump for church to not be a place I want to raise a family. If I can have the benefits of spirituality without all these harmful ideologies, why should I go to church?

I mean, there's a reason that the vast majority of queer people, including those who grew up in religious families, aren't religious. And it's not because of hate groups like the Westborough Baptist Church. It's because of personal experience with a bigoted, toxic environment. Actually accepting and affirming churches are in the minority.

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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by SamBee » 12 May 2017, 10:00

I'll rephrase the hypocritical thing. Every human is a hypocrite, it is a matter of degree, but it is assumed religious people are ultra-hypocritical.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by hawkgrrrl » 12 May 2017, 11:55

To be honest, in my experience, most Christians are bigoted.
This doesn't match my experience, but obviously ymmv. Older people and conservatives certainly skew this way, and I have found that those who are bigoted feel more free to share their terrible views openly at church (believing they are majority opinions). I've actually seen (believe it or not) more truly egalitarian marriages inside the church than outside it, and I've met some very thoughtful people about LGBT issues inside the church, even if they haven't left the church over it. Sometimes I've been surprised by this because I don't find that they are always so vocal about it.

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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 13 May 2017, 09:13

Roy wrote:
11 May 2017, 09:19
However, as Ray has often pointed out, the LDS church often fares better at retaining its youth than many churches. This may be precisely because we have rejected the consumer driven model of church. When you are trying to attract parishioners based on how your church programs add value to their lives - it can be easy to drift from current consumer tastes and generational gaps. The LDS church does not seem to be trying to attract people so much as present a program that, if true, is vital to your salvation...Perhaps the LDS church can implement some of these suggestions without seeming to pander to the whims of changing generational expectations. After all, church does not have to be painful to be true.
ydeve wrote:
11 May 2017, 09:20
I identify with this excerpt so much. To be honest, I see the lds church's rejection of the consumer driven model, or emphasis of "truth" and downplay of "contributing to wellbeing" as greatly increasing the harm it causes.
I agree with ydeve, personally I think they should follow more of a consumer driven model. If the Church is still retaining youth/young adults better than some other churches then my guess is that this is mostly in spite of not doing more to reflect a consumer driven model, not because of it. It looks like the Church currently relies heavily on things like full-time missions, members getting married to another active member relatively young, a relatively high level of social/family pressure, and a sense of obligation based on the belief that these teachings are "true", right, from God, etc. in order to retain followers. I don't see how any of that directly precludes at least trying to provide a better and more attractive product that would be easier to sell than LDS Mormonism currently is for practical purposes. Also I'm not sure that sheer numbers should be considered the best possible measure of "success" in the first place. For example, probably the best religious group at retaining young adults world-wide right now would be the Muslims but is that really the sort of group the LDS Church would want to emulate more closely even if they could?

In any case, it looks like business as usual is just not going to deliver the results they were used to seeing in 70s, 80s, and 90s anymore. In a leaked document Church leaders estimated that in January 2004 only 35% of young single adults (18-30) were active in the US and Canada. As far as I can tell their proposed solution was to try to keep track of these members better and try to establish more "accountability" to local leaders. Well only a few years later (2008) in the leaked video about young single adults they said that only about 30% were active in North America and 20% worldwide. After that they lowered the mission age limits but personally I doubt that has done much to reverse these trends and now even full-time missions and temple marriage look like they are not as much of a factor in helping assure life-long activity in the Church as they used to be because we see many returned missionaries and temple-married members falling away now too largely because of the internet discrediting the Church's truth claims and providing social proof/validation that there are many others that don't believe in the Church, that it is alright or even preferable to leave the Church, etc.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by Roy » 13 May 2017, 09:48

I think that the church currently has a model where members must sacrifice for their own good in order to fit the church program. Members do not expect their church to bend to changing consumer trends and can be quite proud of this fact. Yes, this model appears to be similar to the model for Muslims. It also appears to be quite effective, especially in areas where your religion is the majority and there can be costs for members who do not conform.

I believe that there are things that the church can do to make the church experience less of a chore. However, I also believe that the church must be careful in this regard. If the church accommodates too far too fast then it may disillusion many individuals that were proud of the fact that their religion is a demanding religion that does not change for our changing consumer tastes. The other problem of converting to a more consumer model is that the changes will never be enough. The membership will just get more and more demanding. We live in a time when the circus, i.e. "the greatest show on earth" is no longer viable. Perhaps the church is smart for not trying to compete in that sphere.
I identify with this excerpt so much. To be honest, I see the lds church's rejection of the consumer driven model, or emphasis of "truth" and downplay of "contributing to wellbeing" as greatly increasing the harm it causes.
Yes, I agree with this. Harm is considered by the faithful to be collateral damage that will be proven "worth it" or even necessary in the final divine analysis.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Re: 59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 13 May 2017, 15:30

Roy wrote:
13 May 2017, 09:48
I think that the church currently has a model where members must sacrifice for their own good in order to fit the church program. Members do not expect their church to bend to changing consumer trends and can be quite proud of this fact. Yes, this model appears to be similar to the model for Muslims. It also appears to be quite effective, especially in areas where your religion is the majority and there can be costs for members who do not conform...
I think the LDS Church is similar to Islam in that there is a certain element of being surrounded by other Mormons that expect you to go along with all these traditional teachings and if not then it's not alright that makes it harder to go openly "apostate" than it seems like it is for the typical Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. to just not go back to church if they don't really care for it. But it seems like the Church should be more different from Islam than it actually is in practice because with Islam it seems like the general idea is that everyone should just submit to the will of God (as they see it) and if Sharia law is strictly enforced then so be it whereas the LDS Church has traditionally taught that it is important for people to have the freedom to choose for themselves (at least in theory). Sure this kind of social pressure and outright fear in some cases is fairly effective in getting people to go along with the group as long as it can be maintained in sufficient levels but I'm not sure it is a sustainable approach to rely on so much anymore now that the internet makes it so easy for members to discredit the Church's truth claims and see that they aren't the only ones that doubt or don't believe this, often before they ever get very invested in the Church to begin with.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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