Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What's the Difference?

Can we learn something from the Amish? Specifically, I'm referring to our young people in their late teens.
Many Amish in this age group launch out to experience life as the rest of this age group does, participating in activities and technology that young people in their late teens engage in. Following this period, they then make a decision whether they want to remain Amish with its accompanying lifestyle, or whether they choose to abandon the Amish way of life. Many of them return to the Amish lifestyle.
Contrast this to the latest studies of Christian youth. After reaching high school graduation, as high as 90% of the youth who were raised in the church, active in church youth groups, leave the church, not to return.
Why is it that most of the Amish return while most of the "Christian" youth do not?

Ah... fun topic.

I got into a similar conversation with my in-laws about the muslim population where they live.

I think the difference between some of these religions and western christianity is that these other religions are taught as culture. Ie., a muslim child grows up, and everything about their life -- the traditions, the music, the food, etc., are all tied into their religion.

Western Christianity, on the other hand, is treated as a club, to which membership is voluntary, and level of committment is voluntary, and everybody pats themselves on the back for simply being a member.

But what is "christian culture" supposed to look like? Paul makes it clear that it's not of food, or traditions, or holidays... it's something bigger. It's a culture of the Holy Spirit.

The difficult piece of this is that the Holy Spirit isn't hereditary. God chooses whom He will choose (Isaac/Ishmael), and that's the end of that.
jovial cynic,
Good comment! Your statement about Western Christianity being a club is so right on! Western Christianity isn't a lifestyle with most. It is an impure mixture of western culture and certain biblical values that are professed, but not adhered to sacrificially. Sacrifice is the one thing that westerners want no part of.
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