Unlike previous generations, humor, not music, is young men’s No. 1 form of self-expression.
Why would these mostly-male nonbelievers participate in an institution based on a fairy tale? Their reasoning sheds light on why the local church has such a weak hold on churchgoing men.
The perpetrators of these evil acts have not just damaged the lives of their victims – they have cast a dark shadow of suspicion over men who want to spend time with boys.
Young men are doing 180s – on their skateboards, and in their spiritual lives.
Reform Jewish Synagogues are losing their young men, so says reporter Debra Nussbaum-Cohen in an article in the New York Times. The most liberal wing of Judaism is in the same sinking boat as many liberal Christian denominations. Not only are they studying the problem, but a group of courageous Jews is taking a step…
Stop your snickering. This is a serious subject.
In a young woman’s room it’s not uncommon to find various keepsakes of her childhood, including stuffed animals, baby pictures and dolls. Go to a boy’s room and a different portrait emerges: it’s as if his childhood never existed. There’s nary a Lego, Tonka truck or Mutant Ninja Turtle to be seen. Instead the walls are plastered with the images of sports heroes, curvaceous models and alcoholic beverages.
Why the difference?
Psychologically speaking, young men have an intense need to separate themselves from childhood. Women, on the other hand, celebrate their childhoods for a lifetime. No shame accrues to a woman who revels in her youth, but in our society men are supposed to strain toward manhood. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it’s the way things are and have been for centuries. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Young men are still eager to do this.
So we have another reason men avoid Christianity: there is a strong psychological link between church and childhood. Women, who are free to enjoy the delights of their youth, attend church without shame. But men are wary of an institution that has strong ties to their formative years.
Dan Schaeffer told me the sad tale of his son’s nine best Christian buddies. All were pillars in the youth group, but within three weeks of high school graduation all nine had turned their back on church.
Why is this happening? We work so hard to train them up in the way they should go. How can a boy simply abandon church after 16 years of Sunday school, 8 years of VBS, and 4 years of youth group?
I believe we can combat this widespread apostasy – if we rediscover young male initiation.
Safe for the whole family. How many 17-year-old boys do you think you’re going to attract with a slogan like that?
Christianity used to be a dangerous mission. But today it’s something that keeps people safe. Like a bicycle helmet.