Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Will the church split by age?

Today has been a very very busy day at work. And I have a date tonight with "y" so let's see how fast I can post.

Last night was interesting. I had dinner with a Ph.D counselor who also happens to be the head of a commission exploring how his particular denomination can talk about homosexuality without splitting. It's not my denomination but it's similar enough that I was intrigued with how he went about it.

We talked about how churches split and wrestle on this issue. He says when they surveyed church members that age was the number one factor that told what they believed on issues of homosexuality like gay marriage. Don't quote me on this because I didn't see the data. However, in their particular survey 75% of people older than 35 were against gay marriage, and 75% of people under 35 were supportive of gay marriage. There has never (that I know of) been such a split in the church on anything so strongly based on age. What do you think this means for the church of the future?

This is just me imagining and supposing so you can tell me it's crap but... Older generations than me have a stronger vested interest in the church. They seem to be more willing to stay when it's hard and fight to have the church be "their way". So if there is some big battle over homosexuality my guess is that people over 35 will stay in the church and fight against gay marriage. People under the age of 35 will continue the trend they have already started and just leave the church all together.

Sometimes when I hear about this stuff I wonder if the church will last into the future if younger generations just up and leave.

1 comment:

Zuzu said...

Personally, I think the best thing that could happen to the church would be a splintering and implosion. On this issue I find myself something of a scorched earth supporter. Encourage young people to leave in droves, let the older people decay and run the church to rot and ruin. Christianity ain't going anywhere. Young people who believe in Christianity will rebuild the church, in their own time, and hopefully it will have a little more depth and feeling than the mega churches of Colorado (gross) Springs. More Christians who speak out against and refuse to tolerate- ideologically and otherwise - what's going on in places like North Dakota (ala Jesus Camp) and bigotry and hatred that some people cling to in order to frame their "Christianity" - the more Christianity will become appealing to a younger, less hateful, generation. That's just, you know, my opinion. I applaud everyone who leaves the church because of the church's hate mongering. Those are the people who will rebuild the church on a foundation of grace. I don't know if you've noticed, but it seems to me like most gay-friendly congregations are more life-friendly congregations too. Okay.. that's enough out of me, eh? - Zu