The Church Times is carrying a piece on why young people leavechurch, or how they stay but their faith changes and adapts at university. Slightly misleadingly, it is called ‘Why young people turn their backs onchurch’.
However, it makes interesting reading. Of particular note is the way the report emphasises the way the church no longer holds moral sway, not only over society, but also over her own members. Hence, those young adults who remain in the faith accept major social changes, especially in the area of sexual ethics – they live together outside marriage, they are happy with abortion, and they support full gay rights. There are a few conservative exceptions, but the overall pattern among those who stay shows a ‘durable’ Christianity that has adapted to a new social milieu, rather than one which challenges popular ethics.
So – is this a work of the Holy Spirit in calling Christians to see things differently, or is it spiritual compromise?
Curiously, the same publication is also carrying an article by the theologian and social commentator Vicky Beeching called ‘What gets me out of bed on Sunday‘, in which this former pioneer of contemporary worship says that the apparently irrelevant and counter-cultural aspects of much traditional worship are the very things our society needs for the truths and practices they communicate.
What do you make of this?