Dr. Alex McFarland Explores Why Young People Are Turning from
Beliefs in Fox News Editorial and in New Book, ‘Abandoned Faith’
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Millennials and their habits, beliefs, views and work ethic are a frequent topic of conversation in today’s culture. This generation has stymied business leaders, professors, pastors, politicians and other cultural influencers.
Now, religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com) is offering insight to why millennials are backing away from God and Christianity. As the co-author of the new book Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,” written with apologist and evangelist Jason Jimenez, McFarland explores why millennials are leaving the church and how those who love them can bring them back.
“College-aged millennials today are far more likely than the general population to be religiously unaffiliated,” McFarland writes in a new op-ed for FoxNews.com. “This in true when they are compared to previous generations as well. In fact, the Pew Research Center documents that millennials are the least outwardly religious American generation, where ‘one in four are unaffiliated with any religion, far more than the share of older adults when they were ages 18 to 29.’
“Just over 60 percent of millennials say that Christianity is ‘judgmental,’” McFarland added, “and 64 percent say that ‘anti-gay’ best describes most churches today. In ministry circles, it has long been reported that of youth raised in homes that were to some degree ‘Christian,’ roughly three-quarters will jettison that faith after high school. Just under half of this number will return to some level of church involvement in their late 20s or early 30s.”
McFarland asks, why is this? His research for “Abandoned Faith,” which includes dozens of interviews with teens, twenty-somethings, professed ex-Christians, and religion and culture experts, points to factors like these:
“Is it really any wonder that kids raised in the churches of 21st century America aren’t often stirred to lifelong commitment?” McFarland added, “Most churches are so occupied with ‘marketing’ themselves to prospective attendees that they wouldn’t dream of risking their ‘brand’ by speaking tough-as-nails truth.
“It is true that our culture has grown visibly antithetical to God and Christian commitment,” he continued. “But in addressing the spiritual attrition rate of young America, it must be admitted that a prayerless, powerless church peddling versions of ‘Christianity Lite’ share in the blame. God only knows the degree of our complicity, and also the time when we’ll be concerned enough to change direction.”
Hear Alex McFarland on “Stand in the Gap Today,” a radio ministry of the American Pastors Network at noon ET Monday, May 1. Find a “Stand in the Gap” station here or listen online (click on the orange LISTEN LIVE button on the right). McFarland will discuss with host Sam Rohrer how the church can bring back millennials who are leaving the faith and how APN is bridging the gap between millennial pastors and older pastors.
To book Dr. Alex McFarland for interviews or receive a review copy of “Abandoned Faith,” contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.