Adding to the conversation about why millennials are leaving the church, Rachel Ford (a Christian herself) offers her own list.
I love this item for obvious reasons:
2. Atheism and agnosticism do present appealing, intellectually honest alternatives
When you’re talking about something that no one has seen, no one has witnessed, no one can reproduce — and the only “evidence” in its favor is an ancient manuscript that has been altered, re-translated, and mistranslated a thousand times — is it really a puzzling thing that so many people are saying, “to be honest, I just don’t know”? Factor in that information has become more easily accessible — a person can become well-informed on many topics with but an internet connection, a tablet, and a discerning eye — and the exclusive “truth” of any given religion seems to fade…
This is why it’s so important that more atheists keep speaking out. Even if we don’t convince people to fully lose their faith in a God, we can at least give them reason to second-guess those beliefs, making them a little more rational in the process.
It’s less important to me that people stop believing in God and far more of a priority to make sure that their decisions aren’t entirely based on their faith. When it comes to social issues, for example, we all lose when people are basing their beliefs on “biblical values.” Rachel is just one example of a younger Christian who knows that, sometimes, reason and compassion need to override what pastors want you to do.
By the way, the last item on Rachel’s list is also excellent:
The church has lost its moral authority: people can be good without religion, and people can be evil in spite of religion
Acknowledging that is so important and it’s a testament, I think, to atheists who have been making the case for a while that you can indeed be good without God. It destroys the Joe Klein-loving stereotype when everyone knows that atheists are just as likely to be found in disaster sites as Christians, that we’re in foxholes next to religious people, that we have morals and ethics are just aren’t derived from a holy book.
I’m betting that a lot more Christians are going to come to those conclusions in the next several years.