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Summit Ministries

Why Are So Many Christians Teens Abandoning Their Faith?


Not only are large numbers of Christians (and especially Christian youth) abandoning their faith; they are adopting the false ideas presented throughout our culture:  Darwinism, naturalism, relativism, postmodernism, pluralism, and many others. Christians have simply not been taught how to develop a comprehensive Christian view of reality or an intelligent biblical defense regarding the fundamental issues of our day.

More college freshmen today describe themselves as liberal than at any time since the Vietnam War, according to a nationwide survey taken during the fall of 2001. 57.9% think gay couples should have the legal right to marry and 29.9% say they are "far left," the highest figure since 1975. (1)


In a national survey, Christian teens were asked if they believe that moral absolutes are unchanging or whether morals are relative to the circumstances. The survey found that 76% of Christian teens denied moral absolutes (only 9% of Christian teens held to an absolute standard of morality).(2)

According to findings published in a UCLA dissertation, Dr. Gary Railsback notes that between 30 and 51% of Christians renounce their faith before graduating from college. That means one out of two professing Christian youth are turning their backs on the 18 years of Christian instruction from their homes and churches and embracing the atheistic ideas of their professors.(3)

Each year thousands of Evangelical high school students take the Nehemiah Institute PEERS worldview test, a survey revealing their worldview perspective regarding politics, economics, education, religion, and social issues. Every year since 1988 our Christian students have been answering those questions more and more like Humanists and less and less like biblical Christians. Today, the majority of Christian high school students are responding as committed Secular Humanists would respond. (4)

With statistics like these it is becoming more and more obvious that worldview training is imperative. If young Christians aren’t giving the tools they need to understand competing ideas and defending the Christian view of reality, we fear this trend will only continue.
Please look consider adopting our curriculum in your home or sending your loved-one to one of our conferences this summer.

(1) The CIRP Freshman Survey

(2) Barna Research Group 2001

(3) Gary Lyle Railsback, "An Exploratory Study of the Religiosity and Related Outcomes Among College Students," Doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1994

(4) PEERS worldview test results


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