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Ever wonder why Christian youth can't seem to make faith-based decisions, or are perplexed as to whether or not the voice of God is really talking to them?
In posting several previous articles dealing with the disappearance of the 18-29 year-old set from church, we’ve examined features of this phenomenon, the why’s and the myths. Digging a little deeper there may be more going on. I came across a blog post citing the number 750. I was shocked by the implications of the 750.
Writing in his Houston Chronicle blog, The Peace Pastor: Pursuing Peace through Faith, the Rev. Marty Troyer writes in an article titled, How can you tell if that voice in your head is Gods? "According to Alan Kreider, ('Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom' - page 104) a highly committed Christian youth may have logged 750 hours of Christian formation by the time they are 18 years of age. This, in contrast to the 11,000 hours spent being formed in a school setting, and another 15,000 hours watching TV. Today’s youth are exposed to other media between 10,000-30,000 additional hours. Which do you suppose is stronger: 750 hours, or 56,000?"
"In his theological work Andy Brubacher Kaethler (chapter in 'Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom' - page 111) answers pointedly, “In truth, we are disciples of Western culture first, and disciples of Jesus only to the degree that following Jesus does not require us to question basic Western cultural values.” This means hearing that “still small voice of God” will prove ever harder for western Christians like me."
Troyer supplies some strategies (read his blog post by clicking on the hyperlink above) for discerning whether or not it is the voice of God talking to you and concludes by affirming, “We can hear the voice of God in the cacophony of noise that is the modern world. Perhaps the better question remains: do you want to?”
In a concluding article in this series we’ll examine six strategies people of faith can employ to address dilemma of young adults deserting faith.