Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: the church’s message to teens

Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians; I came across this really interesting article that I think is definitely worth a read if you are even remotely concerned with the faith of the up-and-coming generation. A couple quotes to pique your interest:

If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation

We think that they want cake, but they actually want steak and potatoes, and we keep giving them cake

Some adults don’t expect much from youth pastors. They simply want them to keep their children off drugs and away from premarital sex. Others practice a “gospel of niceness,” where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted… It can’t bear the weight of deeper questions: Why are my parents getting a divorce? Why did my best friend commit suicide? Why, in this economy, can’t I get the good job I was promised if I was a good kid?”

Thanks to backyardmissionary for the link!


About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

4 responses to “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: the church’s message to teens

  • Marshall

    have seen this up close. bring out the “steak & potatoes”, devotees of the system will soon call for your departure. the Presence and power of Christ violates their Deism.

  • Dan Allen


    thanks for the comment! I think that serving the “meat and potatoes” of the faith may well indeed expose where our hearts are at because it will call for change and surrender to Christ.


  • Dan Smith

    I see this unfortunately a lot as I am in the Navy. A lot of young sailors coming into the Navy, even the Christians, have very little balance in their lives. I know I struggled with things as a young man as well, but it wasn’t like it is now. Let me know if you agree with this, if you don’t mind…doesn’t it look like we need some serious mentoring in the church now? Time for elders (spiritually and physically) to move forward, take on a few young adults, and fix this problem. Is it doable?

  • Dan Allen

    Dan (Smith)

    Thanks so much for the comment! I’m sure being in the Navy you see a lot of young guys who are just leaving their families for the first time and first realizing that their beliefs are not robust enough to deal with the real world. I think that your suggestion that “we need some serious mentoring in the church now” is exactly what needs to happen and yes it should be happening among the broader church body, but first and foremost I think it should be happening at home. Kids should be seeing real faith lived out in their parents. That will be the greatest testimony to our kids, when they see day in and day out that their parents faith is deep and real.

    Again I appreciate the comment! Thank you!

    Dan (Allen)

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