Desolation of Generations

Desolation of Generations

How do you rise above a poverty culture “when you’re born with it hanging around your neck?”

generation of disrepairIn the recent bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy, author J.D. Vance recounts the story of his chaotic family and the crises in poor working-class communities. From Appalachia, his people migrated to southern Ohio to find jobs. After securing work, they bought houses and enrolled their kids in public schools.

They were offered a chance at the American Dream.

But sadly, their poverty culture came with them. Continue reading

A Pancake Education

A Pancake Education

In case you haven’t noticed, a spiritual battle over adolescents is raging. It’s widely discussed—everything from teenage pregnancies, drug abuse, eating disorders, gang participation, and suicide rates.

Young woman in classroom.Few people, however, seem to realize that Christian kids are at risk in all the same categories. Even fewer worry about kids who go to Christian schools and live in Christian homes. After all, those kids are covered on all fronts, right?

Dead wrong.

Barna research indicates that, although most teens have a relationship with Christianity, it’s usually superficial. Other sources show that an average Christian kid’s belief system is no different from non-churched kids. For example “85% of Christian teens are likely to reason just because it’s wrong for you doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me, and 57% could not even say that an objective standard of truth exists.”

David Kinnaman’s recent book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving the Church…and Rethinking Their Faith, states that nearly 60% of kids raised in Christian homes walk away from their faith. These statistics should cause great alarm.

Three high school boys I know sounded the alarm for me one morning over breakfast years ago. They came on Saturday mornings for pancakes. Our discussions were engaging, because their thoughts were unedited.

One such morning, we talked about Christian education. Laying academic comparisons aside, we asked them about the spiritual pros and cons of public school, homeschool and Christian schools. To my astonishment, all three were decidedly negative about Christian education.

mother scolding sonThey confided that many of their friends who’d gone exclusively to Christian schools became serious drug addicts. One said that Christian schools were in danger of producing some of the worst atheists. Most kids felt the environment was like a restrictive playpen with a “can’t do this—can’t do that,” mentality. Too many persnickety rules. Continue reading