[blog under construction]
The church “teen scene” has changed in a huge way in the last 50 years – for the worse. There may be some who disagree with my analysis, but here are the destructive changes I have seen during my lifetime.
Some events have obviously been more damaging to youth than others. But added together, all these events have reshaped today’s evangelical youth, in a tragic way. To repeat, in my opinion, these events have had a huge negative impact on the Christian faith of our evangelical youth. In a word, most of our youth have gone from “fundamentalist evangelical” to ungodly “progressive evangelical.” [Click here for a Wikipedia article on “Progressive Christianity”; note – Wikipedia is not the most reliable, accurate source.]
Here are the tragic youth-influencing events I have seen in my lifetime [I will add more events as I research them]:
1962 – U.S. Supreme Court bans prayer in schools . As a result, millions of children no longer receive any Christian influence (unchurched, no Christian influence at home, no Christian prayer in schools). [Click here for a very insightful list of many such U.S. Supreme Court decisions between 1948-1993.]
1965 (approx.) – The ecumenical Charismatic Movement [Protestant and Catholic] becomes popular in many evangelical churches. Evangelicals become increasingly more accepting of Catholics and others as being “Christians.”
1966 – Good News for Modern Man New Testament paraphrase is published [see Wikipedia article]. This was followed by other Bible versions and paraphrases pitched to youth as “easier to understand.” Eventually this led to by far the most objectionable Bible version/paraphrase ever – Eugene Peterson’s The Message (see below).
1969 (approx.) – Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) comes on the scene with Larry Norman’s music [see Wikipedia article]. Over the following years, CCM becomes increasingly secularized, profit oriented, and unbiblical.
1971 – The Living Bible paraphrase is published.
1972 – The U.S. Supreme Court legalizes abortion, influencing teenage sexual mores.
1976 – Today’s English Version (Good News for Modern Man Bible) paraphrase is published [the entire Bible].
1978 – Richard Foster introduces Spiritual Formation with the publication of Celebration of Discipline.
1978 – The NIV (New International Version) translation is published.
1993 – Portions of Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible paraphrase are first published [see Wikipedia article].
1995 (approx.) – Emerging/Emergent movements begin.
1995 (approx.) – Internet browsing becomes popular with the introduction of Windows 95. Youth are exposed to many unwholesome websites often without filters – and with no laws forbidding access by youth. Content such as porn, alcohol, drugs, gambling, violence, occult, etc. increases. Also, the Emerging/Emergent church movement increasingly uses the Internet as one of its primary venues.
2002 – Eugene Peterson’s entire The Message Bible paraphrase is published.
2004 – Facebook invented. Over the years, social networking via the Internet increases dramatically among youth. The Emerging/Emergent Church movement makes heavy use of Facebook and other Internet technologies.
2007 – The first smartphone (iPhone) is introduced, increasing Internet browsing even further [see Wikipedia article]. Unwholesome teen activities, such as sexting (which began around 2005), continue to spread via cellphones and the Internet.
See also this excellent timeline by David Cloud, documenting events in evangelical apostasy from 1900 on. The timeline deals with many religious events, not just events affecting youth.