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It’s the hope of almost every preacher I’ve ever met that people will embrace Jesus.

That’s been my hope every time I preach.

People - Seem - Christ

And yet the opposite seems to be happening: more people than ever before seem to be walking away from Christ. It’s not that they haven’t been to church, they have. And they’ve left.

The wave of de-conversions among Christians seems to be growing every day.

Stories - Profile - Leaders - Christianity - Others

While the stories of high profile Christian leaders walking away from their Christianity and others who are questioning their faith abound, the headlines are symptomatic of a deeper trend: atheism and spirituality not connected to any orthodox understanding of Christianity are on the rise. In fact, as the Barna Group reported, atheism has doubled in Generation Z compared to other generations.

I don’t want to be part of any Twitter mob or comment gang that piles on leaders who share their deconversions publicly. I honestly can’t see what good comes of that. Anyone who thinks judgment and hatred will win people back to the Christian faith needs to think again. Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy.

Empathy - People - Questioning - Faith

I feel some empathy for people who are deconverting. I too have gone through some deep questioning of my Christian faith.

Ironically, in college my questions didn’t lead to an abandoning, but instead to an embrace of Jesus and the Christian faith. Since then, my own questions and my consideration of other viewpoints, faiths, and worldviews keep drawing me back even more deeply into the embrace of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean the questions people are asking aren’t legitimate or real.

Paradox - Questioning - Assumptions - Years - Faith

The paradox for me personally is that my questioning of Christian assumptions over the years has deepened my faith, not eroded it. But I also realize this isn’t what’s happening for many people. They question, explore and then leave.

So the question becomes why.

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