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New research studies religion, but not faith legacy

By August 11, 2010

USA (MNN) —  A new
report published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion finds
that younger Americans are more likely to be loyal to religion than Baby
Boomers.

The age group referenced in the study is between 36 and 50.

Researchers found that Generation X may have been raised in
an atmosphere opposite to that of the Boomers. 

Why? Research
suggests the appeal may come from a rejection by the Boomer parent of a more
traditional religious culture. The study
also concluded that the younger generation was more likely loyal to religion
because it was less restrictive than the more conservative style in their
parent's churches. 

Evangelist Sammy Tippit says each generation naturally forms
its own identity. In this case, the
study's findings point to the strengths of the younger generation building out
of the weakness of their elders.  

But a question posed from the study results remains
unanswered. Tippit says, "There is a great gap of
difference in a personal faith and being religious. ‘Religious' refers to the outward things that you
do. You can be religious and have no
faith."

Does the study ignore the major differences between religion and faith? How deep does
faith go? And won't a spiritual legacy transcend a religious legacy?

Following Christ is more than religion. It's a way of life. Tippit says the study addresses the shifts in
spirituality. However, the conclusions
point to political backlash and conservatism that drove the 1980s into the
90s. 

Tippit explains that "what they're talking about is people
going from religion to secularism. Secularism leaves people empty. What has to
happen is that those who have genuine faith need to be expressing, loving,
caring, and sharing their faith with the world. "

The Great Commission falls on all members the body of Christ
to share the hope of salvation, to disciple, and to mentor new believers. Tippit says, "There is a generation out there who has no
clue what the Bible is about, or what Christianity is about, because they've grown
up in a secular environment. If we can show them the love and the grace of
Christ and who He is and what He's done, they will respond."

The researcher suggests that "if people are not happy with one
religion now, they can easily switch to a different denomination or faith." However, Tippit suggests, "Perhaps what
this report is saying is evidence that this generation (that has been
secularized) is saying, ‘Hey, I'm looking for something very authentic and
real, and once I find it, I'm committed to it.'"

 

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