Why Young Christian Leaders Are Losing Their Faith

By: David W. Daniels

“Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the perfect Word of God it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all.”
—Jon Steingard

He wasn’t the first to lose his faith in God. And he certainly won’t be the last. Here’s why.

Jon Steingard grew up in a loving Christian home. His world was church. He did as other Christians did: accepted Jesus into his heart, prayed and participated in ministry. He gravitated toward worship teams, and at 20 years old, joined a Christian band, Hawk Nelson, in 2004.

Many things about Christian culture made him uncomfortable. But what really got to him were the Bible questions he had and contradictions he found. He needed answers.

While discussing a Bible concern, his father-in-law thought the problem was from the King James. He said he felt that King James had “put his own spin” on issues, so “that version couldn’t fully be trusted,” advising Jon to “go back to the original Greek.”

Jon said “…you believe that modern translations can’t fully be trusted, because they are human, flawed, and imperfect? I am simply taking that thought to its next natural conclusion —that the original Greek is also human, flawed, and imperfect, and also can’t fully be trusted.”

His father-in-law said, “Well, if you believe that, what do you have left?”

“Exactly,” Jon replied.

Listen to Jon’s words. “Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the perfect Word of God it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all.... The implications of that idea were absolutely massive.”

It took a year of Jon working through depression before he made this public announcement. But what happened next should shock you.

Jon wrote, “I have had private conversations with trusted friends about my doubts, and discovered to my absolute shock that they are shared by nearly every close friend my age who also grew up in the church. I am stunned by the number of people in visible positions within Christian circles that feel the same way as I do.”

Jon was not the first. And he will not be the last. For years, I’ve said that this would happen. We are giving trusting young believers contradictory Bibles and justifying them. This leads them down the road of confusion, doubt, disbelief, and rebellion, often resulting in rejection of God or disbelieving in Him entirely.

Pastor, you were mentored by men who were grounded in the KJV, or their mentors were KJV men. Your faith is solid. But what will happen to the next generation?

In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 God said through Moses, “And these words … thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children...” We have no excuse. We must learn the scriptures and pass on our faith to the next generation. In Nehemiah 8, people born in Babylon came to Jerusalem. Ezra read to them in Hebrew, and helpers “gave the sense” so they could understand the words. They didn’t change the words.

God gave no mandate to “dumb down” the Bible. Instead we were to raise up godly offspring schooled in His words.

Do you want to leave behind a legacy of faith and understanding of God’s words in English? Or one built on contradictory Bibles that leave disillusioned believers, or even unbelievers, in their wake?

Please decide now, before we see a lot more tragic cases like Jon’s.

The wrong legacy led to the NKJV, a “transition Bible” designed to get people away from the preserved words of God, to the more corrupt Bibles. See New King James - the Bridge Bible: A Path from Faith to Doubt.

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