02 February 2011

How sad . . . for a couple of reasons; yet not without hope

A new study has been released with a rather sad finding among teens in the United States. From CN Cath News, with my emphases:

Jesus Christ and President Barack Obama are equally popular role models among teens in the US, a study has found, according to a report on the Christian Today website.
What is first of all sad with this report is that the Savior of the world is only as popular as the sitting President of the United States of America. Simply consider it this way: the carpenter from Nazareth who died so that everyone live is only as popular as a man who did not vote to protect the life of babies who survived botched abortions.

But there is another aspect to this study that is perhaps more sad:

President Obama and Jesus Christ were commonly named as teen role models, each receiving 3 percent of the votes.
I have known for a while now that too many teens - even among church-goers - know preciously little about Jesus; in one class I taught not even 25% of the class could tell me when Jesus walked the earth. Clearly, there is much work to be done here.

There are two positive notes from the study, though. First, pastors known personally by the teens received 6% of the votes. Perhaps this means that teens simply look to Jesus as more than a role model; if this is the case, it would certainly be encouraging; there are too many who simply see him as one role model among many.

For the second positive note:

A new Barna Group study on teen role models also found that two out of three teens named someone they know personally as a person they looked up to, with the favorite role model among teens being a grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle as someone they admire most other than their parents.

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