Think abstinence rallies. Think church camp. Think hypocrisy (since as many of us who knew/know/were Christian young adults, some of the ones that talk the biggest game are the ones who've secretly slept with half the school). Think WWJD. When I think of it in terms of "Christian Young Adult" I think of the holy-roller types, not apathetic teenagers really, the type who are totally gung-ho about it. I read an article in Spin magazine about this new "X-treme!" Christian teen movement with lazer shows and shit. These Christian teens thought that raves were the devil's playground and that pockets in raver's pants were the perfect size to hold a bible and that wasn't a coincidence. And the idea that you have to have sex before marriage is "a lie straight from the pits of hell." And people wonder why kids go to the dark side...

Christian young adults are often seen (particularly in the US) as portrayed in the above writeups: zealous hypocritical brainwashed youths - 'holy rollers'. This stereotype is used in many places, from films and TV programmes to the internet and everyday life. This concept of Christian youth is however misguided, as it certainly does not represent all, or even many, young Christians.

It is evident from the fact that church camp, abstinence rallies and other evangelical 'outreach' events exist that there is a large contingent of young people who, for whatever reason, take their Christian beliefs very seriously indeed, and feel the need to encourage others to believe in the same way as they do. This again may be for any number of reasons: that they are particularly happy with their beliefs and wish to share them with others, that their church pressures them to, they feel their denomination has something over the others, that all their friends do these things, that they feel that in this way they will become 'better' Christians, and so on. These motives and the beliefs themselves may be misguided, but that is not the issue at stake here. Young Christians have gained this stereotype because of this very vocal, yet relatively small group of young adults.

It is easy to forget, due to these Christians being the ones with the prominent public figure and face, that there are other young Christians who are less evangelical and aggressive: the ones who perhaps you don't know are Christians because they're not proclaiming your imminent damnation at the top of their voice. Those who perhaps believe in abstinence and fellowship, but carry out their beliefs quietly; or those who choose to go out, get drunk, have sex and yet still read the Bible each day and have a close relationship with their God. These young Christians often suffer at the hands of those who draw upon the above stereotype as soon as they hear the word 'Christian'. It is important to remember that as well as coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, Christians come in different creeds and denominations, and to judge a group such as Christian young adults by a prominent yet small proportion of their colleagues is a bit like judging all plants by the most colourful of flowers...

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