When I went to Young Life as a teen, my parents were fully aware of the Evangelical nature of Young Life and it’s desire to convert and disciple teens into their version of Evangelical Christianity. My own involvement caused no tension with my parents or their religious convictions.
When I was a senior in high school, I invited a girl friend to Saranac Lake. She went and converted to Young Life’s version of Christianity. This did not go over well with her family who was Roman Catholic and felt that my girlfriend had been preyed upon by Bible thumpers.
Her family was always kind to me, but they let it be known that they were unhappy with the decision to let their daughter be involved with Young Life. But at that point, it was done and she continued to be adversarial towards her parent’s church and faith.
Recently, two comments have been left on the Is Young Life a Cult?-Freedom Responds post, expressing worry and one asking for advice. I do have some thoughts, but I’m certainly not an expert and wanted to highlight their comments. Please feel free to respond to our worried and Janet’s concerns and what you think they might need to do.
worried left this comment:
So, My question is what to do next? My son is now 18. He has gone to several young life “get togethesr” over the past couple years. It was fun to him & many of his friends also attended. He just graduated high school and a couple friends talked him into going to the camp at Rockbridge. First thing that threw me off was they take their phones from them as soon as they get there. He went there as a free spirit excited about just having a good time before college. He came back six days later praising the camp, letting me and everyone else know (via social networking) that he excepted Christ into his life and that he is a changed man. He’s acting strange and I just don’t like any of it…What now? What happened there? Six days and my son is a totally different person, praising God & praying for me …lol. I want to support my son in every way but something just doesn’t sit right with me.
and Janet recently added this comment:
Worried, I’m having the same fears about my daughter. She started going to a “church” at our high school, which I considered cultish itself. They even allowed her to get baptized at age 17, without us knowing or our consent. I found out about it on facebook! The thing is, she was baptized in a catholic church when she was a baby.
She started going to more and more young life and church related meetings, camps, etc.. She even started reading the bible all the time, and she doesn’t read books ever!
Now, she just started college and of course, not knowing anyone, the young life people she had “met” through twitter and facebook over the summer, swooped in and became her best friends in just a day or two. These over the top Christian kids are the ONLY one’s she’s become friends wtih. The only organizations I see her expressing interest in are Christian organizations – Campus Crusaders, Young Life, etc. And I’m afraid that she’s going to even give up the one thing she absolutely loves – volleyball, because the practices and try-outs are the same night as young life leader training.
I’ve told her that I don’t want her to go to college, just to spend her time at the high schools, recruiting kids for young life. We’re paying out-of-state tuition for her to attend the “school of her dreams”, and little did I know that it would turn into a religious pilgrimage. If in fact she does give up the volleyball, which she’s wanted to play in college since she started playing in middle school, I don’t know what I’ll do. She’s already missed a lot of the freshman fun things to do (a ventriloquist, etc.), because of deciding she’d rather go to a young life barbecue. She went to 4 church events (all wanting to bring college kids to be as one with Christ), in the first 3 days……
When I’ve asked her about friends, she talks about the young life people and how “nice” they all are….
I’m really worried. I don’t know what to do or how to talk to her without her rebelling and becoming even further entrenched.
I’m not paying for college – especially out of state tuition – for her to go to church!
Any advice is greatly appreciated. I’m at a loss and worry constantly about it.
- Young Life Camp…What’s it all about? (younglifewatch.wordpress.com)
- Cult Education Forum Discusses Young Life and Parental Consent (younglifewatch.wordpress.com)
- Area Directors Behaving Badly-Part 1 (christianagnostic.wordpress.com)
- Area Directors Behaving Badly-Part 1 (younglifewatch.wordpress.com)