Dear Church Family – Who is happier? We’re being told that children and teens will be depressed and suicidal unless we affirm and accommodate their trans-gender feelings and homosexual feelings. The premise we’re being asked to believe is that children and youth will be happier, less depressed and less suicidal if we allow them to do whatever they feel, and if we affirm their feelings. Is that premise true? Yesterday I read a report on extensive research by Columbia University. A group of Columbia University researchers studied the depressive attitudes of twelfth-graders from 2005 to 2018. They compared those aligned with conservatism and those with liberalism. When the research findings were published, the headline was, “Conservative teenagers are generally happier than their liberal peers, study finds.” The report concluded, “conservatives reported lower average depressive effect, self-derogation, and loneliness scores and higher self-esteem scores than all other groups.” In writing about the Columbia University research, Columbia University sociologist Musa al-Gharbi noted that “conservatives do not just report higher levels of happiness, they also report higher levels of meaning in their lives.” “This pattern,” he writes, is “ubiquitous, not just in the contemporary United States but also historically (virtually as far back as the record goes) and in most other geographical contexts as well.” He also noted that conservatives “are more likely to be patriotic and religious. They are more likely to be happily married and less likely to divorce.” The Columbia research is not the only study of its kind. Other studies have demonstrated similar conclusions: “religious individuals are on average happier and more satisfied with life than non-religious individuals.” And by the way, religious people even live longer on average! So, who is happier? The premise that children and youth will be depressed and suicidal unless we allow them to do whatever they feel and affirm those feelings simply is not true. Jesus knew what He was saying when he said, “the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6) “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11) Thanks for your joy in the Lord and walk in the truth! Blessings – Pastor Tim
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Emmaus Mennonite Church
Find updates, thoughts, event notices, or short message from Pastor Tim in his weekly blog posts.
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