“Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome “

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On Wednesday Night, August 22nd, we will discuss “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” This condition was recently described in a book by the same title. The author is a 32 year old woman named Reba Riley. She defines PTCS as “A condition of spiritual injury that occurs as a result of religion, faith, and/or the losing, leaving or breaking thereof.”

Reba says she grew up in an evangelical Pentecostal church, went to a private Christian school, attended a Focus on the Family Institute and was a ministry intern at a mega-church. She says she was taught that in order to be a Christian you had to have a “believe it all or believe it none” theology.  She described herself in an interview as has having formerly been “Jesus’s head cheerleader.” But sometime around her 29th birthday, she had some kind of physical illness that forced her to look at her spiritual life.

She says she rejected religion and went looking for God. To try to cure herself of this syndrome, she decided to visit 30 different religious groups before she turned 30. When she finished her spiritual pilgrimage, she was asked if she was still a Christian. She described herself as: “I’m a Jesus follower…’I want to love God and love people and when I figure those two things out I’ll get to the rest of it,’ and that’s sort of where I am now.”

Jonathan Merritt, writing for, says that Reba’s condition is not unique for millennials. “Fifty-nine percent of Millennials who grew up in a Christian church drop out of it permanently or for an extended period of time, according to research by Barna Group. Among the most common reasons for leaving are Millennials’ beliefs that churches are shallow, anti-science, overprotective, and promote simplistic, judgmental views of sexuality…. Now, thanks to Reba Riley, these Millennials have shorthand to describe what they are experiencing: PTCS.

Our Question for the Evening:

Is our church properly preparing our children for the "real" world ?

  • Yes (53%, 9 Votes)
  • Undecided (29%, 5 Votes)
  • No (18%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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