Youth Out on a Frontier--But is it God’s Wild One?

Originally published July 2006.

The Wild Frontier lifestyle is one of a life lived beyond human limits.  It is “out there” where supernatural things happen.  We are all drawn to something like that because I believe it is in our nature to want more for ourselves.

Everyone, then, is drawn to the supernatural.  Even teens.  Or especially teens.  Teens are drawn to supernatural experimentation (including things of Christianity) because it gives them a feeling of power over otherwise chaotic circumstances.  And isn’t adolescence one chaotic circumstance after another?  For example, one of the boys from God’s Family sole reason for committing his life to Christ at age 13 was so he and his dad would get along better.  He need something more, something larger than reality, to fix this hopeless situation.  Twelve years later that still has not come to be but his faith is growing into a persevering faith.

The Barna Group has put a spotlight on this attraction teens have to the supernatural.  Noticing this trend, The Barna Group did an extensive study on teens and the supernatural and found statistically that the two are very connected.  So connected that Barna found out that 73 percent of all teens have personally engaged in at least one type of psychic- or witchcraft-related activity during their life.  Seventy-three percent!  This number did not include media exposure.  Forty-nine percent have experimented with at least one type of witchcraft (reading a book on witchcraft or Wicca, playing a game with witchcraft elements, using a Ouija board, participating in a seance, casting a spell or mixing a magical potion).  Forty-five percent have engaged in at least one type of psychic activity (fortune telling, palm reading, visiting a psychic, visiting a spiritual medium, or being present when someone else was using their psychic powers.)  Frequent attendance at church or youth group meetings showed very little difference in the numbers.  In fact, Barna discovered that 12 percent of youth group attenders and 11 percent of church attenders are heavily engaged in witchcraft and occult activities.  That number The Barna Group found is the same as the national average.  So in breaking down who is in your youth group, 1 out of every 4 attenders qualify as heavily or moderately engaged in witchcraft or psychic activities; 2 out of every 5 are lightly engaged; 1 out of 3 would be considered non-experimentalists.  

Ponder that for a moment.  

Now ponder that you are in a position to offer an answer.  

The Barna Group report found that Bible readers are half as likely to experiment in the negative supernatural as other teens.  Bible reading is good as we all know.  We also know the necessity of it and this little proof once more confirms that.  

Also according to The Barna Group, “the most significant factor that insulates teens from such dangerous spiritual experimentation is evangelical commitment among teens.”  This simply is because they found the supernatural help in a personal relationship with God.  They don’t need to look any further to find what ails their soul.  These teens know that God is the truth.

A true Biblical worldview is the foundation for helping teens avoid spiritually destructive behaviors.  You’ve read plenty about a Biblical worldview on these pages before.  You are in the position to teach a true Biblical worldview and to introduce teens to an evangelical commitment that will give them a life lived beyond human limits.

Another result of the Barna study was that only 28 percent of churchgoing teenagers say they have received any teaching in the last year at their church that helped to shape their views on the supernatural world.  Meanwhile, Ghost Whisperer, Charmed, Medium, Doom, and Halo are teaching our youth about supernatural realms.  

What are you doing to teach about the supernatural?  Have you Biblically answered what a ghost is to your youth?  What about the money-making side of psychic readers?  Have you explained the difference between Wicca and witchcraft?  I personally hesitate to waste valuable youth group time on such awful subjects but our teens are already spending time on such awful subjects so we do need to provide Biblical answers.  And when it comes to the total topic of the supernatural, God is truly at the center and all over the entire topic.  

Since the birth of Wild Frontier in 1990 we have used this quote as our foundation:  “Every other human being has no choice but to bow to their human limitations. Only believers can draw upon God's supernatural power to live beyond their limits.”  This is the draw of the supernatural--and we have the true answer.