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  #1  
Old Dec 16, '09, 2:34 pm
S.J. S.J. is offline
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Default Young Life

Hi All -

Anyone have any experience with Young Life?

Is it an innocuous, Billy Graham-like, subtle Christian org, or is it a dangerous, fundamentalist cult? Or something in between?

Any personal experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old Dec 16, '09, 3:05 pm
ALLGIRLS ALLGIRLS is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Hmm. Not sure. I would guess "something in between?" I believe it would be considered a "Parachurch Organization" (like Campus Crusade for Christ). I know that Scott and Kimberely Hahn (and Kimberly's Dad, I believe) were part of it when they were young (I think that's how Scott and Kimberly met, if I remember "Rome Sweet Home" correctly). Scott was pretty anti-Catholic, but Kimberly wasn't, and I don't remember the book mentioning anything about Young Life teaching anything about Catholicism, specifically. Scott and Kimberly were Presbyterians, which I don't think qualifies as "Fundamentalist" (the Hahn's believed in infant baptism, for example).

In Christ,

Ellen
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  #3  
Old Dec 16, '09, 3:24 pm
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

It's been many a year since I participated in Young Life, but it was fun and wholesome.

We usually met in someone's home (usually a NICE big home!) and played group games down in their basement family room. E.g., we would have marshmallow races, where we put a spoon in our mouth, a marshmallow on the spoon, and then we would try to get to the finish line first. Or we would play Pass the Can (lots of fun) or other hand motion-type games. Kids still like these games, BTW.

Then a leader would initiate a discussion with a question like, "What would you like to accomplish before you die?" or "Why do you suppose vampires are so popular?" (Back then, the popular vampire was Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows.)

We would talk about the topic, and the leader would end the discussion by giving his or her personal testimony--VERY low-key--about how Jesus Christ gives purpose and meaning in this life. The leader would invite people who wanted to know more about Jesus to see him or her after the meeting, or call him or her at home.

And then we had refreshments and more talking and goofing around. The really good homes had foosball and pool tables or other board games, and we would hang out until our parents came to pick us up.

And that's it.

I would imagine that Young Life is still very much like this.

It was EXTREMELY low-key when it came to religion. In fact, many people in our evangelical Protestant church found it too low-key--not enough talk of Jesus.

I personally don't see why a Catholic would be threatened by Young Life (unless it's changed over the years). There is not attempt to get anyone into any particular church, and the Christian message presented is simply "Have a relationship with Jesus," which is totally consistent with Catholic theology.

It's basically a safe way/place for teens to hang out safely, with good supervision (usually parents are around upstairs or in the kitchen), do wholesome activities and games, have a discussion about a topic of interest, and hear the Name of Jesus proclaimed as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Teenagers really like this kind of thing. A lot of parents get fussed out over the fact that their teenager isn't content to just stay home and be part of the family anymore, or just go to Church. Catholics especially seem to think that teenagers should be perfectly content with the Mass.

Well, they aren't. Teens love to go places where their parents aren't so that they can practice being grown-up and independent and on their own. You were like that, too, right? I know I was! I loved being left home alone and pretending that I was a grown-up and "in charge." I loved being dropped off downtown and given a little money for lunch. I loved walking to and from high school by myself--it was just nice to feel "on my own." That's normal teenaged attitude and behavior.

It's wonderful when those places are "safe"--run by Christians who don't allow bullies to take over, or violence, or drinking/smoking/drugs, or sexy flirtations, or peer pressure to do something wrong. Young Life provides this for teenagers.

I remember very distinctly that Catholic kids came to the meetings back then, and did not convert to Protestantism. It was always fun to have them come!

I would check it out--as I said, it may have changed over the years and maybe it's not so Catholic-friendly anymore.
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  #4  
Old Dec 16, '09, 3:38 pm
chessmane4e5 chessmane4e5 is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Young Life, in itself, is overall good. My only concern would be that it does not teach Catholic values and tradition.

As for a specific Young Life group, I can't say. I could see it as dangerous if the people running it, or even the kids involve, try and "convert" your kids. Their is definitely the danger that the sheer repetition of the belief that "man is justified by faith alone" could influence your kids.

Just my thoughts.
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  #5  
Old Dec 16, '09, 4:05 pm
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

It is great - for Protestant kids.

Catholics have no business there.
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  #6  
Old Dec 16, '09, 9:34 pm
Romans15_5_7 Romans15_5_7 is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by kage_ar View Post
It is great - for Protestant kids.

Catholics have no business there.
I completely disagree with this statement.
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  #7  
Old Dec 16, '09, 10:04 pm
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans15_5_7 View Post
I completely disagree with this statement.
Well, if you did, you'd be Catholic
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  #8  
Old Dec 17, '09, 1:19 pm
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by kage_ar View Post
It is great - for Protestant kids.

Catholics have no business there.
I grew up in those circles and I would have to agree. The gospel taught in these groups is not the complete Gospel--rather, it's Bible alone, faith alone, once saved-always saved, no sacraments wanted or needed, no visible Church, etc. And very few of these groups will leave a Catholic for long without suggesting that he looks into how "unbiblical" Catholic doctrines allegedly are. It never stays generic, it pretty much always moves toward how to get the Catholic out of the Catholic Church.

That being said, generally speaking the evangelicals do a much better job providing this sort of input to their kids than do Catholics. It's an area where we can definitely do a better job.
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  #9  
Old Dec 17, '09, 3:12 pm
Romans15_5_7 Romans15_5_7 is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Young Life is a great starting point for those young in their faith. Like another poster said, it is much more subtle than even a youth group. Young Life advertises that it is specifically designed for non-believers and questioning students, and is a fantastic place to begin investigating questions of Jesus and Christian life. I went to Young Life in high school as an example to others and invited my friends, too. It was a lot of fun and I saw many people's lives change forever because of it. However, the YL leaders made sure that those with a more mature faith were plugged into a church and had a spiritual adviser (whether that was Catholic or Protestant wasn't an issue- I knew several Catholics in attendance). The YL leaders did not try or intend to fulfill that role. I would never discourage any student from attending Young Life, but it isn't enough for someone already firm in their beliefs. Young Life is literally an introduction to bible stories... it doesn't even begin to touch theological differences in our faiths!
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  #10  
Old Jan 14, '10, 12:56 pm
markconrad markconrad is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

I haven't posted much to these forums, but I am very familiar with both Young Life and the Catholic Church. I just wanted to point out quickly my disagreement with these statements.

Quote:
It is great - for Protestant kids.

Catholics have no business there.
Quote:
The gospel taught in these groups is not the complete Gospel--rather, it's Bible alone, faith alone, once saved-always saved, no sacraments wanted or needed, no visible Church, etc. And very few of these groups will leave a Catholic for long without suggesting that he looks into how "unbiblical" Catholic doctrines allegedly are. It never stays generic, it pretty much always moves toward how to get the Catholic out of the Catholic Church.
Young Life's proclamation of the Gospel is consistent with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. While obviously not in complete agreement, Young Life's basic "outreach talks" do not contradict any Catholic doctrine that I know of. Young Life is more than just these talks though as some kids come to weekly meetings that delve more deeply into the Bible. On controversial topics, multiple sound viewpoints are taught at these meetings, and if a topic is particularly challenging to a certain denomination, the Young Life leader will typically refer to the denominational leaders in resolving the issue. As far as kids being involved in the visible Church, Young Life encourages kids to attend the church that their parents go to. If their parents don't go to church Young Life leaders try to figure out a way to get the kids involved in a local church congregation.

Young Life is run by many different people though. I have heard sometimes of the "moves toward how to get the Catholic out of the Catholic Church," but this is not a reason to disregard the entire organization. There are plenty of Catholics involved in the mission, and it would be unfair to judge the entire organization based off a few examples.

I would suggest that if it seems the local area Young Life seems to espouse doctrine that is apart from Catholic doctrine and that makes you uncomfortable, then keep your kids away, and try to contact the Young Life leadership to voice your complaint.
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  #11  
Old Jan 14, '10, 1:43 pm
Whitacre_Girl Whitacre_Girl is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

I went to young life a couple times as a teenager. All it was, was a meeting place for teens. We played games, and were taught wholesome lessons about not drinking, smoking, having sex, and staying away from drugs and doing well in school. There were slight religious undertones, but a LOT of catholics went to this organization and they loved it.
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  #12  
Old Jan 14, '10, 2:20 pm
rick43235 rick43235 is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
(Back then, the popular vampire was Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows.)
Bet you were watching that in black and white.
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  #13  
Old Jan 15, '10, 9:31 am
jwashu jwashu is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

Growing up Baptist then becoming Presbyterian in High School, we had Youth group and I never heard of Young Life until College.

From my personal experience with it were negative in the everyone I knew who was or had been in it were Fundamentalist and the atmosphere was definitely anti-Catholic and very narrow minded. It didn't matter what Church you went to as long as you were pretty much and Evangelical Protestant.

In Biological Evolution they were the one's the teacher made cry (Sr. Level Biology Class) because they couldn't comprehend anything outside of the fundamentalist teachings even though most were intelligent and heading to Medical School.

I can't recommend from my experience, I would not encourage my son's to attend and would be very concerned about the going at all... and I plan to make sure they can defend the Faith well once they are that age.

Joe
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  #14  
Old May 9, '11, 9:24 am
mscine mscine is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

The Bishop of Colorado has approved of the ministry of Young Life and actually drafted a letter to Young Life.

http://www.younglife.org/ResourceLib...op+Hanifen.htm
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  #15  
Old May 9, '11, 11:11 am
nodito nodito is offline
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Default Re: Young Life

I joined a Young Life group in high school and loved it. I was in a new (foreign) city and they were very welcoming of me. They were hosting a mission trip to Romania and I wanted to go. My parents were hesitant at first, since they worried it might be a cult, but after going to the planning meetings and meeting the YL leaders they felt comfortable enough to allow me to attend. The mission trip itself was of the habitat for humanity variety, and a night I remember we had these great sing-a-longs and played games. I don't ever remember being preached to. It was mostly just wholesome, clean fun with nice people. The only anti-Catholic sentiment I ever remember hearing was an offhanded comment made by one of the leaders when I expressed interest in getting back from the mission trip early so I could make Mass. She said, "You don't need to go to a church to worship God." I said, "I'd like to receive the Eucharist." And that was that. No more comments, no preaching or evangelization.

I don't actually remember too many conversations about religion at all. I think they probably tended towards the preaching with action, by being very kind and loving to the teens in their care. We played capture the flag and went out to teaand played games in people's basements. YL was a great source of friendship, and while I would have preferred that the new friends I was making were Catholic, I am grateful that YL was there when I needed it.
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