How to Raise Kids Who Hate Christianity

Lyrics to a Green Day song reveal profound spiritual truth.

How To Raise Kids Who Hate Christianity

Every Christian parent should be required to listen to Green Day’s song “Jesus of Suburbia.”

Even though most evangelical parents will never hear it played on their radio stations, “Jesus of Suburbia” is one of the most prophetic rebukes of lukewarm Christian faith delivered in years.

“Jesus of Suburbia” begins,

“I’m the son of rage and love
The Jesus of Suburbia
The bible of none of the above
On a steady diet of soda-pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my sins in hell
As far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with”

Green Day follows in the footsteps of legendary punk bands The Clash, The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, so you expect them to be anti-everything.

But there’s something deeper lurking behind the words: It’s the thoughts of grown-ups raised in homes sprinkled with a veneer of Christian sensibility—homes with just enough Jesus to keep them off drugs while growing up, but not enough to fully convert the self-centered suburban lifestyles of their parents.

Jesus veneer + unconverted lifestyles of parents = disciples of the Jesus of Suburbia.

How to Guarantee Your Kids Will Hate Christianity

Their creed? Their statement of faith? “Jesus of Suburbia” continues…

“Everyone’s so full of sh**
Born and raised by hypocrites
Hearts recycled but never saved
From the cradle to the grave
We are the kids of war and peace
From Anaheim to the Middle East
We are the stories and disciples of
The Jesus of Suburbia
Land of make believe
And it don’t believe in me
Land of make believe
And I don’t believe
And I don’t care!”

Every time I pick up a Christian book on parenting the author is quoting some George Barna quote about how we better hurry up and help our kids make a profession of faith before they turn 18 years of age, or we’ll lose them in adulthood.


If there’s any hurry, any rush, any sense of radical urgency, it should be to live out the real deal in front of our kids first. Otherwise we can help them make a zillion professions of faith before 18, but their “recycled but never saved” hearts will end up singing right along with Green Day…

What do you think?

This article originally appeared here.

Brian Jones
Brian Jones loves helping Christians live thoughtful, courageous lives. Brian is founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley, a church of 2,000+ amazing people in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Cincinnati Christian University (B.A.). He blogs at, but if you’re a Senior Pastor you might want to check out his website, Senior Pastor Central.