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Religion
See other Religion Articles

Title: If religion is in decline, it might only have itself to blame
Source: PennLive
URL Source: http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/201 ... ligion_is_in_decline_it_m.html
Published: May 15, 2015
Author: Marc Perkel
Post Date: 2015-05-15 08:51:58 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 1157
Comments: 16

According to a Pew Research Center study released Tuesday, the number of Americans calling themselves Christian has dropped off sharply in recent years while the "none" classification has sharply increased -- especially among young people. One third of millennials say they have no faith affiliation.

This was the result of a survey of 35,000 American adults. 

What does this mean? This should be a wake up call for Christian America to look at itself and realize what it is doing wrong. And as an outsider I have an opinion to share. 

I was neither raised Christian or religious but I lived in a majority Christian society. Although some of their rituals seemed a little strange to me it seemed that one of the core principles of Christianity was that people were supposed to be "good people" and live a "Christ-Honoring Life."

But Christian culture has changed since then. It seems to me that the Christian identity has been exploited by political interests who created the "culture wars".

Now Christians are no longer focused on being "good people". Christians have become angry, paranoid, cultish, selfish, intolerant, and a little crazy in a scary sort of way. Not the same kind of Christians I grew up with. 

Lately, Christianity seem to be at war with Reality itself embracing an anti-science stance. Christians seem to think that if they believe hard enough that Reality transforms itself into what they want to believe is true.

During the George W. Bush years Karl Rove is credited as saying: "Guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

And while you're studying that reality--judiciously, as you will--we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." 

During the Bush years Christians thought they were bigger than Reality itself. That they were more powerful than the universe.

They believed they could defy the laws of nature. But as we found out in hindsight, Reality is bigger than they were and when they went to war with Reality America lost, and we are still paying for Bush's sins.

Fighting Reality is like getting mad and kicking a rock as hard as you can in order to "teach the rock a lesson". But when you do that the rock teaches you a lesson. 

The internet hasn't helped Christianity either. The web gives people access to Reality based information in a way that sharply contrasts with Christianity's war on Reality. Christians should not be fighting against science because fighting science is like kicking a rock.

Christianity needs to modernize and find a way to live in harmony with Reality and in harmony with the rest of the non-Christian world. As our understanding of Reality increases over time the religious world needs to evolve to accommodate and embrace what science is discovering. 

Centuries ago the Catholic Church was not happy when Galileo, inventor of the telescope, determined that the Earth revolved around the Sun. They imprisoned him for life. But now we all know Galileo was right. Every day we are discovering new things.

We cure disease. Our rockets travel to other planets. We discover new and exciting particles. The wonders of the universe are surrendering their secrets and young people want to explore our universe, this world, the real world. 

If Christianity is going to continue to be relevant as humanity colonizes Mars then it needs to at least go back to focusing on being "good people" and living life in a Christ honoring way.

If religion can make the lives of people better and inspire people to live a life worth living then it has a chance. But if religion wants to be at war with Reality then may Darwin have mercy on our souls.

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#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

" the number of Americans calling themselves Christian has dropped off sharply in recent years while the "none" classification has sharply increased -- especially among young people. "

It could simply be an increase in the number of people that do not belong to a church, or go regularly. i know a number of people that believe, but do not belong to a particular church.

I do not know, I am just guessing

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Stoner  posted on  2015-05-15   9:00:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Willie Green (#0)

A better explanation is found in the Bible. In Luke 18:8b, Jesus seems to pause and ask a question, rhetorical question for sure, for He and only He could know the answer. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?

There is no doubt in my mind that as we get ever closer to the end, faith in Christ drops and more and more turn to commentary and away from God's word, kind of like that which is stated so very well in Amos 8:11 &12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Go to a Christian bookstore and wathc how many more copies of stories, commentaries and other things are sold over copies of the KJV. Fewer and fewer people each day spend time reading what God said rather than what mans says God said.

It is the very definition of Christian, used today that is so deceptive, I would guess that the real percentage is down around 1/2 of 1% or perhaps even less.

BobCeleste  posted on  2015-05-15   9:06:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Willie Green, Stoner (#1)

Christians have become angry, paranoid, cultish, selfish, intolerant, and a little crazy in a scary sort of way. Not the same kind of Christians I grew up with.

I have my own pet theory.

For a long time now - at least since the Cold War, a huge percentage of American Christians were invested in the idea that anti-Christ time was near, what with the Cold War making it seem that there could be a nuclear war and we had an atheist and avowed enemy of Christianity.

Then no pay off. The apocalypse did not happen and the USSR collapsed.

But just around the corner was the Iraq war! I recall tons of reading material saying Saddam may be the anti-Christ - even the Nostrodamus nut jobs were saying this was a possibility. And again no pay off. All this time America in the 90s is going through some paranoia freak out over FEMA death camps and black helicopters. The dreaded liberal college protestor generation ruled in the USA and in the UK. But instead of doom we had 8 years of Uber prosperity.

Then comes 9/11 and the second Iraq War with an avowed Christian in office. We have war in the middle east. Israel is now fully against giving up land for peace. This is it, Elizabeth! This is the big one! I recall we had a few Protestant cults proclaim actual times the world was to end. For some it was like 50 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, waiting for the world to end. It was now or never for Jesus to return. The "Left Behind Books" were selling like hotcakes.

And then?

Nothing.

We had a last gasp at the end times fever with Obama declared to be almost Satan, he even had a look a like in a biblical TV show! But 8 years later, and Obama almost out of office and the economy doing OK (if not great) and still no Jesus.

I think at this point, a lot of people that wasted a fortune on building an end times bunker are feeling let down - all that time and money and no pay off!

Pericles  posted on  2015-05-15   9:18:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: BobCeleste (#2)

Go to a Christian bookstore and wathc how many more copies of stories, commentaries and other things are sold over copies of the KJV. Fewer and fewer people each day spend time reading what God said rather than what mans says God said.

Maybe they don't go to bookstores any more? I mean it is the age of the ebook.

Pericles  posted on  2015-05-15   9:19:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Pericles (#4)

Maybe they don't go to bookstores any more? I mean it is the age of the ebook.

Perhaps. But, still books do sell.

BobCeleste  posted on  2015-05-15   9:46:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Willie Green (#0)

This should be a wake up call for Christian America to look at itself and realize what it is doing wrong.

IMHO

Many are becoming increasingly disinterested in institutions that are primarily focused on using coercion to acquire wealth.

Churches, political parties, political candidates, most charities, etc.....

"...dig in them jeans and pull out them greens.."

- The Right Rev. Deuteronomy Skaggs

"we are tartets from evil doers!!!" [ and ] U looked up birfer on the dcitionary. It isn't a movie.

Jameson  posted on  2015-05-15   11:04:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Stoner (#1)

Four decades of brainwashing the kiddies has been quite successful.

I'm a Christian but can't go to church. I work nights on weekends and can only find bible studies when I'm off. I became a Christian via Bill Bright's Campus Crusade for Christ and studied the Bible and worshiped Him since 1972. I've attended church for many years in the past. I do miss it. There is nothing on the face of the earth that beats group worship for uplifting our faith and receiving the marvelous gifts of fellow church members in worship and praise.

I've taught Bible studies. Thus I don't attend. I do fellowship with fellow believers tho.

http://www.tedcruz.org

out damned spot  posted on  2015-05-16   8:48:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Willie Green (#0)

No it is your parents fault. They didn't raise you right.

A K A Stone  posted on  2015-05-16   9:07:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Pericles (#3)

Anyone who thought that the cold war was the end, does not know their scripture. Many items found in prophecy had yet to appear. They have now occurred...scriptures like "in the end days, knowledge would increased and fly to and fro through the air.

We are now officially in the end times. All of these small prophecies have been fulfilled. Remember that scripture said that in the end times, men would be deceived. Truly that has come to pass. Look at our politicians and others who are otherwise intelligent but fall for the most irrational and horrific ideas and agendas like global warming, abortion, etc. The gay agenda has fulfilled the prophecies that it will be as the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. And man's hearts have grown cold.

So many scriptures have told us exactly what to expect. I could go on and on about prophecy that needed fulfilling but have already been fulfilled in the world and people of today.

It's here. I can't find a single prophecy concerning the end times that has not been fulfilled before the Rapture of His church. As no man knows the hour, we need to be prepared. It could be while I'm posting this. It could be years. Only the Father knows.

Sadly, there is more for those left behind. The Book of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation are a hologram of the same period in time, before He returns and takes possession of the earth. Daniel concerns these events from the world's perspective, Ezekiel from the Jewish perspective and Revelations from the Christian perspective.

http://www.tedcruz.org

out damned spot  posted on  2015-05-16   9:56:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: out damned spot (#9)

It's here. I can't find a single prophecy concerning the end times that has not been fulfilled before the Rapture of His church.

In Matthew chapter 24 the apostles ask Jesus what the end of the world will be like.

He describes it and doesn't describe a rapture.

In fact he says to prepare just in case this happens in the winter.

If we are to be raptured why would we have to prepare if it happens in the winter time?

I used to believe the rapture was scriptural. Not anymore. My 3 cents.

A K A Stone  posted on  2015-05-16   10:01:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: A K A Stone (#8)

No it is your parents fault. They didn't raise you right.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82  posted on  2015-05-16   12:31:10 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Stoner (#1)

It could simply be an increase in the number of people that
do not belong to a church, or go regularly.

Heck, it could be that the Lutheran ladies haven't
taken the time or effort to make the German potato
salad - or at least not make it CORRECTLY.

At least my 81 year old mother hasn't. For decades!
She says that all of that bacon fat is BAD for us. Bah!

So she makes this low-fat mayo-based stuff.
But yes - she still has the ambition to make potato salad.
We should be - and are - grateful that she still
makes ANYTHING at all!

Chuck_Wagon  posted on  2015-05-16   14:56:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Chuck_Wagon (#12)

" my 81 year old mother "

I wish her Godspeed.

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Stoner  posted on  2015-05-16   17:57:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Stoner (#13)

I wish her Godspeed.

Hey, thanks!

I just wish that she could do some of the things
that she used to do.

Chuck_Wagon  posted on  2015-05-21   18:05:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Chuck_Wagon (#14)

I lost my mother when she was 63. My Dad when he was 74. I have thought many times about things I wish I had done. Besides all the things I wish I had said to them, I wish I would have spent more time talking to them, with a tape recorder, and a shit wad of cassettes. I really miss them!

Enjoy the time you have with her!

Oh, and more photo's

Godspeed Chuck

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Stoner  posted on  2015-05-21   18:20:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Stoner (#15) (Edited)

...My Dad when he was 74....

We lost my Dad last October when he was 89.
3 months short of 90.
He had been struggling with 3 types of cancer -
so it wasn't a surprise. That didn't make it any easier.
Only thing that made it 'easier' was that my Mom
took it better than I thought she would.
She took it better than I did - to tell you the truth.

EDIT:

A long time ago he said that he was "Ready to go" and that
he didn't want to live past 90. So he got his desire.

God's blessings to you!

Chuck_Wagon  posted on  2015-05-21   22:46:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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