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Featured Barna: The Most Post-Christian Cities in America: 2019

Discussion in 'Current News & Events' started by redleghunter, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Amen. I just love them. It helps to pray the Lord's prayer!

    I expect the judgemental in our own congregation to change, and see them in a positive light, giving them special extra love. And they have. Praise the Lord.
     
  2. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    The above is very thought provoking. I believe you are here where we are discussing some of the issues.
     
  3. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    In the broad sense these surveys are a good indicator of the changing culture in America. I mean, probably nobody is surprised that the Northeast corridor features at the top of the list in this particular survey.

    However, I am always skeptical of surveys regarding Christians in America. I have a very narrow view of what exactly a Christian is, and without a precise definition up front I don't give much weight to what self-described "Christians" say about themselves.

    I firmly believe that at the rapture there will be many, many, many congregations sitting in their pews who will not realize that the rapture occurred until they leave the service and go outside to see driverless cars crashing all around them. Yet, in surveys they would have no problem calling themselves Christians.
     
  4. PeaceByJesus

    PeaceByJesus Unworthy servant for the Worthy Lord + Savior

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    Dzheremi, the reason for the political war is because of the faith in the risen Lord Jesus includes obeying Ephesians 5:11: "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

    You need to realize that this is a spiritual war, in which the devil, who from the beginning seeks power, position and homage, (Isaiah 14) and does so by deception, (Revelation 20:10) works to create a world thru his proxy servants in which he perverts what God has ordained, from worship to marriage and more, and thereby glories in the submission of mortals to it rather than to God, and seeks to punish all who will not do so. And in particular this means requiring all to effectively salute the flag of Sodom as it were, or face (at the least) economic sanctions.

    And the reason the political war has become a major manifest issue is because of the incessant proactive promotion of immorality by the Left, including and in particular by prohomosexual activists, and intolerance of any that opposes them, despite the clear and documented severe deleterious effects of homosexual relations upon individuals and society, and which are only condemned in Scripture . If another unconditionally sinful practice was likewise so incessantly and insistently promoted, it also would attract attention and censor of those who seek to uphold morality.

    Indeed Christians should be washing the feet of sinners, including homosexuals, and indeed it is evangelicals who are among the most (or the most) engaged in worldwide humanitarian work out of personal giving.

    However, as in the case of Christian abolitionism , faith is not to be restricted to showing mercy, but to follow their Lord who stated concerning the world "me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil," (John 7:7) including by stating that fornications (plural), among other sins, defiles a person, (Mark 7:21-23) and specifying that marriage was btwn male and female. (Matthew 19:4-6)

    Certainly a believer is to examine his own heart first to see if what he condemns in others in something that he is in some way guilty of himself, and repent of it, but the believer is not be ashamed of Christ and His doctrine "in this adulterous and sinful generation" (Mark 8:38), and is to reprove evil, from calling souls to repent of their idolatry and believe in the Lord Jesus (Acts 14:15; Acts 17:16,17) to injustice against them (Acts 16:37) and to reason of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to some, (Acts 24:25) and thus your counsel to "stop waging war and start washing feet" is actually a denial of faith.

    To believe and follow the risen Lord is to do both, as He did. And while plenty of government agencies will "wash the feet" of people at tax payers expense (including by paying for treatment due to the consequences of disobedience to God), very few will warn the wicked of his way, (Ezekiel 33:8) and call them to the risen Lord Jesus who saves us sinners on His expense and credit, not that of their own or their church.

    And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 22-23)
     
  5. PeaceByJesus

    PeaceByJesus Unworthy servant for the Worthy Lord + Savior

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    Perceived? You mean it should not be? Do you think the NT church was not perceived to be contrary to all fornicationa, among others sins, or simply for "washing feet?"
     
  6. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    You've chosen a boutique, non-traditional religion that has little to do with Barna's notion of "true Christianity". In Barna's eyes, you would be almost as "post-Christian" as the person who gets their spirituality from Oprah. In fact I would suggest you have far more in common with your unbelieving neighbors than you realize.
     
  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    Protestant Fundamentalism, Barna style, holds no interest for me. It is not a solution to the decline of Christianity in the western world.
     
  8. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Any style we add is already questionable immediately, right? The word fundamentalism is so broad now a days, with several common usages. By 'fundamentalism' do you actually mean (worldly) conservative political views being preached in a church? Of course that's just as much error as any other kinds of special agendas preached in a church, like the extremes of the prosperity-gospel stuff.
     
  9. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    Barna's definition of "real" Christians is lifted from fundamentalist evangelicalism.

    Even in those "post-Christian" cities, the number of people that don't believe in God is a small minority (less than 12 percent) And half of the people admitted to praying in the last two weeks.

    They might not be very active in their religious life, but this is far from having no religious beliefs.
     
  10. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    Younger people no longer care about the reasons people used to be involved in churches, which often was about social respectability/conformity more than truth (1950's religion, for instance, valued belonging a great deal).

    I stopped going to church recently and my dad of all people gave me some grief over it, despite the fact he himself isn't a churchgoer. But he's a political conservative and values traditional norms. And that right there gives some insights into what is going on, in a microcosm. Younger people see the hypocrisy, unquestioning reverence for presumed authority, and hollow social traditionalism in churches, and it isn't appealing to them. Now days you can find spirituality anywhere, and often times its more helpful and useful in understanding and navigating ones life, than adhering fearfully to an ancient religious tradition that refuses to change to engage with the modern world.

    I'm not sure if Jesus were walking around today, if he'ld bother going to a church, to be honest. In many ways the message of most churches has little to do with what we can know with some certainty of the historical Jesus.
     
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  11. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    He said "wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in my name". :)

    I'm sure you can find a church though that isn't preaching various political ideologies, but instead really is teaching the "love one another" and "forgive" and all the messages of Christ.
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    I have thought about visiting the local United Church of Christ or perhaps the local Metropolitan Community Church.

    My Lutheran congregation isn't all that overtly political but I just realized I am a free-spirited person and the implied social traditionalism is a crushing message if you don't fit the mold. To put it bluntly, older Lutherans seemingly believe in justification by banality. And I'm ironically starting to become more sympathetic to the Epistle of James, "Can such faith save you?"
     
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  13. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    I've not attended United Church of Christ, but the local one makes a very good impression visiting even the building alone, because of all the messages straight from Christ on the walls about love. We're lucky in that while our own ELCA church is somewhat like as you just described, that's been moderated a lot by events of the last few years, and we've broken down a lot of that banality/not-love stuff it feels like. Every visitor says we are so friendly. It must be so.
     
  14. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    In the past year I've had overeating problems and weight gain. I did some reading on biofeedback and how it can help you become more mindful, help with depression, and so on. So I bought a HeartMath machine used on eBay and after using that for a few days, it really caused me to step back and look in my situation and I am questioning my religious commitments. I started doing yoga and meditating every day, going to the gym every other day, and I find I have the willpower to make positive changes in my life. So now I'm rethinking if I even need church, if it comes with so much complicated stuff and just sucks the life out of me. After all, I'm giving up 4 hours of my life every Sunday for... what exactly?

    So it's caused me pause.
     
  15. Jamsie

    Jamsie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We all find ourselves in different places. I live in a town of 250, tried a few area churches not too far afield but... I miss my pastor/church from back a number of years, though I "go" electronically for the podcasts. Recently a friend encouraged me about attendance more for the need for encouragement and fellowship as I tend to be isolated with so much work around the farm.

    I checked out a few churches and decided to attend a Men's Bible Study … I love it. Open discussions digging into scripture with genuine people not ashamed of their failings, flaws, and life battles. We meet every two weeks and there are times I wish it was weekly.

    I always have tended to be more concerned with the quality of teaching than with any social aspect. My former pastor's intense love of scripture was so evident in his teaching taking years to go through various books of the Bible. Also, I was able to take advantage of Bible studies and college courses on theology. I know enough about myself that without some genuine Christian contact it is easy for me to put off sufficient time with God and his word. For now the Bible study adds a very necessary discipline … and the podcasts are my Sunday morning "church".
     
  16. Jamsie

    Jamsie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I believe it was Chesterton that said "The Worst thing about Christianity is Christians, and the Best thing about Christianity is Christians."
     
  17. usexpat97

    usexpat97 kewlness

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Albany and Rochester, NY rising toward the top of the list. I have been in unreached places, but this stretch of NY from Lake Champlain on down south I would not constitute as unreached--but hard to reach. There's just this wall; this back-turning. Those churches there are struggling, and not just with numbers. Just warmth. A lot of congregation members who want a sense of God being real, but they're just not getting a whole lot of it.
     
  18. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Is that area 'New England' the way it is around Boston? We lived 2 years in Framingham, near Boston, and experienced a pronounced chill once I remember when visiting a very small fish restaurant near the coast north of Boston, where the reception was being ignored. Of course, they may have had a few too many tourists I could imagine, but at that moment it felt like a 'why-are-you-here?/go away' to me. Maybe if I went there many times that would be different. :)
     
  19. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Yes, that doesn't sound like what you'd need in a church. One thing though that I have to try to avoid (and you may already, or may not), for myself, is not to be too caught up in whatever church politics happen between whatever people are involved in whatever church politics. I figure it's best to just love em, and not be involved in their issues about this or that in the church, whatever those might be. :) For many things, like where the book shelf will be moved to, I just suspend my urge to contribute my view past a brief mention, and try to sympathize with the individuals, lol.
     
  20. usexpat97

    usexpat97 kewlness

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    In many respects, probably. The Albany area has many relocated New Yorkers (the city). NYC is its own thing. Even so, this is not about the chill toward one another--it's the chill toward Jesus. Although they may be related.
     
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