Mainstream Christianity in USA is dying (survey)

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
The Guest said:
Nacho said:
Eastern Orthodoxy has experienced the opposite of these trends. We have steadily increased our numbers just from protestant ranks. People know the real thing when they see it and are tired of the clown world shit show taking place in their former churches.

Emperor Constantine said:
According to Fr. Seraphim Rose's biography, this is one of the things that drove him towards the Orthodox Church. The Christianity he grew up with seemed empty - no fasting, no confessing one's sins, no struggling. People just lived normally, attended Church on Sundays, and apparently believed in God but did little about it. Some of my childhood friends grew up with this type of Christianity, and of those none attend church anymore.

I've known several Orthodox in my life. Mostly Greek-American, some immigrants from the Balkans. None of them attend church regularly, just for family events. According to one survey a majority of Orthodox in America support abortion and gay marriage.

My older Protestant church is doing well, although across the country we're in decline and you can tell there is pressure to cuck on various issues.

Of the serious Christians I know under 35, almost all are evangelicals, and they are a small minority. The state religion is now globohomo.

Nowhere, no denomination is safe.

All of what is said here is true. Remember, "orthodox" are still Americans and at the whim of the good life and affluence of the west, until it takes a hard it, which is obviously not yet. I think the details are most about the spectrum of sanity and belief that you see in the orthodox churches. They tend to have stricter adherence, for both good and bad reasons, but overall it is diminishing as most ethnic immigrants got watered down and communities slowly eroded, which is what you get in multicultural places that are wealthy. The demographics are also set to really hurt older churches and their properties are basically going to be vacated since they never got any "new blood" and didn't teach their kids much.

The interplay is an interesting thing as the eastern orthodox churches are basically the only place to go for real spiritual presence and proper doctrine, anymore.

Or, you can go in shorts to a lecture and a concert. Please don't forget your cafe mocha. We want you to feel at "home". :-/
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Something I noticed with Orthodoxy and Catholicism is that they seem to be as much of a cultural/ethnic identity as a religious one. That's why many times a person isn't just merely Catholic or Orthodox but is Irish Catholic, Polish Catholic, Serbian Orthodox, etc. For these adherentsm their faith as practiced is more about rituals and customs rather than any sort of deep commitment. I would compare it to Shinto in Japan: people go to the temple and pray during holidays because that's just part of their culture but it doesn't really effect their behavior in their regular life.

With evangelicals, there just isn't that same long history of tradition and culture; which is a reason why evangelicals seem so enamored on clinging onto what's trendy in pop culture because they just don't have really a long cultural history to draw on. Without that tradition/culture, this means the evangelical identity is going to be based more on belief/commitment. With Catholic/Orthodox, it seems like you can still identify as at least a nominal one as long as participate in some of the rituals and rites. It's common to see someone call themselves a Catholic even if they don't even believe in God since they also see it as a cultural identity that you are born into. With evangelicalism, if there's no belief then there's nothing really left.
 

Athanasius

Pelican
John Calvin is one of my heroes, not because of the "Five Points" (which he didn't write) but because of his towering intellect, his courage, his integrity (his scriptural commentaries are quite good). He deeply studied the early church and that is one of the things that led him away from Rome at the time. His liturgies were adapted from the church fathers and his study of the Bible. They were a dialogue started by God. God greets us, we respond. God calls us to confess our sins and forgives them, then we respond, etc. God preaches his word (through the pastor who does expository preaching), we respond. And for centuries, into the mid-20th century, most protestant churches had sensible liturgies, psalters, and hymnals. Catechisms of some kind were stressed. Men wore suits, women hats and veils.

The sixties brought the focus on youth and informality. The church growth movement was about drawing people through entertainment, so now the liturgies make no sense and the services are about making people "feel." The statements of faith are a page long. People at some churches wear shorts and T-shirts. When you're about drawing people through what's cool and not by what's true, you need shallow Hillsong stuff to match what people listen to on the radio, you need lattes at church, you need to avoid offense, etc. One example of this corruption is Hillsong taking the venerable hymn It Is Well (with my soul) and stripping the verses that gave theological meaning to the chorus. You listen to it and it could be well with your soul because you have a pretty girlfriend, a good job, or just because you feel emotionally good right now. It's a cipher that takes on whatever meaning you pour into it.
 

Buck Wild

Kingfisher
This isn't rocket science. Young people are leaving the church because they want unfettered sex and consumer economics without any of the guilt. The mainstream & liberal (but i repeat myself) denominations have decided to give them that...and have unwittingly figured out that any (religious) identity that makes no demands of its adherents is a cheap identity that they will abandon anyways. Meanwhile conservative denominations are losing adherents, albeit more slowly, because they've embraced the sexual revolution & mammon just like the progressives (while being in complete denial) and also cheer on our endless wars and unthinking support for Israel.

To reverse this, the churches can start by rebuilding the meaningful & obvious distinctions that once existed between them and the secular world. The easiest way to do this is to stop surrendering to same neoliberal forces that have thoroughly captured and transmogrified secular institutions. Not holding my breath and you shouldn't either.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Hummingbird
Gold Member
This article shows that weekly religious attendance hasn't really gone anywhere for some time.

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We are living in a time where reproduction is highly managed and moral standards have allowed people to do as thou wilt. This is bringing about something that has not happened before - the decline of those who carry genes that predispose one to end up on the left-liberal spectrum. People who are more genetically disposed to this are more likely to create a left-liberal environment for their children.

As this article notes, there is a fertility gap of 41% between liberals and conservatives. And that is from 2004. With the rise of clown world, dead-end lifestyles and high rents in super-liberal cities that is now higher.

An older study, roughly covering boomers, give the following fertility rates for whites:

Extremely liberal (2.5%) — 1.61
Liberal (12.7%) — 1.72
Slightly liberal (11.3%) — 1.58
Moderate (39.9%) — 2.14
Slightly conservative (15.6%) — 2.03
Conservative (14.3%) — 2.34
Extremely conservative (3.7%) — 2.62

And this was prior to the full affects of the cultural revolution.

Some unsourced data for Maryland:

41% of Democrats get married
90% of Republicans get married

Children 18 and under of voters registered to political parties:

Republican: 541,806
Democrat: 485,400

The 2016 Presidential election in Maryland saw 60% of votes for Hillary vs. 34% to Trump.

Looking at a local level -

Prince George's County, Maryland voted for Hillary 88% to Trump's 8%. Here the Democratic fertility rate is 1.22, or about 55% of replacement rate.

Garnett County, Maryland voted 77% for Trump to Hillary's 18%. Here the Republican fertility rate is 2.21.

So I think you can extrapolate this out to the fertility rate for extremely liberal going down to 1.0; while the extremely conservative is probably 2.5+. And that's in Maryland.

Data shows that the fertility rate for green party supporters has gone sub-1.0.

It's ironic Liberals are snookering themselves with their own domination of every area of society that has a political or cultural output.

The way I read it, is that left-liberal types were never able to reach their true expression due to various constraints, such as contraception and social norms. Them unleashing themselves has caused societal instability, which is is being balanced out by the laws of nature.

All the trends for the future are good for conservatives, traditional Christians, bar one: mass immigration. But even with that the decline of liberals is so steep the political advantage for The Democrats is minor, projecting 25 years ahead.

No matter how bad it gets in clown world, this is always a little aside that can pep you up.

Over the long-term I think church attendance is only going one way - up. And this is but one factor behind that.

And for those curious about the JQ, it's not good, for them.
 
Wutang said:
With evangelicals, there just isn't that same long history of tradition and culture; which is a reason why evangelicals seem so enamored on clinging onto what's trendy in pop culture because they just don't have really a long cultural history to draw on. Without that tradition/culture, this means the evangelical identity is going to be based more on belief/commitment.

That's interesting; where I grew up the Evangelicals had a quite distinct culture. The defining cultural points were American patriotism, anti-Catholicism, football, Zionism, and capitalism. Cultural evangelicals existed in spades. Above the Mason Dixon line this seems to happen less.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
If you want an example of the sort of evangelical culture I'm talking about check this video from one of the biggest megachurches in the country that's wrote a lot of the widely played worship song you here in contemporary church session. More specifically, check out the vocalist and how she's dressed up with tattoos and hipster glasses and edgy lipstick.


Here's a remix of the above song. Notice how it's styled specifically to sound like a lot of the music you hear on the radio. Now that guitar/instrumental music isn't as big, a lot of Christian worship has been jumping on electronic music trend; good example of how I saw evangelicalism likes to jump on pop culture trends. Even the churches that tend to have more conservative theology - though these days just merely not supporting gay marriage is enough for a church to be considered conservative - will still have a lot of trendy outing covering to appeal to people. Also note that while the girl singing here doesn't have the hipster look like the other singer - she still is dressed up very trendy fashionable - only instead of being a hipster she looks she should be shilling tummy flattening tea on Instagram.

 

Towgunner

Kingfisher
So, I just got done reading C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity". This was published in the early 1940s, during of all things, WWII. If you haven't already, I recommend you read it or re-read it. Putting aside the bulk of the work, he often compares his faith in Christianity with contemporary culture and society. This is telling. Because you'd think he's talking about today. Christianity has always been under attack and has always been seen as on the outs. This is not just in 2019, or the 21st century this has literally been the case since Jesus was born. In fact, since mankind has had the means of communicating. Its ignorant to assume that our current modernity and iPhones are causing agnosticism or atheism. Actually, one can see that such things existed throughout history. The enlightenment happened and centuries later, God is still not dead and Christianity remains. I won't dispute the statistics here, rather, point out the phenomenon behind these statistics. It's more appropriate to say "is it any surprise that Christianity is declining". You see, there has been a very deliberate, coordinated and organized effort to undermine Christianity. Its not because of something inherent to Christianity that is doing this. There is an agenda at work here. Consider this. I recently looked around for some spooky horror movies to watch since its the Halloween season. So, I considered Poltergeist II and Misery. What I realized is in both movies the protagonist were overtly Christian. I realized that people are inundated by anti-Christian messages and images. This, more than anything, is the cause behind it all. Add in the fact that being a Christian isn't easy too. Its hard to be Christian. For the average lemming and their consistent diet of mass media plus their lazy lives and you can see why we are where we are. Look, Christianity is not going anywhere. You can look deeper and realize that globalism, for instance, is the opposite of Christianity. As such, globalism is very anti-Christian. Look more closely and realize that globalism is the idea that man can be God. Now things are getting interesting. You might then realize that this dynamic has been going on for eons, even before Jesus came here. This is nothing new. Its the same old thing. We're a diverse community when it comes to faith, I know that. We have many great atheists and agnostics here. I ask, you may not believe in God, fair enough, but, how can you NOT believe in Satan?
 

Days of Broken Arrows

Crow
Gold Member
"In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade."

Could it also be that people are now more unlikely to identify themselves as Christian to strangers over the telephone?

I ask this because I've heard people talk about it. It's one thing to attend church services. It's one thing to pray and even go to bible study groups. These might be public events, but they're outside the glare of the media/online world.

But...saying you're Christian to a stranger who has your phone number and address leaves you open to all kinds of things, like "OMG! He's a Chick-Fil-A-loving, gun-toting, anti-gay bigot!!! I'm keeping his phone and address info so we can wreck his business later!"

Paranoid? Maybe. But what made these kinds of people paranoid? Think of the Christian bakeries who got sued. Think of the barrage of anti-Christian rhetoric online and in print. If you bash a Muslim or Jew, you get busted for hate speech; if you bash a Christian, you get a job writing at VICE or HuffPost.

I don't doubt there is validity in this phone survey, but the mood of the country tells me there is probably more to it than that.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Wutang said:
If you want an example of the sort of evangelical culture I'm talking about check this video from one of the biggest megachurches in the country that's wrote a lot of the widely played worship song you here in contemporary church session. More specifically, check out the vocalist and how she's dressed up with tattoos and hipster glasses and edgy lipstick.

I listened to this. The Chorus I found missed the mark for the Most High Jesus Christ.

"Worthy is your name, Jesus, you deserve the praise."

"Worthy" is not the right word. We are not worthy. I think of how the word is used in life 'worth the wait', 'worth the freight', 'worth the drive'...what happens when people don't think God is worth their cost - benefit analysis to their life.

"you deserve the praise": Still feels off, 'deserve' to me points to man deciding what God deserves. He is deserving, so we praise him. I suppose I'd say it lacks humility.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
"Worthy" seems to be word that has been getting used a lot in contemporary worship songs. Here's a song that's came out in recent years that was a big hit among evangelical circles (also note the nose piercing and forearm tattoos on this singer to continue on with my theme of how a lot of these churches adapt modern fashion):


I don't really have a strong opinion either way about the use of the word to describe Christ - but here's an opinion about it

https://davidfwatson.me/2017/03/02/what-does-it-mean-to-say-that-god-is-worthy/
 

debeguiled

Peacock
Gold Member
Wutang said:
"Worthy" seems to be word that has been getting used a lot in contemporary worship songs. Here's a song that's came out in recent years that was a big hit among evangelical circles (also note the nose piercing and forearm tattoos on this singer to continue on with my theme of how a lot of these churches adapt modern fashion):


I don't really have a strong opinion either way about the use of the word to describe Christ - but here's an opinion about it

https://davidfwatson.me/2017/03/02/what-does-it-mean-to-say-that-god-is-worthy/

This one's got over 12 million views and starts out with the lyrics: "Worthy is the lamb who was slain."

I guess we should be thankful for small graces. At least these women allows that Jesus is worthy of their attention.

That's something.


I have a Christian friend who is seriously into this chick and thinks her videos are so spiritual.

I can't get into a lot of this modern worship music. She reminds me of the hippie chicks in the 70's who would always get up at the front of concerts and do weird dances.

To each his own, I guess. This music feels more about the singer than the savior to me, but then, I am not the demographic they are looking to reach.
 

Isaac Jordan

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Wutang said:
"Worthy" seems to be word that has been getting used a lot

From Dalrock's The Gospel of the Carousel:

Scott from Treasure State Psychological Services was kind enough to send me a quote that is making the rounds on Facebook:

Jesus didn’t die on the cross for you to be a side chick.

This is just one expression of an ubiquitous perspective by modern Christian women, and the corruption of the message of the Gospel is breathtaking. The problem with this perversion is twofold. First, Christ didn’t sacrifice Himself on our behalf so that Christians (male or female) could have a pleasurable life of sin. Yet the implicit frame of the statement is that women deserve a rewarding experience on the carousel, and if they aren’t getting it men have let them down.

Second, the message of the Gospel isn’t that we are worthy, but unworthy. This is a profound misunderstanding of our relationship to Christ and the very nature of His sacrifice. We don’t deserve the sacrifice He made for us. We are utterly unworthy. If we deserved forgiveness for our sins Christ’s sacrifice would not have been needed. Nor would we have reason to forever thank and praise Him for what He has done for us, since He would have merely been treating us as we deserved.

This twisted frame of mind is everywhere. One commenter at Lori Alexander’s blog reacted to her observation that men prefer debt free virgins by asserting that the message of the Gospel is that she is worthy:

Whether I have or have not gone to college, had sex before marriage, aquired debt, gotten a tattoo, etc. does not make me any less worthy of the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, so what right does any earthly man (or woman) have to call me less than worthy to simply be his wife due to the same criteria?! Christ > humanity. Be careful that you preach Christ and not your own ideals.

"Twisted" is an appropriate word, methinks. Rather than look to the Bible for lessons on how to live, our modern "Christian" woman looks at how she lives (motivated primarily by the tingle between her legs) and twists and contorts the Bible to support her decisions.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
debeguiled said:
I can't get into a lot of this modern worship music. She reminds me of the hippie chicks in the 70's who would always get up at the front of concerts and do weird dances.

I got you covered with the dancing too. Here's the Christian version of that here at 5:20


Last song video in this thread since I don't want the thread to be a storage place for my worship music set list. "Jesus at the center, it's all about you". So here's at least one song that isn't self-centered around the person but rather, on Christ. (warning: nose ring present yet again)

 

debeguiled

Peacock
Gold Member
So to give the modern worship ladies their due, as Wutang is doing, there are a couple of recent songs, both written by a woman, that I actually like.

The caveat is, they need to be sung by a man to have sufficent gravitas. I first heard both of these live, sung by men, and thought they were really moving.

I thought for sure the original would be better, went online, and got set straight.

I think I have posted both these songs before, though not in this context, the first one obviously posted above sung by Kari Jobe. I really love the simple, sincere way Guy Penrod sings it, trusting that the words and his voice are enough. No need for all the frilly show biz stuff.


 

Athanasius

Pelican
I was deeply into contemporary Christian music (not necessarily loving it, but tolerating it and playing it in worship contexts) back in the 90s, and somehow the Bethels and Hillsongs have managed to make stuff that's even more content-free. And believe me, it was shallow back then. There's an occasional modern classic w/theological heft-- "How Deep the Father's Love For Us" comes to mind, or "In Christ Alone." But most of the time it's just manipulative attempts to get the feels. The glorious tradition of music expressed in hymnals from the early centuries of the church forward has been lost by many. Hopefully it gets discovered again.
 
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