church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby phyllo » Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:58 am

What do people want to get out of the experience of going to church these days?

Why go to church?

Why not go?
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12345
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby felix dakat » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:47 pm

phyllo wrote:What do people want to get out of the experience of going to church these days?

Why go to church?

Why not go?


I suppose a good reason would be to connect with people who have a similar vision of love so that together you can serve each other and the community in which you live.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9216
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby phyllo » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:09 pm

I thought that would be a major reason but since it's so easy to join groups and connect via social media and internet I don't see as bringing more people into the physical churches.

Maybe zoom burnout will prompt people to seek more direct contact when the pandemic is over. Who knows.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12345
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Bob » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:10 pm

phyllo wrote:What do people want to get out of the experience of going to church these days?

Why go to church?

Why not go?

I think that it is mainly to have community. Here in Europe mostly elderly people fill the rows, some families are there too and of course, if the youth work is done well, you have some of those as well. I believe it is a social bond more than a religious one, and an identification with a particular parish. The working population may show up for special services, but especially so if they have had connections with the parish youth before.

Having said that, in the Protestant Church in our part of town, there has been a tradition of sermons that have been said to have a good quality. I think the Pastors try to make it interesting, and not like I heard said about an old Catholic Priest, who used to say, “on Sundays I need a new shirt and an old sermon!”

There is also the parish nurse who keeps people together and arranges transport for the infirm. Birthday visits for those over seventy try to gather the flock as well. One Pastor used to be known for turning up at the door with a bottle of brandy or schnaps and two glasses.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3592
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby felix dakat » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:24 pm

phyllo wrote:I thought that would be a major reason but since it's so easy to join groups and connect via social media and internet I don't see as bringing more people into the physical churches.

Maybe zoom burnout will prompt people to seek more direct contact when the pandemic is over. Who knows.


There's no so-called "physical church" in the New Testament. So Christianity should be able to get along without them without losing its essence.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9216
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby felix dakat » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:11 pm

Bob wrote:It was nice to hear from a friend who is a Pastor after such a long time. The fact that we met again on a zoom church service was significant and had a meaning for me that people may not fully understand. We were in a church service for the first time in a long time, and we were encouraged by a friend after she noticed that we had distanced ourselves from the church. The reason was that when I was still working for the church I had been fully committed and had crashed into a burnout and received no support. After that, I struggled with depression until I finally could no longer work and retired.

Our presence at the service was, in a way, an attempt to start over. My wife and I shared afterwards and thought it was well done by dear people. However, we did not find ourselves in it. Perhaps it needs time. We agreed that we see Jesus as the embodiment of the meaning of life and think that love is the highest expression of that meaning. Well, if God is love, then perhaps we have arrived. I see a lot of meaning in the Bible, but does that mean that there is something supernatural who intervenes in peoples lives? The people on the zoom church service apparently thought, and so there was a long period of prayer.

I have a lot of time for loving-kindness meditation, considering those people around you, spreading outwards, loving all and sundry. I found it fitting somehow, more than intercessory prayer. Obviously, it is something I picked up from Buddhism rather than Christianity. It was a strange feeling to be doing something different to these people whilst they thought that we were part of what they were doing. But was it? Is there this difference, or are we all just guessing?
I think that the church has to encompass these thoughts as well, if they are going to get people back.


The question is whether the loving-kindness of Buddhist meditation is essentially a different than the loving kindness of Christianity. And if it is different how would we know? Or even if it is different, can it be received by, taken up and practiced in the context of Christian fellowship?

The sacred Christian texts talk about three kinds of love; agape, phileo and eros, with agape encompassing the other two. Why couldn't agape encompass Buddhist loving kindness as well?

The Bible teaches that only God knows people's hearts. Jesus said 'he that is not against me is for me." And "you will know them by their fruits". If Buddhist loving-kindness meditation produces the fruit of compassion, it passes Jesus's test.

A portion of Buddha's discourse on love says
"Just as a mother loves and protects her only child at the risk of her own life, we should cultivate boundless love to offer to all living beings in the entire cosmos. Let our boundless love pervade the whole universe above below and across. Our love will know no obstacles, our heart will be absolutely free from hatred and enmity. Whether standing or walking sitting or lying as long as we are awake we should maintain this mindfulness of love in our own heart. This is the noblest way of living."

How, if at all, is that ethic of love incompatible with agape which is said to be divine love? Let's consider the ontology of love.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9216
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:35 pm

One aspect of love is unconditional acceptance. " Love ye one another." For love to be unconditional it must be universal. It is all too human to separate people into sheep and goats, wheat and tares. The church fails when it does this sort of us vs them preaching. So does the society to which the separatists preach.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: state of evolving

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Bob » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:20 pm

felix dakat wrote:How, if at all, is that ethic of love incompatible with agape which is said to be divine love? Let's consider the ontology of love.

I considered this for a long time and came to the conclusion that I wouldn't know where to start. I am feeling insufficient at present.

I came across this some while ago:
Charity
Charity is rendered as Agape in Greek and Charitas in Latin referring to the love of God. The Scripture in I Jn.4:10 describes God as Love, meaning that the two realities, God and love are synonymous and identical. Lewis talks of love as a divine energy, a primal love which is a gift-Love since God is plenteous, therefore desires to be given nothing. Some theologians go further to explain charity as that divine spirit that binds the divine Godhead. It therefore means that charity is specifically God's. That is why Lewis distinguishes charity from the rest previously analysed. Affection, Friendship and Eros are called natural love while Charity is referred to as supernatural love. However, they are not rivals or mutually exclusive. Augustine (1960) in The Confessions believes that Charity should be the only Love that should prevail because of its unfailing nature. Augustine was forced by circumstance of the death of his beloved friend Nebridius, which plunged him into desolation to denounce the other loves as heart breaking because of their transient nature. He concluded that since all human beings pass away, one should not let his happiness depends on such a mirage. If love then is to be a blessing and not misery, it must be for something substantial and permanent, a beloved who will not pass away.
Against Augustine’s position, Lewis argues that man cannot love God if he does not love his brother as reflected in epistle of St. John (1 Jn.1:3). Augustine's statement, he laments, will turn out to be rather an escapist’s position. Lewis rhetorically asks: Does God provide the assurance? If so, Christ would not have cried: “why have thou forsaken me?” There is no safe investment in love. Love anything Lewis concludes, and your heart will certainly be possibly broken. To remain intact then one must avoid entanglement. Give your heart to no one and to nothing. But no man can actually exist without the other. The desire for the other is an existential necessity which an “existential vacuum” naturally creates in man. Herein lays the paradox of human existence.
However, if Charity is essentially God's love and supernatural, it means then that man has nothing to do with it. How does man participate in such a love? For Lewis, "God communicates to man a share of His own gift-Love. This is different from the gift-Love God builds into nature. While the latter is pre-occupied with the gift they themselves can bestow or that fits into their pre-conceived picture of the life they want to lead, Divine gift-Love on the contrary is love Himself working in a man, wholly disinterested and desires what is simply best for the beloved. It enables man to love what is not naturally lovable like a leper, criminals, enemies, maroons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering. Finally, by a high paradox God enables man to have a gift-love towards God. Ironically, man’s gift-Love with regard to God is just a reverse, giving back to God that which is God's; just as a song is the singers. Another way of giving to God is by giving to our neighbour, a stranger or anybody in need.
Not any kind of love can pass for Charity since it involves loving something in us that cannot be loved. A typical illustration as used by Lewis is that of receiving continuously from others a love that does not depend on our own attraction or merit. For example, supposing someone you love is struck down shortly after marriage by an incurable disease which may not kill him for many years; but renders him useless, impotent, hideous, disgusting, yet full of unavoidable demands and stricken by gusts of incontrollable temper, yet our care is inexhaustible. The man who can take this sweetly without resentment, who can abstain even from those tiresome self-depreciations is doing something which need-Love in its merely natural condition cannot attain. No doubt such wife will be doing something that surpasses the reach of natural gift-Love. In such a case, to receive is harder and perhaps more blessed than to give. But what the extreme example illustrates is of universal implications. Both the giver and the receiver are receiving charity. "Thus, God admits into the human heart, transforms not only gift-love but need-love; not only our need-Love of Him but our need-love of one another. In such a case, the Divine Love does not substitute itself for the natural love as if we have to throw away our silver and make room for gold. The natural loves are summoned to become modes of charity while others remain the natural love they are (Lewis, 1960:122).
DR FRANCIS ETIM, PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE NIGERIA
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3592
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby felix dakat » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:02 pm

Ierrellus wrote:One aspect of love is unconditional acceptance. " Love ye one another." For love to be unconditional it must be universal. It is all too human to separate people into sheep and goats, wheat and tares. The church fails when it does this sort of us vs them preaching. So does the society to which the separatists preach.


I've always found the commandment to love perplexing. One loves what one loves. How can one obey the commandment to love something one doesn't love?

Unconditional acceptance is perplexing as well. It would mean accepting what is unacceptable.

No wonder churches fail. Their mission is paradoxical. Something possible only for the god of agape and perhaps those who enter into his spirit if that's possible.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9216
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby felix dakat » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:25 pm

Bob wrote:
felix dakat wrote:How, if at all, is that ethic of love incompatible with agape which is said to be divine love? Let's consider the ontology of love.

I considered this for a long time and came to the conclusion that I wouldn't know where to start. I am feeling insufficient at present.

I came across this some while ago:
Charity
Charity is rendered as Agape in Greek and Charitas in Latin referring to the love of God. The Scripture in I Jn.4:10 describes God as Love, meaning that the two realities, God and love are synonymous and identical. Lewis talks of love as a divine energy, a primal love which is a gift-Love since God is plenteous, therefore desires to be given nothing. Some theologians go further to explain charity as that divine spirit that binds the divine Godhead. It therefore means that charity is specifically God's. That is why Lewis distinguishes charity from the rest previously analysed. Affection, Friendship and Eros are called natural love while Charity is referred to as supernatural love. However, they are not rivals or mutually exclusive. Augustine (1960) in The Confessions believes that Charity should be the only Love that should prevail because of its unfailing nature. Augustine was forced by circumstance of the death of his beloved friend Nebridius, which plunged him into desolation to denounce the other loves as heart breaking because of their transient nature. He concluded that since all human beings pass away, one should not let his happiness depends on such a mirage. If love then is to be a blessing and not misery, it must be for something substantial and permanent, a beloved who will not pass away.
Against Augustine’s position, Lewis argues that man cannot love God if he does not love his brother as reflected in epistle of St. John (1 Jn.1:3). Augustine's statement, he laments, will turn out to be rather an escapist’s position. Lewis rhetorically asks: Does God provide the assurance? If so, Christ would not have cried: “why have thou forsaken me?” There is no safe investment in love. Love anything Lewis concludes, and your heart will certainly be possibly broken. To remain intact then one must avoid entanglement. Give your heart to no one and to nothing. But no man can actually exist without the other. The desire for the other is an existential necessity which an “existential vacuum” naturally creates in man. Herein lays the paradox of human existence.
However, if Charity is essentially God's love and supernatural, it means then that man has nothing to do with it. How does man participate in such a love? For Lewis, "God communicates to man a share of His own gift-Love. This is different from the gift-Love God builds into nature. While the latter is pre-occupied with the gift they themselves can bestow or that fits into their pre-conceived picture of the life they want to lead, Divine gift-Love on the contrary is love Himself working in a man, wholly disinterested and desires what is simply best for the beloved. It enables man to love what is not naturally lovable like a leper, criminals, enemies, maroons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering. Finally, by a high paradox God enables man to have a gift-love towards God. Ironically, man’s gift-Love with regard to God is just a reverse, giving back to God that which is God's; just as a song is the singers. Another way of giving to God is by giving to our neighbour, a stranger or anybody in need.
Not any kind of love can pass for Charity since it involves loving something in us that cannot be loved. A typical illustration as used by Lewis is that of receiving continuously from others a love that does not depend on our own attraction or merit. For example, supposing someone you love is struck down shortly after marriage by an incurable disease which may not kill him for many years; but renders him useless, impotent, hideous, disgusting, yet full of unavoidable demands and stricken by gusts of incontrollable temper, yet our care is inexhaustible. The man who can take this sweetly without resentment, who can abstain even from those tiresome self-depreciations is doing something which need-Love in its merely natural condition cannot attain. No doubt such wife will be doing something that surpasses the reach of natural gift-Love. In such a case, to receive is harder and perhaps more blessed than to give. But what the extreme example illustrates is of universal implications. Both the giver and the receiver are receiving charity. "Thus, God admits into the human heart, transforms not only gift-love but need-love; not only our need-Love of Him but our need-love of one another. In such a case, the Divine Love does not substitute itself for the natural love as if we have to throw away our silver and make room for gold. The natural loves are summoned to become modes of charity while others remain the natural love they are (Lewis, 1960:122).
DR FRANCIS ETIM, PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE NIGERIA


Need-love versus gift-love. I can see that. It reminds me of an IVP tract which I read decades ago that differentiated because-of love from in-spite-of love. We love someone because of certain virtues that they possess. But God loves us in spite of our vices. Something like that.

What about love as the desire for union? The desire of the separated to unite and become one? That's consistent with the parable of Plato which says humans were split into and desire their other half. It applies to sexual and romantic love. It applies less literally brotherly love, where the uniting is in terms of affiliation. It applies to self-love in the sense of the desire for wholeness. And it applies to divine love in the sense of the desire for oneness with the ground of being or conversely with the picture of God seeking oneness with his creation.

The mission of the church then becomes to overcome our essential estrangement from each other, ourselves and God which is grounded in the story that God incarnated and underwent crucifixion and resurrection in order to overcome estrangement from us.

In other words, the mission of the church is reconciliation. Given the splits and divisions, the factions and tribes that are present among humanity this is, needless to say, a superhuman task. To make matters worse, the manifest church is itself split.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9216
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Bob » Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:14 pm

felix dakat wrote:What about love as the desire for union? The desire of the separated to unite and become one? That's consistent with the parable of Plato which says humans were split into and desire their other half. It applies to sexual and romantic love. It applies less literally brotherly love, where the uniting is in terms of affiliation. It applies to self-love in the sense of the desire for wholeness. And it applies to divine love in the sense of the desire for oneness with the ground of being or conversely with the picture of God seeking oneness with his creation.

DR FRANCIS ETIM also wrote the following:
LOVE AND SEX
The natural co-relation of sex to love is taken for granted to such an extent that both are often reduced to each other. In normal parlance, to say “one is enjoying or having love is taken to mean that one is having sex.” To be someone's lover is to be one’s bed partner. No doubt our discussion so far has shown that there can be sex without Love and vice versa. Both are distinct yet related realities that is why Victor Frankl remarks that “sex can serve the purpose of social cohesion hence devoid of love” (105). While love as Frankl maintains is a human phenomenon by its very nature, sex becomes human as a result of developmental process called "progressive masturbation." Sex for him becomes love only at the instant of involvement of reciprocal affection. However, human sex is more than mere sex but something like meta-sex since, it is the physical expression of Love, and it is only to the extent that sex carries out this function that it is really a rewarding experience. This must have informed Maslow’s submission that “people who cannot love do not get the same kind of thrill out of sex as people who love” (Frankl, 1978:105).

Lewis maintains that what is looked for in sex is not the object for its own sake but for the function it performs. Here is evident of the terroristic nature of Erotic love. Love involves affectation and intelligence more than the mere instinctual satisfaction of sex. For Frankl, using sex as a more satisfactory apparatus holds only in an erotic individual who is only interested in getting rid of the sperm, be it by masturbation or using the partner as just another means to an end. A normal person sees the partner as a subject, another human being; sees him in his humanness; and, if he loves him, sees in the partner another person, which means that he sees in him his uniqueness. This uniqueness constitutes the personhood of a human being (1978:91).

This is not to play down on sex, which is naturally good. Used responsibly, sex essentially ferments, nurtures and preserves love. Some Spiritualists and Moralists influenced by Platonic-Christian tradition that links sex to instinctive animalistic drives regard sex derogatively leading to what Rolls May calls "the Demonization of the flesh"(Dillon,1980:345). This is still prevalent in many forms today, apparently evident in Freudian suppression of the libido. Dillon on the contrary argues that "if sexual energy is accumulated and not sufficiently drawn off in its sublimated forms, it can finally threaten to engulf the total personality because there is a moral vacuum created which degrades personality resulting in erotic madness which surrounds us today"(1980:345).

Frankl sees “the inflation of sex" - expressed in adverts and other forms as arisen from this existential vacuum created by inter-alia: - the demoralization of morals and values, and the devaluation and dehumanization of sex. Thus, is observed a trend of sexual life that is not integrated into one's personal life, but rather lived out for the sake of pleasure. Such depersonalization of sex is a symptom of existential frustration of “man's search for meaning.” In Frankl’s words:

When the pursuit originates in a frustrated search for meaning, it is aimed at intoxication and stupefaction. In the final analysis, it is self-defeating, for happiness can arise only as a result of living out ones transcendence, one's dedication to a cause to be served or a person to be loved (1978:93).

Sex as a process of physical union between lovers helps to erase the conflict that would have arisen in the interpersonal dominance and sublimations that are tacit in any love relationship, thus releasing the tensions in love as a project of possessing the freedom of the other. Since sex embedded in love is rewarding and satisfying, the lack of it leads to the search for compensation, which in turn requires heightened and intensified stimulation such as that provided by pornography and drugs. Pornography is thus regressive according to Frankl. It is a symptom of the retardation of one's own sexual self-gratification. On the pill, however, Frankl has a double view. On the one hand, they encourage unbridled promiscuity, without love. On the other hand, pills emancipate man from the tyranny of procreation and leave him only as a mere expression of love, thus helping sex to realise its true potentials as an expression of love. However, this position of Frankl's should not be understood as a glorification of drug addiction, as it will lead to fatal consequences of unbridled sex and incontinence.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3592
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:51 pm

I've heard that God's love is universal and unconditional. Are we to strive toward that?
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: state of evolving

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Mr Reasonable » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:58 pm

Ierrellus wrote:I've heard that God's love is universal and unconditional. Are we to strive toward that?


that's what i'm doing
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.


Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.
User avatar
Mr Reasonable
resident contrarian
 
Posts: 29313
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:54 am
Location: pimping a hole straight through the stratosphere itself

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Bob » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:22 am

felix dakat wrote:What about love as the desire for union? The desire of the separated to unite and become one? That's consistent with the parable of Plato which says humans were split into and desire their other half. It applies to sexual and romantic love. It applies less literally brotherly love, where the uniting is in terms of affiliation. It applies to self-love in the sense of the desire for wholeness. And it applies to divine love in the sense of the desire for oneness with the ground of being or conversely with the picture of God seeking oneness with his creation.

The mission of the church then becomes to overcome our essential estrangement from each other, ourselves and God which is grounded in the story that God incarnated and underwent crucifixion and resurrection in order to overcome estrangement from us.

In other words, the mission of the church is reconciliation. Given the splits and divisions, the factions and tribes that are present among humanity this is, needless to say, a superhuman task. To make matters worse, the manifest church is itself split.

Overcoming the estrangement towards others is probably harder than accepting that God has drawn closer. It is especially difficult in the times of social media, where you only see a presentation and not real people (let alone in the COVID crisis), which is why the congregation of believers can’t be replaced by the zoom. We need to be with people in real time, experiencing the ups and downs, the good and the bad times.

I think that for this reason the “glue” of reconciliation has to be forgiveness. Accepting that the person opposite you is the best version you’re going to get and perhaps the only way to hope for that to get better is to be better yourself. If this became the norm for Christian societies, despite the difficulties, it would spread. Instead, we have societies that are made up of resentful people, envious of each other – which is caused by the psychology of consumerism.

I think that self-love is important, but it is the measure that society places on people that makes them feel bad about themselves. You need a loving community that helps people feel wanted to overcome that. A church needs to be an oasis in the desert with regard to this.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3592
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby MagsJ » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:27 am

_
Church attendance has risen here, dramatically so.. you had to book a space on the pews online, if you wanted to attend the Christmas holidays or Easter holidays services.

I think it’s to do with a need of being a part of the Community and of Community spirit, which is once again easier to achieve.. now that the illegal immigrants and fake refugees have left our towns and cities and country, due to the lack of being in-receipt of benefits.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
User avatar
MagsJ
The Londonist: a chic geek
 
Posts: 22166
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:59 pm
Location: Suryaloka / LDN Town

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Bob » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:32 am

MagsJ wrote:_
Church attendance has risen here, dramatically so.. you had to book a space on the pews online, if you wanted to attend the Christmas holidays or Easter holidays services.

I think it’s to do with a need of being a part of the Community and of Community spirit, which is once again easier to achieve.. now that the illegal immigrants and fake refugees have left our towns and cities and country, due to the lack of being in-receipt of benefits.

1. Non-Practicing Christians Are On The Rise
2. Regular Church Attendance Declines
3. Prayer Is Still Important
4. Church Attendance By Generation
5. Tithing Numbers Still Low
6. Faith Remains Strong During COVID-19
7. Live Streaming Leads To Growth
8. Sermons Matter Most
9. Community Matters Too
10. Live Streaming Increases Online Tithing
11. Online Attendance Is Higher Than In-Person
12. Initial Tithing Effects Of COVID-19
13. Church Attendance Still Reeling From COVID
14. Hybrid Church Services Could Be The New Norm
15. Members Somewhat Confident Churches Are Safe
16. In-Person Attendance Slowly Growing
17. Christians Experiment With Different Churches
18. Members Happy With Live Streaming
19. More And Less Tithing Among Regular Viewers
20. Increase In Hybrid Services
21. Social Media Valuable Tool During Pandemic
22. Income Top Issue Facing Churches
23. Church Unity A Problem During The Pandemic
24. Many Churches Are Back To In-Person Gatherings
25. Attendance Changes Vary By Church Size
https://reachrightstudios.com/25-church ... s-for-2021
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3592
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:59 am

Ierrellus wrote:I've heard that God's love is universal and unconditional. Are we to strive toward that?


If you strive towards that, aren't you going to be frustrated, disappointed, guilty and depressed when you fall short?
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12345
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Ierrellus » Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:16 pm

phyllo wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:I've heard that God's love is universal and unconditional. Are we to strive toward that?


If you strive towards that, aren't you going to be frustrated, disappointed, guilty and depressed when you fall short?

Not necessarily.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: state of evolving

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:29 pm

I think that one "problem" with Christianity is that God and Jesus are portrayed as perfect. Then Christians are asked to use them as a standard to strive for. It's effectively an impossible standard.

But maybe that's just me.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12345
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:20 pm

phyllo wrote:I think that one "problem" with Christianity is that God and Jesus are portrayed as perfect. Then Christians are asked to use them as a standard to strive for. It's effectively an impossible standard.

But maybe that's just me.


Phyllo, you hit the nail on the head.

Existence is currently, massively imperfect. You can’t have a perfect being in an imperfect existence.

What’s interesting about this is that people mirror what they see. Those are the boring people. In an existence that is certainly all sin (consent violation), the non-boring people are the ones who go to rise above what they see and work to make existence perfect once and for all.
Ecmandu
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11790
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:22 am

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Sculptor » Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:34 pm

America is a very backwards country.
No wonder they elected PotasIQ45

In the UK it currenly runs at about 11%. Churches are now re-purposed as Art Galleries, Social Centres, Creches, and Trendy coffee bars. It is SO much nicer.

It's no surprise that in states like Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire where the smart people live church attendance is the lowest for the US.
Sculptor
Thinker
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Sculptor » Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:42 pm

Bob wrote:
MagsJ wrote:_
Church attendance has risen here, dramatically so.. you had to book a space on the pews online, if you wanted to attend the Christmas holidays or Easter holidays services.

I think it’s to do with a need of being a part of the Community and of Community spirit, which is once again easier to achieve.. now that the illegal immigrants and fake refugees have left our towns and cities and country, due to the lack of being in-receipt of benefits.

1. Non-Practicing Christians Are On The Rise

What's a non-practicing chef??
One that never cooks.

LOL
I think Non Christians are what you think are "non-practicing christians".

2. Regular Church Attendance Declines
3. Prayer Is Still Important
4. Church Attendance By Generation
5. Tithing Numbers Still Low
6. Faith Remains Strong During COVID-19
7. Live Streaming Leads To Growth
8. Sermons Matter Most
9. Community Matters Too
10. Live Streaming Increases Online Tithing
11. Online Attendance Is Higher Than In-Person
12. Initial Tithing Effects Of COVID-19
13. Church Attendance Still Reeling From COVID
14. Hybrid Church Services Could Be The New Norm
15. Members Somewhat Confident Churches Are Safe
16. In-Person Attendance Slowly Growing
17. Christians Experiment With Different Churches
18. Members Happy With Live Streaming
19. More And Less Tithing Among Regular Viewers
20. Increase In Hybrid Services
21. Social Media Valuable Tool During Pandemic
22. Income Top Issue Facing Churches
23. Church Unity A Problem During The Pandemic
24. Many Churches Are Back To In-Person Gatherings
25. Attendance Changes Vary By Church Size
https://reachrightstudios.com/25-church ... s-for-2021


Delusional
Sculptor
Thinker
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby felix dakat » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:53 pm

phyllo wrote:I think that one "problem" with Christianity is that God and Jesus are portrayed as perfect. Then Christians are asked to use them as a standard to strive for. It's effectively an impossible standard.

But maybe that's just me.


Christianity acknowledges that the standard is too high to be fulfilled by mere flesh and blood humans and asserts that it requires the power of God who both set the standard and fulfills it in and through people.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9216
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:32 pm

felix dakat wrote:
phyllo wrote:I think that one "problem" with Christianity is that God and Jesus are portrayed as perfect. Then Christians are asked to use them as a standard to strive for. It's effectively an impossible standard.

But maybe that's just me.


Christianity acknowledges that the standard is too high to be fulfilled by mere flesh and blood humans and asserts that it requires the power of God who both set the standard and fulfills it in and through people.
Yeah, I find that problematic as well.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12345
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: church attendance has fallen to less then 50% USA

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:35 pm

The problem with the word perfect is that it implies being finished or nothing left to be done. Maybe it does not always imply a final end. Maybe the journey of striving is the destination.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: state of evolving

PreviousNext

Return to Religion and Spirituality



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users