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Evangelical Says The Evangelical Church Is Sinking


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I don't understand all the movements mentioned in this rather wordy article. Still, it's fascinating to see what Brandan Robertson thinks about the bleak future facing his own background church:

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/revangelical/2014/08/02/r-i-p-evangelicalism.html

 

What he doesn't say: the "message" is itself flawed

What he does say: the leadership is corrupt, dogma is put over relationships, young people being turned off, churches closing...

 

Two thoughts:

1. will Catholicism and maybe Orthodoxy reverse the slide from their movements into evangelicalism?

2. will evangelicals start to look critically at Christianity's very foundation?

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"Osteenism" may be the future of Christianity. Empty slogans and slick marketing all designed to avoid controversy or conviction. 

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"Osteenism" may be the future of Christianity. Empty slogans and slick marketing all designed to avoid controversy or conviction. 

As mutations go, this would be the one most likely to ensure the survival of the virus, in my opinion.  Our society has been able to build some immunity to catholicism, orthodoxy, and even evangelicalism to a lesser extent.  Unless these older viruses mutate in some tremendously dramatic way, they will only continue to infect fewer and fewer.

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Let's hope the nutbags sink to extinction. They will most likely slither to 3rd world nations and re-establish there. They've been doing that in Africa for years.

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The evangelicals will probably split and grow farther and farther apart.  The conservative evangelicals (not political, but you all know the types) will become more and more conservative/WBB type, while the liberal christians will become more and more liberal.  

 

What's funny is that when they attack each other, they'll all cry that they're the victims and that they're being persecuted in christ's name.

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Two thoughts:

1. will Catholicism and maybe Orthodoxy reverse the slide from their movements into evangelicalism?

2. will evangelicals start to look critically at Christianity's very foundation?

 

No, and no.

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I don't understand all the movements mentioned in this rather wordy article. Still, it's fascinating to see what Brandan Robertson thinks about the bleak future facing his own background church:

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/revangelical/2014/08/02/r-i-p-evangelicalism.html

 

What he doesn't say: the "message" is itself flawed

What he does say: the leadership is corrupt, dogma is put over relationships, young people being turned off, churches closing...

 

Two thoughts:

1. will Catholicism and maybe Orthodoxy reverse the slide from their movements into evangelicalism?

2. will evangelicals start to look critically at Christianity's very foundation?

 

Re: the leadership being corrupt...

 

Any organization that looks to an invisible, intangible and undetectable source of morality is doomed to fail.  

Any leader of such an organization who looks to that non-existent source for help or guidance, is doomed to fail.

 

There's nothing and nobody there to provide the moral guidance and moral 'backbone' these people call for in their prayers and no amount of belief will give them what's not there.  So they become mired in corruption because their fallible human natures express themselves in ways that evangelical Christianity cannot tolerate or accept.

 

It's a train-wreck just waiting to repeat itself and they can't (or won't) see it. 

 

Thanks,

 

BAA

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Doomed to fail it may be, but I'll bet it'll become more virulent before breathing its last.

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Doomed to fail it may be, but I'll bet it'll become more virulent before breathing its last.

 

Ah... don't get me wrong, Roz.  I didn't explain myself well enough, perhaps?.

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.

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I'm not suggesting that evangelical Christianity, as a whole, is doomed to fail.

No.  I was referring specifically and only to the issue of the corrupt leadership of the evangelicals.

 

These people look to God to help them combat their 'fleshy' natures.

But, of course, there is no God.  So, no matter how much they believe He's there to help them wage war with their inner desires - they get no help.  And sooner or later temptation will come knocking.  It's not God's fault... he doesn't exist.  It's not their fault... they're only human.  The fault lies in the unrealistic expectations of the evangelicals as a whole.  

 

The unrealistic expectation that God will answer their prayers and deliver them from temptation.  

The unrealistic expectation that their leaders can act as morally and as correctly as the Apostles.

The unrealistic expectation that the power of the Holy Spirit will transform them into better people.

 

These are seriously unrealistic expectations.

Expecting their leaders to live up to these impossible standards is what dooms those leaders to fail.

 

.

.

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That's what I meant.  Ok?

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

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     There have been several successful revival movements in the recent past so I don't know if I can count the religion down and out yet.  They may have another round or two left in them.

 

          mwc

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Iirc, didn't both Jefferson and Paine write about the death of religion in just 100 years from their time?  

 

I would love nothing better than to live to see the church fall into "silly cult status", but I don't think that will happen anytime soon.  In fact if the middle class keeps shrinking we may just have another resurgence.  We all know the poor and uneducated are more religious than the rich and powerful...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I lost my post I was writing on this.

I'll try to summarize as best I can. I admit I don't know anything about the Emerging or Emergent Church. I heard rumblings about it when the Wife was going through to get her Ministry Readiness certification. However, are the evangelicals really surprised? They seek to be the remnant, to shake out what can be shaken. They are always, as the article says, in pursuit of truth. In point of fact, my own deconversion was spiraled up by the checklists She brought home, and my failure on quite a few counts which caused Her to be in tears. It wasn't corruption, nor was it someone's ability or lack thereof to keep it in their pants. This church wouldn't even hear of the likes of Francis Collins, and I was 'cause for concern' by some people for not hiding my acknowledgement of evolutionary theory. That and the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy is what ultimately did me in. Looking back, I see evangelicals should be proud, not sad. They want a remnant, after all. They crow constantly about wanting to shake out what can be shaken. They even admit that belief is more important than morality, virtue, honor, integrity, certainly more important than love. Aren't they the ones constantly going on and on and on about lukewarm this, and wishy-washy that? Well, this is what happens.

Had we belonged to a more so-called liberal brand of Christianity, I perhaps would have remained in the faith, or deconverted but it would not have been seen as a problem. But if you have strict standards of conformity, you also have to realize you lose some people. I read the article, and see them upset. From my vantage point now, outside of trying to please and do it all right, I have to say, I just don't get their issue. Are Seal Team commanders weeping because five out of every hundred cadets makes seal team? And that is what evangelicalism is, isn't it? The Navy Seals of Christianity? In short, they wanted it this way. The old adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it," kind of applies here. I've been in places where we had to test people in, if they were going to work for us, for technical competency. And many didn't make it. Was it frustrating at times? Sure. But who's weeping? That's what the job requires. If they are going to trumpet out the same straw man arguments about relativism, and hold up an impossibly slim set of dogmatic standards to live by, they're going to lose people. Hell, I respect the Westboros more than these, even though I'd rather fight them physically than to have them protest the funerals of my family members who serve in the military. What I mean is, the evangelicals want to be all boss and exclusive when it comes to doctrinal and political adherence. That's their right. But dammit, grow a fucking pair! You want to find us out who are always on the wrong side of dogma? Point out that being good moral people isn't good enough, that not believing in all the right tenants, not believing in Jesus the right way isn't good enough? Then suck it up and deal with the fact that you are gonna lose people. Especially while you reject basic biology, won't even allow for people like Francis Collins. I'm sorry, I'm not at all bitter about being found out by Christians. Laughable how they are so terrified of the porn people looking at Sports Illustrated, when they should be concerned about those of us tearing through their apologetics and their bible and not finding any of it convincing. No, not bitter, just flat out disgusted at the mama's boy attitude. Waaah! We're losing people! Hey, numbnuts, did you ever think that when you raise standards, you lose people? That's just how it works, chicken-brain!

Sorry I kinda went off there. But this faux victim special snowflake attitude really pisses me right the fuck off. This whole minority myth of theirs, seeing as they've never been an actual minority to speak of, never been denied access to resources. And now that they are positioned to lose numbers, not even from sleeping on the job, but due to the very nature of their infrastructure and beliefs? Well, too bad, so sad. What do they think their favorite word 'remnant' means? What else could metaphorical shaking mean? They're constantly double triple checking beliefs and adherence and vetting all 'concerned' about doctrinal (and political) error. Clearly, that's the most important thing to them, just as physical and mental fitness for the job is to navy seals. Only navy seals lose a hell of a lot more people, and you don't see navy seals cry about it.

Of course individual Christians don't want to see other people leave the faith. But systemically, this is inevitable. When all the talk is wishy-washy this, lukewarm that, and all the straw arguments thrown around to make it look like all  nonbelievers are just spineless sponges. And so much of their apologetic is, being generous, very misinformed on many things. Their nemesis, al Qaeda, loses thousands of potential members per day due to lack of orthodoxy and fervency. At least this was the case under Bin Laden. Are they weeping? Howling at the moon? They know what they are. The evangelicals just have to realize what it is they themselves actually are and deal with it.

No, I don't personally regret being always found out on the wrong side of dogmas, on the wrong side of a political issue. It only hastened my move to full on rational inquiry. I suppose people of other makeups it would do different things to. But so, we have an exclusive bunch, the evangelicals in this case, who lose people because ... that's what happens in exclusive environments ... and they're having trouble making new ones who will make the cut. And then they have the audacity to cry about it? Well, boo fucking hoo!

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Nice rant!  :D

 

so true.. if you want to be 'elite', then your ranks will be thin - it's how it works. Not everyone can be the elite, or they wouldn't be the elite anymore but the common.

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Damn Leo. That was an epic rant. Excellent points made therein.

 

My initial response to the OP:

 

giphy.gif

 

A dance of joy and triumph. The virus will not go quietly, though. The reason why evangelicals are kicking and screaming about shrinkage is because they need the money. Church is a racket, always has been. Everything crumbles without the dough.

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I don't understand all the movements mentioned in this rather wordy article. Still, it's fascinating to see what Brandan Robertson thinks about the bleak future facing his own background church:

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/revangelical/2014/08/02/r-i-p-evangelicalism.html

 

What he doesn't say: the "message" is itself flawed

What he does say: the leadership is corrupt, dogma is put over relationships, young people being turned off, churches closing...

 

Two thoughts:

1. will Catholicism and maybe Orthodoxy reverse the slide from their movements into evangelicalism?

2. will evangelicals start to look critically at Christianity's very foundation?

I read the wikipedia article on Evangelicalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelicalism). It seems there are many definitions of Evangelicalism.

 

After reading what Leo wrote, I began to think about how the smaller and more extreme Bolsheviks overpowered the Mensheviks in the communist movement. I suspect that Evangelicals hoped to do the same with Christianity and the Republican Party in the US. Their loss of political influence is what they are really crying about IMO.

 

I was only Orthodox for a couple of years, so I don't know much about the culture. I read that a group of Evangelicals converted en masse to the Antiochian Orthodox denomination. Also many Protestants converted to Catholicism/Orthodoxy, because their research convinced them that the original church in the book of Acts was more ritualized and hierarchical. Probably most of these converts were former Evangelicals.

 

I don't know if the presence of former Evangelicals in the pews influences Catholicism or Orthodoxy that much. I do remember going to an Antiochian church and seeing a guy walking back and forth by the street with a sign that said "come see the true faith" (or something). That type of enthusiasm might be a sign of influence. There are also a lot of enthusiastic Orthodox converts in religious forums. The cradle Orthodox seem to have no interest in promoting Orthodoxy. I know for myself that I never felt that I understood Orthodoxy. Probably it takes several years or maybe you need to grow-up with it. Maybe the same is true of Catholicism.

 

I wonder if Catholicism is less influenced by converts, because the Catholic Church is so large and well organized?

 

I suspect in the future that people will prefer liturgical Christian churches, because these churches will provide a way to practice religion without stumbling over the beliefs that no longer work.

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