T Nation

Decline of Evangelical America

Interesting…any thoughts?

I think I’ve been saying this for a very long time Chris. That WAS me blaming this country’s decline on a whoring compromising modernist church wasn’t it? Yep I thought so. I don’t even have to look at the NYT article. Like I say. I can’t wait. I hope I live long enough to see the glorious American church that will be left after the refiners fire has burned the modernist heretics away. That will be some sweet sweet prayer and worship indeed.

Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.

[quote]ephrem wrote:
Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.[/quote]

Either that or the differences between the two areas of the world are far more different than they are the same.

You’re an atheist right?

Uh huh.

Interesting read. If more evangelicals had his attitude, evangelicals wouldn’t have such a bad reputation.

[quote]Christine wrote:
Interesting read. If more evangelicals had his attitude, evangelicals wouldn’t have such a bad reputation.

[/quote]

What makes you think they have a bad reputation? Must be the circles that you run in.

[quote]Christine wrote:
Interesting read. If more evangelicals had his attitude, evangelicals wouldn’t have such a bad reputation.

[/quote]

I like Christian evangelicals, however annoying they may be theologically.

They are solid good people who love G-d, however imperfectly.

The reason evangelicals have a “bad rep” is the media hate G-d, feel condemned by the evangelicals’ generally selfless actions, and have created a very effective strawman of what evangelicals are.

[quote]ephrem wrote:
Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.[/quote]

Are you talking to me or Tirib?

[quote]ephrem wrote:
Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.[/quote]

You might say it’s a good thing but to them it is the worst thing imaginable. It’s not like their beliefs are based in rational thought. Fundamentalist is like the anti-thesis of progressive and so regardless of it it seems like a reasonable step forward in societal progress it is actually a major backslide in fundamentalism.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
I think I’ve been saying this for a very long time Chris. That WAS me blaming this country’s decline on a whoring compromising modernist church wasn’t it? Yep I thought so. I don’t even have to look at the NYT article. Like I say. I can’t wait. I hope I live long enough to see the glorious American church that will be left after the refiners fire has burned the modernist heretics away. That will be some sweet sweet prayer and worship indeed.[/quote]

I am sorry I do not understand what “the refiners fire has burned the modernist heretics away,” means. Can you please explain? Are you referring to a purging of society of heretics? Are you referring to a day of judgement where those who are not deemed worthy are extinguished from the Earth? Are you welcoming of such a day where there is a religious purification of America?

I do not want to presume anything here to cast judgement at all. I am just unclear if you believe that the death of millions who do not accord to your religious beliefs is a good thing or not.

Cheers.

I really liked the article as it pointed out how much more effective humility and grace is at attracting people than moral condemnation of others. Offering hope and a hand as opposed to using fear makes a lot of sense as people do not want to join an organization to be chastised for their past actions.

This is a very insightful passage "Instead of offering hope, many evangelicals have claimed the role of moral gatekeeper, judge and jury. If we continue in that posture, we will continue to invite opposition and obscure the ?good news? we are called to proclaim. "

It is God’s work to draw and convert the lost to Himself.
It is the evangelicals’ job to witness this salvation of themselves by proclamation and in discipleship.

We have a burden because we are looking at our own inability ‘to save the sinner’, yet we shirk the role that God has given us in this task.

Where is the utter dependence on God to bring the increase?
Where is the heartfelt and knee-bound prayer over the lost?
Where is the passion for living a righteous example?
Where is the sacrificial giving to fund evangelism?
Where is the teaching of the living word which when cast upon the waters, does not return void?

Christian - when was the last time you shared the gospel AND how it had changed your own life?

Thank you Father for your saving grace.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:

[quote]ephrem wrote:
Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.[/quote]

Are you talking to me or Tirib?[/quote]

Mostly T, but also to you as you seem to also place an inordinate amount of value on your religious beliefs.

[quote]storey420 wrote:

[quote]ephrem wrote:
Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.[/quote]

You might say it’s a good thing but to them it is the worst thing imaginable. It’s not like their beliefs are based in rational thought. Fundamentalist is like the anti-thesis of progressive and so regardless of it it seems like a reasonable step forward in societal progress it is actually a major backslide in fundamentalism. [/quote]

I for one am glad to see a shift in american culture, away from christian fundamentalism and towards the kind of social progress we, as a species, will need to survive our own stupidity.

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
I really liked the article as it pointed out how much more effective humility and grace is at attracting people than moral condemnation of others. Offering hope and a hand as opposed to using fear makes a lot of sense as people do not want to join an organization to be chastised for their past actions.

This is a very insightful passage "Instead of offering hope, many evangelicals have claimed the role of moral gatekeeper, judge and jury. If we continue in that posture, we will continue to invite opposition and obscure the ?good news? we are called to proclaim. "[/quote]

I think one of the functions of religion is to identify and separate the adherents to that religion from the non-believers or infidels/pagans. This is achieved by believing that you are a better believer, more righteous than others and more in tune with the truth.

By definition, any succesful religion must adopt a tenet of moral superiority to set itself apart from other religions and the way evangelical christianity did that was through bible bashing.

Perhaps the “good news” won’t be enough.

[quote]ephrem wrote:

[quote]storey420 wrote:

[quote]ephrem wrote:
Imagine that religious fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi-Arabia lose their grip on society, and women and gays are granted equal rights. Imagine that these repressive societies become liberal. Wouldn’t you say that’s a good thing?

The only reason why you lament this happening in the US is that you are part of those religious fundamentalists who are losing power and influence to rational sanity.[/quote]

You might say it’s a good thing but to them it is the worst thing imaginable. It’s not like their beliefs are based in rational thought. Fundamentalist is like the anti-thesis of progressive and so regardless of it it seems like a reasonable step forward in societal progress it is actually a major backslide in fundamentalism. [/quote]

I for one am glad to see a shift in american culture, away from christian fundamentalism and towards the kind of social progress we, as a species, will need to survive our own stupidity.
[/quote]

Yeah, kicking God out of schools has certainly helped in that area. Four mass school shootings in only four years. When you remove a system of values that has worked since the inception of the country and replace it with…NOTHING you get chaos. Unfortunately there will be more proof of this as we move forward.

[quote]ephrem wrote:
towards the kind of social progress we, as a species, will need to survive our own stupidity.
[/quote]

Seeing as religion in one form or another, has been involved in, if not the major reason for, society as we know it since mankind could communicate, I’m not really sure what this statement is supposed to mean.

One man’s death, 2000 years ago, effects the lives of about 3 billion people today… You are fooling yourself if you think “religion” is going away.

Man has always worshiped something, this isn’t going to change any time soon. What they worship might, but faith itself isn’t.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Man has always worshiped something, this isn’t going to change any time soon. What they worship might, but faith itself isn’t.[/quote]

I’m not sure if you mean this to be understood more narrowly, but it’s clear to me that you’re absolutely correct. The yearnings which religious belief seeks to satisfy seem to be permanent symptoms of the human condition–they are transferable but not eradicable. The underpinnings of medieval Saint-worship are now driving People magazine’s subscription numbers. Achilles, Gilgamesh and Samson have been supplanted by Bruce Wayne and Bond, James Bond. Football is the new Sunday ritual. Etc.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]ephrem wrote:
towards the kind of social progress we, as a species, will need to survive our own stupidity.
[/quote]

Seeing as religion in one form or another, has been involved in, if not the major reason for, society as we know it since mankind could communicate, I’m not really sure what this statement is supposed to mean.

One man’s death, 2000 years ago, effects the lives of about 3 billion people today… You are fooling yourself if you think “religion” is going away.

Man has always worshiped something, this isn’t going to change any time soon. What they worship might, but faith itself isn’t.[/quote]

Religion is a relic of ancient times; and fundamentalism a testament to our collective immaturity. Mankind will, at some point in time, bring itself to the brink of extinction and I believe that religious fundamentalism, and especially the kind of mindset that requires it, lies at the heart of that downfall.

[quote]ephrem wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]ephrem wrote:
towards the kind of social progress we, as a species, will need to survive our own stupidity.
[/quote]

Seeing as religion in one form or another, has been involved in, if not the major reason for, society as we know it since mankind could communicate, I’m not really sure what this statement is supposed to mean.

One man’s death, 2000 years ago, effects the lives of about 3 billion people today… You are fooling yourself if you think “religion” is going away.

Man has always worshiped something, this isn’t going to change any time soon. What they worship might, but faith itself isn’t.[/quote]

Religion is a relic of ancient times; and fundamentalism a testament to our collective immaturity. Mankind will, at some point in time, bring itself to the brink of extinction and I believe that religious fundamentalism, and especially the kind of mindset that requires it, lies at the heart of that downfall.
[/quote]

I believe you are missing the point I’m trying to make. Because the “brink of extinction” will only strenghten “the kind of mindset” you speak out against.

Again, one man, one, dies on a cross 2000 years ago, and that event still effects the lives of billions, I repeat, billions of people today… How anyone can honestly think religion is a relic is beyond me.

Hate it all you want, but understand it isn’t going anywhere. It is only going to change.