Christianity on the Decline?


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Recently, a new Pew Research study was conducted to gauge the level of religiously “unaffiliated” people in the USA, their political involvement and other demographics.   The actual study is an interesting document of data and statistics.  I’m not a statistician so I can’t necessarily comment on a lot of that stuff but, suffice it to say, there is a decline in people who indicate they have a religious affiliation.

Now, of course, this gets a lot of people talking.  On one side we have folks talking about “finally this country is leaving behind superstition” and on the other side we have folks panicking “we need to get out and get this country back on track”.  News articles and blogs have already been written commenting on this stuff.  You can read two of them here and here.

For me, I have one thing to say.

I’m not surprised at all.

First of all, to all those who are rejoicing that we’ve left superstition behind, the survey doesn’t say that.  In fact, most of those “nones” actually still believe in something supernatural and spiritual, they just don’t align with a particular religion at all.

Secondly, to those who are panicking, welcome to post-modernism/post-Christendom.  This is something that writers and bloggers and such have been trying to get across to American Christianity for decades.  What we are seeing here in the US has been an understood fact of life in Europe for decades.  All this study does is confirm what we’ve expected all along.

Thirdly, this study does not just represent Christianity but religious affiliation in general. So, it is less of a Christian problem and more of a general cultural trend.  To get up in arms to “save Christianity” in America isn’t really warrented.

Finally, concerning the decline in Catholicism and Protestantism, I’m not sure if that really says anything.  I’ll comment more on that later but it implies only those two categories and does not pay attention to some broader movements within Christianity on the global scale.

One thing the statistics in the study don’t seem to address is some of the underlying reasons why this may be happening.  It tries to address this question by quoting facts and states about identification with a congregation and such, but I’m not sure that really gets to the core, at least regarding Christianity.  I’m going to attempt a guess, but I don’t know if there are stats to back it up.  So…

First, calling oneself a Catholic or Protestant is a categorization that does not take into consideration a movement among US Christians to set aside such categories and, instead, follow a more general Christianity.  In fact, my own tradition of Mennonite/Anabaptist, traditionally, does not affiliate with either Protestant or Catholic.  And Eastern Orthodoxy also does not fall into the indicated categories. This lack of category is characteristic of post-Christendom/post-modern Christianity in that people who come up within that world view are less concerned about “flavor” of Christianity and more concerned about authenticity and demonstrable faith. So, to use this study to lament the decline of either of those two camps loses sight of the broader more ecumenical view being talked about among many Christians in our post-Christendom culture.

Secondly, it is possible that what we are seeing is actually a naturally occurring corrective in Christianity.  For a long time, Christianity in the US has been defined by “where do you go to church” and “what denomination are you”.  Your status as a Christian is associated with the institutional congregation that you call “home” and the specific doctrines that congregation subscribes to.  Again, as a more post-modern worldview sets in, people are less interested in the intellectualized and rationalized faith and more interested in lifestyle.  Hypocrisy of the institutionalized faith is one of the main criticisms of Christianity today so we should not at all be surprised that people are no longer aligning with the institution.  This means that there are many followers of Jesus who are gathering in other less formalized communities that could easily be classified as Christians but, because of the connection to congregation being a prime data point in the study, are overlooked.  So, this increase in “unaffiliated” may be a little bit of both people abandoning Christianity totally as well as people who aren’t affiliated with “official” Christianity but are still disciples of Jesus.

Finally, again with the post-modern and post-Christendom turn, we have the general distrust of reason and modern “scientific” applications of faith as mentioned briefly above.  What this does is it weeds out those who may have only based their faith on what they can reason and, when that reason is challenged, have nothing further to stand on.  When all you have is reason and not a spiritual connection to God through Jesus, if you can no longer trust reason, you have nothing but emptiness.  And so you leave.  This is probably the biggest tragedy in that this is one thing that actually does point to a decline of Christianity, at least as an acknowledged faith practice.  But again, it’s no surprise.  Remember the Parable of the Sower?  Jesus already knew this was going to happen.  Troubles come around, problems happen, people see the world going along with Helena and her Handbasket, and they doubt and fall away because they didn’t have their roots drinking the living water.  What is left isn’t necessarily something to lament, but something to rejoice because real Christ followers are what is left.  This goes along with people who have made the gospel about America, have made it about financial wealth, have made it about health, have subscribed to “good rewarded bad punished” and all sorts of distortions.

So, while I agree the Pew study needs our attention, I wonder if it is necessarily as bad news as we might make it out to be.  Is it really a problem, or is the church being refined and purified to be a better witness? Time will tell.

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20 thoughts on “Christianity on the Decline?

  1. Pingback: The Four “Knows” of Faithful Christian Presence « Abnormal Anabaptist

  2. Amen…
    “In fact, most of those “nones” actually still believe in something supernatural and spiritual, they just don’t align with a particular religion at all.”

    Seems lots of folks are recognizing and leaving – “The Corrupt Religious System” of today. Many never leave The Church of God. aka The Body of Christ. (I love His Church.) Most have left “The Corrupt Religious System” – That has damaged so many. The 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation, the IRS calls church.

    Should His Disciples call an IRS Corporation “His Church?” His ekklesia?

    Corrupt – Dictionary

    1- showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

    2- in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.

    3- debased or made unreliable by errors or alterations.

    Hasn’t The Whole Religious System, for 1700 years, been *Totally Corrupt?* With…
    1 – Elder/Overseers who do NOT meet the qualifications found in the Bible?
    …..(1. Must be Blameless. 2. Holy? 3. Just? 4. Rule well their own house? etc.)
    2 – Multiple thousands of denominations – NOT found in the Bible?
    …..(Baptist, Presbyterian., Catholic, Lutheran, Assembly of God. etc.)
    3 – Multiple Movements – NOT found in the Bible?
    …..(Reformed, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Emergent, etc.)
    4 – Abusive Heirarchy – Abusive Authoritarians – NOT found in the Bible?
    …..(Who Exercise Authority like the gentiles and lord it over God’s heritage.)
    5 – Traditions of men – NOT found in the Bible?
    …..(Money as a Tithe, Go to church, Join a church, church membership. etc).
    6 – Titles/Positions – NOT found in the Bible? (Pastor/Leader/Reverend?)
    …..(Clergy, Doctor, Right Reverend, Cardinal, Senior Pastor, Lead Pastor. etc.)

    Isn’t “Today’s System” filled with those having “a willingness to act dishonestly?”
    And are after…
    1- “money – personal gain” (Celebrity Pastors, Authors, Conference speakers.)
    3- and make “Today’s Religious System” “unreliable by errors or alterations,”
    to the Bible, how the Bible describes “His Church.” Qualifications for Overseer?
    And because of errors and alterations to the qualifications of Elder/Overseer
    2- The Corrupt Religious System is in a state of decay; rotten and putrid.

    And folks are leaving by the millions. And turning to Jesus.

    • You and I do agree on a number of things, primarily that the church in the US today has become more involved in the idea of the institution than in the larger community of believers.

      Some points of difference:

      1) While there are many who give to the church simply to get the tax break for charitable giving, the tax exempt status in the US is actually a benefit to the church. Essentially, the government is telling religious organizations that they have the freedom to do with their money whatever they want to without having to be subjected to the government authorities. The law code does include non-faith-based corporations, true, but that does not make the church one. Guilt by association is no more Christ-like than greed.
      2) On your points of corruption, let me address first the points of leadership. You are correct in that, in the history of the church, there have been immoral and abusive men (and women) in leadership positions of the church. That is, actually, expected. They are humans. Peter was not blameless. I would suggest that Paul had his own struggles. John had a temper (sons of Thunder, remember?). So, to say that you must be completely perfect and blameless to lead a body of believers is to say there should be no leadership, something that I think is unsupported by Scripture. This does not mean our leaders should not aim for a high standard, but to discredit the local congregations as an expression and manifestation of Christ’s body because of such men is ungracious. Along with this, I will say the “titles” argument falls a little flat. Yeah, I think assigning titles has some problems, but the roles do apply. There are shepherds and teachers and people that we can honor by recognizing their role. The people in the role can abuse it, true, but, again, that does not invalidate the role.
      3) Denominationalism, I agree, is a problem. Lutherans criticize Catholics, Catholics criticize Reformed, Baptists hate them all and Mennonites say “we’re the chosen few.” All a mess. However, to say that we need to dissolve them all is unfaithful to that church 1700 years ago you mention. Each congregation that Paul ministered to had different focuses, different emphases, that came out of their culture, experiences, and congregational DNA. While there weren’t “denominations” as such, Ephesian Christians probably did things differently than Roman Christians and may have even emphasized different aspects of teaching than the Romans simply because they are different people. Seen in this light, denominations have a different perspective as being descriptions of the character of the congregation. Again, we humans have a tendency to use such descriptions to divide, but the descriptions are helpful in identifying emphasis. In truth, there is a lot of movement in the US church today where people from multiple denominations are working together, despite doctrinal differences. I’d suggest you read John Franke’s “Manifold Witness” as a scholarly description of how multiple “flavors” of Christianity can be a good thing.
      4)Concerning the traditons of men, again, I do recognize that certain aspects of the US church experience get elevated above biblical teachings where they can get in the way of truth. For example, in my own tradition, Mennonites for years eschewed the use of instruments in worship services. But the reason for it got lost. It became a doctrinal teaching because we lost the cultural context. The things you mentioned as such traditions are right on those lines as well. They are good things, important things, with reasons behind them. The reasons may be extra-biblical, but they are not necessarily wrong. It is important to give money into the community of the church to support the communal work. It is important to gather regularly in an agreed upon place to experience worship in a communal setting. It is important to recognize the people who identify with the community so as to be aware of needs and such for the ordering of the communal work…and so on. The traditions have been elevated in some ways…but they are traditions for a reason in that, at some point in time they were needed. Perhaps some may fall away yet, but this doesn’t mean they are evil or wrong, just no longer of the same importance.
      5) Multiple movements is not anti-biblical. Jesus led a movement. Acts 2 describes another movement. Acts 6 another, Acts 10 another, Acts 15 another, and so on. They may not have the labels we have applied, but they are outpourings of God’s Spirit, refreshing and renewing the church, refocusing the church on things that may have been muted or lost in the past. The Reformation reminded us about God’s word being important and faithful life being important. The Evangelical movement reminded us to go out and spread the good news of Jesus coming. Pentecostal reminded us of the power of the Holy Spirit. Emergent reminds us of God’s living body and boundlessness. And so on. Again, just like denominations, we can get stuck on the labels and categories and lose sight of the important points, but that’s humanity…the movements themselves aren’t necessarily wrong.

      I would suggest that while there are folks leaving the institutions turning to Jesus, there are also folks IN the institutions also looking for Jesus. To categorize them as you have falls into the same trap as the denominational labels you’ve described. We are all humble seekers after Christ, whether we meet in a steepled building on Sunday morning or in a friend’s living room on Saturday night.

  3. Robert

    Really appreciate your reply. Well thought out and lots of good stuff to go over. Need a little time to read it over again and think. Maybe tomorrow.

    I change names now and again. I’ve been banned from a few blogs who do NOT like what I say or how I say it. ;-)

    When you challenge someones – Power – Profit – and – Prestige
    Things can get dicey to say the least. Lots of name calling.

    I do have an affinity for the Anabaptists, and the way they started.

    Read a little of their history and liked their focus on Jesus. And they must have done something right, because both the protestants and catholics persecuted them. And I mean killed them. But they seemed to go to the fires and the drownings knowing Jesus also suffered. These folks had courage.

    But, NOT so much when they became focused on “Exercising Authority,” Shunning, and Excommunicating those who disagreed.

    Seems Power “Corrupts” even the best of intentions. ;-)

    I’m looking forward to the conversation.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    • I’ll be honest and say that it feels good to actually have a congenial reply. It means that both of us are coming into this conversation with a spirit of mutual learning as is evidenced by my initial reply to you and this recent reply to me. I hope and pray that this continues.

      God bless!

  4. Robert

    I thank you for your response and the five, 5, thoughtful points.

    All are important topics for the body of Christ. I now enjoy discussing and debating them. I really believe conflict has a benefit. It causes us to ask new questions which result in new answers. And most know todays “system” is NOT working very well. NO matter how we try to tweak it. Somethings wrong.

    Much agreement, and would like to see this in my lifetime…
    “We are all humble seekers after Christ, whether we meet in a steepled building on Sunday morning or in a friend’s living room on Saturday night.”

    Here’s one short answer for the original 6 points and your 5 points.

    In my experience…
    Eventually, all these well meaning devises, ideas, human reasoning,
    leads a new believer, any believer, a potential Disciple, to an…

    ————

    “Unintended Consequence.”

    Humans, learning from, following, and depending on, Humans.
    Humans, NOT learning from, following, and depending on, Jesus.

    Jesus, who makes Himself real to believers. His forgiveness. His Love.
    Is quickly replaced by “Mere Fallible Humans” and “Institutons.”
    Who convince the new born to NOW follow them, and their beliefs.

    ————

    BUT – Jesus taught His Disciples something different and radical.
    ”My sheep Hear My voice I know them and they follow me.”
    Do NOT be called teacher – for there is “ONE” teacher – Christ.
    Do NOT be called leader – for there is “ONE” leader – Christ.
    There is “ONE” Fold, “ONE” Voice, “ONE” Shepherd.

    ———–

    And eventually the many failures of “The Corrupt Religious System”

    Leave us NO place to go – But – to go to Jesus. :-)

    Jer 50:6 KJV
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    “their shepherds” have caused them “to go astray,”

    1Pet 2:25
    For ye were as “sheep going astray;”
    but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest – I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    • I agree, there are unintended consequences. Look at what happened when Constantine decided it was a bad idea to persecute Christians.

      However, this does not make the thing itself evil or bad or wrong. It again reveals, as you point out, that we are humans who need to follow Jesus and give our will over to him.

      Ironically, that’s what all those movements are that you criticized earlier. They are essentially mass migrations of God’s people towards a refreshing and renewing of the focus on Jesus. Humanity eventually intrudes again, but God’s Spirit is faithful.

      So…again, we agree to a point. I’m just not willing to whole-sale condemn those institutions and traditions as somehow being wrong and evil or the like…just that they have been, as you said, corrupted…but even corrupt things can be redeemed. God who raises the dead can refresh even a corrupt church.

  5. And I agree…
    “They are essentially mass migrations of God’s people towards a refreshing and renewing of the focus on Jesus. Humanity eventually intrudes again,”

    So, Why do we, wannabe Disciples, keep doing the same thing?
    Over and over again? Expecting a different outcome? Oy Vey!!! :-(

    Aren’t we to learn from the mistakes of the past? Our mistakes?

    Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
    and they are written for our admonition,
    upon whom the ends of the world are come.
    1 Cor 10:11

    Church = Ekklesia = a calling out, an assembly.
    Jesus, He is the head of the body, (the called out ones) the church.

    And you say – “but even corrupt things can be redeemed.”

    Jesus didn’t reform, or redeem “The Corrupt Religious System,” Then.

    He left it.

    Jesus left “The Religious System” He set up. Those were His laws, His Priests, His Religious Leaders he called snakes, of your father the Devil, etc. Then He “Called Out” others, His Disciples, into a relationship with Him to become “ONE” Body with Jesus as the head.

    If His Disciples were “Called Out” of “The Corrupt Religious System,” Then? Isn’t it likely Jesus, is “Calling Out” His Disciples from “The Corrupt Religious System,” Today?

    What do you think Jesus meant when he said…

    Wherefore come out from among them,
    and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
    and touch not the unclean thing;
    and I will receive you,
    2 Cor 6:14-18

    • To answer your first question, I think you already answered it. Because we are his disciples and followers…we are not Him. We are learning as we follow. Consider that his disciples who actually walked and spent time INTIMATELY with him for three years, still didn’t get it.

      As for Jesus “leaving” the religious system, that’s inaccurate. He still participated in the Passover, he was a good Jew, spending time in the Scriptures and synagogues. Even his followers were good Jews, spending time at temple and keeping the Jewish law.

      As for being “Called Out”…it’s not being called out of a system to be separate, it is more on the lines of “who IN here are loyal to me” and they gather together.

      As for the 2 corinthians passage you are talking about, contextually he was telling believers to not still be engaged in the idolatrous practives…to live differently within their community. He wasn’t saying, “stop being Jews”, he was saying to a bunch of NON Jews “stop being pagans”.

      So, again, it’s not “through out religion” so much as it’s “get it right”.

  6. Robert

    Seems most movements, denominations, start out well. Lots of Life.
    But, soon, a generation or two, people are just following “Traditions.”
    Just following “Mere Fallible Humans” who call themselves “Leader.’

    And NOT following Jesus.

    Info from the book – The Secret of the Strength – About Mennonites.
    Free PDF download off the internet. – http://www.gw.org/Sos/Sos.pdf

    Menno, as a Catholic Priest, left “The system,” because Rome believed and acted as…
    “the church stands between God and man”

    Menno, and the first Anabaptists believed in….
    “man’s freedom of choice and his duty
    *to obey the voice of Christ* within him.”

    But Menno, got grumpy in his old age with all the splits, doctrines he didn’t approve of,
    and reverted back to the authority of the institution and tradition.

    From – “Unity is not the result of group concensus.
    It is the result of many individual commitments to Christ.”

    To – “In the end, Menno submitted to the authority of a new “mediatorial church” — that of the Anabaptist church he had helped to establish. His earlier love for Christ gave way to an inordinate affection for the church. And, thanks to the writings of his old age and of the Dutch and Alsatian (Amish) Anabaptists who followed him, his later position prevailed.”

    Maybe the question wannabe Disciples of Jesus can ask is…
    Which (Mennonite) “Tradition” am I following?
    Which (Menno) Human am I following? The early (Menno) or the later (Menno)?

    Maybe His Disciples are to follow Jesus – NOT follow “Mere fallible Humans?
    And – “*to obey the voice of Christ* within…”

    Seems Jesus always taught His Disciples – Follow me… And…
    Do NOT be called Leader, there’s “ONE” leader, Jesus. Mt 23:10 NASB

    Abraham went out, NOT knowing where he was going. Heb 11:8

    Maybe His Disciples can do the same – Today…
    Just, Hear His Voice, learn from, follow, and depend on, Jesus. ;-)

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to *hear His voice,*
    that *He might instruct thee:*

    Psalms 32:8
    I will instruct thee and teach thee
    in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

    Once again, we can see, Movements, Denominations, Todays Religious Systems,”
    as Menno first did… “the church stands between God and man”

    • I think we’ve come full circle here. You point out the tendency for human beings, when they start out with something good, to end up turning away from Jesus after a time. I acknowledge that fully. However, as I’ve said many times before, that is not a bad reflection of the thing, but simply a matter of recognizing that humans are still in a world where it is difficult and murky at times to see what is right and good and we end up making wrong choices. The traditions and such are not bad, just off track. And God is faithful to bring them back on track.

      So, I understand what you are saying and agree that caution must be taken when it comes to these “established” things of man…but God is a redeeming God and can use even a broken human thing for his Kingdom good…in fact, he does so more often than not because NOTHING of this world is perfect…I would even point out that your own sentiments you express have, in themselves, the potential for a fatal flaw in that they can be used (and have been used by some) to divide God’s people and destroy community.

      So, yes, “church” is flawed…but that is the state of affairs in our world. It is not our place to discard what God uses for good but to simply do good ourselves.

  7. And I agree – Oct 19, 2012 @ 09:50:21 – when you say…
    “contextually he was telling believers to not still be engaged in the idolatrous practises”

    But do NOT agree – Oct 19, 2012 @ 11:11:34 – when you say…
    “The traditions and such are not bad.” Because Jesus warned us in Mark 7:13…
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition…
    ASV – Making “void” the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition…

    Seems “Traditions of men” can cancel out the word of God. I would say – That’s Bad…
    And, In my experience with Pastor/Leaders, having been in “Leadership,” shows me…

    “Titles” become “Idols”………… (“Idols” of the heart – NOT easy to lay down.)
    ”Pastors” become “Masters”….. (A No, No. Mat 23:10 KJV. Modern versions = Leader)
    ……God now talks to you – According to that “Idol” of the heart. Ezek 14:1-11.
    ……And that “Title” comes with – Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Reputation.

    All those things Jesus spoke against.
    All those things that become “Idols” of the heart.
    All those things highly esteemed among men – But – abomination to God. Lk 16:15.

    Even if the “Title” is not an “Idol” to some – What about the guy in the back row?
    Who desires – Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Reputation – Recognition?
    Desires to “Exercise Authority like the gentiles – and – Lord it over God’s heritage?
    And by example – He now seeks a “Title” and “Postion” NOT found in the Bible?

    Haven’t you ever wondered – Why – In the Bible…
    NOT one of His Disciples, were called, Pastor/Leader/Reverend?
    NOT one of His Disciples, called themself, Pastor/Leader/Reverend?
    NOT one of His Disciples, took the “Title/Position,” Pastor/Leader/Reverend?
    NOT one of His Disciples, were Hired, or Fired, as a Pastor/Leader/Reverend?

    In my experience, both, “Titles” and “Traditions of Men” cause folks to…
    Take our eyes off Jesus – Follow the ways of man – And make a reputation.

    Yup – “Titles” become “Idols” – And if you will NOT bow to the “Title” – the “Idol”
    “Church Discipline” will be on the way…

    And if you do NOT think that “Title” is an “Idol” to most…

    Just mention to a “Pastor/Leader/Reverend” their “Title” is NOT in the Bible… And…
    Maybe consider being a Disciple, “Forsake all,” “Deny self,” and lay down the “Title.”

    Of course – questioning pastors today – has to come with a warning label… ;-)

    And – If the pastor or head elder look uncomfortable, or angry, with these questions…
    That might be a strong indication – that it is time to leave… ;-)

    ❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Warning Label
    Asking questions of pastors – can be dangerous to your – “Spiritual Health.”

    Questioing pastors – Can cause serious – Side effects…
    Church Discipline – Ex-communication – Shunning – etc.

    And Name Calling – Rebellious – Lone Ranger – Slanderer – Divisive – Heretic – etc.

    All cruel techniques “Pastors who Abuse” – “Pastors addicted to Exercisig Authority”
    Use to create fear – To control those who remain. :-(

    ❤❤❤❤❤❤
    Kinda like what eventually happened to the anabaptists and others…

    • I think, at this point, while the conversation is still congenial, it is time to step away. There are a number of things in this recent comment of yours that seem to be, to me, illinformed and narrow in interpretation and even counter to my own experience with pastors and church leaders.

      So, let’s leave this here and remain brothers in Christ before we say things we may end up regretting. And before the implication is made, no, I do not have any “title” that would be threatened by your statements.

  8. Robert

    Thanks for the conversation.

    Be Blessed in your search for Truth… Jesus…

    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
    Mal 3:16

  9. What never ceases to amaze me is the fact that when people like myself find the errors and what not in the Bible, the church LIES to us to our face denying what is plainly on the page. Then they wonder why we leave. They really don’t care about their congregations well being, they only care about doctrine or at least caring about people within the confines of dogma. If you are depressed, it is “Satan”, can’t be you. Can’t use self talk, that is YOU trying to fix something that only “god” can fix. The most insulting thing of all is when they claim to “know” something they only believe. How can they KNOW there is a perfect and infallible being in the sky when they are not perfect or for that matter how can they make a judgement call on the Bible, “divine revelation”, near death experiences, etc etc? They are not capable of that because of being imperfect by their own admission and then have the audacity to condemn us when we point out their hypocrisy and lies. They really wonder why us young people denounce the faith and slap us in the face by accusing us of wanting to be Hedonists as though they can read our minds just cause it says so in such and such chapter and such and such verse…hogwash.

    • I agree that the practice of “pat answers” historically by some segments of the Christian church in the west is enough to make folks weep… And yet, at the same time, there are a few surities that, despite the contradictions that seem to be present in the Bible, point to something more, something “other” that we desperately need and seek. It involves a lot of wrestling, seeking, struggling… a “faith” that moves mountains is not a magical thing nor is it some sort of intellectual agreement…it is a deep seated, soul wrenching re-ordering of life towards something…

      I’m sorry that the church has hurt you so much in your wrestling…for my own part, I beg your forgiveness for how I have done this, myself, in the past.

  10. Pingback: The Fall of the West: Is It Really a Bad Thing? « Abnormal Anabaptist

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