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Old 08-01-2018, 08:25 PM
 
Location: New Port Richey, FL
79 posts, read 93,043 times
Reputation: 287

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This is how the National Association of Evangelicals describes the term "evangelical" --

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"Evangelical Christians are people of faith. Our diversity ranges across geography, race, politics, education and economics. In the words of the Bible, we are among “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).

We identify ourselves by our spiritual convictions in the authority of the Bible, salvation through Jesus Christ alone and living out our faith in everyday life, especially sharing the good news of Jesus with others. We share the historic Christian beliefs in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected to life.

Many Christ-followers claim the name evangelical, because it is the Bible’s original word for good news. Others prefer to be called born again. Some choose Christian or avoid titles in favor of simple faith.

Because there are millions of us in the United States and far more of us in other countries around the world, there are subgroups identified by where we live, how we vote, the level of our education or even our local cultural expressions. Each has distinctive beliefs and practices that may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable to one another. Sometimes these subgroups or their leaders are identified as typical of all evangelicals even though there is no consensus, connection or communication between them.

What all evangelicals share in common does not require organizational connection, denominational affiliations or shared leadership. Our common bond is personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Throughout history and ongoing today is the compassion and care that evangelical Christians have for others. This has led to sending missionaries, founding colleges, building hospitals, feeding the hungry, seeking justice for the poor and serving as the agents of Jesus in a broken world. The variety of evangelicals and our many causes have led evangelicals to approaches that differ from one another and that even cause conflict — both with society at large and with other evangelicals. We have both succeeded and failed but we have not given up. We return to the teaching of the Bible and the leadership of Jesus in our quest to be faithful to our callings to love God, love our neighbors and share our faith.

Our identity is in our faith in the midst of our diversity."
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While I identify as evangelical, I certainly am not and have never been a Trump supporter. I was honestly at odds last election because neither major party's option seemed even remotely palatable to me.....a lying sociopathic thief or a misogynistic lecherous adulterous functional psychopath? I chose neither when I voted, though it was most likely an exercise in futility.

Unfortunately, I am in the same position as the OP. As a born-again believer who vehemently opposes politics in churches, concerts instead of worship, the Prosperity Gospel, and Word of Faith/Name it-Claim it teaching, I have found I have a seriously limited pool of churches to choose from. In fact, in the 3 years I've lived in Florida, I've yet to find a church I feel comfortable in. I was frankly disgusted at the number of evangelical preachers/pastors openly endorsing our current POTUS after doing only a fraction of the research I did on both major party's candidates. First off, I don't think any church has any right to openly endorse a specific candidate or direct their people how to vote. Providing information is okay, but standing in the pulpit on Sunday or any other worship day and saying people should vote one way or another is not cool. Voting is a matter of conscience and should be private. Just like our nation doesn't promote a specific belief system, our churches shouldn't endorse a specific political party or candidate.

I have just about given up on finding a church I feel comfortable in. Either the music gives me a migraine, the doctrine is so off-course it might as well be a lecture on landscaping, or they're trying to shove politics down my throat.....so for now, I choose to do my worshipping at home where I can avoid the sheeple who think that DT is God's gift to America (and that scares the hell out of me!).....

I hope the OP can find a church home that fits them.
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Old 08-02-2018, 04:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,639 posts, read 4,685,974 times
Reputation: 16469
Default Church of None

By far, the most popular "church" is the church of none. That's especially true among the younger people. Many people are just fed up with religion and politics. That would include me. Most of us keep our views to ourselves and wish that the other folks would also keep their religion to themselves.

In Europe, they are reusing the empty church buildings as pubs and apartments. The major social trend is secularization.

People tend to secularize when four factors are present: existential security (you have enough money and food), personal freedom (you’re free to choose whether to believe or not), pluralism (you have a welcoming attitude to diversity), and education (you’ve got some training in the sciences and humanities). If even one of these factors is absent, the whole secularization process slows down.

This, they believe, is why the U.S. is secularizing at a slower rate than Western and Northern Europe.

I'd rather be skiing and thinking about church....instead of being in a boring church and thinking about skiing.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:28 AM
 
5,181 posts, read 6,967,401 times
Reputation: 4804
I have a jet-setting uncle who spends a lot of time in France and they couldn't find a church to actually go to services at because although there are tons of beautiful churches most of them are hardly ever being actively used for worship anymore and basically there as tourist attractions now.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:11 AM
 
28 posts, read 14,777 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
I have a jet-setting uncle who spends a lot of time in France and they couldn't find a church to actually go to services at because although there are tons of beautiful churches most of them are hardly ever being actively used for worship anymore and basically there as tourist attractions now.
Second that. That is what I noticed in France and some other places across Western Europe too. Eastern Europe & the Balkans where my family is from is the complete opposite. In Greece, Romania, Czech Rep., and Russia the churches were packed. My experience is only from Orthodox Churches so I'm not sure how the others are doing
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Colorado
10,848 posts, read 6,818,776 times
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@OzarkChickenLover (Your username is funny btw)

When I hear "evangelical" I always think of the megachurches that just seem like some kind of elaborate con to enrich some goofy personality at the head of the organization...to me, it really isn't much different than certain cults, like the one in Oregon that pretty much was a structure to exalt and enrich that Bagwan guy. They're just painting a thin veneer of Christianity over it. When you've got a guy who has a private jet running the thing and his celebrity is drawing the crowds, that really makes me wonder, are people flocking to worship God, or even Christ, at that point, or the loud guy on the stage?

I also think of it as the door-to-door salesmen of religion, always pestering people to buy in, slinging pamphlets everywhere as though anyone in America is failing to go to church because gosh-golly we've just never heard of this whole Christianity thing. "News?" What news?

So yeah, I love the idea of faith, I just get really suspicious of human power structures that grow up around it. Chains of authority and control. It's not a good fit in my mind, with the idea I have of the person of Jesus, or the concept of being humble and compassionate that I connect to what I know of his teachings. It looks a lot like humans corrupting what should be a beautiful thing, to serve their own ends.

And bringing politics into it just poisons the well even further in my opinion.

EDIT: But your post, the writing you shared about how evangelical Christians see themselves, that's lovely. I'm just referring to the impression I have as someone who has never participated. The big top revivals and televised funding drives have kinda given them a bad name.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:52 AM
 
642 posts, read 308,222 times
Reputation: 1000
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
This is a very useful/interesting map of how each precinct in the country voted. In Colorado Springs, there are several of the more urban areas that went Democrat even though overall the city and county are Republican dominant. One could use this map for a variety of reasons including searching for a church one likes. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...8719/-104.7736
Very interesting map. Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:58 AM
 
809 posts, read 1,204,787 times
Reputation: 2091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin777 View Post
The good thing about this is for the first time, we are seeing what they truly stand for - and I do not want to be associated with them.
I'd gently point out that "this" is nowhere near the "first time" Christians with shall we say "different world views" have struggled with reconciling "faith" and "worldly" matters. Go back and read Uncle Tom's Cabin, which is terribly sentimental but does an amazing job highlighting how an entire society of slave-owning "Christians" can twist something beautiful (Christianity) into something hideous and awful. This is nothing new. It's just what people do. Some people. Not all people or all Christians, thankfully. Just like not every Muslim is a wild-eyed terrorist, not every Christian is a Trump-lovin white-supremacist. I agree with you it is, in a sense, nice that the situation has been fleshed out into the open for those with eyes to observe "what is what" and how things have perhaps not changed so much after all from 19th century America to 21st century America.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:26 AM
 
20,668 posts, read 38,556,264 times
Reputation: 18736
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
I have a jet-setting uncle who spends a lot of time in France and they couldn't find a church to actually go to services at because although there are tons of beautiful churches most of them are hardly ever being actively used for worship anymore and basically there as tourist attractions now.
Was a nice article in the NYTimes this week about how many churches in Canada are now repurposed into things like a cheese making facility, gym, brewpub and other uses.

Myself, I think people mostly go to church for the sense of community and an actual community they can rely on in time of need. Not all that different from guys joining gangs, a sense of belonging in a community.

I would like our churches repurposed into local neighborhood ethical debate societies where all manner of issues could be politely debated, and this could include cherry picking bible passages that actually teach life lessons. But I'd deep six all that fictional stuff about creationism, the flood, walking on water, rising from the dead, heaven, hell, god, satan, eternal whatever and just stick to the teachings of Jesus with an eye on walking the talk to create a strong community of noble human values because it's the right thing to do, and not some 'do it our way or burn forever' threatening nonsense.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:29 PM
 
583 posts, read 657,304 times
Reputation: 954
Excess churches in this country are getting repurposed, too. A dozen years ago or more the Catholic diocese in Boston closed a whole lot of churches and consolidated their operations. Partly this was due to declining attendance, and partly due to the need to raise money to pay off the (humungous) settlement and legal costs from their sex abuse scandal. Anyway, the Catholic church and school in my old neighborhood in Cambridge were sold and converted to luxury condos.

Here in Colorado Springs, there are social groups for atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, skeptics, and other nonbelievers that you can find on meetup.com, if you want to join to a community of like-minded people without the "fictional stuff" associated with religion. At least one of them is specifically family-oriented.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:28 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
491 posts, read 175,702 times
Reputation: 589
I don't live in the Springs but I grew up there -

I'm Mormon but not once do we discuss politics during church worship. Trumps name has never been mentioned. The only time I hear his name is on the news or on Facebook and its always coming from people who have a problem with him...otherwise, he's not a topic I discuss in my circle of friends in or out of church.

My advice: go to whatever church you want just don't make politics your religion. Its probably best not to align with either political party because BOTH sides have issues. The answer is rarely to the far left or right...but somewhere in the middle.
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