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Old 06-24-2017, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troglodyte74 View Post
Is this thrillobyte character still around? I had forgotten him, but now I recall him as one of my leading adversaries in my previous incarnations here. He seemed to have an endless supply of venom toward Christianity. Did he finally spew himself out and disappear? I'm almost wondering if I selected the name Troglodyte this time around in subconscious remembrance of him.

As usual, his OP was comically misinformed. He seemed to think that if he said something, no matter how absurd, it magically became true. Or perhaps he just felt safe with his little audience of mindless lemmings.

Christianity is plummeting like a stone in America? God, I wish it were. Much of "Christianity" in the U.S. has become little more than a right-wing political agenda wrapped in God and the flag. Another large segment, as we see here, cloaks its New Age pabulum in "Christianity" while rejecting the authority of the Bible and core Christian doctrines. I strongly believe that, to a very large extent, much of "Christianity" in America has almost nothing to do with anything Jesus was talking about. Let it plummet!

According to the Religious Self-Identification Survey, the percentage of American adults who self-identify as Christians "plummeted" 10.2% from 1990 to 2008, to a 2008 percentage of a "mere" 76.9%. With the anticipated growth in the Black and Hispanic populations, further "plummeting" seems unlikely. Not that I think that anything like 76.9% of the population is actually Christian in any meaningful sense, mind you.

One heartening reality is that where the "plummeting" actually is occurring is in the denominations and churches that promote a feel-good, tolerance-is-all-that-matters Christianity Lite pseudo-Christianity. Those that emphasize the Bible and the core doctrines are doing fine.

But focusing on the percentages in America is exceedingly parochial. According to a Wikipedia article that seems reasonably thorough, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...#United_States, the death of Christianity has been greatly exaggerated:
According to 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there are 2.2 billion Christians around the world in 2010, up from about 600 million in 1910. And according to 2012 Pew Research Center survey, within the next four decades, Christians will remain the world's largest religion; if current trends continue, by 2050 the number of Christians will reach 2.9 billion (or 31.4%).

By 2050, the Christian population is expected to exceed 3 billion. Christians have 2.7 children per woman, which is above replacement level (2.1). According to Pew Research Center study, by 2050 the number of Christians in absolute number is expected to grow to more than double in the next few decades, from 517 million to 1.1 billion in Sub Saharan Africa, from 531 million to 665 million in Latin America and Caribbean, from 287 million to 381 million in Asia, and from 266 million to 287 million in North America.

By 2050, Christianity is expected to remain the majority of population and the largest religious group in Latin America and Caribbean (89%), North America (66%), Europe (65.2%) and Sub Saharan Africa (59%).
Perhaps I'm easily impressed, but in excess of 3,000,000,000 Christians by 2050 sounds rather "un-plummeting" to me. I wish atheists well in their dream of an atheist utopia (would it look more like Stalin's or Mao's?), but I just don't see it happening. As the communists learned (my wife spent the first 37 years of her life in the USSR and the next 17 in a hardline former republic), the religious instinct in humanity simply cannot be eradicated or even effectively suppressed. And since Christianity has the greatest explanatory power of any religion, I don't see it "plummeting" anywhere other than in thrillobyte's dreams.
I wonder how dramatic the actual change will be, over the next three decades?
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:24 PM
Status: "Lithe. In my mind..." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
27,456 posts, read 14,260,076 times
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Man is failing to consider what a God might be.

Most seem to need it to fit into a book.
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:11 AM
Status: "Trust and obey" (set 1 minute ago)
 
Location: Tennessee
10,035 posts, read 5,797,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troglodyte74 View Post
Is this thrillobyte character still around? I had forgotten him, but now I recall him as one of my leading adversaries in my previous incarnations here. He seemed to have an endless supply of venom toward Christianity. Did he finally spew himself out and disappear? I'm almost wondering if I selected the name Troglodyte this time around in subconscious remembrance of him.

As usual, his OP was comically misinformed. He seemed to think that if he said something, no matter how absurd, it magically became true. Or perhaps he just felt safe with his little audience of mindless lemmings.

Christianity is plummeting like a stone in America? God, I wish it were. Much of "Christianity" in the U.S. has become little more than a right-wing political agenda wrapped in God and the flag. Another large segment, as we see here, cloaks its New Age pabulum in "Christianity" while rejecting the authority of the Bible and core Christian doctrines. I strongly believe that, to a very large extent, much of "Christianity" in America has almost nothing to do with anything Jesus was talking about. Let it plummet!

According to the Religious Self-Identification Survey, the percentage of American adults who self-identify as Christians "plummeted" 10.2% from 1990 to 2008, to a 2008 percentage of a "mere" 76.9%. With the anticipated growth in the Black and Hispanic populations, further "plummeting" seems unlikely. Not that I think that anything like 76.9% of the population is actually Christian in any meaningful sense, mind you.

One heartening reality is that where the "plummeting" actually is occurring is in the denominations and churches that promote a feel-good, tolerance-is-all-that-matters Christianity Lite pseudo-Christianity. Those that emphasize the Bible and the core doctrines are doing fine.

But focusing on the percentages in America is exceedingly parochial. According to a Wikipedia article that seems reasonably thorough, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...#United_States, the death of Christianity has been greatly exaggerated:
According to 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there are 2.2 billion Christians around the world in 2010, up from about 600 million in 1910. And according to 2012 Pew Research Center survey, within the next four decades, Christians will remain the world's largest religion; if current trends continue, by 2050 the number of Christians will reach 2.9 billion (or 31.4%).

By 2050, the Christian population is expected to exceed 3 billion. Christians have 2.7 children per woman, which is above replacement level (2.1). According to Pew Research Center study, by 2050 the number of Christians in absolute number is expected to grow to more than double in the next few decades, from 517 million to 1.1 billion in Sub Saharan Africa, from 531 million to 665 million in Latin America and Caribbean, from 287 million to 381 million in Asia, and from 266 million to 287 million in North America.

By 2050, Christianity is expected to remain the majority of population and the largest religious group in Latin America and Caribbean (89%), North America (66%), Europe (65.2%) and Sub Saharan Africa (59%).
Perhaps I'm easily impressed, but in excess of 3,000,000,000 Christians by 2050 sounds rather "un-plummeting" to me. I wish atheists well in their dream of an atheist utopia (would it look more like Stalin's or Mao's?), but I just don't see it happening. As the communists learned (my wife spent the first 37 years of her life in the USSR and the next 17 in a hardline former republic), the religious instinct in humanity simply cannot be eradicated or even effectively suppressed. And since Christianity has the greatest explanatory power of any religion, I don't see it "plummeting" anywhere other than in thrillobyte's dreams.
You are partially correct. The harder line denominations with less "tolerance" due tend to do better---among Muslims as well!

Fact remains church attendance is in an overall decline despite what polls report.
Quote:
Less than 20 percent of Americans regularly attend church—half of what the pollsters report.

While Gallup polls and other statisticians have turned in the same percentage—about 40 percent of the population—of average weekend church attendees for the past 70 years, a different sort of research paints quite a disparate picture of how many Americans attend a local church on any given Sunday.
Initially prompted to discover how church plants in America were really doing, Olson, director of church planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church (covchurch.org), began collecting data in the late ’80s, gradually expanding his research to encompass overall attendance trends in the church. In his study, he tracked the annual attendance of more than 200,000 individual Orthodox Christian churches (the accepted U.S. church universe is 330,000). To determine attendance at the remaining 100,000-plus Orthodox Christian churches, he used statistical models, which included multiplying a church’s membership number by the denomination’s membership-to-attendance ratio.

The Numbers
His findings reveal that the actual rate of church attendance from head counts is less than half of the 40 percent the pollsters report. Numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian churches (Catholic, mainline and evangelical) show that in 2004, 17.7 percent of the population attended a Christian church on any given weekend.

Another study published in 2005 in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion by sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler—known for their scholarly research on the church—backs up his findings. Their report reveals that the actual number of people worshipping each week is closer to Olson’s 17.7 percent figure—52 million people instead of the pollster-reported 132 million (40 percent).
7 Startling Facts: An Up Close Look at Church Attendance in America • ChurchLeaders.com

And another study provides this:
Quote:
The United States Census Bureau Records give some startling statistics, backed up by denominational reports and the Assemblies of God U.S. Missions:

· Every year more than 4000 churches close their doors compared to just over 1000 new church starts!

· There were about 4,500 new churches started between 1990 and 2000, with a twenty year average of nearly 1000 a year.

· Every year, 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity. This translates into the realization that people are leaving the church. From our research, we have found that they are leaving as hurting and wounded victims-of some kind of abuse, disillusionment, or just plain neglect!

· From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations in the USA declined by almost 5 million members (9.5 percent), while the US population increased by 24 million (11 percent).

· At the turn of the last century (1900), there was a ratio of 27 churches per 10,000 people, as compared to the close of this century (2000) where we have 11 churches per 10,000 people in America! What has happened?

· Given the declining numbers and closures of Churches as compared to new church starts, there should have been over 38,000 new churches commissioned to keep up with the population growth.

· The United States now ranks third (3rd) following China and India in the number of people who are not professing Christians; in other words, the U.S. is becoming an ever increasing "un-reached people group."
Statistics and Reasons for Church Decline
Assemblies of God are a charismatic denomination.

What has been growing are "home churches" where individuals meet together in one person's home to study, pray, and grow spiritually. Considering how "ugly" many conservative churches have become, it's no surprise.

Quote:
Church and culture analyst George Barna, founder of The Barna Group, says millions of Christians are leaving conventional churches to meet in homes. According to the researcher, about 50 million American adults meet in home churches at least once a month, and the numbers choosing this option are on the increase.

Barna says home churches are a growing trend among Christians who want to "be" the church, not just attend church. Many who join such groups do so, he explains, because they are seeking greater depth in relationships and more commitment to spirituality than they may have found in traditional church settings.
Home Churches Becoming Increasingly Popular Alternative - Christian News Headlines

I left the SBC nearly 30 years ago, and I'm a licensed minister. But it started with the SBC buying into political conservatism, promoting the same, beginning to express doubts about women in their own organization to be capable of transparency, listening to ding-bats like Jerry Falwell who eventually became a Southern Baptist as the denomination bought into some of his more outrageous tirades (such as 9/11 was the result of too many homosexuals in the U.S.), and by requiring church missionaries to sign letters stating they believed the Bible to be inerrant and infallible.

None of that was historically what Baptists believed. And always before they held that each individual member had a right to the "priesthood of the believer," the right of every believer to understand Scripture in light of what God had personally laid on his heart.

While all that conservative right wing stuff took over the SBC about 1900 churches withdrew from it and formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. While smaller, and with a "liberal" agenda like allowing women pastors, performing same sex marriages, and allowing its members to hold a broad range of biblical "opinions," it has grown, despite being much smaller in numbers, as the SBC in recent years has begun declining.

The ultra conservative Southern Baptists are collapsing slowly but surely:

Quote:
A new major survey from the Pew Research Center shows a similar decline for the SBC. In 2007, Pew found that about 6.7 percent of Americans claimed to be Southern Baptists. In 2014, 5.3 percent of Americans were Southern Baptists.
As Church Plants Grow, Southern Baptists Disappear | News & Reporting | Christianity Today
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:03 AM
 
331 posts, read 209,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
Fact remains church attendance is in an overall decline despite what polls report.
7 Startling Facts: An Up Close Look at Church Attendance in America • ChurchLeaders.com

Church attendance is definitely on the wane, and I don't see that as a bad thing for Christianity. A lot of the decline has to do with modern lifestyles. The golf industry is suffering for many of the same reasons - Sundays just aren't what they used to be! I haven't regularly attended church in decades, and not at all in years. Too much "Christianity," too little Christianity - and, these days, too much "show," too little "worship." I have no strong objection to starting again, and sometimes feel I should, although I am psychologically more suited to being a hermit than a church member. At one of the really, really conservative Christian sites at which I post, someone started a poll asking whether you attended church. I felt slightly guilty answering no and expected to be in some shunned 3% minority. The reality turned out to be, even in that setting, that the no answer put me in a 95% majority. The reasons were all over the map, but I was surprised that even these very conservative, unquestionably sincere Christians saw no necessary connection between their faith and church attendance.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
1,229 posts, read 1,245,062 times
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There are house churches in this country, too. Is that different from "going to church?"
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:31 AM
 
22,440 posts, read 10,503,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siameseifyoupls View Post
There are house churches in this country, too.
Is that different from "going to church?"
You may have a better chance of not being indoctrinated.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:57 AM
 
331 posts, read 209,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siameseifyoupls View Post
There are house churches in this country, too. Is that different from "going to church?"
House churches certainly fit the first century model better than do 30,000-seat mega-churches with five campuses. Most of the studies seem to address the decline in organized denominational churches. Certainly if I were participating in a house church, I would have answered yes to the poll to which I referred. But since I only attend the one-member Church of What Troglodyte Believes, I didn't think it was fair to answer yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
Man is failing to consider what a God might be.

Most seem to need it to fit into a book.
When I was 13 or 14, a middle-aged neighbor was talking to my mother about how she was a Catholic but didn't accept the infallibility of the Pope, didn't really buy into the whole veneration of Mary thing, disagreed with a host of the church's positions on social issues, and so on and so forth. Even at that tender age, I was sophisticated and mouthy enough to say "What you don't like is what the Catholic Church is. It's never going to change to suit you. Why not just admit you aren't a Catholic and find a different church?"

Christians do not "need" to "fit God into a book." They believe God has revealed Himself in the Bible and the person of Jesus. My guess is that anyone who was merely looking for a book to mesh with his human "needs" would probably not choose the Bible. The only Christianity we know anything about is that set forth in the Bible and in the person of Jesus as described in the Bible, which is the only substantive record of Jesus we have. The Christianity set forth in the Bible is further supported by a 2,000-year history of transformative and mystical experiences that dwarfs that of any other belief system.

The Bible and Jesus as revealed in the Bible is what Christianity is. When you start down the path of "I only accept those parts of the Bible that I think are worthy of God as I imagine Him" and "the Christ I follow bears little resemblance to that Jesus character described in the gospels, who probably never said three-fourths of the stuff attributed to Him," you simply are not a Christian. I have no objection to someone who wants to incorporate some imaginary ascended Christ into their New Age spirituality, but to call the result Christianity is absurd.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Midwest
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...don't think it's on the decline at all. The Catholic church and the Vatican have a lot to be worried about, but I think more people are searching for the Messiah and finding him.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:44 PM
 
Location: New England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneVanderbilt View Post
...don't think it's on the decline at all. The Catholic church and the Vatican have a lot to be worried about, but I think more people are searching for the Messiah and finding him.
In 1984, i gave myself 2 choices go speak to a priest or pastor of an evangelical church. I pulled up outside of the Catholic church first, and the only reason i drove off and went to the evangical one, was due to having a poor opinion at that time of the Catholic church and and the Church of England. The pastor was a lovely guy and helpful in answering all the the threats of the message of evangelical christianity, so i succumbed and lost myself in a religion that stole, killed and came close to destroying the image i was created in.
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:12 PM
 
22,440 posts, read 10,503,731 times
Reputation: 1840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troglodyte74 View Post
House churches certainly fit the first century model better than do 30,000-seat mega-churches with five campuses. Most of the studies seem to address the decline in organized denominational churches. Certainly if I were participating in a house church, I would have answered yes to the poll to which I referred. But since I only attend the one-member Church of What Troglodyte Believes, I didn't think it was fair to answer yes.


When I was 13 or 14, a middle-aged neighbor was talking to my mother about how she was a Catholic but didn't accept the infallibility of the Pope, didn't really buy into the whole veneration of Mary thing, disagreed with a host of the church's positions on social issues, and so on and so forth. Even at that tender age, I was sophisticated and mouthy enough to say "What you don't like is what the Catholic Church is. It's never going to change to suit you. Why not just admit you aren't a Catholic and find a different church?"

Christians do not "need" to "fit God into a book." They believe God has revealed Himself in the Bible and the person of Jesus. My guess is that anyone who was merely looking for a book to mesh with his human "needs" would probably not choose the Bible. The only Christianity we know anything about is that set forth in the Bible and in the person of Jesus as described in the Bible, which is the only substantive record of Jesus we have. The Christianity set forth in the Bible is further supported by a 2,000-year history of transformative and mystical experiences that dwarfs that of any other belief system.

The Bible and Jesus as revealed in the Bible is what Christianity is. When you start down the path of "I only accept those parts of the Bible that I think are worthy of God as I imagine Him" and "the Christ I follow bears little resemblance to that Jesus character described in the gospels, who probably never said three-fourths of the stuff attributed to Him," you simply are not a Christian. I have no objection to someone who wants to incorporate some imaginary ascended Christ into their New Age spirituality, but to call the result Christianity is absurd.
To call any religion Christlike can be absurd, it's rather subjective.
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