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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The failure of accomodation

The Washington Post laments the decline of the American church:
America’s churches are in trouble, and they are in trouble in communities that arguably need them the most.

One of the tragic tales told by Harvard scholar Robert Putnam in his important new book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” is that America’s churches have grown weakest in some of the communities that need them most: poor and working-class communities across the country. The way he puts it, our nation’s churches, synagogues and mosques give children a sense of meaning, belonging and purpose — in a word, hope — that allows them to steer clear of trouble, from drugs to delinquency, and toward a bright and better future, warmer family relationships and significantly higher odds of attending college.

The tragedy is that even though religious involvement “makes a bigger difference in the lives of poor kids than rich kids,” Putnam writes, involvement is dropping off fastest among children from the least privileged background, as the figure below indicates.

The picture of religion painted by Putnam, a political scientist and the foremost scholar of American civic life, is part of a broader canvass in his book showing that kid-friendly institutions — not just churches, but also strong families and strong schools — are withering, but almost entirely in less-affluent communities. American children from better-educated and more affluent homes enjoy decent access to churches, families and schools, which lifts their odds of realizing the American Dream, even as kids from less-privileged homes are increasingly disconnected from these key institutions, making the American Dream that much more difficult for them to pursue.

Why is it that the country is witnessing not only a religious decline, but one that is concentrated among its most vulnerable men, women and children? Four factors stand out in understanding the emptying out of the pews in working-class and poor communities across the United States: money, TV, sex and divorce.
These things are all symptoms, not the actual problem. There are many, many strong Christians across the USA and around the world who do not attend organized churches because the organized churches have been invaded by entryists and gutted. The tolerant, welcoming, accomodating, and worldly churches are dying because they lack the only thing a Christian church needs: an unflinching commitment to Jesus Christ and the Bible.

Society cannot destroy the Church, but the Church can destroy itself by making societal approval its priority.

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134 Comments:

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 March 28, 2015 8:27 AM  

It's kinda funny the Washington Post running a story like that. Journalist reports the body he has been choking has stopped breathing - laments the corpse's demise - Boldly asks the probing question why didn't the government intervene when they had the chance to? "Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone"

It's also a 'teleological piece" = the reason for the church's existence is that it works. Which is perfectly true and truly irrelevant. The reason for the churches existence is the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And the reason the Washington Post is losing money is they don't appreciate historical facts.

Anonymous Stingray March 28, 2015 8:28 AM  

The tolerant, welcoming, accomodating, and worldly churches are dying because they lack the only thing a Christian church needs: an unflinching commitment to Jesus Christ and the Bible.

I marvel at this, that so many, especially in the older crowd, cannot or will not see this. And that there is growth in the younger crowd in orthodoxy. Not only more young people returning to orthodoxy, but these same young people are marry and having large families.

The fear of the former crowd is palpable over this, and yet, I would bet that many of them nod their heads in complete agreement with this article.

Anonymous p-dawg March 28, 2015 8:34 AM  

Now, Vox, calm down. A man (or church) can easily serve two masters. Isn't that what the Scripture says? Oh, wait....

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 March 28, 2015 8:38 AM  

PS. I've started reading the real Pravda - it's more open minded - and represents a greater diversity of opinion and political dissent - almost capitalism. Viva la Russ - the French Russian axis nations - sort of pre WW1

Blogger Doom March 28, 2015 8:45 AM  

America has the same problem. Neither the Church, nor America, can be defeated from without. Only from within. Mostly, it is done.

Anonymous Salt March 28, 2015 8:48 AM  

And @LenaDunham did it again, in The New Yorker (see Drudge).

"the organized churches have been invaded by entryists and gutted"

The strongest Christians I know, not one of them attends an organized church.

Anonymous Cash March 28, 2015 8:59 AM  

What do you mean by an organized church? Church is organized at some level so I guess I don't understand.

Blogger JartStar March 28, 2015 9:00 AM  

Who are all these stay-at-home Christians? In all of my years I don't think I've met one in the USA, they must be the quietest bunch on the planet.

Maybe it's because I live in the South so there are plenty of good churches.

Anonymous Cash March 28, 2015 9:08 AM  

@Jartstar. I don't know if they mean house churches, independent churches, or sleeping in on Sunday so it is hard to say.

While witnessing I have gotten the whole "I don't believe in organized religion" line a lot but those people were simply lost and were making some bs excuse as to why they lived the way they lived.

Anonymous JRL March 28, 2015 9:19 AM  

I've lived in the least unchurched areas of the country and have always been able to find churches committed to Jesus and the Bible.

Expository preaching, especially if they are teaching through a whole book of Scripture, is usually a tell.

Anonymous Too-Soon-ami March 28, 2015 9:21 AM  

That article was whining about yet one more "thing" the po' inner city yoofs cannot have; while rich white kids get all the good stuff - good schools, good families, good jobs, and good churches. It is all so unfair.

OpenID cailcorishev March 28, 2015 9:23 AM  

Society cannot destroy the Church, but the Church can destroy itself by making societal approval its priority.


Part of that desire for approval is shown by people, including most Christians, using phrases like "churches, synagogues, and mosques" as if those are interchangeably good things. If those are all equally valuable to society, then it's only in the "opiate of the masses" sense, not because one of them offers the Truth. Offering people opiates is no way to inspire them to greater behavior and a life-long commitment to an ideal.

Anonymous Vic March 28, 2015 9:23 AM  

I think the lord Jesus has been replaced by the lord government in many peoples lives, even in many of the lukewarm churches that now openly celebrate sin. Was this not the intent of the left`s war being waged against the faithful and the family? Who can afford to support the church when the state demands so much? Who can afford to serve Jesus openly when the state and its media mouthpiece punishes those who obey his ways? You could loose your livelihood like that in this oh so tolerant country.

Anonymous MrGreenMan March 28, 2015 9:24 AM  

If we listen and believe this article, there is but one question:

Why do SJWs and militant atheists hate the poor and downtrodden?

Anonymous DaveD March 28, 2015 9:39 AM  

I am currently between churches. I know that Paul said to gather together for any number of reasons and I really want to. The problem is all the churches in my area fall into one of two categories, introverted and rules oriented or extroverted and "tolerant". One church is consumed with wearing suits, don't smoke, don't drink, be a "witness" by being uptight when someone cusses at work etc but never really reach out. Sinners should come to us on our terms. The other side reaches out a lot, feeds the hungry, clothe the naked, etc but allows active homosexuals, non-married hetero couples living together etc in the name of being "seeker friendly" and "tolerant".

Its been REALLY difficult finding a church that actually preaches and lives the word but also sticks to the biblical do's and don'ts. Its to the point where I've considered starting a bible study at my house. There's got to be other people out there like me, looking for this.

Anonymous Mike M. March 28, 2015 9:52 AM  

I fear this also explains the lure of Islam. The Moslems have standards. Too many modern Christian churches don't.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey March 28, 2015 9:58 AM  

JRL I've had the same experience, both living in hostile LDS and Roman Catholic territory. Those little churches have to be strong, or they die. I've also lived in the Bible Belt, where church is a social gathering and true faith is only inches deep. The folks from the little churches are the ones who will storm the gates of hell, because we've lived so near the gates.

Anonymous giuseppe March 28, 2015 10:03 AM  

Vox,
you are right, but I am not sure how a human church can possibly be anything but an unholy mess.
I am reminded of a quote from some famous preacher (I forgot his name, will try to look it up) which said something like:
"I love the church, and I hope it comes to Earth soon"
Given he was himself a priest of some type I can't fault his sense of humour. That's a priest I would listen to once a week. But the churches I went into here....it's abysmal. And I am not technically even a Christian yet. Am studying my way on my own because the people who are supposed to be helping a seeker are patently less informed than I seem to be. About their own holy book I mean. It's....depressing in one sense. In the other, I am becoming more certain of my own emerging understanding of Christianity.
So... I don't know how a good church would function. Given we are human and we therefore tend to be incapable of "holding the line" as well as we should.

I mean...I would really like to find a church I could go to and hear the sermons and maybe meet some of the people there, but...as I say...the places I have been felt like...empty husks of a large dead animal. Often the stench of rot was still pervasive.
I get more out of a church when I go in alone in silence and there is no one in it.
Which is, of course, also something worth doing.

Anonymous automatthew March 28, 2015 10:04 AM  

DaveD, you might look for resources at House Church Central.

Anonymous Gary March 28, 2015 10:13 AM  

"Who are all these stay-at-home Christians?"

Hello.

I live in CT and a number of churches here are what I call "buffet style" where they pick and choose what they wish to follow. Last I checked that really isn't they way it works..

Blogger Lovekraft March 28, 2015 10:14 AM  

To me, Christ was a challenger of norms and rejected earthly and material pursuits. So a follower of him must have in his heart this mindset. The opposite would be to tut-tut criticism of the system and censor these inquiries.

Blogger njartist March 28, 2015 10:16 AM  

I fear this also explains the lure of Islam. The Moslems have standards.
This is a major misunderstanding: a major deception if you will: Allah is not Yahweh; that little demon is not God Almighty. The more Christians persist in being inclusive and consenting to the deceit that Allah is just another name for God the more non-Christians and weak Christians will see Islam as merely another way of worshiping the true God, which it is not.

Moreover, we Christians are responsible for the doctrines we hold and the preachers we support: we will share in the same plagues with the false teachers.

Blogger Lovekraft March 28, 2015 10:18 AM  

Mike M: "The Moslems have standards."

wow

Blogger grendel March 28, 2015 10:20 AM  

We go to a home church far away when we're able. Nothing in our small town is even close to biblical. We're in the Western US.

Jartstar I have visited a few churches in the South that had good preaching. My extended family lives down there, and they are completely shallow and hypocritical. They all put on ties and hairspray on Sunday, but the rest of the week they're still fornicators, swindlers, and drunkards. Maybe that's not how it is everywhere in the South but I'm suspicious.

I'm coming to see that the regional differences in the US are bigger than anyone realizes because we each generally only see our small area.

Anonymous Steve March 28, 2015 10:21 AM  

Go to any mainstream Christian church in Britain today - be it Anglican, Catholic, or Presbyterian - and you're much more likely to hear a hand-wringing sermon about global warming or being nice to "refugees" than one about Christian faith and morals.

"Sin" (unless it's climate sin), "Hell", and "judgement" are no longer in the lexicon.

To add insult to injury, there's an excellent chance that your eyes and ears will be assaulted as thorougly as your mind.

If the church building was erected after 1960, it'll probably look like a Stalinist era crematorium. The priest or vicar will likely be sporting ghastly polyester vestments that look like rejects from a low budget 1970's science fiction show. What passes for liturgical music is an ungodly cacophony of awful folk-style tunes accompanied by shitty guitar players and - I shit you not - tambourines.

If you are a man with a working pair of testicles and a brain that wasn't flooded with estrogen in the womb, why would you want to subject yourself to that?

Anonymous giuseppe March 28, 2015 10:26 AM  

Steve,
why would you want to subject yourself to that?
Amen

Anonymous Gary March 28, 2015 10:33 AM  

"If you are a man with a working pair of testicles and a brain that wasn't flooded with estrogen in the womb, why would you want to subject yourself to that?"

With your attendance you are approving of it to some degree wither you like it or not.

If no one shows up the place will go way as it should.

Anonymous Salt March 28, 2015 10:35 AM  

giuseppe, what is it to technically be a Christian other than acknowledging the truth of John 3:16? The problems within the churches is that they're populated with the fallen, us. Who can point to one person other than Christ and say, "he is worthy"? It's amazing how many think of themselves as just that.

Anonymous DissidentRight March 28, 2015 10:39 AM  

In the LCMS, the Christians beat the SJWs at the organizational level back in 2010, and in 2013 with an even bigger margin. Rot still persists at the local levels of the bureaucracy, and of course at the parish level.

However, we seem to be the exception. And a small one, at that.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 28, 2015 10:40 AM  

"There are many, many strong Christians across the USA and around the world who do not attend organized churches because the organized churches have been invaded by entryists and gutted. The tolerant, welcoming, accomodating, "

It appears the choice it to have kids in your church or gays/leftists. Kind of like the choice between loving women & understanding them, which leftists really hate as an answer for "is being gay a choice". Gays will put less in the collection plate than they would tip for a martini. The gay friendly churches tend to be brunches with signing than any actual message, although the GRINDR Rabbi is more involved with his flock. I would rather have someone with integrity disagree with me, than have someone agree whose answer to a question changes based on who asks it.

Mike M: "The Moslems have standards."

They are also running a special all the little white girls you can rape and social workers/cops will look the other way. Double plus bonus if you are a pilot.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 28, 2015 10:41 AM  

Sorry meant singing not signing

Anonymous aero March 28, 2015 10:41 AM  

Muslims have standards
One says follow me or I kill you the other says I kill you because you do not follow me. The standard is fear of the sword for the Muslim.

The christian is fear of God they know the power of his word is much sharper then the Muslin sword

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 28, 2015 10:42 AM  

more singing than actual message. Sorry just got up.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler March 28, 2015 10:49 AM  

"Unflinching commitment to Jesus Christ" and the consistent teaching of the Catholic (Universal) Church and the Natural Law.

Blogger Nate March 28, 2015 10:54 AM  

We got a new minister 2 months ago.. so far his sermons have been on the last words of Jesus on the cross. Every week.. a different sermon on one of the last things He said before giving up the ghost.

In that time at tendency has gone from 130 to 191. And the entire culture of the church has changed.

Blogger Nate March 28, 2015 10:55 AM  

We got a new minister 2 months ago.. so far his sermons have been on the last words of Jesus on the cross. Every week.. a different sermon on one of the last things He said before giving up the ghost.

In that time at tendency has gone from 130 to 191. And the entire culture of the church has changed.

Blogger Bard March 28, 2015 10:56 AM  

Personally, I am guilty of finger pointing. The problem is not those "Catholics" or those "Baptists", it is me and my heart (mind). I am what is wrong with the world. If love for my neighbor is not the motivation behind my actions, it is usually my pride or ego. We are called to be a light on a hill, a shining kingdom. Nations should marvel at us and seek out the secret to our blessing, and one day they literally will. But last time I read it, the Kingdom of God was at hand NOW. One word for the SJW crap that has infiltrated our churches: UNCLEAN. The unclean first needs to be washed before it can be made holy. I appreciate Vox for pointing out their tactics. It makes identifying those destructive but seemingly harmless doctrines much easier. Tolerance, political correctness, weakness, and fear are not virtues. Today, and everyday, I condemn those traits, and through the holy spirit, seek to make a difference by my actions, not just words.

We do attend a large home based fellowship that has left the main stream establishment. But I have come full circle on the matter. Doctrine is important, but it is not the most important thing. Jesus is the head of the body and the message and reality of salvation is the most important thing. We are ONE body, and even boogers have a purpose. We are saved, but still human, and I battle my sin nature everyday. Lift each other up, stand strong, shout it from the rooftops, shine your light into the darkness and see the shadows flee. Be a blessing, stop asking for one. This is a spiritual battle. The harvest is huge and RIPE, but the workers are few. Become a worker. Be a mighty son of God's right hand. Go on the offensive. Storm the gates of hell and they will crumble. Now is the time to attack, not defend. Maybe we could stop using the term "black knighting" for the offensive and start using the word "light knighting" as we expose the darkness to the holiness of God. They will FLEE!

Anonymous aero March 28, 2015 11:02 AM  

Two churches
1. One church promotes the iniquities of man as normal behavior. You can go there and practice and perfect your sinful ways.
2. The other Church promotes the word of God so man will not let his iniquities be the control of his life.

Is the first church really a church? or is it just another form of Hells angels.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 28, 2015 11:07 AM  

"The unclean first needs to be washed"

If anyone actually was actually curious I answered zeno's gay shower question in the previous thread. To head off the next questions, yes the guy berating his waiter for something not in his power to control is probably gay, & atheist jews don't think its sacrilegious to drag their family to the Temple of the Bacon Eating Gay Grindr Rabbi for their wedding.

Blogger bob k. mando March 28, 2015 11:09 AM  

Mike M: "The Moslems have standards."

Lovekraft March 28, 2015 10:18 AM
wow



their standards are not our standards. in most cases, their standards are things we despise.

but, 'have standards' they do and that cannot be denied.

THEY are far more serious about their standards than almost any christian is about what he professes his to be.

that is the primary failing of the SJWs when dealing with the world:
refusing to understand that there can be a standard for conduct which is NOT all fluffy bunnies and rainbow unicorn farts.


also, it amuses me that this article boils down to:
people without standards or churches hardest hit by effects of not having standards or churches.

Blogger Franz Lionheart March 28, 2015 11:14 AM  

OT

I signed this petition to the UK government.

Lock knife carry

I know that compared to American liberties it's not much, but perhaps we'll get some tiny bit of freedom also in England. As the ilk are liberty minded, perhaps one or the other finds this link useful.

Blogger Bard March 28, 2015 11:16 AM  

Steve,
I didn't read the thread about gay showers so that was not intentionally directed your way. Just clarifying. But it is still a true statement.

Anonymous Giuseppe March 28, 2015 11:28 AM  

Salt,
For one I am not baptised. That alone has seen priests from various denominations pretty much shun me and at least twice been told I am not to be part of their church or even advice because of it. This reaction was not uncommon, be it from catholics or Russian orthodox. It wasn't universal but it certainly was often enough that it made me think... Really? You profess yourself a christian and a priest at that, and this is your behaviour? I somehow managed not to say vade retro satana! just to fuck with their small minds and even smaller souls.

Secondly, I view the OT as a first draught of God's message to human and a much more corrupted one than the NT, but even in the NT I am pretty sure there are wrong things, or at the very least, things I have not yet understood in the proper way. I find the truth of the Bible is often metaphorical and it can take years to suddenly see the truth of a passage.
If being a Christian entails agreeing with both the OT and NT categorically, then again, I would fail that test.

As for your John 3:16, I have many issues with it.
For one, my experience of the loving God I am sure exists is such that I cannot fathom that the crucifixion of Jesus was the ORIGINALLY INTENDED outcome. And if I am right about that then at least two things must be true:

1. this principality does not fall under his domain (this is in fact so)
And
2. Evil exists in a very real and tangible and active way, and one thing I am 100% sure of from a purely strategic point of view, in which I have more than a little experience is that whatever you do, when behind enemy lines, keep your own counsel. And if you do not, do so only as a trap for the enemy.
I see no evidence that the enemy is not deeply embedded in a lot of the churchian stuff and so I merely continue to observe and research and study on my own.
When existence and the void present themselves to me, I will then act as commanded by my core. And in that, I feel is God's will. As long as my faith is clear and true. Which this process of study and research is refining and tempering.
So that's why I am technically not yet a Christian. And maybe will not be one until the day of judgement, when someone else better placed than a human priest or than myself, can say if I am or not.

Blogger Lovekraft March 28, 2015 11:32 AM  

@ mando: I respect your comments on this site, so this reply is not in any way a challenge to your integrity

However, I disagree that Islam is anything more than a political/racial movement conveniently adapting religious mantras to infiltrate and deflect.

If one has standards, then they can ONLY be defended when one has verifiably renounced violence or the threats thereof. Otherwise, the standard is false - it is not genuine as one has violence backing it. So, unless and until Islam, and every other wielder of power renounces violence and can prove it, then they are going to meet resistence.

And yes, there are many such actors in our society that fall under this scrutiny, the state being number one (Stefan Molyneux talks about this frequently in his yt videos).

Blogger RC March 28, 2015 11:36 AM  

The situation is a mess, I agree. Though I did not have a name for my method at the time, I've been black knighting for years, and fighting against the SJWs. I've had some victories and at least as many defeats, but I've chosen to stay engaged as an outreach to those in the church, using leadership development as my method of outreach. The classes I used to teach have been terminated, but the work continues in small groups and individually. It's a battle and I've not performed flawlessly, but I've witnessed numerous signs of progress over the years. I see it as doing my part of preserving the remnant. The defeats are expected and the victories sweet.

Blogger ScuzzaMan March 28, 2015 11:38 AM  

"... the Church can destroy itself by making societal approval its priority."

This.

The Christian has a stark choice: crave the approval of God or the approval of worldly men.

The two are mutually exclusive, i.e. "the Spirit (of truth) divides".

Blogger Jim Hyland March 28, 2015 11:39 AM  

Some years ago, I went to mass in Ashland, Oregon, a typically liberal northwestern college town full of pagans and heathens. I was shocked to hear the priest's homily, in which not once but twice the word "heresy" was used. I swear I have never heard any priest use the "H" word before. So far have we fallen that a word used to acknowledge standards of belief that cannot be deviated from almost caused me to fall out of the pew.

It was kind of refreshing.

Anonymous Giuseppe March 28, 2015 11:48 AM  

Bard,
I agree. It's about bringing the fight to them, not cowering in fear. All I know of it so far is that it is a hell of a thing. As soon as you make that decision it literally seems as if the forces of Hell all mount an attack on you in the most insidious ways. If you stay the course though, at some point, you actually get... I don't know how to describe it. It's like levelling up.

It's an actual sensation that happens and changes your body and mind. Kind of like...Ok, I am 8th level now, and can fend off orcs and inps and if I have my focus (+5 holy avenger) even minor demons...and after each "level" the challenges become harder, but also your ability to effect change in the world and overcome the forces of darkness (not on our own steam of course).

Blogger Corvinus March 28, 2015 11:56 AM  

"the organized churches have been invaded by entryists and gutted"

The strongest Christians I know, not one of them attends an organized church.


Makes sense.

What do you mean by an organized church? Church is organized at some level so I guess I don't understand.

@Cash
As in, a mainstream church organized at a national or international level, like the the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church, Southern Baptist Convention, United Methodist Church, Catholics still subject to the Vatican authorities, etc.

Blogger Danby March 28, 2015 11:58 AM  

You start with "Maybe the feminists have a point. What harm could there be?" and wind up with the grey goo of the Episcopal Church, whose only prayer is "Thank you god for not making me like other beings, like that Catholic over there, or that Babtis."

Blogger Chris Mallory March 28, 2015 12:17 PM  

""Unflinching commitment to Jesus Christ" and the consistent teaching of the Catholic (Universal) Church and the Natural Law."

Too bad the Catholic Church is more committed to pagan, ungodly rituals and Mary worship. Maybe one day Catholics will come to Christ.

Blogger Corvinus March 28, 2015 12:20 PM  

Too bad the Catholic Church is more committed to pagan, ungodly rituals and Mary worship. Maybe one day Catholics will come to Christ.

"Come to Christ"? What do you think the whole point of the Mass is?

Blogger Josh March 28, 2015 12:32 PM  

Find a church that preached the word.

If you can't find one, start one.

If you can't find one and haven't started one, you're part of the problem.

Blogger hank.jim March 28, 2015 12:37 PM  

I found Church more compelling when I was in my teens and college years. Its harder to attend church more regularly as you grow older and things happen. Norhing wrong with the messages at the churches I attended, but things happen to the churches too like pastors that leave or retire. The pool of pastor candidates is indeed small and many churches can't make a decision.

Blogger David March 28, 2015 12:48 PM  

They lost me at the word, "privileged."

Few words signal collectivist more than that one, and I find collectivism and its proponents evil and misanthropic.

Blogger LibertyPortraits March 28, 2015 12:51 PM  

You attend church as a kid and teen, participating with other kids and growing friendships out of it, then you get jaded in your late teens and college years and stop going for around a decade. Then, if all goes well you get married, have some kids and go back to church (my current stage) and realize all that jaded stuff, like when exactly Jesus was begotten, or the cult of Mary, or Donatism, or antinominianism, or transubstantiation, don't really matter since 1 out of 100 will know what you're talking about if you bring it up in church. I imagine those who got to 30 and aren't married or don't have kids don't go to church, and beyond that I have no opinion.

Anonymous Jill March 28, 2015 12:55 PM  

It appears he's talking about the destruction of institutions we once held to be important, and not about Christianity or even spirituality. I'm pointing out the obvious; I realize that. But a strong physical Christian institution really has nothing to do with pure Christianity. You can have a society whose culture clings to whatever the dominant or political religious institution is, and that society will be reasonably stable if the society and religion also support families. Intact church cultures of just about any kind create cohesion. Of course, some church cultures also create affluence, but that is attached to a larger cultural ideal. Mormon culture creates stability and wealth, whereas Catholic culture may only create stability. Mormons are almost 100% ethnically English, though, and the English are historically known for having a Protestant work ethic. The American dream has been fiction for while--a sort of extant Enlightenment fiction brought to us largely by British culture.

Blogger RobertT March 28, 2015 1:07 PM  

Another hitting the nail on the head experience

Blogger RobertT March 28, 2015 1:09 PM  

Another hitting the nail on the head experience

Blogger RobertT March 28, 2015 1:16 PM  

We thought it might be good for the kids so we tried out a megachurch. Real upbeat. Lots of excitement. Great music. But in three visits we didn't hear the words God or Jesus from the pulpit. It's still a very popular church-planting church, and that was probably an anomaly, but never the less... Back to our small church.

Blogger Eric Wilson March 28, 2015 1:18 PM  

DissidentRight

I agree that LCMS has really improved in the last decade.

I'm WELS and pretty much the only daylight between us is that we don't let our women vote in church elections

Anonymous Beau March 28, 2015 1:20 PM  

Last night a retired couple went out with us serving the homeless. At one point on our route we broke spontaneously into song and were joined by the people we served. At another point a shooter of a small caliber pistol roared past in a car with its headlights off, barely missing a homeless man we were speaking with. I'm certain this couple will have a tale to tell their friends when they return to church this Sunday. Weekly attendance is akin to being present during the half-time locker room talk. Real excitement occurs on the field.

The fields are white unto the harvest.

Anonymous Frank Brady March 28, 2015 1:27 PM  

@njartist: You wrote, "Allah is not Yahweh; that little demon is not God Almighty. The more Christians persist in being inclusive and consenting to the deceit that Allah is just another name for God the more non-Christians and weak Christians will see Islam as merely another way of worshiping the true God, which it is not."

Posting abject falsehoods doesn't help your cause. I am no fan of Islam and believe that it and much of the "culture" that has arisen around it is both brutal and negative. In that regard many of its most fanatical adherents remind me of the low-information self-proclaimed "Evangelical Christians" that gravitated toward and still support George W. Bush's murderous "war on terror".

Your "information" will surely be news to Arab Christians who have prayed to "Allah" from the time of Christianity's foundation to the present day, including the more than 600 year interval between Christ's birth and the foundation of Islam in the 7th Century. Are you saying that when Arab Christians pray to "Allah" (Whom they believe to be the Creator of man and the universe) that some other deity leaps into action and intercepts their prayers?

Finally, and more to the main point of this topic, it is not the case that what has happened to Christianity in the nominally Christian "West" exactly mirrors what is happening in virtually all of the large, centrally controlled "Institutions", especially including government? As others have pointed out, it isn't so much that Christians have left the Church as it is that so many Christian denominations have bowed to the Zeitgeist and completely abandoned their founding precepts, including traditional morality.

Anonymous Axe Head March 28, 2015 1:27 PM  

Behind the scenes, the normal-marriage hating Jeff Jew Bezos is laughing and rubbing his hands together.

Anonymous Quartermaster March 28, 2015 1:34 PM  

"giuseppe, what is it to technically be a Christian other than acknowledging the truth of John 3:16?"

There is far more to Christianity than that. There is a reason God gave us 66 books in the bible.

Anonymous MJ March 28, 2015 1:36 PM  

Mellow Jesus says;..."In the Bible that I wrote, the main theme is the Golden Rule, and that is to love everyone and to not judge..."

"Oh yes, and; "hugs not drugs"".

Blogger Corvinus March 28, 2015 1:37 PM  

Your "information" will surely be news to Arab Christians who have prayed to "Allah" from the time of Christianity's foundation to the present day, including the more than 600 year interval between Christ's birth and the foundation of Islam in the 7th Century.

@Frank Brady
Geez... just because two different religions use the same word "God" in their language (or "Allah" in Arabic) doesn't mean that they're the same God. For pete sake. (facepalm)

Muslims are unitarian, for one thing. Arab Christians are trinitarian like most other Christians. They can't be worshipping the same God.

Blogger Ken March 28, 2015 1:46 PM  

Hey, if any of you guys are in LA and desperately looking for church that is doctrinally sound (according to the Protestant definition), I go to Reality LA. It's a non-denom, but sin is called out for what it is, compassion is given to sinners, and growth is encouraged among the believers.

I'm not trying to boost my church's numbers - hell, I'm not the pastor, I don't make a dime - but my city is a doctrinal wasteland, and mixed with the other temptations LA offers, you need to be connected. There's a reason Paul said, "Do not neglect gathering together."

Lone wolves die; come hunt in my pack.

Anonymous Credo in Unum Deum March 28, 2015 1:47 PM  

Too bad the Catholic Church is more committed to pagan, ungodly rituals and Mary worship. Maybe one day Catholics will come to Christ.

That worship predates anything a protestant church can bring to the table. I'd suggest you read some of the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch. But I fear, like Pharaoh, your heart is hardened.


The whole idea of a "home church" is incredibly stupid.

Either your religion is true, or it is not.

You don't "stay home" from Church. You don't have that choice. If Almighty God tells you "Be here at this time, on these days." You don't argue.

If your religion is true, then you must put up with any and all crap that comes your way with it no matter what, and stick with it. To the point of death if need be.

If it is not true, then you leave it, and stop being an idiot that believes in something that isn't true.

I will put up with a lot of the crap that has crept into the Catholic Church for one reason, and one reason only:

IT WAS FOUNDED BY JESUS.

No other Church can make that claim.

The Catholic Church preaches Ultimate Truth. There is no arguing with it. There is no negotiating with it. It preaches ultimate truth because of what She is. Because of Who founded Her. She is the Body of Christ. She is the Bride of Christ. Just like with Jesus, you are either with the Catholic Church, or you are against Her. There is no middle ground.

You wouldn't "shop around for a spouse", so why is it okay to do that with a Church? You either love your spouse, and will be loyal to them unto death, or you leave.

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 28, 2015 1:55 PM  

There are many, many strong Christians across the USA and around the world who do not attend organized churches because the organized churches have been invaded by entryists and gutted.

The rot started in the seventies. Everything bad that is destroying America now got it's start in the 1970s.

Anyway.

It was the middle class and upper class protestant denominations that started it. The 1970s is when the Dancing Jesus services began. That was when various counter culture twats got haircuts and started joining churches in an effort to become middle class. Entryism was the default, not the plan. They would start with volunteering to teach Sunday School and they had these little new children's hymnals. Kumbaya and Lord of the Dance became the standards.

I remember overhearing a young adults "prayer meeting/discussion groups". I knew something was wrong, even as kid. "If the Counsel of Nicea were to be held today. What books would be left out of the Bible and what of the Apocrypha would be included?" "Is there really a hell?" "Is reincarnation compatible with Christ's teachings?" the answers was,"yes" by the way. Dancing Jesus wasn't the judgmental type.

Anonymous Machen down the road March 28, 2015 2:25 PM  

The rot started in the seventies. Everything bad that is destroying America now got it's start in the 1970s.

No. All that crap of the 70's was made possible by mush headed church leadership installed in a previous generation, especially by female preachers / elders in Prot churches and KumBaYah fag-friendly priests in the RC parishes. Who put those people in positions of authority?

I'll argue the rot was visible in the 1930's and even 1920's, when the first women were allowed in to positions of authority in the Prot churches and the "social gospel" Dorothy Day style got going in the RC.

The real issue in tl;dr: a church can follow things of men, or things of God, but not both. Those churches that follow things of men are well respected by the world. Those churches that follow things of God, on the other hand, are more likely to be blessed by God.

God or man? Choose one.

Anonymous kh123 March 28, 2015 2:51 PM  

Was there ever a proverb anywhere that spoke of the pillar having envy for the roof.

Anonymous kh123 March 28, 2015 2:56 PM  

@ Ken;

Am amazed to see anyone from there on here, given what all is discussed and how.

Anonymous Frank Brady March 28, 2015 3:00 PM  

@Corvinus: You wrote, "Geez... just because two different religions use the same word "God" in their language (or "Allah" in Arabic) doesn't mean that they're the same God. For pete sake. (facepalm)

"Muslims are unitarian, for one thing. Arab Christians are trinitarian like most other Christians. They can't be worshipping the same God."


So, how many Supreme Beings do you believe exist? It is very fortuitous for you that yours speaks English. Both Christianity and Islam descended from Judaism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the God of the Old Testament. Judaism also doesn't believe in the Trinity. Do you also believe that observant Jews and Christians worship a different God?

Anonymous Frank Brady March 28, 2015 3:01 PM  

@Corvinus: You wrote, "Geez... just because two different religions use the same word "God" in their language (or "Allah" in Arabic) doesn't mean that they're the same God. For pete sake. (facepalm)

"Muslims are unitarian, for one thing. Arab Christians are trinitarian like most other Christians. They can't be worshipping the same God."


So, how many Supreme Beings do you believe exist? It is very fortuitous for you that yours speaks English. Both Christianity and Islam descended from Judaism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the God of the Old Testament. Judaism also doesn't believe in the Trinity. Do you also believe that observant Jews and Christians worship a different God?

Anonymous Frank Brady March 28, 2015 3:10 PM  

My apologies for the double post. My first effort "hung" and never gave me the "posted" message so I fired again.

Blogger njartist March 28, 2015 3:15 PM  

@ Frank Brady March 28, 2015 1:27 PM
If Allah and Yahweh are the same, then the Koran is the most recent and last revelation of God; therefore, Christians and Jews are wrong to oppose Islam and the Muslims' jihad against us is righteous. Period. There is no middle ground here.

Blogger Corvinus March 28, 2015 3:17 PM  

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the God of the Old Testament. Judaism also doesn't believe in the Trinity.

The Judaism of the Old Testament didn't explicitly state one way or the other on whether God is a Trinity. But both Talmudic Judaism and Islam are unitarian, as they explicitly reject the Christian dogma on the Trinity.

Do you also believe that observant Jews and Christians worship a different God?

With the exception of Christian Zionists, who do indirectly worship the Jewish God, yes I do.

Blogger njartist March 28, 2015 3:23 PM  

And Frank, if Allah is the same as Yahweh, then Jesus becomes a mere prophet, no longer one with the Father: and Mohammed is his successor: Christianity is therefore idolatry for believing in Christ.

Blogger njartist March 28, 2015 3:27 PM  

@Corvinus March 28, 2015 3:17 PM
If no man has seen the Father but Jesus, then whom did Abraham and Moses see? Whom did Adam see?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 28, 2015 3:40 PM  

Oh, so now its "my child and I?" Lady...Forget it.

Also of tribal concerns is the talented creator of HBO's Girls interview dog or ------ man. Both at drudge repor and the new yorker. twitter is upset with Dunham and feels the racism vibe.

Blogger Corvinus March 28, 2015 3:45 PM  

If no man has seen the Father but Jesus, then whom did Abraham and Moses see? Whom did Adam see?

@njartist
Moses and Abraham talked to God, certainly. But being human, they probably didn't actually see Him as He is. Jesus, being the Son of God, would have.

Anonymous H2 March 28, 2015 4:23 PM  

Wouldn't a stay-at-home Christian still need to go to church to receive communion, or can one pray for forgiveness of sin without going to church and receiving communion?

Blogger James Dixon March 28, 2015 4:43 PM  

> The whole idea of a "home church" is incredibly stupid.

Not in places like China it isn't.

> No other Church can make that claim.

I'll refrain. Everyone else can thank me later.

> Just like with Jesus, you are either with the Catholic Church, or you are against Her.

Catholic Church is not the same as Roman Catholic Church.

Blogger James Dixon March 28, 2015 4:50 PM  

> Wouldn't a stay-at-home Christian still need to go to church to receive communion, or can one pray for forgiveness of sin without going to church and receiving communion?

That's an interesting and highly debatable subject. Let me ask you a clarifying question. Suppose Gilligan's Island happened in real life. Would Christ refuse to forgive the sins of the group because they weren't attending Church to receive communion?

Blogger Foster March 28, 2015 4:57 PM  

@Salt: "The strongest Christians I know, not one of them attends an organized church."

"And let us consider how we can spur one another on to love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the day approaching." -Hebrews 10:24-5

The strongest "Christians" you know aren't following the Bible.

Blogger Desiderius March 28, 2015 5:00 PM  

DaveD,

"One church is consumed with wearing suits, don't smoke, don't drink, be a "witness" by being uptight when someone cusses at work etc but never really reach out. Sinners should come to us on our terms. The other side reaches out a lot, feeds the hungry, clothe the naked, etc but allows active homosexuals, non-married hetero couples living together etc in the name of being "seeker friendly" and "tolerant"."

Sinners come to the second church on the church's terms as well. If a sinner longed for repentance would that church even remember how to help?

Blogger Desiderius March 28, 2015 5:02 PM  

Foster,

"'And let us consider how we can spur one another on to love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the day approaching.' -Hebrews 10:24-5

The strongest 'Christians' you know aren't following the Bible."

This thread is encouraging.

Blogger Desiderius March 28, 2015 5:04 PM  

Beau,

"The fields are white unto the harvest."

Amen, brother. Take care to note who it was who planted.

Anonymous Stg58 / Animal Mother March 28, 2015 5:05 PM  

CatholicAttack!

Anonymous kh123 March 28, 2015 5:06 PM  

"The strongest "Christians" you know aren't following the Bible."

Still having trouble finding which apostle mentions 501(c)3.

"Where two, three, or several thousand are gathered in my name - no less than this Mr. Osteen..."

Blogger Desiderius March 28, 2015 5:11 PM  

Stingray,

"I marvel at this, that so many, especially in the older crowd, cannot or will not see this. And that there is growth in the younger crowd in orthodoxy. Not only more young people returning to orthodoxy, but these same young people are marry and having large families.

The fear of the former crowd is palpable over this, and yet, I would bet that many of them nod their heads in complete agreement with this article."

They were raised to believe that orthodoxy meant war and strife and discord and Hiroshima and Aushwitz and before that the hideous Great War. Regressing again to primitive man. But the primitive must be mastered, not abandoned, if anything else is to be achieved and maintained. Orthodoxy is the sure foundation.

Blogger Foster March 28, 2015 5:28 PM  

Erasmus,
I'm sorry. Was I being too judgmental for you?
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

kh123,
Salt didn't say "mega-church", he said "organized church." The new testament Christians met on a regular basis in homes because they were persecuted. This requires organization. Before that, they met in the synagogues, which were places of organized worship. If he meant "church building" then I agree, that's nice to have, but not necessary. But meeting together with other Christians each week as you are able is an essential part of the Christian life as depicted in the New Testament. Don't delude yourself into thinking otherwise.

Blogger Sean Carnegie March 28, 2015 5:32 PM  

There is much of the same rot here in Western Canada. "Churches" that will not use God or Jesus in a "message", whiny music, female pastorship (Pastrixes, I'm told they're called). So.... I listen to Grace Family Baptist in Houston's podcast. Expository preaching, hermeneutical Sunday Schools, etc. Now if only Voddie would stop cusing those of us who refuse to support the femmy Churches...

Anonymous kh123 March 28, 2015 5:41 PM  

"Don't delude yourself into thinking otherwise. "

Is difficult to hear the discussion when one is up on the high horse, my old son.

Blogger Desiderius March 28, 2015 5:45 PM  

Foster,

"I'm sorry."

I do not believe that you are. Bear not false witness.

"Was I being too judgmental for you?"

No, the opposite.

Under (hypo-) judging (-crite), in this case underestimating. There are those who can only find two or three here, in these times.

Anonymous Frank Brady March 28, 2015 5:47 PM  

@njartist: You wrote, "If Allah and Yahweh are the same, then the Koran is the most recent and last revelation of God; therefore, Christians and Jews are wrong to oppose Islam and the Muslims' jihad against us is righteous. Period. There is no middle ground here."

Really? How does that proposition work, syllogistically speaking? I'm not wasting any more time with you, fascinating though your logic may be. It's obviously not your fault but I should never have engaged you. All the warning signs were clearly visible.

Blogger Josh March 28, 2015 6:00 PM  

Still having trouble finding which apostle mentions 501(c)3.

Oh please.

Blogger Foster March 28, 2015 6:04 PM  

kh123,
If you want humility, here is humility. When I read Salt's comment about those who reject "organized church[es]," what came to mind are the types who say "I feel closer to God when I go out on Sunday on the boat by myself and experience nature," and so they never try to go to Church. I honestly don't see how someone can read the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul and come to the conclusion that that's the will of God for their lives. If Corvinus' interpretation above is right, though, and by "organized" Salt meant "incorporated," or "incorporated on a national level," or if house churches don't count as being "organized" even though such gatherings require planning and some investment of time to figure out what will be said/sung/eaten, then I will admit I've been talking past Salt, and my comments don't apply to what he's talking about. There are a lot of people though who feel like the boater I described above, but the truth is there's never going to be a perfect Church here on Earth that has the perfect style and perfect preaching, but you've got to work with what you've got and follow what the Bible says to do as well as you can understand it. The boaters may be erudite and they may have deep experiences out there on that lake, but they are not following the pattern of the Christians in the New Testament.

Blogger njartist March 28, 2015 6:32 PM  

Frank Brady March 28, 2015 5:47 PM
Really, Frank, do you even pay attention to what the Moslems declare about the Koran and Jesus; or do you just get your religious news from Brian Williams?

Blogger Azimus March 28, 2015 6:44 PM  

Gary March 28, 2015 10:13 AM

Hello.

I live in CT and a number of churches here are what I call "buffet style" where they pick and choose what they wish to follow. Last I checked that really isn't they way it works..


Who is innocent of this sin? Nevermind organizations, which individual Christian is not guilty of this? This is a terrible excuse not to have fellowship with other believers.

Blogger Azimus March 28, 2015 6:57 PM  

Frank Brady
So, how many Supreme Beings do you believe exist? It is very fortuitous for you that yours speaks English. Both Christianity and Islam descended from Judaism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the God of the Old Testament. Judaism also doesn't believe in the Trinity. Do you also believe that observant Jews and Christians worship a different God?


This is either intentionally obtuse, or scripturally illiterate. Christ, whose work completed salvation, is not compatible with Mohammed's soldier-religion of Islam, which requires the adherent work for his salvation. Islam follows the same Zoroastrian fallacy as all the other phony religions of man: you must work, work, work! This is a fundamental and incompatible difference between Islam and Judaism, and Islam and Christianity. Judaism and Christianity teach there is no remission of sin without blood. For the Jew, it is/was an animal. For the Christian, it is Christ. Attempting to equivocate, or make compatible these two fundamentally different religions because Mohammed happened to rip off the Torah is absurd.



Blogger JaimeInTexas March 28, 2015 6:59 PM  

Islam teaches that the Old Testament prophets were, well, Prophets of God. Islam teaches that Jesus was a great Prophet and teacher. I think, IIRC, that Islam also teaches that John the Baptiser was a prophet. Islam also teaches that the Old and New Testaments have been corrupted, hence, Mohammed. There is no way to reconcile Islam theology to Judaism nor Christianity.


The types of shirk:

The texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate that shirk and the ascribing of rivals to

Allaah sometimes puts a person beyond the pale of Islam and sometimes does not.

Hence the scholars divided shirk into two types which they call shirk akbar (major

shirk) and shirk asghar (minor shirk). There follows a brief description of each type:

1 – Major shirk

This means ascribing to someone other than Allaah something that belongs only to

Allaah, such as Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) and the divine names and

attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat).

This kind of shirk may sometimes be outward, such as the shirk of those who worship

idols and graves, or the dead or absent

...

Conclusion:

What the Muslim must do is to avoid shirk in both its minor and major forms. The

greatest sin is shirk and transgression against the unique rights of Allaah, which are to

be worshipped and obeyed alone, with no partner or associate.

Hence Allaah has decreed that the mushrikeen will abide forever in Hell and has told

us that He will not forgive them, and He has forbidden Paradise to them, as He says

(interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but

He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up

partners with Allaah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin”

...


Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 28, 2015 7:02 PM  

Henry VIII made the state central to a part of Christendom a long time ago. But Henry was a Christian. The throne dominated the altar, but this didn't mean Jesus was overthrown. It was only that in an extensive part of Christendom, the English-speaking part, a different set of institutions violently claimed the right of protecting Christian doctrine (and interpreting it in its own interest).

Again, in the Soviet Union, which destroyed a multitude of churches but never a synagogue, the problem wasn't that the state was stronger than the church. The state had always been stronger than the church under the Tsars, and it is stronger again under the equally Christian Vladimir Putin. The problem for Christianity in the early Soviet Union (before the balance of power shifted) was that the state (which meant everything, as it was totalitarian) was dominated by an insular minority that opposed Christendom on racial, religious, ethnic, economic and intellectual grounds.

What's happening now is not a generic thing, the assertion of the supremacy of the state. Rather what matters is the Judeo-Christian values of the state. Crosses down, menorahs up.

Christianity can get along perfectly well with dominating states, and often has. But not with aggressively anti-Christian states.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 28, 2015 7:05 PM  

The issue between Judaism and Christianity is twofold:
1) Judaism does accept Jesus as Messiah.
2) Judaism (as well as Islam) reject in the most strenuous way possible Jesus' diety.

Jesus claims to be God's Messiah and only salvation.

There is no reconciling of claims; none is possible.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 28, 2015 7:07 PM  

1) Judaism does NOT accept Jesus as Messiah.

Blogger JartStar March 28, 2015 7:33 PM  

Still having trouble finding which apostle mentions 501(c)3.

How about building permits and fire codes? I don't see those in the NT either. Hence any church which gets a building permit is or obeys the state on a fire code is apostate. /s

As for those complaining about all of the hypocrites in church: 1)There's always room for one more 2)Do you thank God you aren't like those sinners? 3)Where else should they be?

If you live withing 30 miles of even the suburbs of a major metropolitan area in the USA the odds of there not being a Biblical church in an actual church building is minuscule.

The process is simple for Protestants:

1. Draw a circle around your house going out 30 miles, this means your drive to church on Sunday morning will be around 45 minutes or less.
2. Read the stated beliefs of all of the churches in this ring. Are they truly apostate? Do they specifically deny orthodox Christian doctrines spelled out in the early church creeds? Do they deny scripture?
3. Go and attend for a couple of weeks those in the list that make it past number two. Is the Law and Gospel preached? Do they uphold the norm of Christian faith being derived from Scripture? Are the Sacraments (or Ordinances) being practiced with regularity and properly? Does the pastor preach obviously heretical beliefs?

Example of an truly apostate church would be the PCUSA. 34,000 Black Churches Leave PCUSA Over Same-Sex Marriage

If after all of that you cannot find a church then Josh is right, you are called as a Christian to go and make disciples and you need to start one yourself. Don't stay home Sunday morning because you don't like the dress code, or you think that pedobaptism is correct and they practice credobaptism or another reason like this. That's not a good enough reason if it is a Biblical church.


Anonymous Jeffrey Quick March 28, 2015 7:54 PM  

"affluent homes enjoy decent access to churches”

Coming soon: Obamaprayer!

Blogger Foster March 28, 2015 8:15 PM  

"Christianity can get along perfectly well with dominating states, and often has. But not with aggressively anti-Christian states."

I'd argue on the contrary that Christianity thrives better under the anti-Christian states, because it is less easily co-opted. For example, arguably, allowing Constantine to convoke the Council of Nicaea and dictate the Church's agenda was a strategic mistake on the part of the Church, as it made the Church wealthy, powerful and desirable for unscrupulous men to enter into. And later there were several Christological heresies in the East that were backed by the Eastern Emperors in Constantinople. They could not have so manipulated the faithful if they were still throwing them to the lions as did their ancestors.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 March 28, 2015 8:17 PM  

Given that this was in the Washington Post it's also worth pointing out that the Bible represents the highest standards of Journalism possible. People prepared to die for the integrity of their reporting infact..
Which is why the Bible shall survive in print, long after the Washington Post is confined to historical footnotes.
And Irony of Ironies, the Washington Post is just as likely to write an Op Ed the following day saying they support the right of Gay Athiests to be ordained as Bishops in the Episcopal Church, no previous experience necessary - for that would be discriminatory,

Anonymous Pilgrim March 28, 2015 8:21 PM  

There is a lot of insensitivity to lost sheep expressed on this blog. "Just start your own church dammit!" Yah right. You wouldn't happen to be pastors would you? /s

Anonymous Aeoli Pera March 28, 2015 8:22 PM  

"...and toward a bright and better future, warmer family relationships and significantly higher odds of attending college."

Yeah, the problem with the decline of the Christian church is that these kids aren't thereafter attending the Church of the Enlightenment, whereupon they would have become retarded atheists.

Anonymous Frank Brady March 28, 2015 8:22 PM  

This thread is both entertaining and amusing.

It seems plausible to doubt that the Creator of the Universe believes the doctrinal differences among the various claimants to absolute truth are nearly as important as the passionate adherents to those claims believe they are. The blind intolerance of some of good folks here who identify themselves as Christians would make them excellent Wahabbists or Taliban.

The Maker of all that is doubtless wants his creation to avoid evil. It seems reasonable to believe that his greatest concerns were identified in the Ten Commandments and in the new Testament admonition to love one's neighbor.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera March 28, 2015 8:24 PM  

Should have said "low-church" atheists to be clearer. Anyway, the WaPo need not fear, TV will educate and enlighten and edify them just fine in the absence of schooling.

Anonymous Pilgrim March 28, 2015 8:27 PM  

"Who are all these stay-at-home Christians? In all of my years I don't think I've met one in the USA, they must be the quietest bunch on the planet.

Maybe it's because I live in the South so there are plenty of good churches."

You answered your own question. The Saints laying low are in libtard areas ie.. leftist strongholds.

Anonymous kh123 March 28, 2015 9:33 PM  

"Hence any church which gets a building permit is or obeys the state on a fire code is apostate."

That's an interesting read into the comment.

Anonymous kh123 March 28, 2015 9:39 PM  

"then I will admit I've been talking past Salt, and my comments don't apply to what he's talking about."

Given today's performance, this would be the thread for it.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 28, 2015 10:11 PM  

There is a general call and there is a specific call.

1) All are called to believe. Few are called into faith in Christ.

2) All believers are called to be like Christ. Few are called into an office.

To see a need is not the calling. The call is the call. So, no. Unless someone is called to start a church or pastor a church, do not do so. The Bible has plenty of advice as to how to get wise counsel and confirm the percieved call. Self delusion due to emotion is very powerful.

Blogger Jourdan March 29, 2015 1:46 AM  

By the power vested in me, I declare Jeffrey Quick winner of this thread, a nice display of incisive, intelligent wit.

Blogger dfordoom March 29, 2015 4:26 AM  

The rot started in the seventies. Everything bad that is destroying America now got it's start in the 1970s.

The rot started to become obvious in the seventies. It started long before that. It started in the 30s when Hollywood was completely taken over by the Left. By the 50s liberals and communists were entrenched in academia and the media. Mainstream Christianity had already started its inexorable slide into "relevance" and compromising with the cultural Left. There were more communists in the US State Department than there were in the Kremlin.

Blogger Kirk Parker March 29, 2015 4:43 AM  

njartist,

You're missing the point.

There is ONE word in Arabic that is equivalent to the English word 'God', and the Greek word 'θεός', and.... it so happens that word is the one we transliterate 'Allah'. (As an aside, it's a fairly close cognate to the Hebrew word for 'God', too.)

I will agree with you that Muslim thought is almost entirely wrong about who God is, what He is like, how He wants us to live, etc etc etc. But if they are going to talk about Him in Arabic, 'Allah' is the word they will use because they have no other.

What sense would it make for me to come to you and insist you stop saying 'God' because after all that -- or an early Germanic/Anglo-Saxon predecessor -- was used by the by the pagans to talk about their "gods", so you can't use it to talk about the True One? GMAB.


JartStar,

That article about '34000 churches leaving the PCUSA' should have set off your BS detector! That's an awful lot of congregations leaving.

But instead, it's a completely bogus headline. (At the end of 2013, the entire denomination consisted of only 10,038 congregations.) By reading the actual article you discover that the "which represents 34,000 churches from 15 denominations, has declared it has severed ties with PCUSA...". I certainly don't blame them for doing so, but that's NOT the same as 34,000 congregations that were actually part of the PCUSA leaving the denomination.

Blogger Foster March 29, 2015 5:41 AM  

"'then I will admit I've been talking past Salt, and my comments don't apply to what he's talking about.'

Given today's performance, this would be the thread for it."

Always distrust when a rabbit fails to quote an entire sentence and instead resorts to phrases outside their context.

Blogger Foster March 29, 2015 6:10 AM  

@Pilgrim
"'Who are all these stay-at-home Christians? In all of my years I don't think I've met one in the USA, they must be the quietest bunch on the planet.

Maybe it's because I live in the South so there are plenty of good churches.'

You answered your own question. The Saints laying low are in libtard areas ie.. leftist strongholds.

There is a lot of insensitivity to lost sheep expressed on this blog. 'Just start your own church dammit!' Yah right. You wouldn't happen to be pastors would you? /s"

If you can't find a church near you that nourishes you spiritually, and you can't start one yourself, maybe you should move to where there are such Churches.

Was it insensitive of God to ask Abraham to leave everything he knew and move to the Promised Land? Let the dead bury their dead, and leave everything behind if that's what's necessary to be among His disciples.

Anonymous protestants hate the Bible... they lie here March 29, 2015 8:04 AM  

From St. Iraeneus alone there can be no reasonable doubt that the Canon of the Gospel was inalterably fixed in the Church by the last quarter of the Second Century. The Epistles, the Book of Acts, and the Revelation were authoritatively fixed in the canon during synods at Rome in the AD 382 and at Hippo in AD 393.

The authenticity of the scriptures was disputed by Reformers. Luther regarded Hebrews, James, Jude, and Apocalypse as altogether uncanonical. Zwingli rejected the Apocalypse as uncanonical.

Sixteenth Century scholars, consulting Jewish experts, could not find the deuterocanonical books, including Wisdom, in any survival original Hebrew manuscripts known to those times. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating back to before AD 70 contained parts of the apocrypha books in Hebrew, including Sirach and Tobit [source], which calls this conclusion into severe question.

The deuterocanonical books were removed because in part for doctrinal reasons (a passage in Maccabees, for example, seems to support prayers for the dead, hence the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory) and it was convenient for reformers, despite their professed doctrine of Sola Scriptura , to look to extra-scriptural sources, such as the current Jewish scholarly opinion, to edit the scripture so as to remove inconvenient counter-arguments to their various heretical opinions.

Blogger njartist March 29, 2015 9:27 AM  

Kirk Parker March 29, 2015 4:43 AM
Here's your break: you're missing the point: Allah, the god of Islam is not Yahweh.

Blogger Iowahine March 29, 2015 9:54 AM  

Giuseppe said:

For one, my experience of the loving God I am sure exists is such that I cannot fathom that the crucifixion of Jesus was the ORIGINALLY INTENDED outcome. And if I am right about that then at least two things must be true:

1. this principality does not fall under his domain (this is in fact so)
And 2. Evil exists in a very real and tangible and active way . . .

Your observations are correct. Since the Fall, Satan does act in this world and evil is indeed real. VP has blogged extensively in this. Your sense that the crucifixion of Jesus could not have been God's "originally intended outcome" can spark debates re: determinism, but God did attempt other Covenants with Man. I would not say His "intended outcome" was the crucifixion, but rather, God's intended outcome was RECONCILIATION with Man through the crucifixion/resurrection and Man's profession of faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, God's only Son.

As for keeping one's own counsel (your point 2), perhaps you mean trust your own read of scripture rather than consult an earthly "authority?" Believers are called to test our beliefs/thoughts/leadings/actions against scripture WITH the intervention of the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how this works, what it feels like, or how to do it (though I've experienced it). Others here may be able.

Blogger Iowahine March 29, 2015 9:54 AM  

Giuseppe said:

For one, my experience of the loving God I am sure exists is such that I cannot fathom that the crucifixion of Jesus was the ORIGINALLY INTENDED outcome. And if I am right about that then at least two things must be true:

1. this principality does not fall under his domain (this is in fact so)
And 2. Evil exists in a very real and tangible and active way . . .

Your observations are correct. Since the Fall, Satan does act in this world and evil is indeed real. VP has blogged extensively in this. Your sense that the crucifixion of Jesus could not have been God's "originally intended outcome" can spark debates re: determinism, but God did attempt other Covenants with Man. I would not say His "intended outcome" was the crucifixion, but rather, God's intended outcome was RECONCILIATION with Man through the crucifixion/resurrection and Man's profession of faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, God's only Son.

As for keeping one's own counsel (your point 2), perhaps you mean trust your own read of scripture rather than consult an earthly "authority?" Believers are called to test our beliefs/thoughts/leadings/actions against scripture WITH the intervention of the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how this works, what it feels like, or how to do it (though I've experienced it). Others here may be able.

Anonymous protestants hate the Bible... they lie here March 29, 2015 10:40 AM  

>>>As for keeping one's own counsel (your point 2), perhaps you mean trust your own read of scripture rather than consult an earthly "authority?"

these are the lies of the reformers that we speak of, see my comment above for a definitive takedown of this churchian chestnut.

Blogger Hank Brown March 29, 2015 1:26 PM  

Spot on, Vox.

Anonymous Steve Brown March 29, 2015 6:51 PM  

"Society cannot destroy the Church, but the Church can destroy itself by making societal approval its priority."

Seems like before long we will all be non-denominational and unable to communicate.

Blogger Kirk Parker March 29, 2015 7:12 PM  

njartis,

"The god of Islam is not Yahweh."

Nobody here is saying that (or, if you find someone who is, I'll join you in disagreeing with them.)

But that ISN'T the point. Rather it's about vocabulary... the lexicon of a language. I'm not sure you are capable of understanding the difference.

What do you want the poor Arabic-speaking Christians to do? Stop using the Arabic (not Muslim, but Arabic) word "Allah" like they have been using since before Mo came on the scene? And then what? Transliterate the English word "God" into the Arabic language and use that instead???

Blogger Kirk Parker March 29, 2015 7:12 PM  

Correction: make that "Nobody here is saying that THEY ARE THE SAME".

Blogger Kirk Parker March 29, 2015 7:18 PM  

English speakers, when talking about this entity, use the word "God." Germans say "Gott", the French say "Dieu", the Spanish "Dios", the Russians "бог", the Baka of Central Africa "Lomo", etc etc etc.

So when people who speak Arabic refer to this entity, they say "Allah" (presumably الله, but I don't read Arabic script so I can't be exactly sure.)

The word in each language used, in any particular case, is independent of whether the ideas about that entity are correct or not. Or, to put it another way, when Billy Graham, Thomas Jefferson, and Richard Dawkins all use the English word "God", they do mean something different from each other.

Anonymous kh123 March 29, 2015 9:51 PM  

"Always distrust when a rabbit fails to quote an entire sentence and instead resorts to phrases outside their context. "

Given the verbal... flow before and after it, no point.

Besides, sans the crazytown surrounding that quote, were you not saying that you'd "admit" to have "been talking past Salt" and that your "comments don't apply to what he's talking about" if it were shown you'd misunderstood? Or is this more of that "If you want humility, here is humility" bragging.

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