Jump to content
Gray

Study links decline of church attendance to rise of Christian Right

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

https://www.christiantimes.com/article/study-links-decline-of-church-attendance-to-rise-of-christian-right/73870.htm

According to this study, at least, as religious organizations seek to exercise political control, more Christians seem to drop out of church affiliation. Political polarization and the war against marriage for gay people seems to have been a net negative for religion.

 

Quote

The authors of the report contended that the major contributing factor in the decline in church membership was the "salient controversy," in which the Christian Right has been seen as "more salient to the public" because of the debate on controversial topics. 

One of the examples cited by researchers was the increase in the number of people abandoning their religion in states that implemented bans on same-sex marriage.

 

 

Edited by Gray
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

There are two ways to look at this:

1)  The poll proves that it was wrong for the Christian Right to make a stand against SSM because they have hurt hurt their own cause.

2)  Polarizing topics such as support of gay marriage are sifting the world into wheat and chaff, as the scriptures say will happen, and the world's reaction to the Christian Right has no bearing on the validity of their causes.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I am sure the prosperity gospel will survive and that is what is important.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
31 minutes ago, bluebell said:

There are two ways to look at this:

1)  The poll proves that it was wrong for the Christian Right to make a stand against SSM because they have hurt hurt their own cause.

2)  Polarizing topics such as support of gay marriage are sifting the world into wheat and chaff, as the scriptures say will happen, and the world's reaction to the Christian Right has no bearing on the validity of their causes.

Yes, those are usually the two responses I hear.

Share this post


Link to post
15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I am sure the prosperity gospel will survive and that is what is important.

Spoken like a true untruth... ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
32 minutes ago, Gray said:

Yes, those are usually the two responses I hear.

Looking at it from the point of view of a person of faith who believes the scriptures to be the word of God, do you find those two responses reasonable?

Share this post


Link to post

I remember discussing a study on here that showed that the more conservative/orthodox religions were retaining their numbers (and even growing in some cases) better then other faiths.  Does anyone else remember discussing that?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Looking at it from the point of view of a person of faith who believes the scriptures to be the word of God, do you find those two responses reasonable?

Reasonable opinions based on theological preconceptions, sure, although the second one seems bit prideful and cavalier. The assumption being these losses don't matter anyway because the people are "chaff" and those of who stay are the chosen "wheat". It might even be true, but it seems self-serving and too facile.

Edited by Gray
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
31 minutes ago, Gray said:

Reasonable opinions based on theological preconceptions, sure, although the second one seems bit prideful and cavalier. The assumption being these losses don't matter anyway because the people are "chaff" and those of who stay are the chosen "wheat". It might even be true, but it seems self-serving and too facile.

If I am not allowed to look down on sinful chaff then who will I look down on condescendingly? I am not sure if you have thought this through.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps the reason the religious right is rising is because people are turning from the church and not the other way around

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Gray said:

https://www.christiantimes.com/article/study-links-decline-of-church-attendance-to-rise-of-christian-right/73870.htm

According to this study, at least, as religious organizations seek to exercise political control, more Christians seem to drop out of church affiliation. Political polarization and the war against marriage for gay people seems to have been a net negative for religion.

Two things that aren't usually brought up in "polite" conversation are religion and politics. It seems mixing the two is too much for many...not too surprising. 

Nevertheless, I do feel the Church has a responsibility to take certain stands against what it views as sin. As the world has become more secularized, these topics tend to cause more controversy as more and more people begin to accept things about them... for instance abortion at whim as a form of birth control. If the people will not believe the Church, I guess the Church will just have to live with that, but it doesn't relieve it of its responsibility to call the people to repentance. When it stops doing that, it will just be promoting the prosperity gospel as Nehor astutely points out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
36 minutes ago, Gray said:

Reasonable opinions based on theological preconceptions, sure, although the second one seems bit prideful and cavalier. The assumption being these losses don't matter anyway because the people are "chaff" and those of who stay are the chosen "wheat". It might even be true, but it seems self-serving and too facile.

I think you are reading an attitude into it that isn't always there (no doubt sometimes it is).  

A statement of fact doesn't have emotions behind it.  It just is.  Saying that the world is being sifted (if it's true) isn't anymore prideful than saying the grass is green or 2+2=4.    People can certainly argue about whether or something is true or false, and they can argue about whether or not someone is behaving in a Christlike manner as they interact or deal with a fact, but I don't see how the fact itself can be cavalier or prideful.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

If I am not allowed to look down on sinful chaff then who will I look down on condescendingly? I am not sure if you have thought this through.

Alternatively, one can always look down on the chaff based on their taste in music or fandom associated with embarrassing film or book franchises.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think you are reading an attitude into it that isn't always there (no doubt sometimes it is).  

A statement of fact doesn't have emotions behind it.  It just is.  Saying that the world is being sifted (if it's true) isn't anymore prideful than saying the grass is green or 2+2=4.    People can certainly argue about whether or something is true or false, and they can argue about whether or not someone is behaving in a Christlike manner as they interact or deal with a fact, but I don't see how the fact itself can be cavalier or prideful. 

The nature of the claim itself is intrinsically prideful. I think it's very tricky to make a statement like that without it being at some level quite self-serving.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Gray said:

The nature of the claim itself is intrinsically prideful.

How so?  (Beyond the basic fact that anytime anyone believes they are on the correct side of a debate and that those who disagree with them are on the wrong side can be interpreted as being intrinsically prideful, I mean.)

How is believing that we are all being sifted into those who follow God and those who don't follow God intrinsically prideful?

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Gray said:

Alternatively, one can always look down on the chaff based on their taste in music or fandom associated with embarrassing film or book franchises.

Yeah, but if you say people are going to hell for reading Twilight novels you are the one who looks ridiculous. Well, both parties look ridiculous actually but still.

2 minutes ago, Gray said:

The nature of the claim itself is intrinsically prideful. I think it's very tricky to make a statement like that without it being at some level quite self-serving.

It can be prideful and I would argue if you say it a lot it definitely is. For example, I think I am pretty bright and do not think it is prideful to think so. If, on the other hand, I were to go around talking about how smart I am, mention my IQ score routinely, talk about Mensa participation, and am just generally insufferable than I can be correctly viewed as a prideful douchebag and probably be correctly judged to be less smart than I play myself up to be.

I suspect this is why the Lord in the D&C told us not to boast of judgements.

Some truths are best left unsaid.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

How so?  (Beyond the basic fact that anytime anyone believes they are on the correct side of a debate and that those who disagree with them are on the wrong side can be interpreted as being intrinsically prideful, I mean.)

On a certain level, we all usually hold a belief that we're right about something or other. But in this case it's elevated by a certain notion of chosen-ness. God has chosen us because we are righteous and we believe the right things. God has rejected the people who disagree with us. How does one separate the ego out of such a claim? I think it's almost impossible.

 

6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

How is believing that we are all being sifted into those who follow God and those who don't follow God intrinsically prideful? 

It becomes prideful when we decide the results of the sifting in our favor.

Or as Jesus put it:

 

Quote

 Luke 18:9-14
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I am sure the prosperity gospel will survive and that is what is important.

The Prosperity Gospel will prosper?  Isn't that a tautology?

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Yeah, but if you say people are going to hell for reading Twilight novels you are the one who looks ridiculous. Well, both parties look ridiculous actually but still.

I once had a member of my ward who was on the high council who was adamant in wanting me and the stake president to publicly and forcefully command ward/stake members not to read Twilight. His wife was an all-around wonderful lady, but she ended up throwing her set of Twilight away after relentless browbeating. He wasn't pleased with my answer that, as dippy as the books are, they do not rise to the level of verbal pornography he was so worked up about. And neither of us was about to micromanage the reading of Twilight in the ward/stake. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, Gray said:

On a certain level, we all usually hold a belief that we're right about something or other. But in this case it's elevated by a certain notion of chosen-ness. God has chosen us because we are righteous and we believe the right things. God has rejected the people who disagree with us. How does one separate the ego out of such a claim? I think it's almost impossible.

I've sincerely never interpreted the whole sifting of wheat and chaff in that way.  

Quote

 

It becomes prideful when we decide the results of the sifting in our favor.

Or as Jesus put it:

 

It seems like you are saying that it's prideful to believe that we are following God and that some people aren't.  How is what you said different than believing that we are right and others are wrong?  I don't think when Jesus said that though He was teaching that everyone who believes they are following God has 'exalted themselves'

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, rongo said:

I once had a member of my ward who was on the high council who was adamant in wanting me and the stake president to publicly and forcefully command ward/stake members not to read Twilight. His wife was an all-around wonderful lady, but she ended up throwing her set of Twilight away after relentless browbeating. He wasn't pleased with my answer that, as dippy as the books are, they do not rise to the level of verbal pornography he was so worked up about. And neither of us was about to micromanage the reading of Twilight in the ward/stake. 

Oh man, that poor man!  He must have spent a lot of his time 'tilting at windmills'!  :lol:  

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Oh man, that poor man!  He must have spent a lot of his time 'tilting at windmills'!  :lol:  

He also could never forgive himself for things that weren't sins. Every bishop he had ever had had told him that he was fine, and to stop beating himself up. He was a really talented guy with a great family and a great wife. But his obsession with everyone's Twilight reading habits was part of his personal issues. He honestly had nothing he needed to repent of with priesthood help, but he'll never believe that. :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I've sincerely never interpreted the whole sifting of wheat and chaff in that way.  

It seems like you are saying that it's prideful to believe that we are following God and that some people aren't.  How is what you said different than believing that we are right and others are wrong?  I don't think when Jesus said that though He was teaching that everyone who believes they are following God has 'exalted themselves' 

I think there's a threshold that's crossed from merely believing that your opinion is right to attributing some kind of divine judgment in your favor on the matter (and against those who disagree with you). That's a lending a lot of cosmic weight to your opinion being right and the people who disagree with you being wrong. I think I would repeat (with slightly clearer language) what I said earlier - it becomes prideful when we decide the results of God's judgment and sifting in our own favor.

This kind of thinking appeals so much to the ego that it ought to be treated like a dangerous snake - to be kept at arm's length for fear of it consuming you. Even if it were actually true, I think believing it about yourself and your own opinions carries enormous spiritual peril.  (Using the word "you" generally, not referring to you personally)

Edited by Gray

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, rongo said:

He also could never forgive himself for things that weren't sins. Every bishop he had ever had had told him that he was fine, and to stop beating himself up. He was a really talented guy with a great family and a great wife. But his obsession with everyone's Twilight reading habits was part of his personal issues. He honestly had nothing he needed to repent of with priesthood help, but he'll never believe that. :( 

Sounds like some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder maybe?

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×