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Catholic Church Prohibits Blessings of Same-Sex Unions


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8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You wrote, 'Americans are leaving all religion at alarming rates'. This is simply not true. Americans are leaving certain religious groups in very large numbers, and they are leaving certain other religious groups in smaller numbers. Still other religious groups are growing at about the same rate as population growth (this is where Latter-day Saints currently fit in), and certain other religious groups are seeing 'alarming' growth. This is all in the links I provided ... and is a much fuller, more accurate picture than the one you're trying to paint.

Yes, it's actually in the links I provided above. Here's another one: We are still awaiting the 2020 update, but the 2010 Census of Religion showed 'that nondenominational, independent congregations and the Mormon and Muslim religions have been the fastest-growing segments [in the US] over the past decade'. Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2010, Eastern Orthodox congregations grew by 13 per cent, and Oriental Orthodox congregations grew by 35 per cent.

Er, that's not 30,000 people. It's 30,000 new churches.

I'm at work and lack the time to search the archives, but as others have posted on this forum before, it appears to many sociologists that much of the recent growth of the 'nones' in the US can be attributed to people who in times past would have remained nominal Christians. The same studies have shown that religiosity amongst many of the rest is actually increasing. Maybe @Calm or someone else with an encyclopaedic memory can remember where/when this was posted before? These are important contributions to a discussion such as this.

Headline from the study you referenced

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

From the study.

 

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Meanwhile, the number of religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S. grew by almost 30 million over this period. (last decade)

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The rising share of Americans who say they attend religious services no more than a few times a year (if at all) has been driven by a substantial jump in the proportion who say they “never” go to church. Today, 17% of Americans say they never attend religious services, up from 11% a decade ago. Similarly, the decline in regular churchgoing is attributable mainly to the shrinking share of Americans who say they attend religious services at least once a week, which was 37% in 2009 and now stands at 31%.

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Over the same period, the GSS found that religious “nones” grew from 14% of the U.S. adult population to 22%.

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Christians have declined and “nones” have grown as a share of the adult population in all four major U.S. regions.

 

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Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

You may be able to point to a few denominations that have grown or remained the same, but the overall decline in Christianity is nothing short of shocking.  30 million people leaving Christianity in just the last decade.  

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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Your thinking on this is upside down and backwards, Spencer.

Well, I am certainly open to correction.

13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Woke nonsense is not the same as popularity, sociopolitical or otherwise. 

Well, yes.  I guess I've had in mind public opinion polls such as these from 2011-12:

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Americans consider religious freedom a cornerstone of society, but fall short in their tolerance of Muslims, according to a poll released this week that probes attitudes toward immigrants and the nation's safety 10 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The survey also showed acceptance of Mormons continues to lag behind other minorities, with 67 percent expressing favorable views of Latter-day Saints, compared with 84 percent for Jews and 83 percent for Catholics.
...
Republicans (55 percent) were more likely to call the perpetrator of a violent crime in the name of Islam a Muslim than were Democrats (40 percent). At 57 percent, white evangelicals were far more likely to consider the perpetrator a Muslim than were Catholics (39 percent) or black Protestants (36 percent).

In general, the survey of 2,450 adults — with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points — paints Americans' attitudes toward Muslims as a complex picture of acceptance and wariness.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans agree that "America was founded on the idea of religious freedom for everyone, including religious groups that are unpopular." And by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans reject the idea that Muslims want to establish Islamic law in the United States.

But they are divided as to whether Islam is at odds with American values, with 47 percent agreeing and 48 percent disagreeing.

The poll's authors likened this ambivalence about American Muslims to the evolution of attitudes toward Catholics, who were once widely suspected for their loyalty to the pope, and Mormons, once widely reviled for their religious practices.

And this (from 2014) :

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It’s been a banner month for Pew’s Religion and Public Life project. Following last week’s report about how President Obama ranks among various religious groups (Mormons, it turns out, dislike him most of all), Pew now releases a study on how members of different religions view one another and themselves. You can read the original report here or RNS’s brief summary here.

Muslims rank as the study’s least-liked group, with an overall favorability rating of 40%. Mormons are on the low side of “neutral,” with 48%.

But when you drill down those numbers Muslims have far less to worry about than might appear at first glance. That’s because the younger the age group, the more favorably the respondents rate Islam, rising to a neutral-range score of 49 among the 18-29 age group.

Mormons, on the other hand, see their strongest favorable ratings among retirees (52 percent) and a softer showing among the 18-29 and 30-39 age groups (46 percent for both groups).

...

There’s also a political component to Mormonism’s favorability rating. The Washington Post pointed out yesterday that among Democrats, Mormons have their worst rating of all:

Among Republicans and GOP-leaning Americans only, atheists and Muslims are still the least-popular religion — and even more so than among the general population. But among Democrats and Democratic-leaning Americans, the most unpopular religion is … wait for it … Mormonism!

Only 44% of Democrats ranked Mormonism favorably, compared to 52% of Republicans.

Race is a factor as well. Among African Americans, Mormons had the second-lowest rating of any religious group, with only 42% giving Mormonism a thumbs-up. That’s higher than the 33% of blacks who approved of atheism but behind African American respondents’ ratings for Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism and significantly behind Judaism, Catholicism and evangelical Christianity.

Have these figures changed appreciably in the last few years?

13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The LDS Church maintains its growth by following popular lines of religious thought, and is consequently sociopolitically popular.

I guess we may differ a bit in what "sociopolitically popular" means.  

13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If what you say is true, Spencer, then why is that unpopularity so popular? 

I don't understand the question.  

13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Why is it that the churches which are soft on LGBTQI issues are losing members so fast?

I think many of these churches were already facing declining membership figures, and going "soft of LGBTQI issues" just accelerated the decline.

13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You are exactly wrong on your assessment.

Again, I'm open to correction.

This 2019 Vox article merits some attention: Most churches are losing members fast — but not the Mormons. Here’s why.

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Jennifer, a young mother and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in northern Virginia, is honest about the challenges of being Mormon in America today. “It’s not an easy gig,” she says. It’s not just the expectation that you will adhere to strict religious standards when it comes to dating and sex. Or the 10 percent tithing requirement. The prohibition on tea, coffee or alcohol. It’s the time, she says. “My husband and I teach Sunday school to 14- and 15-year-old teenagers. On a Saturday night, we might not be kicking back and watching a movie or bingeing Netflix; we’re planning our Sunday school lesson.”

While the structure of the LDS Church, which relies on volunteer leadership at the local level, requires an active membership, there is an upside to the obligations of religious community. In an era marked by unprecedented religious decline, Mormons appear to be holding their own.

One-quarter of Americans are religiously unaffiliated today, a roughly fourfold increase from a couple of decades earlier. Christian denominations around the country are contending with massive defections. White Christian groups have experienced the most dramatic losses over the past decade. Today, white evangelical Protestants account for 15 percent of the adult population, down from nearly one-quarter a decade earlier. By contrast, Mormons have held steady at roughly 2 percent of the US population for the past several years. And perhaps as importantly, Mormons are far younger than members of white Christian traditions.

At one time, sociologists and religion scholars argued that theologically conservative churches, which demanded more of their members, were successful because they ultimately provided more rewarding religious and spiritual experiences. This theory has since fallen out of favor as the tide of disaffiliation appears to be washing over conservative and liberal denominations alike. The Southern Baptist Convention, the heart of conservative Protestantism, has sustained 12 straight years of membership loses. Since 2007, the denomination has shed 1.2 million members.

Is there a "tide of disaffiliation" or not?  Are "conservative and liberal denominations alike" losing membership or not?

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But more than the rules, rituals, and rigorous theology, the success of the Mormon Church may have to do with their unrelenting focus on the family. Few religious communities have made the development and maintenance of traditional family structures such a central priority. Eighty-one percent of Mormons say being a good parent is one of their central life goals. Nearly three-quarters say having a good marriage is one of their most important priorities in life, and a majority of Mormons — including nearly equal numbers of men and women — believe that the most satisfying type of marriage is one in which the husband provides and the wife stays home.

This is great stuff to hear.  And many of those on the outside still have a pretty unfavorable opinion of us (only a bare majority of Republicans, only a minority of Democrats, only 42% of blacks, etc.).

There are some less-than-good news items about us, though:

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Even with a concerted emphasis on family formation and religious education, there is evidence that an increasing number of Mormons are still leaving the church. The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Survey found that 64 percent of those raised in Mormon households still identify as Mormon as adults. And while this rate is still better than that of most other Christian denominations, it represents a modest decline from 2007, when the retention rate stood at 70 percent. Jana Riess, author of the upcoming book The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church, argues that younger Mormons are leading the way out the door, at least in part over the church’s hardline stance on LGBTQ issues.

It is an argument that resonates with many younger Mormons. Jennifer struggles with her own feelings about the church’s treatment of gay and lesbian people. “I wished that certain doctrines would have come out differently, and I wished that things had been communicated differently,” she says. Sarah, another young Mormon mother, concedes that the church might be out of step with young people — even younger Mormons — on the issue of same-sex marriage. “A lot of members of the church feel like more love is better and being more welcoming is better,” she says. But there are signs that the church hierarchy is listening.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Seems to me that that is the only position the Catholic Church could have taken.   It won't bless the union of a Catholic to a divorced person (non-Catholic) unless/until the divorced non-Catholic goes through the Catholic annulment process (which mostly requires lying that they couldn't have been legally married in the first place) and gets it.

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17 hours ago, smac97 said:

Yes, but by "it" are you referencing the Church?  Its doctrines?  Both?  

I dunno.  There are all sorts of things that are sociopolitically popular but immoral (lax sexual ethics, for example), and others that are profoundly moral while being sociopolitically unpopular (disagreement with same-sex marriage being a good example).

As for seeking success through socipolitical popularity, particularly in terms of capitulating to prevailing social winds regarding sexual behaviors and same-sex marriage, no, I don't see that as a formula for success.  Taking a look at this:

FT_15.07.01_religionsSSM.png

How are things working out for the Methodists?  Well...

And here:

Shrinkage:

http://2b2gdzjtaey3o01p41qinbri-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/membership-graph2.jpg

And the Episcopalians?  Not sure, but there's this:

Shrinkage:

TEC_0.jpg?itok=L6k5n38W

The Evangelical Lutherans?  See here:

Projected shrinkage:

ELCA-Trends-2019-baptized-1024x576.png

The Presbyterians?  There's this:

111470_w_450_358.jpg

Has any religious denomination improved its membership figures or activity rates by endorsing same-sex marriage?  It seems not (from 2019) :

Here:

Also consider this article: Losing our Religion: Conservative churches grapple with gender issues in time of growth

Thanks,

-Smac

Most Nichiren Shu churches here don't care and are supporting of LGBTQ relationships.  In Japan?  I'd say probably different story, most E.Asian countries are not too open minded about that.  The Soka Gakkai of America is quite supporting of LGBTQ people the kaikan here (Culture center) participates in the annual pride parade.  

Anyway, I'm not sure why everyone is so surprised, all the Pope did was re-affirm Catholic doctrine.  I like how LGBTQ marriage is handled in places like Germany, they've had it for a while.  Here's the thing, you're not getting it done in a church, rules are rules.  While I'm all for civil rights it annoys me a bit when people who demand rights expect everyone else to bend over backwards for them, esp. in this country.  American entitlement knows no bounds.  Your rights end where someone elses begins, law and order is a two way street.

Also, why an LGBTQ person would want a church wedding is beyond me, that would be like a person of color going to a klan/neo nazi rally.  That's coming from someone who is bi.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

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If what you say is true, Spencer, then why is that unpopularity so popular? 

I don't understand the question.  

This is your upside down and backwards sticking point.  You take opinion polls as determinative, while I judge based on pragmatics (praxis).  You assume that empty belief in woke ideology represents success in a popularity contest.  Yet Mormons are in fact retaining members overall and even growing, while woke popularity represents decline -- massive decline.  You have missed the obvious.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

.........................

I guess we may differ a bit in what "sociopolitically popular" means.  

I don't understand the question.  

I think many of these churches were already facing declining membership figures, and going "soft of LGBTQI issues" just accelerated the decline.

You are even saying it yourself!!!  How is it that popularity can be so unpopular?

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

....................

This 2019 Vox article merits some attention: Most churches are losing members fast — but not the Mormons. Here’s why.

Is there a "tide of disaffiliation" or not?  Are "conservative and liberal denominations alike" losing membership or not?

This is great stuff to hear.  And many of those on the outside still have a pretty unfavorable opinion of us (only a bare majority of Republicans, only a minority of Democrats, only 42% of blacks, etc.).

.......................

We need a practical evaluation, not woke nonsense.  On balance, woke people marry less, have less children, and hate themselves and the Constitution.  They represent an ever-increasing suicidal sector of society.  They have no future.  Woke people throw Dr Martin Luther King under the bus:  Dr King advised us to judge people based on the content of their character, and not on the color of their skin.  Prominent Black figures such as Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman recommend that our problems are best dealt with inside family culture:  It is whole families, they say, which are best equipped to raise responsible and productive citizens.  One does not hear woke nonsense from them at all.

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

I like how LGBTQ marriage is handled in places like Germany, they've had it for a while.  Here's the thing, you're not getting it done in a church, rules are rules.  While I'm all for civil rights it annoys me a bit when people who demand rights expect everyone else to bend over backwards for them, esp. in this country.  American entitlement knows no bounds.  Your rights end where someone elses begins, law and order is a two way street.

Retweet. That is all. 

It's fair to demand equal permission. Endorsement is more complicated, and in a world where marriages can be performed outside churches demanding a marriage in a church is demanding not permission, but endorsement. 

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1 minute ago, gopher said:

So, the Pope is still Catholic?

Roman Catholic, yes.  But not Eastern Orthodox Catholic.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

This is your upside down and backwards sticking point.  You take opinion polls as determinative, while I judge based on pragmatics (praxis).  You assume that empty belief in woke ideology represents success in a popularity contest.  Yet Mormons are in fact retaining members overall and even growing, while woke popularity represents decline -- massive decline.  You have missed the obvious.

I've been looking at data, not just opinion polls and anecdotes.

Our conversion rates have slowed considerably.  Hard to say whether the downward trend will continue.

rev6_Figure3_Convert_Baptisms.png

The overall membership increase rate has been trending downward for about thirty years:

Fig_1c_Membership_Increase_Rate.PNG

Activity rates seem to be going down (see the brown line) :

rev6_Figure4_Activity_Rate.png

The birth rate is trending down:

rev6_Figure6_Birth_Rate.png

 

Fig_3b_Birth_Rate.PNG

While there will always be a greater number of "children of record" than "children of record baptisms," the gap between the two has been fairly significant for a while now:

Fig_2g_Children_of_Record.PNG

The number of name removals fluctuates a lot by year, but has been fairly significant for a while now:

rev6_Figure5_Names_Removed.png

See also here:

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One thing that I don’t find helpful, though, is the inclusion of a 5-year-old quote from a Latter-day Saint apostle who seems to be denying that there is anything like a retention problem in the church:

“Some have asserted that more members are leaving the church today and that there is more doubt and unbelief than in the past. This is simply not true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never been stronger. The number of members removing their names from the records of the church has always been very small and is significantly less in recent years than in the past. The increase in demonstrably measurable areas, such as endowed members with a current temple recommend, adult full-tithe payers, and those serving missions, has been dramatic. Let me say again, the church has never been stronger.”

This bothers me in a couple of ways. First, it’s just not statistically true, at least in the United States, and it wasn’t even true five years ago. We know that not just because of the three nationally representative studies I’ve mentioned here, but because of the church’s own internal data. In a 2008 meeting of the brethren — the recording of which was leaked and is now available for viewing — the church’s own meticulous record-keeping showed our young single adults to have an activity rate of 30% in the United States, and just 20% internationally. The leaders spoke of declining temple marriages abroad, and a few other problems. It’s unrealistic to expect that there has been a major turnaround in the church’s fortunes in the years since 2008 since religious inactivity has become more pronounced in the intervening years, and not just in this country.

I very much hope I am not buying into false ideas about the Church, and so appreciate correction.  

1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:
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I think many of these churches were already facing declining membership figures, and going "soft of LGBTQI issues" just accelerated the decline.

You are even saying it yourself!!!  How is it that popularity can be so unpopular?

Well, let's back up a bit.

1. I initially said: "I note that some of the commentary in the above articles seems to presume that the Catholic Church is a sociopolitical construct.  That its doctrines are, or should be, predominantly based on what is sociopolitically popular.  I don't think that works."

2. You responded: "Why shouldn't it be popular and successful?  Isn't Roman Catholicism largely a sociopolitical construct anyhow?  Indeed, the RC Church has made a huge change from the days when it sought to obtain civil and criminal laws against conduct not in keeping with their doctrine.  Why doesn't that earn it some kudos?  LDS change in a similar way has not been rewarded.  The LDS Church is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't."

3. You also said this: "Seems to me that sociopolitical popularity might be a formula for success.  After all, the RC Church has pomp, circumstance, and mystique.  Sociopolitical popularity might just give it an edge."

4. I responded (in response to your "formula for success" statement above) : "I dunno.  There are all sorts of things that are sociopolitically popular but immoral (lax sexual ethics, for example), and others that are profoundly moral while being sociopolitically unpopular (disagreement with same-sex marriage being a good example)."  I then cited data indicating that churches who when "soft on LGBTQI issues" just ended up accelerating the rate of an already-in-place decline in membership/activity.

5. You also said: "Being sociopolitically popular has nothing to do with God."

6. I also said this (responding to your "nothing to do with God" statement above) : "Well, it might be.  Sociopolitical popularity can have a significant impact on one's relationship with God."  I then gave statistics 

7. You then said that my "thinking on this is upside down and backwards."

So is the Church "sociopolitically popular?"  Well, it's a mixed bag.  Significant percentages of everyday Joes have non-favorable perceptions of us (only a bare majority of Republicans, only a minority of Democrats, only 42% of blacks, etc.).  And yet we are still able to persuade people to join the Church.  However, the rate of growth in the U.S. has slowed considerably (see here).

But regardless of whether we are "sociopolitically popular," is having that a "formula for success?"  Well, yes.  We need to persuade people that their lives will improve if they accept and live in accordance with the precepts of the Restored Gospel.  However, seeking such popularity cannot come by way of capitulating on the doctrines.  First of all, we claim to be guided by revelation, and that has to mean sticking with such guidance regardless of its "popularity."  Second, capitulating will likely not result in an improvement, and would instead likely yield the same results seen in other religious groups who have capitulated.

1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

We need a practical evaluation, not woke nonsense.  On balance, woke people marry less, have less children, and hate themselves and the Constitution.  They represent an ever-increasing suicidal sector of society.  They have no future.  Woke people throw Dr Martin Luther King under the bus:  Dr King advised us to judge people based on the content of their character, and not on the color of their skin.  Prominent Black figures such as Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman recommend that our problems are best dealt with inside family culture:  It is whole families, they say, which are best equipped to raise responsible and productive citizens.  One does not hear woke nonsense from them at all.

I agree with this.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, OGHoosier said:

Retweet. That is all. 

It's fair to demand equal permission. Endorsement is more complicated, and in a world where marriages can be performed outside churches demanding a marriage in a church is demanding not permission, but endorsement. 

Going to sound dense here, sounds like your agreeing with me?  

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38 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Our conversion rates have slowed considerably.  Hard to say whether the downward trend will continue.

rev6_Figure3_Convert_Baptisms.png

The overall membership increase rate has been trending downward for about thirty years:

Fig_1c_Membership_Increase_Rate.PNG

Activity rates seem to be going down (see the brown line) :

rev6_Figure4_Activity_Rate.png

The birth rate is trending down:

rev6_Figure6_Birth_Rate.png

 

Fig_3b_Birth_Rate.PNG

While there will always be a greater number of "children of record" than "children of record baptisms," the gap between the two has been fairly significant for a while now:

Fig_2g_Children_of_Record.PNG

The number of name removals fluctuates a lot by year, but has been fairly significant for a while now:

rev6_Figure5_Names_Removed.png

 

These graphs are fascinating.
And I see them as a sign many prophecies were correct.  The gospel will be taken to every nation and the Church will be completely worldwide (fill the earth).  At the same time the numbers at the return of Christ will represent but a fraction of the total membership peak as the decline of society AND a setting in order causes more and more to apostatize.

The drastict drop in birthrate among members is also fascinating.  What is changing about our "big Mormon families"?

 

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2 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

What is changing about our "big Mormon families"?

If you're asking why the rate is dropping it is because of several reasons.  One reason is an increasing awareness of global environmental issues and how having so many people on the planet affect the world we live in.  China has a cap on how many children the parents may have which has helped to improve their economy.  The Thanos solution, as I call it.  Finite resources on each planet impose a limit to how much the overall population can have.  Serious stuff that actually affects us while we are mortal, so some concern is warranted.  

And then of course there is another reason called greed.  Fewer children means less expense for the parents to provide for those children which results in more money for the parents to spend on other things. 

And with couples getting married later in life because they are occupied with other things while they are young that means less time for them to reproduce themselves as more children.  

There are probably some more reasons I am not thinking of now.

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26 minutes ago, poptart said:

Going to sound dense here, sounds like your agreeing with me?  

100% agreeing with you. 

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5 hours ago, california boy said:

You may be able to point to a few denominations that have grown or remained the same, but the overall decline in Christianity is nothing short of shocking.  30 million people leaving Christianity in just the last decade.  

Your quotes hint at what he was saying though.

1) Looking at people that only went to church services for Christmas and Easter moving into the non-religious category shouldn't be some big ground breaking thing. You need individualised longitudal studies looking for people moving from the very regular attending to the nones.

2) There are more religions than Christianity.

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33 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

These graphs are fascinating.
And I see them as a sign many prophecies were correct.  The gospel will be taken to every nation and the Church will be completely worldwide (fill the earth).  At the same time the numbers at the return of Christ will represent but a fraction of the total membership peak as the decline of society AND a setting in order causes more and more to apostatize.

The drastict drop in birthrate among members is also fascinating.  What is changing about our "big Mormon families"?

All sorts of things. 

1. Society trends are to have fewer or no children. 

2. Also trending is getting married later in life, which in turn gives the couple fewer years to have children:

infertilitygraph-ER.png.pagespeed.ce.xMS

Untitled1.jpg

Untitled2.jpg

My wife gave birth to our first when she was 22, and our sixth when she was 33.  We both wanted a big family, and we were fortunate to have married early enough to be able to do so.

3. Male sperm counts are also going down.  A lot:

Whats-Behind-Decline-in-Sperm-Counts.-Dr

4. Children are a substantial financial liability, not an asset.  

5. Society has largely decoupled sex from marriage and children.  

6. Society has also increasingly decoupled marriage from children.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Just now, smac97 said:

All sorts of things. 

1. Society trends are to have fewer or no children. 

2. Also trending is getting married later in life, which in turn gives the couple fewer years to have children:

infertilitygraph-ER.png.pagespeed.ce.xMS

Untitled1.jpg

Untitled2.jpg

My wife gave birth to our first when she was 22, and our sixth when she was 33.  We both wanted a big family, and we were fortunate to have married early enough to be able to do so.

3. Male sperm counts are also going down.  A lot:

Whats-Behind-Decline-in-Sperm-Counts.-Dr

4. Children are a substantial financial liability, not an asset.  

5. Society has largely decoupled sex from marriage and children.  

6. Society has also increasingly decoupled marriage from children.

Thanks,

-Smac

I understand all that.
The fascinating part is that the Church membership appears to be following suit.  Your reasons would have been considered less than desirable by members not that many years ago.

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19 hours ago, california boy said:

Americans are leaving all religion at alarming rates.  The fastest growing church in America is no church.  To put the success or failure of a church solely on the backs of LGBT issues is missing the fundamental reason why people no long believer in organized religion.  LGBT issues are a symptom of the problem rather than being the only problem.  According to Gallop, confidence in organized religion fell below the majority level for the first time in 2002, and with some fluctuations along the way, confidence this year has reached a new low of 36%.  Did you get that?  Only 36% of the population trusts organized religion.  

Simply put, more and more Americans no long believe that organized religion is lead by God or knows the will of God.  They increasingly question the absolute authority of the Bible when so many things in the Bible that were once thought to be true have been disproven.  Things like Adam and Eve being the first humans, or a universal flood.  There are too many stances that organized religion has taken that seem counter to the gospel that Christ taught. 

Framing the success or failure of any religious group solely based on whether they are accepting of LGBT couples is not an entirely accurate measurement, it is only a symptom.  From the Gallop article:

 

For far too long, organized religion has drawn firm lines in the sand over who is wicked and who is a true follower of Christ.  They see the message of Christ as being a way bigger tent than organized religion is willing to allow.  Many now conclude that those lines may be arbitrarily drawn by man rather than God. Many have concluded through their own spiritual experience that you can be a good person, a believer in Christ, and still be married to the person you love. If Christ has a problem with that, then let Him deal with it in the next life, rather than some arbitrary church leader who may be just as clueless as to the will of God as everyone else.  Claims of church leaders knowing the will of God have been proven wrong over and over again.  Simply put, religion has lost the trust of the people.

As a self-identified believer in Christ are you concerned that the number of our brothers and sisters who identify as Christian is declining?

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10 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I understand all that.
The fascinating part is that the Church membership appears to be following suit.  Your reasons would have been considered less than desirable by members not that many years ago.

Well, the members of the Church are also following suit re: celebrating/endorsing same-sex marriage:

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Mormon Alex Landers supports the legalization of gay marriage despite her religion’s opposition for a simple reason: She has LGBTQ friends who she loves and respects, including her best friend who is a bisexual man.

“I can’t look at him and his boyfriend and tell them that they can’t be happy and they can’t love each other,” said Landers, 20, of Draper, Utah. “Heavenly Father loves us for who we are. He wants us to be happy, as long as we’re treating people well and we’re being who we truly are and we’re not hurting anyone.”

She is among a growing number of young Mormons driving the faith’s gradual acceptance of same-sex marriages, even though the religion’s support still lags well behind national approval and those of Catholics, Muslims and Jews, according to the survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey found that 40 percent of Mormons in the United States supported gay marriage in 2017, up from 27 percent in 2014.

Among Mormons between the ages of 18-29, the acceptance is 52 percent. That’s up from 43 percent in 2014.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are 65 and older have the lowest rate of support at 32 percent, according a survey based on about 40,000 phone interviews done last year. That’s up from 18 percent in 2014.

Nationally, 61 percent of Americans support gay marriage, up from 52 percent in 2013.
...
Among religious groups included in the survey, only white evangelical Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses had lower levels of support for gay marriage. Support was higher among Catholics (about 65 percent), Muslims (51 percent) and Jews (77 percent).

A 13% increase in 3 years is pretty significant.  And I imaging support has gone even higher since 2017.

There are, to be sure, personal/emotional/relationship reasons in play (such as those cited by Ms. Landers).  There are also reasoned and principled arguments regarding this issue.  

For me, I don't see same-sex marriage as part of the Plan.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 minute ago, smac97 said:

Well, the members of the Church are also following suit re: celebrating/endorsing same-sex marriage:

Quote

Mormon Alex Landers supports the legalization of gay marriage despite her religion’s opposition for a simple reason: She has LGBTQ friends who she loves and respects, including her best friend who is a bisexual man.

“I can’t look at him and his boyfriend and tell them that they can’t be happy and they can’t love each other,” said Landers, 20, of Draper, Utah. “Heavenly Father loves us for who we are. He wants us to be happy, as long as we’re treating people well and we’re being who we truly are and we’re not hurting anyone.”

She is among a growing number of young Mormons driving the faith’s gradual acceptance of same-sex marriages, even though the religion’s support still lags well behind national approval and those of Catholics, Muslims and Jews, according to the survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey found that 40 percent of Mormons in the United States supported gay marriage in 2017, up from 27 percent in 2014.

Among Mormons between the ages of 18-29, the acceptance is 52 percent. That’s up from 43 percent in 2014.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are 65 and older have the lowest rate of support at 32 percent, according a survey based on about 40,000 phone interviews done last year. That’s up from 18 percent in 2014.

A 13% increase in 3 years is pretty significant.  And I imaging support has gone even higher since 2017.

There are, to be sure, personal/emotional/relationship reasons in play (such as those cited by Ms. Landers).  There are also reasoned and principled arguments regarding this issue.  

Yet one day those 52% 18-29 accepting will be the Stake Presidents, Relief Society Presidents, Temple Presidents/Matrons, Apostles etc.  One day they will sit in council and discuss how to handle the latest societal changes on the subject.
And by then far more than 75% may be accepting.  The Church does operate on Common Consent after all.

I believe we discussed this previously.  The idea that the Church will never change is based on the assumption that either God won't let it (he seems to allow even our leaders doctrinal agency) or our leaders won't change it.
I think, just like the Early Christian Church, all it takes to change doctrine is time and agency.  The question is how far will the Lord let us stray.  Not far enough to lose all priesthood, destroy the earth, or cause another great apostasy.
But we will continue to stray.

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Yet one day those 52% 18-29 accepting will be the Stake Presidents, Relief Society Presidents, Temple Presidents/Matrons, Apostles etc. 

Yes.  Much like how many of today's stake presidents, relief society presidents, temple presidents/matrons, apostles, etc. were 18-29 in the 60s.

6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

One day they will sit in council and discuss how to handle the latest societal changes on the subject.

Yes.  Much as we do now.

6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

And by then far more than 75% may be accepting.  The Church does operate on Common Consent after all.

I don't follow.  Are you suggesting that "Common Consent" can be used in lieu of or to supplant revelation?

6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I believe we discussed this previously.  The idea that the Church will never change is based on the assumption that either God won't let it (he seems to allow even our leaders doctrinal agency) or our leaders won't change it.

I don't think anyone has suggested such an idea (that "the Church will never change").

6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I think, just like the Early Christian Church, all it takes to change doctrine is time and agency.

Not revelation?  

6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The question is how far will the Lord let us stray.  Not far enough to lose all priesthood, destroy the earth, or cause another great apostasy.  But we will continue to stray.

Joseph Smith said, “I will give you a key that will never rust, if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.”

I don't see the Church altering the Law of Chastity to accommodate same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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44 minutes ago, smac97 said:

3. Male sperm counts are also going down.  A lot:

Whats-Behind-Decline-in-Sperm-Counts.-Dr

 

Sidebar - I REALLY want to know how they managed to collect THAT data!

  • Haha 1
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28 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

As a self-identified believer in Christ are you concerned that the number of our brothers and sisters who identify as Christian is declining?

Most of the people I know still identify as Christian, but don't identify with being affiliated with organized religion. Most of them have had enough of organized religion and see little value in it. Yet some are very spiritual and that spirituality evolves around Christ.   If you look at the pew reports referred to, it is unaffiliated that is growing the fastest, not atheist or agnostic.

I personally feel closer to Christ than I ever did as a member of the Church.  It is a much more honest relationship. 

  • Like 1
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12 minutes ago, california boy said:

Most of the people I know still identify as Christian, but don't identify with being affiliated with organized religion. Most of them have had enough of organized religion and see little value in it. Yet some are very spiritual and that spirituality evolves around Christ.   If you look at the pew reports referred to, it is unaffiliated that is growing the fastest, not atheist or agnostic.

I personally feel closer to Christ than I ever did as a member of the Church.  It is a much more honest relationship. 

I don't want to rain on your parade, much, but there is only one correct "way" to follow Christ correctly and every other way is not the right way because it leaves something out that is important and essential to being fully saved and perfected like Christ.

Which is where some organization is needed to sort everything out and make it clear what is right and why every other way is wrong.  Religion without organization is nothing but chaos, as the world's imperfect religions aptly demonstrate.

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