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Dear Church: here's why people are really leaving you

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by te_lanus, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. te_lanus

    te_lanus Alien Hybrid

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  2. BSM1

    BSM1 Who's a good boy?

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    I think this guy nailed it. I have said that people seem to attend church more for entertainment than enlightenment; more socializing than spirituality.
     
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  3. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    Great opinion piece.
     
  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist LGBT Stonewall historic marker

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    Great article. What ways have christians try to bring the love of Christ back into the Church?
     
  5. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    #4 is kind of a big deal to me.

    Every day we see a world suffocated by poverty, and racism, and violence, and bigotry, and hunger; and in the face of that stuff, you get awfully, frighteningly quiet.

    For most of human history there wasn't much that could be done about such global issues. But now Western Christians are unarguably the single most powerful group on the planet.
    That makes them the most responsible for the state of things.

    Tom
     
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  6. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity holy roly poly
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    Some good points, and I agree with Tom on #4.

    Here's another reason why people are leaving: Ministries suffer from 'One size fits all' solutions. As businesses they look to other churches for ways to increase their numbers, so they tend to do what works rather than what is best. They copy each other. As a result they are all starting to do the same things even as the quality of 'Church' slides. As they increase in number and gradually become all the same the available church members are also decreasing, per church.
     
  7. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

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    I agreed with all the points and also with Tom on 4.

    I identified mostly with 5 - Your love doesn't look like love.

    It is a big bait and switch as the poster suggested. I never saw it that way until now. I can see when people are in their time of need, in which time they can be highly influenced, the church will show compassion, love, and help. People then commit themselves but in the long run, the ugly side of religion comes out concerning bigotry and flawed dogmas. People then turn a blind eye because they feel this commitment is higher than their own rational will.

    They start arguing with what the bible says or what God intends. And then you ask them what they really think. They go silent. And I bet if you can see them, they will have a look of guilt on their face like they've already committed a sin for just thinking their own thoughts.

    Thank you OP for a great post.
     
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  8. RedDragon94

    RedDragon94 Well-Known Member

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  9. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    The reason people leave churches is because most churches lack authenticity in their practice and doctrine. People do not need churches that try to get with "the times" with gimmicks like band music or trying to change doctrine and appearance for conformance sake. Rather, people seek authentic experiences that have substance behind them. That is why the mainline protestant churches have been hemorrhaging membership for decades while more traditional minded churches (ie Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical) are staying relatively strong.
     
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  10. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    He's right, but there's absolutely nothing new here; we clergy, church leaders, and experts had already identified these issues several years ago.
    The problem is that, in order to be reborn as something new and relevant, the old church needs to die, and the "old guard" refuses to let it.
     
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  11. Maponos

    Maponos Kill V. Maim

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    I think the main reason people are leaving the church is because it is far less powerful than it once was and has basically lost its direction.
     
  12. JustCallMeNick

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    Although that is a popular explanation among Christian conservatives, when you look at the numbers, it is largely not true:

    Statistics on Religion in America Report -- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

    Almost all Christian groups have lost ground in recent years in the U.S. The only thing that has kept Catholic numbers relatively steady has been immigration - outside of that, Catholicism has one of the highest percentages of self-identified ex-members. Orthodoxy remains tiny in the U.S. and has been unchanged statistically in terms of a percent of the population.

    While the article brings up some interesting points, a lot of it is window dressing. The elephant in the room is that the God of the gaps is persistently shrinking. People are increasingly living secular lives (even people who were once part of a faith) and realizing that they don't need religion to feel a sense of purpose or fulfillment. While being charitable is good and churches should strive for that, people can go lots of non-religious places for charity. Unless the churches can find a way to sell their message by trying to meet a need that people can't get met anywhere else (and saddling them with guilt about their sin is becoming less and less effective, so that's not it), they are going to continue to become less and less relevant.
     
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  13. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that the "new guard" want a new religion with a new type of Christ that conforms to a largely liberal Western agenda.
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    That's not what I've largely found in my experience of reaching out to and working with, say, Millenials who are searching. What these people are looking for is to do away with the packaging which they see as largely dishonest, and embrace a religion that honestly maintains ties to more ancient expressions. They're more interested in practicing love than they are in defending and conforming to doctrines. Sort of like Jesus.
     
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  15. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    Love is certainly important no doubt- but the Love of God is different than any form of love we think we know. Doctrine is important because it distinguishes the teachings of Christ; if one does away with any doctrine, then they are denying the purpose of Christ by trying to alter the truths that Christianity poses to have. Truth takes precedence over my feelings/appeal/popularity. As a millennial myself, the way many Christian groups try to do away sacred traditions and Biblical principles comes off to me as largely dishonest.
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    1) I don't think they're trying to "do away" with sacred traditions. Instead, they're trying to recapture them.
    2) By downplaying "what the bible says," they're dismantling sola scriptura, promoting, instead, a Xy that is based on orthopraxis -- doing the right thing, rather than orthodoxy -- believing the right thing.
     
  17. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    But Humanism is better for promoting "do the right thing" than any revealed religion because it doesn't doesn't come with the baggage.
    Humanism can improve with time and increasing moral sophistication. Revealed religions must first explain, convincingly, how the prophets were right even though they were wrong. That isn't easy to pull off. It takes centuries usually.
    In the meantime millions of people suffer from the immoral teachings that they can't just chuck out.
    Tom
     
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  18. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I disagree. You're looking at Xy from a Euro-American perspective, where it is culturally-embedded and the majority POV. But Xy historically thrives "on the fringes."
     
  19. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    Don't you think Almighty God could do a little better than that?
    In a very important way I agree with you. And I think it more likely that God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost are fictional characters as a result of believing that.
    Tom
     
  20. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Yeah, I agree with the article.

    I have found, at least amongst those I know, the young people who still practice Christianity often lean more towards the "all inclusive" types of Churches or at least Churches who put Christ's message ahead of even Church Doctrine. The hell and brimstone and the more conservative traditional Churches have lost favor amongst my friends. Usually because we know gay people or no longer buy into gender stereotypes of our parents' generation or reject one or more traditions outright (usually due to Scientific explanation.) The values of Christ are good to emulate, but some of the Dogma that's blindly followed by some is a real turn off.

    I remember going to a Church nearby once and was politely rejected because I didn't consider myself "born again." Which confused me thoroughly at the time, because I was always taught that Churches, Synagogues, Cathedrals, Temples, Mosques etc are houses of God and that God wouldn't reject anyone, least of all a "sinner."
     
    #20 SomeRandom, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
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