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Approach to religions and worldviews

#1Julian_CaesarPosted 3/15/2014 10:15:12 AM
http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/02/26/why-johnny-cash-still-matters-2/

This article got me thinking...I wonder if the decline of the evangelical church (and the Christian church in general) has something to do with our constant attempts to "relate" to the younger generations by going through pop culture and music? This article makes a strong case that Cash actually related to people because he was transparent about guilt and sadness. Popular Christian music (and the Prosperity Gospel) don't relate that way at all to most people, all they do is talk about how "wonderful" it is to be with God. Which is true, but it doesn't mean you won't experience guilt or sadness the way Cash did.

And if so, things are squarely in favor of materialists/atheists in terms of relating to people. They usually don't pretend to have any "magic fixes" to life's issues.

From the article:

Even as a Christian, Cash was different. He sang at Billy Graham crusades and wrote for Evangelical audiences, but he never quite fit the prevailing saccharine mood of pop Evangelicalism. Nor did he fit the trivialization of cultural Christianity so persistent in the country music industry, as Grand Old Opry stars effortlessly moved back and forth between songs about the glories of honky-tonk women and songs about the mercies of the Old Rugged Cross.

I've said for a long time that mainstream Christianity has been poisoned by pop culture's obsession with sexuality (and ultimately, obsession with love in absence of justice). Maybe I'm mistaken. Perhaps the real obsession is with positivity, the inclination to ignore sadness and hard times because they make us uncomfortable. Plenty of Christians tell homeless people that God will help them, maybe they even volunteer at soup kitchens. Few of those (at least in suburbia) have ever chosen to be homeless, as Jesus did. I can't honestly say I could ever choose that, either :(
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#2epictetus1216Posted 3/15/2014 2:34:34 PM
I was raised to look at the cross whenever life got me down. The whole idea was that "God so loved the world that he gave up his only Son". It was a sacrifice of love - no price was too steep for our benefit. Catholics are not raised on fluffy Christianity. Maybe the Evangelicals are looking for a feel-good fix, but Catholics are drenched in the blood of Christ. If he had not taken that step, our salvation would not be possible. I don't believe this cosmology myself, but it is the one I was raised on.
#3sthaterPosted 3/15/2014 5:16:17 PM
Actually I hadn't thought of that either. I don't think that I would say that it's the reason but I don't doubt at all that it's a reason. I think it's certainly worth mentioning that a great deal of our true honest high art deal with tragedy in various forms. I'm not saying that necessarily proves anything but it's certainly food for thought.
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#4Hustle KongPosted 3/15/2014 6:26:23 PM
That pop Christianity really suffers from like, a lack of authenticity. I can’t really put it any better, but I think we’re talking about that same thing.
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#5JonWood007Posted 3/15/2014 7:21:59 PM
No, I can tell you as an ex-Christian that has little to do with it. I will say that it definitely doesn't help though.

The problems with the church have nothng to do with it not being "hip" enough, or its pathetic attempts to try to be "hip."

This is insider thinking, and insider thinking will get you nowhere. You need to put your christian beliefs aside if you wish to understand why people aren't attracted to church. You need to think like a nonbeliever.

I'll give you a few possible sources of problems:

1) Politicization of religion. The marriage of the religious right and the republican party is hurting religion.

2) Extremism in general. This is kinda related to #1, but when you got crazies like pat robertson and fred phelps, that turns people off.

3) LACK OF EVIDENCE. Christians do a terrible job defending their worldview. When you come right down to it, there's no reason to believe it's true and when you put Christianity under scrutiny, it turns into a revolving door of excuses, rationalizations, and logical fallacies. In addition, attempts to market christianity are totally out of touch with how nonbelievers think, and apparently seem to be written in an echo chamber. You literally need to believe this stuff to actually have it impact you. otherwise it just comes off as garbage.

I'll give you an example. I came home today to find a random letter in my mailslot. It had no name on it, so we had no idea who it was from, and it seemed to be addressed to the "residents" of my house and not by name. I open it up, and it was apparently a letter written by a JW and some tract. It talked of fearing for the future, and threw around all these Bible verses about God and the future and his promises, etc. One section was "how can we trust the Bible?" And then the "reasons" were basically Bible verses about God and scripture and stuff.

Please, for the love of your god, DO NOT DO THIS. These cheesy tracts do not convince anyone outside of your own little bubble. Do not cite the Bible as evidence for why we can trust the Bible. I mean, this tract literally went all napkin religion on me.

Seriously. Every time I get a tract from a religious person, I read it, and it always ends up being garbage that is completely unconvincing to anyone but those who don't believe. If you want to convince us, provide evidence for your views. REAL evidence.

4) The internet. People can fact check in ways we have not seen before. THe internet is literally a second printing press. While the first printing press led to the reformation, the internet is killing religion. It really is. Preachers no longer have a monopoly on truth.

5) Education. More people are going to college and ever before, and let's face it, critical thinking is a problem religions have to deal with, and something they've been awful at doing so far. See #3.

I think the absolute biggest problem with Christianity is it's bubble mentality. And no offense, but you portray this somewhat just asking the questions you do. people leaving christianity has nothing to do with it being hip or not hip. Because this has no bearing on whether christianity is TRUE or not. It doesn't matter if christianity is the most boring as heck worldview there is, that has nothing to do with whether it's TRUE. Making Christianity "cool" does not answer the question of whether christianity is relevant, or true. If you want more people to be christian, go out there, and tell us why we should be christian. Give us EVIDENCE for your worldviews. Don't give us excuses, appeals to faith, rationalization, or other forms of evasion of the big (lack of an) elephant in the room. What EVIDENCE is there to convince people of Christianity. WHY should we be Christian?
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#6Hustle KongPosted 3/15/2014 9:48:16 PM
Lol
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Shooting Game never die.
It prays that the clover of luck be always in your mind.
#7rabidchickenofdeathPosted 3/16/2014 12:30:13 AM
Serious question.

Why does JonWood get so much disrespect around here? In the couple of topics I've seen he's stated his points very reasonably and concisely but other users have just written him off as if he was a troll or something.

I'll admit that I'm a bit new to this board but I recognize Jon from Politics and he makes a lot of good points over there. I've haven't seen him disrespect anyone over on this board but he seems to be regarded as a problem poster.

Am I missing something?
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#8SSj4WingzeroPosted 3/16/2014 3:13:24 AM
rabidchickenofdeath posted...
Serious question.

Why does JonWood get so much disrespect around here? In the couple of topics I've seen he's stated his points very reasonably and concisely but other users have just written him off as if he was a troll or something.

I'll admit that I'm a bit new to this board but I recognize Jon from Politics and he makes a lot of good points over there. I've haven't seen him disrespect anyone over on this board but he seems to be regarded as a problem poster.

Am I missing something?


In this case, the topic creator wrote a post about how Evangelical Christianity is way too feel-good and doesn't focus enough on the reality of struggle that we must all endure, and hypothesized that this quixotic approach to religion could explain the reason many are turning away from Evangelicism.

Then JonWood comes in and posts a really long bit about how there's no proof for Christianity and uses the word "evidence" way too many times. I mean, yeah, believe whatever you want, but that's not really the point of the topic. It makes him sound like a Dawkins evangelist. It'd be like if I made a topic asking about whether McDonald's lack of market share in a particular city was due to its business strategy and a poster just came in and talked about how meat is murder. Yeah, I mean, that might be the reason some people don't go to McDonald's, but it has nothing to do with the topic at hand, which is McDonald's business strategy. At least, that's the way I see it.

With regards to the topic, I think that there's a reason evangelical denominations have seen a dip in followers as of late, and I think what you say is part of it. I think politicization of Evangelical Protestantism plays a major role as well - nobody wants to be part of a church whose claim to fame is being the anti-gay brigade. I think there's been a greater shift towards mainline denominations lately (haven't seen the statistics, but from what I hear this seems to be the case) and part of it is because they seem to rely a lot less on the "feel-good" Gospel that has inundated American Protestantism.
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#9rabidchickenofdeathPosted 3/16/2014 6:48:25 AM
I dunno, I guess I felt that as a former Christian his opinion on what the church doing wrong mattered. Yeah, I suppose he did only spend the first portion of the post addressing that issue then he went off on his own tangent but I still feel like it was relevant to the topic at hand.

That's the thing though, I've seen this in other topics too where people don't really take his posts seriously...

Oh well. As for the topic at hand...

I agree with Julian's main point. That attitude definitely isn't doing the Church any favors. I think the issue goes deeper though. I think the Church becoming mainstream really counters the original message of the Church. The idea of a "Christian culture" at all seems directly opposed to the values preached by Christ and the early church. I really do think the Church works better as a sort of counter-culture organization. Like Julian said, Jesus was a hobo. Early Christians were a persecuted and relatively obscure sub-group. Living and worshipping in those circumstances really brings out the humility that Christ preached and the "dying to oneself" message that Paul preached.

Being able to isolate themselves entirely within their own culture has really hurt the effectiveness of their testimonies and blinded them to how the people they're trying to reach actually live.

I hope this made sense. I've been up for close to 40 hours now and am typing on my phone. >_<
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#10WelshGamer82Posted 3/16/2014 6:54:05 AM
rabidchickenofdeath posted...
Serious question.

Why does JonWood get so much disrespect around here? In the couple of topics I've seen he's stated his points very reasonably and concisely but other users have just written him off as if he was a troll or something.

I'll admit that I'm a bit new to this board but I recognize Jon from Politics and he makes a lot of good points over there. I've haven't seen him disrespect anyone over on this board but he seems to be regarded as a problem poster.

Am I missing something?


It's probably because he writes so much while saying so little.