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America's churches are dying

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Bob Cook, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Tons of great posts.

    Ultimately, yes, churches everywhere need to dial down the overseas missions and focus on their communities right here. It's harder to raise money for that - people tend to see the exotic "other" as truly suffering - but you shouldn't need as much money, either.

    The very definition of church limits church, really. Church is not three hours on a Sunday. It's the body of believers you're among. It's a mark of American consumerism that so much is centered on going "to" a place, getting a lesson and some entertainment, and calling that time "good" for the week.
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Not just an American problem: tonight at our church council meeting, our moderator was talking his recent vacation, a cruise through the Maritimes. He thought it was interesting that in the tours he took, the guides often noted that the beautiful church they were walking by was closed.
  3. NickMordo

    NickMordo Active Member

    Surprised the priest didn't come down from the lectern and help him.
  4. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    While vacationing, spent the night with a friend who also happens to be a PC USA minister. That's Presbyterian for those out of the loop.

    Anyway, she's three quarters time. Her church in a fairly affluent portion of California doesn't have the money to pay her full-time, so she preaches three times a month. She had some interesting thoughts on religion. It was refreshing in the sense she was a minister and not some people yucking it up a message board.

    The GF, a former full-time employee of the United Methodist Church, but not a minister, also had some thoughts and it was one of those conversations I wish I could remember word for word.

    In essence, if regular people had any idea what happened behind the scenes, few, if any, people would regularly attend church services.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Hey, this sounds like rock and/or roll!
  6. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    The LDS church tallies by the names on its membership rolls, not the heads in pews each week. I'm sure other churches do this, to an extent, but the LDS church <a href="http://www.affirmation.org/discipline/name_removal.shtml">requires a formal letter requesting name removal</a> be submitted to local/regional leaders before they stop counting you.

    So for example, if you were baptized in the LDS church as a kid but haven't considered yourself a member of the church in 25 years, they still count you unless you've written that formal letter. If you convert to Judaism, but haven't written the formal letter, they count you. Etc.

    The LDS church is great at record keeping (which is why we have ancestry.com) but it is very reluctant to update those records if it means a drop in the membership count.
  7. TowelWaver

    TowelWaver Well-Known Member

    I actually know this song because it's one I have to play the piano part for in our church band. It's called "How He Loves" and the lyrics we use are even worse: "When heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss". I s*** you not. Here are the full lyrics: http://www.lyricstime.com/john-mark-mcmillan-how-he-loves-lyrics.html

    The piano part is actually kind of fun to play, but yeah, the first thing I thought when I read that? South Park.
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I think we sang it that way once and someone must have had some sense, because they changed it the next time.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I agree with this - although it's unfortunate.

    Truth be told, far too much is handled "behind closed doors." If the messiness were more out in the open, more people would own it and, more importantly, get over it and move on.
  10. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I grew up in a neighborhood that was I'm guessing 75 percent Jehovah's Witnesses. Going trick-or-treating was a no-go.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

  12. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I was born and raised Catholic, but I stopped going because the services were boring, and I hated the "It's our way, and everyone else is WRONG" attitude. Gotta admit, my parents have been that way, but they've toned it down. I hated the stares and glares when our kids were babies and started crying, or were loud as toddlers. We just wanted to find a place that was comfortable, where kids didn't have to sit like statues, and where we could learn a little something instead of reciting the same words every week.

    The church we go to now is actually growing. From two weekend services to four, and now plans to buy a bigger building because the place is fairly small. I guess you could call it nondenominational Christian but it is the sister church of a traditional Baptist church. I dunno, but it just feels like for the first time, I'm going to church and actually learning something. The pastor is terrific and engaging. I don't know if I've become a better or different person, but at the very least I've built something of a relationship with God. At least I think I have. I guess I'll find out one day.
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