End of White Christian America

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End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:15 pm

I spent a fascinating hour this afternoon in one of George Bullard's Thursday conference calls with Robert P. Jones, author of the book The End of White Christian America. For those of us working with churches, especially declining ones of those wondering why churches do not have the influence in society we once had, Jones' book is a wake-up call to the cultural world in which our churches minister. I encourage you to get the book. It is indeed a challenging read, and reaches across the religious spectrum. Jones is the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, and his work is based on studies of the sociological changes in our society that can be statistically measured and can be carefully interpreted in the context of our society.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:16 pm

I've not read the book. But, "White Christian America" brought us Donald Trump. I'll be thankful when white Christians no longer have enough power to decide who is president. We've screwed up this one badly.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:27 am

I think this book has lots of implications for the future also of predominantly white churches. Most SBC and CBF churches I visit have very limited, if any, participation from African-Americans or other racial groups. The local Catholic church has the most Hispanics, but the demographics do not bode well for the traditional white churches, North or South.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby William Thornton » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:02 am

Most SBC churches I'm in are predominantly white but many have a considerable black and hispanic minority. Thousands of ethnic churches are SBC, though many black churches have dual affiliation. I'm guessing that the SBC is far more diverse than the CBF or ABC, not just in numbers but proportions. NAMB church planting is maybe 1/4 ethnic.

The simple solution to stopping the white decline is for white folks to have more babies. White deaths exceed births in about one third of states.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:20 am

William Thornton wrote:Most SBC churches I'm in are predominantly white but many have a considerable black and hispanic minority. Thousands of ethnic churches are SBC, though many black churches have dual affiliation. I'm guessing that the SBC is far more diverse than the CBF or ABC, not just in numbers but proportions. NAMB church planting is maybe 1/4 ethnic.

The simple solution to stopping the white decline is for white folks to have more babies. White deaths exceed births in about one third of states.


William, are you doing your part? :lol:
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby William Thornton » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:19 am

Dave Roberts wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Most SBC churches I'm in are predominantly white but many have a considerable black and hispanic minority. Thousands of ethnic churches are SBC, though many black churches have dual affiliation. I'm guessing that the SBC is far more diverse than the CBF or ABC, not just in numbers but proportions. NAMB church planting is maybe 1/4 ethnic.

The simple solution to stopping the white decline is for white folks to have more babies. White deaths exceed births in about one third of states.


William, are you doing your part? :lol:


Average number of children is under two. I'm way above average.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Jim » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:07 pm

There’s been this fanatical preoccupation since the wondrous entitlement/civil rights legislation of the 1960s to integrate the churches, even to the point of passing silly resolutions of “apology” for slavery in many denominations/churches, even though no white churchgoers of the last 150 or so years had anything to do with the injustice. All efforts have essentially failed, not least because of the deep differences in the cultures of both the people and the institutions. The self-administered guilt-trips over this failure is abundantly obvious in this forum and represent a similar silliness as well as a profound misunderstanding of the black folks in general. They’re happy to be just as they are and the top black Baptist honchos laughed an SBC resolution/apology to scorn in 1995. There’s nothing magical or even spiritual in an orchestrated attempt to achieve some sort of politically correct togetherness when no such desire for same is present collectively in either ethnic group. Tangible cooperation is always good, i.e., taking care of the needy (money, in other words) but as far as the melding of the groups is concerned, forget it. Neither group is interested in that, though representatives in each group seldom if ever admit it, especially in this forum. For the super-righteous who demand some sort of artificial accord, just forget it. The blacks are happy just where and wherein they are. Why afflict them with those horrible evangelicals or modern liberals?
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:45 am

Jim wrote:There’s been this fanatical preoccupation since the wondrous entitlement/civil rights legislation of the 1960s to integrate the churches, even to the point of passing silly resolutions of “apology” for slavery in many denominations/churches, even though no white churchgoers of the last 150 or so years had anything to do with the injustice. All efforts have essentially failed, not least because of the deep differences in the cultures of both the people and the institutions. The self-administered guilt-trips over this failure is abundantly obvious in this forum and represent a similar silliness as well as a profound misunderstanding of the black folks in general. They’re happy to be just as they are and the top black Baptist honchos laughed an SBC resolution/apology to scorn in 1995. There’s nothing magical or even spiritual in an orchestrated attempt to achieve some sort of politically correct togetherness when no such desire for same is present collectively in either ethnic group. Tangible cooperation is always good, i.e., taking care of the needy (money, in other words) but as far as the melding of the groups is concerned, forget it. Neither group is interested in that, though representatives in each group seldom if ever admit it, especially in this forum. For the super-righteous who demand some sort of artificial accord, just forget it. The blacks are happy just where and wherein they are. Why afflict them with those horrible evangelicals or modern liberals?


Obviously, Jim, you have not read the book which is a serious sociological study of American demographics.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Jim » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:35 pm

What I wrote had to do with the disparate culture-differences vis-a-vis blacks and whites as especially applied to religious matters and had nothing to do with demographics. Those differences apply across the board and not to particular groups (castes). Blacks conduct their affairs in their own way just as do the whites. When whites insist that there simply must be “togetherness” in order to erase racism (pertaining only to whites, of course) and evidence love for all mankind, they often mean, especially since the 60s, that the poor mistreated theologically disadvantaged blacks simply must be brought up to speed spiritually, ergo, entice them into white churches for the cleansing. Most whites are not that interested in attending black churches wherein worship services might last past noon. This, of course, is unsaid and passes under the rubric of “Jesus loves the little children, red and yellow black and white.” The elitist example is super-seminarian Bill Leonard, who lets it be well-known that he worships in a predominantly black church, as if that proves anything. Or, Tony Campolo lets it be known universally that he threw a birthday party for hard-working prostitutes at 3:00 a.m. in an all-nite diner. Oil and water do not mix. Generally, the same is true for black and white cultures. The white superciliousness is obvious and disgusting.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:03 pm

Jim wrote:What I wrote had to do with the disparate culture-differences vis-a-vis blacks and whites as especially applied to religious matters and had nothing to do with demographics. Those differences apply across the board and not to particular groups (castes). Blacks conduct their affairs in their own way just as do the whites. When whites insist that there simply must be “togetherness” in order to erase racism (pertaining only to whites, of course) and evidence love for all mankind, they often mean, especially since the 60s, that the poor mistreated theologically disadvantaged blacks simply must be brought up to speed spiritually, ergo, entice them into white churches for the cleansing. Most whites are not that interested in attending black churches wherein worship services might last past noon. This, of course, is unsaid and passes under the rubric of “Jesus loves the little children, red and yellow black and white.” The elitist example is super-seminarian Bill Leonard, who lets it be well-known that he worships in a predominantly black church, as if that proves anything. Or, Tony Campolo lets it be known universally that he threw a birthday party for hard-working prostitutes at 3:00 a.m. in an all-nite diner. Oil and water do not mix. Generally, the same is true for black and white cultures. The white superciliousness is obvious and disgusting.


Out of curiosity, Jim, how many African-American friends do you have? I have had the privilege to worship several time in African-American congregations, and there are Caucasians who worship with them. I've always felt they have something to teach me as well as things I might teach them. I need their perspectives on justice issues, and I need to drink coffee, break bread, and share moments alongside those whose skin may be a different color. Also, at the Y today, I was blessed in two conversations with Blacks about our shared faith. May God help us to become listeners to each other. Social interaction is far more important than whether churches become multi-cultural.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Haruo » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:16 pm

Most of the "black" churches hereabouts are in fact multiracial, just predominantly black and with black pastors. And in our Evergreen Baptist region of ABCUSA, the same is generally true of the Black Caucus churches, and sometimes of other-caucus churches. Most white churches in EBA have some black and some other-race members. There are black members, white members (often but not always with Asian spouses), and non-Japanese Asian members at Japanese Baptist where Mrs. H. is a member and I am a frequent attender.

Jim's assurance that "Blacks like to be just the way they are and be left alone" is not a true statement in my surroundings, and I truly doubt it is in his, either. If it's his perception and he's wrong (as I suspect), it's just pathetic.

There certainly are blacks who want to keep to themselves. But I have never found, whether by inquiry or observation or attempted interaction, such to be in the majority. And I find it to be less the case in the churches than in high-school cliques and gangs. And even there, FWIW, our neighborhood has a racially integrated motorcycle club that has brought occasional gunfights into the area.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Jim » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:24 pm

The two posts above prove my point perfectly. In each, the interaction is spontaneous and carried out through choice. The alternative I call “using the herd instinct,” that is, attempting to orchestrate instruments that cannot harmonize. I cringe when I see the notices for these “joint services” along with exchanged pulpits, etc. To attempt this artificial mixing is to denigrate both cultures, the message being that individual thought and action are inferior to the necessity to round up the gang and head it in the right direction…a la home on the range.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Haruo » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:08 pm

Pulpit exchanges can be a lot of fun for all concerned, and I have never been to such a service where I saw anything I could even at a stretch regard as denigration of culture. When JBC has a joint service, the languages are mixed and matched. UN-style headphones for the sermon.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:46 pm

Jim wrote:The two posts above prove my point perfectly. In each, the interaction is spontaneous and carried out through choice. The alternative I call “using the herd instinct,” that is, attempting to orchestrate instruments that cannot harmonize. I cringe when I see the notices for these “joint services” along with exchanged pulpits, etc. To attempt this artificial mixing is to denigrate both cultures, the message being that individual thought and action are inferior to the necessity to round up the gang and head it in the right direction…a la home on the range.


Jim, I pastored a church in Fayetteville, NC (a military town adjacent to Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base) which had a predominantly Anglo congregation but also had Black and Hispanic members. The diversity of all three races brought things to the table we could not have otherwise shared. We had one member who even did a service weaving a layman's message around a steel-drum band. Military towns also have larger numbers of cross-racial marriages than most other areas. I am not writing out of some liberal pipe-dream but from the experience of having served amid that edge of the culture.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Jim » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:35 pm

I'm not much interested in having fun at church services. The church in Fayetteville is made up of people choosing to attend there, not as the result of trying to affect some sort of racial problem, real or imagined. This has nothing to do with the artificial effort to promote some sort of political or theological correctness. Obviously, we're on different planets.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Sandy » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:24 pm

Jim wrote:This has nothing to do with the artificial effort to promote some sort of political or theological correctness.


Any effort to promote racial unity in Christ through his church isn't "artificial." It is ministry aimed at defeating bigotry, prejudice, hatred and selfishness that are the root cause of sin. Churches which don't take deliberate steps to reach their community by transcending all of the barriers that human beings have manufactured to divide themselves, and which divide Christ's church and render it ineffective, are apostate. The lack of ministry can't be excused away.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby JE Pettibone » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:45 pm

Ed: I haven't had access to wifi for a few days as we are having a few things done to our RV, yearly generator maintenance, check out of the water heater on both propane and electric, same for the fridge, also going to have a bit of cosmetic work done on the exterior. Had the combination washer dryer taken out to give us some added closet space. Since Tuesday we have been staying in the coach at the repair facility close to the Citrus Tower in Central Fla about 11 Miles north of our new lot. Got Fl Plates for both the coach and the toad, as well as new drivers licenses for each of us. And consulting with a couple landscapers.


I am not going to jump into this "conversation" until I have a permanent wifi hook up, except to say you guys seem to be doing a lot of talking past one another, with no one demonstrating a lot of understanding of the subject.

I am of the opinion this discussion needs at least 2 minority group members to give it some balance.

I will ask for prayers that the cold spell we are experiencing tonight and tomorrow night doesn't develop into a hard freeze. Right now the orange trees are heavy with a potentially great crop, which could be a Godsend for the migrant workers.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Sandy » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:55 pm

Haruo wrote:Most of the "black" churches hereabouts are in fact multiracial, just predominantly black and with black pastors. And in our Evergreen Baptist region of ABCUSA, the same is generally true of the Black Caucus churches, and sometimes of other-caucus churches. Most white churches in EBA have some black and some other-race members. There are black members, white members (often but not always with Asian spouses), and non-Japanese Asian members at Japanese Baptist where Mrs. H. is a member and I am a frequent attender.

Jim's assurance that "Blacks like to be just the way they are and be left alone" is not a true statement in my surroundings, and I truly doubt it is in his, either. If it's his perception and he's wrong (as I suspect), it's just pathetic.

There certainly are blacks who want to keep to themselves. But I have never found, whether by inquiry or observation or attempted interaction, such to be in the majority. And I find it to be less the case in the churches than in high-school cliques and gangs. And even there, FWIW, our neighborhood has a racially integrated motorcycle club that has brought occasional gunfights into the area.


I had the privilege, and I mean that genuinely, of serving in a church that made deliberate moves to be inclusive of people of other backgrounds. It started a Spanish-speaking worship service that also attracted children, youth and young adults who were more comfortable with English, and were a major presence in our Sunday School. There were about fifty adults in the Spanish service when I came there, but there were another 70 people, mostly children, youth and young adults, who were in our Sunday School classes, and in our contemporary service, connected with the Spanish congregation. Right before I went there, a large, African American church about a mile and a half down the road, had a conflict over a pastor, and some of their members visited our church's contemporary service. They liked it, word got out, and we had about 80 people eventually added to the attendance. Several of the families joined, one of the men had been a deacon, and when he joined, he was added to the deacon body of the church. We picked up a couple of Sunday School teachers, nursery and pre-school workers for the added volume in that department, and before long, we started seeing people from that group joining every month. I'm happy to say that I helped facilitate their move into leadership and service positions, which was deliberate. I also facilitated a search committee that called a young Mexican-American man as youth pastor. Half the youth group was Latino, and a fourth was African American, and it made sense, but I don't know that it would have happened had it not been put before the committee at the outset of the search, and done with some deliberate intention. The African American worship leader they called after I left was done with the same intention.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that kind of intent, it's not discriminatory, it just recognizes the situation, and leads to an action that a majority Caucasian group of people would probably not consider, not necessarily because they're bigoted, but because they've not ever been in a situation where they would ever think about the fact that the
culture has changed, and that three fourths of the population of the neighborhood with children are either Latino, African American or progressive Caucasian gen-x'ers, with two thirds of those being either Latino or African American, and the older, upper middle class Caucasian population that formed the basis of the church membership for years is both aging and declining. That church would be gone now, if it hadn't made deliberate decisions based on the racial and cultural background of the people it has attracted. The key has been including them in leadership and decision making, and being willing to make the adjustments and accept the changes and differences that come with it. It won't be long before their current pastor reaches retirement, and they'll face the decision of who to call. If they are willing to honestly consider an African American, or a Latino, it will be a sign of their maturity as a church, I think.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Haruo » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:11 pm

Agreed, Sandy. This morning at Japanese Baptist there were at least four blacks in attendance, one in the praise team, and two from Liberia, one of them just arrived (if she'd come from the opposite coast she'd be in detention at the airport, thank you Mr. President). There are three Chinese (at least), all in significant roles (the choir director, the soloist, and the church secretary). There are bunches of white people. But it is Japanese Baptist, and after the service we had a sumptuous repast in honor of Lunar New Year, complete with fresh-pounded mochi (see my video of the crowd and the mochi-pounding, which I participated in).
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:04 am

Jim wrote:I'm not much interested in having fun at church services. The church in Fayetteville is made up of people choosing to attend there, not as the result of trying to affect some sort of racial problem, real or imagined. This has nothing to do with the artificial effort to promote some sort of political or theological correctness. Obviously, we're on different planets.


Funny, Jim. To me, church should have a lot of laughter and fun. I remember what Jerry Clower said. He noted, "There is only one place in the universe with no laughter, and he intended to miss that." He said that the place was Hell.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Sandy » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:58 pm

Jim wrote:I'm not much interested in having fun at church services. The church in Fayetteville is made up of people choosing to attend there, not as the result of trying to affect some sort of racial problem, real or imagined. This has nothing to do with the artificial effort to promote some sort of political or theological correctness. Obviously, we're on different planets.


It is made up of people who are choosing to attend there, based on what its leadership has done with regard to either the "racial problem", which is an imaginary product of human reason, not the Holy Spirit's gathering of a body of Christ. If you put much stock in the New Testament, a church is a "gathered body," so I'd have to say that one which exists in a community where people of multiple cultural and racial backgrounds live, but which is only chosen by Caucasians is the one based on artificial effort.

It seems like the different planet Jim is on is a place where appropriate dress for Sunday church service is a white hood and robe.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby JE Pettibone » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:56 pm

Ed: Sandy the last line of you reply to Jim is both Crude and rude based on your own biased opinion.

If you come to Florida you will find you will find hundreds of "Ethnic" churches comprised of different people groups who use CHURCH as a part of maintain contact with their own heritage.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:20 am

Yeah, although Jim's comments on matters of race and ethnicity are often irritating (and I think intentionally so), I've seen nothing to suggest he supports the KKK, in church or out.
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby Chris » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:52 pm

William Thornton wrote:...solution ... is for white folks to have more babies.

What became of the "full quiver" movement?
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Re: End of White Christian America

Postby William Thornton » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:46 pm

Chris wrote:
William Thornton wrote:...solution ... is for white folks to have more babies.

What became of the "full quiver" movement?


I have been around a few but don't see many these days. It wasn't much of a movement I suppose.
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