Thought Provoking Editorial

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Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:09 am

We are in the season of hearing "Fear Not" from our scripture passages. Charles Matthews, a UVA professor, was published with this thoughtful analysis in the Washington Post. Please ignore the source, but read what he has to say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/posteverything/wp/2017/12/19/white-christianity-is-in-big-trouble-and-its-its-own-biggest-threat/
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Sandy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:20 am

It's right on target.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:29 am

Dave Roberts wrote:Please ignore the source, but read what he has to say.
Which source, Mathewes or WAPO?
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby John Sneed » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:33 am

I have tried three times today, on three different websites, to read this article. I get the same message over and over, to read it, I have to subscribe to the Washington Post. I gave up.

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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Sandy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:35 am

Ignore the source? Matthews is credible, and so is the Post.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Jim » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:33 pm

I made it through four or so paragraphs and am still laughing...straight from the Maddow/MSNBC/Matthews playbook. The poor guy should do as others have done concerning the election last year, take a bottle of aspirin per week, a tranquilizer at night and/or see a shrink who's not already seeing a shrink.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Sandy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:25 pm

If you had any doubts about the veracity of the Matthews piece, Jim's comments should erase all doubt and confirm it for you. If that's Jim's reaction, then the guy nailed it.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Neil Heath » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:26 pm

I also read it on FB and thought it was perceptive, and spot on in many places.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Sandy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:07 pm

Some of the best quotes:

Charles Matthews wrote:When we’ve reached a place where good Christian folk think it’s a matter of major theological principle not to sell pastries to gay people but are willing to give pedophiles a pass, I think it’s safe to say that American Christianity today — white American Christianity in particular — is in a pretty sorry state.


Charles Matthews wrote:But perhaps most importantly, white Christians seem unwilling to be guided by the plain truth of our shared faith. Instead of forming judgments about how to live our lives based on how our religious convictions interact with real-life circumstances, we pass off irascible reactions as theological principles.


Charles Matthews wrote:Ironically, it may well be that it is Christians’ fears about losing control of the culture that have accelerated the rise of secularism itself.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Jon Estes » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:15 am

I wrote a lot but then realized it was a waste of time (for me).

My take on article -

Lame --- Ignorant --- Made his point, though his point is biased and simply stupid - says one who is an educated white male.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Jon Estes » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:24 am

Sandy wrote:Some of the best quotes:

Charles Matthews wrote:When we’ve reached a place where good Christian folk think it’s a matter of major theological principle not to sell pastries to gay people but are willing to give pedophiles a pass, I think it’s safe to say that American Christianity today — white American Christianity in particular — is in a pretty sorry state.


As a Christian who Matthews would categorize me as one of the "folk", I support the Bakers and not Moore. So, I am not one of the "folk", he labels with sarcasm (using the term folk).

Charles Matthews wrote:But perhaps most importantly, white Christians seem unwilling to be guided by the plain truth of our shared faith. Instead of forming judgments about how to live our lives based on how our religious convictions interact with real-life circumstances, we pass off irascible reactions as theological principles.


What Matthews is missing is that he does not share faith with many evangelicals nor does he seem to be guided by the plain truth of how many solid Christian's hold a true Biblical Worldview.

Charles Matthews wrote:Ironically, it may well be that it is Christians’ fears about losing control of the culture that have accelerated the rise of secularism itself.


LOL - This is really funny. Why worry about control when a sovereign God is over it all. Fight the good fight of faith - stand against evil - don't go with the flow... bend with the wind... accept cultural norms that disagree with God's word.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby William Thornton » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:51 am

Cheap shot filled hit piece. Not a lot of thinking required. Should appeal to the mindless religious left.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:59 am

William Thornton wrote:Cheap shot filled hit piece. Not a lot of thinking required. Should appeal to the mindless religious left.


Fitting response from the mindless religious right. :wink:
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Sandy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:56 am

The responses here are definitely interesting. I do not see any of the conservatives who have bowed up like blowfish over this piece offer a single fact or piece of evidence to support their contention.

http://religionnews.com/2017/09/06/emba ... udy-shows/

Kimberly Winston in RNS wrote:And American evangelicals — once seemingly immune to the decline experienced by their Catholic and mainline Protestant neighbors — are losing numbers and losing them quickly.


https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/ ... rch-elders

Harry Brunius in the Christian Science Monitor wrote:Today, however, there are signs that many of the same trends that decimated mainline Protestantism over the past few decades are now at work among evangelical denominations as well. According to a massive study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released in September, the number of white evangelical Protestants fell from about 23 percent of the US population in 2006 to 17 percent in 2016.


When the mission and purpose of many conservative, Evangelical churches shifted from evangelism and discipleship to promoting extremist right wing political candidates, and the boundary was crossed from standing for character to supporting anything that has an R beside the name, even if it lies, cheats, exploits women, commits adultery, cheats in business and is the most corrupt politician in history, or even if it stalked teenaged girls at a mall and molested them. When a pastor stands behind the pulpit and endorses a candidate like that, he can stomp feet, shriek at the top of his lungs, and wave a leather bound KJV Bible in the air all he wants to, he has just denied every fundamental of the faith he ever preached.

The Christian researchers, like Barna and Lifeway, are loathe to connect the sharp drop in conservative Evangelical church attendance and membership over the last decade to the heightened partisan and divisive political activity that goes on in the churches, though they will provide the numbers. I don't mind making that connection though, and any researcher who is honest will connect the dots. The Southern Baptist Convention has lost a million members over the past decade, and what proves this not to be some kind of reporting or numbers anomaly is the fact that the dollars coming into the collection plates are down significantly, and the average weekly worship attendance has dropped by over half a million during the same time, along with a sharp decline in the sacred cow of the SBC, Cooperative Program receipts. That this is an accelerating decline, and not just some kind of adjustment is made clear by the fact that one fourth of the total decline in both membership and attendance happened in just the past year. In just a decade, the SBC's decline has now outpaced the United Methodist Church by several percent. I'd take odds on the effect that the Roy Moore disaster will have on Southern Baptists in Alabama in particular.

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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:01 am

I thought what he had to say about the "nones" being driven to be "none" by Christians own fear of losing to secularism as being quite perceptive. It fits scholarly works I've read about the topic, including "Tribal Church" by Carol Howard Merritt, a well known author and pastor in the PCUSA.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Haruo » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:06 am

Neil, if it is on the WAPO site, which wants a subscription, how do you "read it on FB"?
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:23 am

Haruo wrote:Neil, if it is on the WAPO site, which wants a subscription, how do you "read it on FB"?


WAPO sometimes will let you read several articles a month for free and then after two or three articles they demand a subscription.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Haruo » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:11 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
Haruo wrote:Neil, if it is on the WAPO site, which wants a subscription, how do you "read it on FB"?


WAPO sometimes will let you read several articles a month for free and then after two or three articles they demand a subscription.

Yeah, but I'm maxxed out for December, and Neil said he "read it on FB".... so I was hoping.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:45 pm

I'm a WAPO subscriber, so I do know.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:12 pm

I find it interesting when some write about evangelical Christians’ fears of losing control of the culture (which they have already lost) but are loathe to mention that many Christians have changed gears to embrace the new dominant culture. I guess that is a "good" cultural problem since that agrees with what they want.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Jim » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:16 pm

Sandy wrote:In just a decade, the SBC's decline has now outpaced the United Methodist Church by several percent. I'd take odds on the effect that the Roy Moore disaster will have on Southern Baptists in Alabama in particular.


Not that it actually matters, the UMC lost 15% of its membership in the last ten years, while the SBC lost .05% of its membership. Look it up.
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Marsh on Bonhoeffer and the Politics of Stupidity

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:30 pm

Marsh is a UVA colleague of Matthews at UVA. I imagine they know each other through the Lived Theology project.

It would do wonders for this chat if I were not the only revenant on this board to give careful consideration to Marsh on Bonhoeffer and the politics of stupidity and his letter of NY Eve 1942 facing 43
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Jim » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:48 pm

Definition of evangelical (M-W, 11th edition, [adjective]): “emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual.” [Noun]: “one holding evangelical principles or belonging to an evangelical party or church.” This explains why the Mainstream Denominations are radically declining. They have substituted political correctness for spirit-inspired living (that is, that anything goes if it feels good and doesn't kill somebody). The main-streamers, by foreclosing evangelism as key, have spit in the face of Christ vis-a-vis virtually his last words on earth before ascending. The Episcopal Church lost 17% of its members between 2011 and 2015. The main-streamers are dying on the vine, headed for demise by their own collective hand as they replace the sacred with the secular.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Sandy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:39 pm

Jim wrote:
Sandy wrote:In just a decade, the SBC's decline has now outpaced the United Methodist Church by several percent. I'd take odds on the effect that the Roy Moore disaster will have on Southern Baptists in Alabama in particular.


Not that it actually matters, the UMC lost 15% of its membership in the last ten years, while the SBC lost .05% of its membership. Look it up.


Not that it actually matters, but I was speaking of the SBC's decline accelerating during the past decade, and passing the UMC's rate during the most recent years of the decade, not over the whole decade. The SBC lost almost as many members last year as the UMC did in the whole decade. But that's a diversion from the main point, which you missed.

The mainline denominations have been declining for quite a while. No argument there. But even the church research groups that heavily lean toward evangelical perspectives acknowledge that evangelical churches and denominations are now in a steep numerical decline of their own, including, quite notably, the SBC. There's no argument with that either, numbers are numbers and facts are facts. Regardless, when a Southern Baptist pastor stands behind his pulpit and endorses a child molester and pedophile, he's denied everything he's preached, and he's declaring faith in his new god, politics.
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Re: Thought Provoking Editorial

Postby Jim » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:46 pm

Sandy wrote:
Jim wrote:
Sandy wrote:In just a decade, the SBC's decline has now outpaced the United Methodist Church by several percent. I'd take odds on the effect that the Roy Moore disaster will have on Southern Baptists in Alabama in particular.


Not that it actually matters, the UMC lost 15% of its membership in the last ten years, while the SBC lost .05% of its membership. Look it up.


Not that it actually matters, but I was speaking of the SBC's decline accelerating during the past decade, and passing the UMC's rate during the most recent years of the decade, not over the whole decade. The SBC lost almost as many members last year as the UMC did in the whole decade. But that's a diversion from the main point, which you missed.

I'm still laughing. Get the point?
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