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Tag: religion-and-spirituality

Why Young Adults Are Walking Away From Church by Christian Piatt

In a column in Huffington Post, Christian Piatt discusses the why behind the exodus of the young from church.

Here’s my favorite paragraph –

Alisa Harris’ memoir, “Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics,” reflects on the apparent cultural, spiritual and economic desert time in which we find ourselves. We have witnessed the carnage of a financial system that was intended to perpetually buoy a nation, but whose “invisible hand” has instead crushed the dreams of millions. We’ve watched as the two-headed political serpent attacks itself until it is impotent. We’ve seen religious figures scandalize their institutions empty, as a generation walks away in search of something more relevant to their daily struggle.

Church attendance has fallen dramatically over the last twenty years. In 2005, Protestants represented half those practicing a religion in the United States for the first time.

What’s going on?

I see two trends. The mainline Protestant churches continue to bleed membership. The evangelical movement has hit a wall in recruitment and can neither maintain its growth and or maintain its current numbers. The second trend is new. I suspect that it has a great deal to do with the impact of the political action on a church organization. It is probably a delight to go out and organize precincts handing out conservative literature instead of sitting through a boring sermon, after all, politics is a lot easier than Christianity. But for many the Christian call remains a powerful inducement and a church that acts as a political action committee has little time for gospel issues.

I do not see these trends reversing although I suspect the mainline bleed has to end at some point.

James Pilant

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On the Good State (via The Theology of Joe)

Slavoj Zizek in Liverpool, cropped version of ...

Image via Wikipedia

Here are some very challenging thoughts about basic cultural beliefs. Here is a key paragraph –

I was thinking in church today how often we make wild assumption about God acting via our state, and that the state is essentially a Good Thing. In fact, whilst it is entirely appropriate to question belief in a deity, it is sacrilege to question the assumption of the Great United Kingdom. Some of us might laugh at the USAmerican assumptions of moral goodness and influence in the world, yet the truth is that we also talk in this way. Not only is the state good because it is good to ‘us’ (in the process dismissing all those who do not experience good things from the state as being somehow outcasts), ‘we’ are agents of good in the world. To assume that our commitment to the gospel of Christ might be in conflict with the working of the state is to label ourselves as fanatical – possibly dangerous – fundamentalists.

This is tough and difficult for many to accept. But we should think about these things. The status of “city on a hill” is not given but earned.

James Pilant

I do love Slavoj Žižek.  I like his energy when he speaks, his crumpled appearance and his frequent nose-wiping. I like the fact that most of the time I have absolutely no idea what he is talking about, but that is brain moves so quickly from one point to another that there is no time between confusion and enlightenment, humour and deep thought.  To be clear, he may as well be speaking in Slovakian for all I understand him. I like the way he spea … Read More

via The Theology of Joe

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Philip Yancey on what american churches have become. (via Dover Beach)

Philip Yancey on what american churches have become. (via Dover Beach)

Exactly.

James Pilant

Philip Yancey on what american churches have become. “In view of Jesus’ clear example, how is it that the church has now become a community of respectability, where the down-and-out no longer feel welcome? The middle-class church many of us know today bears little resemblance to the diverse group of social rejects described in the Gospels and the book of Acts.”   – Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew … Read More

via Dover Beach

 

 

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The Difference Between Moral Hazard and God’s Grace (via Ethical Houston)

Moral Hazard is one of the more important concepts of our current economic situation. This is an intelligent, insightful article with a clear explanation of the phenomenon. I am a big believer in Christianity’s view of business ethics and here is a good one by a fine author. If you are an economics or business student, you will find useful material here.

James Pilant

The Difference Between Moral Hazard and God’s Grace   If corporations are considered to have most of the same rights as humans should they also be entitled to Grace? Last summer the Supreme Court decided that corporations had the right to make unlimited contributions to political candidates.  For a number of years labor unions have also been able to make contributions to political campaigns.  This ruling is just another incident where the law has held that corporations have many of the same rights … Read More

via Ethical Houston

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