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Religion selectors, pages, etc.
Christianity as we know it is dying. Let’s welcome the new life ahead.
By Ponderer
March 16, 2023 8:47 am
Category: Religion

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A new survey confirms that people aren't leaving faith; they are leaving Christianity. Imagine if, instead of preserving dying institutions, we used our time and money to transform how we do good in the world?

(RNS) — In a recent study, Pew reported that 26% of Americans now self-identify as religiously unaffiliated, up from 17% just 10 years ago. Millennials are defecting from organized religion at significantly higher rates than older generations and while the number of people who identify as atheists or agnostic has risen slightly, the largest category of leaver is the amorphous “nones.”

Put another way, people aren’t leaving faith, but they are actively leaving Christianity. Seemingly every other week there is another story of churches closing up shop, sold to developers to be converted into condominiums or the latest trendy bar.

Given the dominant public narrative about Christianity — Franklin Graham treating President Donald Trump as God’s anointed, clergy abuse scandals in every major denomination, churches more concerned with self-preservation than the gospel — it’s getting harder to argue that we should be continuing with life-sustaining measures. It may be time to concede it’s time to call hospice.

But for those of us who still believe, against the odds, that loving God and our neighbor can transform our world, the current scene represents something of an existential crisis. What are we to do?

For me, the answer is clear: The time for herculean efforts to stave off institutional death is past. We’re going to have to start living what we say we believe and welcoming new life in radical ways.

Not too long ago I read about a doctor in Flint, Michigan, who wrote unorthodox prescriptions. Rather than waiting for children to come to her with all manner of nutrition related diseases, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha writes her patients prescriptions (that include a $15 coupon) to the farmers market operating on the floor below her offices.

This is the kind of approach the church should take. Rather than working to treat the ills that are causing our demise, we might try stemming the cause by asking what good is needed in the world and then find the way to do it.

According to a 2016 article, religious institutions and industries in America represent $1.2 trillion a year in wealth, more than Apple, Amazon and Google combined. Imagine what could be done if, instead of preserving dying institutions that are buckling under systems of corrupt power, we used that capital to transform how we conceive of doing good in the world?

For too many Americans, Christianity has become identified with exclusion rather than inclusion. Its institutions claim God’s name, all the while systematically shrinking the size of the table so that the most vulnerable hungry are left to fend for themselves. It traffics in Band-Aids instead of doing the essential work of healing the world.

What if Christianity looked more like a farmers market attached to a clinic? What if our Communion tables were built as restaurants that employed the recently incarcerated for a living wage? What if, instead of practicing out of our ornate buildings, the church went anywhere people gathered to tell a narrative of hope, engage in ritual that heals us and build communities that reflect our deepest values?

In my 20 years of leading Christian institutions, I have seen more love and more goodness than any of the bad that makes the headlines. I’ve seen people learning to care for each other and communities, opening their arms in wide welcome. I’ve seen social-justice warriors champion the underdog, care for their neighbors and raise their voices for the oppressed. I’ve seen the gospel embodied in those who speak against abusive systems and will not stop, no matter the cost.

As the number of nones rose, this work has not stopped. But where it is most effective it is happening outside of the beautifully constructed stain-glassed walls we build in our attempts to contain and control the work of God in the world.

In the Christian tradition, we speak of a new heaven and a new earth: the belief that the former things can pass away and new realities come into being. We use words like resurrection, words that sound mystical if you’re being generous and crazy if you’re not. But these words give us a new lens through which to see our world, a new language to describe what can be, and a new heart to make it a reality.

Rather than wringing our hands in anxiety that fewer people want to call themselves Christian anymore, let’s embrace the death of those expressions of our faith that do more harm than good.

Then let’s roll up our sleeves and begin the work of resurrection.

(The Rev. Amy Butler served as the seventh senior minister of The Riverside Church in New York City. Connect with her at pastoramy.com. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)


Cited and related links:

  1. religionnews.com

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Comments on "Christianity as we know it is dying. Let’s welcome the new life ahead.":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on March 16, 2023 8:51 am

    Bang on, po! Good news, eh?


  2. by HatetheSwamp on March 16, 2023 8:58 am

    BTW, po. Did you check out the link to LGBT grooming, according to the dictionary definition, toddlers!!!!!?

    It DOES happen!

    Libs of TikTok!!!!!


  3. by Curt_Anderson on March 16, 2023 9:35 am
    Hallelujah, ponderer.


  4. by Ponderer on March 17, 2023 9:38 am

    No kidding, Curt.

    The biggest reason that people are leaving Christianity is "Christians".


  5. by HatetheSwamp on March 17, 2023 10:39 am

    po,

    What sort of person do you suppose would be a reason people are attracted to Christianity?


  6. by oldedude on March 17, 2023 2:31 pm
    Then let’s roll up our sleeves and begin the work of resurrection.

    "We" don't have any work to do with resurrection. That is already done. Apparently your Godgal believes the resurrection of Christ is done by "man" (in the meaning of people here on earth). She's a little more than a few cards short of a full deck on Revelations.


  7. by HatetheSwamp on March 19, 2023 7:02 am

    Sharks' James Reimer chooses not to wear Pride Night jersey and sit out warmups vs. Islanders


    Under the umbrella of NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative, the San Jose Sharks have chosen to wear jerseys in support of the LGBTQIA+ community tonight."

    "For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian - not just in title, but in how I choose to live my life daily. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins and, in response, asks me to love everyone and follow Him.

    "I have no hate in my heart for anyone, and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness. In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life.

    "I strongly believe that everyhttps://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/sharks-james-reimer-chooses-not-to-wear-pride-night-jersey-and-sit-out-warmups-vs-islanders/amp/ person has value and worth, and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects in the game of hockey."


    Here, no doubt, is one reason why Christianity is dying.


    cbssports.com


  8. by islander on March 19, 2023 4:03 pm

    What is "Christianity" ???


  9. by HatetheSwamp on March 19, 2023 4:54 pm

    The religion of the disciples Acts 11:26.


  10. by HatetheSwamp on March 20, 2023 4:45 am

    Bible college fires theologian for tweet against homosexuality, threatens to report as terrorist: lawyers


    Dr. Aaron Edwards, who taught theology at Cliff College in Derbyshire, England, was dismissed from the school after being accused of "bringing the college into disrepute" on social media last month.

    "Homosexuality is invading the church," Edwards tweeted on Feb. 19. "Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this [because] they're busy apologizing for their apparently barbaric homophobia, whether or not it's true.

    "This *is* a ‘Gospel issue,’ by the way. If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Savior," Edwards added.

    Edwards was suspended from the school pending an investigation and the college revealed during a disciplinary hearing on March 8 that it was considering referring him to Prevent, which polices allegations of terrorism in the U.K..

    The tweet was not defamatory; it was not an attack on any colleague or individual; it was not abusive; and it was not an extremist religious view. It was addressed to evangelicals as a point of doctrine, and it has been misunderstood by many who wish to cause personal and institutional trouble for those who express that view," he continued.

    Edwards added that traditional Christian beliefs about sexuality are being "silenced and stamped out" in the Methodist Church.


    Is it that the historic beliefs of Christians are now being assailed?

    msn.com


  11. by islander on March 20, 2023 6:47 am

    Religion and culture are intimately entwined and can’t really be separated.

    Cultures evolve as does religion in its beliefs and practices. Our culture’s views on homosexuality and slavery for example, thankfully, are not the same as the cultural views of150 or 200 years ago. There will always be a certain tension between religion and culture as they evolve. It’s what we are witnessing now.


  12. by HatetheSwamp on March 20, 2023 7:03 am

    Cogent point but, as you can guess, I disagree.

    In the best of times, in Western Culture, religion has driven change. It has been prophetic.

    In both Great Britain and the US, radical "evangelicals" agitated for the end of slavery. And, of course, Baptist preacher Martin Luther King, Jr....and the Southern CHRISTIAN Leadership Conference were on the cutting edge of the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century.

    Also, in China today, Christianity is growing rapidly and is persecuted because it is strenuously counter-culture.


  13. by islander on March 20, 2023 12:20 pm

    ”The anti-slavery movement in western culture emerged in the late 18th century as part of the more general movement of reform known as the Enlightenment. As major colonial powers with extensive slave colonies France and Britain both had a significant anti-slavery movement. The effort to abolish slavery began with a campaign to end the traffic in slaves from Africa across the Atlantic, and then to abolish slavery within the colonies. The arguments used against slavery and the slave trade were a mixture of religious, moral, political, and economic arguments.”

    Some Christians wanted to abolish slavery and some defended the practice. Like I said, “Cultures evolve as does religion in its beliefs and practices.” The two are entwined.

    One would be hard pressed,however to say Christianity/religion is in the forefront in leading our culture’s evolving acceptance of homosexuality.

    China’s persecution of religion is political, “For while the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime has always repressed religion in general, Christianity has always been its biggest target. This is partly a result of the Party’s promotion of atheism, as well its nervousness towards any gathering of people that it does not control. But it is also rooted in its fear that Christianity represents a “foreign” threat to its way of life, albeit one that the CCP hasn’t quite worked out how to deal with.”
    unherd.com
    oll.libertyfund.org


  14. by HatetheSwamp on March 20, 2023 12:40 pm

    That's completely Christophic!


  15. by islander on March 22, 2023 5:51 am

    Nothing "hristophic" about that.

    One of the reasons so many are abandoning Christianity, perhaps the biggest, is because of people like you who claim to be Christian, or as you call yourself, a prophet and follower of Christ.

    If I thought for one moment that you were actually a Christian, I’d want no part of Christianity either. But I know you are a fraud which is why I don't hate Christianity.



  16. by HatetheSwamp on March 22, 2023 6:22 am

    Interestingly, as American Christianity becomes more institutionalized, it declines.

    The truth is that a century ago, 80% of practicing Christians lived in Europe and the US. Now, 80% live elsewhere.


  17. by HatetheSwamp on March 22, 2023 7:09 am

    If I thought for one moment that you were actually a Christian, I’d want no part of Christianity either.

    You DO want nuthin to do with Christianity.


  18. by oldedude on March 22, 2023 8:29 am
    One would be hard pressed,however to say Christianity/religion is in the forefront in leading our culture’s evolving acceptance of homosexuality.

    Bible Verses about Homosexuality
    Leviticus 18:22 ~ You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 ~ If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    Jude 1:7 ~ Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    Romans 1:26-28 ~ For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    Mark 10:6-9 ~ But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.


    "If I thought for one moment that you were actually a Christian, I’d want no part of Christianity either. But I know you are a fraud which is why I don't hate Christianity."

    I find it interesting that you actually know Lead well enough to make a statement like that. And/or is it that he doesn't agree with you and in your years of studying the Bible and having a huge knowledge of the subject you can glean that from what we've shared here.

    If not, it's a typical sheep response that just says "I don't agree with you, therefore I hate you."


  19. by islander on March 22, 2023 8:34 am

    It’s not hard to tell a Christian from a fraudulent Christian. Jimmy Carter for instance is a Christian in the truest sense of the word.

    In comparison, a fraudulent Christian is a master of deception, doesn't hesitate to tell outright lies, and is adept at spreading false propaganda...All while calling himself a Christian or 'follower of Christ'.

    Then there are the con-man type of false Christians, like so many of the Televangelists such as Joel Osteen. They live in mansions fly around in their private jets and have become decadently wealthy by duping their followers.



  20. by oldedude on March 22, 2023 8:37 am
    I'm thinking Lead is none of those things you describe. Again, just abject sheep hatred. I'm going to go with that.


  21. by HatetheSwamp on March 22, 2023 9:32 am

    Yeah. Those lapsed Catholics have Archie Bunker ideas about reeeeeeeeal Christianity. Bahahahahahahahahahaha.


  22. by islander on March 22, 2023 1:08 pm

    So a lapsed Catholic’s thinking that Jimmy Carter is an example of a true Christian is “Archie Bunker” thinking?

    What person today do you, as a lapsed Evangelical and a lapsed Pastor, recommend as a more fitting example of a Christian than Jimmy Carter?


  23. by HatetheSwamp on March 22, 2023 1:14 pm

    So a lapsed Catholic’s thinking that Jimmy Carter is an example of a true Christian is “Archie Bunker” thinking?

    No.

    What person today do you, as a lapsed Evangelical and a lapsed Pastor, recommend as a more fitting example of a Christian than Jimmy Carter?

    What's a "lapsed evangelical?"

    What's a "lapsed pastor?"


  24. by islander on March 22, 2023 1:23 pm

    "So a lapsed Catholic’s thinking that Jimmy Carter is an example of a true Christian is “Archie Bunker” thinking?

    No."


    Read your own post # 23 a couple of posts up.

    "What's a "lapsed evangelical?"

    What's a "lapsed pastor?"


    You claim you used to be an evangelical..and that you are no longer a pastor or at least a practicing pastor...


  25. by HatetheSwamp on March 22, 2023 1:31 pm

    What's the lapsed part?


  26. by islander on March 22, 2023 1:44 pm

    "What's the lapsed part?"

    See post # 24


  27. by oldedude on March 23, 2023 9:41 pm
    I'll bite. Obviously, you haven't actually explained what you meant to anyone but yourself. Can you try again?


  28. by HatetheSwamp on March 24, 2023 3:27 am

    isle's a tad defensive, eh?


  29. by oldedude on March 24, 2023 7:25 am
    Wow, no kidding.

    I will say (unsolicited) I appreciate your views on Christianity. My "family" here are part of the "my way or the highway to the burning pits of he!! for your eternity!" groups that are common down here. You seem to be good on your beliefs, but don't demand everyone bend to your beliefs. There are still many core values we share. Some we don't, but we can disagree. That is wonderful! I find you able to discuss. Which is different in the "household." They are very set in beliefs and are prone to get you to believe their way. They've quit on me.

    Just for all the rest on the site. I'm not comparing any other person. This is my comparison between Lead and my "family" on my wife's side.


  30. by islander on March 24, 2023 7:33 am

    Even after I clearly demonstrated why I think Hate can be called a lapsed evangelical and a lapsed pastor, both Hate and od still claim to be puzzled as to the meaning of “lapsed” and how it is used.

    We all know ya shouldn’t feed the trolls, despite that, I’ll take a few minutes to humor them and give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe neither of them really understand what lapsed means in the context of this discussion...So here ya go...

    Hate was of course, flummoxed when I told him that I see Jimmy Carter (who is an evangelical Christian) as a good example of a true Christian...from post # 19: ”It’s not hard to tell a Christian from a fraudulent Christian. Jimmy Carter for instance is a Christian in the truest sense of the word.”

    After explaining that I saw Jimmy Carter as an example of a true Christian, Hate’s response was...from post # 21: ”Yeah. Those lapsed Catholics have Archie Bunker ideas about reeeeeeeeal Christianity. Bahahahahahahahahahaha.” Me, naturally, being the lapsed Catholic.😀

    My next question to Hate was, from post # 22 ”So a lapsed Catholic’s thinking of Jimmy Carter as an example of a true Christian is “Archie Bunker” thinking? What person today do you, as a lapsed Evangelical and a lapsed Pastor, recommend as a more fitting example of a Christian than Jimmy Carter?”

    Hate then tried to move away from the question of a true or fraudulent Christian question by asking in his next post #23 ”What's a "lapsed evangelical?" What's a "lapsed pastor?"”

    Typical Hate deflection !! LoL 


    I then explained to him what lapsed means in this context. From post # 24: ”You [Hate] claim you used to be an evangelical..and that you also are no longer a pastor or at least a practicing pastor”...
    “Used to be” are the key words.

    At any rate, here’s good link that might help you both better understand all of this...

    Excerpt from the link:

    "Twenty years ago, revelations of the Catholic church’s sex abuse crisis accelerated a massive exodus of white northeastern Catholics that was already well underway, and it contributed to a secularization of New England culture and politics. A region that up until the late 20th century had some of the nation’s strictest policies on abortion and divorce became a leader in expanding abortion access and legalizing same-sex marriage"

    And

    "First, they’re numerous [lapsed evangelicals]: According to the GSS survey, 45 percent of white Southerners self-reported attending church no more than once a year. If “lapsed evangelical Protestant” were a denomination, it would be by far the largest religious body in the South"

    I doubt Hate "attends church" much any more either since he is no longer an evangelical. He can correct me if I'm wrong.

    christianitytoday.com


  31. by HatetheSwamp on March 24, 2023 7:37 am

    Baha, isle.

    Even long before you first appeared here, pb was declaring Jimmy Carter to be a hero of the Christian faith.


  32. by oldedude on March 24, 2023 7:46 am
    "Even after I clearly demonstrated why I think Hate can be called a lapsed evangelical and a lapsed pastor, both Hate and od still claim to be puzzled as to the meaning of “lapsed” and how it is used."

    Obviously, you didn't do a very good job explaining it. You gave an "example." That doesn't give an explanation. Not our issue.

    My concern is that this is one of Fifi's things and you don't really understand it either, but it sounds good to you. If you actually understood it, you could use your words and define it.


  33. by islander on March 24, 2023 7:54 am
    od wrote: "Obviously, you didn't do a very good job explaining it. You gave an "example."

    Quote my “example” and post number. 😀



  34. by HatetheSwamp on March 24, 2023 7:55 am

    "demonstrated"

    To quote Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    Bahahahahahahahahahaha, ahhhhhhhhhhh.


  35. by islander on March 24, 2023 8:04 am

    Hate wrote: "Baha, isle.Even long before you first appeared here, pb was declaring Jimmy Carter to be a hero of the Christian faith."

    So..Continue with your thought and explain how you think it relates to this discussion.


  36. by oldedude on March 24, 2023 12:54 pm
    See post # 24


  37. by islander on March 24, 2023 2:57 pm

    od wrote: "See post # 24"

    Exactly! That post, # 24, answered Hate's question about "lapsed" as in lapsed evangelical, lapsed pastor, or lapsed Catholic etc.

    Here is what Hate asked: "What's a "lapsed evangelical?"

    What's a "lapsed pastor?"


    This was my answer: "You [Hate] claim you used to be an evangelical..and that you are no longer a pastor or at least a practicing pastor"...

    Like I said in post # 30, the key words are "used to be" and/or are no longer a practicing (Catholic, pastor, or evangelical etc.).

    Hate had earlier implied (correctly) that I am a lapsed Catholic when he said in reference to my belief that Jimmy Carter is a Christian in the truest sense of the word, "”Yeah. Those lapsed Catholics have Archie Bunker ideas about reeeeeeeeal Christianity. Bahahahahahahahahahaha.”

    I suspect you have a better understanding of all this now.





  38. by oldedude on March 24, 2023 7:17 pm
    I used to be a Shambhala Buddhist for almost 50 years. I still carry most of my traits towards that, and in the teachings of the Buddah, I've expanded. Before that, I was a Methodist in an old country Catholic town (it took them 7 years for the Bishops to accept Vatican II). I learned both religions then converted to one style of Buddhism (also studied Tibetan and Japanese), and then to Shambhala soon after. I've read al Qu'ran and studied tribalist religions (druidism through the Native Americans, Egyptian, and European Pre-Christians. Greek and Roman like any College student). This is where Lead and I are sometimes different. I am a Christian, and I'm a student of Bishamon AND St Michael. They both hold similar places in their religions.

    So, according to you, I'm lapsed in every religion I've come in contact with. But I also have gained and learned from each. I would never take a seminary as Lead did. That's a tough road. Again, I respect that he did that and has obviously learned from it. He actually understands that no path taken is wasted. You just have to be aware of what you learn. He doesn't hold hatred against the religion. He chose to get involved. He learned what he needed to and chose to leave the school to do other things. There's nothing wrong with that.


  39. by HatetheSwamp on March 25, 2023 12:10 am

    Wow, OD. Well said.

    Insightful. And, better than I could say it myself.

    It's the understanding that we're on a journey, without passing judgment and engaging in condemnation.


  40. by islander on March 25, 2023 5:25 am

    od wrote: ”So, according to you, I'm lapsed in every religion I've come in contact with.”

    No, not every religion you’ve come in contact with. Lapsed might apply only if you identified yourself as a member of a religious organization and embraced and practiced that religion, but no longer do. Lapsed is not necessarily a pejorative term unless the person using it intends to use it as such.

    I was raised in the Catholic religion but no longer practice it or accept all of its dogma, but the values I learned are a part of who I am and I’m thankful for that. This is why, when I described Jimmy Carter as a “Christian in the truest sense of the word”, Hate used the term “lapsed” to describe me, ”Yeah. Those lapsed Catholics have Archie Bunker ideas about reeeeeeeeal Christianity. Bahahahahahahahahahaha.”

    Hate has told us on a number of occasions that he used to be an evangelical and that he is no longer a pastor and/or at least a practicing pastor. This led me to ask him, “What person today do you, as a lapsed Evangelical and a lapsed Pastor, recommend as a more fitting example of a Christian than Jimmy Carter?”. I was using lapsed in the same sense as “former”.



  41. by HatetheSwamp on March 25, 2023 5:47 am

    Forget it, OD. This is how isle gets when he realizes he's bested.

    Persnickety.


  42. by oldedude on March 25, 2023 6:44 am
    Okay, so just "most" of the religions I've been in contact with and studied. That clears things up? I think more accurately for most it's a growth experience. The "fact" Lead didn't become ordained (as I understand his situation) is up to him. He didn't "give up" on anything. His life changed. Maybe I met him to learn from him. THAT may have been one reason for him taking that path. I don't question growth. I embrace it. There are some people that's I've known for short periods of time, but they've made an impact on me.

    Regarding you. I think I do understand what you mean for you. I've seen others (mostly Catholic) that may attend mass on Christmas & Easter. Some have "quit" the church because of conflicts, or just moved away from it. My cousins quit the Catholic Church because of the changes the Church was making. Their point is the Bible is the Bible. It hasn't changed. So why does the Church read something new in it?

    For me, "lapsing" may be a good word for you. It's a pretty broad statement though. I was asking if you were using it as the broad brush, or if you had a facet in mind. I agree with you on your choice, but I'm not sure it applies to either Lead or me.


  43. by HatetheSwamp on March 25, 2023 8:37 am

    Yeah isle and od,

    I grew up in a town of about 6,000, in the 50s and 60s, when everyone was affiliated with a...Christian...religion. A smattering of everything.

    I knew a lot of kids/families of all sorts of Christian brands...

    ...and, there was something distinctly different about being raised Roman Catholic. The "church" was more central to my Catholic friends' lives, even nominal Catholics, than it was for my Protestant friends...even the devoted ones.

    I never hear about lapsed Methodists or fundamentalists or evangelicals (except in this thread), only lapsed Catholics.

    The Catholic experience, in this melting pot, is distinct.


  44. by islander on March 25, 2023 9:38 am
    od wrote: “Okay, so just "most" of the religions I've been in contact with and studied. That clears things up?”

    No, not really, was that an answer to some question?

    “The "fact" Lead didn't become ordained (as I understand his situation) is up to him. He didn't "give up" on anything.”

    Hate never told you that he was a pastor? And that he officiated at funerals and weddings and was called Pastor Bill (pb)?

    “For me, "lapsing" may be a good word for you. It's a pretty broad statement though. I was asking if you were using it as the broad brush, or if you had a facet in mind. I agree with you on your choice, but I'm not sure it applies to either Lead or me.”

    I haven’t applied it to you. I used lapsed to describe Hate in the same sense that he used it to describe me, when he said, ”Yeah. Those lapsed Catholics have Archie Bunker ideas about reeeeeeeeal Christianity. Bahahahahahahahahahaha.”

    When I asked him, “What person today do you, as a lapsed Evangelical and a lapsed Pastor, recommend as a more fitting example of a Christian than Jimmy Carter?” I was referring to him as a former evangelical and former pastor. Just as it was used in the Christianty Today* article that I quoted earlier, ”According to the GSS survey, 45 percent of white Southerners self-reported attending church no more than once a year.” If lapsed evangelical Protestant were a denomination, it would be by far the largest religious body in the South". Lapsed can be used for any religion or denomination. I see nothing inherently wrong with being a former (lapsed) evangelical, pastor (or Catholic), do you?

    I’m still waiting to hear Hate’s answer to my original question that I asked him as to who he recommends as a more fitting example of a Christian than Jimmy Carter?
    christianitytoday.com


  45. by HatetheSwamp on March 25, 2023 9:51 am

    Alright already, isle. You're like a RABID dog with a bone. Sheeeeeeeeeeeesh!

    Francis Chan.


  46. by islander on March 25, 2023 1:06 pm

    That was so hard now was it Hate?

    I agree with Francis Chan when he said, ”Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?”

    As we discussed in an earlier thread on what Christianity was all about back in January and I said;

    "What I consider genuine true Christianity is based on the ideal of “Love your neighbor as yourself” And that means an unselfish love. That is the kind of love that expresses itself when your own sense of well being is dependent on the well being of the one you love. When that person is suffering or in need so too are you. Much like the love of a mother for her child.

    It’s that simple."

    You can even find reference to that in the Bible if that is your persuasion..."Love God with all your heart and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself...One is like the other.


  47. by HatetheSwamp on March 25, 2023 1:37 pm

    So, isle! How long have YOU been reading Chan's books? Bahahahahahahahahahaha

    Do YOU think he's a "better" example of a Christian than ol Jimmy?


  48. by oldedude on March 25, 2023 1:39 pm
    "What I consider genuine true Christianity is based on the ideal of “Love your neighbor as yourself” And that means an unselfish love.

    I understand that and the logic behind it. I have also seen and witnessed true evil. I understand the difference between them. Between "mistakes and intent." Therefore, my study of Bashimon and St Michael. Long story short, for me what you said is not an absolute. Not an argument, just a difference.


  49. by islander on March 26, 2023 5:20 am

    You asked me Two questions Hate:

    1) ”So, isle! How long have YOU been reading Chan's books? Bahahahahahahahahahaha “



    What I know about Francis Chan is just from the few articles here and there that I’ve read about him, and I’ve heard about some of the charitable things he’s done.

    2) Do YOU think he's a "better" example of a Christian than ol Jimmy?”

    From what little I know about him he seems to exemplify some of the traits like those I admire in Jimmy Carter. Traits that I consider examples of Christianity in the truest sense of the word.

    It stuck in my mind when I read that Chan said, ”Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?” since that is so similar to what I believe is the essence of the message of true Christianity.


  50. by HatetheSwamp on March 26, 2023 6:01 am

    isle,

    One reason I avoided your question about Jimmy Carter's faith is that it's judgmental and offensive. "...a better example?"

    I'm encouraged by the life Carter has lived. That should be enuff for you, too.


  51. by oldedude on March 26, 2023 6:35 am


  52. by islander on March 26, 2023 6:59 am
    Hate,

    When I said ”Jimmy Carter for instance is a Christian in the truest sense of the word” Your responded with, ”Yeah. Those lapsed Catholics have Archie Bunker ideas about reeeeeeeeal Christianity. Bahahahahahahahahahaha.”

    Since, to you, my thoughts about Jimmy Carter being a true Christian is an Archie Bunker idea about real Christianity, what I was asking you for was an example of someone who, in your mind, is a better example of real Christianity as opposed to my “Archie Bunker” idea of real Christianity. 

You finally gave Francis Chan as your example of someone who is a better example than Jimmy Carter.

    I’m going to be perfectly frank with you Hate, but I, like you and everyone else, all make judgments about people all the time. In fact, we have to. To claim that one doesn’t make judgments is a good example of, to use your favorite word, “sanctimony”.

    I think Jimmy Carter and Francis Chan represent true Christianity better than Donald Trump. That is my honest “judgment” of them if you will...


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