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Oct 27, 2008

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Dallas

For further reading, I suggest "unChristian" by David Kinnaman. Kinnaman uses a series of scientific surveys of "Busters" and "Mosaics" (read Gen X and Y) to figure out why they have seemed to stop attending church. He discovers several predictable results, such as "Christians are Homophobic" and "Christians live sheltered lives". But he also uncovers a few truly profound trends as well. For example, Busters and Mosaics believe that everyone has an agenda; so, Church isn't attractive because it is just like everyone else. Christians have an agenda to get butts in the seats without really caring much about the people who own said butts. It is a fascinating read, especially for me. I am on the front end of the true Mosaic generation. (Which, I personally hate that description. I like "Video Generation" more. Mine was the first generation where my parents set me down in front of a VCR and I watched hours and hours of "Sesame Street" looping on VHS.)

Kinnaman's writing is not what Christians typically read. It is very dry. Very statistically based. Not for light reading. Bring a highlighter. Enjoy.

http://www.amazon.com/unChristian-Generation-Really-Christianity-Matters/dp/0801013003/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225156843&sr=8-1

Robert

"Mine was the first generation where my parents set me down in front of a VCR and I watched hours and hours of "Sesame Street" looping on VHS.)"

I am always skeptical when I hear language like "the largest", "the best", or "the first"


Not really the first generation to be entertained in this manner. Growing up in the New York area in the 1950s-60s, kids use to watch endless re-runs of Grade B movies like Abbott and Costello meets Werewolf on the Million Dollar Movie (channel 9 I recall). Like your Sesame Street looping, ours was the same convenient babysitter.

Quentin Mendoza

Three reasons why I think church, as an institution, is bogus:

1. Hypocrisy – As far as I know, God didn’t delegate his adjudicative responsibilities to any of the multitude who claim to know His will, so see to your own soul, and I’ll see to mine.
2. Intolerance – Christ said love thy neighbor, and as far as I know there isn’t a 'but', 'unless', or 'if and only if' following that statement.
3. Ignorance – The vast majority of people are so out of touch with history; they have no clue about events that transpired 200 years ago, let alone 2000. I simply cannot believe that politics, language, and geography didn’t have an impact on the evolution of what we call the bible or what’s considered orthodox belief.

Combine these elements, and what you get is an environment that’s both hostile and toxic to one's personal journey of faith.

Dallas

@Quentin

I have been an active church member (and occasionally church mover) my entire life. I was raised in a small West Texas church, and had many discussions with the elders about much of the same issues you bring up. I find your thoughts very honest, thoughtful, and representative of many people in America. In fact, your points are not new to Christianity at all, and have been a deep, embedded problem through the past 1500 years. About 1500 years ago, Christianity rose in political dominance and many motivated people recognized the religion as a method of advancement. This problem continues to this day and isn't going away anytime soon. As long as there are deeply religious people that can't separate their personal fears from religion from politics, you are going to have lots of very scared WASPs filling pews and voting booths. You are right in saying this is a problem for Christians and Christianity.

I believe that before we can have a solution to this problem, Christianity needs to acknowledge that there are problems and we are the ones that caused them. I propose that before we work on any solutions to any problems what so ever we offer up a few apologies.
1. We're sorry for our self-righteousness and hypocrisy. Turns out Jesus wants to save Christians too.
2. We're sorry for our endorsement of slavery. That was pretty bad.
3. We're sorry for our mistreatment of homosexuals. And the continuing homophobia that we contribute too.
4. We're sorry for the Medieval Crusades. I don't think we ever apologized for that one either.
5. We're sorry about for saying the world is flat, and other thing that hindered academic and social advancement.

I could probably think of a few more if I tried. But the fact is that 99.9% of Christianity is filled with soft spoken, thoughtful, hard working people who are just trying to figure things out like everyone else. Until we are willing to admit to our own wrong doings we will not fix any problems.

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