Is Christianity Dying?

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1smartdodog
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Is Christianity Dying?

Post by 1smartdodog » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:44 pm

It feels as though so much in the world is changing at an ever accelerating rate. Social norms, political views, and spirituality all are much different than my youth of 50 plus years ago.

I am not debating if things are better or worse everyone has an opinion. My question relates to spirituality especially in a Christian framework. I am not much of a believer myself, but it is what I am familiar with. After a 2000 year run is it over as a major belief system. In another two or three generations, will enough people care?


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Exiled
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Exiled » Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:12 pm

I think it will die out like most religions eventually will. More and more people are realizing these religious concepts are just myth created by humans to cope with the unknown, death being the biggest unknown.

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Hagoth
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:09 pm

The main trend I see is a fade-out of across-the-board religiosity punctuated by hyper-evangelicalism. There was a time when just about everyone in Europe and America believed in God and the Bible in general terms and didn't need to make a big fuss about it. Now we see more growth in the more evangelical, charismatic pockets of religion alongside the increased apathy in the general religious background. Fewer people are interested or motivated to hang on to the old expectations but the crank is turning up on the in-your-face type of Christianity. Is it a last gasp? Who knows.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Palerider
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Palerider » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:43 pm

It seems to be a question that even the Savior contemplated.

Luke 18:8
"....Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

I see turbulence ahead. It should be interesting.
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"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:35 pm

I worry that the line is blurring between Christianity and extreme Right political ideology. I hate to see this because Jesus was a Liberal by both Jewish and Roman standards.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Lloyd Christmas
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Lloyd Christmas » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:24 pm

I think fewer and fewer people will follow Christianity in numbers, but those that do will be more extreme. We see that happening within the Muslim community. The vast majority are more secular than 50-60 years ago, but those young people that are religious are often more extreme in their beliefs. Religions have often preyed on the misfits, those that long to belong. That's how Joseph and other charismatic leaders have been so successful.

This polarization of religious and non religious is a little scary. Hitler was successful because the youth in germany at the time were more extreme in their stances than their parents and grandparents. The European raised Muslim who travels now to Syria in the name of Jihad seems similar. Christianity in the US hasn't moved as extreme yet, but I feel like there has been some movement to more extreme stances by the religious in the US.

Thoughts?

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moksha
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by moksha » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:23 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:35 pm
I worry that the line is blurring between Christianity and extreme Right political ideology.
It seems to have already morphed into religious fascism for some. I would like to see Christianity continue as a buffer to Islam and the rise of militaristic nationalism in places like China, Russia, the US, and several European countries.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by wtfluff » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:40 am

According to the Pew Research Center, Christianity is "declining" at a rapid pace. Does that mean it's "dying"?

I seem to remember that religion in general is declining. Europe is the same. Is it just the "Western" world, or is religion declining elsewhere also?

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace
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deacon blues
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by deacon blues » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:33 am

This question has been asked for more years than I can remember. Since the beginning of the Renaissance it has appeared that Christianity was in decline. Heck, Catholics were probably asking this during the Reformation. I think Christianity seemed to be diminishing, at the birth of our country when deism and rationalism (Think Franklin, Madison, Jefferson and Washington) seemed to capture the minds of some public figures. The revivalism of Joseph Smith's time was a reaction to deism and rationalism. Like all long lasting movements, Christianity goes through cycles. When I was a kid magazines covers ("Time," April 1966) asked the question: "Is God Dead?" Christianity, could be considered in its middle age, or even golden years, but people are 'born to believe' and I think I will die long before Christianity. Consider our limited perspective when asking such a question. ;) Is Confucianism dead? :? Perhaps even Jesus's teachings will survive "Christianity."
Last edited by deacon blues on Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hagoth
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am

deacon blues wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:33 am
Perhaps even Jesus's teachings will survive "Christianity."
That would be nice. In many ways those who proclaim their Christianity most loudly seem to have abandoned much what Jesus was actually talking about.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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deacon blues
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:28 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am
deacon blues wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:33 am
Perhaps even Jesus's teachings will survive "Christianity."
That would be nice. In many ways those who proclaim their Christianity most loudly seem to have abandoned much what Jesus was actually talking about.
You are SO right. Examples are almost too numerous to mention: Turn the other cheek, the mote and beam parable, give up you coat and cloak, they that exalt themselves shall be abased.... do they still teach those ideas in evangelical colleges? or even BYU? They obviously don't get applied in the current political scene of the USA. Maybe Jesus's teaching ARE dying. :cry:
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moksha
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by moksha » Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:17 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:33 am
Perhaps even Jesus's teachings will survive "Christianity."
Perhaps as a very hopeful and beneficent school of philosophical thought.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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SaidNobody
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by SaidNobody » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:32 pm

People, atheists, like to think that losing faith is a new idea. The human manifesto was started in 1933 which tries to break the people's faith in God. They are spreading throughout the world. They are in the UN.

But if you read the Bible it tells a story that I would bet my life on. The Book of Judges tells of hundreds of years where people forgot God and suffered. Then remembered God and grew strong.

This has always been the case.

I say with some confidence that you either choose your religion or one will be chosen for you. The disturbances in the middle East only proves my point. As civilization crumbles the only power that can stabilize an area is God. Even if it they're is a great force, people will not bow willingly to anyone but their God.

The Christians of Macedonia were dominated by Muslims for hundreds of years but they never forgot who they were. And when the chance came, they rebelled and drove the Muslims out. Religion isn't just about faith and salvation it's about identity.

The old religions are still with us. Jesus is like Hercules, even Osiris. Mother Mary is the Goddess Diane reformed. The archangels are pretty much the Gods of Olympus renamed. Thor's hammer vs Michael's sword.

Religion changes, but it's spirit remains. People who cannot embrace the spirit will find themselves dying. Their children will serve other Gods.

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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Ghost » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:36 am

I wonder sometimes whether civilization needs religion to remain stable. Civilizations obviously "want" religion, since it always pops up.

It probably doesn't matter which religion or how accurate any of the supernatural beliefs are, as long as it provides people with some combination of community, a moral framework, hope in an afterlife, and a sense that things will ultimately be just somehow.

I was recently talking with a friend who considers themselves a Christian and prays but has never read the Bible at all and doesn't have any interest in organized religion. This friend, like me, was raised in a religious tradition. For them, only pieces of it took but those pieces persisted. And of course I was all in but am now a lost cause. I don't know whether that anecdotal comparison means anything.

I also have friends who were indifferent toward religion when younger but became enthusiastic about it as adults. I can still see the appeal, even if I can't imagine being in that frame of mind again.

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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by SaidNobody » Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:37 pm

There is one unavoidable truth.

We are children of the eternal God.

We have "natural" desires/curiosities that when we hear the words "child of God" we are drawn to the story. There is something about it that calls to us.

Oh sure, some of us feel dumb about entertaining the idea. It's convenient to allow others to look stupid as they explore this crazy idea that we are children of the stars. But if every believer suddenly disappeared then plenty atheists would take up the cause.

We all want to know. We are not like the other animals? We have ambitions unlike any creature on Earth. Who are we? Where did we come from.

Some are willing to believe that aliens brought us here. But even so, we are children of the nature of the universe. We are Consciousness created by the universe and our nature is seek out and please our creator.

We don't have to be Christian, but it perhaps serves best our cause. I love Buddhism but I don't that it quite has the essence as Christianity.

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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by Ghost » Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:37 pm

SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:37 pm
Oh sure, some of us feel dumb about entertaining the idea. It's convenient to allow others to look stupid as they explore this crazy idea that we are children of the stars. But if every believer suddenly disappeared then plenty atheists would take up the cause.
I wonder if this might be one thing that divides those who once entertained strong religious beliefs from those who never have. Like anything else, it of course wouldn't be universal, but for many of us who have gone through a faith transition the believers and even the beliefs themselves aren't "stupid" at all. I unwittingly lost the certainty I once had, but that didn't involve any sort of increase in intelligence.

And I still not only understand but in some ways maybe sometimes envy those who still have that certainty, though to be clear I wouldn't go back and undo my change in beliefs even if that were possible (or if such a proposition even made sense).

Some people feel strongly that the world would be better off without religion. That's an experiment we will probably never get to run. And I'm doubtful, personally.

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SaidNobody
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by SaidNobody » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:46 pm

Ghost wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:37 pm
SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:37 pm
Oh sure, some of us feel dumb about entertaining the idea. It's convenient to allow others to look stupid as they explore this crazy idea that we are children of the stars. But if every believer suddenly disappeared then plenty atheists would take up the cause.
I wonder if this might be one thing that divides those who once entertained strong religious beliefs from those who never have. Like anything else, it of course wouldn't be universal, but for many of us who have gone through a faith transition the believers and even the beliefs themselves aren't "stupid" at all. I unwittingly lost the certainty I once had, but that didn't involve any sort of increase in intelligence.

And I still not only understand but in some ways maybe sometimes envy those who still have that certainty, though to be clear I wouldn't go back and undo my change in beliefs even if that were possible (or if such a proposition even made sense).

Some people feel strongly that the world would be better off without religion. That's an experiment we will probably never get to run. And I'm doubtful, personally.

We are a mixture of truth and illusion. We are both naked monkey and eternal being. But the ideas do not rest comfortably in the same mind. Many can only do one at a time. People who believe in God reject with a vengeance the idea that we descended from monkeys. And those that believe we came from monkeys cannot believe that we are descended from Gods. Few can embrace both thoughts.

The certainty that comes with believing is a product or symptom of running the idea the of God through your consciousness.

Consciousness(dancing)Idea=Spirit.

To explain this, "consciousness, dancing with an, idea, equals spirit." When consciousness, that mysterious power of the universe plays with an idea, a spirit is created. Spirit is invisible, but it moves matter. Even though this works down to the level of the quantum river, mostly I consider it's influence on humans. So, consider a little boy that plays with his superman cape, jumping from stone to stone, imagining that he is defeating foes and saving damsels. The practice of the idea creates a spirit that will stay him the rest of his life, as long as he believes.

By pondering and considering the idea that you are a child of God, a spirit is created. Some of those ideas are things like the spirit of knowing, certainty, faithfulness, loyalty, honor, etc, etc, etc.

I am one of those that believe that we children of a god and descended from monkeys. The result is "I know nothing, and I pretty damn certain."

I practice ideas not because I know, but because I want the effect. Of course, many people think that I am stark raving mad, but I'm actually pretty functional with the "facts" of the world. I just know how to pick and choose which ones I work with.

This is why religion is so necessary. Our consciousness craves to know it's "creator/parent." While we all have a unique consciousness, humanity shares a common consciousness. Experience makes us unique, but whatever we are, we are all alike. The phrase, "Man, know thyself" is the fundamental drive of human consciousness. Which means, we will look for God.

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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by alas » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:39 pm

SaidNobody is talking about Archetypes. Carl Jung was more of a philosopher than he ever was a psychologist. I think he missed his life calling, or maybe is claimed by psychologists when they should hand him over to the philosophers. But he had some good ideas about things that seem universal in humans. Beliefs or ideas that just keep popping up, that he called archetypes. He would have called the child of God concept an archetype, so I don’t think SaidNobody is stark raving mad about *that*. Maybe some of his other ideas, but that is a different discussion.

Anyway, there do seem to be some religious ideas that just keep popping up. There are also some things like Bigfoot/Sasquatch Yeti that keep cropping up, oh, and dragons. Carl Jung didn’t ever get into the religious or dragon archetype.

And I do happen to think Carl Jung’s explanation for how we got archetypes was off. I won’t say stark raving mad, but I have thought it.

Anyway, between SaidNobody and Carl Jung, I do think there is something to the idea that certain things, like religion just keep popping up. And while they change from the white abominable snowman to the brown Sasquatch, and dragons that are brontosaurus shaped with wings and four feet to snake like dragons with only four feet, there are ideas common to all variations. And, son of God is one of those things, and virgin mother is another.

Once I heard something about religious serendipity or whatever they called it, but it contained the idea that Christianity evolved from an old religion similar to Zoroastrianism. So, I researched the idea over some 20 years. And yup, religions evolve. The best book I can recommend on the subject is When God Was a Woman. But we don’t really have much of the historical record of religious evolution. It didn’t leave too many bones, a few, but not enough to document the evolution. A few bones are found in the Bible if you know what to look for. But anyway religion evolves just like language and just as we have language groups left over from the evolution, there are groups of religion left over from evolution. There is even some “Neanderthal DNA” in Christianity from the far Eastern Religions, and the theory that the wisemen were looking for the reincarnation of Buddha. Anyway, we see evidence of religious evolution in the Abrahamic religions and how Christianity was “born from” Judaism....but no it wasn’t. That is as big of a misunderstanding as that humans descended from monkeys. We both descended from a common ancestor.

So, no, Christianity is not dying. It is evolving. There is environmental pressure on it. But I don’t think there will be an extinction. But it will evolve into something else, just as birds evolved from dinosaurs.

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SaidNobody
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by SaidNobody » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:55 am

alas wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:39 pm
SaidNobody is talking about Archetypes. Carl Jung was more of a philosopher than he ever was a psychologist.
I only read 3 books about Carl Jung. The guy had some damn fascinating ideas. But I wasn't thinking of Archetypes, because as I going through is books, that isn't what was catching my attention. I fact, I barely remember them, now that you mention them.
So, no, Christianity is not dying. It is evolving. There is environmental pressure on it. But I don’t think there will be an extinction. But it will evolve into something else, just as birds evolved from dinosaurs.
I would argue with you here, you know, because I like to do that, but I agree. Christianity has some distinct structure and framework that surrounds the Christ event, but most of it was old and even new. It is always evolving and not always for the better. Sometimes we have to go back and try again.

But I love Christians. Our culture did some cool stuff. But religion will not die. Even if they change the name to Self Proclaimed Greatness, it will still be people seeking God, both within and without. They claim that God is dead. Not even close. God is within us, and like most conscious element is looking for it's home.

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deacon blues
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Re: Is Christianity Dying?

Post by deacon blues » Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:21 am

It's fun and interesting to hear you say you like to argue, SN. :) Have you ever changed your mind about something through argument? ;)
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