Why Christianity Is Dying But Spirituality Is Thriving?
Dr. Steve McSwain looks at the changing shape of Christianity in America.
07/17/2013 11:37:08 AM
I was once a "none." And I've experienced all the thoughts about the Church that you've laid out. But when I started questioning the idea that God would demand the death of an innocent person (a human sacrifice--the sort of thing he expressly forbid Abraham to do) before He would consider forgiving me, I ended up questioning more and more until, eventually, I became a Jew. I'm all for Universalism (one of many reasons I embraced Judaism), but Christianity sort of has itself backed into a corner on that; if you say you don't need Jesus to die for your forgiveness, then eventually people are going to realize they don't need Jesus at all and it doesn't matter what religion they are. Maybe they'll keep coming to church because they need someplace to belong, or maybe they'll drift in and out and worshiping will become like eating out: you go to whatever place you're in the mood for today.
03/07/2013 08:11:46 PM
Of course I agree with these points: I have no interest in the Bible, I believe Christians should be open to other religions and their spirituality, support LGBT equality, and don't believe that heaven is a pie-in-the-sky payoff for correct theology. But who does? A few rednecks somewhere in the rural south? I can only suspect that the SBNR who reject religion come from white trash backgrounds and think of religion as Evangelicalism--not the religion of downtown brownstone churches, great music, fine art, and high church. Organized religion is important because it maintains the buildings and organizes the rituals. To reject religion is to reject the buildings, rituals, art, music, all the stuff that produces aesthetic/mystical experience. I can't imagine why anyone would want to be spiritual but not religious, to give up those yummy goodies. And to forstall the usual response, of course there are other goodies--sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, food, sports, nature hikes and bike-riding. Church is just more. And the more the better. Pleasure and pleasure alone is good, and religion provides more of it. If, of course we don't take the ridiculous moralism seriously. And why should we? We should take what we like and enjoy. Religion is fun!
02/08/2013 08:04:37 PM
Christianity is dying because it is rejecting the faithful. Case in point: Beliefnet just killed a deal for a blog with a Presbyterian blogger who wanted to include the word "f*m*n*sm" in the title. Too offensive. (wtf?) I guess they missed that part of the Bible where there is no more slave or free, Jew or Gentile, or male or female in Christ. Christianity used to be about a message of love. Growing in Christ meant being transformed into a loving person. Now, it's about aggressively trying to change others and judging them if they won't conform to one's own Pharisaical views.