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How long will churches last?
Posted: 17 March 2014 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Someone on the previous page alluded to a good point…there will likely be a rebadging of churches and shifts in their roles of teaching religion and dogma to institutions that instead rally around certain causes; for example, helping feed people in other countries. For example, I am an athiest, but attend a Unitarian Universalist church—there are many atheist and those that are spiritual, keep it personal and we all respect each others own path (there is no dogma or creed you must accept). One of the main reasons I attend is for the social justice activities and community. You don’t need a god to form a place of community and gathering within your community/demographic area. A lot of people fear that if churches fall away, so will community.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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FinallyDecided - 17 March 2014 03:57 AM

Someone on the previous page alluded to a good point…there will likely be a rebadging of churches and shifts in their roles of teaching religion and dogma to institutions that instead rally around certain causes; for example, helping feed people in other countries. For example, I am an athiest, but attend a Unitarian Universalist church—there are many atheist and those that are spiritual, keep it personal and we all respect each others own path (there is no dogma or creed you must accept). One of the main reasons I attend is for the social justice activities and community. You don’t need a god to form a place of community and gathering within your community/demographic area. A lot of people fear that if churches fall away, so will community.

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

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Posted: 17 March 2014 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Lausten - 17 March 2014 06:50 PM
Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

Most churches I’ve been to do very little (contribute very little money) to actual causes outside of their church. The only benefit from their existence would be the socialization aspect that it provides it’s attendees and members (which does offer emotional benefit, perhaps). When you think about all the money that gets funneled into churches, it seems ashame because most of that money probably just goes to maintaining church facilities, keeping the public “show” going, paying utilities etc. I already pay my own bills and have no interest in paying those of some church. If I am going to give money, I want it to benefit someone/some worthy cause in this world. Just as an experiment, try visiting the websites of local churches in your community…do you find any “outreach” projects? I had a hard time finding churches in my community that do.

[ Edited: 18 March 2014 07:24 AM by FinallyDecided ]
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Posted: 18 March 2014 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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One thing many of the larger churches and most denominations do is send missionaries to other countries, this helps the relatively isolated people of the us understand and possibly sympathize with many different peoples and their problems, when I was much younger and the Kennedy’s peace corp. was much publicized I was hoping that this would be the non-believers answer to this.  Unfortunately today you never even hear about it.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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FinallyDecided - 18 March 2014 07:21 AM

Most churches I’ve been to do very little (contribute very little money) to actual causes outside of their church. The only benefit from their existence would be the socialization aspect that it provides it’s attendees and members (which does offer emotional benefit, perhaps). When you think about all the money that gets funneled into churches, it seems ashame because most of that money probably just goes to maintaining church facilities, keeping the public “show” going, paying utilities etc. I already pay my own bills and have no interest in paying those of some church. If I am going to give money, I want it to benefit someone/some worthy cause in this world. Just as an experiment, try visiting the websites of local churches in your community…do you find any “outreach” projects? I had a hard time finding churches in my community that do.

That’s what makes the calculations difficult. If you add up church contributions, it’s a huge number, but how much of that is going to mansions for pastors at megachurches? How much is just heating an empty building? Bigger question, if not motivated by the fear of hell, will people come out in the same numbers to volunteer? On the other hand, people go to Haiti, sing, bring Bibles, pray and tour the area and then finally spend a few hours building something, hopefully that waste would be eliminated.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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One thing many of the larger churches and most denominations do is send missionaries to other countries, this helps the relatively isolated people of the us understand and possibly sympathize with many different peoples and their problems, when I was much younger and the Kennedy’s peace corp. was much publicized I was hoping that this would be the non-believers answer to this.  Unfortunately today you never even hear about it.

Fortunately the Peace Corps is alive and well and still active in several countries. It’s just not as well publicized as it was in the 60’s. A friend and classmate of mine joined in 1969 and was sent to Africa to dig water wells in Niger. He did two years there and enjoyed the experience. Another friend joined the domestic version, VISTA and built houses on the Apache Reservation for two years. Both government sponsored programs had no ties to religious organizations that I know of and still don’t. I have no idea why they were pushed out of the limelight but they would be a certainly be atractive service organizations for seculars.

http://www.peacecorps.gov/

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Posted: 21 March 2014 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Not to sound ageist, but most churches look more like senior centers based on the demographics.

Also, a major component that I think may work against most traditional denominations is that there truly seems to be a lack of diversification within traditional churches. I think lack of diversity can also be a deterrent and seems more like a barrier to most communities. I really enjoy diversity and just think I would be uncomfortable even if I was a religious person.

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Posted: 21 March 2014 09:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Lausten - 17 March 2014 06:50 PM
Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

You wrote, “It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power . . .

That was no accident.

Lois

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Posted: 22 March 2014 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Lois - 21 March 2014 09:31 PM
Lausten - 17 March 2014 06:50 PM
Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

You wrote, “It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power . . .

That was no accident.

Lois

Isn’t it also true that scandal and controversy is nothing new to the Catholic church? It seems back in elementary school I recall learning how when hearing “confessions,” some priests would tell the person they had to “pay” a certain amount to the church in order to be forgiven? I’ll have to look up the term for it. The Catholic church just seems like it wants political power today to have leverage over women’s rights, control of what marriage is, birth control etc.

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Posted: 22 March 2014 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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FinallyDecided - 22 March 2014 02:27 AM

The Catholic church just seems like it wants political power today to have leverage over women’s rights, control of what marriage is, birth control etc.

And then some.

From it’s beginning, the catholic church has been an organized crime group. Probably the most successful of organized groups.

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Posted: 22 March 2014 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Lois - 21 March 2014 09:31 PM
Lausten - 17 March 2014 06:50 PM
Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

You wrote, “It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power . . .

That was no accident.

Lois

I’m going by Richard Carrier’s analysis of how they were loosely organized into groups that really were acting compassionately, kinda like NGOs do in places where gov’t is weak. They were also allowing women in their hierarchy. Cults that didn’t were dying out. So as Rome tried to rebuild in Constantinople they were a good choice for a group to support. I don’t think Constantine envisioned what would happen after he died. A different religion with a different crazy leader seeking political power could have just as easily found a different country to partner with. The mere chance placement of Constantinople and its thick walled castle was an “accident of history”. Obviously someone strategically built it there, but it wasn’t the Christians who thought of that. They just happened to make the right alliance at the right time.

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Posted: 22 March 2014 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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FinallyDecided - 22 March 2014 02:27 AM
Lois - 21 March 2014 09:31 PM
Lausten - 17 March 2014 06:50 PM
Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

You wrote, “It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power . . .

That was no accident.

Lois

Isn’t it also true that scandal and controversy is nothing new to the Catholic church? It seems back in elementary school I recall learning how when hearing “confessions,” some priests would tell the person they had to “pay” a certain amount to the church in order to be forgiven? I’ll have to look up the term for it. The Catholic church just seems like it wants political power today to have leverage over women’s rights, control of what marriage is, birth control etc.

Yes. However any scandal was well hidden before the recent child abuse scandal. They managed to make talk of such practices seem like mere rumours and that anyone who claimed they were true was just anti-Catholic. How they managed to keep such scandals hidden for centuries would be an interesting subject for investigation.

Lois

[ Edited: 22 March 2014 09:00 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 22 March 2014 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Lausten - 22 March 2014 05:50 AM
Lois - 21 March 2014 09:31 PM
Lausten - 17 March 2014 06:50 PM
Lois - 17 March 2014 06:30 PM

Yes, and they’re wrong. As long as there are humans there will be communities. It’s just that theistic churches have cornered the market—until now. Community venues will change. I also think UU churches are in the forefront of the movement away from theistic churches as the only community centers.

Lois

One hopes. Many of my discussions with atheists lately end when I start to connect religion to bad behavior. They insist that their organization does only good in the world. It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power then passed along their skill of guilting people into giving them money on to the Protestants. There is obviously a strong urge to give but so many say they are doing God’s work instead of simply what needs to be done. It’s a little harder to get people to volunteer when you have to explain why it’s needed. I hope that civic organizations will continue to grow and fill the void that churches are creating, but it’s hard to predict.

You wrote, “It is mostly an accident of history that the Catholic church ended up with so much power . . .

That was no accident.

Lois

I’m going by Richard Carrier’s analysis of how they were loosely organized into groups that really were acting compassionately, kinda like NGOs do in places where gov’t is weak. They were also allowing women in their hierarchy. Cults that didn’t were dying out. So as Rome tried to rebuild in Constantinople they were a good choice for a group to support. I don’t think Constantine envisioned what would happen after he died. A different religion with a different crazy leader seeking political power could have just as easily found a different country to partner with. The mere chance placement of Constantinople and its thick walled castle was an “accident of history”. Obviously someone strategically built it there, but it wasn’t the Christians who thought of that. They just happened to make the right alliance at the right time.

Good point.

Lois

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