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The coming evangelical collapse - Comments

jim6661's Avatar Comment 1 by jim6661

I would love to see the fundegelicals collape but even if they did we would need to remain ever vigilant. God-worshipers are the sneakiest SOBs. They're like Dracula; no matter how many times you kill him he always comes back.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:09:00 UTC | #335103

Hypnos7's Avatar Comment 2 by Hypnos7

"We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith."

The cycle is doomed to repeat.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:12:00 UTC | #335104

Bsl's Avatar Comment 3 by Bsl

The authors comment "how to keep secularism out of church" and the general tone of the piece strikes me as the usual "help help we're under attack" type of talk that tends to come from Christians that persistantly believe they are being chased by lions. Whether or not these 'lions' the author mentions happen to be a real threat to this group, I do not know.

I think the author is somewhat erm... less informed with the statement "If American churches come under more of the influence of the movement of the Holy Spirit in Africa and Asia, this will be a good thing." I think it is unlikely that any religious group unique to an African or South American culture would be well suited to the enviroment found in North America; although, I say that with just cultural differences in mind. The finer points of Christianity in South America and Africa, for all I know, may very well be perfectly happy and prosperous in the US as described by the author.

All in all, I'd like to see some kind of attendance data, or more hard evidence to support the claims. Otherwise it just looks like baseless doomspeak because someone had a bad day at the office.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:36:00 UTC | #335109

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 5 by Enlightenme..

"It is time for missionaries to come to America from Asia and Africa. Will they come? Will they be able to bring to our culture a more vital form of Christianity?"
"If American churches come under more of the influence of the movement of the Holy Spirit in Africa and Asia, this will be a good thing."

So the future is gonna have more smuggling of powdered rhino-horn, tiger-penises & human albino body-parts, more genital mutilation, and more herbal cures for HIV & holey-condom scares, plus a renewed emphasis on homophobia, and the demotion of women to 'equal but different', KKK (kids, cooking & church*)



#3: "it just looks like baseless doomspeak because someone had a bad day at the office."

I don't know that you have to have a bad day to be rapture-ready!

*Kinder, Kuche und Kirche.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:46:00 UTC | #335111

MelM's Avatar Comment 4 by MelM

...and survive the secular onslaught.
I guess that means us.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:46:00 UTC | #335110

MelM's Avatar Comment 6 by MelM

3. Comment #351181 by Bsl

I agree with your analysis.

However, I do like the "secular onslaught" idea. Let's go for it!

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:49:00 UTC | #335112

MelM's Avatar Comment 7 by MelM

Din't Sarah Palin's holy man come from Africa?
I recall that she went thru something that protected her from witchs.

A quick search comes up with this article:
"The Real Danger of Sarah Palin's Witch Hunter"

Just what we need: a more "vital" form of Christianity.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 22:01:00 UTC | #335116

scienceHlogic's Avatar Comment 8 by scienceHlogic

This is the same kind of doomsday nonsense I heard when I was still with a church. A few years ago, they came out with the 4% statistic. Basically (and I dont know all the details) some Christians took a survey that seemed to show that the number of youth in this country who were commited to God and the Bible was only 4%. Now we could only wish, but in accuallity this is no where near the truth. Christians love and I mean LOVE, to pronounce there own doom in the hope that it will motivate people to work harder at there faith.

While I agree that if the polls are correct then the church has been losing a fair amount of numbers, I would not be surprised if they all turned out to be those half baked Christians that would go out of habit. Thank mainly to Bush and the religious right, its just not in still right now to be a Christian and its showing.

However Pastors like Rick Warren are already talking about moving the churches agenda away from the culture war and to much less controversial issues like fighting poverty. Where else to you think people are going to turn to as things get worse here, this Recession and possible depression will great things for the church.
Which goes to show Christianity's greatest strength, (most ironically) its proven able to evolve, and adapt. They will go down, but before you know it, they will be right back up, and stronger than before.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 22:15:00 UTC | #335119

Will in Aus's Avatar Comment 9 by Will in Aus

I hope he's right. It couldn't happen soon enough.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 22:22:00 UTC | #335121

MelM's Avatar Comment 10 by MelM

Maybe a little off topic but I found this article by Barbara Forrest. Most people familiar with the Dover trial will know who she is.
It's a piece about Bobby Jindal. He's the governor of Louisiana who signed an anti-evolution bill over the objections of us and many many scientists. Unfortunately, he's considered a major and very possible Republican candidate for president of the U.S. He's hanging out with a bad crowd.

"Bobby Jindal: George Bush Redux in Louisiana"
By Barbara Forrest

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 22:59:00 UTC | #335125

MelM's Avatar Comment 11 by MelM

scienceHlogic: Christians love and I mean LOVE, to pronounce there own doom in the hope that it will motivate people to work harder at there faith.
Probably helps the cash donation stream also.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 23:07:00 UTC | #335126

Szkeptik's Avatar Comment 13 by Szkeptik

Well... this is a very nice out-of-the-ass story. I hope he's right though.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 00:55:00 UTC | #335139

beanson's Avatar Comment 12 by beanson

Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures...

... er, yes, I think that day may have already arrived

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 00:55:00 UTC | #335138

Butler's Avatar Comment 14 by Butler

I have to say, it is refreshing that he's basically admitting "Evangelicism is going down the tubes because we screwed it up big time", instead of taking the usual course of blaming external forces like liberal politics or secularism.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 01:19:00 UTC | #335141

sunbeamforjesus's Avatar Comment 15 by sunbeamforjesus

Good news of course but what made me smile was his description of himself:
"a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality."
Fuck me
From now on I shall answer the phone by saying :
Hi I'm a Darwinian ,middle aged ,beer drinking Englishman looking for a little casual sex and a few bob in the bank,prior to oblivion and a return to earth elements!
Perhaps not!

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 01:50:00 UTC | #335148

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 16 by Ignorant Amos

Comment #351183 by Enlightenme..

It is time for missionaries to come to America from Asia and Africa. Will they come' Will they be able to bring to our culture a more vital form of Christianity'"

A tad off thread but if they have as much hassle as I'm having with my immigration I think they'll give up before getting there. I married an American lady last March and I've not seen her since and I'm an english speaking, white Anglo Saxon, Ulster Scots Irishman with a clean military record and a clean traceable background. Then again I've noticed a special immigration category for holy rollers which no doubt allows them to avoid the usual checks and balances. Religion getting special treatment again.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:02:00 UTC | #335151

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer

One of the talk2action links had this YouTube story

Asking Anti-Abortion Demonstrators an Important Question

which revealed one of the points made in the article.

Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:05:00 UTC | #335152

scoobie's Avatar Comment 18 by scoobie

Just looks like a whole bunch of assertions, listed one after another.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:09:00 UTC | #335153

JemyM's Avatar Comment 19 by JemyM

I eyed it through rather quickly but at a first glance I found it surprisingly aware of how culture works and have worked for thousands of years.

Culture works just like evolution, ideas that cannot adapt and even try to challenge change will die out. Unintellectual conservatism die because it have no more nutrition than nostalgia and nostalgia die natural deaths along with it's host. You cannot pass on nostalgia to a new generation.

Swedish Christianity is strangely resilant... so resilant that the majority of all Christians are atheists and the majority of all supporters for Christianity are atheists. This is because they have adapted so much that they are now pretty much a humanist organisation that both do good and have the universal recognition as a "do-gooder". Even the humanist organisation of Sweden have been forced to consider the Swedish Church as an ally rather than an enemy, that's how adapted it is. If a Swedish Christian is pushed about American Evangelicalism you often get the reply "That's not Christianity".

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:14:00 UTC | #335157

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 20 by Ignorant Amos

I'm glad to see the author openly admitting that there is a fair sized proportion of the Evangelical movement that is all and only about money and the lining of pockets by brainwashing, then standing on the neck of the poor ignorants who haven't got the gumption to realise they are being stroked out of there hard earned cash.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:25:00 UTC | #335166

brainsys's Avatar Comment 21 by brainsys

This is a ridiculous navel gazing analysis. The CSM is so americo-centric. Instead of realising that maybe, just maybe, the US has chosen to re-join the rest of the 'western civilised' planet.

A planet where christianity is largely already a historical anomaly. Yes we still suffer from its death throes but that is in reaction to post-christian governments and beliefs in many of the bulwarks of western christian civilisation.

Yes there are issues in countries that are not so far along the church life-cycle (mostly those that had christianity shoved down their throats by those who have now given it up). There are issues when societies have to cope with other incoming religions also earlier in their life cycle.

But christianity is basically dead in the 'western world'. Its churches, music, holidays etc are still worshipped. But God is kept out of decision making circle in government, business, home and especially bed.

When God is invoked there is trouble with the majority. And it is God that is mostly on the backfoot (even the Vatican agrees with that!). Blair was our (UK) anomaly and (thank God:) he is gone even if we have to eventually sort out his faith-school damage.

So welcome to the 21st century USA. I had my doubts about Obama, but this might just be the guy to ease the pain of the transition.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:52:00 UTC | #335177

DoctorE's Avatar Comment 22 by DoctorE

Evolution of the human mind in progress :)

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:30:00 UTC | #335192

FishNChimps's Avatar Comment 23 by FishNChimps


"7. The money will dry up. "

That's the killer.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:35:00 UTC | #335193

Opisthokont's Avatar Comment 24 by Opisthokont

I must say, this is a realistic and refreshing change from the usual culture-war sort of whinings with which the religious Right likes to inundate us. It is an acknowledgement that Christianity is a victim more of martyrdom than of marginalisation (which of course most here will agree is a good thing). At the same time, I cannot suppress the reflexive urge to shake the author and ask him why secularism is such a bad thing!

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:56:00 UTC | #335202

dochmbi's Avatar Comment 25 by dochmbi

10 years? More like 100 years.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 04:07:00 UTC | #335206

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 26 by Rich Wiltshir

I'd like to think the fall of christian influence is just around the corner; but such ramblings as this show that there's still more than enough people around who are willing to pay attention to drivel.

Michael Spencer's words seem crafted with the intent of gaining influence - saying that everything will be bad for a while until it gets better thanks to his own special wisdom is neither new, wise or scripted with any intellectual talent.

Good luck with your power struggle Mr Spencer!!!

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 05:03:00 UTC | #335216

toddaa's Avatar Comment 27 by toddaa

The rapid increase in access to information is what's ultimately dooming Christianity. Spencer bemoans the lack of knowledge that young people have about Christian theology, but he seems to ignore the fact that young people now have access to information outside the approved materials provided by their Church. That's what's killing Christianity.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 05:39:00 UTC | #335228

dreamcurve's Avatar Comment 28 by dreamcurve

I half expected the writer to say something like 'but as long as we stand firm in Gods love...' or similar. But I was surprised the quite non-denomenational feel, until the last line:

The writer describes himself as "a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality."

Mmmm,is that the latest trendy viewpoint for salvation today? I often wonder why xians dont see the inherent stupidity of denominations, as if God wasnt speaking clearly enough for their to be no doubt.

The simple fact is that all religion will become increasingly marginalised as our understanding precludes God as an explanation for things. This obviously feeds in to the exact issues being raised - of course christian education will fail, it has nothing to add. Its not surprising that someone would be ridiculed for suggesting Lamarckian evolution, why would it be any different if someone advocates a theology that is at odds with what we know about the world today?

Humanity needs to grow up and face the real problems, like how we grow from a petty bunch of over consuming self centered idiots in to a species that can live in relative harmony with itself and the planet. Christianity is certainly not going to help with that challenge!

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 05:45:00 UTC | #335229

gos's Avatar Comment 29 by gos

4. Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.

I'd like to see at least some anecdotes to back up the first statement, but the second sentence is so on the money!

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 05:59:00 UTC | #335234

firstelder_d's Avatar Comment 30 by firstelder_d

Even with the bias, he makes the collapse sound great.

Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture

There's never been a good argument for why, and 'or you'll burn in hell' has been the only motivation.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 06:17:00 UTC | #335238