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Thursday, January 05, 2017

The severed branch dies

A professor of religion and culture only requires five years to observe the obvious in the Washington Post:
Mainline Protestant churches are in trouble: A 2015 report by the Pew Research Center found that these congregations, once a mainstay of American religion, are now shrinking by about 1 million members annually. Fewer members not only means fewer souls saved, a frightening thought for some clergy members, but also less income for churches, further ensuring their decline.

Faced with this troubling development, clergy members have made various efforts to revive church attendance. It was almost 20 years ago that John Shelby Spong, a U.S. bishop in the Episcopalian Church, published his book “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” It was presented as an antidote to the crisis of decline in mainline churches. Spong, a theological liberal, said congregations would grow if they abandoned their literal interpretation of the Bible and transformed along with changing times.

Spong’s general thesis is popular with many mainline Protestants, including those in the United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian (U.S.A.) and Episcopal churches. Spong’s work has won favor with academics, too. Praising Spong’s work specifically, Karen L. King of Harvard Divinity School said in a review of Spong’s book that it “should be required reading for everyone concerned with facing head-on the intellectual and spiritual challenges of late-twentieth-century religious life.” Harvard Divinity professor and liberal theologian Harvey Cox said “Bishop Spong’s work is a significant accomplishment,” and indeed, Cox himself has long been at the task of shifting Christianity to meet the needs of the modern world. Thus, liberal theology has been taught for decades in mainline seminaries and preached from many mainline pulpits. Its enduring appeal to embattled clergy members is that it gives intellectual respectability to religious ideas that, on the surface, might appear far-fetched to modern audiences.

But the liberal turn in mainline churches doesn’t appear to have solved their problem of decline.

Over the last five years, my colleagues and I conducted a study of 22 mainline congregations in the province of Ontario. We compared those in the sample that were growing mainline congregations to those that were declining. After statistically analyzing the survey responses of over 2,200 congregants and the clergy members who serve them, we came to a counterintuitive discovery: Conservative Protestant theology, with its more literal view of the Bible, is a significant predictor of church growth while liberal theology leads to decline. The results were published this month in the peer-reviewed journal, Review of Religious Research.

We also found that for all measures, growing church clergy members were most conservative theologically, followed by their congregants, who were themselves followed by the congregants of the declining churches and then the declining church clergy members. In other words, growing church clergy members are the most theologically conservative, while declining church clergy members are the least.
A nominally Christian church that does not believe in God or Jesus Christ has no reason to exist. By severing themselves from God's Word, the Bible, and freeing themselves from its strictures, they inevitably decline and die.

It is a reliable predictive model. Welcome women into the pulpit in defiance of Scripture and your church will almost instantly go into decline. Once Jesus Christ is evicted from the building, the genuine Christians soon follow.

Labels:

144 Comments:

Blogger Orville January 05, 2017 4:07 PM  

It took a learned study to discover this?

Ichabod.

Blogger Keyser Soze January 05, 2017 4:10 PM  

As Ann B. would say, "Super Fun Rock Band Church" really doesn't believe in anything biblical. It was a big turn off for myself in the 70's when the church tried to become more "relevant" to the young, not understanding that the young needed biblical guidance and strength, not a friend......

Blogger James Dixon January 05, 2017 4:14 PM  

> we came to a counterintuitive discovery

Counterintuitive to you maybe. Not to anyone else. Including Spong, who was always a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Blogger Elizabeth January 05, 2017 4:17 PM  

This is nothing new. As far back as 1972, Dean Kelley wrote a book called "Why Conservative Churches are Growing." Liberals, especially young ones, are less likely to actively practice a religion. Perhaps, this wasn't always true, but it is now.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor January 05, 2017 4:19 PM  

The spiritual challenges of today: totally different than they were 2000 years ago, because science.

Blogger Wanderer January 05, 2017 4:23 PM  

Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther.

Blogger Justin C January 05, 2017 4:25 PM  

The only problem is that many non denominational churches, (the fastest growing I believe,) adhere to more orthodox theology but at the same time rely on serotonin producing worship services, rock concerts and other such gimmics as well as the power of personality of the pastor.

This can get old and lave people with a shallow faith, albeit more sociologically conservative I suppose. But, even with the band, the charismatic personalities, millenials raised in such churches like myself, get burnt out and drop it all together. This is why unaffiliated is the fastest growing denomination in the USA.

Blogger Justin C January 05, 2017 4:28 PM  

"Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther. "

Im pacing myself

Anonymous Faceless January 05, 2017 4:28 PM  

@7

I am glad, then, that my pastor is a prickly pear, and, of the 90-100 minutes of a service (excluding 60 minute Sunday school), only 15-20 is spent on the music part, which is broken up with an invocation. They really have to encourage reading the book instead of listening to music.

Blogger The Kurgan January 05, 2017 4:29 PM  

I posit the challenges today are worse.
Partly because technology (especially social media) is for the most part aligned with the Enemy, and partly because we may be nearing (for variable versions of "nearing") the end times.

Blogger The Kurgan January 05, 2017 4:30 PM  

Ditto

Blogger dc.sunsets January 05, 2017 4:31 PM  

Leftists kill everything they touch, and it doesn't matter if they hoist on their own petard to them.

It really does qualify as a behavioral pathology.

Blogger Justin C January 05, 2017 4:32 PM  

Yes some non denoms do it much better than others. I went to a Pentecostal church and school growing up. Praise and worship could go on and on until enough people had been slain in the spirit that day.

But Ive been to non Pentecostal non denomination churches where service was just as you described and a much more rewarding experience

Blogger Justin C January 05, 2017 4:33 PM  

to be fair though those Pentecostal churches I went to growing up were almost literally run by women

Blogger Zach January 05, 2017 4:34 PM  

Religious SJWs always double down. If church size shrinks after adopting liberal theology, why, you just didn't modernize enough!

And if that explanation works, you can just sniff that you're being "prophetic" and it's not your fault the deplorable troglodytes aren't in step with the 'new thing' the Spirit is leading.

God have mercy.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 05, 2017 4:37 PM  

Gas liberal theologians, inquisition NOW!

Blogger Matamoros January 05, 2017 4:38 PM  

Welcome women into the pulpit in defiance of Scripture and your church will almost instantly go into decline.

This is what has happened in liberal dioceses and parishes with the introduction of "altar girls", female lectors, and now Francis wanting female "deacons".

Deaconesses were a non-starter in the Church and died out early. There is no such thing as female priests (priestesses) or bishopresses in the Church, only in paganism - which is what the SJWs want.

Anonymous old man in a villa January 05, 2017 4:39 PM  

"...we came to a counterintuitive discovery..."

You see that comment an awful lot. My intuition said the exact opposite.

Sorta like their tolerance standards.

Of course we are expected to accept the premise that church growth was indeed their objective. The may have been very successful at what they were shooting for.

Blogger Earl January 05, 2017 4:41 PM  

The worship portion of a service is always going to be argued over. Someone always complains.

They play too loud.

Theyre too soft.

Too fast.

Too slow. Too heavy. Too many tattoos. Sweaters tied around their polos. Drums are of the devil. We need more hymns. Let's update the hymns and change the time signature. More cowbell. Less crying. Jesus isn't my girlfriend.

Blogger Chris McCullough January 05, 2017 4:45 PM  

The guy who came up with New Coke always seems to find work.

Anonymous To Mock a Killingbird January 05, 2017 4:46 PM  

"Spong, a theological liberal"

Actually, Spong is just a garden variety lunatic with hypergraphia. To call his musings "theology" is hardly justifiable.

However, he is a fine spiritual son of Henry Tudor, who made the difficult disposable.

It is as if these leftists received a Great Commission that enjoined them to make themselves disciples of the world.

Blogger Student in Blue January 05, 2017 4:47 PM  

The LCMS (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) put out a journal on this topic just last month.

"The LCMS’s persistent, long-term decline manifests itself both in a massive decrease in child baptisms(down 70 percent since their peak in the late 1950s) and a smaller but still significant decrease in adult converts(down 47 percent since their peak, again in the late 1950s).

Indeed, the number of child baptisms and adult converts have decreased together in a remarkably similar pattern.

Thus there is no wedge that can be driven between openness to life (family size) and sharing life (evangelism). They are two sides of the same coin. Even down to the congregational level, churches with lots of growing families have lots of adult converts. The two simply go together; they either increase or decline together as these data demonstrate."

Having kids is important to growing the Church, don't you know.

Anonymous craig January 05, 2017 4:53 PM  

6. Wanderer: "Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther."

Without opening that particular can of worms, it is fair to say that most blame lies in the shifting view toward the content of the Christian faith from (a) a set of historical claims and corollary intellectual and moral ideas, which are to be passed down across generations without intent to add or subtract; to (b) a set of just-so stories illustrating intellectual and moral ideas, which are to be 'scientifically' examined, corrected, and improved to conform to contemporary expertise.

This attitudinal shift from (a) to (b) did not arrive as a bottom-up rejection by the laity, but as a literal trahison des clercs, chiefly by the seminary theologians who lacked the honor to resign their posts after apostasizing. It has been the principal plague hollowing out both Catholic and Protestant churches over the last 100 years.

Blogger BigFire January 05, 2017 4:53 PM  

When your church believes in nothing, there's really no reason to attend it anymore. Even this non-religious person (I kinda raised Buddhist) can see.

Blogger John Wright January 05, 2017 4:57 PM  

@8
"Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther."

I pin the main blame on Nicolaitans, myself. Darn those guys! They thought that the Church would be more popular and appealing to the surrounding pagans if we ate meats offered to idols and accepted the fertility rites of Aphrodite, Ashtarte, or Hermaphroditas lawful.

Since the time of the Apostles, there have been men willing to sell their birthright of the love of Christ for a mess of pottage of the love of the World.

Blogger modsquad January 05, 2017 4:58 PM  

In all fairness they deserve to die. The New Testament of the Bible has to be the most misunderstood and misinterpreted book(s) of all time.

Blogger Justin C January 05, 2017 5:00 PM  

I've heard it said in Catholic circles "The spirit of Vatican II" was about making the church more open. Well the opened the doors and everybody left.

Lex oriandi, Lex Credendi Lex vivendi, or something like that. Im sure Vox will correct. It's an old adage that means right worship leads to right belief, leads to right living. Or as Father Z. opines, Save the liturgy (and you) save the world.

Blogger pyrrhus January 05, 2017 5:02 PM  

@24 Yes, if a church does not believe in something supernatural, by which I mean outside the current media interpretation of acceptable religious experience, it has absolutely nothing to offer...It's an ugly fact that Satanists are more spiritual than many Protestant churchians.

Blogger pyrrhus January 05, 2017 5:04 PM  

O/T update--Kidnapping and hate crime offenses filed against the Chicago 4...http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-05/chicago-cops-claim-4-trump-taunting-blacks-attacked-white-teen-over-his-special-need

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 05, 2017 5:04 PM  

Wanderer wrote:Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther.
Sadly true. As if the problem weren't as bad or worse in our church.

Spong was not a "theological Liberal". Spong was, constructively, an Atheist. Whatever Jesus he believed in, it was definitely not the Jesus of the Gospel.

The actual problem is that churches worry about building their brand and their audience, excuse me, congregation, rather than preaching Christ and salvation.

As Mother Theresa put it "Ours is not to win the battle, ours is to do our duty faithfully. God will win the battle."

Blogger Bob Loblaw January 05, 2017 5:07 PM  

Spong, a theological liberal, said congregations would grow if they abandoned their literal interpretation of the Bible and transformed along with changing times.

Theology aside, when you change doctrine in response to a changing society, what you're saying to the parishioners is the doctrine you were preaching all these years was based on the then-current secular mores and not the Word of God. How can they trust you now? You're not running a church; you're running a social club for people with nothing to do on Sunday.

Blogger Nick S January 05, 2017 5:08 PM  

Something is changing for the better. For all his past dissolute foibles, I think Christians are going to have a champion in the White House. War, revival or both, it's definitely going to be different for the faithful going forward. I'm optimistic for the first time in a long time.

Anonymous To Mock a Killingbird January 05, 2017 5:08 PM  

@22.

"Having kids is important to growing the Church, don't you know."

Ever wonder why contraception and abortion are so very important to the left? It's a twofwer. It takes out the family AND the Church.

The entire statist project has one main goal. Isolate the individual person from anything that will mediate between him or her and the "vicissitudes of fortune". The family, the Church, voluntary associations have all been attacked and deformed so as to be debased of meaning and devoid of capacity.

Antinatalism is covaried with narcissism.

Blogger Cail Corishev January 05, 2017 5:15 PM  

I've heard it said in Catholic circles "The spirit of Vatican II" was about making the church more open. Well the opened the doors and everybody left.

Right. In the 1960s, they said they needed to make Catholicism (especially the liturgy) simpler, more focused on the people, more welcoming, etc. The usual. And people (both clergy and laity) left in droves.

That could have been an understandable mistake. But instead of recognizing the mistake and rolling it back, they spent the next 50 years doubling-down (and they aren't done yet). If going from Gregorian chant to 70s songs didn't work, bring in guitars. Having people kneel a few minutes instead of 15-20 didn't work, so take the kneelers away completely. Women doing the readings doesn't seem to be working, so have altar girls, women giving out Communion, and anything else we can think of to pander to them.

They wouldn't give up a single aspect of their revolution -- not even the new vestments and decorations -- no matter how many churches they had to close for lack of people. Now the joke in the Vatican calls anyone who thinks we should bring back any pre-1960s traditions a "restorationist" and a Pelagian. The doubling-down continues, at higher speed.

Blogger James Dixon January 05, 2017 5:20 PM  

> Spong was not a "theological Liberal". Spong was, constructively, an Atheist. Whatever Jesus he believed in, it was definitely not the Jesus of the Gospel.

As I said above, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Blogger jaericho January 05, 2017 5:26 PM  

@22 I thought the book: Broken by Pastor Fisk was really good. He explores a lot of this, IfWeCanJust-ism. If we can just do this or that we can grow the church. As if growing the church is the sole purpose of the church or our responsibility to begin with.

Blogger Patrick Wilson January 05, 2017 5:26 PM  

Something I understood as a second grader after the second Vatican council. People are drawn to predictability and stability not the latest fads.

Anonymous Fisk Ellington Rutledge III January 05, 2017 5:33 PM  

“Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” is the Way of the Unprincipled Coward.
It's no different from the suicidal RINO concept of "reaching out" to third-world savages.
Abandoning your core base in the hopes of gaining the allegiance of your enemies is quite simply craven surrender.
One of the problems that newspapers have had over the past 30-40 years is their increasing insistence on abandoning the market segment that actually able to and interested in reading while going after those who can't or won't read; Leftists who are uninterested in anything that isn't primarily entertainment, domestic Blacks and third-world savages for whom reading is either impossible or is akin to pumping out speed sets of push ups.
In any event, we are in the grip of a deadly, Leftist social pathology that is nothing but civilizational suicide.

Blogger darrenl January 05, 2017 5:35 PM  

Vox,

Thanks for that.

Just part of my own testimony: if it weren't for folks like Spong (not so much) and Marcus Borg (very much so), the person of Christ would most likely would not have made sense to my then new atheist mind set. It was them, and then some liberal Protestants who set the stage to the return to the Catholic faith. One thing lead to another kind of story.

God makes straight crooked paths..and thanks be to He. Clearly that avenue of Grace is coming to an end (??...maybe...???).

Blogger Bob Loblaw January 05, 2017 5:36 PM  

Fewer members not only means fewer souls saved, a frightening thought for some clergy members, but also less income for churches, further ensuring their decline.

I find that an oddly constructed sentence, and telling. Normally when you use the "not only this but also that" construction you put the most important part in the "that" position.

Blogger 1101doc January 05, 2017 5:40 PM  

Like the evangelical pastor said about the "mainline" church-
"The last time Jesus Christ was mentioned in that building the janitor was falling down the stairs."

Blogger WarKicker January 05, 2017 5:49 PM  

"Theology aside, when you change doctrine in response to a changing society, ..."

They never seem to get that truth is immutable.

Anonymous JustAnotherPairOfEyes January 05, 2017 5:51 PM  

Any opinions on the LDS / Mormons? I was asked to research the US churchs and ended up concluding that in the Western US at least, they're the top of the crop.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. January 05, 2017 6:01 PM  

In other news the Orthodox Church is rapidly growing.

Blogger Martin January 05, 2017 6:29 PM  

If Spong's recommendation represented truth, then the Church has absolutely nothing to offer me, and I have better things to do on a Sunday morning.

Anonymous Trimegistus January 05, 2017 6:39 PM  

The original Leftward Death Spiral. You see it in Reform Judaism, too: wherever Progressive politics and the Torah conflict, they abandon the Torah. Orthodox Jews, not so much, which is why they are growing.

Anonymous Eric the Red January 05, 2017 6:40 PM  

This is part of a larger religious war. Liberal churches are just one arm of the religion called secular humanism, disguised as Christians.

Trump and supporters have called into question one of the lefts' Holy Narratives called "The Inevitable March of History". Now the left is reacting with fear, anger, and insanity in an effort to reinstate it, to pretend it is not derailed.

We may be facing a 30-years war before this all gets settled.

Blogger Erynne January 05, 2017 6:44 PM  

After many years of associating with evangelical churches, I have given them up entirely and feel strongly attracted to liturgical (Anglican, not Catholic) churches. I find that I like the symbolism, the decor, the lack of cheery high school worship music, the repetition and sayings, the focus on prayer as a group, the robes, etc. I'm just tired of some plain gymnasium with rock band has beens followed by 30-40 minutes of fluffy Jesus love talk. It's like modern Protestantism has separated the church from the culture of the west. I like to see stained glass panels with the image of saint so-and-so, because it reminds me of the long history of serious minded Christians, and the differences they made.

Anonymous Passinthough January 05, 2017 6:45 PM  

@43
The Mormons/LDS settled the "Mormon corridor" a swath of county stretching from Lethbridge Alberta in the north to Colonia Juarez Mexico in the south. They came first and have stayed the longest. LDS doctrine and culture has remained conservative. Programs have changed but the doctrine has remained constant.
LDS theology/doctrine radically different from Catholicism and protest ism. This radical difference causes many mainline Christians to consider LDS to be non-Christians. Members of the LDS church consider their church to the same as the church originally organized by Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry.

Anonymous RA January 05, 2017 6:52 PM  

As a Catholic, I'm gonna say it was mostly Vatican II though anyone who studies Church history deeply enough can find the trends that led to Vatican II emerging as far back as the early 19th century. Some, like Podles, will argue much further back, well that is a debate for other forums.

Now none of the parishes I attend Mass at are full except at Christmas and Easter. A cousin's parish doesn't even have kneelers! Grrr! Further, I don't like female cantors, female lectors or altar girls. I like guitar music, but it belongs to pop, rock or jazz, not in my Church. Used to be young men who might have been suited for the priesthood usually got good examples not only from the local priests but also the male laity of the parish. Now with the feminized administration that is common to most parishes, definitely not so much. And there you have it. Men are not attracted to the feminized Church and while I am still a regular attendee, I can't say I blame them.

Blogger Cloudbuster January 05, 2017 6:56 PM  

Fewer members not only means fewer souls saved

Does it really? We're talking about the all-powerful God of the universe here. He may choose to act through certain institutions, but he is not limited by them, nor crippled by their failures.

Anonymous Thomas January 05, 2017 6:59 PM  

RA, Try the nearest SSPX Church. We have the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass, and No Alter Girls.
Worth looking into. I converted into it, and would not have converted into today's watered down Novus Ordo Church.

Blogger Natalie January 05, 2017 7:02 PM  

Faceless wrote:@7

I am glad, then, that my pastor is a prickly pear, and, of the 90-100 minutes of a service (excluding 60 minute Sunday school), only 15-20 is spent on the music part, which is broken up with an invocation. They really have to encourage reading the book instead of listening to music.


Except that corporate worship via Psalms and spiritual songs is one of those things commended/commanded in the Bible. There are plenty of robust old hymns that glorify God and aid in the perseverance and education of the Saint.

Blogger The Remnant January 05, 2017 7:15 PM  

The point of going to church is to set aside the world and pay heed to the eternal. With mainstream churches becoming a carbon copy of the (ever more) diseased world, there is no reason to go to church anymore. But let them keep separating the wheat from the chaff; the true believers will become more concentrated, dedicated, and uncompromising.

Blogger Natalie January 05, 2017 7:18 PM  

I'm skeptical of the "save the liturgy save the world" crowd simply because I've seen churches that use music from the pinnacle of Christendom and have beautiful liturgies that are as converged as they come.

Unless perhaps you mean liturgy in the larger sense of all that governs church worship and not just which readings your include (if any) and what music you play?

Anonymous RA January 05, 2017 7:27 PM  

@Thomas, I appreciate the sentiment, but there is no SSPX near me so I'm kinda stuck. Have looked it up at least once a year to see if any changes, expansion, etc. has taken place. No dice where I'm at. Can get a Traditional Latin Mass if I'm willing to drive an hour but nothing beyond that.

Anonymous Luke January 05, 2017 7:31 PM  

43. JustAnotherPairOfEyes January 05, 2017 5:51 PM
"Any opinions on the LDS / Mormons?"

They hold a different holy book (the Book of Mormon) higher than the Bible. Similarly, the Muslims hold their Koran higher than the Bible. No should consider either Christian IMO.

Blogger Lazarus January 05, 2017 7:36 PM  

Natalie wrote:Except that corporate worship via Psalms and spiritual songs is one of those things commended/commanded in the Bible.

I especially like that old favorite:

Welcoming the tares
Welcoming the tares
We shall go rejoicing
Welcoming the tares......

Blogger praetorian January 05, 2017 7:53 PM  

Fewer members not only means fewer souls saved, a frightening thought for some clergy members, but also less income for churches, further ensuring their decline.


As is so often the case the reporter has it exactly backwards: fewer souls saved is what is ensuring the decline of the churches, and it is rather the loss of income that terrifies the clergy.

Anonymous #8601 January 05, 2017 7:54 PM  

The Province of Ontario is one of the most cucked, most multicultural, most SJW infested places on earth. The results of this study are therefore all the more impressive.

Anonymous Anonymous January 05, 2017 7:55 PM  

A great falling away of the ecclesia? Where have I heard such a thing before?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 King James Version (KJV)

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Anonymous Tipsy January 05, 2017 8:00 PM  

Cail Corishev wrote:
They wouldn't give up a single aspect of their revolution -- not even the new vestments and decorations -- no matter how many churches they had to close for lack of people. Now the joke in the Vatican calls anyone who thinks we should bring back any pre-1960s traditions a "restorationist" and a Pelagian. The doubling-down continues, at higher speed.


Here's how former Abp. Rembert Weakland emoted in the Jesuit magazine "America" when JPII allowed the limited use the Tridentine rite:

"My hopes, however, were shattered. What totally derailed the liturgical renewal, from the point of view of this bishop in the trenches, was the decision of Pope John Paul II made I am sure, with great anguish to grant in 1984 the indult that allowed the Tridentine usage to flourish again."

I think God is forcing us to wander 40 years in the desert as a result of the misguided "Spirit of Vatican II" reforms, until His purpose for renewal is fulfilled.

Blogger AaMcavoy January 05, 2017 8:03 PM  

Passinthough wrote:@43

The Mormons/LDS settled the "Mormon corridor" a swath of county stretching from Lethbridge Alberta in the north to Colonia Juarez Mexico in the south. They came first and have stayed the longest. LDS doctrine and culture has remained conservative. Programs have changed but the doctrine has remained constant.

LDS theology/doctrine radically different from Catholicism and protest ism. This radical difference causes many mainline Christians to consider LDS to be non-Christians. Members of the LDS church consider their church to the same as the church originally organized by Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry.


Don't forget how many kids they have.
http://fox13now.com/2016/01/10/despite-downward-trend-utah-maintains-highest-average-fertility-rate-in-nation/

Blogger praetorian January 05, 2017 8:04 PM  

"Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther."

Luther? Sure, he sold off church property to the princes for protection and was clearly an unstable autiste, but he had some reasonable points.

It was Huss and his judaizing successors that are the real problem.

Now, where was I in my book...

Blogger VFM #7634 January 05, 2017 8:05 PM  


Right. In the 1960s, they said they needed to make Catholicism (especially the liturgy) simpler, more focused on the people, more welcoming, etc. The usual. And people (both clergy and laity) left in droves.

That could have been an understandable mistake. But instead of recognizing the mistake and rolling it back, they spent the next 50 years doubling-down (and they aren't done yet).


@34 Cail Corishev
And on top of that, when people try to find old-style Catholicism, they have to deal with cuckservatives such as the SSPX's Bp. Bernard Fellay and sellouts such as the FSSP.

Cuckservativism is a chronic problem within Catholicism. Cucks ran colonial Maryland, for example. How well did that work out for them?

Blogger Franz Lyonheart January 05, 2017 8:06 PM  

Protestant churches are in trouble: Fewer members means fewer souls saved, a frightening thought for some clergy

Uhm.

Don't worry pastor. Protestants all go to Hell anyway. Whether they visit church or no. So you didn't lose anything. Lol.

With my apologies to Vox for sperging the obvious.....

Blogger Worlds Edge January 05, 2017 8:09 PM  

6. Wanderer January 05, 2017 4:23 PM
Only a matter of time before some catholic comes in here and pins the blame on Luther.

====

Not around here they wouldn't. The Catholic Church in eastern Massachusetts is dying by inches. The most optimistic figure you'll read is that somewhere between five to ten percent of all baptized Catholics attend weekly Mass.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 05, 2017 8:11 PM  

"Spong, a theological liberal, said congregations would grow if they abandoned their literal interpretation of the Bible and transformed along with changing times."

A literal interpretation of the New Testament is not necessary to be a Christian. Neither the Nicene Creed, 325 AD, or Apostles' Creed, 390 AD, require such. In fact, the NT canon was not formalized until 692 AD. No one can seriously suggest that Christianity only began in 692 AD, or even circa 150 AD when the final book of what became the NT was written.

Besides, evidence and reason tell us that the NT, while containing some historically accurate information, contains much myth. Myths can be powerful, but should not be taken for facts. Joseph Campbell warned about getting lost by wrongly literally denoting a mythical connotation.

As human knowledge expands it is inevitable that the religious realm must shrink. That does not mean an ever shrinking spiritual realm is unimportant. In fact, pushing atheism is inhumane in that humans were created or evolved (take your pick) to have a sense of spirituality. But, Christian fundamentalism -- reading the NT literally (which cannot be done because of major inconsistencies), or claiming that the NT is the word of God (it's not -- it is the word of various men, most of whom are anonymous) -- is mystical nonsense that holds humanity back. Christianity needs another reformation to purge this unsupportable and blasphemous thought.

Blogger Elizabeth January 05, 2017 8:20 PM  

To Mock a Killingbird wrote:@22.

"Having kids is important to growing the Church, don't you know."

Ever wonder why contraception and abortion are so very important to the left? It's a twofwer. It takes out the family AND the Church.

The entire statist project has one main goal. Isolate the individual person from anything that will mediate between him or her and the "vicissitudes of fortune". The family, the Church, voluntary associations have all been attacked and deformed so as to be debased of meaning and devoid of capacity.

Antinatalism is covaried with narcissism.



What holds the family together is not love, but need. One of the reasons the family has declined in recent years is because it is no longer as necessary as it was in times past.

At one time, the family was a unit of economic production: husbands and wives, parents and children, sometimes other family members and perhaps any number of employees worked together on the family farm or business. Getting married was like going into business with someone, or joining an already-existing business. In the words of the Tina Turner song, "what's love got to do with it." Over the past 200 years, most families have ceased to be a unit of economic production and become a unit of economic consumption: We buy instead of raising, growing or making for ourselves.

The family, whether the nuclear or extended, was at one time a mini Department of Health & Human Services. If you were sick, unemployed or just plain old and worn out, who ya gonna call but your family. Publicly and privately-charity was the last resort, not the first. That changed with the New Deal of the 1930s.

Marriage and the family was the primary focus of sex, reproduction and child-bearing, -rearing and education. That's now largely done outside of marriage and the family.

Blogger Elizabeth January 05, 2017 8:25 PM  

For what it's worth, I read in the NY Times that the practice of Buddhism is in decline in Thailand and Japan. So, it's not just the West.

Anonymous Daniel H January 05, 2017 8:27 PM  

>>Cox himself has long been at the task of shifting Christianity to meet the needs of the modern world.

Dude has got it backwards. If we have any hope for the modern world to survive it must conform itself to true Christianity.

Blogger Eric Mueller January 05, 2017 8:28 PM  

I find it hilarious when enemies of Christianity try to tell Christians how to behave (and believe), if they want to win other hearts and minds.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, take advice on how to be better from people who want you destroyed.

Blogger Lazarus January 05, 2017 8:32 PM  

Pteronarcyd wrote:Christianity needs another reformation to purge this unsupportable and blasphemous thought.

It issss difficult to use wordsss according to their dictionary definition when your tongue is forked, isss it not?

Blogger S1AL January 05, 2017 8:33 PM  

"A literal interpretation of the New Testament is not necessary to be a Christian. Neither the Nicene Creed, 325 AD, or Apostles' Creed, 390 AD, require such. In fact, the NT canon was not formalized until 692 AD. No one can seriously suggest that Christianity only began in 692 AD, or even circa 150 AD when the final book of what became the NT was written."

You're a liar and a charlatan.

Blogger James Dixon January 05, 2017 8:50 PM  

> I find that an oddly constructed sentence, and telling. Normally when you use the "not only this but also that" construction you put the most important part in the "that" position.

From the perspective of the churches involved, he undoubtedly did.

> Can get a Traditional Latin Mass if I'm willing to drive an hour but nothing beyond that.

I think I'd be willing to drive an hour each way at least once a month.

Anonymous Icicle January 05, 2017 8:53 PM  

I'm not sure. Can you be a Christian and disagree with the modern definition of the Trinity?

Isaac Newton for instance was a nontrinitarian Christian. And he was no slouch in the theology department.

The Trinity concept is very complicated. Who actually got it right?

Blogger Johnny January 05, 2017 8:53 PM  

It is not so much literal interpretation as how far the move from from the gospel as written and the interpretation they put on it when they go non literal. A religion has to be morally assertive or it becomes little more than sunday morning entertainments, and most services are not all that entertaining. Even those that get a pass for entertainment value eventually become repetitious and the laity start staying home.

Anonymous Icicle January 05, 2017 8:56 PM  

Myths can be powerful, but should not be taken for facts. Joseph Campbell warned about getting lost by wrongly literally denoting a mythical connotation.

Someone tell the Muslims this. While heavily armed.

Anonymous Discard January 05, 2017 9:01 PM  

The leftist churches still own a lot of valuable urban real estate, even if nobody is in the pews. The rotten clergy will still get their pensions.

Anonymous Discard January 05, 2017 9:05 PM  

John Shelby Spong had to resign after he was caught bad-mouthing African Anglican clergy who would not accept the new sacrament of sodomy.

Blogger roundeye January 05, 2017 9:18 PM  

I would like to attend a church as imagined by Wodehouse: a semi-senile preacher who would deliver bouts of fire and brimstone between stories of the missions among the heathen.

As it is, all we do in our church is remember pedophiles in our prayers while complaining about Jews.

Anonymous Instasetting January 05, 2017 9:18 PM  

Christ is the Monomyth, the Hero all creation has groaned for.

Blogger Abyssus Invocat January 05, 2017 9:49 PM  

It wuz Luther, I saw him do it.

Anonymous God Hates Cucks January 05, 2017 9:59 PM  

aaaaaaaaaand I'll leave this link here:

http://creation.com/apostate-the-men-who-destroyed-the-christian-west-review

Blogger praetorian January 05, 2017 10:09 PM  

As it is, all we do in our church is remember pedophiles in our prayers while complaining about Jews.

Hey now, one for two ain't bad these days...

Anonymous Gen. Kong January 05, 2017 10:19 PM  

Unfortunately, like the Carlos Slim Blog and its many brethren of the coverged institutions throughout what was once referrred to as 'Christendom', they aren't actually dead, but a slouching zombie-army pulling the entire ediface into the pit of Gomorrah with itself. Vatican II is the exact same thing - the Spirit of Apostasy writ large. One need look no further than High-Fellatin' Franny to see the end result of it. As long as the fake-money flows, the fake-churches, fake oppostion-parties, fake-schools and the fake-news soldier onward, one putrid rotting maggot-encrutsed carcass after the other.

Blogger Beau January 05, 2017 10:25 PM  

Yes, but earlier this evening the men of the congregation decided to go feed the hungry out by the river every week starting next Thursday with beef and vegetable soup, rolls, coffee and hot chocolate. Two of these men are new disciples.

The church doesn't have to be in decline where you are.

Anonymous Roundtine January 05, 2017 10:49 PM  

Luther isn't to blame, but once you sever, you can't stop. Protestant sects die out with regularity. The Catholic split is internal. The form of the conflict differs, but not its nature.

Anonymous Colorado Confederate January 05, 2017 11:11 PM  

Spong openly denies the resurrection of Christ. He may be a decent fellow and loves his wife and his dog and pays his taxes on time, but a Christian he is not.

There have always been wolves, but men like Spong do not even bother with Sheep's clothing. The sadness here is that so many follow him.

Blogger Lazarus January 05, 2017 11:21 PM  

Colorado Confederate wrote:Spong openly denies the resurrection of Christ. He may be a decent fellow and loves his wife and his dog and pays his taxes on time, but a Christian he is not.

Its worse than that. No resurrection, no redemption.

Satan's message. Pure evil.

Punishable by death.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 05, 2017 11:25 PM  

Lazarus wrote:
"It issss difficult to use wordsss according to their dictionary definition when your tongue is forked, isss it not?"

Written like a true SJW -- no substance. Try empiricism and reason and evolve up to manhood.

Anonymous To Mock a Killingbird January 05, 2017 11:27 PM  

@68.

I feel sorry for you, I really do. Love exists and I've seen it.


I watched my late grandmother take in an care for her mother for nine years, when she was an old woman herself. She never complained and remained quietly resolute when confronted with people (such as a 20 year old me) who urged her to put her mother "in the home".


In the last year, I watched a man quit a six-figure job to care for and spend as much time as he could with his wife who had cancer.


Your comment about the family no longer being necessary is ignorant and exhibits the neomania of a leftist. Your amoral utilitarianism is as noxious of that of Jonathan Gruber. Tina Turner was reported batted around by Ike, who wounded you?

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 05, 2017 11:39 PM  

S1AL wrote:
"You're a liar and a charlatan."

Another name-calling SJW who can't muster an argument. I find it ironic to see so many SJWs hanging out here.

Are you claiming that there is no such thing as a Christian before the NT was completed, more than a century after Jesus's death?

Blogger The Kurgan January 05, 2017 11:41 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger The Kurgan January 05, 2017 11:44 PM  

VFM 7634,
Try sede privationists. To my mind they are the only real Catholics left.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 05, 2017 11:44 PM  

Icicle wrote:
"The Trinity concept is very complicated. Who actually got it right?"

Mythically, the Trinity is not complicated at all. Complications arise when attempting to denote the mythic connotation.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 05, 2017 11:49 PM  

Icicle wrote:
"Someone tell the Muslims this. While heavily armed."

It's a good idea to be armed whenever Muslims may be present. Better yet is to avoid Muslims entirely.

Islam, of course, is not a religion, because it does not comport to natural law. Islam is a predatory political ideology that masquerades as a religion.

Blogger Beau January 05, 2017 11:53 PM  

@ Petronarcyd

Do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? That his three day dead body was reunited with his departed spirit, stood up again and left his tomb?

Blogger Whisker biscuit January 05, 2017 11:57 PM  

Sort of like evolutionary theory?

Blogger Whisker biscuit January 05, 2017 11:58 PM  

Provide connotations to prove your assertion the trinity is a myth.

Blogger DouglasEdward January 05, 2017 11:58 PM  

I live in Ontario and have seen this first hand. The United Church, and the Anglican church which are uber- moderate are in massive decline and many just lie abandoned now. While some reformed Calvinist and more evangelical forms of Protestant churches are doing fine.

Blogger Whisker biscuit January 06, 2017 12:02 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Eric the Red January 06, 2017 12:04 AM  

@68:
Sounds like pure Marxist analysis, everything in the world revolves around economic considerations.

@83:
At one time science tethered an otherworldly God to a worldly pursuit, i.e., discovering the wonders of God's creation. This gave the faithful a goal in addition to striving for heaven. Then Darwin gave the materialists a perfect excuse to sever that relationship, leaving nothing in its place. Other than eschatological Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the only other pursuit was a somewhat incestuous pursuit of more converts.

Meanwhile, secular humanism became the substitute religion for Christianity. Equality became the new worldly goal, accompanied by the trappings of morality.

That is why disproving evolution and crushing Darwinism is so important. A renewed linkage between science with God could transform the current ethos, helping to drag it away from egalitarianism and back to the betterment of men's lives here on earth and their souls in heaven.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2017 12:06 AM  

Yes Pterodactyl, we're all very impressed with you. Are you finished?

Blogger Doom January 06, 2017 12:15 AM  

Right. But the question begged to be answered is... wasn't this already known? My guess is this has been seen as liberalization of the Church has been tried all down through the centuries, starting with the first break-aways. I personally believe Spong knew exactly what would happen, and intended that too happen.

Much as our political leaders knew that weakening the family, causing fewer births, through the elevation of women, forcefully, into the workforce, "family court", and easy divorce, would eventually lead to a "need" for open borders to fend off a severe economic decline, which would bring in both a certain type of voters and a further decline of the family through that politics.

None of that was accidental, incidental, or unforeseen. Planned. As out front with it as they were with Hillary, I really think they thought they had won. Though, just maybe, Trump was the real goal. Time will tell.

Blogger Whisker biscuit January 06, 2017 12:16 AM  

*Jesus'

The apostrophe goes after the S.

Blogger Beau January 06, 2017 12:23 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Markku January 06, 2017 12:31 AM  

Pteronarcyd, your argument about the official canonization of the New Testament is irrelevant to what you are claiming. From the first Church Fathers' writings, St. Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch we can already see references to most of the current New Testament, and ALL of its major books. Also, we don't see any books at all that are NOT in the current New Testament. The competitors from the Gnostics come several centuries later. So, the best you could possibly argue for is that perhaps there is some minor letter or two, that shouldn't have belonged to the New Testament. But from what we already have from the aforementioned people who all wrote somewhere between 100 - 150 A.D. we would conclude the EXACT same theology (whatever it is, liberal or conservative) that we would conclude from the current New Testament. Hence, your dates are irrelevant. Ostensibly you could argue liberal theology from the New Testament text, but then you have to actually argue THAT. Which you haven't.

Blogger MycroftJones January 06, 2017 12:35 AM  

Christianity was defined 600 years after Christ at the Council of Chalcedon. Trinity is Christianity; Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and those pesky Germanic Arians (Vandals, Goths, etc) aren't.

Blogger Markku January 06, 2017 12:45 AM  

To get to the point quicker, I'll ask you directly: Are you an Alt-Righter who holds Breivik's position that Christianity is fine as a compromise, as it serves as a label that causes tribal kinship with white Westerners, but you would much rather have it be something else, like Odinism?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 06, 2017 1:06 AM  

@Pteranocyd,
You are abyssally ignorant of Christianity, and you're not smart enough for this ride. I'd suggest shutting up before you shit yourself in public.
Oh,wait, too late.
Proof texts from the usual Atheist websites won't work here.

Anonymous Alexamenos January 06, 2017 1:23 AM  

The difference between me and Spong is most fundamentally that I have too much regard for Christianity to undermine it. I won't object if he's burned at stake.

Anonymous Glacierman January 06, 2017 1:46 AM  

Pteronarcyd, having almost finished Lee Strobel's- The Case for the Real Jesus, I would highly recommend that you get a copy, lock yourself in a room and not come out until you have read it a couple of times.

Each and every one of the statements you vollied in your opening post are addressed and you are so full of the doctrine of demons which contradict the truth and accuracy of the Gospel.

The most compelling argument which blows giant holes in your statement that the testimonies of the writers are myths is that all but the Apostle John were martyred for what they believed, preached, saw and then discipled others in "The Way, The Truth and The Life" of Jesus. Sane and rational and sincere people would never lay down their lives so consistently for a lie or a myth. They would not be beaten, whipped jailed, starved, shipwrecked, and persecuted without having an intimate relationship and deep held knowledge of the FACTS which so amazingly and permanently and radically changed their lives and impacted the whole world.

Please, if you are truly sincere in searching for truth, get the book and allow Lee's journey of discovery open you mind and heart to the reality of his pursuit of truth.

Blogger Markku January 06, 2017 1:51 AM  

Glacierman wrote:Sane and rational and sincere people would never lay down their lives so consistently for a lie or a myth. They would not be beaten, whipped jailed, starved, shipwrecked, and persecuted without having an intimate relationship and deep held knowledge of the FACTS which so amazingly and permanently and radically changed their lives and impacted the whole world.

Atheists like to point to Muslim suicide bombers for counterargument, but the point is, the person who KNOWS it's a lie, will not die for it. Those Muslims don't know that. But the original Apostles cannot have been deceived, since the information came from them. They are either the deceivers, or they accurately reported what they saw. The scenario that applies to the Muslim, doesn't apply to the Apostles.

Blogger VD January 06, 2017 2:24 AM  

Another name-calling SJW who can't muster an argument. I find it ironic to see so many SJWs hanging out here.

You are observably a liar. Go away now.

Blogger Beau January 06, 2017 2:25 AM  

@ Petronarcyd

Do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? That his three day dead body was reunited with his departed spirit, stood up again and left his tomb?


You replied,

Literally, of course not.

Petronarcyd, you will die in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:14-17 instructs us,

" And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.


No one needs pay any further attention to you.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 2:33 AM  

Whisker Biscuit,

You are the one who is asserting the existence of something. Thus, it is you that has the burden of proof. But, I'll play along.

For the Bibliolators here, there is no mention of the Trinity in your so-called word of God. This alone seems to for a Bibliolator to accept the fact that the Trinity is a man-made concept.

History tells us the Trinity was established at the Council of Nicea in 325, long after all books of the NT had been written. The Trinity concept was born out of paganism, and was foisted upon the church by government edict.

I'm surprised that anyone in the Alt Right would blindly embrace a heresy imposed by the biggest of big governments, the Emperor of Rome.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 2:38 AM  

Whisker Biscuit wrote:
"The apostrophe goes after the S."

Not if you are writing unambiguously. I write for a living, and I strive to make myself understood. "Jesus's" is unambiguously singular. While "Jesus'" is an acceptable singular form, it also properly denotes the possessive of more than one Jesus. You may object to my choice of form, but you clearly knew I was referring to a single Jesus.

Take-home lesson: Don't make your readers guess at what you mean.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 2:43 AM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Markku January 06, 2017 3:01 AM  

In order that you know to take Vox seriously, I deleted your comment. Also, I know Stg 58 in real life, as do many others of the Ilk. He is most assuredly not an SJW as you claim in your deleted comment.

Blogger Sherwood family January 06, 2017 3:11 AM  

Well, MycroftJones, that might come as a surprise to non-trinitarian Christians of various stripes.

VD can correct me if I am misstating something but as I understand it the host of this blog falls into the category of non-trinitarian Christian.

If that is inaccurate, then I will happily retract that statement.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 3:15 AM  

Markku,

Per your argument the only one of the three dates I cite that is relevant is 150 AD, the approximate date all of the books of the NT had been completed. Even though not canonized until 390 or so, not all churches had copies of what would become all books for the intervening two and a half centuries. Remember, books were hard to come by then. Thus, not all Christian scholars at the time could have been expected to arrive at a single theology given differing collections of writings and the known disparities among some of them.

As to contemporary writings that didn't make it into the NT, the Gospel of Thomas is typically dated to somewhere between 40 AD and 140 AD. It's exclusion from the canon is significant. Don't forget Secret Mark. Then there are the lost sources of Q, M, and L that were used, along with the Gospel of Mark, to develop the the gospels of Matthew (Q and M) and Luke (Q and L).

Early Christianity was highly diverse as to ideas, even regarding whether or not Jesus was divine. Constantine called the Council of Nicea to create and enforce a consensus. The creed that emerged from the Council, and the NT canon that was finalized decades later, represent the views of the faction that won out. Was that the faction with the best grasp of the "truth"? Who knows? One could argue probably not just on the basis of the diversity of views in the first few centuries of the religion or the fact that Nicea was a government-imposed decision. But, there is no question that the prevailing viewpoint was highly successful.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 3:18 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:
"Proof texts from the usual Atheist websites won't work here."

Since when does name-calling and threats constitute proof? Yet another SJW enters the fray. From the quality of your contribution and your cartoon moniker I've got you pegged for a double-digit IQ.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 3:21 AM  

VD wrote:
"You are observably a liar. Go away now."

Could you please point to a single lie I've written in this thread?

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 3:27 AM  

Markku wrote:
"Also, I know Stg 58 in real life, as do many others of the Ilk. He is most assuredly not an SJW as you claim in your deleted comment."

Thanks for the explanation of the deleted post. I'm glad to hear Stg 58 is not an SJW. But, I'm then left to wonder why he attacked my as if he is. He is quite welcome to engage me substantively like a man if he is able and willing.

As to taking Vox seriously, I can't help but realize he is the owner of this blog. I was stunned at his SJWish response, but respectfully have asked him to back up his claim that I have lied. If he does he will continue to have my respect.

Blogger Markku January 06, 2017 3:43 AM  

I've spent countless hours reading the Early Church Fathers, which you can do here. All the known documents they've written are there. And there is extremely little divergence of theology. You could read any of them, and imagine you're reading any conservative theologian writing today. Try it. You've been lied to by the Dan Brown folk.

As for Gospel of Thomas, it doesn't really have a date in the sense that the other documents have, because it's a collection of sayings. It has been amended along the way, and in its current known form it comes to us from the Gnostics, and contains some Gnostic dogmas. It's just like the book of Psalms. At one point it says that here end the psalms of David, and immediately after come some more Psalms of David. So, obviously they were discovered later, and added to the end.

As for Q and other hypotheses, they are just that: mere hypotheses based on certain similarities and no document of the sort or even fragment thereof, has ever been found or referred to.

As for Nicea, contrary to what Dan Brown claims, you do find the full divinity of Christ just absolutely all over the Ante-Nicene Fathers and no statements at all denying it. Nicea became necessary when Arius became the first major teacher to take a contrary position on the issue. Nicea didn't invent any new doctrine, it merely confirmed the orthodoxy up to that point when a fight over it was first raised. That's how it always works.

Blogger The Kurgan January 06, 2017 4:05 AM  

Beau,
Thanks for this. Your original question was a beauty to behold and instructive. I recognised the liar as being intentionally duplicitous and with malicious intent from his very first comment, but while my own response, if I could be bothered to engage such obvious trolls would have been far ruder and direct, yours was masterfully direct and inescapable in a way that exposes his liying nature even to those who might have given him the benefit of the doubt.
It is quite beautiful to watch a proper Christian argue against the people of the Lie.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 06, 2017 4:07 AM  

@Pteranocyd,
What part of banned don't you understand, fagget?

Blogger The Kurgan January 06, 2017 4:12 AM  

As to taking Vox seriously, I can't help but realize he is the owner of this blog. I was stunned at his SJWish response, but respectfully have asked him to back up his claim that I have lied. If he does he will continue to have my respect.

I'm going to be shocked, SHOCKED I tell you when we find out just how little Vox gives a damn about your "respect".

Anonymous Eric the Red January 06, 2017 4:55 AM  

Christianity is a complex, intellectually satisfying religion for intelligent people, not for someone who thinks that Dan Brown is a respected historian, or for anyone who thinks they're making a cogent critique by talking about a flying spaghetti monster.

Blogger Cail Corishev January 06, 2017 7:11 AM  

I've spent countless hours reading the Early Church Fathers, which you can do here.

One result of modernism and bad catechesis is that so many Christians (including myself) are brought up believing that the early centuries of the Church are a murky, mythical time about which we know little, and that most of it was made up or figured out in the Middle Ages or later.

I was shocked when I started studying Church history on my own and discovered all those early writings and how consistent it all is. We don't have any of the original copies of canonical books of the bible, but we come pretty darn close. We do know what they considered canon very early on, and other sources like the Didache even give us a good idea how the Apostles were teaching it in practice.

Blogger wreckage January 06, 2017 7:49 AM  

@130, yes yes, but Pternocyd read Dan Brown and didn't even need to bother Wikipedia-ing Dan Brown's references, and further more he said IQ and SJW, both of which are magical invocations which afford him instant credibility on this blog, so what do you have to say to THAT?

Huh? HUH? Be warned that your look of bemusement only serves to incriminate you further!

Blogger S1AL January 06, 2017 8:04 AM  

@Pteranocyrd - You've already been answered a dozen times, but I'll make two additional points:

First, calling someone an "SJW" is not the catch-all insult you think it is.

Second, you're a list and a charlatan because your claims are historically false. The New Testament was completed in the first century AD. It is the written record of the teaching of the apostles. The entirety of the formula of the Nicean Creed is found in the NT. And the NT Canon was settled long before it was formally declared, as is apparent from the fact that no Christian denomination of any note had ever disputed it. Even the debate over the deuterocanonicity of some books is solely about the Old Testament.

So, as I said, you're a liar and a charlatan.

Blogger Elizabeth January 06, 2017 8:56 AM  

To Mock a Killingbird wrote:@68.

I feel sorry for you, I really do. Love exists and I've seen it.

I watched my late grandmother take in an care for her mother for nine years, when she was an old woman herself. She never complained and remained quietly resolute when confronted with people (such as a 20 year old me) who urged her to put her mother "in the home".

In the last year, I watched a man quit a six-figure job to care for and spend as much time as he could with his wife who had cancer.

Your comment about the family no longer being necessary is ignorant and exhibits the neomania of a leftist. Your amoral utilitarianism is as noxious of that of Jonathan Gruber. Tina Turner was reported batted around by Ike, who wounded you?



I'm not describing myself, I'm describing the loss of the family's practical functions which held it together in times past. I'm not saying that it is a good thing because it isn't.

Marriage and the family have lost their original practical functions and now rely on the slim reed of affection and a sense of personal duty. A man needed a wife because women possessed skills that a man lacked; a woman needed a husband because men possessed skills that a woman lacked; they both needed children for labor, for social security, to transmit property and as a mini-militia in violence-prone societies. Our ancestors were practical because they had to be - it was called survival and was universal. This was certainly one reason why gay marriage was unthinkable even in cultures where homosexual activity was tolerated.

One of the changes for the worse in our society is that the idea of personal responsibility to people in particular has been replaced with impersonal, collective responsible towards people in general. I've asked others, "whose going to take care of so-and-so"? and been told, "the government."

To use an obvious example, 100 years ago, if a man walked out on his wife and kids, he walked out on his old age pension. With Social Security, Medicare, etc., children become optional because the government will take care of him in his old age. Foreign governments have used old age pensions successfully to knock birth rates down.

In the eyes of many people, with the government supporting the elderly and paying their medical bills, the final step is for someone else to care for them. How many people take care of their kids today?

Many social conservatives love big government - the old Democratic Party was more socially conservative and economically liberal than the Republican Party. The Roman Catholic Church, as well. One problem with social conservatism/economic liberalism is that it might work for a generation or two, but eventually the liberalism will undermine the necessity of living a virtuous life and forming and maintaining a family. For a conservative to complain about the moral decadence of recent decades and then to support big government is to spit into the wind.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2017 1:28 PM  

Unfortunately, I really don't give a fuck what Pterodactyl thinks either. He's just another gamma showing up to correct us all, collect accolades and be crowned ruler of the universe.

Anonymous Anonymous January 06, 2017 3:10 PM  

I grew up Presbyterian and vaguely remember several members leaving at a certain point over some controversy in the Synod - maybe women pastors or accepting gays. I moved away, but my folks are still members. They're on their 2nd female pastor. The 1st was a train wreck. Divorce, kids always in trouble, needed money (?!. Her contract was bought out by the church and she was let go. The 2nd is much younger and my contact with her is sparse. We attended service on Father's Day after the Orlando massacre, which dominated the entire sermon. Not one verbal mention of Father's Day, just a note in the bulletin.

Anonymous Tipsy January 06, 2017 5:45 PM  

Cail Corishev wrote:I've spent countless hours reading the Early Church Fathers, which you can do here.
We do know what they considered canon very early on, and other sources like the Didache even give us a good idea how the Apostles were teaching it in practice.


I taught a course on the Church Fathers to some fellow Catholics at work, and for me, there's just about nothing more exciting than the drama of the early church. You can really see the hand of God helping the church sort through the challenges of the day.

The link above have a number of good books, but for those who don't know the Church Fathers, Four Witness is really pretty good introduction. I've seen the author Rod Bennett speak (google him on youtube). He's a really great guy: smart, humble, funny.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 6:12 PM  

Beau wrote:
"Petronarcyd, you will die in your sins.

...


No one needs pay any further attention to you."

That I will die a sinner I have no doubt, but so will you. You will just die a less intelligent sinner than I.

No, no one needs to pay attention to me, but I'm surprised so many do. You display your insecurity in your Bibliolatry by doing so. That's progress on your part.

By the way, I accept the Ten Commandments as valid expressions of natural law. Per these commandments, your Biblolatry is a mortal sin.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 6:26 PM  

Markku wrote:
"I've spent countless hours reading the Early Church Fathers ..."

You can't count to two?

"All the known documents they've written are there."

But, not all the early Christian leaders are represented. The Council of Nicea was called by the Emperor to create a consensus. The losing factions are underrepresented in Christian historical writings, because those writings were suppressed. The winners write history and create canon.

"And there is extremely little divergence of theology. You could read any of them, and imagine you're reading any conservative theologian writing today."

There is considerable divergence amongst the four canonical gospels! Try reading them, because this is obvious. And, we don't have anything close to the original text of any of them.

"You've been lied to by the Dan Brown folk."

I don't get my theology from fiction writers, whether they wrote their fiction last decade or two millenia ago.

Blogger Pteronarcyd January 06, 2017 7:07 PM  

Marrku wrote:
"As for Gospel of Thomas, it doesn't really have a date in the sense that the other documents have, because it's a collection of sayings. It has been amended along the way, and in its current known form it comes to us from the Gnostics, and contains some Gnostic dogmas."

That's the lamest argument I've read from a presumed non-libtard for some time. I doubt you could argue your way out of a wet paper bag.

Each of the four canonical gospels has been edited along the way and is riddled with errors to boot. If these were the literal words of God why did God not see fit to preserve them in the their initial final drafts?

"It's just like the book of Psalms. At one point it says that here end the psalms of David, and immediately after come some more Psalms of David. So, obviously they were discovered later, and added to the end."

Are you pointing out that the OT cannot be construed to be the literal word of God either? If so, we are in violent agreement. That, of course, does not mean that these documents have no valuable spiritual and some historical value.

Blogger S1AL January 06, 2017 7:57 PM  

Nah, he's not using Dan Brown. It's a weird mix of the Jesus Seminar and "The Gospel Fictions". Granted, those are also chock full of lies, so...

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 06, 2017 8:27 PM  

Secret King doesn't understand a simple "get lost, faggety fag."

You've been told to leave. Leave. You are trespassing.
You are also abyssally ignorant, and are rather obviously cutting and pasting false claims you don't have any claim to understand from some Atheist website.

Contrary to your claims, you are actually less intelligent than most of the commenters here. Even Mr Rational.

Blogger The Kurgan January 07, 2017 5:56 AM  

+1

Blogger The Sasquatch January 09, 2017 9:15 AM  

The 7th in a 7-part series on why the church is dying from a Christian Apologist. The whole thing's a good read, but he didn't put all seven links in the header. So click here and then go to #1 (if you're interested):

http://sntjohnny.com/front/apology-apologetics-defending-faith-bigger-thought-part-7-conclusion/2956.html

The questioning of faith starts much earlier than most people are willing to believe. I have four sons. The oldest is 7yo. They've been asking questions like "How do we know God is real?" and "Why doesn't God stop Hurricanes?" and "Why don't I hear God speak to me?" for several years.

Most Sunday schools are wholly unequipped to answer these questions. If you are a Christian and you hope and pray for your children to be Christians, you HAVE to deal with this. You can't farm it out to your church or your Christian school. You can't expect him to learn it by osmoses through Sunday School. You have to know what you believe and why you believe it, and you have to address it with your kids yourself.

Right Now.

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