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How Christian Are Christians?

 

Last Wednesday, I caught a bit of Glenn Beck’s show while driving across town. The subject kept me from turning the dial, even though I don’t usually listen to him. The subject? How Christianity is losing the culture.

In an interview with Jonathan Bock, they went over some Pew Research and Gallup poll numbers that show alarming statistics for church attendance, Bible reading habits, and tithing.

Just know as I go on that I am quite bad at all three. We do not tithe 10 percent, though I do try to give what I promise. We have been irregular attendees and my Bible reading is sporadic (though improving). Basically, I’m the 70-80 percent of Christians who don’t go to church.

In my attempt last year to attend more regularly, we found a new church. It leaves much to be desired, but I am getting over those details just to be in community with other Christians.

The last four weeks have reminded me why I have a difficult time going to church. And it does not appear Bock tackled those issues. There is an assumption in Bock’s analysis that the Word of God is what is being preached from the Sunday pulpit. Three out of four of the last sermons (every sermon given by one priest) had allusions to the “right” response to the Broward County shooting. Hint: it isn’t more security or increasing the age from 18 to 21. “Guns are the problem!”

Ahem.

Policy and politics should not be preached from the pulpit unless there is a theologically sound reason to side on one side over the other. There is no such case for guns unless your theology is pacifism, but even many pacifists (for theological reasons) don’t view pacifism as something to force on others.

But to preach politics puts those who disagree with your politics outside the church. Why would you do that but not teach about sexual morality?

Bock never goes into one of the possibilities for lower attendance: the proliferation of politics in the church. Instead, he notes that out of those who remain, their tithing and Bible reading are abysmal.

But he never offers up numbers on Bible reading and prayer among those who no longer attend.

It may be that a good many devout Christians have abandoned a church that doesn’t teach the word of God, but instead preaches the words of politicians and activists.

I will still attend, but I don’t know how much longer I can stomach the politics.

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There are 83 comments.

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  1. Coolidge

    Keep looking until you find a church that welcomes the Holy Spirit. Not always as easy as it looks, btw.

    • #1
    • March 11, 2018 at 8:31 am
    • 21 likes
  2. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    ST (View Comment):
    Keep looking until you find a church that welcomes the Holy Spirit. Not always as easy as it looks, btw.

    When this man teaches the word, you can feel the Holy Spirit. His excitement and joy is contagious.

    They are also the most community oriented churches I have ever attended.

    The contemporary service music stinks, but the traditional choir director at the other services is passionate, wise, and good.

    It is hard to know if I can find better.

    • #2
    • March 11, 2018 at 8:43 am
    • 5 likes
  3. Member

    You and Glenn Beck are seeing the tip of the ice berg. I read several shocking things this weekend that I may post about – not business as usual….Not only are politics turning ever more confusing, but so is religion and faith. You can feel this “mind-bending” or spirit of confusion most definitely, in the highest places. Thanks for the story – Lent – a good time to ask the question.

    • #3
    • March 11, 2018 at 8:47 am
    • 8 likes
  4. Member

    Probably time to move on Stina. This guy has lost his way. Keep shopping and find a church where the Bible is preached un-apologetically, and the mission of the body is to transform your town by being salt and light. Politics is not salt and light.

    • #4
    • March 11, 2018 at 9:01 am
    • 12 likes
  5. Member

    Stina: But to preach politics puts those who disagree with your politics outside the church. Why would you do that but not teach about sexual morality?

    Preaching sexual morality may turn off more people than the politics. It’s a sad fact that the majority of Catholics contracept and an increasing number approve of so-called same-sex marriage and even many Catholic dioceses are now offering Holy Communion to adulterers.

    I think that the old adage lex orandi lex credendi applies here. The way we pray affects what we believe. A good sermon can teach but I don’t see any mention of why we go to church, which is to worship God and glorify Him with adoration, blessing, praise, and thanksgiving, It’s not about what we feel or get out of a sermon or the whole experience, it’s about what we give to God. The rupture at Vatican II with what happened to the mass has been a disaster for the Church. Too many Catholics see mass as a communal meal rather than as the re-presentation of the sacrifice on Calvary. And the numbers are growing of Catholics who are clueless about the Eucharist being the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. We need a revival of the liturgy. Save the liturgy, save the world.

    • #5
    • March 11, 2018 at 9:06 am
    • 8 likes
  6. Coolidge

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Stina: But to preach politics puts those who disagree with your politics outside the church. Why would you do that but not teach about sexual morality?

    Preaching sexual morality may turn off more people than the politics.

    Speaking of which, I once asked a pastor why he didn’t ever give a sermon on the benefits of tithing. He said it would be very controversial and probably more importantly like begging with a gun pointed at the congregation.

    • #6
    • March 11, 2018 at 9:24 am
    • 4 likes
  7. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    ST (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Stina: But to preach politics puts those who disagree with your politics outside the church. Why would you do that but not teach about sexual morality?

    Preaching sexual morality may turn off more people than the politics.

    Speaking of which, I once asked a pastor why he didn’t ever give a sermon on the benefits of tithing. He said it would be very controversial and probably more importantly like begging with a gun pointed at the congregation.

    It isn’t that I’m asking for that sermon… I am pointing out the moral ambivalence that they show when they expound on politics with no theological backing at risk of losing congregants vs expounding on moral issues with theological backing at risk of losing congregants.

    And judging by the 20% who stayed in the church, perhaps they would have done better to alienate them instead of the x% who would be there if not for politics.

    Who knows… Maybe it’s the same percent. But the ones outside might be better tithers and prayer warriors.

    • #7
    • March 11, 2018 at 10:17 am
    • 8 likes
  8. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Stina: But to preach politics puts those who disagree with your politics outside the church. Why would you do that but not teach about sexual morality?

    Preaching sexual morality may turn off more people than the politics. It’s a sad fact that the majority of Catholics contracept and an increasing number approve of so-called same-sex marriage and even many Catholic dioceses are now offering Holy Communion to adulterers.

    I think that the old adage lex orandi lex credendi applies here. The way we pray affects what we believe. A good sermon can teach but I don’t see any mention of why we go to church, which is to worship God and glorify Him with adoration, blessing, praise, and thanksgiving, It’s not about what we feel or get out of a sermon or the whole experience, it’s about what we give to God. The rupture at Vatican II with what happened to the mass has been a disaster for the Church. Too many Catholics see mass as a communal meal rather than as the re-presentation of the sacrifice on Calvary. And the numbers are growing of Catholics who are clueless about the Eucharist being the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. We need a revival of the liturgy. Save the liturgy, save the world.

    I had a conversation with a good friend who wanted to be a priest about female priests. She had asked me if I thought she was doing the right thing.

    I spent a long time finding the right words for her. She noticed and asked about it. I told her if I risk losing a friend over what I say, I want it to be the right thing to say.

    The church who preaches politics and avoids unpopular theologically sound moral positions seems to have gone a different route on that.

    • #8
    • March 11, 2018 at 10:22 am
    • 7 likes
  9. Member

    Interesting you should put this up today, as Mrs. Tabby and I are fuming from one of the most (if the most) political “sermons” we have ever heard. The Scripture was John 3:14-21. How can you screw that one up? Yet the co-pastor preacher did. Instead of the Power of the Cross (the title of the anthem the choir sang) that Christ became sin for us and triumphed over Death to set us free, she focused only on tools (in this case guns) and policies (mostly immigration policies). All about earthly power. Nothing about souls. Nothing about the power of God to save (and change) people.

    We resigned our membership in this particular church (a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA)) about four years ago because the national denomination demonstrated that it was more interested in politics than in souls, and we didn’t want the denomination making any claim that it represented us. We continue worshiping with the local congregation, as it was less political.

    The local co-pastor who has been around longest (a him) would say bone-headed political stuff once in a while, but I excuse him most of the time because he is not a deep thinker, and he gets all of his current events information from the standard lefty mainstream news sources, and so he often doesn’t realize he’s making politically loaded statements. Initially the more recently-arrived co-pastor (a she) was very good at sticking to The Gospel. She is a deeper thinker. Outside of sermons she has been more focused on politics, but that rarely found its way into sermons. But in recent months she announced that she was going to challenge us (the congregation) more directly, which I feared would mean more politics.

    Today she was very political. She kept saying, “it’s not about politics,” yet kept talking political, not heart, answers. So, I’m still thinking of how to respond (on my way out the door). If, despite what she said, she knew it was political, she knew she was driving me (and others who think similar to how I think) out of the church. Mrs. Tabby is convinced the female co-pastor had to know she was being political. But, if I take female co-pastor at her word that she didn’t think she was being political (i.e., being a follower of Christ requires that the government take away all guns, that the United States have no enforced borders, etc.), then she is living a very isolated life, which raises questions about whether I can trust other things she says.

    I sing in the choir and I lead one of the secondary music groups. My commitment to the people involved in those keep me from leaving immediately. And the choir director is really good about choosing anthems. I pray that the words of our anthem today (The Power of the Cross) overwhelmed the political speech from the pulpit.

    • #9
    • March 11, 2018 at 10:31 am
    • 9 likes
  10. Member

    Stina: …allusions to the “right” response to the Broward County shooting

    The Sunday following the Texas church shooting last year I was treated to a pastoral prayer laced with language about “coming together” for what “we could all agree” were “common sense responses”…blah, blah, blah. (Yes, I just did that…I assure you I do that now with much more respect than the mother of all (figurative) eye-rolls I responded with at the time.) The same prayer slot…from the same pray-er…on the Sunday following this more recent Florida event was much more tactfully crafted for this Texas congregation. I’m not sure how much, if any, of the seemingly forced (soooo un-naturally delivered) “improvement” came from feedback after the earlier shooting but the difference was clear.

    • #10
    • March 11, 2018 at 10:43 am
    • 3 likes
  11. Member

    Thanks for the post, @Stina. As I read your article, conflicting thoughts came to mind.

    I remember during the summer (?) months of 2016, a few Priests giving sermons that discussed pro-abortion political candidates being in violation of biblical teachings and being “evil”. (I am paraphrasing some). My reaction was “Good!”, it was about time the churches made the bible relevant to current culture and stood for the teachings of the bible instead of rolling over and incorporating modern bad conduct/thinking into their teachings.

    On the other hand, coloring/tainting (you choose) faith with politics seemed to be a slippery slope to my way of thinking. But then,

    I’ve only ever known one card-carrying Communist. I recall his lamenting over dinner one night that the reason they lost “the last time” was due to the influence and power of the Church. (meaning Christians). That is, the Churches/Christians had effectively blunted the Communist agenda and protected the country. (Think about it, communism is still a dirty word today even to Democrats, it’s why they call themselves Progressives).

    Back on topic, the elder Communist gentleman speaking above then remarked “next time” they would be smarter and “get to” (infiltrate ?) the churches at the beginning. This conversation was about 15 years ago. All I’ve noticed since then is that “they” have kept their word.

    Another recollection sparked by your post, the provocative Fr. Pfleger, the “priest” in Chicago who clearly was anti-American, anti-capitalism; a social activist in priestly frocks. More contamination of faith with politics.

    Then there is the divisive current Pope Francis, who clearly has a socialist perspective.

    Your post also brought to mind the Podesta emails and his comments that they needed to establish and organize “religious” groups to infiltrate the churches. I recall hoping the churches would be able to see the “wolves in sheep clothing” coming at them, and be able to resist them. Sad to me, but during the Obama years it seemed the churches, instead of blocking, resisting “new “secular/Christian organizations’ influences, were opened to the “new thinking” and allowing themselves to be subsumed into the “embracing” ideology. That is, they were allowing themselves to be “transformed”.

    I keep thinking the old communist and his comrades were smart, and, that they have been successful — they got to the churches. “They” have in fact brought the war inside the Church. And they intend to win. Do we?

    Given all all the above, it is likely now evident why, despite my concerns of Religion and Politics co-habitating, I was so happy in 2016 to see a few Priests get “political” and push back. To say, evil is evil; your hands are not clean if, with your vote, you empower evil. Finally. At last, I thought, the Churches see the demon in their midst.

    Or at least I had hoped. But sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.

    • #11
    • March 11, 2018 at 10:44 am
    • 3 likes
  12. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    TempTime (View Comment):
    Given all all the above, it is likely now evident why, despite my concerns of Religion and Politics co-habitating, I was so happy in 2016 to see a few Priests get “political” and push back. To say, evil is evil; your hands are not clean if, with your vote, you empower evil. Finally. At last, I thought, the Churches see the demon in their midst.

    What I want (and what is nearly gone) is unequivocal preaching on the word of God. Through some 4 years, even the Episcopal church reads just about the entire Bible. Catholics, same. Other denominations have more freedom, but nothing stops them from reading the whole book and preaching on it.

    In Episcopal and Catholic, there’s a lot of leeway on what you preach on (3 readings, pick one), so you can repeatedly avoid the controversial parts of scripture.

    I find this wrong. Preach the word. If people are hearing it, they will act accordingly.

    As to relevance? I think most who want that want the church more active in the community – feed the hungry, visit prisons, clothe the poor…

    If people continually choose the wrong politicians, that’s between them and God. But I want to know it wasn’t because they have no idea who God is.

    My son is learning why God gave us the Bible. #1 – So we can know who he is.

    • #12
    • March 11, 2018 at 11:01 am
    • 6 likes
  13. Member

    As others have mentioned, much has to do with the church a person attends.

    • #13
    • March 11, 2018 at 11:17 am
    • 4 likes
  14. Member

    ST (View Comment):
    I once asked a pastor why he didn’t ever give a sermon on the benefits of tithing. He said it would be very controversial and probably more importantly like begging with a gun pointed at the congregation.

    The way my minister does it is, “Give where you get your spiritual good. That is where you send your tithe.” Our church tithes to other churches to help the movement.

    • #14
    • March 11, 2018 at 11:33 am
    • 3 likes
  15. Thatcher

    @stina, the three readings are not offered to provide ‘leeway’ or a theological escape hatch…They are chosen to emphasize a theme for teaching…As to ‘politicizing’ homilies/sermons, one seems to be danged if one does/danged if one doesn’t – depending on the theological orientation of the congregant opining. (Yes, the churches have their own versions of ‘parties’, as old as Christianity itself, it seems (See 1 Cor. 1:12-13ff.)

    • #15
    • March 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm
    • 3 likes
  16. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    @stina, the three readings are not offered to provide ‘leeway’ or a theological escape hatch…They are chosen to emphasize a theme for teaching…As to ‘politicizing’ homilies/sermons, one seems to be danged if one does/danged if one doesn’t – depending on the theological orientation of the congregant opining. (Yes, the churches have their own versions of ‘parties’, as old as Christianity itself, it seems (See 1 Cor. 1:12-13ff.)

    Yes, themes, but they are effective as escape hatches. Ephesians 5 epistle reading? Preach on the gospel. “I have come with a sword to divide”? Preach on Epistle.

    I love the themes. I use them when I do music selection.

    I understand your overall point. I wonder if there could be room for political debate in formation classes that emphasize those chapters in Corinthians at beginning and end. (I consider those the libertarian chapters…)

    But beyond that? Souls are more important than political comfort.

    In a Bible Study class, one young man asked why people could be so hateful to not want female priests. The liberal leader (who more or less agreed) at least had the grace to point out scripture supports that position. I think he did so because we were friends and he knew my views on it. Otherwise, I think he wouldn’t have pushed back.

    So I do think well moderated debate could be more beneficial to community building than locking one side out.

    • #16
    • March 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Thatcher

    Stina (View Comment):

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    @stina, the three readings are not offered to provide ‘leeway’ or a theological escape hatch…They are chosen to emphasize a theme for teaching…As to ‘politicizing’ homilies/sermons, one seems to be danged if one does/danged if one doesn’t – depending on the theological orientation of the congregant opining. (Yes, the churches have their own versions of ‘parties’, as old as Christianity itself, it seems (See 1 Cor. 1:12-13ff.)

    Yes, themes, but they are effective as escape hatches. Ephesians 5 epistle reading? Preach on the gospel. “I have come with a sword to divide”? Preach on Epistle.

    I love the themes. I use them when I do music selection.

    I understand your overall point. I wonder if there could be room for political debate in formation classes that emphasize those chapters in Corinthians at beginning and end. (I consider those the libertarian chapters…)

    But beyond that? Souls are more important than political comfort.

    In a Bible Study class, one young man asked why people could be so hateful to not want female priests. The liberal leader (who more or less agreed) at least had the grace to point out scripture supports that position. I think he did so because we were friends and he knew my views on it. Otherwise, I think he wouldn’t have pushed back.

    So I do think well moderated debate could be more beneficial to community building than locking one side out.

    Debate in study/formation classes, as you mention, yes; poorly-disguised polemics from the ambo/pulpit? Not for Catholics, at least…Good reminders in a ‘didactic homily’ on life issues – I’m with you; cheerleading re: occupant of an office (positive or negative) and specifics re: policy, not so much.

    • #17
    • March 11, 2018 at 1:15 pm
    • 2 likes
  18. Moderator

    Stina (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):
    Keep looking until you find a church that welcomes the Holy Spirit. Not always as easy as it looks, btw.

    When this man teaches the word, you can feel the Holy Spirit. His excitement and joy is contagious.

    They are also the most community oriented churches I have ever attended.

    The contemporary service music stinks, but the traditional choir director at the other services is passionate, wise, and good.

    It is hard to know if I can find better.

    Yes, it is hard to know if you can find better, not least if you find yourself dependent on a particular church’s social services (for example, if they can provide childcare when and where you need it).

    Pastors aren’t political economists, and I don’t expect pastors to be wise in all things. My husband is an economist, and it’s very difficult for him to sit through a sermon with bad economics, especially if the congregation isn’t comfortable picking apart the sermon during coffee afterward (and congregations typically aren’t). My solution to foolish sermons is just to tune out the foolishness, but evidently that’s not a solution that’s comfortable for many people, my own husband included.

    I’ve heard great sermons from very progressive pastors at very progressive churches, a reminder that, despite our political divides, we can still have Christ in common. It’s possible one of my favorite theologians (David Bentley Hart) and I perhaps don’t see eye to eye on anything economically. “But that’s just economics” – I guess it’s a good thing that there’s one sphere of social analysis left (the economical) where Christians seem willing to pretty well tolerate one anothers’ foolishness?

    As you pointed out,

    Stina: …but I am getting over those details to just be in community with other Christians.

    If your family is otherwise flourishing into stronger communion with God at the church you’re at, it might be worth putting up with political foolishness. It may also prove a deal-breaker, depending.

    We worship the same God, but not all in the same way, because we’re all a little different. For some, a pastor’s sermon may be the most important element of worship. For others, it may be liturgy, music, the day-to-day worship of projects undertaken outside the sanctuary. Some may even find putting up with foolish sermons a salutary reminder to cultivate a sense of patience and penance!

    • #18
    • March 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    • 3 likes
  19. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    We worship the same God, but not all in the same way, because we’re all a little different. For some, a pastor’s sermon may be the most important element of worship. For others, it may be liturgy, music, the day-to-day worship of projects undertaken outside the sanctuary. Some may even find putting up with foolish sermons a salutary reminder to cultivate a sense of patience and penance!

    Good comment, Midge. Are you observing Rose Sunday, today?

    I have varying needs that need to be met, for certain. Community is #1, liturgy with communion is #2, children’s ministry #3. He is a temp priest, so hopefully, replacement will bode better. If not, I might go to the dark side and attend a much closer Baptist church. At least that community would be more local.

    I hate having to make that decision and I’m also torn on being outspoken or holding my tongue :p

    • #19
    • March 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm
    • 1 like
  20. Moderator

    Stina (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    We worship the same God, but not all in the same way, because we’re all a little different. For some, a pastor’s sermon may be the most important element of worship. For others, it may be liturgy, music, the day-to-day worship of projects undertaken outside the sanctuary. Some may even find putting up with foolish sermons a salutary reminder to cultivate a sense of patience and penance!

    Good comment, Midge. Are you observing Rose Sunday, today?

    Today I observed “at noon I must be setting up for a massive concert a pretty long drive away” Sunday, unfortunately ;-P

    I’ve spent most of my life a very regular churchgoer, but our attendance has been spotty in recent years for several reasons, too – reasons that have been hard to juggle, but things may be looking up (we’re also moving to a new neighborhood).

    • #20
    • March 11, 2018 at 5:40 pm
    • 2 likes
  21. Member

    According to what I have heard repeatedly, the fastest growing churches are in third-world countries. Perhaps the malaise that Western churches are experiencing has a lot to do with the many distractions of material wealth.

    • #21
    • March 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm
    • 7 likes
  22. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    I’ve spent most of my life a very regular churchgoer, but our attendance has been spotty in recent years for several reasons, too

    I commisserate. The pregnancy and birth of my third has thrown my world into chaos and it has taken >2 years to get back to some normalcy.

    • #22
    • March 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm
    • 3 likes
  23. Member
    AltarGirl Post author

    JoelB (View Comment):
    According to what I have heard repeatedly, the fastest growing churches are in third-world countries. Perhaps the malaise that Western churches are experiencing has a lot to do with the many distractions of material wealth.

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    It’s easier to give up everything when all you have is nothing.

    • #23
    • March 11, 2018 at 7:29 pm
    • 2 likes
  24. Coolidge

    Stina:It may be that a good many devout Christians have abandoned a church that doesn’t teach the word of God, but instead preaches the words of politicians and activists.

    I will still attend, but I don’t know how much longer I can stomach the politics.

    It’s often been pointed out that demoninations that went toward the left have declined at a much faster rate than churches that did not. I don’t know if that’s because of the politicking from the pulpit, or just because people don’t see much sense in going to a church that only offers a less entertaining form of the message we already get from TV, and other media.

    I would say it’s very important to read the Bible on your own, so you can compare it to what you are getting from your church. My wife and I struggled for years to get into a regular habit of Bible-reading, but after many false starts, we managed. We had to find a way that worked for us.

    God bless.

    • #24
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:37 am
    • 5 likes
  25. Coolidge

    The (all denominations) church can hardly fight leftism when it is so infiltrated that people often feel the need to leave one congregation and find another. The spirit within us has to be heard and be the real guide. Jesus warned about false messengers because human nature was bound to make this happen.

    In the meantime, I have heard that the big falling away of Americans started in the Vietnam War. Has anybody heard this ..and would that be due to the general start of mistrust in all institutions? The churches didn’t line up with the war or lie about it but maybe young people of that day thought religion failed them by not opposing the war strongly enough, and became older liberals because in their view of things churches should have been more political. But how ironic that those who started adulthood critical of big institutions are still down on religion but kept wanting to grow more government!

    • #25
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:43 am
    • 2 likes
  26. Coolidge

    The (all denominations) church can hardly fight leftism when it is so infiltrated that people often feel the need to leave one congregation and find another. The spirit within us has to be heard and be the real guide. Jesus warned about false messengers because human nature was bound to make this happen.

    In the meantime, some think that the big falling away of Americans started in the Vietnam War. Has anybody heard this ..and would that be due to the general start of mistrust in all institutions? The churches didn’t line up with the war or lie about it but maybe young people of that day thought religion failed them by not opposing the war strongly enough, and became older liberals because in their view of things, churches should have been more political. But how ironic that those who started adulthood critical of big institutions remained down on religion but kept wanting to grow more government! (But of course religion makes demands and government hands out goodies).

    • #26
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:44 am
    • Like
  27. Member

    Because I believe the Catholic Church to be the one true Church, I’m limited to the nearby parishes around me. The few times I’ve been a guest at non-Catholic Christian churches, I was definitely made to feel welcome, although I sensed the “liturgy” was sorely lacking. Lots of worship and praise and feel-good stuff. I feel your pain though. As I’ve gotten older (in my early 50’s now), I’ve learned to simplify and not expect too much out of the priest in terms of a homily. When I do get a good one, it’s more of a blessing. I recommend (especially during Lent) doing what the Church has for centuries recommended: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; daily mass; praying the Rosary; going to Stations of the Cross; Lectio Divina, etc. Seems to me, the basics have a lot going for them. You’ll be surprised how much you get out of them! No matter which Church you choose, you’ll find sinners, so you’ll search in vain for a congregation that suits you perfectly.

    • #27
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:49 am
    • 6 likes
  28. Member

    You guys might like this:

    Ep. 1059 Against the Social Gospel: J. Gresham Machen Against the Liberals

    Tom Woods Show 

    • #28
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:03 am
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    Stina (View Comment):
    I had a conversation with a good friend who wanted to be a priest about female priests. She had asked me if I thought she was doing the right thing.

    I spent a long time finding the right words for her. She noticed and asked about it. I told her if I risk losing a friend over what I say, I want it to be the right thing to say.

    Good for you! I recommend changing the terms of the discussion, though, from “female priest” to “priestess.” “So, you want to become a priestess?” offers a certain clarity, don’t you think?

    My favorite argument against priestesses is that women would remember everything said to them in the confessional. C’mon ladies — you know it’s true!

    • #29
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:07 am
    • 6 likes
  30. Thatcher

    Several unpleasant topics you highlight.

    One of them brings to mind 1 Tim. 3:18, “…the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth.”

    Is that local assembly, if it is not the pillar and ground of truth, in fact the church of the living God? When the assembly is merely a social club, or seekers after “social justice”, or purveyors of politics, are they really the church of the living God?

    What is wrong with our country? Much of the salt has lost its savor.

    • #30
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:23 am
    • 6 likes
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