Parts of the Church Have No Idea What is Going On.

The history of the Southern Baptist Convention over the last 20 some years is a window into the Christian corporate church.  One can see leaders have no clue about the real-time problem.

About 20 years ago Albert Mohler was a part of an insurgency revolt on contemporary theology inside SBC.  Pragmatic leaders were dumped in favor of stern-face white men who “knew what Bible meant.”  The denomination has been in decline ever since.

In the link, Mohler correctly reviews the statistics.  In England during the last 30 years, 500 churches have been destroyed and 1000 written off.  About 350 are scheduled to be written off soon–the pace is quickening.

In the U.S., between 80-90% of churches are not growing or declining.  More are closing than opening.  Numbers are showing decline.

The reason is simple.  Sexual sin is the foundation of the faith and people are no longer sinning.  Sexual sin is being replaced in Western culture with the concept of mutually consenting adults.  Because a large part of the church cannot leave judgment of sexual sin behind and endorse consenting adults, it is becoming not relevant.

But to Mohler, and a large part of the faith, the problem is that the message of sexual sin needs to be shouted to new audiences.  More churches need to be started (“planting” is the hip Christian word).  By preaching that new churches need to be started, Mohler blames  someone else for the problem he created.

A large part of the faith does not understand sin is disappearing.

http://www.sbts.edu/blogs/2014/06/24/evangelicalisms-major-turn-the-need-for-generation-replant/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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34 Responses to Parts of the Church Have No Idea What is Going On.

  1. ditto john. these conservative Christians have joined politics in every way to judge everybody. they have stained the church and have led to its demise. Christians should not let the actions of humans get in between their faith and God.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      William 7:10 Thanks for the first time comment–welcome. They have strained the church and led to its demise

      I agree judging others is an unattractive characteristic that some Christians follow.

  2. Kerry says:

    That is a weak argument. If you believe sin is disappearing and is the foundation of Christian faith you have fooled yourself. Sexual sin is not the foundation of my faith. Christ is the foundation of my faith. Open your eyes and your heart to the reality of our current moral decline. Sin is evident all around us and it presents itself daily. Sin is not just about a bad act we commit it is about our separation from our creator. The bible says we were born into sin. It is about our fallen nature. I guess our definition of sin is vastly different. To me sexual sin is no different then stealing, lying, cheating, murdering etc… It’s all sin.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Kerry 12:23 Thanks for the first time comment and welcome to the discussion page.

      Sexual sin is not the foundation of my faith.

      I’m hoping you make no judgments about gay marriage or any other sexual practices consenting adults engage in. I think you would agree other Christians do make such judgments.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      About all Jon can see is “sexual sin”, or things related to LBGT. He almost always manages to twist the conversation towards it. Much like the man who was given a Rorschach test, (ink blotter). Having been shown the first one, he said “that is a naked woman”. The 2nd one, the same response, and likewise to all of them to the very last. “That is a naked woman”. When asked if that was all he had seen, he told the Dr.; “Well you’re the one showing the dirty pictures.”
      I believe if you met Jon on a tree shaded street, on a warm sunny day, no wind, and you said to him, “Hi Jon, sure is a beautiful day “, he would say; “It would be if you were LGBT”. Much like the Rorschach test, All conversation leads to LGBT.

    • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

      Sorry, Wanna, but Jon is not the one obsessed with “sexual sin.” It’s folks similar to you who are so obsessed with others’ sexuality. But then without sin of some sort, the whole need for the Jesus figure falls by the wayside.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        FFB; You are mistaken. You know not what you say, but you are free to think so. Very very seldom do I get involved in the subject. It is not a priority of mine.

        • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

          Well, Wanna, apparently you have some objection to or disagreement with Jon’s public support of the LGBT community, or you wouldn’t have made your previous comment – “all conversation leads to LGBT.” If people wouldn’t work so hard at denying equal treatment under the law to us LGBT people, there would less need for people like Jon and me to speak up about it.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            No, actually, what is interesting is that Jon quite often steers a non related conversation to his favorite topic. It’s a nice day if your are straight or gay. What you are has no importance to a “nice day”.

          • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

            Obviously, Wanna, it really bothers you that Jon is passionate in his belief for equality for LGBT people and often speaks up about it. You offer up “What you are has no importance to a ‘nice day.’” I can only conclude from this statement that you have no idea what it’s like to be demonized and have the law treat you as something “less than.”

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You are what you are, (whatever that may be). Makes no difference to me. By your sensitivities, I conclude you may be gay. Makes no difference to me. I have gay friends, in fact have had them over for supper. So they’re Gay? BFD. Our conversations have matured beyond that. Had a gay friend in school, b/4 I knew what “gay” was. He remained a friend. Sadly, he was killed in a lover’s quarrel about 20 yr. ago. If you are looking for a fight, you are looking in the wrong place. Take two oz. Wild Turkey, and move on.

          • Adam Heckathorn says:

            I believe when Jon or anyone stands for the rights of any group that others are trying to marginalize My rights as well as the rights of all in the Community are strengthened.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Adam; I don’t really care what topic Jon approaches. It’s his blog. My point is; quite often, someone can be talking about something not related to LGBT issues, and he manages to spin it into the conversation. This happens quite often. This should not be that complicated. When/ if it happens again, I will remind you.

          • Adam Heckathorn says:

            Wanna I think the reason LGBT issues are discussed are because their rights are currently being assaulted. Lets face it few are assaulting the rights of straight middle aged white guys like Me.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Adam; Go back to Kerry @ 12:23. The start of this silliness. In it, he specifically stated sexual sin was not the foundation of his belief, and went on to explain why. ( A response to Jon’s topic). Following that Jon @1:33 introduced gay marriage and “any other sexual practices consenting adults engage in”.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            I did not make sexual sin the center piece of the Christian faith. Jerry Falwell made a big contribution to that. So did Pope Benedict. And then there were your Lutheran colleagues and Presbyterians etc. who split off into separate corporations over the issue.

            I understand you are not as interested in the topic as I am and have not have some 30 years invested in it. I understand, as well, an growing part of the faith either never held it up as a sin or have left it behind as a sin. The Christian faith revolves around sin and sexual sin is the hottest number in town.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Jerry Falwell, the Pope, nor “other” Lutherans are spokesmen for me/ us. When “sexual sin” pops up, my/our mind goes to (as I recently mentioned), sneaking under the fence to “boink” the neighbors wife, or her complying with the advances. Of course, the roles can be reversed. Or a single seducing a willing married person. Sort of brings a new meaning to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. I believe there is far more of all this than in your 30 yr. “investment”. The case of those in authority over the vulnerable speaks for itself. But there is the possibility that you are OK with someone seducing your wife. Not my call.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I do think that much of what I speak is the major consideration for the high rate of divorce. But then you may agree with one of your fellow travelers, (a year or two ago) that marriage is a failed institution that should be discontinued. Some would say for many it has.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 9:39 So, when I use the tern sexual sin, you say your mind goes to infidelity of heterosexuals and its role in divorced. I don’t get the impression the mainstream Protestantism is in the same place you are. Recently, there was an appearance by a preacher at a large gathering of clergy (I can’t remember where but I remember mentioning it in a blog or comment) who asked how many of the preachers present had preached against divorce in the last 25 years. There were few hands.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; I or we are not “mainstream”, nor whatever describes it. You are overly generous in your application of the term. What, or how you believe about them is between them and you.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I would venture a guess that “large gathering of clergy” you mention was of the “mainstream” category.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        FFB; Like “the priest”, you conflate. That’s Ok if you don’t know better, but it’s not really an excuse.

        • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

          Ever notice, Wanna, that when Christians are put on the spot they’ll say things like “Sexual sin is not the foundation of my faith.” In reality, so many of them love to go on and on and on about the sexual behavior of others they find morally objectionable. No conflation going on in my comments, just conclusions reached after listening to people for decades and hearing the same things year in and year out.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Your conclusions are conflated.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            FFB; Perhaps you are listening only to those you want to hear.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            FFB; If you are straight or gay, I don’t care. If your next door neighbor was sneaking under the fence and boinking your wife, (or significant other) when you were at work, most would call that a sexual sin. I guess you would be OK with that. Even if you claim there is no sin, you would be OK with that too. Reverse the roles. You were sneaking under the fence. Your neighbor didn’t know. That would be OK with him too. You could steal his tools on the way back home. It would be a better decision to steal his shotgun.

          • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

            Perhaps these “others” need to spend less time worrying about, condemning and legislating against the sexuality of others. And I can assure you that you haven’t the slightest idea what my ethics are. I think it’s far more likely that you don’t hear what you don’t want to hear or acknowledge.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Bob @4:48; 2 oz. wild Turkey. See my 4:59.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            FFB; Re. Jon’s constant refrain on LGBT; Just within the last month, ( I think) on this site, a fellow atheist reprimanded Jon for his fixation on LGBT which as I remember was a distraction from the main purpose of “Freethinkers”. If there’s one, there’s more, even from the side of non-belief.

          • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

            Wanna, this may surprise you, but not all atheists are comfortable with or supportive of LGBT people. Atheism does not inherently equate to support for our community. You will, however, find that LGBT issues are a frequent topic on freethought/atheist/non-theist blogs, since opponents of equal treatment under the law almost always use their religious beliefs as justification. By the way, how would you respond if I seriously stated the following: “I have Christian friends, in fact have had them over for dinner.” Would you not find that rather offensive and condescending? I also find it interesting that you’re trying to imply that talking about LGBT issues is somehow not “mature.”

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            FFB Not surprised all atheists are supportive of LBGT.- – Am aware that LGBT issues are common among atheists,- – I really don’t care how you feel that I have gay friends. The remainder of your post IS immaturity.
            Four oz. Wild Turkey may help you if two didn’t.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            FFB; Just to show you that I am an equal opportunity individual; In addition to the gays I know as friends, there are a couple I consider real A-Holes. Not too sure about you yet, but you are pretty much out of the running to be considered to be a friend. The other option is still up in the air. Keep it up, and you help me make up my mind.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Oops; @12:39- – Meant to say; Not surprised not ( ALL) atheists are supportive of LGBT.

  3. Wolfy32 says:

    Interesting concept. Sin is such a strange word. Implies guilt, shame, condemnation, as well as the need for salvation. If what one does is not wrong, then where’s the need for a savior?

    Now, that’s not to say that people who don’t believe in sin, believe they make no mistakes or don’t ever do anything to hurt people. Although that appears to be the biggest case against Athiests. They don’t care about anyone but themselves. Far from the truth. Is it not possible to live to the best of ones ability accepting of one’s own mistakes, taking responsibility for them, remaining accountable for them, and ultimately learning from them and moving on?

    There are people that don’t learn, and continuously make the same mistakes over and over, that drink too much and project all their inner pain on others and blame others for their screwed up life. There are people that need help, some of them need lots of help. No doubt about it. At the same time, That doesn’t make the entire human race evil or bad?

    And if we’re such a shameful race, why do we live at all? Why not just blow ourselves up, why do we seek to propogate and grow in civilization if we’re ashamed to be human?

    It’s much easier to place all our mistakes on someone and say here God take my mistakes, than deal with, and learn from the mistakes that make us feel ashamed. I’d say one of the hardest things we as humans need to learn to do is to learn how to forgive ourselves. WE harbor a lot of guilt, shame, and self condemnation for mistakes in life. Yet, where’s the instruction book that said we shouldn’t make mistakes? Or that we should be perfect at this thing called life? Imagine the advances in community, society, and as a whole civilization if we learned how to forgive ourselves for mistakes we made?

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