Why Is Church Attendance Down

Periodically, Christian writers post explanations about how important it is for believers to attend church. They quote scripture about how the common experience is imperative for a believer. But, church attendance continues to fall.

It seems to me that a church service is exactly the opposite of entertaining oneself on a smart phone. Smart phones moves fast, church moves slow. Church is one person’s view of an issue. The smart phone can find many views.

Also I think there is a broad over reaching cultural change about “shared experience.” I think people still enjoy a shared experience like church used to be, but they want a narrower band than what church offers. They do not get enjoyment from sharing with others a similar god. They want to hang out with people who share the same views on politics and narrow threads of Christianity. Two Catholics share a Pope, but one may not attend mass because she sees no women as clergy.

Pope Francis is trying to solve this problem. He is trying to steer a path between conservative and liberal factions. He has replaced some conservative Bishops and administrators. In doing so he has moved the needle at bit to the left. But, it has not brought people back to the pews. Most likely is that nothing will bring them back to either Catholic or Protestant churches.

Invitations say, “Come to church with me.” The answer is, “No thanks. I own my own church.”

23 Responses

  1. Mike Lawyer

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around why you, a free-thinking atheist, care about the church so much (it’s teachings, it’s leaders, it’s attendance, etc..). It’s just baffling to me.
    You probably spend more time in your day thinking about Jesus than a lot of christians do.
    Typically, if a person doesn’t care about something, they don’t spend day after day writing/blogging about how much they don’t like it. Do you not see how hypocritical, or better yet, strange that is?
    The power of Jesus Christ and His Word are immeasurable and your blog proves it. You and your fellow “free-thinkers”
    unknowingly demonstrate it’s influential power by doing your best to dismiss it nearly everyday, obsessively.
    I’m out.

    The Unicorn
    (A free-thinking Christian)

    1. Mike 8:44 You and your fellow free thinkers unknowingly demonstrate it’s influential power by doing your best to dismiss it nearly everyday, obsessively.

      I agree its powerful. We have God on our coins, God in our Pledge, God in our abortion laws, God in our marriage laws (seems God is slowly forgetting about gay sin) and God in every Presidential speech. So, I keep asking in this little blog site for someone to show us God. The power is there but the God in on a permanent vacation.

      One of my favorite gods is the Flying Spaghetti Monster. People ask him why he is invisible. He explained he did market research and found that people are more likely to believe an invisible god is real than one that can be seen. Those who wrote the Bible made certain their god was never seen so people would believe it was real.

    2. godless

      I am just trying to wrap my head around why you, a free thinking christian care about the lack of belief someone has. It’s just baffling to me.

      Doesn’t your bible tell you to avoid quarrels?

  2. Juan Ruiz

    When I lived in Spain, I noticed that church attendance was pretty much limited to elderly widows, except on feast days such as Corpus Christi. It’s so bad, the big cathedrals no charge admission to get in, except for masses. The younger people I spoke with said they had no interest in religion.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        Throughout Europe, you have to opt out of having a percentage of your income going to a church, be it Catholic of Protestant. My sister in law had to sign a document to that effect while living in Germany.

    1. godless

      What exactly is your point with not finding any events?

      I would be surprised if you had, and if their were event I likely would not be attending. So again what is your point?

  3. Mike

    Matt, your last post might be too subtle for the atheists that post to this site. They prefer fantasy like this reference to a Flying Spaghetti Monster. At first, I thought this story has to be a joke. Turns out I was half right, so I can see why atheists like Jon would really enjoy it.

    I give this guy credit, this Henderson who created the FSM out of whole cloth back in 2005, for being a little more creative than most atheists approach toward organized religion. He was using humor, or satire to be more precise, to address the issue, but it still goes back to the same old thing: Just another opportunity to bash God, in general, and specifically the Christian religion.

    I agree with what Mike the Lawyer said earlier. Atheists sure expend a lot of energy in trying to disprove the existence of God, when the evidence of his existence is clear for all to see.

    1. The FSM is a straw man meant to insult all of Christianity by those who despise Christianity. I’m often reminded that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. Most atheists simply leave the Faith and never bother to insult it or bother with it, i.e. they are indifferent. Jon, Jinx and others are consumed with a hate of Christianity. Jon’s life, in particular, is a daily dive in to finding sin in Christianity. That’s easy! All Christians are sinners. The low-hanging fruit is the obvious numerous differences in the denominations of Christianity. Then there are the adulterers, murders, thieves and frauds who turn their back on God, either for a time or permanently. Jon relishes in their sin. That is why we hear about Catholics who abort or contracept. That is why he relishes in Trump’s new-found conservatism and Christianity while pointing out his sins.

      The FSM doesn’t quite have the historicity or following of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But according to Jon, he (or she or it?) is just as real as Jesus. Of course, he taunts Christians but doesn’t believe either God or the FSM is real. He takes of the role of the Devil and admonishes Christ to prove Himself with an appearance or a miracle only attributable to a supernatural being. Even then, it would not satisfy him. Christ promised as much while lauding his apostles for believing without seeing. Only Thomas doubted His resurrection, ‘until I can put my hands in his wounds’.

      1. Mike, notice how Jon is right on time and so very predictable. He even got at least a two-fer since the Landover Baptists despise Catholicism. Or, let’s just say they have a difference of opinion on theology.

      2. Jon, I think the Landover Baptists only make themselves look foolish. Did you know they believe the sun is only 500 miles away from the earth? And they claim to be able to prove it. Also, kids are property to be bought and sold. Again, they have biblical proof. The only proof they convinced me of is that the Bible is meant to be interpreted one way and that each individual is not capable of discerning that interpretation. That is why Christ established a Church and provided the Holy Spirit to guide that Church in the mission of first creating the Bible and then interpreting it. I already know of your quaint theories so you can save your breath. I am quite content with acknowledging I am not all-knowing when I read the BIble and try to discern each passage.

          1. Perhaps you stopped reading my posts. My bet is that you are just being predictable.

            Perhaps the Bible now has as many denominational interpretations as there are are words in the Bible. I wonder if Christ left mankind with a Church of HIs creation that would sort through this issue and give guidance??? Can you think of any?

          2. mark anthony

            hi Jon, inasmuch as AV is about to evaporate into cyberspace, here are a few final words. May AV RIP. I must say that my ongoing debate with you has been a mix of fun and frustration. I must admit, also, that I went too hard on you from time to time. Even so, I hope that, at the least, I annoyed you. Will miss the Matt-Jinks show, especially. Anyway perhaps in the afterlife we can sit down and talk it over (with a few glasses of good wine of course).

          3. mark 3:06 Hi Jon, inasmuch as AV is about to evaporate into cyberspace here are a few final words.

            I’ve been praying to any of the many gods out there that will listen asking that my blog continue even if Forum Communications no longer provides support for Area Voices. Several gods got back to me that I might be in for a pleasant surprise–they might be willing to help me out. I don’t tend to take promises of gods seriously, but stay tuned.

          4. Catcher

            @ 1;52; re. ..”sort through this issue, (and several others), and give guidance”. The magicsterium has consistently shown to give more divisive guidance than being uniting, by omission or commission.

            @ 10;19; You sound as if you believe Landover is a reality.

      1. Regarding this blog site and the changes in Area Voices, I guess it’s OK for me to share what I know. I’ve been in regular contact with Forum Communications and understand, at least in part, what will be happening after May 15. This is my understanding and may not reflect the entirety of the changes.

        This blog will continue to be be posted on the Area Voices site for the foreseeable future. If you have it on your bookmark you can click and it will appear as it does today. No blogs, including this one, will scroll on the Forum properties sites as they have for years. This one and others will appear somewhere else on the websites or in some other format and will be available with a click.

        Forum Communications will remove and archive most of the blogs on the Area Voices directory. Most of them are inactive. In addition, if Area Voices develops glitches, as it does once or so a year, I’m not sure Forum Communications will fix it.

        Eventually, new in house software will be developed by Forum Communications and will replace the Area Voices software now being used. I assume this blog will be posted on that software at that time. Of course, at my age blogging will come to an end at some time.

        Thanks to everyone who reads the blog and I will enjoy your continued interest as these changes unfold.

        1. mark anthony

          Sounds as if the gods smiled on you: your tired old blog will not go where tired old blogs go after all. I may or may not continue to participate: I’m old and tired, too. My participation also depends on how easy or difficult it is to navigate the “new” AV.

          1. mark 6:15 Sounds as if the gods smiled on you; your tired old blog will not go where tired old blogs to after all.

            Tired old blog is right, and blogger. It’s a mystery, but for the last five of or days visitor numbers have been huge. Numbers are not always this high, sometimes really small, but the annual totals do not go down like one would think after seven or so years.

            A smart phone has helped me keep the blog going. I can use it when I’m not home.

            About your access, for some reason the software continues to require my approval of you posts. Catcher fell into that rut a few years ago.

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