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Article: How To Win A Culture War and Lose A Generation


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When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.†For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,†“hypocritical,†and “too involved in politics.â€)

rachelheldevans.com/win-culture-war-lose-generation-amendment-one-north-carolina

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I'm not in the 16 to 29 age group, but it's certainly what I think and one of the main reasons I don't attend church. I really don't need the negativity in my life.

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That's my age group. I identify as Christian, but I specifically sought out a church that was the opposite of all those terms. When the pastor said to me, "We don't do guilt or shame here," that was all I needed to hear.

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Not my age group, but those are my perceptions of US Christianity, too.

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I'm just slightly over that age range, but yup, me too. The anti-homosexuality thing was one of the reasons why I couldn't bend myself to fit the Christian mold.

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No anti-women? That would have been the first to come to my mind, as statistically the laws against women affect a much larger percentage of the population than the laws against gay marriage.

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That's not my age group, but it's the reason I don't go to church on a regular basis, and why I left the Mormon church.

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When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.†For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,†“hypocritical,†and “too involved in politics.â€)

They won their social and political battles by developing a generation not of children but of weapons. They aimed those weapons and fired them, and now they are bereaved of their children whom they had formed.

The faith has rightly come to be associated not with love and grace but with evil and desolation.

Christendom must return to its roots and to its protection of the weak. Or it will die, and deservedly so.

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I used to feel this way about Christianity, right after I left the Pentecostal church I was attending. Since then, I've come into contact with so many different varieties of 'Christian' that I can no longer say that. It's sad that the public face of Christianity has become the vocal minority.

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The Vatican should read this. My Roman Catholic priests usually complains at least once a year that people are leaving the church. I hate it how the Church says that even though people don't like what the Bible says, they have to obey God's Word. They're such hypocritical asses. Don't they remember that in the founding days they were using pagans' customs and traditions in mass but switching the names around and calling it Christian to get them to join, along with the aristocracy and nobility joining? My point?

If they realize that they're loosing members, they need to update their "Godly traditions" and actually accept people other than the ones the Old Testament says to accept. I thought that Christianity was supposed to be based mostly on the New Testament, because originally the first Christians were Jews who wanted a less stricter version of Judaism. If the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian sects don't update their views of abortion, accpetance, marriage, and science, then they may loose their members to new "heresey" religions. Not everything in the Bible needs to be taken literally. Remember, religious hierarchy, some of the stories in the Bible were to explain why people did such and such and why the religious seemed to be treaten badly. This wasy 3,000 years ago.

Phew. Sorry for the long rant. * :oops: *

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I'm not in the 16 to 29 age group, but it's certainly what I think and one of the main reasons I don't attend church. I really don't need the negativity in my life.

I am also not in that age group. I still believe and pray, but don't currently attend a church because of the judgement either. I am also single, which seems to be looked down upon as a second class person in many churches too. It's all about the families.

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I'm just barely out of that age group and it's one of the big problems I have with a lot of churches, especially since the churches I find myself most drawn to culturally and doctrinally seem to have some of the biggest issues with gay people. My husband it 40, but the anti-gay posturing and general hypocrisy and right-wing political rhetoric from the pulpit is one of the main reasons he won't have anything to do with a church anymore (and he's been part of the extreme right-wing for most of his life).

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my pastor posted a link to the article in the OP on his facebook, along with posts about how it's wrong to go around blasting other people's perceived sins instead of checking or own hearts and lives instead, and a long post about how one definition of worldly is prioritizing politics over the gospel and using the church as a political tool instead of a means of spreading the gospel. There are still things I'm wary of in this church, but that gives me some hope he's at least trying to do the right thing.

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My husband it 40, but the anti-gay posturing and general hypocrisy and right-wing political rhetoric from the pulpit is one of the main reasons he won't have anything to do with a church anymore (and he's been part of the extreme right-wing for most of his life).

I am fairly sure that it hasn't been that long since you posted about leaving one church and going to a different one because your husband wanted to do so.

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The first thing I think of when I think of Christianity is "patriarchy."

Also, given the current political climate, "theocracy."

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Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of a bundle of superstitions that should have died out long ago. Christianity is on the wrong side of every issue - gay marriage, reproductive choice, separation of church and state. I'm definitely outside the 16-29 age bracket, but I'm so glad the younger generation is showing such decency and compassion on this issue. It gives me a sense of hope.

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Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of a bundle of superstitions that should have died out long ago. Christianity is on the wrong side of every issue - gay marriage, reproductive choice, separation of church and state. I'm definitely outside the 16-29 age bracket, but I'm so glad the younger generation is showing such decency and compassion on this issue. It gives me a sense of hope.

^ THIS!!!!!!!!!!

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The first thing I think of when I think of Christianity is "patriarchy."

Also, given the current political climate, "theocracy."

You and me both. Welcome, by the way.

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Because young Christians are ready for peace.

We are ready to lay down our arms.

We are ready to start washing feet instead of waging war.

When people ask, I tell them that I'm a Christ-follower, not a Christian, because Christ represents peace and Christianity represents judgement and prejudice. I'm ready for Christianity to dissapear.

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I am fairly sure that it hasn't been that long since you posted about leaving one church and going to a different one because your husband wanted to do so.

It hasn't been long since I posted that, but that was pretty much a blip on the radar after he'd quit going. Before I posted that, he hadn't been to a church in about 5 years. We went to an IFB church together for maybe 2-3 years when he stopped going then (and quit going when he came out about certain things, but I never really put the two together totally because at the time his main complaints about the church were other things). Before that, I don't think he's been in church since he was a teenager and he'd said hypocrisy and meddling in people's lives was the reason why, but no specific examples.

He wanted me to go to the church I'm in now when it first got started, in part because it was closer and cost less gas money and because he knew some of the people. I think maybe he also thought it would be different and that he'd be able to tolerate it or just wanted to check it out because I was really excited about him saying I could go to church and not face a lot of flak over it. He came to several pre-planning meetings and work days, then 2 services and hasn't been back. He was cool with other stuff but once it moved into a building and started Sunday morning services and started seeming more churchy he said he just couldn't handle it.

I figured at the time it was mostly because he isn't a Christian and had no real desire to be there and because he wanted to sleep in, but he told me a couple days ago that a big reason he quit going to our last church before this and didn't care about going to any other was because of the way they push certain politics and harp on certain things they don't think affect them, like gay people, abortion, or drinking, instead of addressing real problems or offering to help people.

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Well, I guess my real thought is, YOU left the people you knew to go someplace new for him...

I hope it's working for you, since it obviously isn't for him.

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No anti-women? That would have been the first to come to my mind, as statistically the laws against women affect a much larger percentage of the population than the laws against gay marriage.

I agree with you. Anti-women is the 1st thing I think about when any of the 3 Abrahamic religions come up.

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I agree with you. Anti-women is the 1st thing I think about when any of the 3 Abrahamic religions come up.

I agree. They should just come out and say, "anti-anything-except-white-cis-heterosexual-male" and be done with it already. :roll:

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Well, I guess my real thought is, YOU left the people you knew to go someplace new for him...

I hope it's working for you, since it obviously isn't for him.

It is, kind of. It's sort of an odd situation. A few months after we left our old church, the pastor resigned and the church split so, when I went back a few years later there were only a handful of people there I still new. The old pastor and most of our friends from the former church (all expect one couple that stayed at the old church and another family that moved out of state) ended up being part of the new church, which was a big factor in switching.

I'm still sort of divided. I like the people at this church a lot, I love the way they do a lot of things and are focused more on community outreach and inclusiveness, and they have a great children's and youth ministry. The main thing I like about the church I left is it is much more focused on doctrine and is more old school as far as worship - more prayer, congregational hymn singing instead of contemporary music and a praise band. I am more comfortable in that sort of church and I miss that (if you read the recent thread on Reformed Baptists, it was just like that, but I like that in a church). OTOH, they have no nursery or children's church during the main service and are much further away, so that was already becoming an issue even without my husband wanting me to try out the other church.

Right now, I'll probably stay at the new church at least until my son is old enough to sit through a church service and not be miserable, or until the old church starts offering a kid's program during the main service (they have added children's Sunday school and talked about a nursery and children's service, but don't have the people to do it yet because it is a very small church). Also, I jumped in and committed myself do doing the church website and have been doing some background investigations (staff and volunteers that will be working with children) and I don't want to leave until they have someone else ready to take over those things.

tl;dr - It's working somewhat, but there's more to the whole situation than just what my husband wanted.

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