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CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian

 
Anonymous Coward
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02/08/2012 06:48 PM
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CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian



We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.


Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

Why is this going to happen?

1. Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.

The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

2. We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

3. There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.

4. Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.

5. The confrontation between cultural secularism and the faith at the core of evangelical efforts to "do good" is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good Evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, and much of that work will not be done. Look for ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.

6. Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.

7. The money will dry up.

What will be left?

•Expect evangelicalism to look more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth oriented megachurches that have defined success. Emphasis will shift from doctrine to relevance, motivation, and personal success – resulting in churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith.

•Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the "conversion" of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions.

•A small band will work hard to rescue the movement from its demise through theological renewal. This is an attractive, innovative, and tireless community with outstanding media, publishing, and leadership development. Nonetheless, I believe the coming evangelical collapse will not result in a second reformation, though it may result in benefits for many churches and the beginnings of new churches.

•The emerging church will largely vanish from the evangelical landscape, becoming part of the small segment of progressive mainline Protestants that remain true to the liberal vision.


[link to www.csmonitor.com]
Anonymous Coward
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02/08/2012 07:33 PM
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Re: CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
Life and Love
Live life fully!

User ID: 9710640
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02/08/2012 07:39 PM
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Re: CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
Sadly OP's article has a lot of truth in it.
Those who have more than enough should always be mindful of those who have less than enough.
Anonymous Coward
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02/08/2012 08:10 PM
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Re: CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
O Boy from 1:50 you will see lots of crimes done by priest evangelist etc


Anonymous Coward
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02/08/2012 08:19 PM
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Re: CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
wishful thinking from 2009 ..

The coming evangelical collapse
An anti-Christian chapter in Western history is about to begin. But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.

--

That's why it's important to expose the lies in the media and state schools, about "caveman" and other nonsense.

Actually, since the internet, I believe the table has turned.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 10417476
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02/09/2012 07:40 PM
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Re: CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
wishful thinking from 2009 ..

The coming evangelical collapse
An anti-Christian chapter in Western history is about to begin. But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.

--

That's why it's important to expose the lies in the media and state schools, about "caveman" and other nonsense.

Actually, since the internet, I believe the table has turned.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 10353830


How Will The Shocking Decline Of Christianity In America Affect The Future Of This Nation?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is Christianity in decline in America? When you examine the cold, hard numbers it is simply not possible to come to any other conclusion. Over the past few decades, the percentage of Christians in America has been steadily declining.

This has especially been true among young people. As you will see later in this article, there has been a mass exodus of teens and young adults out of U.S. churches. In addition, what “Christianity” means to American Christians today is often far different from what “Christianity” meant to their parents and their grandparents. Millions upon millions of Christians in the United States simply do not believe many of the fundamental principles of the Christian faith any longer. Without a doubt, America is becoming a less “Christian” nation. This has staggering implications for the future of this country. The United States was founded primarily by Christians that were seeking to escape religious persecution. For those early settlers, the Christian faith was the very center of their lives, and it deeply affected the laws that they made and the governmental structures that they established. So what is the future of America going to look like if we totally reject the principles that this nation was founded on?



But in the United States, things are different. Churches are shrinking, skepticism is growing and apathy about spiritual matters seems to be at an all-time high.

Before we examine the data, let me disclose that I am a Christian. I am not bashing Christians or the Christian faith at all in this article. In fact, I consider the decline of Christianity in America to be a very bad thing. Not everyone is going to agree with me on that, but hopefully this article will help spark a debate on the role of religion in America that everyone can learn something from.
Anonymous Coward
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02/09/2012 07:53 PM
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Re: CSMonitor: "coming evangelical collapse" = Christian
To clarify to those saying it's an article; it is not.

This is an op-ed piece, by Michael Spencer. Not to say that his observations are not accurate. But this piece is — after all — his observational assessment through his personal field of perspective. An opinion.

It's become apparent that many fields of belief are "collapsing."

Christendom and beyond.

News