Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Morning Reflection

This year on Easter, I'm thinking about the fact that the number of US citizens that belong to a church has plummeted 20 percentage points over the last two decades. We now stand around at around 50% of this country that affiliate themselves with churches. From the link.

Among Hispanic Americans, church membership dropped from 68% to 45% since 2000, a much bigger decline than for non-Hispanic white and black Americans. 

There was a big discrepancy over that 20-year period in regard to political affiliation: Church membership among Democrats fell from 71% to 48%, compared to a more modest drop from 77% to 69% among Republicans.

David Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political science professor who studies religion's role in U.S. civic life, attributed the partisan divide to "the allergic reaction many Americans have to the mixture of religion and conservative politics." 

"Increasingly, Americans associate religion with the Republican Party – and if they are not Republicans themselves, they turn away from religion," he said.

Indeed. And I would add in the fact that the ongoing issues with the Catholic church and raping boys doesn't really help at all either.

This cultural shift is a stunning development when you consider how, during the Bush years, we were all worried about the growing evangelical movement and how that would affect politics. No longer. Mega churches are closing down, regular sized churches struggle to retain families, and the number of people that identify as "unaffiliated" in this country now stands as the majority.

That would be me. I consider myself a libertarian Christian. I don't need someone who is insecure about their faith screaming to me about what the Bible really means. I'm a smart guy. I can figure it out for myself. I can read, after all:)

Further, while I enjoy the fellowship of churches and the communities they serve, I'm very wary of sharing faith with people. It should be more private in my view...kinda like taking a shit. It's a moment when you are vulnerable and there shouldn't really be anyone else witnessing it. Adding more people tends to muck it all up as they bring all their nonsense into the mix. Dilution of Christ's simple message invariably happens after that.

You can still have the community without the church. As I write this, I'm hanging out with my in laws in rural Iowa. We have around 30 people coming over for a family meal and Easter egg hunt. Very few of them are heading to church. Most of us just want the family time and the fun of being together.

We are all people of deep faith and we don't need a building to have those core convictions.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Greater Than These

Across the United States today, many Americans will be celebrating the risen Jesus Christ and that His message is eternal. The core of that message is that we love one another while doing His works and greater than these. In so many ways, we are doing that. Take a look...

Greater than these...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Easter Reflection

Of all of the holidays we celebrate in this country, I find Easter to be the most disconcerting. I think the main reason for this is the lead up, particularly Good Friday. Far too many Christians seem obsessed with the brutal death of Jesus. They seem a little too much like modern day snuff film devotees and that disturbs me.

I find His death to be completely disgusting and horrible. I don't need to relive it over and over again. Nor do I feel the need to be reminded of His resurrection. I've accepted his death into my heart and believe that he died for our sins. Anything after that strikes me as repetitive and insecure. I guess I'd much rather focus on the amazing way He lived His life and how we can expand His message of peace around the world. I suppose that makes me a lousy Christian in the eyes of many but I don't care.

Being a believer doesn't carry with it the requirement that other people approve of your faith.