Why is Christianity loosing the cultural war ?

soleil10

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The statistics show that in terms of cultural decline like adultery, pornography, divorce, abortions etc Christians are not doing better than the rest of the society. Family breakdown is the # 1 symbol and corner stone of this devastating civilization decline. So called Same sex "marriages" are now the new stage of this cultural and spiritual war.

Many Christian leaders are alarmed by these trends and much efforts are made to strengthen marriage and protect life as sacred. Still when looking at the coming generation we can expect a further decline in Christian faith and values.

What may be the causes behind these trends? Of course, our spirits are affected by constant assaults from the secular and godless forces that are invading our environment on a daily basis but I also think that Christianity is missing a clear family theology of salvation that could resist and overcome these non-stop pressures that surround us. A clear family salvation theology is missing.

In Christianity, salvation is mostly an individual matter. We may go to heaven alone, not as a family. Marriage is limited to our time on earth and is not eternal. Our investment in loving our physical family and becoming one with our spouse seem to be temporary.

In Christian theology, Jesus did not have physical father. He did not marry. He had other siblings that thought he was crasy and who tried to restrain him. The most important symbol in Christianity is a single man, a bachelor crucified on a cross at Calvary. This is the image of the first Christian family coming out of the Christian interpretation of the scriptures.

The Apostle Paul recommends Christians not to marry if they can. For 1000 years priests in the Catholic church have lived a celibate life and are not allowed to marry. Quite often the image projected by Christian theology is that to be closer to God, a believer should become a monk and live a celibate life.

In the cultural war, Gay activits use all these facts and images to pretend that Jesus did not say that homosexuality is wrong. There is not a Jesus family to reject their claim.

The first family in Genesis became a dysfunctional family. The parents had to hide in shame and were kicked out of the Garden. The elder son killed his younger brother, etc...etc.

Jesus loved children but did not have a family that would have been an example that all his followers could model. Sanctity is mostly for single men and women who have rejected a family life model and followed the path of Jesus' sacrifice.

As a whole, Christianity is not projecting and teaching a clear hopeful theology of the family on earth and in heaven. The ideal is not represented by the family.

I think this is a major problem and a huge weakness.

I am curious of what your thoughts are on this issue
 
There is a limit to how many hot topics we can handle in a week, because at some point we run out of brownie points with each other. The disconnect between homosexuals and the majority of Christians has some people hoping homosexualty will lead to reform, but there is a clear line of demarcation between the different schools. A forum can have very little impact on the subject if there isn't already some momentum behind the discussion from both major viewpoints.
 
Why do you consider this a "cultural war"? Is that the best description for social change?
 
The first family in Genesis became a dysfunctional family. The parents had to hide in shame and were kicked out of the Garden. The elder son killed his younger brother, etc...etc.
...and we humans still are a dysfunctional family...
 
So long as we look at these matters as a war, we will continue to decline.

We reify that which we seek to overcome.

I think one of the biggest hindrances to Christianity's impact in the real world today is that so many obsessively focus on what they fight against rather than on what they move toward. We create our enemies. We ensure the continuance of all our fears.

One does not have to fight the darkness. One needs only to turn on the light. And one tiny flame ends a room full of darkness.
 
Seattlegal said:
...and we humans still are a dysfunctional family...
Path of one said:
One does not have to fight the darkness. One needs only to turn on the light. And one tiny flame ends a room full of darkness.
Fabulously spoken!

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."

Song of Solomon 7:1 How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand.

Judges 14:14 And he said to them, "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet."
 
I think one of the biggest hindrances to Christianity's impact in the real world today is that so many obsessively focus on what they fight against rather than on what they move toward. We create our enemies. We ensure the continuance of all our fears.
But I think some would see moral success as a positive goal even if it means creating enemies.

The OP suggests that Christians lack moral values because they lack "family theology" and that "family theology" presumably would be a "hopeful theology." Personally, I think the problem is that for many of modern day Christians their religion is nothing more than an elevated way to maintain their own social solidarity by sowing mistrust using polarizing ideologies.

Specifically, this effort has involved attempts to advance the ingroup's political goals by using "family values" as a behavioral platform. I believe this kind of thing is are out of touch with Christian principles and, arguably, with the aims of religion in general. As Alan Watts (1964) once observed, in our post-Christian era,
"outside Quaker meetings and Catholic monasteries, there is hardly the slightest concern for the inner life, for the raising of human consciousness to union with G-d - supposedly the main work of religion. Their politicking and lobbying is largely preoccupied with the maintenance of idiotic laws against gambling, drinking, whoring, selling contraceptives, procuring abortions, dancing on Sundays, getting divorced and practicing homosexuality...." (p. 83-84)
Churches will become museums - or they'll be converted for some other use - as these folks persist in their almost idolatrous preoccupation with moralistic issues, propelled by a self-love that is based on moral duplicity. Politicking, lobbying, and pretending to righteousness when judging others are all poor substitutes for a genuine love of G-d.

As I understand it, Grace underscores the absurdity of all human efforts at moral success. These efforts are absurd in principle and they become even more absurd when they become the center of skewed attempts at evangelism or 'culture war.'
 
...and we humans still are a dysfunctional family...

Yes there is a war within each one of us between our mind and our body as St Paul wrote in Rom:22-25

"For in my inner being, I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my bod, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

From the individual, it expends to the family and on and on.

Without a family salvation plan, how can Christianity or any other religion protect the breakdown of the family ?
 
Let's not panick. The breakdown of the family is not really possible, because families are biological. Also, the Russians are not coming to take our Bibles away.
 
Let's not panick. The breakdown of the family is not really possible, because families are biological. Also, the Russians are not coming to take our Bibles away.

With over 40% of children born out of wedlock, 50% divorce rate and all the data on the subject, there are reasons to panick.

The Russians do not need to take our bibles away. We are doing it to ourselves
 
With over 40% of children born out of wedlock, 50% divorce rate and all the data on the subject, there are reasons to panick.

75% of Americans identify themselves as Christian—down from 86% 20 years ago.*

So a majority of these divorces and out of wedlock births are the fault of Christians. This isn't a cultural war because it is being waged against the same culture. It's more like a civil war.

Soleil, what would you propose as a solution for changing the behaviors of your fellow Christians?






*American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
 
With over 40% of children born out of wedlock, 50% divorce rate and all the data on the subject, there are reasons to panick.

The Russians do not need to take our bibles away. We are doing it to ourselves
We'll start with this...this 40% out of wedlock the largest increase is not in single mothers, but cohabitating parents that have chose not to be married, (quite interesting that heteros choose not to get married and gays want to!)

But back to the OP, Genesis starts with beastiality, incest, rape, pillage and plunder... we have improved muchly I'd say.

There is plenty of discussion around whether Jesus was married or not, almost enough to place it all in doubt.

In my view this was just mentioned on another post, but the first thing christians need to do is worry about themselves and not others.

ie: I've got my work to do and plenty of it.
 
Soleil said:
The statistics show that in terms of cultural decline like adultery, pornography, divorce, abortions etc Christians are not doing better than the rest of the society. Family breakdown is the # 1 symbol and corner stone of this devastating civilization decline. So called Same sex "marriages" are now the new stage of this cultural and spiritual war.

Many Christian leaders are alarmed by these trends and much efforts are made to strengthen marriage and protect life as sacred. Still when looking at the coming generation we can expect a further decline in Christian faith and values.

Don't talk to me about reasons to panic. Everything Christian here is so screwed up right now that even you have not scratched the surface, Soleil. It is all because we want leaders. Just like Israel wanted a king, Christians (of all things!) think they need 'Leaders'! Despite our Christian leaders, many children are not born out of wedlock. There are even happy marriages! No thanks to "Christian leadership." No thanks to marriage laws. Thanks be to God. Leaders are not leaders but alarmists, monsters, hucksters, and sheep-shearers. They are a necessary evil in politics, useless for actually solving problems.

As a Christian, ask yourself why God allows widescale problems to happen, and the answer is 'To get our attention'. To get the Christian Leaders attention? No. To get rid of them. We have relied upon "Christian Leaders," when we know darn well Jesus said to call no man master or Father. Here is an example of a mere symptom of the problem: Why are Christians so worried about whom is president? Some of them prayed several times a day, not even smiling, that God would give them a good president! It is because we are so deep in idolatry our eyeballs don't even know what light is anymore. The Christian leaders in Europe, meanwhile, are giving up on us and calling us apostate. They lead their flocks in division while we wallow in our calamity. These dark days can end, but not by criticizing divorce laws and kissing your pastor's butt. Sell the building and buy food for the poor. How long have you known you should do this? But you haven't done it.

Christian Leaders are the ones that have been silent about numerous abuses. They are worthless, useless tithing enforcers. It is the fact that you call them leaders that they have become corrupt in the first place. I don't think you could have pushed a hotter button with me. I tolerate Christian leaders because I have to -- because so many Christians live in their thrall. I give them zero credit for anything good in the world.
 
75% of Americans identify themselves as Christian—down from 86% 20 years ago.*So a majority of these divorces and out of wedlock births are the fault of Christians. This isn't a cultural war because it is being waged against the same culture. It's more like a civil war.Soleil, what would you propose as a solution for changing the behaviors of your fellow Christians?*American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
The point I am making in my post is that Christianity does not seem to have a family salvation theology. I did cover some of the facts earlier..
Without such a theology, a vision that include the growth of the individual, the formation of his/her family and how it is crucial as a preparation for their next life as a whole is missing.
Without it all everything has temporary value, is individual and does not include the eternal.

That is where I would start.
 
The point I am making in my post is that Christianity does not seem to have a family salvation theology. I did cover some of the facts earlier..
Without such a theology, a vision that include the growth of the individual, the formation of his/her family and how it is crucial as a preparation for their next life as a whole is missing.
Without it all everything has temporary value, is individual and does not include the eternal.

That is where I would start.
Ok, so that sounds like an imbalance. Putting aside the other thing I posted:

In practical terms, how can balance be restored? I mean, are you saying that the family theology is simply not being practised or that it was never present to begin with? Are you a restorer or a hot-rodder?
 
Ok, so that sounds like an imbalance. Putting aside the other thing I posted:In practical terms, how can balance be restored? I mean, are you saying that the family theology is simply not being practised or that it was never present to begin with? Are you a restorer or a hot-rodder?

I do not understand your question. Can you explain /
 
Yes. You said "Christianity does not seem to have a family salvation theology." Does this mean the family theology is simply not being practised, or it is not present within Christianity? If it is not being practised, then that means you feel just restoration is needed. Restoration is like a fresh coat of paint and some repair. If it is not present, then you are saying a modification is needed. A modification is like changing the floorplan of a house or even adding a room or another floor. A hot-rodder changes the design of anitique cars, so I was comparing a modification approach to that hobby: hot-rodding.

In essence I am asking if you are making a doctor's prescription for Christianity, and if so what.
 
So long as we look at these matters as a war, we will continue to decline.

We reify that which we seek to overcome.

I think one of the biggest hindrances to Christianity's impact in the real world today is that so many obsessively focus on what they fight against rather than on what they move toward. We create our enemies. We ensure the continuance of all our fears.

One does not have to fight the darkness. One needs only to turn on the light. And one tiny flame ends a room full of darkness.

Excellent points Path. It is how we choose to look at it and where we put our emphasis. It is just as easy to go through the Bible and the history of Christianity and point out all the things that support family, are inclusive and loving, and show that our families extend beyond those to whom we are related. Jesus strong words about divorce, for example, are very much a family-salvation concept. Likewise when he tenderly tells John and his mother Mary that they are now mother and son.

Chirstianity is a communal religion, meaning we are all in this together. We worship together, we work together, we are saved together.

The 'problem' with Christianity is the same as the 'problem' with the whole world, it's just full of people! It's unpopular to call us all sinners, but that IMO is really just the blunt way of putting it.

Anyway, back to your point, we can't change the whole world but each of can change ourselves. And in that change we will affect those around us, directly by our actions and indirectly by modeling the families and neighbors we want to be. It may not be 'Christianity' that has saved me, but I have been 'saved' by individual Christians who extend love and community to me. And my relationship with God is likewise saved by the individual who was Christ.
 
But I think some would see moral success as a positive goal even if it means creating enemies.

The OP suggests that Christians lack moral values because they lack "family theology" and that "family theology" presumably would be a "hopeful theology." Personally, I think the problem is that for many of modern day Christians their religion is nothing more than an elevated way to maintain their own social solidarity by sowing mistrust using polarizing ideologies.

I agree. That is what I was trying to get at in my shorthand manner.

I am not saying that we create enemies through our goals of morality. I am saying that we focus on the problem rather than the solution, and we create our enemies because of our using religion as identity rather than using our religion as transformation.

My own experience is that the more I feel God's grace and respond- the more I open to God- the less I feel like anyone is an enemy. I sometimes feel misunderstood or misused, but they are not my enemy. I have no bad feelings toward those unlike me, even those that actively dislike me. Focusing on the grace and love of God allows an unfolding of ethical behavior without creating a sense of pride and egoic self, and therefore without creating "self" vs. "other" (i.e., the enemy). Any enemies that are created are by others' perceptions, whereas I am free to look on the world with compassion.

Chirstianity is a communal religion, meaning we are all in this together. We worship together, we work together, we are saved together.

The 'problem' with Christianity is the same as the 'problem' with the whole world, it's just full of people! It's unpopular to call us all sinners, but that IMO is really just the blunt way of putting it.

Exactly. LOL Most human ideals are really lovely. Until they are put into practice, and then they get mucked up by greed, fear, anger, division...

The problem isn't the ideals or "society" or other intangibles. The problem is us.

Anyway, back to your point, we can't change the whole world but each of can change ourselves. And in that change we will affect those around us, directly by our actions and indirectly by modeling the families and neighbors we want to be. It may not be 'Christianity' that has saved me, but I have been 'saved' by individual Christians who extend love and community to me. And my relationship with God is likewise saved by the individual who was Christ.

Yep. The ripple effect is a powerful thing, and I think any action toward the will of God is aided by God's grace, making it spiritually and energetically much stronger than those actions against God's will. If Christ is for us, who can be against us?

I think Christians have, for the most part, lost faith in God- lack of faith breeds fear. One can give lip service to faith, but what people often mean is belief. Belief and faith are different things. Belief has to do with the mind and one's thoughts. Faith has to do with the heart-soul and one's state of consciousness. One's beliefs can change while the faith remains rock-steady in the refuge of God/Christ, or one's beliefs can remain the same one's whole life while one's heart-soul fears and grieves without any real faith in the refuge one says one believes in.

The people I have seen who had the greatest faith had the least fear.

17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us.- 1 John 4:17-19

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:33-34
 
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