What Happened To Boldness?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by JustifiedByFaith, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    I think I was looking at the wrong statistics. I was looking at church attendance, not profession of faith.

    Salt definitely makes food more palatable sometimes. But it's not good to have too much . . .

    You're not talking about me are you?:D Do I sting?
     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Not you. But you did indicate you were having a bit of a hard time "swallowing" the Statistics on Christianity, so I thought a little "salt" might help make the taste more palatable...;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  3. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    As I said, wrong statistics:).

    Nevertheless, consider church attendance. Do you consider it a problem? Are there really that many "Christians" or is church just a waste of time?

    I must have been reading some really pessimistic literature on the state of Christianity.

    Or are these people right? Is Christianity facing a crisis of meaning and identity?

    I'm not saying you have to attend church to be Christian. (There's also a question of what church you go to, questions of finding the right church, a good good church. Whether or not you're accepted or respected in a Christian coimmunity, or treat you like trash, etc. . . And more questions and issues . . .) (Arrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!)

    Then there's the real nasty question of whether there's any point being Christian considering how other Christians are doing. Any point to religion at all? Yes, real nasty questions that really hurt. I realise how much of a challenge it is to even raise the issue.

    So how are we all doing out there?

    Or should we just go with the story that Jesus told about God inviting a whole lot of people to a party, they didn't come and he invited the poor people, the scumbags and ratbags instead?:D

    If so, I'd like to be a scumbag so I've got the right attitude to muster the motivation to come to the party. Break a leg.
     
  4. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Crisis or identity issue with being a Christian...not from where I am standing (speaking for myself). I like being a Christian. I like the confidence I feel, and the sense of security for my ultimate existence. I like the concept of God knowing me personally (by the way, that does seem to be an American trait more or less according to statistics...I just heard that on NPR this morning). I like the ability to walk into any church, because it is God's house, regardless of what denomination or faith the regulars profess.

    What would be more preferrable:

    "He goes to church like clockwork." or

    "He's a good man. Doesn't go to church much, but He's tight with God, and it shows. He'd give you the shirt off his back. I'd trust him with anything..."


    The first is an objective statement, nothing more or less.

    The second is a combination of things, admiration, lament, confirmation, revelation, and confidence.

    Or, more consisely, an expression/description of Faith, Hope and Love, a walking billboard expressing the Good News for all to see, and for those seeing, to share in voice...

    There is your boldness, but it is quiet. But then, according to the Bible, so is the voice of God.

    Can't hear Him in the wind, or the thunder, nor the waves, nor anything, but save for the "whisper" to one's soul. And to emphasise the point, God tells us to "be still, and know that I Am God".

    All too often, the well intentioned make it impossible for others to hear God, for the overly verbose, uninvited ministrations that drown the sound of God's voice to one who might otherwise be receptive in listening...

    my thoughts.

    v/r

    Q
     
  5. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like being the light of the world and salt of the earth like Jesus preached.

    Added: Salt is a great preservative and light is a great help.
     
  6. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    I actually don't feel like I'm in the middle of a crisis either. The congregation I attend is relatively peaceful. There have been no schisms or divisions from when I grew up here to now. I just hear reports of what happens outside my congregation. Negative ones. Alarm bells of Christianity suffering an identity crisis.

    I've read books on that topic as well. That makes me wonder. Is all news bad news?

    My pastor and our congregation has just celebrated twenty or so years at this congregation (the one I've been in since a child). That's a fairly long time . . . I think I have a fairly mild leader who doesn't try anything too ambitious with ministry, or try to be charismatic. He's gentle in his approach and gives people an opportunity to grow, evolve, develop and adapt. A fairly quiet but effective leader. He takes things slowly. He's not out to impress, but out to connect.

    I must be in the eye of the storm. Been kept well protected from bad ministry in my upbringing. I would consider myself lucky I guess. It has taken me a lifetime to appreciate that, as I've been part of this church as long as I've been alive.

    A friend invited me to a different church once (not the one I attended from childhood). It was not a church she normally attended either. We just went there to listen to "sermons on Satan" and "prophecies on the devil." You can probably guess where that was leading -- the kind of thing that happens when you have people preaching about Prophecy (Daniel and Revelation) and Satan.:eek: We went there just to listen to ideas about the end of the world, the Four Beasts, the "Little Horn" with beady eyes that couldn't stop bragging, the Prince of Darkness, the Beast with ten heads, and the Antichrist. It was all about how the Little Horn took over the world.

    We thought of them as theory lessons, we weren't there to be part of the congregation -- to learn.

    It's not that I was never interested in that stuff -- Prophecy, the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. I used to read that stuff as a kid. I knew I was a bad kid and was going to face judgment. That's why I was so interested in the end of the world.

    There was also speaking in tongues at that church . . . There were also women covering their heads. Very traditional. Very charismatic.

    You probably know the safe zones and danger zones (in terms of churches and ministry styles you've explored) better than me. I haven't seen much (in this lifetime). Haven't explored that far. I'm only just beginning in life.:eek::confused:

    Compared to you I'm a spoilt brat.:D
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Maybe blessed is more appropriate as opposed to "spoiled"...:eek:

    I don't know about the brat thing...that's usually reserved for children of military members...:eek: :)
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Quietly effective...So much more powerful than boldness.

    Fire and brimstone may affect some...the 'You're going to hell, God Bless' is used by many I think well meaning folks...folks who were brought aboard by the same tactics.

    You can lead a horse... much better if the horse decides it wants to be there.

    Half my son's scout troop has to get home Sunday from campouts to get to church so they don't go to hell... Seems all the boys are missing out on my memories of 'Scout's Own' a non-denominational service in the woods often with some native american lore...
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Ah, hold a church service there in the middle of God's country, on sunday, that will fix that problem...(been there, done that, it works). All you gotta do is show the ministers and parents, what will be taught on that sunday morning, from the good book. Usually the sermon on the mount is effective in convincing all to let the kids finish their camp...

    just a thought.

    v/r

    Q
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Q, I agree, but some groups have different marching orders...and without one sanctioned to do the proper rituals...it isn't a service.
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Now that sounds an awful lot like covetness...which is so wrong. However, one could "invite" a minister to come camp with and help guide the young ones...(If I were that minister, I'd jump at the chance) :)
     
  12. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    What if the minister were from a church with a "false doctrine" or "wrong beliefs" as defined by a child's parents? That's a HUGE issue in some churches.

    BJ
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    That's why we have non denominational "chaplains"...:D
     
  14. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercur├Žn Buddhist

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    Well, isn't learning how to survive out in the "wilderness," away from "civilization" {including the "civilized" religious bureaucratic establishments} one of the purposes of the Scouts?
     
  15. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what you're getting at. My post was part of the conversation started by Wil in Post 88 about kids having to go home for the Sunday services.
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Sorry to derail it all....

    Nondenominational Ministers are not accepted by all denominations. Some require their folks to administer their programs. Yes scouts is interfaith, all that believe in G-d take part in the programs. The issue in our case is respect for others religous beliefs which means that adjustments need to be made to accomadate...there is a lesson in that.

    There is also something missed by not having service in the woods, by not hanging out longer after a day of advancement work and service projects to just relax and enjoy after the service.

    It doesn't always work the way we'd like it.
     
  17. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercur├Žn Buddhist

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    My point is that these children are not being prepared spirituallyfor the circumstance {should it arise} of being trapped in the wilderness and not being able to return for a specialized religious service. They are being taught the rest of the survival skills for surviving in the wilderness except for how to cope with being isolated from their religious group. That aspect is now being ignored by many, and is out of step with the Scout Motto: Be Prepared. Just my thoughts.
     
  18. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    I get your point now, seattlegal, and it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for raising it.

    BJ
     

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