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Why Southern Baptists are losing milennials

Underseer

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friend...hern-baptist-churches-are-losing-millennials/

Great news!

One of the most cancerous denominations is in denial about why their membership is declining among the young, which of course means they will fail to correct the problem. They will continue to be anti-homosexual, anti-woman, and anti-science, in other words, as hateful and insane as ever, and they will continue driving young people away in their efforts to stop driving young people away.

Couldn't've happened to a more deserving denomination.
 

dockeen

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Of course, the folks that are leaving were never really true southern baptists to begin with, and they need to double down on fundamentalist, bible believing, hell fire preaching, old time religion. ;)
 

Cheerful Charlie

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A lot of people, especially young people find that the anti-intellectualism of ultra-conservative Christianity is repellent and unacceptable.
Suck it up Christians!
 

Bronzeage

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.
 

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

Agreed. And keep in mind that in bad or uncertain times, the certainty (and family) of a strong church community, who are sure of what they think and believe can turn back into a powerful attractor.
 

ideologyhunter

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Most of the bullet points in the article could also explain why the GOP has lost the popular vote in 5 of the 6 last Presidential elections. (And it's only made them deeply, deeply crazier. Which is maybe mirrored in some of the 'religious' quotes in the article.
 

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

If the only thing going on were young Southern Baptists switching to non-denominational churches, it would still be a reason to celebrate.
 

Kharakov

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

If the only thing going on were young Southern Baptists switching to non-denominational churches, it would still be a reason to celebrate.

hehe, reminds me of a story a friend just told me. They had a telephone number that was 1 digit off of a taxi companies, so they'd get lots of calls for taxis, and fuck with the people.

The one guy did this shtick in which he talked in one of those southern Baptist preacher voices and said "I'm sorry sir, we can't send a taxi to you because you sound like a Sodomite, and it is against our company policy to serve Sodomites."

Needless to say, they used that one a few times, and got some really entertaining responses. It's not like someone could complain to anyone since they were the ones calling someones house phone late at night....
 

dockeen

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

If the only thing going on were young Southern Baptists switching to non-denominational churches, it would still be a reason to celebrate.

hehe, reminds me of a story a friend just told me. They had a telephone number that was 1 digit off of a taxi companies, so they'd get lots of calls for taxis, and fuck with the people.

The one guy did this shtick in which he talked in one of those southern Baptist preacher voices and said "I'm sorry sir, we can't send a taxi to you because you sound like a Sodomite, and it is against our company policy to serve Sodomites."

Needless to say, they used that one a few times, and got some really entertaining responses. It's not like someone could complain to anyone since they were the ones calling someones house phone late at night....

While SB's can't cuss, they sure like to f@#$ with people.
 

Underseer

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

If the only thing going on were young Southern Baptists switching to non-denominational churches, it would still be a reason to celebrate.

hehe, reminds me of a story a friend just told me. They had a telephone number that was 1 digit off of a taxi companies, so they'd get lots of calls for taxis, and fuck with the people.

The one guy did this shtick in which he talked in one of those southern Baptist preacher voices and said "I'm sorry sir, we can't send a taxi to you because you sound like a Sodomite, and it is against our company policy to serve Sodomites."

Needless to say, they used that one a few times, and got some really entertaining responses. It's not like someone could complain to anyone since they were the ones calling someones house phone late at night....

While SB's can't cuss, they sure like to f@#$ with people.

Can't cuss? Some of the things they say about women and GLBT are pretty obscene if you ask me.
 

dockeen

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

If the only thing going on were young Southern Baptists switching to non-denominational churches, it would still be a reason to celebrate.

hehe, reminds me of a story a friend just told me. They had a telephone number that was 1 digit off of a taxi companies, so they'd get lots of calls for taxis, and fuck with the people.

The one guy did this shtick in which he talked in one of those southern Baptist preacher voices and said "I'm sorry sir, we can't send a taxi to you because you sound like a Sodomite, and it is against our company policy to serve Sodomites."

Needless to say, they used that one a few times, and got some really entertaining responses. It's not like someone could complain to anyone since they were the ones calling someones house phone late at night....

While SB's can't cuss, they sure like to f@#$ with people.

Can't cuss? Some of the things they say about women and GLBT are pretty obscene if you ask me.

Oh, they can be assholes all right, but they can't say words like that.

;)
 

Terrell

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Some of these guys are against straight men, who aren't looking for a wife. Google Albert Mohler or Debbie Maken. Their stuff is old (early 2000s) but still, how controlling can one be, that not pursuing marriage is somehow a sin even absent those sexual things that Christians would consider sins?
 

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"I'm sorry sir, we can't send a taxi to you because you sound like a Sodomite, and it is against our company policy to serve Sodomites."
Sounds like a Texas "No cake for your kind" christer. :cheeky:
 

Underseer

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Any examples of evangelicals being honest about why they're losing the younger generation? Or are they all delusional?
 

dockeen

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Any examples of evangelicals being honest about why they're losing the younger generation? Or are they all delusional?

Keep in mind, if someone doesn't buy the Truth they are selling, it is because they are not among the elect chosen to be saved, and are given over to delusion, and will fry for eternity for being made this way.
 

Sheshbazzar

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Some of these guys are against straight men, who aren't looking for a wife. Google Albert Mohler or Debbie Maken. Their stuff is old (early 2000s) but still, how controlling can one be, that not pursuing marriage is somehow a sin even absent those sexual things that Christians would consider sins?
Like those Pharisees of old, they would condemn Jesus himself for not obeying Gen 1:28 and dancing to their myopic tune.
Neither Jesus nor Paul married, and both advocated celibacy and remaining single as being the 'good' choice over marriage.
In any event, these Evangelical neo-Pharisees are wrong to be pushing marriage upon anyone, believer or non-believer, that for any reason has personal reservations regarding entering into such a contract of commitment and entanglement.

Their own divorce rate evidences that they are not competent even to run their own lives and households, and they are certainly not intelligent enough to qualify to dictate to, or to run anyone else's.
 

Underseer

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Any examples of evangelicals being honest about why they're losing the younger generation? Or are they all delusional?

Keep in mind, if someone doesn't buy the Truth they are selling, it is because they are not among the elect chosen to be saved, and are given over to delusion, and will fry for eternity for being made this way.

That's specific to Calvinists.
 

dockeen

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Any examples of evangelicals being honest about why they're losing the younger generation? Or are they all delusional?

Keep in mind, if someone doesn't buy the Truth they are selling, it is because they are not among the elect chosen to be saved, and are given over to delusion, and will fry for eternity for being made this way.

That's specific to Calvinists.

Most of the Southern Baptists I have dealt with over the years have been Calvinists. Though you are right,it is a matter that has given the convention no small amount of fighting over the years, and many are not.
 

Malintent

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Don't go dancing around a burning nativity scene just yet. It's not all good news. The "non-denominational" churches are filled with millennials.

If the only thing going on were young Southern Baptists switching to non-denominational churches, it would still be a reason to celebrate.

hehe, reminds me of a story a friend just told me. They had a telephone number that was 1 digit off of a taxi companies, so they'd get lots of calls for taxis, and fuck with the people.

The one guy did this shtick in which he talked in one of those southern Baptist preacher voices and said "I'm sorry sir, we can't send a taxi to you because you sound like a Sodomite, and it is against our company policy to serve Sodomites."

Needless to say, they used that one a few times, and got some really entertaining responses. It's not like someone could complain to anyone since they were the ones calling someones house phone late at night....

I had a number that was a digit off of a popular pharmacy (CVS)... Sometimes I would "put them on hold" for a minute when they were calling to see if a perscription was ready... I would return saying, "ok, so that is 25 MG of Viagra.. will you be picking it up today"? One old lady exclaimed, "Heavan's, NO! It's my heart medication!"... I stopped doing that.
 

Underseer

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Some of these guys are against straight men, who aren't looking for a wife. Google Albert Mohler or Debbie Maken. Their stuff is old (early 2000s) but still, how controlling can one be, that not pursuing marriage is somehow a sin even absent those sexual things that Christians would consider sins?
Like those Pharisees of old, they would condemn Jesus himself for not obeying Gen 1:28 and dancing to their myopic tune.
Neither Jesus nor Paul married, and both advocated celibacy and remaining single as being the 'good' choice over marriage.
In any event, these Evangelical neo-Pharisees are wrong to be pushing marriage upon anyone, believer or non-believer, that for any reason has personal reservations regarding entering into such a contract of commitment and entanglement.

Their own divorce rate evidences that they are not competent even to run their own lives and households, and they are certainly not intelligent enough to qualify to dictate to, or to run anyone else's.

Can you cite passages? Because that would surely be an interesting one to pull out during debate with Christians.
 

Cheerful Charlie

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Some of these guys are against straight men, who aren't looking for a wife. Google Albert Mohler or Debbie Maken. Their stuff is old (early 2000s) but still, how controlling can one be, that not pursuing marriage is somehow a sin even absent those sexual things that Christians would consider sins?
Like those Pharisees of old, they would condemn Jesus himself for not obeying Gen 1:28 and dancing to their myopic tune.
Neither Jesus nor Paul married, and both advocated celibacy and remaining single as being the 'good' choice over marriage.
In any event, these Evangelical neo-Pharisees are wrong to be pushing marriage upon anyone, believer or non-believer, that for any reason has personal reservations regarding entering into such a contract of commitment and entanglement.

Their own divorce rate evidences that they are not competent even to run their own lives and households, and they are certainly not intelligent enough to qualify to dictate to, or to run anyone else's.

Can you cite passages? Because that would surely be an interesting one to pull out during debate with Christians.

Depends on who you ask.

https://www.barna.org/family-kids-articles/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

Divorce Rates
All - 33%
Evangelicals - 26%
Atheists - 30%
 

Smoker

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I was raised in a Southern Baptist church in the suburbs of Dallas, and my mother taught Sunday School at the same church for people coping with divorce until about a year ago. The last couple times I went up there to visit her or go to a service, it didn't seem like they are only losing millennials but also middle aged people. It was always a sea of gray hair, and I was going to the late services so there's probably even more elderly people in the early ones. The only young people ever there looked like they were younger than eighteen, so they were probably still living with the parents that forced them to go.
 

Underseer

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Some of these guys are against straight men, who aren't looking for a wife. Google Albert Mohler or Debbie Maken. Their stuff is old (early 2000s) but still, how controlling can one be, that not pursuing marriage is somehow a sin even absent those sexual things that Christians would consider sins?
Like those Pharisees of old, they would condemn Jesus himself for not obeying Gen 1:28 and dancing to their myopic tune.
Neither Jesus nor Paul married, and both advocated celibacy and remaining single as being the 'good' choice over marriage.
In any event, these Evangelical neo-Pharisees are wrong to be pushing marriage upon anyone, believer or non-believer, that for any reason has personal reservations regarding entering into such a contract of commitment and entanglement.

Their own divorce rate evidences that they are not competent even to run their own lives and households, and they are certainly not intelligent enough to qualify to dictate to, or to run anyone else's.

Can you cite passages? Because that would surely be an interesting one to pull out during debate with Christians.

Depends on who you ask.

https://www.barna.org/family-kids-articles/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

Divorce Rates
All - 33%
Evangelicals - 26%
Atheists - 30%

Shesh claimed that both Jesus and Paul advocated celibacy and not getting married. I asked for a Bible citation proving this. I don't see how your post is related. Sorry if my question wasn't clear.
 

Smoker

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Some of these guys are against straight men, who aren't looking for a wife. Google Albert Mohler or Debbie Maken. Their stuff is old (early 2000s) but still, how controlling can one be, that not pursuing marriage is somehow a sin even absent those sexual things that Christians would consider sins?
Like those Pharisees of old, they would condemn Jesus himself for not obeying Gen 1:28 and dancing to their myopic tune.
Neither Jesus nor Paul married, and both advocated celibacy and remaining single as being the 'good' choice over marriage.
In any event, these Evangelical neo-Pharisees are wrong to be pushing marriage upon anyone, believer or non-believer, that for any reason has personal reservations regarding entering into such a contract of commitment and entanglement.

Their own divorce rate evidences that they are not competent even to run their own lives and households, and they are certainly not intelligent enough to qualify to dictate to, or to run anyone else's.

Can you cite passages? Because that would surely be an interesting one to pull out during debate with Christians.

Depends on who you ask.

https://www.barna.org/family-kids-articles/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

Divorce Rates
All - 33%
Evangelicals - 26%
Atheists - 30%

Shesh claimed that both Jesus and Paul advocated celibacy and not getting married. I asked for a Bible citation proving this. I don't see how your post is related. Sorry if my question wasn't clear.

7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:7-9

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:11-12
 

Sheshbazzar

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Also
32. I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.

33. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.

34. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit.
But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.

35. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

36. But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin.

37. But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry.

38. So the person who marries his fiancé does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.

39. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.

40. But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.
(1Cor 7:32-40 NLT version employed for clarity)

'Better' for both believing men and women to remain single. Like Jeesuz and Paul. The examples and teachings Christians are claiming to be striving to emulate.

'WWJD?' 'WWPD?' No question at all about it, remain single, childless, and thus free of family concerns and most obligations, so as to fully devote themselves to God and preaching the gospel.
Choosing any other than the 'Better' course is to give reign to one's personal selfishness, in placing one's carnal passions and desires ahead of the most important concerns of Christianity, indicative of a serious deficiency in one's undivided devotion and commitment to 'serving the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul' (Deut 10:12)

The Shakers took these examples and bit of NT advice to heart ... and so won themselves the 'Darwin Award'.



Sorry for the delayed reply Underseer, I've been heavily engaged in preparing and moving new digs, and have not been online in days.
 

Red_Geranium

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Interesting thread. I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, in a small town in Texas. I have no idea whether this was a trend across the SBC in general, or was specific to the church my family went to, but it looks like they've gone much more fundamentalist over the past 20 years or so, especially with regards to GLBT rights, abortion & birth control, and total disregard for science. The preacher who was there when I was a young kid was definitely not a hellfire and brimstone kind of guy; he was a really nice, kind man and I still think highly of him. He taught that god created the world, and Adam and Eve were literal first humans, but he never insisted that anyone believe in a 6000 year old earth. I also remember him discussing the need to take good care of the planet. He didn't spend much time at all talking about sex-related topics either, if I remember correctly.

The youth pastor they hired when I was a young teen WAS a hellfire and brimstone guy whose mission was to scare kids out of hell. He railed against gays, abortion, sex before marriage, dinosaurs, environmentalism and all that. If any of us objected to anything he said, we were just "arrogant, prideful, and blind to the truth". He and the main pastor had very different ways of doing things, to say the least. When I was in early high school, the long-time preacher retired; the new one who was hired was definitely of the extreme fundy variety. My parents eventually changed churches right after I left for college; they were both teachers and knew enough science and history to know not to take the whole Bible literally. The new preacher just struck me as nasty, mean-spirited, and intolerant of everyone who didn't believe *exactly* the way he did. The people I went to school with who still live in our hometown, and are still Baptist, also seem to have gotten much more extreme.

Again, this is totally anecdotal...but if the SBC as a whole really has moved that far to the right, it's no mystery why they're losing millennials.
 

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This is heresay, but I heard that after the tumultuous 60s, the national leadership had a Stalin-style purge of liberals among the national leadership. If so, this could easily explain what you and the rest of the nation has observed: that evangelicals (including SBC) have been moving ever rightward since the late 70s/early 80s.
 

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It is probably "smart business" if you are "Baptist management". Given your history and theology, you are unlikely to get the more liberal thinking church goers anyway. Might as well play to your base and give them that old time religion.
 

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The youth pastor they hired when I was a young teen WAS a hellfire and brimstone guy whose mission was to scare kids out of hell.
And that never works.
That was the anti-drug program my kids were in when they attended local schools.
The youngest is now at college, watching people experiment with drugs, and the absolute disasters everyone in Middle School promised him, are not happening. People can maintain passing grades with regular ingestion of cheap trendy mind-expanding hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals. Makes him wonder what else the counselors lied to him about.
Since they taught fear, first, the training only works as long as he stays afraid.
He's got too many anecdotes to be afraid. even if everything else they told him was gospel, it's all built up on a base that he now rejects.
 

dockeen

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The youth pastor they hired when I was a young teen WAS a hellfire and brimstone guy whose mission was to scare kids out of hell.
And that never works.
That was the anti-drug program my kids were in when they attended local schools.
The youngest is now at college, watching people experiment with drugs, and the absolute disasters everyone in Middle School promised him, are not happening. People can maintain passing grades with regular ingestion of cheap trendy mind-expanding hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals. Makes him wonder what else the counselors lied to him about.
Since they taught fear, first, the training only works as long as he stays afraid.
He's got too many anecdotes to be afraid. even if everything else they told him was gospel, it's all built up on a base that he now rejects.

Rats, can't rep you for this logic
 

Underseer

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The youth pastor they hired when I was a young teen WAS a hellfire and brimstone guy whose mission was to scare kids out of hell.
And that never works.
That was the anti-drug program my kids were in when they attended local schools.
The youngest is now at college, watching people experiment with drugs, and the absolute disasters everyone in Middle School promised him, are not happening. People can maintain passing grades with regular ingestion of cheap trendy mind-expanding hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals. Makes him wonder what else the counselors lied to him about.
Since they taught fear, first, the training only works as long as he stays afraid.
He's got too many anecdotes to be afraid. even if everything else they told him was gospel, it's all built up on a base that he now rejects.

All you have to do to fix that is to pray for his immortal soul. If he doesn't start believing, then it's all your fault because you didn't pray hard enough, or perhaps because you are too sinful for gawd to respond.
 

Keith&Co.

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Mostly i raised him with stories of how to keep your seabag safe from the people who barf from overdrink and how to convince 8 drunks to pay you for the delivered pizza by giving each of them one slice. He has been sober at frat parties (my recommendation, at least for the first semester) and decided he wants nothing to being that vulnerable to people like him.
 

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Rats, can't rep you for this logic
It's not even logic!
Just observation.
For a long time, Mormons have been raising their daughters with sex fire-and-brimstone training, then send them to Brigham Young. The older girls inform them that lightning doesn't strike if you have sex, that there are basic precautions to be taken and you won't die an unwed mother with seventy balizzion STDs, and they lose THAT fear set.
 

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You understand that I was complimenting you?
Yeah, but, like, it's demonstrated time and again. It's not even a theoretical issue.
But people keep on DOING it!
I don't understand it.

A cousin of the effect you are describing occurs here. Theists who feign expertise on technical topics. They don't seem to, or want to recognize that when they are caught fudging the facts, they might as well take the rest of their testimony out behind the barn and shoot it in the head.

Lying about things that can be checked is stupid.
 

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This is heresay, but I heard that after the tumultuous 60s, the national leadership had a Stalin-style purge of liberals among the national leadership. If so, this could easily explain what you and the rest of the nation has observed: that evangelicals (including SBC) have been moving ever rightward since the late 70s/early 80s.

Did you mean hearsay, or heresy? Both seem to fit :)
 

bilby

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Yeah, but, like, it's demonstrated time and again. It's not even a theoretical issue.
But people keep on DOING it!
I don't understand it.

A cousin of the effect you are describing occurs here. Theists who feign expertise on technical topics. They don't seem to, or want to recognize that when they are caught fudging the facts, they might as well take the rest of their testimony out behind the barn and shoot it in the head.

Lying about things that can be checked is stupid.

This has been well understood by propagandists for over a century.

In 1914, at the outbreak of WWI, both sides used caricatures of the enemy to encourage new recruits to join up, and to instil esprit de corps. The Central Powers, particularly Austria Hungary, painted the enemy as cowards; "They will run away as soon as they see our bayonets and smell our gunsmoke". The Triple Entente (or at least, France and Britain), portrayed the enemy as brutal personifications of evil, who despoiled all they touched. The two approaches both relied on lies (or at the very least, on hyperbole), but the effects were markedly different. After their first contact with the enemy, green troops were often left dazed and bloodied. This was in keeping with the idea of the enemy as brutal thugs - but made obvious the lie about them being craven and cowardly. The upshot was that Austo-Hungarian units had morale problems from day one; while the British and even the French withstood horrors beyond reason, and didn't mutiny or desert in large numbers until after the unbelievably bloody campaigns at Verdun and the Somme.

By telling young churchgoers that they will suffer immediate and terrible consequences for their sins, the church opens the door to being found out as liars with great ease - which doesn't serve their objective at all. Much more effective is to paint the 'Picture of Dorian Grey' - tell people that sinners can be outwardly handsome, popular and successful, but that their corruption is real, invisible, and will catch up to them only after they are safely out of sight. The RCC has understood this for centuries; I am surprised that the SBC have missed such an obvious flaw in their propaganda. I guess it is only a flaw if you lose control of the information to which your flock have access - but with the ubiquity of TV and the Internet, surely they had to realise they couldn't keep their grasp on that for long?.
 

Red_Geranium

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Dec 5, 2009
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Austin, TX
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secular humanist
The youth pastor they hired when I was a young teen WAS a hellfire and brimstone guy whose mission was to scare kids out of hell.
And that never works.
That was the anti-drug program my kids were in when they attended local schools.
The youngest is now at college, watching people experiment with drugs, and the absolute disasters everyone in Middle School promised him, are not happening. People can maintain passing grades with regular ingestion of cheap trendy mind-expanding hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals. Makes him wonder what else the counselors lied to him about.
Since they taught fear, first, the training only works as long as he stays afraid.
He's got too many anecdotes to be afraid. even if everything else they told him was gospel, it's all built up on a base that he now rejects.

Definitely true.

I have a conjecture that fundamentalists might be more likely to go atheist/agnostic than liberal Christians for a similar reason. When a church teaches that the Bible describes real, literal people, places and events, they're making empirical claims about history and science....which can be investigated. It's easy to see that there's no evidence for a global flood, young earth, or events like the Exodus and loads of evidence against. If the Bible was wrong about those things, it's definitely not the perfect word of god. *foundation crumbles*. I think things are a little different for people brought up with more liberal Christianity... Would be interesting to see if there's any real evidence one way or the other.
 

General Mung Beans

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Aug 16, 2010
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3
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Southern California
Basic Beliefs
Religion: Presbyterian, Politics: New Deal Liberal
I'm curious what denominations will now be growing as evangelical denominations join their mainline bretheren in terminal decline.
 

jonJ

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Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
171
Location
Blaxland NSW
Basic Beliefs
Atheism
I'm curious what denominations will now be growing as evangelical denominations join their mainline bretheren in terminal decline.

When a similar decline occurred in Britain after the First World War, it wasn't reflected so much in people changing their religions or denominations; they just stopped attending church and stopped paying attention to church leaders. My father put his religion down as 'Church of England' all his life -- and he died at 91 -- but he hadn't been inside a church other than for weddings, funerals or christenings for at least forty years. Last time I checked only about one in ten of Britons describing themselves as 'Church of England' actually went to church.

That's one of the things we find so amusing about you Yankees; you think that having a religion actually obliges you to do something.
 

Underseer

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May 30, 2003
Messages
11,413
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Chicago suburbs
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atheism, resistentialism
And that never works.
That was the anti-drug program my kids were in when they attended local schools.
The youngest is now at college, watching people experiment with drugs, and the absolute disasters everyone in Middle School promised him, are not happening. People can maintain passing grades with regular ingestion of cheap trendy mind-expanding hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals. Makes him wonder what else the counselors lied to him about.
Since they taught fear, first, the training only works as long as he stays afraid.
He's got too many anecdotes to be afraid. even if everything else they told him was gospel, it's all built up on a base that he now rejects.

Definitely true.

I have a conjecture that fundamentalists might be more likely to go atheist/agnostic than liberal Christians for a similar reason. When a church teaches that the Bible describes real, literal people, places and events, they're making empirical claims about history and science....which can be investigated. It's easy to see that there's no evidence for a global flood, young earth, or events like the Exodus and loads of evidence against. If the Bible was wrong about those things, it's definitely not the perfect word of god. *foundation crumbles*. I think things are a little different for people brought up with more liberal Christianity... Would be interesting to see if there's any real evidence one way or the other.

After reading many "atheist testimonials," it seems to me that the main problem is falsifiable claims backed up by some kind of infallibility claim.

For instance, many evangelical preachers will say "Everything I say is true, or nothing I say is true!" Combine this with falsifiable claims about the origin of the Bible, the origin of life, the origin of the universe, etc., it is inevitable that some of their followers will find out that they are wrong about something at which point the "Everything I say is true or nothing I say is true!" line rings in their ears and they start to question everything.

Another variation is "You have to believe in X or you can't be a Christian!" where X includes the same falsifiable claims mentioned above. Again, the follower discovers that X is wrong, and then remembers the preacher's own words that they can no longer be Christian.
 

Tom Sawyer

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17,030
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Toronto
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That I'm God
After reading many "atheist testimonials," it seems to me that the main problem is falsifiable claims backed up by some kind of infallibility claim.

For instance, many evangelical preachers will say "Everything I say is true, or nothing I say is true!" Combine this with falsifiable claims about the origin of the Bible, the origin of life, the origin of the universe, etc., it is inevitable that some of their followers will find out that they are wrong about something at which point the "Everything I say is true or nothing I say is true!" line rings in their ears and they start to question everything.

Another variation is "You have to believe in X or you can't be a Christian!" where X includes the same falsifiable claims mentioned above. Again, the follower discovers that X is wrong, and then remembers the preacher's own words that they can no longer be Christian.

That does make a lot of sense. If a preacher is making falsifiable statements which don't add up to what's observed in reality, it can become noticable to someone who's questioning the faith. If the preacher is making a lot of generic woo statements instead, there's not as much opportunity for dissonance to raise a red flag in the believers' minds.
 

Underseer

Contributor
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
11,413
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Chicago suburbs
Basic Beliefs
atheism, resistentialism
After reading many "atheist testimonials," it seems to me that the main problem is falsifiable claims backed up by some kind of infallibility claim.

For instance, many evangelical preachers will say "Everything I say is true, or nothing I say is true!" Combine this with falsifiable claims about the origin of the Bible, the origin of life, the origin of the universe, etc., it is inevitable that some of their followers will find out that they are wrong about something at which point the "Everything I say is true or nothing I say is true!" line rings in their ears and they start to question everything.

Another variation is "You have to believe in X or you can't be a Christian!" where X includes the same falsifiable claims mentioned above. Again, the follower discovers that X is wrong, and then remembers the preacher's own words that they can no longer be Christian.

That does make a lot of sense. If a preacher is making falsifiable statements which don't add up to what's observed in reality, it can become noticable to someone who's questioning the faith. If the preacher is making a lot of generic woo statements instead, there's not as much opportunity for dissonance to raise a red flag in the believers' minds.

The falsifiable claims (liberal/moderate Christians avoid falsifiable claims like the plague) would be bad enough, but it's the things they do to try and shore up the falsifiable claims that seem to cause faith to implode.
 
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