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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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religion - June 13th 2012, 11:07 AM

why do so little people go to church anymore. I'm not saying no one does but less and less are, My dad is a pastor and our church attendance is getting low we live in a small town but we used to get around a hundred people weekly now we are lucky if we get 50 and it's not only our church, my dad says that attendance across the nation is down too.
what i want to know is why?
   
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Re: religion - June 13th 2012, 08:04 PM

Faith is on the decline statistically amongst younger people. That might have something to do with it.


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Re: religion - June 13th 2012, 10:27 PM

I personally stopped going to church because it was too judgmental. My parents weren't members, which made things hard for me there & I was treated unfairly. I haven't bothered to find a new church, because my beliefs have changed as well.



   
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Re: religion - June 14th 2012, 09:23 AM

I still go to church. This is just my opinion, not meant to judge or offend anybody:
I think some people don't go to church because they're not religious.
Some people can't find time to fit it into their schedules, or don't want to.
Some people are afraid of people judging them and making them feel bad for their lifestyle.
Some people don't want to be held accountable for their actions.

Just some guesses.
   
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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 12:36 AM

I've moved this over to Religion, Spirituality, Science, and Philosophy.
I stopped going to church because my beliefs changed and the church I was going to honestly was quite boring and was extremely long. I know that sounds kind of bad, but it wasn't the only reason I stopped going. Mine was judgmental like Barbara's was.


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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 12:46 AM

Who can be bothered on a weekend?


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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 01:14 AM

I no longer believe god is possible. I think that's the case with more than just young people.
   
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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 04:22 AM

Also count for the fact that churches aren't diversifying. In the time of social networking people have lower attention spans. We have more options for things to do.

My dad hated church as a young person, but in his time most shops and events were closed on Sunday. There wasn't much choice.

Now everything is open on Sunday, and church hasn't done anything to drastically improve.

I blame not enough youth programs, and too much judgement. Young people don't want to (or have to) go to church to hear about how extravagant our lives our, and how our lifestyles are so sinful.

I personally know that the last church my family left was due to their crappy attitudes regarding people of different faiths and sexualities. It was far too negative of an environment.

If you want to give your dad advice on helping attendance, I would start straying away from Sunday morning services, and instead focus on good youth programs and clubs.

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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 07:17 AM

Church in general doesn't seem as important to people. I've had several discussions about this with older people at my church and they've seen the decline in the last 50-60 years. There are a lot more things going on on Sundays. Yes, there can be some changes on the side of the churches by being more active to bring people in. As far as judgment goes I agree that happens also. I do my best to treat everyone with respect despite the fact, being church staff, I know things about them they don't know I know. Who am I to judge someone?


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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 08:06 AM

My parents both grew up Catholic, and both ended up leaving their churches and raising my family non-religious. They just couldn't deal with the judgmental, conservative, don't-think-for-yourself values, and neither of them believe in god. I never believed, and have only gone for funerals and weddings. I'm not religious because I'm not a believer.


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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 08:13 AM

I no longer attend church save for special occasions like Easter and Christmas or if I feel a need to feel connected to God in that manner. I became disenchanted with organized religion some time ago after witnessing certain behaviors that go on within many congregations. The church's way of life is also incompatible with my own beliefs regarding God, so I prefer to foster that relationship as I see fit. A church is there to help compliment a religious or spiritual experience, not to supplement one.



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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 10:18 AM

I think that people have a lot of different reasons for not going to church. I have a number of different reasons for not going one reason being that I have an issue with crowds and a number of the churches in my areas are large churches. Also, a church that I ended up getting very involved in turned out to be very hypocritical and they ostrocized my family and I and after that if made church kind of scary for me. I still believe in God I have just found that studying the bible on my own is a lot easier and less anxiety provoking than going to a church.


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Re: religion - June 15th 2012, 04:11 PM

Church has a reputation of being quite boring. And more people deem it as unnecessary.


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Re: religion - June 16th 2012, 05:06 PM

I think it's because a lot of kids are raised going to church, but not being raised Christian at home. And so when they grow up and have to decide for themself if they'll go to church, they don't see any point in doing so because they don't have a personal relationship with God- church is just a routine for them. So they decide notto go and it continues for generations.

Also, I think it's because Sunday school and youth group classes today focus so much on being "modern and "entertaining", that when the kids become adults, they have to go to real church which seems "boring" because there is no room for selfish things there. I think if we start them off in nursery and children's church learning scriptures and understanding God instead of playing games and having snacks, tey will be used to it and learn to love it for when they get older.
   
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Re: religion - June 16th 2012, 05:09 PM

I think some people don't go to church because they realize that it's impossible to have a personal relationship with god. I don't see how anybody can believe that.
   
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Re: religion - June 17th 2012, 12:46 AM

The thing is all you people are talking about how judgmental church is but that is the media talking, the media tells us that if you are christian you are catholic but that's not the case (I'm not trying to force mt religion or anything) there are many religions lutheran being one of them that are not all doom and gloom you are bad you are going to hell (sorey if I affended anyone) and are much more god forgives all weather you do anything to ask forgiveness or not
   
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Re: religion - June 17th 2012, 01:30 AM

No, the media reports what is happening (though I will allow that they often spin it). We report being judged by so called Christians. I'm sure your denomination is lovely though.
   
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Re: religion - June 17th 2012, 08:32 PM

I was raised christian and never went to any youth activities. The church my family attended didnt believe in separating the adults from the youth. I left the church and christianity because i started doing my own research and came to my own personal conclusion that christianity is wrong.

I think the major problems christianity faces are free flowing information and peoples wider acceptance of other ideas. All the churchs ive been in have been judgmental and people dont seem to like that any more. And thats all denominations.


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Re: religion - June 19th 2012, 05:53 PM

My mom was raised devout Catholic (church every Sunday, all 7 sacraments) and my dad went to Catholic school because of where he grew up. They both HATED it, so they raised me with their values sans religion and I've only been to church a few times. My main issue now is that Catholic services are so structured that if you don't know what you're doing you're completely lost and everyone knows it. My parents have everything memorized, but they never really bothered to teach me so I've never really felt comfortable going.


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Re: religion - June 19th 2012, 06:16 PM

As a churchgoer (intermittently at present), I think it's down to three things:

  1. More people being atheist/agnostic/other religions than has been the case in recent history in the West;
  2. A growing sense of not needing to go to church to affirm one's religiosity or adherence to belief;
  3. Churches not always being very inclusive or welcoming, and instead becoming cliquey, judgmental and downright hostile to people who don't conform to their ideals (despite their religion often encouraging the opposite kind of behaviour...)
That said, attendance levels do tend to go through peaks and troughs - my local church has started to get new members recently, as have others in the area. At the same time, other churches have had to close over the last few years due to falling numbers. It all depends on how appealing a church makes itself, and how relevant people feel it is to their lives.


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Re: religion - June 19th 2012, 06:40 PM

Religion is basically a parasite of the mind. I think it'll exist for a very long time until we all become one with a proven method, like science. The problem is science doesn't answer EVERYTHING, so people still have this window of uncertainty, thus religion is still fairly strong.

I doubt religion will cease to exist even when(or if) everything is completely proven, because some people just deny facts and make up their own story.
   
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Re: religion - June 19th 2012, 07:44 PM

Religion and science or not equivocable. One is a systematic method of organizing and acquiring information about the universe around us, and one is collection of spiritual worldviews. You can't use religion to find out more about the universe, and it doesn't make sense to pray to science.


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Re: religion - June 19th 2012, 10:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dervisher View Post
Religion is basically a parasite of the mind. I think it'll exist for a very long time until we all become one with a proven method, like science. The problem is science doesn't answer EVERYTHING, so people still have this window of uncertainty, thus religion is still fairly strong.

I doubt religion will cease to exist even when(or if) everything is completely proven, because some people just deny facts and make up their own story.
Their is more to religion than just belief in something that is uncertain. Religion keeps people grounded. In my religion, we have to kneel down in the Gurudwara and when we ask for forgiveness, we rub our nose on the ground. And we touch the floor and then our foreheads, basically trying to get the dust on the floor on our hands. The best thing that I've heard about this till now is that doing this, kneeling down in front of someone with our head bowed down makes us realize that we our not the ultimate the most powerful. It makes us humble and modest at times when we are flying high in the sky and feel like we are the King of the world and can do anything to anyone.
I am totally up for hearing a better argument to this one and I am hoping that you will be able to come up with one.

----------------------------
I love going to the Church. I love the atmosphere there and the way the Priest interacts with the people. He is super friendly! At first I was scared of him but after the Church session he comes out and talks to people and hangs out with them like everyone else. I've never seen something like this in my religion. The set up is very different. I love how everyone sings together. And the stories that I've heard while in there were super awesome! I always go to the Church on Christmas
I hope that this helps you figure out what young people might like in Church especially because Christianity is not my religion



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Re: religion - June 20th 2012, 04:01 AM

I'm already calling it. By page 3...this thread will turn into a "religion vs. science" debate.

Church was boring as hell. When I was a kid, I'd usually bring a gameboy or something. I'm willing to bet that the main reason why people aren't going to church anymore is because it's boring and not worth the effort to go on Sunday mornings. There's technology that's waiting to be used by us, breakfast to cook, beds to sleep in, etc etc.

There's probably a decrease in "hardcore" Christians because I think that homosexuality being legalized is really giving a swift kick to religion...I think people are starting to realize that, for example, Christians are confused as fuck on what God actually wants us to do.

That's the main reasons, I believe.
   
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Re: religion - June 20th 2012, 05:22 AM

See, I like that. A lot.

We are as "confused as fuck on what God actually wants us to do" which is why we have common logic as well.

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Re: religion - June 20th 2012, 03:53 PM

Quote:
Also, I think it's because Sunday school and youth group classes today focus so much on being "modern and "entertaining", that when the kids become adults, they have to go to real church which seems "boring" because there is no room for selfish things there. I think if we start them off in nursery and children's church learning scriptures and understanding God instead of playing games and having snacks, tey will be used to it and learn to love it for when they get older.
From personal experience, I would have to disagree with you. I was offered the Sunday school experience of playing games and eating snacks, and I didn't like it. I really didn't see the point of going to "school" to "learn about the Bible" and not actually doing much there. So I asked my parents to take me to the regular services with them. It didn't take long for me to become disillusioned with that too. They kept saying God was a loving, merciful father, and then turning around and talking about eternal damnation. (This is just one example of the kind of behavior I didn't like. I know not all denominations do this specifically.)

I think that the accounts here of people having the opposite Sunday schoo experience growing up, who then rejected church later in life, kind of make yours a moot point. We just don't buy it. It's boring to some of us (personally, I found it very interesting but just not believable), and pointless to almost all of us.

I started reading the Bible on my own around the age of twelve, put a lot of thought and prayer into it, and decided that I just don't buy what it's selling. I still pick up the Bible and read it sometimes, but I have never been able to believe what it says.

I tried going to a Unitarian Universalist church for a while, but found that its congregation was just as pushy as the congregations of the other churches I had tried. So, no church it is. I'll either be working or sleeping in on Sunday mornings.


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Re: religion - June 26th 2012, 03:36 PM

well people live a modern life and they dont really have time plus church takes a lot of money. your dad should motivate them: first thing: let people in church for free :P
   
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Re: religion - June 27th 2012, 10:27 PM

A lot of church numbers have declined because of things previously mentioned:
People's lifestyles a lot busier nowadays and a lot more happens on Sunday morning - sport competitions, jobs, family visits etc - making it harder for people to commit.
Once people get out of the habit of going, they can find it hard to get back into the swing of it so just stop instead.
Some people go through things that unfortunately either turns them away from God or they can't face up to it, so avoid church.
Some find it too boring - but that depends where you attend.
Young people's parents have a big part to play as well, depending on what they believe and whether they are willing to go to church or not, or at least get up to take their child/teenager.

Hope that has helped a bit!

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Re: religion - June 28th 2012, 12:17 AM

I could write a novel in response to this question, but I think for the sake of keeping it respectful, I will make this (kind of) short and sweet.

As time has gone on, more and more has been discovered in regards to disproving the church and it's teachings, as well as the general concept of religion. The more technologically and scientifically advanced our world becomes, the less people are going to continue following and believing in a "god's" existence.
The fact of the matter is, each and every day, people are becoming more educated on topics such as evolution. We are also becoming significantly more open minded, as a race. We also now live in a world where, (for the most part), people are allowed to speak their minds and voice their opinions. Opposed to, say, 500 years ago where people were literally put to death for denying the existence of a higher power.

The point I'm making is simple. There has been absolutely zero scientific evidence, (in the history of ever), pointing towards the existence of god. Considering people are not only allowed to have their own opinions in regards to religion, but also, have justifiable reasoning BEHIND doubting the idea of possessing a faith, naturally, less and less people are going to follow a religion.

I personally think it is completely ridiculous to believe in anything that hasn't been proven. I think people of religion use their faith as a crutch; something to make them feel better about this disgustingly cruel, unjust world we live in.
Which, to an extent, I do understand. But all I'm trying to say here, is it is a lot easier to forget about faith, and think solely for yourself, in this day and age than it was years ago.

And, statistically and factually, religion is a slowly-but-surely diminishing concept.




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Re: religion - June 28th 2012, 12:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostAngels View Post
The point I'm making is simple. There has been absolutely zero scientific evidence, (in the history of ever), pointing towards the existence of god. Considering people are not only allowed to have their own opinions in regards to religion, but also, have justifiable reasoning BEHIND doubting the idea of possessing a faith, naturally, less and less people are going to follow a religion.
Scientific evidence is only one type of evidence. I think I posted about him in another thread, but Plato, one of the greatest philosophers in history, believed that there were two forms of knowing. I think it's best to explain with an example. Please bear in mind it's 2AM here and I've been on 5 hours sleep so I could not only be totally wrong but I could be going off on one honestly haha.Say there is a woman, and I ask "Is she beautiful?". He believed that evidence obtained through our senses was unreliable as they are clouded by both the limits of our senses, our understanding of the universe, and also of our opinions and general subjectivity. No true answer can be obtained, just useless subjective answers like "In my opinion, yes" or "In my opinion, no", because so often opinion passes as knowledge, like "I think she's beautiful" "No, i think she's ugly!" But, if we understand what beauty is... well, then we can talk, because if we understand what beauty is then we can decide what fits it and what doesn't. He argued that things can only have objective answers if they are discussed as abstract concepts, because we can only have opinions on things our senses perceive and never truly know.

But where am I going with this? That, essentially, it may not be the case the scientific evidence is the only true type of evidence. Plato believed that the only true knowledge was that which we already know; he believed that we remember and do not learn. Therefore, while it's possible to ask "There is no scientific evidence to show he exists, so why do you believe he exists?", Socrates would throw a fit at that question, because you aren't asking the right question; perhaps a better question would be "What arguments can be made for and against the existence of a supreme being?" because that would open the question to the possibility that evidence our senses perceive may not be enough; the lack of scientific evidence for him would only be one of the arguments and nowhere near conclusive. It may be that Plato is correct. There are many other ideas and philosophies that are similar to him, so it's important to understand that when we discuss the idea of God that we cannot just approach it in terms of scientific evidence, we must approach it from a philosophical standpoint and discuss the abstract concept of God as well, rather just zoning in on like the Christian God.

But, in conclusion, that is why I agree with you in some points; because for most people scientific evidence (or lack thereof I suppose) is far easier for Average Joe to comprehend or at least appreciate. Not so many are either capable or willing to understand the philosophical side of the argument, and with the increasing prevalence of science (and I'd argue the increasing arrogance of antitheists), they turn to evidence they can understand; simple numbers and statistics; much easier to digest than Plato's Theory of Forms!

It's very easy to use the argument of "No scientific evidence" but it doesn't really prove anything, because there are also many arguments for the existence of god, like the First Cause Argument. Better to discuss than to dismiss, that's what I'm getting at I guess.

Public disclaimer: a) I'm atheist. b) It's almost 2AM here and I got 5 hours sleep last night, so it's very possible that not only does my post not make sense and has awful grammar, but it's also possible my tiredness is causing confusion in my understanding of Plato and has led me to embarrass myself; if that's the case let me know!



So yeah, what I just said could make no sense. I'm going to review this tomorrow and if I realise I've made no sense I'll prepare a proper response haha
   
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Re: religion - June 29th 2012, 03:22 AM

LostAngels: And yet is there any evidence disproving God?

The idea of God can be considered both true and false until we find a piece of evidence that shows once and for all that there is no God.

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