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Has Christianity changed in the last 15 years?

Postby Throwaway » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:25 pm

Hey everyone, Happy Easter! I hope this post doesn't offend anyone, as it comes from a place of genuine curiosity about the current attitudes of the church and its members. I grew up fairly religious, went to church every Sunday, attended Christian summer camp, went to youth groups, etc., but I left the faith when I was in high school. Since then, I have had little to no contact with the church or religious people, and lived in a large, non-religious city.

I recently moved back to my home town, 15 years later, and have noticed that almost everyone I talk to is heavily involved in the church. The thing is, they also all do drugs, have casual sex, rave, get drunk, etc.

Now obviously no one is without sin, but it was my experience when I was in church that the people who were very involved in it tried to maintain a pious and/or modest lifestyle. Coming back home, I have met many people (usually in their early 20s) who volunteer with their church and/or attend Bible study multiple times a week, then on the weekends go to raves, take molly, and hook up with strangers with zero attempt at even trying to hide it. It seems as though almost everyone I encounter who is heavily involved in the church leads some sort of double (but not at all secret) life.

I'm not trying to judge or shame anybody. I personally don't care what people do with their lives as long as they don't hurt anyone else. I'm just curious about the attitude of the church in all of this, and if this is just the "new normal" for Christianity. Or, maybe, it's always been like this and I never noticed because I stopped going to church before the party stage?

Anyway, thanks in advance for any input! Curious to see what the Christian community makes of this.

For context, I live near one of the largest and most influential churches on the West Coast in a conservative and upper middle class community.

Re: Has Christianity changed in the last 15 years?

Postby Cutie » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:29 pm

The phenomenon you mention is quite common in an area that is approaching post-christian. Most people say they are Christian and attend church but it doesn't actually mean anything. The next step is to simply stop attending and cutting out the facade. At this point, those who remain in church are much more likely to be ones who actually believe in and follow Christ. I live in the northeast where this has already happened. Those who actually go to an evangelical church are on average much more likely to live the walk than the average southerner evangelical attendee or megachurch attendee (which seems to be what your experience is).

Re: Has Christianity changed in the last 15 years?

Postby jimwalton » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:19 pm

Christianity hasn't changed, but Christians have. In my opinion, it's tragic and hypocritical. In the last 15 years I have discovered that many Christians don't know the Bible very well, don't know very well what is expected of them by Christ, and largely don't care. I think it's a great detriment to Christianity to be "affirmed," so to speak, by so many who don't know what they believe, don't know how they are supposed to act, and don't seem to give a rip. Their hypocrisy, in my opinion, is shameful and gives a desperately wrong impression of Jesus, Christianity, and the Church, as you have observed.

Jesus asks us to come out from among the general population and be separate (2 Cor. 6.14). Doing drugs, having casual sex, attending raves, and getting hammered are not on the list of "being like Jesus."

This is not the new normal for Christianity, but rather the new normal for Christian posers. At least, I hope it's not the new normal. Yeesh. As we know from the Bible, the people of God were always inundated with fakers, hypocrites, and false teachers. It becomes most unfortunate when "almost everyone" is like that.

In the Old Testament, when the Israelites got just as bad as the people around them, God judged them by having a nation come in, conquer them, and disperse them to the winds in exile. Now, since we are not a Christian nation that's not going to be God's strategy for America, but I honestly believe that some serious persecution is coming to the church and to Christians, and possibly in the near future there will be a more clear separation between the true and the fake Christians because of the price there will be to pay for being true. We'll see.

Where I live not many go to church anymore except (1) Christians who are willing to live the walk and (2) Catholics who are trained that if they don't go to church they'll spend more time in Purgatory.

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