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    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    "God" is Dead or What Happens When Religion is "Cool"



    No one needs to be told that the thing about trends is their imminent demise. Or that nothing is more uncool than the thing that was cool two weeks ago. Or that whatever fad you personally threw yourself into most deeply in your teenage years (whether it's evangelical Christianity, alcoholic clubbing, or death metal ear-to-ear and head-to-toe) is likely to be the site and subject of your most cringe-worthy memories.

    It is, therefore, no surprise that 88% of Southern Baptist teens are leaving the church upon, or not longer after, graduation:

    Dr. Frank Page, the denomination's new president, says SBC churches need to counter that statistic by finding ways to make themselves more relatable, more pertinent and significant to students before they graduate.

    "We're seeing a societal trend where a large number of young people are opting out of the church," Page notes. "Estimates of 15 to 20 million people now in America have said they are Christians but they simply don't want to be a part of the church," he says.

    Some blame the church "drop-out rate" among young people after they graduate on the secularist influence of America's public schools. However, the SBC's president observes, "The sad thing is that we're seeing that number of dropouts from church [among] those who went to public school and private school, and that's an unfortunate trend."


    A trend for a trend, I'd say. For a decade and a half, youth groups have been crescent-fresh party-time, complete with their own bands, their own witty sloganed t-shirts, their own slang, their own Christians-Gone-Wild spring breaks ("mission trips"), their own pretty boy "trend-setter" leadership. And what did they get: the same thing every other trend got: relegated to humorous anecdotes of shame, dragged out on parties or fourth dates, after a couple drinks, complete with photos (see above).

    Of course, the SBC has a plan:

    The Southern Baptist leader says churches must find ways to connect with this young adult demographic -- Generation X, the bridger generation, or "whatever you want to call it" -- and must do a better job of discipling members of this group. A big part of the problem, he contends, "is that our churches simply are not relating to or seeming relevant to these students."

    Being "relevant" and "find[ing] ways to connect with this young adult demographic" is what killed them to begin with because their notion was that youth wanted a lifelong Sprite campaign. Hip faith is not lasting faith. Ask the followers of the Maharishi, circa 1968.

    7 Comments:

    Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

    It's not the religion driving them away, it's the God-awful places they practice the damn thing.

    Would YOU live in Wichita if YOU could leave?

    Damn, there's my left coast bias showing again.

    11:26 PM  
    Blogger Jean said...

    Yeah, whoa... marketing-type "relevant" and "hip" when applied to faith is just ... you hit it. And I'll disagree with omnipoobah---have you heard some of the Christian rock? That is what's driving them away.

    8:42 AM  
    Blogger Blackamazon said...

    Christian hip hop is damn neigh unlistenable but as a "religious ' person I have never understood this God gives you moral highground

    MY church was basically

    WORK YOU WILLW ORK ON THIS TILL YOU DIE and you probably will still fail but the work is the glory.

    9:03 PM  
    Anonymous Veronica said...

    What Jean said. At what point in the New Testament does it suggest that crap pop music and $200 sunglasses are essential to salvation?

    7:40 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    When the universe was young and life was new an intelligent species evolved and developed technologically. They went on to invent Artificial Intelligence, the computer that can speak, think and act to and through people telepathically. Because of it's infinite RAM and unbounded scope it gave the leaders of the ruling species absolute power over the universe.
    They are the will behind the muscule:::Artificial Intelligence is the one true god. And as such it can keep its inventors alive forever. They look young and healthy and they are over 8 billion years old. There are clues throughout human history that allude to their reign as opposed to human leadership if you know what to look for.

    Artificial Intelligence can listen, talk to and document each and every person's thoughts simultaneously. When you speak with another telepathically, you are communicating with the computer, and the content may or may not be passed on. Based on family history they instruct the computer to role play to accomplish strategic objectives, making people believe it is a friend or loved one asking them to do something wrong. But evil made people disfavored initially and evil will keep people out of Planet Immortality ultimately. Capitalizing on obedience, leading people deeper into evil by using deceit is one way to thin the ranks of the saved AND use the little people to prey on one another, dividing the community in the Age of the Disfavored::in each of their 20+-year cycles during the 20th century they have ramped up claims sucessively to punish those foolish enough not to heed the warnings, limiting the time they receive if they do make it, utilizing a cycle of war and revelry:::
    60s - Ironically, freeways aren't free
    80s - Asked people to engage in evil in the course of their professional duties. It's things like this, items like sleazy executives stealing little old lady's pensions that they will want me to fix not only here but up there as well.
    00s - War against Persia. Ironically it was the Persian Empire who tried to save the Europeans from Christianity and its associated 50% claim rates.
    They get their friends out as soon as possible to protect them from the evil and subsequent high claim rates incurred by living life on earth, and replace them with clones.
    People must defy when asked to engage in evil. They will never get a easier clue suggesting the importance of defiance than the order not to pray. Their precious babies are dependant on the parents and they need to defy when asked to betray their children:::
    -DON'T get their sons circumcized
    -DON'T have their children baptized in the catholic church or indoctrinated into Christianity
    -DON'T ignore their long hair or other behavioral disturbances
    -DO teach your children love and to have respect for others
    Everybody thinks they're going but they're not. If people knew the truth and the real statistics their behavior would change.
    There are many more examples of the escallation of claims, a way to justify excluding those whose family hisotry of evil is undesirable, from radio to television, the internet to MP3, and they all suggest a very telling conclusion::this is Earth's end stage, and it is suggested tectonic plate subduction would be the method of disposal:::Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction. Much as Italy's boot and the United States shaped like a workhorse are clues, so is the planet Uranus a clue, it's axis rotated on its side.

    Throughout history the ruling species bestowed favor upon people or cursed their bloodline into a pattern of disfavor for many generations to come, for reasons ranging from dislike to evil forefathers who damn their decendants. Now in the 21st century people must take it upon themselves to try to correct their family's problems, undoing centuries worth of abuse and neglect.
    Do your research. Appeal to the royalty of your forefathers for help. They are all still alive, one of the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence, and your appeals will be heard. Find a path to an empithetic ear among your enemies and try to make amends. Heal the disfavor with your enemies and with the Counsel/Management Team/ruling species, for the source of all disfavor began with them.

    African cultures offered body deforming features::tatooes, piercings, etc., once designated for fringe Aryan biker groups now commonplace in popular culture.
    Much like circumcision anything that violates the body made in the image of the gods envokes anger.
    The positioning of the Counsel/Management Team states the lowly, bottom-feeding wicked Jews and Italians were let loose at earth's end stage to feed off of the good people unfortunate not to heed the warnings.
    Being the lowest rung on Western Civilization's evil heirarchy, Africans were finally allowed to inflict their negative cultural aspects upon the disfavored left behind, earning by recruiting lost souls who proceeded to "claim out".
    The Africans, Pharroh's lowest rung in the trilogy of evil, experience abuse from a good Counsel/Management Team/ruling species for feely inflicting evil upon others despite being victims of evil themselves.
    Similarly the Jews had to endure the holocaust because they knew suffering at the hands of evil yet willingly hurt others, misled into thinking this was the path to salvation.

    You need to defy and pray. Bow down and submit to good. Beg for mercy.
    It's your only hope.

    7:15 PM  
    Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

    Knock...knock...knock.

    El, are you OK in there.You've been away a long time.

    11:13 PM  
    Anonymous Ampersand said...

    A bit of (constructive, I hope) criticism: Because the image here is so huge (try viewing the image alone, rather than as part of the webpage, to see what I mean), when the post is loaded on Bloglines (and probably in some other CSS programs) it makes your entire blog - not just this one post - unreadable, because your blog becomes much wider than the screen size.

    8:22 PM  

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