Religious or spiritual?

Talking with my pastore, we spoke about the declining trend in church attendance and the growing numbers of families moving towards being spiritual, opting not to raise their kids in one faith or another. As a nation founded on God's principles and beliefs, would you say that this shift will ultimately lead to the downfall of recognized religions in the US? Faith is tricky and hard to justify with so much bad stuff happening in this world. Who believes in the right God and why do you think your God is the right one to believe in? Keep in mind that ALL religions are man made.

Children of the corn Children of the corn Message Children of the corn
Nov '13


If all religions are man-made, then why is a shift away from God's principles and beliefs such a concern? Sounds to me that you just want to believe in something and be led rather than make decisions based on your own sense of right and wrong.

emaxxman emaxxman Message emaxxman
Nov '13

Keep in mind that ALL religions are man made.

Not quite. Man is a spiritual being by nature. They have always looked to a higher being whether the sun, Idol's, sacrifices, zodiac and so on. God revealed himself through the prophets and finally sent his son to show us the way to deal with Satin. It's not easy to follow. It requires commitment. witch is sadly in short supply in many aspects of todays world.

Old Gent Old Gent Message Old Gent
Nov '13

hahaha .I thought the country was founded on religious FREEDOM, who is to say ones persons beliefs and "god" is better than anothers.

cutmeabreak cutmeabreak Message cutmeabreak
Nov '13

Man made or simply just made up

Lunch lady Lunch lady Message Lunch lady
Nov '13

Woah woah woah. Our nation was founded on the SEPARATION of church and state specifically to escape persecution from organized religions. And if you really believe that you need any specific religion to know that rape, murder, theft, adultery, etc... is wrong, then you've really got some issues.

Imo, religion is a guide for how to live a good life. I don't need to commit to any single religion, or even be spiritual as long as I understand that everyone - including me - will be happier if I don't act like an arrogant douchebag all the time and I work hard for the things I get instead of stealing them from my neighbor. I want to enjoy my life, not continually fear what happens if I screw up.

Common Sense Common Sense Message Common Sense
Nov '13

We like taking our kids to church.

mistergoogle mistergoogle Message mistergoogle
Nov '13

It's always discouraging that there is so much ignorance and misinformation about the history of this country's founding. And by the way, many of our founding fathers were not particularly fond of organized religion.


The first question to ask is why do you have faith in your religion? Does it have to do with expectations, about getting something out of your faith that non-believers won't get? Or is it the sense of community, the feeling of being able to help those in need, or being in the unfortunate position of being in need?

The second question is what are people putting their faith in if they are not attending church? What has taken the place religion?

I think most here already know my answer.

justintime justintime Message justintime
Nov '13

I wait with patience for the end of organized religion and a world (or nation, at the very least) based on secular humanism. I'm sure it won't happen in my lifetime, but it seems to be headed in that direction. Atheists are no longer a tiny minority. And you know what? If religion/spirituality does fade...we'll be just fine.

eperot eperot Message eperot
Nov '13

Organized Religion = Business = Money

Coach Coach Message Coach
Nov '13

I have been very active in a main line reformed church over the years. The church is made up of people of the world. In the last 30 years, or so, they brought the world into the church and lost there way. They started in a new direction of getting involved in society instead of salvation. I have been against the change but have lost. Much the same as the nation has changed and I lost. I am just a looser but I know where I am going.

Just saying..

Old Gent Old Gent Message Old Gent
Nov '13

Old Gent- What is a main line reformed church? Is it nondenominational?

I went to a nondenominational church called Zarepath a few times (haven't gone in a while since it is pretty far) it was great. No frills, very accepting, a very diverse group of people and they concentrated solely on the bible and Christianity. They actually have a Christian rock band and the music is amazing and very uplifting.

BTW- You are the opposite of a loser Old Gent. :)

positive positive Message positive
Nov '13

main line are the Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, ect. The new influx are changing the words of the Bible to conform to their thinking just as they have changed the US Constitution to suit themselves and there desires.

Old Gent Old Gent Message Old Gent
Nov '13

Re: Religious or spiritual?

I was raised a Christian with Christian principles. As life goes on my beliefs have changed. One thing remains constant, The lessons that were passed down to me through my parents.They raised me according to their life experiences and losses.

HtownForum HtownForum Message HtownForum
Nov '13

I was raised as a Baptist....as an adult I tried the Methodist, Presbyterian and Protestant churches but I never felt comfortable and I actually felt more like a heathen afterwards. Lol.

Well I'm sure you know this already....you really do not need a church to worship God. You can worship him anywhere because he is everywhere so it doesn't matter. Unless you need and want the unity and community of a church?

positive positive Message positive
Nov '13

Or her.

Challah Challah Message Challah
Nov '13

Some of you are right the founding fathers so feared religion that they made it one of their top priorities to keep it out of government. Organized religion is on its way out. it has become a big business that cares more about its bottom line than anything else. Religion has lost its moral high ground when for over 50 years it tried and successively hid the rape and molestation of its clergy

oldred
Nov '13

Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I with them. In my teaching days with the children, I impressed on them , that it's not the bricks on the corner that make a church. It's the hearts of those inside.
I found a lot of Saints in church that taught and helped me along the way.

Old Gent Old Gent Message Old Gent
Nov '13

Some of you are right the founding fathers so feared religion that they made it one of their top priorities to keep it out of government. Organized religion is on its way out. it has become a big business that cares more about its bottom line than anything else. Religion has lost its moral high ground when for over 50 years it tried and successively hid the rape and molestation of its clergy
oldred
4 hours ago

Tax free big business.....

Blackcat Blackcat Message Blackcat
Nov '13

Yeah it is tax-free big business yet they want to get between a woman and her doctor. And they want creationism taught in school they want to litmus test for anyone running for elected office. Religion says one thing and does another

oldred
Nov '13

If someone believes that all religions are man-man, wouldn't this necessarily make him a non-believer (in G-d, or religion)?


That's why many have found the Bible based churches. Once they became involved in Caesars world they became just as corrupt. Jesus said give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto God the things that are Gods. There is a difference and I treat them differently since I am a part of both worlds, The Fathers were right to fear Religion because God is Almighty.

Old Gent Old Gent Message Old Gent
Nov '13

"If someone believes that all religions are man-man, wouldn't this necessarily make him a non-believer (in G-d, or religion)?"

Guess that would be a yes. And, according to the studies I've read we atheists are a steadily increasing part of the U.S. population. The percentage of people identifying as non-believers, or atheists, has been increasing slowly but steadily for many years.


Every one needs something to look to a place where our hopes just don't fall flat and groups of people find comfort that there hopes and prayers are listen to even if not answered . I see people all way throw the separation of church and state a round and yet they do not know what it means . be well every one hold true to your belifes

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Nov '13

"Every one needs something to look to a place where our hopes just don't fall flat and groups of people find comfort that there hopes and prayers are listen to even if not answered"

That's right Caged. Human nature. I'd ask the judgmental among us to remember that.

Anyway, consider this: Churches began to falter when governments got into the business of charity and took away one of their incentive systems. It could be said, then, that organized religion has been usurped by majority-based government. Why just pray for what you want when you can actually get it using the force of government?

justintime justintime Message justintime
Nov '13

I respect everyone's beliefs just as I would like them to respect my non-beliefs. I just gave my family a heart attack this year when I told them I was an Atheist. I was raised Roman Catholic and I think it nearly broke their hearts. However, the fact that I don't believe in a higher power does not make me a bad person. I have good morals and compassion for humanity. This was not taught to me by my religion, this was taught to me by my family, friends and community. My religion taught me fear more than anything.

I don't like the bible because the meanings become twisted and people tend to cherry pick from it. You can't do away with the old testament and only embrace the new. If they were truly the words of god then I think he is bipolar.

Jazzykatt Jazzykatt Message Jazzykatt
Nov '13

I believe god loves us without the need for a church..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

skippy skippy Message skippy
Nov '13

"Anyway, consider this: Churches began to falter when governments got into the business of charity and took away one of their incentive systems." - justintime

Churches began to falter with the advent of science. You can't blame this one on the government.

Aquarius Aquarius Message Aquarius
Nov '13

Of course I can Aquarius! I wouldn't want to ruin a perfect track record ;-)

Science has surely played it's part, but that has nothing to do with meeting basic human needs. Besides, science is constantly evolving itself. What we "know" today will be "wrong" tomorrow as our collective knowledge advances. Worshiping science is no different than worshiping a deity I'd think.

justintime justintime Message justintime
Nov '13

Re: Religious or spiritual?

Churches began to falter with the advent of the thinking man. You can't blame this one on science.

Some Guy (Art) Some Guy (Art) Message Some Guy (Art)
Nov '13

I am sorry to hear that jazzy Kat.. Christian's believe that the Old Testaments was Covenant he made with his people and when Jesus came he brought a new Covenant for his people. Martin Luther's Reformation wanted the church to change, not destroy it. He wanted the Church to teach that Salvation is reached through faith not Deeds. This link will explain him if you care to read it.
http://www.history.com/topics/martin-luther-and-the-95-theses

Old Gent Old Gent Message Old Gent
Nov '13

Well said Jazzykat. I did have my son Christened but I feel this as far as I will go. My mother, who is a convert to Catholism when she married, understands how I feel. We did the Christening mostly out of respect to my mother's wishes and good friend's dad.

Blackcat Blackcat Message Blackcat
Nov '13

I'm right there with you, Jazzykat. Been an atheist since I was 14. My parents were also dismayed, although they too now claim to be atheist.

eperot eperot Message eperot
Nov '13

"Worshiping science is no different than worshiping a deity I'd think."

And I think you are wrong. The idea of "worshiping science" is a figment of the imagination of religious theists. Science is secular and godless - there is nothing to worship. The conflict between science and religion isn't because it is a religion itself, but because religions typically conflict with reality.


science is a religion, it has strict rules that must be obeyed, it has fanatical adherents who punish severely (by shunning and casting out) anyone who talks out of turn with the status quo.

it has always amazed me how the unified big bang theory and the first few verses in the bible complement each other. the steps outlined in the big bang theory of the beginning of the universe and the evolution of life here on earth line up almost exactly event by event with the creation story in Genesis. this is truly eye-opening and amazing. go back and look at both of them and post your thoughts on what you find.

they are fundamentally not so different.

those who express that there is no god often times get very angry at those who believe. it is important for them to throw stones at god and the church and the people who go there. i don't get why they are so angry at us. i also don't understand why it so important for them to make sure we know that they think we are self-delusional. why is it such an imperative to express that to people who have faith in god? is this because those without faith need the reinforcement?

denying the spiritual side of life is self defeating in my view, i have seen and been part of things that are quite extraordinary. this is all the proof i need. those who have ears, let them hear.

BrotherDog BrotherDog Message BrotherDog
Nov '13

I've said this before, I've had experiences nobody would believe, and I don't expect them to. I know what I've experienced and nobody needs to tell me what to believe.

People only believe according to what they experience themselves ... and I'm content to leave it at that.

Andy Loigu Andy Loigu Message Andy Loigu
Nov '13

RAD, didn't someone famous proclaim that the world was flat?
At one point, didn't science proclaim that the the sun revolved around the earth?
Not that long ago, didn't science tell us there was going to be global cooling?
And on and on...

All I'm trying to say is that "we" always think that what we know is the whole truth, but in almost every case it's been proven that our knowledge was limited and that there was something missing. Can you see an atom or electron? No, but you believe it because science has confirmed their existence.

Alternative universes are claimed to exist because scientific analysis says they should. Do you believe that? If not, why?

IMO keeping an open mind is the best course of action. By that I'm not saying believe in a God, rather I'm saying that we have no way to know if there is an answer other than the one science has given us. The big bang theory is great, and can be verified scientifically. But what happened *before* the big bang? Where did stuff come from? What exists outside of our universe? These are questions that, if we are honest with ourselves, simply cannot be answered. That's why I said science is a religion in and of itself, because believing everything science tells us you are closing you mind to that which we don't know.

Live and let live, but most of all keep an open mind.

justintime justintime Message justintime
Nov '13

Justintime you really need a history lesson it wasn't science that claimed the sun revolves around the earth. It was the church and people were arrested and killed for questioning it. There was a time when religion ruled the land I believe they called it the dark ages. And when people started to question the church and believe in science they called it . the age of Enlightenment religion is just another attempt to keep control over people..you know be good in this life so you go to the next

oldred
Nov '13

Brother Dog

"those who express that there is no god often times get very angry at those who believe."

I can't agree with you. I am a minority non-believer in my family and have no anger toward them or anyone. Everyone has the right to believe what they want. However, I would appreciate it if Christians would stop trying to convert me.

Jazzykatt Jazzykatt Message Jazzykatt
Nov '13

Ptolemy had formed a geocentric model of the universe prior to the rise of the Catholic church under Constantine. But the Church certainly did resist the move to a heliocentric model; i.e., Copernicus and Galileo.

iPhone-imal iPhone-imal Message iPhone-imal
Nov '13

So oldred knows everything. Got it, thanks! ;-)

FYI, I didn't argue any particular facet of religion as right or wrong but merely pointed out the ever-changing nature of science, the fact that what we are so sure is true has changed over time as our perceptions of our reality change. It's occurring constantly in the science world, so I don't know why it would surprise you.

Sorry you missed the point.

justintime justintime Message justintime
Nov '13

Well, all kinds of evil things have been done in the name of "religion."

I'm not going to defend "religion," because people have created all sorts of bogus religions over the years.

Having faith in a supreme being is different from following some religion that someone tells you to follow, some religion that tells you how to live, that condemns "non-believers" or anyone else who is "different" and makes you "drink the Kool Aid." We all have the right to think for ourselves.

Like most of you, I took science classes in college. Education is the seeking of truth and anybody who does not believe the truths of science is as much a fool as someone who blindly accepts the teachings of some religious zealot.

Andy Loigu Andy Loigu Message Andy Loigu
Nov '13

this woman's story is compelling:

a self described atheist/agnostic who thought Christians were fooling themselves has a life changing event.

she worked in the Clinton Administration, she is a life long Democrat, lived in NYC, has endured a lot of criticism from her old colleagues who are still atheists.

quoted from the story:

"If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt."

"From my early 20s on, I would waver between atheism and agnosticism, never coming close to considering that God could be real."

"After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist."

"when I began dating a man who was into Jesus, I was not looking for God. In fact, the week before I met him, a friend had asked me if I had any deal breakers in dating. My response: "Just nobody who is religious." "

"Then he said the magic words for a liberal: "Do you think you could keep an open mind about it?" Well, of course. "I'm very open-minded!" Even though I wasn't at all. I derided Christians as anti-intellectual bigots who were too weak to face the reality that there is no rhyme or reason to the world."

"I continued to think that people who talked of hearing from God or experiencing God were either delusional or lying. In my most generous moments, I allowed that they were just imagining things that made them feel good."

"Then one night in 2006, on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, "Here I am." It felt so real. I didn't know what to make of it."

" I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn't shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy. "

"My whole world was imploding. How was I going to tell my family or friends about what had happened? Nobody would understand. I didn't understand. (It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.)"

"I'll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, "It's true. It's completely true." The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy."

a secular living, democratic operative living in NYC and working with the Clinton administration believing that those who had a faith in God were self-delusional has an awakening experience.

you can find the full story right here:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?start=2

Merry Christmas to all of you. as HL's very own CA always says: "Blessed Be"

BrotherDog BrotherDog Message BrotherDog
Dec '13

Merry Christmas, Brother Dog. Thanks for sharing.

Spring Fever Spring Fever Message Spring Fever
Dec '13

What a great inspiring story BrotherDog. :)

positive positive Message positive
Dec '13

yes, i thought her experiences had most of the elements being discussed in this thread, so i thought it added some value to the discussion

BrotherDog BrotherDog Message BrotherDog
Dec '13

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