Modern American Evangelicals, Focused

What do they believe? What do you think? Talk about religion as it exists today.
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billd89
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Modern American Evangelicals, Focused

Post by billd89 »

I'm not Christian and come from an ex-Catholic background in an area where Christianity is fairly weak, but I did live in the Mid-South for six years. I considered myself tolerant, but I never recall having met any articulate Xians, although I did have some Xian friends/acquaintances.

I went to "Church" recently - what I would call, one of 'their Churches'. It was non-denominational (Protestant) Christian Evangelical, in another old school mainstream church space. It wasn't fancy, but the congregation was earnest attractive young-ish ppl (mostly attractive single 20-something females, 4:1) and the service was sensible yet not at all traditional. Purely Gospel-focused, except for the Gin-Blossom Jesus music (totally unfamiliar to me: chanting and swaying to jesus-rock for 15 minute stretches) - nothing like traditional Roman Catholicism obviously. The community was truly sweet, kindly - I went back a few times. I also appreciated that they were very no-nonsense, emphatic: "Not every Church fits everyone" or "If this doesn't work for you, keep looking" which is an appropriate and honest pitch that let me know they weren't intrusive, demanding or untrustworthy.

Although I don't accept their dogma, I think modern evangelicals of today are far, far more advanced than the low-class & scary-looking screamers that I remember from the 80s. These folks are truly impressive: they speak coherently, they have zeal, they ARE persuasive. Giving credit where credit is due, I can see how & why ppl convert to their rising church movement, watching this young man simply testify.

(*He chokes up repeatedly, which I sense is somewhat contrived and 'plays on emotion' - that's the most cynical thing I'd say, here.)
Thor
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Re: Modern American Evangelicals, Focused

Post by Thor »

billd89 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 3:12 pm
(*He chokes up repeatedly, which I sense is somewhat contrived and 'plays on emotion' - that's the most cynical thing I'd say, here.)
Naahhh.. Not cynical, but ritualistic.

My extended family is Lutheran baptist missionary something something... Often called "Bedehus" people where I live. So I grew up practicing religion, although never being a true believer.

The emotional response when witnessing is part of the ritual, it is for the experience of the congregation and not for outside observation. Your perception of cynicism comes from your outsider perspective, as is natural since rituals and congregations loose meaning as televised entertainment.

These kinds of rituals are neither new nor exclusive to Christianity, and always comes of as strange ( kind of dishonest ) to outsiders. But I am not sure it is correct to simplify it as such.
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billd89
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Re: Understanding

Post by billd89 »

Thor wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:24 pm
billd89 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 3:12 pm
(*He chokes up repeatedly, which I sense is somewhat contrived and 'plays on emotion' - that's the most cynical thing I'd say, here.)
Naahhh.. Not cynical, but ritualistic. ... Your perception of cynicism comes from your outsider perspective, as is natural since rituals and congregations loose meaning as televised entertainment.

The "most cynical thing I'd say, here" is and regards my own opinion, self-reflexively. I don't perceive his cynicism, anyway.

I don't think you're disputing it is or looks "contrived" either - show-ritual is contrivance.
Thor
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Re: Understanding

Post by Thor »

billd89 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 5:50 am
I don't think you're disputing it is or looks "contrived" either - show-ritual is contrivance.
Not disputing it could be, or looks "contrived". Especially when cameras are involved. In my experience the emotional part is authentic to those who are religious and actual believers. A ritual have some structure or system of order to it, but is more than simply a framework.

Rituals are not supposed to be shows, a performance to some audience. At least not for a ritual to have purpose and meaning.
Lack of rituals with purpose and meaning in our modern world is not in my opinion a problem related only to religious communities, but to society itself. What connected people before have in many ways become a performance, a show.
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