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Subject: Christian internal politics and the changing face of "Evangelicals" rss

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Mike Stiles
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Inspired by Carson getting a bunch of Religious Bona Fides and a big poll bump for his strong Adventist position.

The reason this is weird to me is that Old-school born again Evangelicals used to despise Adventists and Mormons as Heretics and Cultists, and I'm wondering how it's changed.

I want to think positively and believe that the Evangelical churches have just become more open and accepting, but I just really can't -- so what is the cause?

My theory: Most Megachurch "Fundamentalists" simply don't know the difference between various NRM Christian sects and can't be interested to care.
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Mac Mcleod
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My theory is the next generation is growing into the positions and they don't feel the same way as the older generation feels.
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Funny. I don't -feel- less despised.
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Mike Stiles
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GameCrossing wrote:
Funny. I don't -feel- less despised.


Aww, now I feel bad :(

I love you Junior!
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GameCrossing wrote:
Funny. I don't -feel- less despised.

im a leftist and i feel very despised by certain people here
 
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single sentences wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
Funny. I don't -feel- less despised.

im a leftist and i feel very despised by certain people here

I'm sure you are. devil
 
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windsagio wrote:
Inspired by Carson getting a bunch of Religious Bona Fides and a big poll bump for his strong Adventist position.

The reason this is weird to me is that Old-school born again Evangelicals used to despise Adventists and Mormons as Heretics and Cultists, and I'm wondering how it's changed.

I want to think positively and believe that the Evangelical churches have just become more open and accepting, but I just really can't -- so what is the cause?

My theory: Most Megachurch "Fundamentalists" simply don't know the difference between various NRM Christian sects and can't be interested to care.


I suspect that for Republican primary voters, Christianity is composed of a mix of hatred of gays, hatred of feminists, hatred of abortion and belief in an exceptional America. Any schism, cult or sect that meets this checklist are good Christians.
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Daniel Edwards
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My wife and her whole family are Adventists. They are incredibly nice people and the focus on clean living, no smoking, drinking etc tends to spawn an incredibly high proportion of both doctors and teachers (with her family its teachers). My basically crippled father in law spends hundreds of hours per year helping out the old and infirm at his church as well as on pathfinders (the Adventists equivalent of the scouts).

But their social attitudes have apparently changed an enormous amount in the last few decades (becoming more open minded towards gay people etc) even if official Church doctrine has stayed the same.

I should say also that the Saturday worship thing really makes Adventists stand out as different to other Christians (and others generally) even if most of the rest of their core beliefs are identical.
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Mike Stiles
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myopia wrote:
My wife and her whole family are Adventists. They are incredibly nice people and the focus on clean living, no smoking, drinking etc tends to spawn an incredibly high proportion of both doctors and teachers (with her family its teachers). My basically crippled father in law spends hundreds of hours per year helping out the old and infirm at his church as well as on pathfinders (the Adventists equivalent of the scouts).

But their social attitudes have apparently changed an enormous amount in the last few decades (becoming more open minded towards gay people etc) even if official Church doctrine has stayed the same.

I should say also that the Saturday worship thing really makes Adventists stand out as different to other Christians (and others generally) even if most of the rest of their core beliefs are identical.


Well yeah, it's not like the dislike is deserved; I'm thinking of things like this tho:



(I should note that apparently the newer editions are no longer calling them "Cults" - also, Moshe would just love the section in that book on Judaism).
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I agree with your theory.

Most mega church fundamentalist (at least here in the north) tend to be Sunday morning activists who want to see and be seen in church and enjoy helping people. I was a member (last ditch attempt to "find god") of a Christian Reformed "mega- church" he vast majority of the congregation didn't even know who Calvin was and even if they did they couldn't explain predestination if their eternal souls depended on it.
 
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windsagio wrote:
Inspired by Carson getting a bunch of Religious Bona Fides and a big poll bump for his strong Adventist position.

The reason this is weird to me is that Old-school born again Evangelicals used to despise Adventists and Mormons as Heretics and Cultists, and I'm wondering how it's changed.

I want to think positively and believe that the Evangelical churches have just become more open and accepting, but I just really can't -- so what is the cause?

My theory: Most Megachurch "Fundamentalists" simply don't know the difference between various NRM Christian sects and can't be interested to care.


I think some change has happened as the younger generations become the middle aged members.

However I would assert that your perceptions of the depth and dispersion of "despising" that was going on, in the Church at large, were inaccurate in the first place.

I heard a hate sermon here and there growing up, and they could be really nasty. I literally was in the pew when one hard core baptist preached a sermon on why Catholicism is the "whore of Babylon" from Revelations. But we moved a lot in my youth and I attended many different churches, youth groups, clubs etc among the Evangelical and Fundamentalist core churches and actual "despising" of others really wasn't common or widespread even 40 years ago. Occasionally one would find a small congregation that was really into judging others. And Sure there were individual loudmouths who were like that in almost any larger gathering who occasionally got heard because they were pushy and obnoxious. But pushy, obnoxious, loudmouths can be found in any group, and they rarely are accurate representatives of the larger group.

I grew up with many Catholic and Adventist friends and they attended the same interdenominational "Youth" programs I did, which were usually hosted at Fundamentalist/Evangelical church denominations (Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Assembly of God etc) and nobody every said anything bad about them nor made them feel unwelcome, NOR tried to convert them.

My hard core "Baptist" grandparents (who went to the same church where that twit had preached the sermon bashing Catholics) not only had Catholic friends they considered to be Christians, they also had Mormon neighbors they loved spending time with and considered to be fellow Christians. They even had the current Mormon missionary boys over for dinner every month. Sometimes we would talk about differences in denominational doctrine, sometimes we all just enjoyed mutual Christian fellowship and talked about how much we all Loved God, sometimes we just talked about sports and family etc and religion didn't come up hardly at all after saying Grace over the meal.

So growing up deeply immersed in the Fundamentalist/Evangelical world by both birth and choice, in many different states, and attending huge gatherings and festivals where attendance for weekend events was in the many thousands from lots of denominations, in addition to belonging to and visiting smaller congregations I can honestly say this: while I saw the occasional examples of hate spreaders, they weren't even a significant minority in terms of percentage of actual people. They were loud and drew attention, but most of the Christians I interacted with found those attitudes to be anathema to our greater shared faith.

Certainly there were doctrinal differences between groups, but overall what our faiths all shared was far more important than the differences to the vast majority of Christians of all stripes that I knew and encountered.

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There is approximately 247 million Christians in the US and approximately 247 million versions of Christianity.
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rcbevco wrote:
There is approximately 247 million Christians in the US and approximately 247 million versions of Christianity.



...and about 20 individuals get the basics right
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Altair IV wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
There is approximately 247 million Christians in the US and approximately 247 million versions of Christianity.



...and about 20 individuals get the basics right


I think for may believers there is a deep disconnect between what they believe their book says and what it actually says. But hey, if you squint hard enough you can find Virgin Mary's face on a corn flake.
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myopia wrote:

I should say also that the Saturday worship thing really makes Adventists stand out as different to other Christians (and others generally) even if most of the rest of their core beliefs are identical.


Depends on what you call core beliefs. A lot of fundies lump Adventists in with unorthodox groups like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Huge differences with most Christian denominations include:

-Saturday Worship
-Disbelief in hell and the soul
-Their belief in the heavenly sanctuary and investigative judgment
-One person's writing (Ellen G. White) is held as divinely inspired, second only to the Bible

Many, many other smaller differences as well.

These are huge departures in the teachings of most Christian sects. Many would view them as heretical.
 
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Quote:
I want to think positively and believe that the Evangelical churches have just become more open and accepting, but I just really can't -- so what is the cause?


Compared to "secularism", Adventists, Mormons, and others seem only misguided. Nothing unites like a common enemy!
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Paul W
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Views on SDAs vary, but most Evangelicals I've encountered would say that Adventists beliefs are Christian at their core, even if some of their beliefs may be significantly in error.

I think this is distinct from Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, where the theology is so significantly at odds with orthodox Christianity that most Evangelicals would not consider such groups to be Christian.

However, there is a huge gulf between not thinking a group is Christian and despising a faith and its members. I think that Evangelicals today are generally open to working with members of other faiths on issues of common interest.
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fizzmore wrote:
Views on SDAs vary, but most Evangelicals I've encountered would say that Adventists beliefs are Christian at their core, even if some of their beliefs may be significantly in error.

I think this is distinct from Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, where the theology is so significantly at odds with orthodox Christianity that most Evangelicals would not consider such groups to be Christian.

However, there is a huge gulf between not thinking a group is Christian and despising a faith and its members. I think that Evangelicals today are generally open to working with members of other faiths on issues of common interest.


I think any fundie who took a serious look at the issues I mentioned (except maybe the Saturday worship) would call them heretical.
 
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single sentences wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
Funny. I don't -feel- less despised.

im a leftist and i feel very despised by certain people here


If it helps, I despise you just like I despise everyone else here.
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Lynette
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rcbevco wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
There is approximately 247 million Christians in the US and approximately 247 million versions of Christianity.



...and about 20 individuals get the basics right


I think for may believers there is a deep disconnect between what they believe their book says and what it actually says. But hey, if you squint hard enough you can find Virgin Mary's face on a corn flake.


Honestly based on what gets said in RSP, I don't think most non-believers spend enough time associating within the Christian Community to have any idea of what most of us believe very well how our lives are affected by our faith.

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Paul W
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Shampoo4you wrote:
fizzmore wrote:
Views on SDAs vary, but most Evangelicals I've encountered would say that Adventists beliefs are Christian at their core, even if some of their beliefs may be significantly in error.

I think this is distinct from Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, where the theology is so significantly at odds with orthodox Christianity that most Evangelicals would not consider such groups to be Christian.

However, there is a huge gulf between not thinking a group is Christian and despising a faith and its members. I think that Evangelicals today are generally open to working with members of other faiths on issues of common interest.


I think any fundie who took a serious look at the issues I mentioned (except maybe the Saturday worship) would call them heretical.


Well, I'm not sure what you intend by fundie, but I'd say that some of those other issues are serious errors and likely to make faith harder for someone, but not necessarily matters of salvation.
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Meerkat wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
There is approximately 247 million Christians in the US and approximately 247 million versions of Christianity.



...and about 20 individuals get the basics right


I think for may believers there is a deep disconnect between what they believe their book says and what it actually says. But hey, if you squint hard enough you can find Virgin Mary's face on a corn flake.


Honestly based on what gets said in RSP, I don't think most non-believers spend enough time associating within the Christian Community to have any idea of what most of us believe very well how our lives are affected by our faith.


I have read large sections of the Bible and know what is say's and the context it was said in. In my experiences with Christians at large is that they have no idea or when confronted and will often deny what the "good book" says. I see no wiggle room when it comes to things like homosexuality unless you want to deny or paste over what the Bible actually says.
 
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Shampoo4you wrote:
fizzmore wrote:
Views on SDAs vary, but most Evangelicals I've encountered would say that Adventists beliefs are Christian at their core, even if some of their beliefs may be significantly in error.

I think this is distinct from Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, where the theology is so significantly at odds with orthodox Christianity that most Evangelicals would not consider such groups to be Christian.

However, there is a huge gulf between not thinking a group is Christian and despising a faith and its members. I think that Evangelicals today are generally open to working with members of other faiths on issues of common interest.


I think any fundie who took a serious look at the issues I mentioned (except maybe the Saturday worship) would call them heretical.


About 2 years ago I read a book called Kingdom of the Cults and he did call the Adventists Non Christians, plus many others (Mormons, JWs, The World Wide Church of God, UU, and many others.) His guidelines seem pretty straightforward.

You can read his 1997 edition here
 
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I'm a card a carrying member of the Sunday Morning Non-Activist denomination.
 
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Shampoo4you wrote:
fizzmore wrote:
Views on SDAs vary, but most Evangelicals I've encountered would say that Adventists beliefs are Christian at their core, even if some of their beliefs may be significantly in error.

I think this is distinct from Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, where the theology is so significantly at odds with orthodox Christianity that most Evangelicals would not consider such groups to be Christian.

However, there is a huge gulf between not thinking a group is Christian and despising a faith and its members. I think that Evangelicals today are generally open to working with members of other faiths on issues of common interest.


I think any fundie who took a serious look at the issues I mentioned (except maybe the Saturday worship) would call them heretical.


I think Calvinistic double predestination is a heretical idea. Doesn't mean I think every denomination that has Calvinistic roots is a heresy.

If it isn't something the majority of the lay people of a denomination have routine exposure to and accept with full understanding, I have a hard time getting all worked up about how wrong their denomination is on a topic.

There are all kinds of things I can find to disagree with in just about any denomination if I go deep enough into all particulars they diverge from other denominations over.

That is why I like what CS Lewis called Mere Christianity. What we share matters far more than the areas where we diverge.
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