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God as a Drug: Rise of American Megachurches

megachurches christianity

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#16    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:27 AM

No offence to anyone who is a member of a "mega church", but even speaking as a Catholic I find the idea of such collective worship, with such collective behaviour makes me think one thing - we are the Borg.


#17    BaalZebul Nehebkau

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:52 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 20 August 2012 - 02:44 PM, said:

While I can certainly understand the appeal of the come-as-you-are mentality and the inclusion of so many with these churches, I'm afraid of waking up one day to learn that this country is now a theocracy run by these very people.
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#18    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:51 PM

View PostWearer of Hats, on 21 August 2012 - 02:27 AM, said:

No offence to anyone who is a member of a "mega church", but even speaking as a Catholic I find the idea of such collective worship, with such collective behaviour makes me think one thing - we are the Borg.

They are the borg.

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#19    Bluefinger

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:49 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 20 August 2012 - 02:44 PM, said:

While I can certainly understand the appeal of the come-as-you-are mentality and the inclusion of so many with these churches, I'm afraid of waking up one day to learn that this country is now a theocracy run by these very people.

Ha!  We'd have a better chance of Hitler being cloned than we do of a theocratic takeover, unless this country gets taken over by Islamic extremists.  

Its not going to happen.  Our people can't stay united because our Constitution gives us each a vote, and you can bet that each person will vote for that which benefits him and those like him.

Anyway, a megachurch has a flaw to it:  Christianity was inherently designed to be communal and social, not individualistic.  As a stranger visiting several megachurches, I just don't see much strong bonds there.  People shake each other's hands and smile, but don't often talk with each other.

Its a natural dynamic of larger gatherings I suppose.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#20    Bluefinger

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:59 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 20 August 2012 - 08:18 PM, said:


I understand but it was the larger public opinion that held the sway. And a continued effort to sway that public opinion. It could go the other way with enough people on board. The minority can have power but only first by gaining support and not being a minority anymore. If enough of America wants a theocracy, they will evenchually have one...... At this point I will no longer be an American.

At that point it would no longer be America and the Constitution would bo longer exist.  At which point I will still stay here and look after my people with love, regardless of my losses.  That is how Spirit filled people do things.  They don't need the government or a signed piece of paper to give them the liberties they already have from God.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#21    libstaK

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:14 PM

Another "fascination" for the masses and a means to ensure that folk never have time to stop and think for themselves about the big issues - just keep them entertained,their minds filled with distractions and overloaded with with information they don't have time to stop and comprehend clearly and they'll follow right over the edge of the cliff and beyond.

It amuses me when I consider the similarities between "evangelist" and "evil angel", mostly because it makes a sad kind of sense when I see what these mega churches do to their members.

A word to the wise - a mob induced "altered state of euphoria" is a manufactured means of shutting down the part of your mind that thinks rationally and not a good state therefore to come to any "spiritual truth" from - just saying.

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#22    White Crane Feather

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:30 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 22 August 2012 - 12:59 PM, said:



At that point it would no longer be America and the Constitution would bo longer exist.  At which point I will still stay here and look after my people with love, regardless of my losses.  That is how Spirit filled people do things.  They don't need the government or a signed piece of paper to give them the liberties they already have from God.
Really? . your not the only one that lives in deep spirituality blue. Thats a easier decision if you are a Christian in a Christian theocracy even if you don't like it . You see "Christians" already practically stomped out my ancestors spirituality ( which is a large part of my own ) and even their race just in the last few hundred years.  Yup genocide, and the native American holocost.

And yes blue. You dont need it, but freedom of religion and separation from state sure makes it a lot easier. If these things erode, I will either stand and fight to retrieve them or make my home somewhere else.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:24 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 22 August 2012 - 01:14 PM, said:

Another "fascination" for the masses and a means to ensure that folk never have time to stop and think for themselves about the big issues - just keep them entertained,their minds filled with distractions and overloaded with with information they don't have time to stop and comprehend clearly and they'll follow right over the edge of the cliff and beyond.

It amuses me when I consider the similarities between "evangelist" and "evil angel", mostly because it makes a sad kind of sense when I see what these mega churches do to their members.

A word to the wise - a mob induced "altered state of euphoria" is a manufactured means of shutting down the part of your mind that thinks rationally and not a good state therefore to come to any "spiritual truth" from - just saying.
Yes they can be motivated to move lemming like to some goal given them by a pastor.  But they do not have real faith as far as I can see.  These types of churches do not evangelize.  They do not name sin or teach a need for repentance.  Most won't even allow a cross to be placed on top the building.  They are hollow shells and as such pose no threat to non believers.  They are Laodicea that Christ spoke of in His letters to the churches in Revelation.  Lukewarm and without a moral compass.

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#24    Amy the Mighty

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:33 PM

View PostStill Waters, on 20 August 2012 - 01:45 PM, said:

...an upbeat, unchallenging vision of Christianity"

Wow. I get this. If you tithe to your mega church, you can outsource all of your duties to the poor and vulnerable, because the church takes that money and does what Jesus would allegedly do with it. It's convenient, and UNCHALLENGING. You don't need to go out and find a bunch of homosexuals, or a bunch of refugees, or a bunch of orphaned children, and treat them like human beings. Stay bigoted and racist, and stay home on the couch. You've outsourced your responsibilities via the church.

Unchallenging. That's the word. One of my friends, and her two siblings, were adopted by a Catholic couple, who believed taking in vulnerable kids was a duty to God. When I think of Christianity, I think of that. I think this modern mega church style of Christianity has made people forget that real Christianity is hard work. Salvation through faith alone, is Christianity-Lite.


#25    Bluefinger

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:30 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 25 August 2012 - 12:30 PM, said:


Really? . your not the only one that lives in deep spirituality blue. Thats a easier decision if you are a Christian in a Christian theocracy even if you don't like it . You see "Christians" already practically stomped out my ancestors spirituality ( which is a large part of my own ) and even their race just in the last few hundred years.  Yup genocide, and the native American holocost.

I think your beef is with the Roman Empire and its state religion.  It oppresse Christians ONLY because of their religion.  Then the Roman Empire legalized it and made it the state religion.  And guess, the Romans continued what they were already doing.

So, yes, enduring persecution with dignity is a part of my heritage.  I don't need a piece of paper ti protect my rights.  Ease isn't always a good thing.

Quote

And yes blue. You dont need it, but freedom of religion and separation from state sure makes it a lot easier. If these things erode, I will either stand and fight to retrieve them or make my home somewhere else.

I will do neither.  It is the Roman way to retaliate.  Before the Christianity got Romanized, the Christians would not go to the law of they werw robbed, would not decry their persecution, and loved their enemies.  That is not the Roman way, so it is no surprise why this would get the response from you that it did.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#26    White Crane Feather

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 25 August 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:



I think your beef is with the Roman Empire and its state religion.  It oppresse Christians ONLY because of their religion.  Then the Roman Empire legalized it and made it the state religion.  And guess, the Romans continued what they were already doing.

So, yes, enduring persecution with dignity is a part of my heritage.  I don't need a piece of paper ti protect my rights.  Ease isn't always a good thing.


I will do neither.  It is the Roman way to retaliate.  Before the Christianity got Romanized, the Christians would not go to the law of they werw robbed, would not decry their persecution, and loved their enemies.  That is not the Roman way, so it is no surprise why this would get the response from you that it did.

That's an interesting prospect... A true "turn the other cheek philosophy" unfortunately religions are subject to evolution just the same as everything else.

I assure you, my response has nothing to do with the Romans and more to do with the apache, Paiute, Cherokee, Lokota, etc...

Unfortunately they have not survived vary well either.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#27    Bluefinger

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:07 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 25 August 2012 - 08:20 PM, said:



That's an interesting prospect... A true "turn the other cheek philosophy" unfortunately religions are subject to evolution just the same as everything else.

I disagree to an extent.   Culture receives things and filters it through culture's eyes.  Christianity, in the beginning began as a counter-cultural movement, rejecting Judaistic rituals as superstitius and the Greek paganism as ridiculously false...much like gow atheist treat Western Christianity ans religion in general.

Things go wrong when the state gets ahold of it, which is why America's founding fathers included the separation of church and state.  The two shouldn't ever hold hands until Christ Himself rules in the flesh.

The Roman Empire mingled church and state  When you see state sponsored religion in the West, you are seeing the Roman Empire, regardless of a difference in name.

Quote

I assure you, my response has nothing to do with the Romans and more to do with the apache, Paiute, Cherokee, Lokota, etc...

Unfortunately they have not survived vary well either.

I think you misinterpreted my earlier response.  If a religion has disappeared in the West, rest assured it was likely the Roman Empire.  For example, the Holy Roman Empire invaded Central America during the reign of the Spanish Hapsburgs and gave the Mayans a brutal surprise.

It is essentially Roman to be intolerant of other religions.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes





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