I heard this at school a few times and from a few friends who have mums and dads who used to go to church, but don't really bother anymore because
the number of people turning up is getting smaller and smaller.
This is in England btw. I guess things may be different elsewhere. What do you think this is down to?
Perhaps it's easier to pray at home, while listening to Eminem on your iPod
I think it's because the church has become less relevant to society as a whole, failing to keep up with the changes in morality, it seems they are either following on behind (pun not intended) or refusing to acknowledge that anything has changed and turning more and more inward looking.
I've said for years that church attendance isn't dropping - it's just that the people who went but did not attend, aren't going any more.
EG people who went because it was "the right thing to do" rather than because of a personal faith, aren't going any more. :}
I disagree janet, there are far more people who go 'to be seen' in order to get their children into the local faith school for instance than ever before, from personal experience it is far more a matter of people ceasing to believe. In my childhood my maternal grandfather was unusual in his atheism and consequent non-attendance at church, the majority of people 'believed in god' in some manner or the other and attended church for the benefit of their souls. It is the influx of many other religions after WWII which has encouraged a 'Pick and Mix' attitude coupled with an atheism attached to the socialism that encouraged so many to become teachers at that time (that atheism was obvious in the teachers of the 60s and 70s), and when capitalism and greed became the watchword of the 80s it hastened the demise of regular church going and the demand, rarely met, for services outside the small amount of leisure time remaining (i.e. Sundays) meant that people, who no longer believed in eternal damnation, ceased to find church attendance compulsory. If you add to that the modern insistence of dumbing down the services so one can't even experience spiritual uplifting on a more earthly scale from the poetry and music the church hasn't really got much chance.
I'm only talking about Christian Churches here:
In some abominations (denominations - ok?) this may well be the case where, in others, numbers are actually growing. The reasons for this are many. It seems that the churches that are growing here in OZ are those that are preaching relevant Christianity and that does not necessarily mean that they compromise their beliefs to attract the "sinners". Many still call sin by its name. Those that seem to be diminishing are those that that promote a sanitised religion that is politically correct and tends to water down the teaching of scripture.
I think that if it's true, then it's a good thing.
People should only go to church if they really really want to, not just "to be seen" or "because everyone else does".
My Gran was put off Church for life because she was dragged twice every Sunday as a child.
I on the other hand, came to my faith as a teenager, and was never forced into any religion. (actually, my family thought my Paganism was a phase, and teased me for it!)
Churchgoing, Mootgoing, Mosquegoing etc ought to be a matter of choice.
My boyfriend (with whom I have many debates) Hates all religion with a passion, and has a less than healthy attitude to my Faith. I put this down partly to his Boarding School, who dragged him to Church every Sunday.
Surely scholar you can accept that people think differently to you...........
The things I do now, I have never been "compelled" to do.
Ok, I'll phrase it differently.
To a Child, in 1930's-1940's Wales. Church is BORING.
To a Child in 1990's-21st C Boarding School, (in a school full of kids he hates), Church is BORING.
I used to be sick when I ate Sprouts. My mum stopped cooking them for me. I didn't like them, so she did not force her sprout eating habit on me. Now, I am grateful she didn't feed me those, because I NOW feel compelled to see if my tastes have changed.
As a 6 yr old. I BEGGED to quit recorder lessons. I got moved down instead because my school wouldn't let me.
I suffered greatley from my lack of talent until I was 11, and now never want to see the damnded thing again.
Does this help?
Badgergirl has correctly perceived that I was merely targeting the logic in saying, "I don't like such-and-such because I was made to do it, earlier
Being made to do something early in life does not CAUSE dislike of it later. As Badgergirl analyzed in her recorder playing, she disliked having to do something for which she had little talent, which resulted in her being moved down.
I think those who are compelled to do something they dislike, AND WHO CONTINUE TO DISLIKE IT, will not want to do it later. Anyone who continues to dislike something will not want to do it later, whether they were ever compelled to do it or not. The problem is not in the compulsion. Being compelled to do something gives one opportunities to feel resentment at the unwelcome acctivity, but it also gives opportunities for a person to learn to play ball well enough for the others on the team to be glad you're on the team with them; it can get a person beyond practising scales, to playing enjoyable songs; it can get the bookworm to enjoy volleyball, which would leave him breathless and exhausted if he did not stick with it.
Parents and teachers have a special responsibility in training children. We don't want them to grow into adults who have to be coaxed into every activity, who give up easily, and who will crumble if they ever have a job that requires things they don't like to do. But, we want them to take initiative, to have a sense of responsibility, and to have flexibility between choosing their own way, or following instructions, according to what is best in the circumstances.
Perhaps people are loosing faith and turning away from attending church, to preserve thier personal faith.
As various churches and thier leaders hack away at the very beliefs that the church was founded on in an attempt to be seen as "modern" and "liberal" they only undermine the rock that the faithful were drawn to.
A lot of things in the modern "pick and mix" attidtudes held by the clergy are being rejected by the devout.
Regards the Bear
Perhaps people are turning away from church to get away from non-accepting, judgemental, holier-than-thou types who unfortunately still think they
know what's best.
There is a big difference between compulsion and encouragement and I think that good parents and teachers recognise the difference.
I'm interested in this thread that people seem to be saying (forgive me if I'm wrong) that some of the reasons people are not going to church are
the lack of mystery, sense of moment, and adherence to old beliefs - is that fair?
If so, in some ways, I agree with you (as of course, would people like Newman and the rest of the Oxford Movement... I don't think that's the entire cause but I think it may well be part of it.
As a child I was forced to go to church, and sit still! Neither of these activities were pleasing to me. A discussion with my sisters who are much
older than I recently highlighted this fact and prompted me to ask if I were a child now, whether I would have been diagnosed with ADHD, both
vehemently said, "YES!" Eldest sister has grandchildren with it, so knows what she is talking about.
Now, without any "treatment", for ADHD or any other condition, I quite happily sit quietly and even willingly sit in church for a services that have been known to last for up to three hours.
I tend to agree with your last statement, Janet. I would even go further and say that there is also a lack of commitment in the general populace. Time was when people would go out of their way to help, now it's all about what they can get, rather than give. You only get out of Church what you are prepared to put into it. If you go to be "entertained" then you may leave quite disappointed. If, however, you go to "contribute" (and I'm not talking about money here) then you may also find it to be very "entertaining".
Janet, how do you mean "sense of moment"?
Moment of sense?
Sense of mystery, then.
Thank you, Janet.
LS, regarding your 'parable' of the cordial and water; of course the meaning could be read so that even that which is unpalateable and bad for you can be watered down to such a state as to be refreshing and useful.
Yes, but that does not make it any better.