Protestant mobility

Discussion in 'Church and Parish Life' started by Aidan, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Why do some Protestants in a life time move from Presbyterian Church to Lutheran to Methodist etc and back again ?
     
  2. alphaomega

    alphaomega Active Member

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    Their soul hasn't found a true home
     
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  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    They skipped over Anglican.
     
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  4. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Those "church hoppers" with whom I've spoken don't give me the impression that they're searching. Rather, they give a sense of it being a matter of whichever denomination is most local to them, or even that the denominations are interchangeable to a degree
     
  5. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    Here in the US, personal taste has been made the ultimate criterion for what church one goes to. The 'average' layman cares little about the church's teachings and in truth, the 'mainline' churches here have little that is distinctive -the fun, trendy Bapti-costal groups have even less that is distinctive. So, people tend to pick a church that has a service they like and a few people like them to socialize with. Convenience is not as much a factor anymore, as I constantly encounter people who will drive 30 minutes or more to attend a particular church that checks the boxes for them.

    Another factor in the US is the sheer size of the place. This leads to pockets of very narrow culture. For instance, one can drive through parts of Georgia for a couple of hours and see little other than Baptist churches. Likewise, when I lived in Texas, the Anglican presence becomes more and more spotty as one nears the Mexican border. The denomination of my upbringing is really only prevalent in about 8 or 9 states. It is entirely conceivable that when a family relocates, their preferred church body may have no presence.

    And American Catholics are not much different. Most who enter into mixed (ie. cross-denominational) marriages eventually end up at least trying the spouse's church -if not lapsing altogether from the Catholic church. And many choose a mass based primarily on the convenience factor you mentioned. For instance, when I lived on a particular military installation, the base Catholic chapel (there were two chapels -the other was for Protestants) offered the Ordinary Form mass at 0930 and what they billed as 'high mass' at 1100. The 1100 mass was actually served according to the use of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. People went to that not because they were actually looking for an Ordinariate mass, but because it was at 11.
     
  6. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    And yet an elderly couple drive a round trip of 180 miles to join us for Tridentine Latin Mass at 08.30 every Sunday without fail. In N Ireland this is considered a very large distance, they say it's the highlight of their week
     
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  7. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    I think that may well be the case in the UK - particularly at the evanglical end of the spectrum. Doctrinal differences between the denominations are either not fully appreciated or not seen as being particularly important. Dare I say at, for some, it may be more about finding a Church with a style of worship that the person likes.
     
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  8. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    A similar situation would probably prevail here. Within the region of Hampton Roads, there is only one canonical parish serving the TLM. There is also an SSPX parish and a couple of "Independent" (Old Catholic?) groups serving it, but for the most part the faithful are fed the meager fare of the Ordinary Form. Perhaps that is why so many lapsed Catholics stop in to visit my parish. More than a third stay because our service reminds them more of what they grew up on than any Catholic mass on the Peninsula. It should be noted that there are a number of essentially ethnic parishes here too - Korean and Vietnamese and such - they don't attract much of an English speaking crowd.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  9. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass attendances are dwindling whereas Tridentine Latin Mass attendances are growing healthily. I'm very impressed by the number of youths and young adults whom attend, I think that young people are free-thinking and recognise and respect authenticity.
     
  10. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    From personal experience, I'm inclined to agree that traditional and authentic worship and theology is seeing a revival among younger folks like me.
     
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  11. Thinkingaloud

    Thinkingaloud New Member

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    This is probably true. Another reason I think is how welcoming/friendly the church is. Which I think is an important factor. Living as a Christian in these times is difficult and we need support. However some churches can be quite cliquey and unfriendly. Theological orthodoxy is not always enough
     
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, surely theological orthodoxy is everything?
     
  13. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What about charity?

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)
     
  14. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    A thousand times this. Even the demons believe in one god... and shudder.
     
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  15. Thinkingaloud

    Thinkingaloud New Member

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    I don't think I can add much after lowly Layman's and PotterMcKinney's points except I want to clarify I think orthodox theology is necessary and important as well
     
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  16. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    An understanding of theological orthodoxy compels one to acts of charity as this is one of the first teachings of Our Lord
     
  17. Thinkingaloud

    Thinkingaloud New Member

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    It certainly should do! However we're all imperfect in our Christian walk and I think it goes without saying some understand something in their heads it doesn't always follow in practice.

    I'll give a personal example of what I mean. Soon after starting University I was looking for a church to settle in. I found one that was excellent in so many ways, fantastic preaching, entirely orthodox in its theology, easy location to get to etc. It was also very large which had its own problems as people generally formed cliques and groups of friends. My first time there not one single person spoke to me. They were all too busy talking to their friends. However the teaching was good so I went back. I decided to volunteer at which point I was informed there were too many volunteers currently so I would be put on a waiting list. Suffice it to say I felt I had nothing to offer this church. Part of the problem perhaps was me being a nervous, socially awkward teenager at the time. If I had been more outgoing at the time perhaps I would have fitted in more. Anyway, I found the church, despite its many good points lacking any sense of being a community looking after each other. Eventually I discovered a small church further away, also very orthodox in theology, good preaching, First time I went the minister noticed I was new and introduced himself straight after the service and introduced me to people. This is the church I am still a member of and it feels like a family where we look after each other . It's this factor of practically loving each other that I think is really important.
     
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  18. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yeah maybe we can say that orthodoxy is a necessary but not a sufficient criterion for a Christian. A sufficient condition would be something like good works, for faith without works is dead. Without love an orthodox Christian is little more than a sound of a clashing cymbal.
     

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