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10 Reasons Why Modernist Christianity Will Die
Standing on My Head ^ | 11/24/09 | Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Posted on 11/24/2009 10:59:12 AM PST by Unam Sanctam

Modernist Christianity must eventually die or cease to be Christian. At this time modernism still wears Christian clothes in the mainstream Protestant churches and in parts of the Catholic Church. This cannot last much longer for some very simple reasons:

1. Modernists deny supernaturalism and therefore they are not really religious. Now by 'religion' I mean a transacton with the supernatural. Religion (whether it is primitive people jumping around a campfire or a Solemn High Mass in a Catholic Cathedral) is about an interchange with the other world. It is about salvation of souls, redemption of sin, heaven, hell damnation, the afterlife, angels and demons and all that stuff.

Modernists don't deal in all that. For them religion is a matter of fighting for equal rights, making the world a better place, being kind to everyone and 'spirituality'. It doesn't take very long for people to realize that you don't have to go to church for all that. So people stop going, and that eventually means the death of modernist Christianity. The first generation of modernist Christians will attend church regularly. The second will attend church sometimes. The third almost never. The fourth and fifth will not see any need for worship. They will conclude that if religion is no more than good works, then the religious ritual is redundant.

2. Modernism is essentially individualist and not communal. Each person makes up his own mind about matters. Therefore when it comes to religion the fissiparous nature of modernist religion will become more and more acute. Individuals with firm opinions will form ever smaller and more passionate groups with like minded people and the smaller the groups, the more they will eventually wither and die.

3. Modernism is also subjective and sentimentalist. It eschews doctrine and favors individual spirituality and sentimental responses to doctrines and moral issues. It is not long, therefore, before the individualist and sentimentalist inclinations drive a person from a church that is dogmatic and demanding. Modernists will prefer their own spirituality and emotional experiences to any sort of formal religious commitment. Thus the modern admission, "I'm interested in spritituality but not religion." When this attitude prevails, modernist religion dies.

4. Modernism is historically revisionist. They re-write history according to their prejudices. In religious terms this means they are cut off from tradition. They are therefore cut off from the life-stream of real religion. As they cut themselves off from the tradition they will only have the latest religious gimmick, fad or adaptation to contemporary culture. Such an ephemeral attitude cannot provide for long term sustained religious longevity.

5. Modernists contracept and abort. They don't have enough children to train up in their religion, and those children they do have are often taught that freedom of choice is a higher virtue than commitment or duty in religion. So they will lose the next generation to either real religion or paganism.

6. Modernism makes no great demands for its devotees to be religious. Ask any modernist, "Why should I come to Church?" What would he answer? "You don't have to come to church. It's there if you want it. If it does you good, and makes you feel better, we're here to serve you." Modernist Catholic priests wring their hands and wonder why no one comes to Mass anymore. It's because for forty years they've been saying, "It's not really a mortal sin to miss Mass. You should come because you love God, not because you fear him." While this sentiment may be laudable, they shouldn't therefore be surprised if no one comes to Mass.

7. The modernist himself does not really understand why anyone should be religious. He started out as a religious man believing in sin, redemption and the supernaturalist story. He became modernist gradually and all the time continued his religious practice, but he has never stopped to ask why such a thing should be necessary. If he is honest and asks himself the question he will soon stop the practice of his religion too. Unless, of course, he is a clergyman. If he is a religious professional he would have to get another job, so it is easier to keep the show on the road.

8. Modernists allow for moral degeneracy and that saps the strength out of real religion. Devotees of all supernaturalist religions demand moral purity, self discipline and restraint. Real religion requires self discipline. The modernist sees religion not as self denial but self fulfillment. Hedonists will soon realize that religion--even in its watered down modernist form--is not worth the trouble.

9. Modernists aren't actually much fun. In my experience they're a joyless lot, always on some sort of serious, smug and self righteous campaign, not infrequently with a whiff of the conspiracy theorist about them. That can't last.

10. Modernists are dull. They've so little imagination and are so literal about everything. They do not rejoice over the seeming absurdity of religion. In fact, they are frightfully respectable. They always go with the crowd, especially if that crowd pretends to be 'radical' or 'subversive' in a 'chattering classes' kind of way. That attitude is the kiss of death to real religion.

So, what will happen to modernist Christianity? It will die out or cease to be Christian. The un-Christian forms this will, unfortunately, still borrow Christian terminology and customs, but like some horrid fantastic beast, it will continue to transmogrify into ever more monstrous forms while still continuing to dress in a Christian costume.

These horrors are already with us on the fringe of modernist religion. Expect them to become even more mainstream.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Other Christian
KEYWORDS: antiprotestant; catholic; frlongenecker; modernism

1 posted on 11/24/2009 10:59:12 AM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam

If you believe this, then you do not have faith in God.


2 posted on 11/24/2009 11:07:22 AM PST by Sprite518
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To: Unam Sanctam
"It will die out or cease to be Christian."

Mormonism chose the latter.

3 posted on 11/24/2009 11:07:33 AM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Reason #11

“Every tree which my Father hath not planted shall be rooted up”.

- Jesus


4 posted on 11/24/2009 11:11:15 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Unam Sanctam
We can all home that religion eventually evolves into humanism. Then everyone can follow the Univeral Moral Code.
No more honor killings.
No more preaching against condom use in AIDS ravaged Africa.
No more children dying due to prayer healing.

A man can dream...
5 posted on 11/24/2009 11:11:54 AM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: Sprite518

Did you read it? It contains many thoughtful laments.


6 posted on 11/24/2009 11:12:38 AM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: IronKros

We can all *hope*...


7 posted on 11/24/2009 11:12:58 AM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: Unam Sanctam

So, we should all be postmodernists and deny the existence of absolute truth and the authority of Scripture?


8 posted on 11/24/2009 11:14:44 AM PST by Abigail Adams
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To: IronKros

Where is this “Univeral Moral Code” you mention? I know of one beginning in Exodus, but the likes of Stalin, Lenin, et al didn’t seem to read it much.


9 posted on 11/24/2009 11:16:23 AM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Unam Sanctam

You forgot the most important one of all #11. Because it is wrong and wrong-headed, and the Truth will prevail in the End.


10 posted on 11/24/2009 11:17:11 AM PST by chesley (Lib arguments are neither factual, logical, rational, nor reasonable. They are, however, creative.)
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To: Enosh
Where is this “Univeral Moral Code” you mention? I know of one beginning in Exodus, but the likes of Stalin, Lenin, et al didn’t seem to read it much.

http://tiny.cc/8PLfp
11 posted on 11/24/2009 11:21:20 AM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: IronKros
Cute.

"... It was created by Dr. Kent M. Keith in 2003..."

Funny. Absurd, actually, to call it "Universal." Do you suppose that Ahmadinejad would follow them all even if he wasn't a whacked out Koranimal?

12 posted on 11/24/2009 11:27:18 AM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Bookmark.


13 posted on 11/24/2009 11:29:37 AM PST by DarthVader (Liberalism is the politics of EVIL whose time of judgment has come.)
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To: Enosh

It is a true statement that Religion can pervert and ignore the UMC.


14 posted on 11/24/2009 11:30:36 AM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Modernist are too wrapped up in humanism, worshiping at the alter of the state and liberation theology to even acknowledge the existence of God.

Hopefully they will have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment.


15 posted on 11/24/2009 11:32:36 AM PST by Le Chien Rouge
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To: Enosh
Did you read it? It contains many thoughtful laments.

Yes, e.g. "He [the modernist] started out as a religious man believing in sin, redemption and the supernaturalist story."

The supernaturalist story, dear friends! Does the writer still believe it? Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight ?

16 posted on 11/24/2009 11:35:46 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: Unam Sanctam

Don’t know. We’ve been waiting centuries for the Roman church to die off or become Christian and it hasn’t happened yet.


17 posted on 11/24/2009 11:37:10 AM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: IronKros
It is a true statement that Religion people can pervert and ignore the UMC any moral framework.

(Fixed it for you...)

The basis of your position seems to me to be that religion in general does more harm than good. I would argue the opposite to be true, within certain bounds. Those bounds being Christianity and Judaism, with some nods towards Buddhism and Hinduism.

Outside the frameworks provided in these religions, men are found wandering into viciousness far more often than within.

While your good doctor's intentions are noble, the concept of expecting everyone to follow his lead instead of a Higher Power is funny.

18 posted on 11/24/2009 11:43:09 AM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Enosh
If we where to pick a religion to get our morals from, I wouldn't pick one that endorses the whole sale slaughter of nations including non-combatants, women and children.

Why not pick Jainism? It prescribes non-violence in all forms.
19 posted on 11/24/2009 11:55:26 AM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: IronKros
"... endorses the whole sale slaughter of nations..."

I, too, despise Islam.

Christianity certainly doesn't say this and the conquest wars recorded in Joshua were one-time deals, unlike the open-ended murder called for in the Koran.

"Jainism?"

Were I in the market for a new religion, I'd go with Pastafarianism.

20 posted on 11/24/2009 12:15:12 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Enosh

The “Universal Moral Code” post looks like someone spamming for a site that sells posters featuring - of course - the witty sayings of some “Dr.” or other.


21 posted on 11/24/2009 12:16:58 PM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: Enosh
Christianity certainly doesn't say this and the conquest wars recorded in Joshua were one-time deals, unlike the open-ended murder called for in the Koran.

Granted, modern day Christians are not ones to invade foreign countries on religious wars. However, if their religious leaders told them it was God's will. Wouldn't the believers be obligated to follow in the same military history of Moses and Joshua?

Jainism?
Jainism is far from new. It is one of the world's oldest religions even predating Hinduism. Scholars placed some of their earliest leaders in the 9th Century BC.

Were I in the market for a new religion, I'd go with Pastafarianism.

Pastafarians... hah! Cthulhu will devour them along with everyone else!
Praise he who slumbers in the briny deep!
22 posted on 11/24/2009 12:36:51 PM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: IronKros
"Wouldn't the believers be obligated to follow in the same military history of Moses and Joshua?"

In a sense, we are. Jews and Christians alike are willing to die for their beliefs, if need be. But such true martyrdom would, (and did), take place under persecution, not warfare.

In the case of the Crusades, they should be seen in light of the aggressive invasions prior.

"Jainism is far from new."

Zoroastrianism is another fascinating ancient religion. It's parallels with others is remarkable.

23 posted on 11/24/2009 12:47:43 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Bump!


24 posted on 11/24/2009 1:00:24 PM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Enosh
Ok, back on topic. :)

A person who "knows" there is a God as opposed to "believing" there is a God, will do whatever they think their God wants.
This includes all of the "Do Nots" in the UMC.

That is what I meant by Religion can pervert the UMC.
Not every atrocity in Abrahamic Religions was committed for self preservation.
25 posted on 11/24/2009 1:01:41 PM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: Unam Sanctam
True faith in Jesus Christ will never die. Everything else Jesus said is coming true. Remember these words - “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The humanists are not true Christians even today. A prime example are the politicians in Washington who claim the moniker of Catholic and then repeatedly vote for and speak for abortion. Their faith retired to Florida years ago. If the Religion loses them, what does it matter? Christianity will live in the hearts of genuine people until the end. It is true that there are fewer young people in church, but there are some. These are the true Christians, those with the guts to follow the faith, much like the Christians of the earlier Chutch. There is no question in my mind that there will some Christians on the last day. They may be few, but they will be the ones with the true wisdom. Heaven may not be crowded, but that is okay with me.
26 posted on 11/24/2009 1:03:10 PM PST by maxwellsmart_agent
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To: IronKros
'A person who "knows" there is a God as opposed to "believing" there is a God, will do whatever they think their God wants.'

Human error aside, a person who knows God also knows His will, not think they know it.

"That is what I meant by Religion can pervert the UMC."

And that's what I would call human error.

"Not every atrocity in Abrahamic Religions was committed for self preservation."

Here's where I have to wonder what "in Abrahamic Religions" means. Did God order atrocities, or did they occur due to some other influence?

27 posted on 11/24/2009 1:14:42 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Sprite518
If you believe this, then you do not have faith in God.

Huh? It's talking about modernist Christianity (which is basically another name for secular humanism) dying out, not Christianity as a whole.

28 posted on 11/24/2009 1:38:40 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Unam Sanctam

I vote for the “cease to be Christian” route. The modernist liberals will still have their little club to bolster their practical atheism, with a nominal “christian” name attached - just to make them feel good.


29 posted on 11/24/2009 1:43:46 PM PST by fwdude (It is not the liberals who will destroy this country, but the "moderates.")
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To: Enosh
Human error aside, a person who knows God also knows His will, not think they know it.

And if his will is to not suffer a witch to live, then they have God's blessing to burn her at the stake? Since they KNOW there is a GOD, and the KNOW his will, they will have no qualms about burning a woman alive.

Here's where I have to wonder what "in Abrahamic Religions" means. Did God order atrocities, or did they occur due to some other influence?

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/atrocity.html


My point being, we can keep the humanism, ditch the religion and have a better moral society.

30 posted on 11/24/2009 4:26:28 PM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: IronKros
My point being, we can keep the humanism, ditch the religion and have a better moral society.

That's nice, but it won't work in practice, unless your definition of "religion" is a very narrow one.

"Morality" is fundamentally meaningless unless you believe that human beings have rights that no human being can take away. That proposition, in turn, requires an agency higher than any human being or human agency to grant those rights.

(After all, you have to have an answer for "why do people have the right to x, y, and z" that's better than, "they just do".)

That higher agency is God. Freedom, in the long run, is incompatible with an atheistic society, for the simple reason that men will always set something up in place of God ... and the most tempting idol to set up is the state. If "all men" are not "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," because there is no creator, then those rights will be understood to be granted by the sovereign.

And what the king grants, the king can also take away. The 100 million lives sacrificed to atheistic communism in the 20th century testify to that.

31 posted on 11/24/2009 4:42:22 PM PST by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed Imposter")
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To: Campion

Excellent post.


32 posted on 11/24/2009 4:47:30 PM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Campion
You absolutely do not need a God to give Morals any meaning. Such an accusation is horrible.

Here is a video which can explain it nicely.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn4DT5sHNWs
33 posted on 11/24/2009 4:48:06 PM PST by IronKros (Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. ~Adam Smith, The Wealth)
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To: Unam Sanctam
There's been talk about this for at least 30 years. Try this article: The Death of Protestant America: A Political Theory of the Protestant Mainline. If a religion doesn't have strong beliefs and values and if it's members don't have children and raise them to believe and act according to their beliefs it will decline.

But mainstream or liberal or "modernist" religion isn't going to die out. However strong and numerous conservative or traditionalist churches become, there are always going to be backsliders -- people born into the religion who like some things but don't accept all the dogmas -- and those people will gravitate to other, less rigorous denominations.

34 posted on 11/24/2009 5:07:55 PM PST by x
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To: streetpreacher

I can sure answer that one for you, The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Obviously Jesus meant it because those waiting for centuries for the Catholic Church to go away might as well wish for Jesus to go away.


35 posted on 11/24/2009 5:16:58 PM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: Unam Sanctam

He’s one to talk.


36 posted on 11/24/2009 5:38:53 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Vayachalom vehinneh sullam mutztzav 'artzah, vero'sho maggia` hashamaymah . . .)
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To: Campion; IronKros

Thank you, Campion. That was very well put.


37 posted on 11/24/2009 5:48:29 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: IronKros
You absolutely do not need a God to give Morals any meaning.

You're right, you don't. You can give morals any meaning without God, any meaning whatsoever. What you have said is true.

38 posted on 11/25/2009 7:18:58 PM PST by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed Imposter")
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To: dr_lew
Does the writer still believe [the supernaturalist story]?

He is an enthusiastically Catholic priest with an amazing story of conversion. What makes you think he doesn't?

39 posted on 11/25/2009 7:39:41 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Does the writer still believe [the supernaturalist story]? He is an enthusiastically Catholic priest with an amazing story of conversion. What makes you think he doesn't?

He calls it a story.

... You kept saying it seems red to you, it seems like it seems red to you, you believe it is red, you believe that you believe it is red, and so forth. Not once did you say that it is red. - Raymond Smullyan, An Epistemological Nightmare

I read that in Douglas Hofstadter's, The Mind's Eye, and it has always crystalized for me the point that professions of belief are confessions of doubt. True belief is transparent. When you look at a pen on the desk, you don't think, "The light entering my eyes indicates to me that there is a pen on the desk", you think, "there's my pen". People recognize this and look with wonder and envy on the true belief that children have in the fantastic.

40 posted on 11/25/2009 8:33:25 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew
I know there is a pen on my desk for two reasons: (1) it looks it and (2) there is no reason to think it is something else that only looks like a pen (James Bond's rocket launcher?) If, however, (2) had no longer held, I would have faith in that being a pen, or the opposite faith in that being a rocket launcher. So there is no dissimilarity: the eye of faith applies to the natural world just like it applies to the supernatural. Faith and reason cooperate to produce knowledge. People who think otherwise don't think with enough clarity and suffer from nightmares.

More specifically to Christianity, it is about believing a witness who tells you a story. Ours is a belief in the supernatural because it was revealed in a certain natural and historical context. Here is how St. Justin Martyr explained it in 2c.:

Chapter 30. Was Christ not a magician?
But lest any one should meet us with the question, What should prevent that He whom we call Christ, being a man born of men, performed what we call His mighty works by magical art, and by this appeared to be the Son of God? We will now offer proof, not trusting mere assertions, but being of necessity persuaded by those who prophesied [of Him] before these things came to pass, for with our own eyes we behold things that have happened and are happening just as they were predicted; and this will, we think appear even to you the strongest and truest evidence.

The First Apology

It is, in short, a story.

41 posted on 11/26/2009 9:43:06 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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