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A letter to the SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious)
ABP NEWS ^ | May 2, 2013 | Amy Butler

Posted on 05/05/2013 12:09:11 PM PDT by hiho hiho

Dear Spiritual But Not Religious Friends,

Are your ears burning? You’re causing quite a stir in my circles these days. Many of my colleagues claim you are the biggest challenge of the church today.

You probably didn’t know this was going on. You are Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) and most of us talking about you all the time are Spiritual And Also Religious.

No offense, but the endless strategizing about you is getting a bit wearisome to me, so I wondered if we could have a frank conversation.

As I am sure you’ve noticed, the institutional church in America is in decline. All the studies show this is true. I myself like to think of it as “change” or “transformation,” but whatever you call it, our numbers are down and church as we’ve known it looks different these days. This makes all of us church professionals kind of nervous.

Because of your growing presence and influence, our instinctive response to these trends is to do everything we can to try to make you happy -- because if we can figure out how to do that, well, then we can get church back to the way it always was, right?

You may have noticed all the effort currently being expended to bring you into the fold. Some of us are apologizing profusely for the failings of the institutional church and its people. Others are packaging church in innovative and exciting ways (yet again), hoping to catch your attention.

I understand that being SBNR is the latest and coolest way to talk about spirituality these days. And a spiritual designation must be important, since you have to choose one on your Match.com profile. But when we talk about yours, I don’t even know what it means.

Maybe it means seeing God in sunsets and going to yoga class. What I really think is that identifying as SBNR is just a trendy way of saying you believe what you want and practice it whenever you feel like it with whomever you choose, or not. And that’s how you prefer it.

Many of you have told me you’re done with the church. What you see as an ineffectual and often destructive presence in the world has led you to wash your hands of the formal institution. You’re just not going to put up with it anymore. No societal norm says you have to.

You’ve seen the church do too much harm. Pastors are running around embezzling money and sleeping with the church secretary. Churches hate gays. Women cannot lead in the church. You must believe a certain way and not ask questions. People are so mean to each other at church. Have you seen those people from Westboro Baptist Church?

All of these things are true in some churches, and also in some of any other human institution or group. But all of the apologizing we’ve been doing on behalf of the church is exhausting to me.

You’re smart. You know as well as we do that there are many healthy, justice-minded, welcoming and mission-focused communities of faith. They may not be the norm, but they’re around. And you know how to use the Internet, so I don’t think finding a church that isn’t corrupt and exclusive is really the issue, is it?

The thing is, SBNR folks, you may know more about what we’re supposed to be doing than we do. I mean, church -- if it’s done right -- involves inconveniences like missing brunch with friends on Sunday morning, money that could be spent elsewhere given away, old people calling you by the wrong name and occasionally boring sermons.

Being transformed and transforming the world together takes commitment and hard work. It’s a messy engagement that sometimes hurts. It’s caring and sticking around, changing systems and continuously inviting a world in desperate need to witness communities of transformation and prophetic witness.

It’s a fair question to ask why you would add that kind of inconvenience to your life if you didn’t have to.

But I want to tell you that despite our collective panic attacks here on the Spiritual And Also Religious side of things, I am increasingly finding myself less and less interested in trying to find just the right song and dance to make you wake up one day and want to be part of a faith community.

It’s not you. It’s me. I just think that finding a way to be popular again may not be the most pressing work of the church these days.

I suggest to my angst-ridden colleagues that your blatant rejection of the church, rather than a challenge to us to scramble for new ideas and back peddle when churches screw up, is actually a glimpse of what the church of the future will be: less attractive, more alternative, kind of edgy, largely inconvenient and a little strange.

I hear you when you say the church is irrelevant. I get that you don’t care what we’re doing to catch your attention. If we’re smart, we’ll listen to what you’re saying to us and believe that you mean what you say. And then we’ll stop trying to package the institution to make it palatable and just get busy leading the church to faithfully do its work in the world.

I just wanted you to know that I’m not ignoring you. I’m just tired of talking about you constantly in every professional forum I encounter, and I’m exhausted by all the effort expended to manufacture some version of church that will entice you. So I think I’m going to stop.

I’m going to take you at your SBNR word and believe you when you say the church is irrelevant to you. And I’ll just keep on trusting that the message of Jesus will keep calling to us all, inviting whomever is up for the challenge to join right in. You are welcome anytime, occasionally boring sermons and all.

And even though I’m not talking about you incessantly anymore, I hope you’ll still invite me to brunch once in awhile. On Saturday.

Love,

Amy


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: sbnr
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1 posted on 05/05/2013 12:09:11 PM PDT by hiho hiho
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To: hiho hiho

People who call themselves “spiritual” are atheists who haven’t got the guts to admit they’re atheists.


2 posted on 05/05/2013 12:19:21 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: hiho hiho

Here’s a shorthand for SBNR perspective from the Christian tradition:

1) The actual teachings of Christ as documented in the New Testament (e.g., love God and love your neighbor as yourself) are fundamental, spiritually-inspired truths to be honored, taught and practiced through the ages.

2) The Paulian/trinitarian/literal teachings of Christianity as espoused in 98% of churches are an interpretation of Christ and his life that SBNRs simply don’t believe any more than they believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny. They are seen as effective only for the simple-minded or for authorities in various churches intent on propping up their importance to the gullibles’ lives. SBNRs find it awkward and hard to justify raising their children in an institution that teaches truths which they themselves don’t believe to be true.

SBNRs would gladly support churches that taught #1 without #2, except that such tend first to be rare and second, by their very nature, not inclined to impose some sort of guilt/duty/obligation to live a spiritual life only through weekly attendance.

SAR types have a hard time understanding and respecting SBNRs, whose numbers continue to rise apace.


3 posted on 05/05/2013 12:25:19 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: DuncanWaring

People who call themselves ‘spiritual’ are atheists by your definition, but not by theirs.


4 posted on 05/05/2013 12:26:31 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: hiho hiho
I’m going to take you at your SBNR word and believe you when you say the church is irrelevant to you.

Thank you.

I've tried many "churches" in my 62 years. All I've ever come across is dogma and power struggles.

My wife and I and some others gather and talk, and pray to Him. I'm satisfied with our effort, since no one really knows what happens, except in our daily endeavors with others.

As far as I know, Jesus never had an "organized" church...only to follow what would become the Gospels. He said it, I believe Him.

FMCDH(BITS)

5 posted on 05/05/2013 12:28:02 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: 9YearLurker
"SAR types have a hard time understanding and respecting SBNRs, whose numbers continue to rise apace. "

SAR and SBNR.....I don't have a clue.

6 posted on 05/05/2013 12:30:05 PM PDT by chesty_puller (Viet Nam 1970-71 He who shed blood with me shall forever be my brother. Shak.)
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To: 9YearLurker

OK, I Got it.


7 posted on 05/05/2013 12:30:39 PM PDT by chesty_puller (Viet Nam 1970-71 He who shed blood with me shall forever be my brother. Shak.)
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To: hiho hiho
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Isaiah 64:6
8 posted on 05/05/2013 12:31:28 PM PDT by green pastures (Cynicism-- it's not just for breakfast anymore...)
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To: hiho hiho

SBNR is sort of like a “Non-Denominational” church. The second they separate themselves from the other denominations they became yet another denomination.

What does spiritual mean if not to harbor religous beliefs? I suspect they use the term to mean they believe something but aren’t hampered by rules and regulations. That’s fine, but what rules and regulations are they rejecting? To love others? To love God?


9 posted on 05/05/2013 12:36:40 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: hiho hiho

SBNR is sort of like a “Non-Denominational” church. The second they separate themselves from the other denominations they became yet another denomination.

What does spiritual mean if not to harbor religous beliefs? I suspect they use the term to mean they believe something but aren’t hampered by rules and regulations. That’s fine, but what rules and regulations are they rejecting? To love others? To love God?


10 posted on 05/05/2013 12:36:40 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: hiho hiho

...and salvation?

11 posted on 05/05/2013 12:38:20 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: DuncanWaring
People who call themselves “spiritual” are atheists who haven’t got the guts to admit they’re atheists.

I've never heard it put that way, but I think you're right. The term "atheist" seems to have too much of a negative connotation for them to swallow.

Also, I think that they're scared that they might be wrong. So, they deny. They are full of balderdash.

12 posted on 05/05/2013 12:39:26 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: hiho hiho

Sounds like the author is trying to justify to herself why she attends an organized religion than actually touting the benefits of it.

Many “churches” are not churches at all. They have become social gatherings for little adult girls trying to fit in.


13 posted on 05/05/2013 12:42:40 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: DuncanWaring
People who call themselves “spiritual” are atheists who haven’t got the guts to admit they’re atheists.

You paint with a broad brush Duncan. I know there are a lot of "spirtualist" people on His world who don't recognize Him as the Lord.

Please don't lump me into that group.

I believe in Him. "Organized religions" and "churches" are not part of my beliefs. From my readings of the Bible, they weren't part of His either.

With all due respect,

FMCDH(BITS)

14 posted on 05/05/2013 12:44:52 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Redefining “religious” as “church attending” and redefining “spiritual” as “non church attending” is pious and arrogant, not to mention a show of lack of faith in church itself. Attending an organized church and giving it money is not a required part of faith.


15 posted on 05/05/2013 12:45:07 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: DuncanWaring

Thank you for defining my reality for me. I am incapable of arriving at my own conclusions. Don’t know what I would do without you.


16 posted on 05/05/2013 12:48:29 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: nothingnew

Jesus established an organized Church. He gave authority to only a few men. They chose others to help them. They developed ways of handling issues which confronted the Church. All the earmarks of an organized Church are right there in the New Testament.


17 posted on 05/05/2013 12:50:04 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: DuncanWaring
People who call themselves “spiritual” are atheists who haven’t got the guts to admit they’re atheists.

So let me get this straight. If I go to church on Sundays I get to hang out with and take advice from people like you? Where do I sign up? /nothanks

18 posted on 05/05/2013 12:56:29 PM PDT by douginthearmy
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To: DuncanWaring
Your post is a great example of one of the myriad reasons churches are increasingly empty.

In other words : KMA

19 posted on 05/05/2013 12:56:53 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: vladimir998

The Church is one of spirit and not of structures, deacons, bishops and the like. He never organized a “Church” as we know today, read the Bible and you will find he did not proclaim the creation of buildings and structure but of acceptance.

I challenge you to show where in scripture he lays out the “Organization” of the current churches with the layers and all of the titles and such. Christ came to free all of us from the intermediaries, not to reinforce that which had been part of the Judaic culture before he came.

No one before his Life, Death and Resurrection but a very select few had been given the gift of the Holy Spirit which was given to ALL believers in Christ as our direct personal connection to God our Father. Hence the name the Holy SPIRIT (note not church) Christ refers to the church in the sense of a common acceptance and faith in him being the Son of God, a body of people not a building or anything needed to be “managed” by layers of folks.

My spiritual mentor who is well known in faiths around the world was a minister in church for over 27 years and burned out trying to follow the “rules” of the religion he was ordained in. He brought me into the awareness of “home fellowship” which to me is far more in line with what Christ wanted versus overly legalistic theocrats who seem to think they can “interpret” what Christ was saying to provide cover for themselves to belong to the “structure”

BTW I am an ordained minister in a non denominational “church” and I use no pulpit, have no buildings and no others who need to have a title such as Deacon, Bishop or the like. I hold no ill will towards them, I follow what Christ teaches in the Bible and have I will continue down this path.

And last, spirituality is where many have gone, I see beauty of God each morning during my prayers and meditations (conversations really) with God when the sky changes colors. It like us is HIS creation and far too many “religions” try to lay claim to knowing what is and is not acceptable and even denigrate people of other beliefs (Pentacost Vs insert other church here)as we are right and you are wrong

God Bless and keep us, all of us, we are all his Children and not separate families.


20 posted on 05/05/2013 1:15:05 PM PDT by 100American (Knowledge is knowing how, Wisdom is knowing when)
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To: nothingnew

I just recently listened to an 8 part series called Transitions (available for free download here):

http://www.lifestream.org/transitions

There can be a bondage to “religion” that this series is intended to help people break free of, and to “embrace an affectionate and life-changing relationship with the Father, through the work of the Son and in the power of the Spirit.”

I found it to be a very good series; very challenging to me, as someone who has a background in performance-based religion. I plan to go back through the entire series— as well as to listen to 3 additional .mp3 files that were added since I downloaded the initial 8 part series.


21 posted on 05/05/2013 1:19:43 PM PDT by green pastures (Cynicism-- it's not just for breakfast anymore...)
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To: 100American

You wrote:

“... read the Bible and you will find he did not proclaim the creation of buildings and structure but of acceptance.”

I have read the Bible and you are mistaken - not to mention mischaracterizing what I said. I said nothing about buildings. Christ chose 12 men. He gave them authority. He taught them (and the disciples) things which He DELIBERATELY did not teach to others (Mark 4).

“I challenge you to show where in scripture he lays out the “Organization” of the current churches with the layers and all of the titles and such.”

I reject your challenge because I never claimed what you apparently wish I had. Over time all organizations add to their structure. It is inevitable. But the New Testament is pretty clear about the following: Jesus chose 12 men, He also sent out 72 men (disciples), the Church leadership chose to add deacons to their standing staff of Apostles and Priests (elders), Jesus taught His inner circle things He taught NO ONE ELSE, He entrusted them with special tasks and NO ONE ELSE, He gave them the great commission. That’s an organization.

“Christ came to free all of us from the intermediaries, not to reinforce that which had been part of the Judaic culture before he came.”

Sorry, but you are mistaken again. Jesus did not come to free us from an intermediary. He came to BECOME the intermediary. And His Church is so closely tied to Him in that work that she is called His bride. He gave her authority to do only what God could make happen (John 20:19-23). And remember Luke 10:16.


22 posted on 05/05/2013 1:31:29 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: hiho hiho

I believe - but I find I can no longer trust organizations ... or sadly most people. I will tend my own and pray to the Lord for guidance. I will research and read the Holy Word of the Bible.

My salvation is through Christ and my relationship to God, not a building or congregation... I only hope that I can lead my family to the same.

I don’t disparage the churches of the land, but I pray for all humanity. God has told me what I need to do. I strive for the same.


23 posted on 05/05/2013 1:32:06 PM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: reed13k

Comedian Daniel Tosh said it best, “When girls tell me they’re spiritual, but not religious, I like to tell them that I’m not honest, but you’re interesting.”


24 posted on 05/05/2013 1:44:34 PM PDT by VA_Gentleman ("Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented." -Jon Stewart)
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To: nothingnew
I agree with you.
My problem is the “Religion Industry”. From the pulpit to the denomination publishing house, they are looking hard at the bottom line. Then come tax time, they are a non profit.
I have a pretty good feel for this having worked for two main stream rdenominations in the past.
25 posted on 05/05/2013 2:02:55 PM PDT by Tupelo (The Government lies, then the media lies to cover up the government lies.)
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To: hiho hiho

I consider myself both religious and spritual. I also consider myself a Christian who has a personal relationship with the Lord.

I have not gone to “church” in years. That does not mean that I don’t pray everyday. I do, sometimes multiple times. (It is a 25 minute ride to town; great time for prayer.) That also does not mean that I don’t donate money to worthy causes. I do. All my donations (except, of course, to FR :) go to local organizations, many of them religious in nature.

I have given up on finding a suitable church. Every church I’ve tried seems to be haunted by back-biting cliques, entrepreneurial megalomaniac pastors set on becoming the next Rick Warren and, like the government, a never ending, increasing need for my money.

No thank you. I prefer to keep it simple.

BUMP to CoadToad, number 13 above and nothingnew, number five above.


26 posted on 05/05/2013 2:03:37 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: hiho hiho

Years of watching various organized “religions” promote, accept or ignore a variety of sins while one of their main objectives is maximizing donations has influenced my opinion of churches.

I believe a person who strives to live a moral life, helps others and has deep beliefs and a relationship with the Lord is just fine, church or no church.


27 posted on 05/05/2013 2:05:46 PM PDT by Proud2BeRight
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To: cloudmountain

rationalization - the second greatest human drive.


28 posted on 05/05/2013 2:07:32 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: hiho hiho

bflr


29 posted on 05/05/2013 2:33:45 PM PDT by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: nothingnew
I believe that what you, your wife and others are doing by meeting, discussing the bible and praying will be the wave of the future. Organized religion is getting money, trendy interpretations and social programs.

The only danger being heresy.

30 posted on 05/05/2013 2:50:16 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: green pastures
Thank you for the link. I will check it out.

FMCDH(BITS)

31 posted on 05/05/2013 3:25:58 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: hiho hiho; All

I wanted to post a picture of a couple of people who fall into the SAR (spiritual _and_ religious) category, but due to copyright concerns, I will provide a link to their pictures, below, instead...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/files/2013/04/10_110_20_103.jpg


32 posted on 05/05/2013 3:43:32 PM PDT by green pastures (Cynicism-- it's not just for breakfast anymore...)
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To: green pastures

Not all the “spiritual and religious” worship God.


33 posted on 05/05/2013 4:07:20 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring
People who call themselves “spiritual” are atheists who haven’t got the guts to admit they’re atheists.

I'm not an athiest and I consider myself somewhat spiritual. However, with all the shenanigans going on in the major religions such as Baptists and Catholics, every time I think about joining a church and checking out a Sunday sermon, there's a red flag that jumps up in front of me and warns me about getting involved with a possible cult........

And do I need to get into all the Christian infighting around here? The Mormon bashing? The Catholic bashing? The Baptist bashing? The Methodist bashing? The Protestant bashing? Evangelical bashing?

And lets not forget the constant ridicule of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

So which church or cult do you belong to oh holy one and what gives you the divine right to define who is truly spiritual or not?

I've sat beside hypocrites like you in the various churches I've visited and you don't impress me one bit.......

34 posted on 05/05/2013 4:11:47 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (This space for rent)
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To: DuncanWaring

My point exactly!


35 posted on 05/05/2013 4:12:20 PM PDT by green pastures (Cynicism-- it's not just for breakfast anymore...)
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To: 9YearLurker

“SAR types have a hard time understanding and respecting SBNRs, whose numbers continue to rise apace.”

Yes, and the snarky attitude of this column doesn’t help any, either.


36 posted on 05/05/2013 4:33:01 PM PDT by webstersII
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To: tomkat
In other words : KMA

Uh Oh!

37 posted on 05/05/2013 4:33:28 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: All

Most churches claim the Bible is error free, there are no contradictions and has the answer for all situations. They portray Darwin as a demon possessed moron and evolution as anti-Christ pseudo-science. Maybe all aliens are demons but maybe not. Churches can’t understand basic science yet they claim to understand every fine point about God and Heaven. In the 1950’s as a boy, I knew those churches would fade away as kids grew up and realized their theology and science were about as backward as it was 500 years ago and I said so. Now they are also likely to be affiliated with the NWO, rock music and liberalism and as far from Jesus and saving souls as Hollywood. Churches always make me feel like a heretic. I hope Jesus considers me a friend and follower who’s trying to live like He said and keep a clean heart. “My” church is other Christian friends.


38 posted on 05/05/2013 5:08:51 PM PDT by RHS Jr (Pity the banksters when Jesus comes)
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To: hiho hiho

This really isn’t as complicated as Amy seems to be making it out to be. SBNR people are simply people who have been convinced by the secular press and the world around them that there are other things in life that are more important than God. It’s probably inaccurate to say that they don’t believe in God, as most probably do. They have simply become convinced that even if there is a hell, only those that society defines as truly evil (HItler, Osama Bin Ladin, etc) end up going there. So why should they give up all of the fun and niceties of this world for no good reason?

Now this wasn’t always how it was. There was once a day when the bishops of the Catholic Church preached that there was such a thing as mortal sin, and that all who died with that sin on their soul were cast into hell for a very long time––like forever. But once they became “modernized” after Vatican II, they rarely spoke of even the existence of sin, heaven or hell. Their message isn’t much different than that of the democrats and Obama––redistribute wealth, amnesty for illegals, worship the gods of global warming, and so forth. The rest of the religions (all of which are false) follow the suit played by the Catholic bishops, but just move further and faster to the left.

The more interesting question might be just why are these bishops and the rest of the religious crowd even concerned. Oh sure, they can say they are worried about their souls and all that, but anyone who has bothered to look at what these bishops have been doing over the past 50 years would have serious doubts about that answer. There was a day when the mission of the Church was the “salvation of the souls of mankind”. What it is today is unclear, but one thing it is not is that. Perhaps Cardinal Dolan could ask his friends as the NYT to define it for him some day.

But the real tragedy in all this is that the souls of a great many of those SBNR’s (as well as many SAR) will be lost to hells fire for eternity. We certainly can and should pray for each and every one of them, for as they were being led astray by the media and the satanic pleasures of this world, the bishops stood idly by as silent as lambs. Sadly, the Catholic bishops have long abandoned their flock. Indeed, it could almost be said that in many cases they have virtually led them astray. But a day will come when these bishops will answer to God Almighty for what they’ve done. There will be an accounting and what a mighty accounting it will be.


39 posted on 05/05/2013 5:29:17 PM PDT by tomsbartoo (St Pius X watch over us)
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To: hiho hiho; Old Sarge; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; Finatic; fellowpatriot; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

40 posted on 05/05/2013 5:30:17 PM PDT by narses
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To: DuncanWaring

That doesn’t really make sense


41 posted on 05/05/2013 5:51:47 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: 100American
Thank you. Your post says much of what I wanted to say. Honestly, I need to be in a church, but I never find what I'm looking for when I go. Others do, so I'm sure that I'm doing it wrong.

Different strokes for different folks and all of that, and obviously God loves variety, so it's not surprising that opinions about God's Word and Will will vary, even in God's many houses, and disagreements follow, followed then by separation and greater division, and finally with all claiming to be the one true faith, the most pure, etc. while vilifying the others.

Something is missing...I have trouble explaining it.

Are we not to love each other as ourselves? Are we not to forgive those who trespass against us? What do those things/behaviors look like in a modern world?

Somehow the basics seem to be lost in translation these days, just when we need them most, while our churches try to out Christian each other, but hey, the music rocks! And, I dunno...I just quit looking there to find what I'm looking for. You know?

Maybe the answers the writer is looking for are in the Bible, or God's love letter to us, as one writer calls it.

What does the part about the 7 golden lampstands in Revelation mean?

42 posted on 05/05/2013 6:36:13 PM PDT by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: 9YearLurker
So what exactly is it about the Paulian teachings that SBNRs find so objectionable?

It seems to me that according to your post SBNRs are sitting in judgement on the SARs (Spiritual and religious) claiming they are teaching truths they don't believe in. But I'm not aware of SARs doing that. SBNRs better check their facts. What truths to SBNRs think SARs teach that SARs don't believe in?

According to your post, SBNRs also seem to be accusing SARs of "some sort of guilt/duty/obligation to live a spiritual life only through weekly attendance." and I think most SARs would be highly offended by the accusation that SARs are only spiritual by weekly attendance.

Paul did teach us to not forsake assembling together and to encourage one another to love and good works. Heb 10:24-25. Is this what SBNR's are finding fault with?

43 posted on 05/05/2013 6:46:58 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

Too many churches today have focused upon the worldly administration or the academics of doctrinal study without the actual spiritual mechanics involved, except by perhaps a handful.

The SAR crowd are easily distracted by a worldly Christian culture. Many who do advance to developing doctrine in their flock, tend to fall into academics rather than education,..teaching the soul, rather than obedience first through faith in Christ during their studies.

The SANR crowd frequently identify most churches as being 95% worldly and Christian culture in a less efficient format than gleaning doctrinal academics from other sources, but miss out on the spiritual benefits God has provided in the assembly of fellow spiritual believers.


44 posted on 05/05/2013 8:15:18 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: DuncanWaring
People who call themselves “spiritual” are atheists who haven’t got the guts to admit they’re atheists.

False.

There are people who seek spirituality, who are not believers, but seek counterfeit substitutes for spiritual fellowship with God.

There also are believers who don't understand spiritual mechanics provided in Scripture, and confuse worldliness and morality with the Christian life.

There also are believers who are spiritual, but don't understand spirituality.

There also are mature believers, who persevere to remain in spiritual fellowship with God through faith in Christ, always praying, and walk the Christian walk. The Christian life is a spiritual life.

45 posted on 05/05/2013 8:20:20 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
"The SANR crowd frequently identify most churches as being 95% worldly and Christian culture in a less efficient format than gleaning doctrinal academics from other sources, but miss out on the spiritual benefits God has provided in the assembly of fellow spiritual believers."

In other words they sit in judgement on the organized churches as being "worldly" and then use that as an excuse not to assemble and learn from other Christians, and not to participate in the local ministry opportunities offered by the organized churches both local and foreign.

Every denomination and every church within that denomination has their own personality. Some are indeed dead, but most are alive and blessing their community and world with a variety of missions.

46 posted on 05/05/2013 9:40:01 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

Paulian vs. ‘Christian’ teachings: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread414820/pg1

And there’s a world of difference between not believing something that some others believe and judging those who don’t so believe as lying, condemned atheists.


47 posted on 05/06/2013 3:45:21 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

SBNR?

Wet but Not Bathing?


48 posted on 05/06/2013 3:47:22 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: DannyTN

Most SANR whom I know, never consider judging other believers, but thirst for true spiritual guidance through faith in Christ.

He provides the best opportunities for ministry, both local and foreign.


49 posted on 05/06/2013 4:15:03 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: vladimir998
Jesus established an organized Church. He gave authority to only a few men.

And they all died, within the first century...

They chose others to help them.

Wrong again...Those helpers were given the necessary gifts by God...God picked 'em...

They developed ways of handling issues which confronted the Church.

And wrong, yet again...God developed the ways of handling the issues and had the first bunch that died write those things in a book we Christians call the bible...

All the earmarks of an organized Church are right there in the New Testament.

Every thing you stated was created by human tradition and has nothing to do with scripture...You are batting '0'...

50 posted on 05/06/2013 8:15:49 AM PDT by Iscool
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