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Author Topic: Why do more liberal churches tend to be the most ritual-driven and traditional?  (Read 2096 times)
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« on: December 02, 2011, 12:13:32 pm »
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I've always find it kind of ironic, and rather frustrating that the most progressive churches that are the ones constantly condemned as heretics by the fundies also tend to be really traditional, full of a lot of mechanical rituals, won't play music past the 19th century and people would think you're crazy if you so much as put your hands in the air. Of course these are also the ones where people are more likely to dress up as well (though at least I'm sure if I went they wouldn't deny me entry or throw me out for wearing a T-shirt and jeans like might happen at some Southern Baptist or rural Pentecostal church.) Someone giving a pro-gay marriage sermon is far more likely to be wearing one of those pastoral robes than jeans. It seems that if anything this should be a very conservative attitude. And most of the churches that aren't "conservative" in that way at all still tend to be very fundie and conservative otherwise. Most new evangelical churches don't care how you dress either, at least outside the south.

What's frustrating is that while there are unsurprisingly still plenty of churches that are "conservative" in both areas including entirety of the Catholic Church, very casual, unritualistic and charismatic liberal churches are extremely rare and the "generally progressive but neutral on gay marriage and still regarded by some people here as insane holy rollers" one I'm going to now is the closest one I've found in those regards. It all strikes me as very ironic. Anyone have any ideas as to why?
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2011, 12:43:57 pm »
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How is it ironic? Most people's politics (and most priest's theology!) aren't driven by their dress sense.
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2011, 12:44:47 pm »
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This phenomenon stretches back at least to the 1920s, as noted by Mencken in The American Mercury:

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The older type of Low Churchman holds that about all that separates him from, say, the Methodists or the Presbyterians is the matter of church and government and the method of worship. The rule of faith is the Bible interpreted about as sound as a Presbyterian would interpret it. The main doctrines are those of the Apostles' Creed, and the Sacraments are the Lord's Supper and Baptism.... The line between the Low and Broad churches is becoming fainter and fainter from year to year, so that the Low clergy of the new generation are wont to call themselves liberal evangelicals. That is, they are no longer Protestants "of the Bible and the Bible only" variety. The higher criticism of the Bible as well as the opinions of the scientists are given much credit by them. As time goes on it would be not at all surprising if there were really only two general classes of Episcopalians: High Churchmen and modernists...

The Episcopal Church, like the Democratic Party, has a solid South in that the predominating style of belief south of Mason and Dixon's line is of the evangelical variety. But even here the ninety odd years since Keble fired the first gun in the Oxford movement have seen some great changes. While thought among the padres has tended to become more liberal, the ritual has become of a type that a half century ago would have been called Romish. The faculty of the Virginia Seminary no longer lays hats, coats and gloves in the baptismal font when it comes in for morning service. Altars have replaced tables in practically every Episcopal church in the United States. Crosses, vested choirs and even mass candles are not uncommon in the once sacred precincts of Protestantism.
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 12:49:13 pm »
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Someone giving a pro-gay marriage sermon is far more likely to be wearing one of those pastoral robes than jeans...It all strikes me as very ironic. Anyone have any ideas as to why?

because in order to buy into a pro-gay marriage sermon, you have to have your head up your butt and be following the teachings of men instead of the teachings of the bible...therefore, the pro-gay message is more likely to be found in ritual-driven churches.  duh!

anyone serious about not playing games with scripture isn't going to accept homosexuality.  because, as the scriptural debates over the last 10 years on this forum have shown, you have to be a nearly-complete*** scriptural hack to believe homosexuality meshes with the bible.

***unlike a total complete scriptural hack like you
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 12:50:40 pm »
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***unlike a total complete scriptural hack like you

I'm glad you chimed in. Now I get to use another favorite Mencken quote of mine:

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The fundamentalist mind, running in a single rut for fifty years, is now quite unable to comprehend dissent from its basic superstitions, or to grant any common honesty, or even any decency, to those who reject them
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2011, 12:53:09 pm »
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How is it ironic? Most people's politics (and most priest's theology!) aren't driven by their dress sense.

Addendum: Happy Clappy churches are absolutely and utterly ritual-driven, almost to the extent that really OTT forms of High Church Anglo-Catholic churches can be (and they're more Catholic than the Catholics). It's just that their rituals are new.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2011, 12:54:40 pm »
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***unlike a total complete scriptural hack like you

I'm glad you chimed in. Now I get to use another favorite Mencken quote of mine:

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The fundamentalist mind, running in a single rut for fifty years, is now quite unable to comprehend dissent from its basic superstitions, or to grant any common honesty, or even any decency, to those who reject them

if you're dissin faith, then you're probably in the wrong thread, if not the wrong board...but, if you're wanting to show that homosexuality meshes with scripture, then please enlighten this thread with your vast scriptural knowledge.
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 12:55:26 pm »
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***unlike a total complete scriptural hack like you

I'm glad you chimed in. Now I get to use another favorite Mencken quote of mine:

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The fundamentalist mind, running in a single rut for fifty years, is now quite unable to comprehend dissent from its basic superstitions, or to grant any common honesty, or even any decency, to those who reject them

if you're dissin faith, then you're probably in the wrong thread, if not the wrong board...but, if you're wanting to show that homosexuality meshes with scripture, then please enlighten the this thread with your vast scriptural knowledge.

I don't care about your Scripture. I was simply posting to show that Mencken was right and ought to be read even today - religiously.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 12:56:05 pm »
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How is it ironic? Most people's politics (and most priest's theology!) aren't driven by their dress sense.

Addendum: Happy Clappy churches are absolutely and utterly ritual-driven, almost to the extent that really OTT forms of High Church Anglo-Catholic churches can be (and they're more Catholic than the Catholics). It's just that their rituals are new.

what is an example of a happy clappy church?
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 12:56:07 pm »
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Judaism seems to work the opposite way...Reform congregations don't care if you're covering your head or wearing a tallit and are far more likely to feature musical accompaniment by some hippie guitarist, inserts into the liturgy altering all the prayers to be gender-neutral, and finishing by setting Adon Olam to some sixties protest anthem.  Which is a shame, because the awe-inspiring "traditional" early nineteenth century Chasidic arrangements of Hebrew prayers are pretty much universally better than Debbie Friedman folk-inspired nonsense.
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2011, 12:58:05 pm »
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...Oops.  I didn't realize that Debbie Friedman recently passed away.  Sorry for calling your music "folk-inspired nonsense" and complaining that its influence has destroyed the beauty of Hebrew prayer!
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2011, 12:58:44 pm »
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I don't care about your Scripture.

obviously, I'm not shocked that you have nothing to add to this thread, whose subject is the difference between Christian congregations.

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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2011, 12:59:50 pm »
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I don't care about your Scripture.

obviously, I'm not shocked that you have nothing to add to this thread, whose subject is the difference between Christian congregations.



But I did. I posted evidence that this phenomenon (the 'Catholicization' of mainline groups) has been on-going since, at least, 1926, and was noticeable to someone as far removed from the milieu as Mencken. Which is a far more valuable contribution than your post, might I add.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2011, 01:48:39 pm »
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But I did. I posted evidence that this phenomenon (the 'Catholicization' of mainline groups) has been on-going since, at least, 1926, and was noticeable to someone as far removed from the milieu as Mencken. Which is a far more valuable contribution than your post, might I add.

[jmfcst finally reads Stardust's original post]

my apologies...but, perhaps your answer was a tad too high brow for me...  Wink

in any case, Menchen seems to only be pointing out that departure from the scripture leads to liberalism:

Quote
they are no longer Protestants "of the Bible and the Bible only" variety

which is the exact same thing I said:

because in order to buy into a pro-gay marriage sermon, you have to have your head up your butt and be following the teachings of men instead of the teachings of the bible...therefore, the pro-gay message is more likely to be found in ritual-driven churches.  duh!

anyone serious about not playing games with scripture isn't going to accept homosexuality.  because, as the scriptural debates over the last 10 years on this forum have shown, you have to be a nearly-complete scriptural hack to believe homosexuality meshes with the bible.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2011, 01:52:15 pm »
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in any case, Menchen seems to only be pointing out that departure from the scripture leads to liberalism:

Mencken, my man. Mencken.

And yeah, sola scriptura is a minority position among a vast majority of Christians, be they liberal High Churchers or arch-conservative Catholic Traditionalists.
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2011, 01:57:52 pm »
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in any case, Menchen seems to only be pointing out that departure from the scripture leads to liberalism:

Mencken, my man. Mencken.

whatever, but you have to admit the guy's snobbery is very thick
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2011, 01:59:10 pm »
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in any case, Menchen seems to only be pointing out that departure from the scripture leads to liberalism:

Mencken, my man. Mencken.

whatever, but you have to admit the guy's snobbery is very thick

That's part of his charm. Where the jmfcsts believe that false modesty is a virtue, I hold that true arrogance is the hallmark of an authentic man.
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2011, 02:06:27 pm »
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That's part of his charm. Where the jmfcsts believe that false modesty is a virtue, I hold that true arrogance is the hallmark of an authentic man.

doubt many posters here would consider me modest enough to even have a shot at being falsely modest.   Tongue

though I have my flaws with arrogance, I do believe my theology and doctrine are modest (not extreme)...I mean, after all, reading the bible and concluding homosexuality is OK is extremely extreme given all the evidence within scripture against it.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2011, 02:09:24 pm »
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That's part of his charm. Where the jmfcsts believe that false modesty is a virtue, I hold that true arrogance is the hallmark of an authentic man.

doubt many posters here would consider me modest enough to even have a shot at being falsely modest.   Tongue

though I have my flaws with arrogance, I do believe my theology and doctrine are modest (not extreme)...I mean, after all, reading the bible and concluding homosexuality is OK is extremely extreme given all the evidence within scripture against it.

It's not your arrogance you have a problem with. It's the arrogance of everyone else, particularly out-of-touch liberals. I'd have been more inclined to vote Obama had he made more "bitter" comments.
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2011, 02:14:50 pm »
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It's not your arrogance you have a problem with. It's the arrogance of everyone else, particularly out-of-touch liberals.

no, rather I have a problem with their lack of logic - if you're going to be a Christian, how in the heck does one think it is logically consistent to pick and choose which statements from the NT you want to ignore and which ones you want to try to follow?

I understand the temptation to do so, but to me, buying into it goes against all logic and common sense
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2011, 02:17:30 pm »
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It's not your arrogance you have a problem with. It's the arrogance of everyone else, particularly out-of-touch liberals.

no, rather I have a problem with their lack of logic - if you're going to be a Christian, how in the heck does one think it is logically consistent to pick and choose which statements from the NT you want to ignore and which ones you want to try to follow?

You've picked and chose yourself to interpret the Bible literally. Sola scriptura is pretty well unjustifiable Biblically.

Now, I know that you're going to want to quote Revelation 22:18 at me, and you may do so to your heart's content.

(Of course, I think we'd find common ground if we agreed that we both hate liberal Christians. I don't actually have a dog in this hunt, as I reject 'Scripture' altogether.)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 02:19:30 pm by Stardust »Logged

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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2011, 02:33:07 pm »
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You've picked and chose yourself to interpret the Bible literally.

did Jesus and the Apostles interpret scripture literally?

---

Sola scriptura is pretty well unjustifiable Biblically.

really, how so?
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Stardust
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2011, 02:33:39 pm »
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You've picked and chose yourself to interpret the Bible literally. Sola scriptura is pretty well unjustifiable Biblically.

really, how so?

Because it's literally not in the Bible.
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Were we forewarned?
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Labor of hate
Who are we fooling?
What are we doing?

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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2011, 02:34:28 pm »
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dude, you're too quick, I revised my post.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Stardust
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2011, 02:36:01 pm »
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did Jesus and the Apostles interpret scripture literally?

That's an extremely vague question, considering none of them left behind any hint of an organized epistemology.
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Were we forewarned?
Force it to break
Labor of hate
Who are we fooling?
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