The decline of the church in the 21st Century

 I rarely talk about the topic of atheism these days, I think by and large, it is because the community that was born from it is now more associated with the Ben Shapiro's of the world and the words "Facts and Logic" are used to attempt to harm marginalized groups rather then providing any real usefulness. Looking back on things, I suppose that atheism was always a bit of a movement of provocation and fighting the narrative of society rather then any meaningful attempt to provide people with better options.

Now though as churches quickly find that the youth of today have little to no interest in the church, I can't help but wonder if they realize how it was that in a generation they managed to lose their congregations. It's no secret that the Church has been behind some of the more vile campaigns against LGBT and generally progressive ideologies, but not all churches tended towards that sort of conservative ideology. Among the poor Irish of the US, the Catholic church tended more progressive then it's European counterpart because the people which comprised the church were so. So I'm hard pressed to believe it's conservative ideology alone

A church could simply reform itself in a more progressive light and take different stances if it wished to survive. Instead though, it is if the church is doubling down on debunked arguments and theories that are disprovable in a world wide medium like the internet. We know that the English translations of the bible (or ease of translation I suppose) are largely responsible for the reforms that took place in the late 15th century with individuals like Martin Luther starting to expose the corrupt foundations which supported the catholic church of the time

As such if it were simply a matter of changing public opinion I have no doubt that institutions as old as the church would simply adapt as they always have to fit the common narrative. Instead I suspect the key to the collapse of the church especially in this generation may have less to do with the religious doctrine and more to do with the functionality of a church within society. Church's often acted as far more then places of worship, they were gathering points and areas to meet others of like minded persuasions. 

In a world of social media, dating apps, message boards, and more; however, that sort of thing is no longer required. The traditional community stables of old have begun to collapse into disuse, and rather then adapting or updating the religious doctrine for the new age it was as if the church by and large chose to sink in, attempting to hold on to the last roots of their power in society. 

I think it's hard to ignore the political capital and money the church accumulated in the United States over the past 50 year's especially, and now more then ever it's struggling to attempt to hold on to that power. Anyway, this was all inspired by an interesting little video: 

The truth is that the religious dogma was never all that convincing to begin with. Biblical creation stories and fantastical claims were all viewed as rather secondary to the simple need to have a common shared belief and act as a community. Instead the church seems to view those religious dogmas as the things in need of some sort of protection or reassurance, ignoring I think that most people never really cared for the creation story or the story of Noah and his arc, I would think it was apparent to most that they were intended to serve as parables rather then realities. 

The church's insistence on the text of the letter rather then the meaning have dragged it further away from adaption to modern times. Were the church adapting as it normally does I would expect it to be one of the major social media sites in competition with Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook. Instead it has allowed itself to become so distracted by it's own set of lies and fanciful tales in an attempt to retain power that it has largely lost track of how to act as a church and not simply a collection of religious doctrines. 

That isn't to say all churches haven't figure out that the jig is up on the old ways, I have to hand it to the Mormon church which appears to have adapted quite swiftly and realized no one gives a single shit what John Smith dug up in his backyard and instead the focus must instead remain on a community and some form of gathering. 

And Islam seems to have also realized (or I should say certain sects of Islam, just like Christianity, lumping this all in one bucket is a horrific mistake), letting religion serve as the backdrop for a rallying cry to defend against western imperialism. One could of course argue this use of religion is... less then stellar in the long term, but there's no arguing that it does indeed seem to work. 

The church much like any form of government must adapt to survive and I think right now we are seeing a mass death of a number of enties that relied on restricted communication to survive. Deprived of their ability to serve as the communications hub for a city or town they stand as little more then gravestone markers of a now bygone era. 

So... what has killed the church? I don't think it's to bold to say the message board. Should have hopped on that PHPBB3 bandwagon when you had the chance, that's all I'm saying. 


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