Tag Archives: diversity

Church Shopping tradition & diversity

This isĀ  a response to Pastor Bryans blog where he talks about the negatives of church shopping, namely tradition, beliefs, style, and a lack of diversity. I’ll focus on tradition and diversity.

Tradition creates a feeling of comfort, which in and of itself is fine, but it can also lead to complacency. If one attends church A, because the primary reason is tradition, ie what one’s family has always done for generations, that can leadĀ  to trouble. I look back to my time in Belfast many years ago. Too many times folks said they were protestant or Catholic, because their grandparents were, the theological differences between faiths played a much smaller role than tradition and politics, some did not believe at all, but still used the faith labels. It was a sad deal for sure.

Granted, if one can present Christian witness as to why one attends a church, and include family tradition, its super great. However, one should also be aware of the dangers for those who cannot present a witness of their faith. In many ways, I think upending the generational construct for the most part is a positive thing, as it may lead to further questioning and a deepening of ones faith. If the family church is on the mark, folks will return after a period of time.

As far as the lack of diversity due to church shopping being negative, I wholeheartedly agree. Often times the resulting lack of diversity from transient birds of a feather flocking together makes outreach to the community difficult as cliques began to form. Also too much homogeneity can lead to problems in discipleship. There is less challenge and less conviction outside the scope of a very narrow socio-demographic arena. Otoh, one could also attribute the potential for this to occur in a generationally focused church, unless it has a real heart for outreach and evangelism.

Years back, I remember our adult Sunday school class, a elementary teacher, a truck driver, a janitor, a college professor, and an engineer. It was cool to have such diversity and to learn from one another. And yet, when folks church shop, they often times do not seek out diversity, instead they wish to find like minded people.

The Conservative Argument FOR Net Neutrality

The Conservative Argument FOR Net Neutrality | Christian Coalition of America.

Free markets and traditional values are the twin pillars of conservative thought. Ronald Reagan embodied both of these beliefs, and was a master at promoting both of these ideas. However, Reagan fully understood that a reflexive anti-regulatory, pro-market ideology does not always promote the core values of decency and family that are at the foundation of the conservative movement. He believed these ideas must exist in concert, not one at the expense of the other.

Corporate America has one priority: to maximize profits for their shareholders and executives. This is a noble and worthy goal, and has served our country and society well in terms of allocating resources and goods in a productive and rational way. A rational allocation of resources in a market economy is desirable in many ways, and markets unleashed from regulatory burden is usually a given.

Despite holding views antithetical to the Christian Coallition, they have this one right on the money. Financials as a #1 priority are often at odds with deceny, free speech, and even more so ministry.

If something like net neutrality were to fail… only the big dollar outfits and their associated theology would be allowed to operate under a pay for play model. The last thing we need is internet communications dominated by a focus on the family pov, or on the other side of the coin, perhaps the dominant view would be of a non-Christian religion. Its hard to say, other than as the article states, it would be a windfall for pornographers. Diversity is indeed key, and whether than includes Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist or other faiths, or holds to US evangelical views, or the views of reconciling in Christ ministries, is not the issue, as much that all can have a voice, without having to pay so much to play, they can no longer continue.

Granted, someone running massive pipes of video and distributed servers such as what was done for the Olympic streams will have a much higher outlay, than the 50 member church running a weekly vlog… but that up to a certain level, things best remain neutral so all can participate, and diversity of faith, morality, and life online can continue to grow and prosper.