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Sat Aug 11, 2018, 06:22 PM

Losing Faith: Why South Carolina is abandoning its churches

South Carolina churches are shedding thousands of members a year, even as the state’s population grows by tens of thousands.

In the place we call the Bible Belt, where generations have hung their hats on their church-going nature and faithful traditions, an increasing trend of shrinking church attendance — and increasing church closings — signal a fundamental culture shift in South Carolina.

At least 97 Protestant churches across South Carolina have closed since 2011, according to data from the Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist and Southern Baptist denominations. An untold number of other closings, certainly, are not captured by these statistics.

Many churches are dying slow deaths, stuck in stagnation if not decline. And if they don’t do something, in the near future, they’ll share the fate of Cedar Creek United Methodist, a 274-year-old Richland County congregation that dissolved last year; Resurrection Lutheran, a church near downtown Columbia that will hold its last service on Sept. 2; and the dozens of churches that sit shuttered and empty around the state.


https://www.thestate.com/news/local/article215014375.html

There may be hope for the South after all.

15 replies, 2748 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Losing Faith: Why South Carolina is abandoning its churches (Original post)
Pope George Ringo II Aug 2018 OP
democratisphere Aug 2018 #1
Pope George Ringo II Aug 2018 #2
democratisphere Aug 2018 #3
Mariana Aug 2018 #11
ghostsinthemachine Aug 2018 #4
guillaumeb Aug 2018 #5
MineralMan Aug 2018 #7
guillaumeb Aug 2018 #8
Major Nikon Aug 2018 #10
MineralMan Aug 2018 #14
marylandblue Aug 2018 #12
msongs Aug 2018 #6
Igel Aug 2018 #9
keithbvadu2 Aug 2018 #13
Pope George Ringo II Aug 2018 #15

Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 06:26 PM

1. It may take a few generations to purge the stranglehold.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 06:28 PM

2. They're not all going gently, but it's a positive trend.

And looking at the photos in that article, I also couldn't help but be reminded that very few places in America are as segregated as churches.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 06:31 PM

3. Wonder if God and Jesus were racists?!

I think and hope we already know the answer to that!

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 11:56 PM

11. We do. The answer is Yes.

Consider what happened when someone of the wrong ethnicity approached Jesus. How did Jesus and his disciples treat the Canaanite woman who asked for his help, and what did Jesus say to her? He finally helped her child, but only after she groveled enough to satisfy him, and agreed with his characterization of her as a dog begging for scraps.

Matthew 15 : 21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 06:53 PM

4. My relatives are bible thumpers in SC

They are doctors, University Presidents, Intellectuals all, but still go to church and are generally very religious. Very progressive too, politically. Ill have to ask them about this.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 06:54 PM

5. Number 1 million, 980 thousand in the series of

"religion is dying out" posts that we see so much of here.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 08:16 PM

7. Hyperbolic exaggeration.

As opposed to a well-researched article in a major South Carolina newspaper. Did you read it?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 09:12 PM

8. I have read many such articles.

And each such apocalyptic article eventually is forgotten, to be replaced at a later date with another.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 10:40 PM

10. Except this one, obviously

Which doesn't say what you claim, but that didn't seem to stop you from your trademark tendency of contributing nothing meaningful to the discussion.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 12, 2018, 09:45 AM

14. Did you read the one linked to in this OP?

That was my question. Had you, you'd understand why I asked the question.

Further, it's an article from a newspaper, and appears to be carefully researched. You frequently post articles from religionnews.com, and sometimes chide DUers for not reading the article at the link.

I do read most linked articles. I often find that what is in the OP has little to do with the content and intent of the original article. It's very informative.

Frankly, if you have nothing to say about the issues raised in an OP, and won't read the underlying source, I wonder why you bother to comment at all during your infrequent visits to the Religion Group these days.

I'm just curious, you see.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 11:59 PM

12. Yes, it's a long slow decline, so of course there will be articles along the way

Like the decline of manufacturing. I read my first article about loss of manufacturing jobs in the late 1970s. And here we are with many fewer manufacturing jobs, still losing and still have articles chronicling the losses.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 07:20 PM

6. are ppl joining jesus wants u to be rich scam churches like joel's?

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Response to msongs (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 09:23 PM

9. Not so much.

Even the more strict non-mainline denominations have flatlined.

What's humorous is the assumption that minus religion all's swell. There have been a number of atheist states. I'd rather live in Spain in the 1500s than in most of those--at least you knew the rules and how to circumvent them with a high chance of success. The Inquisition was the opening act for some atheist states' repression, and some made Hitler look like an amateur.

(Of course, what they have in mind is *their* version of atheism and its application and how *they'd* run the state. As a hypothetical. Even if in real life things aren't quite so idealistic. Which gets us back to the problem of religions, which tend to be highly idealistic. Even if real life things aren't quite so idealistic. At least some religions like the idea of humility. Even if it's an idea. And in real life things aren't quite so idealistic.)

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sun Aug 12, 2018, 12:30 AM

13. Perhaps church attendance would not be declining if 'witnessing' for their faith did not include pro

Perhaps church attendance would not be declining if 'witnessing' for their faith did not include protecting pedophile priests, supporting sexual predators like Trump and using the faith to gain riches.

But did include "love thy neighbor" more than 'begrudge thy neighbor'.
-----------------

Judas was an early modern day conservative disciple.

Judas got 30 pieces of silver, but just once, for selling Christ.

Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker and their ilk get millions of dollars repeatedly for selling Christ.

Judas was a fool for doing a one-time sale.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 12, 2018, 11:05 AM

15. They're certainly trying to adapt in an effort to remain relevant.

That's actually a fair bit of the article. Still, at least the raw numbers are moving in the right direction.

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