Poor Economic Times = Full Churches

evangelical-churches-fill-up-halleluja

A recent article from the International Herald Tribune on the increase in church attendance that coincides with the economic troubles:

The sudden crush of worshipers packing the small evangelical Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset, New York – a Long Island town of yacht clubs and hedge fund managers – forced the pastor to set up an overflow room with closed-circuit TV and 100 folding chairs, which have been filled for six consecutive Sundays.

In Seattle, the Mars Hill Church, one of the fastest-growing evangelical churches in the country, grew to 7,000 members this fall, up 1,000 in a year. At the Life Christian Church in West Orange, New Jersey, prayer requests have doubled – almost all of them aimed at getting or keeping jobs.

This reminds me of the Pew survey which linked wealth to religiosity. We may be sliding up and to the left on that curve.

Can I get an Amen ?

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Are those the “troops” in the photo? Holy $%^& I’m gettin outta here!

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Are those the “troops” in the photo? Holy $%^& I’m gettin outta here!

  • Darz

    [quote comment=""]A recent spot check of some large Roman Catholic parishes and mainline Protestant churches around the nation indicated attendance increases there, too. But they were nowhere near as striking as those reported by congregations describing themselves as evangelical, a term generally applied to churches that stress the literal authority of Scripture and the importance of personal conversion, or being “born again.”[/quote]

    It is unfortunate that people are flocking to churches that promote fundamentalism and Bible literalism. These churches are regressing instead of progressing…*sigh*

  • Darz

    [quote comment=""]A recent spot check of some large Roman Catholic parishes and mainline Protestant churches around the nation indicated attendance increases there, too. But they were nowhere near as striking as those reported by congregations describing themselves as evangelical, a term generally applied to churches that stress the literal authority of Scripture and the importance of personal conversion, or being “born again.”[/quote]

    It is unfortunate that people are flocking to churches that promote fundamentalism and Bible literalism. These churches are regressing instead of progressing…*sigh*

  • ep

    Baquia &all,

    No one that has studied, or experienced, evangelical culture would be surprised. It affirms a traditional sense of community, and as such is a comfort for people that are scared about the instability of a complex social system. Reverting to the protestant work ethic, seeking atonement and redemption is perfectly natural for the people that made lots of money in boom times and are culturally wired to believe in (so called) “entrepreneurial” values.

    We are in uncharted territory. No one knows if the “experts” can put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. An even more unsettling thought: what if the experts don’t succeed? History offers few kind lessons.

    These people are starting to realize that they were hoodwinked by the neocons (Rove), and do not trust the left to provide any good answers. Going back to the only model, or physical facility, of communal support is obvious. Psychotherapists and liberal social workers can’t provide the comfort or “answers” that these folks seek.

    Chaging topics a bit: in the linked blog item on economics, which links poverty and religiosity, you ask about a “third way”.

    Various speculations about a “third way” (other than “right/left” or “conservative/liberal”) have been around a long time.

    It has been a big part of post-counterculture theorizing since at least the 70s – people were looking for “something better” than the failed ideologies of right and left, bohemian vs. bourgeois, etc.

    Tony Blair made “3rd-way” thinking famous in the 80s/90s. Anthony Giddens, London School of Economics. And the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh:

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6224

    | As we talked now, I became even more aware than before that this
    | brilliant economist had beaten Clinton and Blair to the third way
    | back in 1991, and that he is determined to use capitalism’s energy
    | to improve the prospects of India’s poor. “We are centre left,” he
    | said. “But we are stealing the clothes of the centre right.

    One “Boomer” claim to a 3rd-way perspective is that of Paul Ray, who wrote about “Cultural Creatives”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Creative

    (Amongst other things, Ray has been associated with the Noetic Institute, a small but prominent california new age think tank, http://www.noetic.org , that does good work on human potential and spiritual transformation, social change theory and practice, and so forth – a vast improvement over what goes on in the bahai community.)

    Ken Wilber, and some of the Spiral Dynamics people that adopted integralism (who promoted the “mean green meme” argument), have said that Paul Ray’s perspective was confused and lacked scientific rigor, and that a more realistic approach was necessary.

    (asking for a “realistic” approach and scientific rigor apparently makes Wilber and the SDi people “neocons” in some people’s minds.)

    Jean Gebser, pioneer of integral thought, wrote on the issue from a Jungian perspective in the 1940s (similar to Sri Aurobindo).

    The opening rebuttal from the Wilberian-integralist camp:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    excerpt:

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In other words, that modest 2% of the population that is now integral might soon swell to 5%, 10%, or more. I believe that, as with any evolutionary unfolding, we will especially start to see evidence of this increasingly integral consciousness at the growing tip, or at the leading edge, or in the avant garde (by whatever appellation)–in academia, the arts, social movements, spirituality, thought leaders. “Integral theories”–or attempts at such–are already starting to emerge across the board in academia, especially as the leading-edge theorists continue to throw off the yoke of extreme postmodern pluralism (and the green meme) and start finding not just the incommensurabilities but the integral commonalities of cultures. There seems to be little doubt that in so many ways the growing tip is reaching toward the integral light….

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    This is exactly why, I believe, Jeffrey Alexander, America’s most gifted and influential social theorist (and, I might add, brother of the late Skip Alexander, one of the finest theoreticians of consciousness this country has ever produced), found three major movements in modern social theory: functionalism, microsociology, and synthesis.

    —end—

  • ep

    Baquia &all,

    No one that has studied, or experienced, evangelical culture would be surprised. It affirms a traditional sense of community, and as such is a comfort for people that are scared about the instability of a complex social system. Reverting to the protestant work ethic, seeking atonement and redemption is perfectly natural for the people that made lots of money in boom times and are culturally wired to believe in (so called) “entrepreneurial” values.

    We are in uncharted territory. No one knows if the “experts” can put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. An even more unsettling thought: what if the experts don’t succeed? History offers few kind lessons.

    These people are starting to realize that they were hoodwinked by the neocons (Rove), and do not trust the left to provide any good answers. Going back to the only model, or physical facility, of communal support is obvious. Psychotherapists and liberal social workers can’t provide the comfort or “answers” that these folks seek.

    Chaging topics a bit: in the linked blog item on economics, which links poverty and religiosity, you ask about a “third way”.

    Various speculations about a “third way” (other than “right/left” or “conservative/liberal”) have been around a long time.

    It has been a big part of post-counterculture theorizing since at least the 70s – people were looking for “something better” than the failed ideologies of right and left, bohemian vs. bourgeois, etc.

    Tony Blair made “3rd-way” thinking famous in the 80s/90s. Anthony Giddens, London School of Economics. And the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh:

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6224

    | As we talked now, I became even more aware than before that this
    | brilliant economist had beaten Clinton and Blair to the third way
    | back in 1991, and that he is determined to use capitalism’s energy
    | to improve the prospects of India’s poor. “We are centre left,” he
    | said. “But we are stealing the clothes of the centre right.

    One “Boomer” claim to a 3rd-way perspective is that of Paul Ray, who wrote about “Cultural Creatives”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Creative

    (Amongst other things, Ray has been associated with the Noetic Institute, a small but prominent california new age think tank, http://www.noetic.org , that does good work on human potential and spiritual transformation, social change theory and practice, and so forth – a vast improvement over what goes on in the bahai community.)

    Ken Wilber, and some of the Spiral Dynamics people that adopted integralism (who promoted the “mean green meme” argument), have said that Paul Ray’s perspective was confused and lacked scientific rigor, and that a more realistic approach was necessary.

    (asking for a “realistic” approach and scientific rigor apparently makes Wilber and the SDi people “neocons” in some people’s minds.)

    Jean Gebser, pioneer of integral thought, wrote on the issue from a Jungian perspective in the 1940s (similar to Sri Aurobindo).

    The opening rebuttal from the Wilberian-integralist camp:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    excerpt:

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In other words, that modest 2% of the population that is now integral might soon swell to 5%, 10%, or more. I believe that, as with any evolutionary unfolding, we will especially start to see evidence of this increasingly integral consciousness at the growing tip, or at the leading edge, or in the avant garde (by whatever appellation)–in academia, the arts, social movements, spirituality, thought leaders. “Integral theories”–or attempts at such–are already starting to emerge across the board in academia, especially as the leading-edge theorists continue to throw off the yoke of extreme postmodern pluralism (and the green meme) and start finding not just the incommensurabilities but the integral commonalities of cultures. There seems to be little doubt that in so many ways the growing tip is reaching toward the integral light….

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    This is exactly why, I believe, Jeffrey Alexander, America’s most gifted and influential social theorist (and, I might add, brother of the late Skip Alexander, one of the finest theoreticians of consciousness this country has ever produced), found three major movements in modern social theory: functionalism, microsociology, and synthesis.

    —end—

  • ep

    Graphical representation of the Spiral Dynamics-integral (SDi) “AQAL” model:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/slark/44612365/sizes/o/

    Please contrast this developmental model with “progressive revelation”.

    Which one is more consistent with evolutionary theory?

  • ep

    Graphical representation of the Spiral Dynamics-integral (SDi) “AQAL” model:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/slark/44612365/sizes/o/

    Please contrast this developmental model with “progressive revelation”.

    Which one is more consistent with evolutionary theory?

  • ep

    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/14h.htm

    excerpt:

    His Holiness [Dali Lama] seemed to focus marvelously when in response to a question from the audience about how wealthy people and countries could find spirituality, he replied (again, I think, with a mischievous smile) that Buddhism, with its orientation toward comfortable situations, found it easier for rich people to be spiritual than poor ones! Tenzin Gyatso also tossed another bitter herb into the pot for those romantic souls who expected a continuous sweet presence in their lives from imported religious teaching which they felt lacking in their own, [saying, "Better not take someone else’s religion, plenty wisdom in your own."] The Dalai Lama said at another juncture, as if talking to himself, that religion was not for every day; religion was for times of pain. As I recall, his exact words were, “Religion something like medicine, when no pain no need medicine; same thing religion.”

  • ep

    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/14h.htm

    excerpt:

    His Holiness [Dali Lama] seemed to focus marvelously when in response to a question from the audience about how wealthy people and countries could find spirituality, he replied (again, I think, with a mischievous smile) that Buddhism, with its orientation toward comfortable situations, found it easier for rich people to be spiritual than poor ones! Tenzin Gyatso also tossed another bitter herb into the pot for those romantic souls who expected a continuous sweet presence in their lives from imported religious teaching which they felt lacking in their own, [saying, "Better not take someone else’s religion, plenty wisdom in your own."] The Dalai Lama said at another juncture, as if talking to himself, that religion was not for every day; religion was for times of pain. As I recall, his exact words were, “Religion something like medicine, when no pain no need medicine; same thing religion.”

  • Baquia

    Gallup disagrees.

    This comparison of 'religiousity' is also interesting. Iranian's are about as religious as folks in Alabama.

  • Baquia

    Gallup disagrees.

    This comparison of 'religiousity' is also interesting. Iranian's are about as religious as folks in Alabama.