The American ‘christian atheist’

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The American ‘christian atheist’

#1  Postby Simon_Gardner » Mar 03, 2010 12:45 am


Christian Post wrote:Tue, Mar. 02 2010 06:35 PM EDT

S.C. Pastor Exposes 'Practical Atheists' among Christians

By Lillian Kwon|Christian Post Reporter

Most Americans claim belief in God but many are living as "Christian atheists," according to some pastors.

"I'm sick and tired of the fact that people can attend church for ten to 20 years and never change," said NewSpring Church Senior Pastor Perry Noble.

"Here's the deal: we believe in Jesus enough to get us out of hell but not actually enough to change the way we live and that's a problem in the church," the S.C. pastor said Sunday to his mega-congregation.

Noble launched a new series titled "Practical Atheist," borrowing the term from fellow pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv who preached on a similar series years back and has a book on the subject coming out this month.

Practical atheist, or Christian atheist, is defined as someone who believes in God but lives as if He doesn't exist.

Groeschel calls himself a recovering Christian atheist. He says in The Christian Atheist that "Christian Atheism is a fast-spreading spiritual pandemic which can poison, sicken, and even kill eternally."

In concordance with the well-known LifeChurch.tv pastor, Noble began preaching on the matter on Sunday recognizing that believers may say the right things or look the part but not necessarily live as Christ followers.

Seventy-two percent of Christians claim they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to NewSpring Church, but only 17 percent feel that the local church is necessary for spiritual growth and only one in three Christians believe God expects them to be holy. "Where's the disconnect?" the church poses.

"Jesus Christ didn't just die on the cross so we can just say a prayer and live however we want," said Noble, clad in a gray sweatshirt that says "LOVE." "He died ... so we in turn would give ourselves to him."

The area Noble feels most Christians are practical atheists in is prayer.

"I believe when it comes to prayer most Christians are actually superstitious rather than believers in the supernatural," he pointed out.

The humorous pastor expressed his belief in miracles and healings through prayer, which he acknowledged was possibly a rare belief.

At the same time, he also cautioned that sometimes God says "no" to prayers and sometimes He wants believers to obey and take action rather than just pray about it.

Noble stressed, no matter what happens – whether God says "no" or "yes" – He is still a great and glorious God because "our circumstances do not alter His character."

Practical atheism will be addressed over the course of five weeks at NewSpring. Noble warned that those five weeks will be "the most uncomfortable weeks in church" for Christians.


http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100302/s-c-pastor-exposes-practical-atheists-among-christians/
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Re: The American ‘christian atheist’

#2  Postby Mac_Guffin » Mar 03, 2010 12:48 am

Get 'em from the inside. :plot:
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#3  Postby SpiritualNotReligius » Mar 03, 2010 1:31 am

They don't have to be atheists :) They can easily be cherry pickers. May they multiply!
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#4  Postby Simon_Gardner » Mar 03, 2010 11:35 am

This concept of the American “Christian Atheist” sounds just like the Church of England. Image
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Re: The American ‘christian atheist’

#5  Postby mindyourmind » Mar 03, 2010 2:40 pm

Methinks the pastor made a strategical blunder. It's a short hop and a skip to your pastor calling you and tons of your buddies atheists to you actually thinking "Yeah, that's actually me, and its all right."

Way to water down the boogieman term "atheist", pastor. Jesus will send you a letter soon, cancelling your membership.
So the reason why God created the universe, including millions of years of human and animal suffering, and the extinction of entire species, is so that some humans who have passed his test can be with him forever. I see.
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#6  Postby babel » Mar 03, 2010 2:52 pm

I think he should listen to genesis when they sing, do as I say, don't do as I do. If anyone, the tele evangelist can be partly blamed for this concept.
Milton Jones: "Just bought a broken second hand time machine - plan to fix it, have lots of adventures then go back and not buy it, he he idiots.."
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#7  Postby Goldenmane » Mar 03, 2010 2:59 pm

So... we have a LARPer complaining that not enough of his flock spend their lives dressed as elves and attempting to combat the might of Mordor?

Seriously, that's what this comes down to.
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Re: The American ‘christian atheist’

#8  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 03, 2010 3:01 pm

I think he's right though. Dan Dennett has been saying this for ages. Belief in belief, rather than genuine belief. Along with social pressures to express a religious faith.

It's interesting that the UK is exactly opposite to America in that the average religious believer is more prosperous than the average non-believer. I think it's part of the middle-class identity that people want for themselves, along with organic olive oil, a Smeg fridge and free range, fair trade, hybrid, cashmere sweaters.
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#9  Postby lordshipmayhem » Mar 03, 2010 3:20 pm

"I believe when it comes to prayer most Christians are actually superstitious rather than believers in the supernatural," he pointed out.


And the difference is??? :scratch:
"It is not science that is arrogant: science can be defined as ‘humility before the facts’ — it is those who refuse to submit to testing and make unsubstantiated claims that are arrogant. Arrogant and unjust." - Stephen Fry
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Re: The American ‘christian atheist’

#10  Postby tytalus » Mar 03, 2010 6:21 pm

It is always a source of amusement for me to be told of these 'spiritual pandemics' and being spiritually 'sick' or 'dead' when no symptoms can be identified. But this is just a preamble for getting more involved in church work...volunteering time, energy, and of course cash.

Faith vs. works paradox, good luck pastor! Your bible will be of no help there.
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