POLITICS AS A NOBLE CALLING SELF EXPRESSION 1
A GENERATION OF SELF EXPRESSION• Ralph Reed the youngest executive director of the Christian Coalition, a political group...
SHIFTING ALIGNMENT OF CHURCHES• The mainstream denominations were heavily impacted during this age of the expressive self...
AGE OF SELF• The most shocking feature of the Age of self was the growing number of Americans who accepted the designati...
THE RISE OF THE AGE OF SELF• How did the Age of Self arise? Two developments stand out: 1. The popular acceptance of psyc...
TELEVISION’S IMPACT• Television was a new popular medium designed to appeal primarily to feelings. Television has led to...
DIVIDED NATION• Traditionalists: looked at America with the easement of divorce laws, the legalization of abortion, the ...
THE RISE OF THE NEW RELIGIOUS RIGHT• Christians responded to the cultural shift in two ways: some chose t...
RISE OF THE MEGACHURCH• These large churches grew, at least in part because they shed the negative image of denominationa...
THE PRIVATE LIFE• In the world of private choices Americans were slow to discover how many people were desperately lonel...
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Politics as a noble calling church history ii lesson 7

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Spiritual      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Politics as a noble calling church history ii lesson 7

  • 1. POLITICS AS A NOBLE CALLING SELF EXPRESSION 1
  • 2. A GENERATION OF SELF EXPRESSION• Ralph Reed the youngest executive director of the Christian Coalition, a political group founded by Pat Robertson, is illustrative of the rise of the Religious Right to political power in the United States.• By 1990 it was clear to Ralph Reed that in three short decades America had experienced nothing less than a psychological revolution. Public education and popular culture had turned from the traditional religious vision of morality and had embraced the new morality of self- expression rather than the inherited ethic of self- denial, rooted in the teaching of the Bible. The slogans of the 70’s and 80’s “You must be yourself”, “Let it all hang out.” 2
  • 3. SHIFTING ALIGNMENT OF CHURCHES• The mainstream denominations were heavily impacted during this age of the expressive self. Their numbers dwindled, because people perceived them as symbols of the old, established but irrelevant past. Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Lutheran bodies, all looked to the federal government as a guarantor of the inalienable rights of the expressive self.• In sharp contrast conservative Protestants, including evangelical, fundamentalist, charismatic, and Pentecostal church groups were in general flourishing. They reflected the imprint of the “Age of Self”, they retained their faith in the life above and preached it. 3
  • 4. AGE OF SELF• The most shocking feature of the Age of self was the growing number of Americans who accepted the designation “no religious preference.” By 1980, 61 million Americans had no church affiliation. By 1990s over 78 million were so called “believers but not belongers.”• This spreading secular mindset created problems for evangelism and growth of the American churches. Millions concocted their own recipes of religion they picked up from the spiritual super market as a quick fix for morality. 4
  • 5. THE RISE OF THE AGE OF SELF• How did the Age of Self arise? Two developments stand out: 1. The popular acceptance of psychology. 2. The pervasive use of television.• As early as 1959, social critics Philip Rieff surveyed the cultural landscape and discovered that its symbolic center was no longer the church building or the legislative hall but the hospital.• During boomer years (1946-1964) ethic self denial, including concepts of duty, postponed gratification, and self restraint, were no longer virtues. The liberation ideal had caused self expressive Americans to treat every commitment from marriage and work to politics and religion not as moral obligations, but as mere instruments of personal happiness. 5
  • 6. TELEVISION’S IMPACT• Television was a new popular medium designed to appeal primarily to feelings. Television has led to a decline in the image and prestige of political leaders, it has demystified adults for children, and demystified men and women for each other.• Television fed the demand that all information whatever its source or form be accessible to the average person. Leaders in business, politics, and religion were force to espouse a public commitment to “openness” in order to appear trustworthy. Once authorities in the society gave away their information, the more their status dissolved. The consumer became king. 6
  • 7. DIVIDED NATION• Traditionalists: looked at America with the easement of divorce laws, the legalization of abortion, the ending of censorship, and homosexuality as moral decadence, social degeneration, and national decline. Traditionalists argued it is “the truth” that sets men and women free, the truth handed down in Judeo-Christian traditions, beliefs, and books.• Liberationists: looked at America and saw easy divorce, abortion, the ending of censorship, and homosexuality as advances for human freedom and dignity. Men and women can now create their own moral code. Whatever is legal is your business, just do it. 7
  • 8. THE RISE OF THE NEW RELIGIOUS RIGHT• Christians responded to the cultural shift in two ways: some chose to resist the changes; other decided to adapt to the changes. Jerry Falwell became the first spokesman for the so called Religious Right. His group was called the Moral Majority.• The passion of the Religious Right lay in the perception that the U.S. was falling under the influence of secular humanism. They marched against abortion, Equal Rights Amendment, homosexuality, pornography, and increased government involvement in education and welfare. Not all Christians joined the movement others put down the gospel message and became seeker friendly churches. 8
  • 9. RISE OF THE MEGACHURCH• These large churches grew, at least in part because they shed the negative image of denominational Christianity and appealed to more popular religious tastes.• First these congregations seldom carried a denominational label. The name was a symbol of their openness to people with diverse backgrounds and problems.• Second the worship in these large congregations was marked by fast paced and enthusiastic, popular, religious music.• Third mega church is built around the attractive ministry of a magnetic preacher who possessed a winsome personality.• Fourth these large churches have the best money can buy. 9
  • 10. THE PRIVATE LIFE• In the world of private choices Americans were slow to discover how many people were desperately lonely. We seek more privacy, and feel more and more alienated and lonely when we get it.• The emerging church has been birthed out of this individualistic church movement. Emerging Churches are intent upon emphasizing feelings and affections rather than rationality and linear thought, on personal experience over propositional truths, on inclusion rather than exclusion, and on participation in corporate worship in contrast to lost in the crowd , mega church individualism. 10

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