Is non-practicing Protestants a serious problem in Protestant Christianity?


#1

Is non-practicing Protestant an issue for Protestants? I have meet some baptist who do not go to Church… because they often said, “I don’t feel like it.”

So is this an issue?


#2

Well… Having been raised Southern Baptist, my experience has been that it’s frowned upon to miss Sunday services, but there’s no real rule in the sense that it’s enforced by the church. I know too many friends and relatives - all protestant - who habitually don’t attend church. I must admit, I still don’t make it as often as I should, and I’m really working on that.


#3

In the Presbyterian churches I grew up in, it’s presumed that people will only go to church when they feel like it. Missing was not a sin, just a missed opportunity to hear part four of a nine part sermon. On Super Bowl Sunday the pastor would always crack jokes from the pulpit about how empty the church was and how all of the male pastors wanted her to preach so they could watch the game.

So yeah, in the churches I grew up in “I don’t feel like it” is actually the churches fault – they should have been more relevant.


#4

Absolutely. There are luke warm Christians everywhere, not just in the Catholic Church. There are Protestants who attend church only on Easter and Christmas as well. Generally, the more evangelical the particular church the more committed the membership, but not always.


#5

There is a teaching that is taking hold among Protestants that “church” is not as important as private prayer and Bible study. The Holy Spirit will reveal truth to each individual believers.

Some Christians have taken this as license to not attend church, or to attend only if they are fed.

This is quite frustrating in many Protestant churches, as this leaves so few people to do the work of the church; e.g., youth sponsors, children’s workers, social chairs, etc.

Many positions in the church that were once done by volunteers are now done by paid staff; e.g., Christian education, children’s ministries, music ministries, shut-in ministries, etc.

Just last week my husband was listening to a Protestant radio program, and heard a minister (not a fringe minister, but a real, recognized Christian minister) give a sermon urging Christians to leave organized churches and pursue their Christianity on their own. Just last week.


#6

Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. I think for evangelicals, they tend not to have the cultural members like Catholics, Orthodox, and mainline Protestants–almost all evangelicals are “converts” in a matter of speaking. And if they are born and raised evangelical, they either stay hardcore or they totally repudiate the evangelical faith. You don’t tend to find people who identify themselves as evangelical without being totally hardcore.


#7

At the risk of pointing fingers, I feel I must say this because it needs urgent prayer attention. My step father is a control freak - to the extent that he will not allow his children to attend Sunday School. My parents are non-denominational Evangelical Christians and my family is HUGE (I’m the oldest of 10). The only two children that have been baptized have been me and my brother (he’s an adult and his was very recent, for which I am relieved).

They hardly ever attend church because he thinks watching on television and quizzing the family afterward is just as good. My dad does not want to be answerable to anyone from any church, and he can never find one that believes EXACTLY as he does, so he trusts no church to instruct his family. My mother wants to go to church. My little brothers and sisters have asked to go to church and have been denied. From what I’ve been told, Dad’s little Sunday sessions are having a negative impact on the kids’ spirituality. :frowning:

I know this is an extreme case, but it illustrates - in a nutshell - the growing trend in the Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches (well, individuals within those churches, anyway).


#8

Many Protestants (like many Catholics) don’t go to church whenever they don’t feel like going but, technically, it’s not really true to imply that there’s some kind of objective theological locus enjoining perfect freedom not to attend.

It’s just not a rule for them.

But the best ones go faithfully not because they are lawed into going but because it’s where Christians belong.

Just like Catholics.


#9

Definitely for the “mainline” churches such as the Episcopal Church and the United Methodists.

Edwin


#10

On Sundays I must pass two different churches before I get to me Church. It seems that their parking lots are always jam packed with cars. Don’t forget that there are people that call themself protestant just because they were not born into a catholic family also there are people that call themselfs catholic or protestant but are in reality not Christains.


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