The devout 20%


#1

A friend of mine likes to throw out the statistic that only about 20% of the members of ANY faith are truly devout and truly orthodox. I don’t know where he gets this from (nor does he), but I remember reading something like it once.

I’m writing an essay for which this information would be EXTREMELY important, but I won’t use it if I can’t document it.

Anyone know of a source, or of any study into how many people who claim to be Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, etc. actually take it to heart??

Thanks in advance.


#2

[quote=awfulthings9]A friend of mine likes to throw out the statistic that only about 20% of the members of ANY faith are truly devout and truly orthodox. I don’t know where he gets this from (nor does he), but I remember reading something like it once.

I’m writing an essay for which this information would be EXTREMELY important, but I won’t use it if I can’t document it.

Anyone know of a source, or of any study into how many people who claim to be Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, etc. actually take it to heart??

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

Its a question that I don’t think you’ll get an answer for.

I can tell you where 20% came from. It comes from the 80-20 rule. In business 80% of your sales come from 20% of your items. In faith 80% of the faithful would come from 20% of the congregation. It works in all avenues of life supposedly.

The reason you won’t get an answer is because what defines being a heartful Catholic, Methodist, etc? The results would have to be due to honesty and what member of a group wouldn’t say they are devout?


#3

It may come from the fact that only 20-25% of Catholics attend mass every week (the stats are roughly the same for Protestants).


#4

[quote=arieh0310]It may come from the fact that only 20-25% of Catholics attend mass every week (the stats are roughly the same for Protestants).
[/quote]

I don’t believe such a low number but as you have said this is a FACT and not an opinion I would like to know the source document for your number.


#5

[quote=thistle]I don’t believe such a low number but as you have said this is a FACT and not an opinion I would like to know the source document for your number.
[/quote]

me too.


#6

[quote=thistle]I don’t believe such a low number but as you have said this is a FACT and not an opinion I would like to know the source document for your number.
[/quote]

I did a quick google search (not finding the exact article I read a couple months back) and came up with this and this

There is a disparity between how often Americans say they attend church and how often they really do.


#7

[quote=arieh0310]I did a quick google search (not finding the exact article I read a couple months back) and came up with this and this

There is a disparity between how often Americans say they attend church and how often they really do.
[/quote]

Either Yahoo is a far inferior tool to Google or I am a far inferior to you at manipulating the Internet, because my “quick” Yahoo search turned up blank. Thanks!


#8

[quote=arieh0310]I did a quick google search (not finding the exact article I read a couple months back) and came up with this and this

There is a disparity between how often Americans say they attend church and how often they really do.
[/quote]

I want to know why no one has ever asked me these poll questions. I also want to know how the question is posed. I go to Church at least once a week and consider it a mortal sin if I miss Mass intentionally.


#9

[quote=awfulthings9]…
Anyone know of a source, or of any study into how many people who claim to be Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, etc. actually take it to heart??

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

isn’t the assertion that some are more Catholic than others sort of Donatism redux? :confused:


#10

Wow, I didn’t know that the decline in church attendance was a surprise to anyone. In the last 50 years church attendance has gone from 75% attending every week to about 25% (this is true across all denominational lines).

I didn’t mean to distract from the OP, but thought that church attendance may have something to do with the devout 20%.


#11

Let’s grant for a moment that his stat is true. What exactly does he thinks this proves?

Scott


#12

Try the query:

catholic mass attendance statistics

in Google or Yahoo.

reen12


#13

One of the websites given above is blank.

By the way it would appear that whatever the numbers are, the low ones according to the poll are in the west and not the developing world which has the majority of the world’s Catholics.


#14

[quote=steveandersen]isn’t the assertion that some are more Catholic than others sort of Donatism redux? :confused:
[/quote]

Come on, Steve, that was a low blow. If you think I’m saying that some are more Catholic than others, I think you misread my intentions. There are some who call themselves Catholic, for instance, because they were baptised into the faith. Yet, they have no desire - by their own admission - to practice, learn about, or remain obedient to the faith. Am I trying to say that those of us who do are in some way superior or “more Catholic”? Of course not. My question was how many “take it to heart”. If I call myself Catholic, but go around making pedophile priest jokes and comment that the true presense is a silly superstition - I am not taking it to heart.

My Evangelical friend is fond of saying that “most Catholics I’ve met” don’t have a relationship with Christ, follow the teachings of the church, or read Scripture, etc. My thread here is simply to find statistics to show him that a large percentage of disengaged “followers” are present in most every group or denomination and that having such members of the church doesn’t disqualify it as the “true” church. My opinioin would be the opposite, that the “true” church would have many who are disengaged since it is through the sacraments that God works on their hearts. Yet, in talking with someone who is more interested in quantity over quality, I have to find material to meet him where he is so we can move on to the more worthy discussion and exploration of Scripture.

Of maybe, for goodness sakes, my intentions are not that innocent and I am really trying to resurrect an ancient heresy by asking for statistics. Sigh.


#15

There is definitely a pattern in Mass attendance and voting.

If you go to Mass weekly you most likely are voting Republican now. If you don’t you are most likely voting the Culture of Death.


#16

[quote=awfulthings9]There are some who call themselves Catholic, for instance, because they were baptised into the faith. Yet, they have no desire - by their own admission - to practice, learn about, or remain obedient to the faith. Am I trying to say that those of us who do are in some way superior or “more Catholic”? Of course not. My question was how many “take it to heart”.
[/quote]

I was just discussing this with my wife yesterday. Although I have no useful references for you, perhaps this may be insightful.

Over time, a cultural connection seems to grow between the religion and the society to the point that one begins to claim the religion for cultural reasons and not theological reasons. The best example is the Jewish religion. Although I hear a lot of American say they are Jewish, I see very little evidence that they mean they follow the Jewish religion. They are cultural Jews or decended from the Jewish nation, they are not practicing the Jewish faith. A close second-best example is the Catholics. I can’t say how many people I’ve met that say, “I’m Catholic but I don’t attend mass.” It seems like 4 out of 5 (I guess that leave 20%, doesn’t it.) They are culturally Catholic - raised in Catholic churches and schools - but they don’t hold to the faith at all. Similar comparisons can be made with German Lutherans and English Anglicans. I suspect that as other denominations grow in age and in dominance in a given area, we’ll see the same phenomenon. We’ll start to hear people from Georgia claim to be Baptist even though they’re not baptized.


#17

[quote=awfulthings9]Come on, Steve, that was a low blow. If you think I’m saying that some are more Catholic than others, I think you misread my intentions.
[/quote]

Sorry awful (May I call you awful?)

I didn’t mean to offend
I was tired when I responded with that post so maybe I wasn’t reading you correctly.

The point I was trying to make was that we all struggle and some of us struggle more successfully than others. And some of us don’t struggle too well at all. However, it is not uncommon on this site to see comments like “why do those people stay in the Church?” And statements like that sorta bug me. Because it is just for people like those (i.e. me) that the Church is here for (How is that for ending a sentence with a preposition? If you hear that spinning sound it’s those poor old nuns from my grade school)

So please forgive me if I misinterpreted you :o

[quote=awfulthings9]…… If I call myself Catholic, but go around making pedophile priest jokes
[/quote]

humor is often a good way to deal with an emotionally charged situation…. at least for me

[quote=awfulthings9]…and comment that the true presense is a silly superstition - I am not taking it to heart.
[/quote]

not if you weren’t joking :wink:

[quote=awfulthings9]My Evangelical friend is fond of saying that “most Catholics I’ve met” don’t have a relationship with Christ, follow the teachings of the church, or read Scripture, etc.
[/quote]

Tell him that anecdotal evidence is a terrible way to start an argument

[quote=awfulthings9]My thread here is simply to find statistics to show him that a large percentage of disengaged “followers” are present in most every group or denomination and that having such members of the church doesn’t disqualify it as the “true” church. My opinioin would be the opposite, that the “true” church would have many who are disengaged since it is through the sacraments that God works on their hearts. …
[/quote]

And you are right
Sorry if I misread you…Like I said I was tired


#18

[quote=steveandersen]And you are right
Sorry if I misread you…Like I said I was tired
[/quote]

No problem, brother. If anyone cared enough to scroll through my history of posts, he would find plenty of times when I was tired and posted something I regretted later. Take care.


#19

[quote=forthright] A close second-best example is the Catholics. I can’t say how many people I’ve met that say, “I’m Catholic but I don’t attend mass.” It seems like 4 out of 5 (I guess that leave 20%, doesn’t it.) They are culturally Catholic - raised in Catholic churches and schools - but they don’t hold to the faith at all. Similar comparisons can be made with German Lutherans and English Anglicans. I suspect that as other denominations grow in age and in dominance in a given area, we’ll see the same phenomenon. We’ll start to hear people from Georgia claim to be Baptist even though they’re not baptized.
[/quote]

I think you hit the nail on the head, once a faith becomes the culture you start seeing cultural-only members. My entire family stopped attending mass back in the 50s but everyone still claims to be Catholic, even some who have never attended mass in their lives. The same is true for a friend of mine who has a family that is all Lutheran; the only time they set foot in church is to baptize or marry their kids, yet they are very proud to be Lutheran.

I believe that the same will hold true to all these Evangelical denominations, once you get over 100-200 years into the founding of the denomination you will start seeing a lot of nominal members.

The fundamental difference between Catholics and Protestants is that when Protestant denominations start attracting more nominal members the more devout members split and form their own denomination. Whereas, the more devout Catholics tend to stay and remain salt and light within Catholicism. These are gross generalizations but, in my opinion, explains why some of the newer denominations seem so much more “on fire” than Catholicism in general. These “on fire” and growing denominations are just a highly concentrated subsection within Protestantism of devout Protestants, a subsection that can be found in Catholicism in a much greater number (in my opinion).


#20

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