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  #81  
Old 22.04.2009, 13:08
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

Today is Wednesday.

Oops. I must be a worshipper of Woden!
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  #82  
Old 22.04.2009, 13:09
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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One pagan I know ...
They're all as mad as the people who think having a cross on a flag makes a country Christian.
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  #83  
Old 22.04.2009, 17:06
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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I heard of Baptists congregation that splintered off because they insisted on foot washing. Later, the same congregation split into two over the issue of which foot to wash first, the left or the right.
And Baptist churches have also split over slavery, over predestination and over gay marriage. The silly, unreasonable ones make the best anecdotes though.

See, we don't see anything fundamentally wrong with a church split, if it is done without rancor and for serious reasons. In an utterly nonhierarchical denomination which believes every local church is directly answerable to God for its own doctrine and conduct, a parting of ways is often seen to be the best solution. (We don't do it at the drop of a hat though, stereotypes notwithstanding... there are nine Baptist churches within a ten-mile radius of my parents' house, and not one of them has split in recent memory.)

Meanwhile Swiss - and, I think, European Protestants in general - seem to have developed a different "best solution" which works for them: deliberately leave your theology fuzzy in those areas. Don't have strong opinions, and then you'll never need to worry whether your differences are serious enough to break fellowship over.

It's a valid approach and I recognize the advantages, but it is still alien and unsettling to me - just as I'm sure the American approach would be to my Swiss church family.

But really, that's only when I think about it, or when an odd comment from someone reminds me. Most of the time theology - let alone other people's attitudes toward theology - is about the furthest thing from my mind. Too much else to be doing.
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  #84  
Old 22.04.2009, 17:18
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

There is a traditional misconception that one should not question what comes from the authorities of the church. I think that is a very european attitude about church. For good reason. In the past, people have been killed for disagreeing. I think many still practice church in this way.

Unfortunately, this often doesn't leave any room for a person's growth. The teachings are difficult and are intended to make us grow. So instead of rubbing up against difficult issue, they remain unresolved and the person is stunted.

Also, a lot of people still believe all churching is practiced in this way. So when the topic of church or religion is brought up in discussions, you get a lot of ignorant reactions like you see on this forum.
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  #85  
Old 22.04.2009, 17:33
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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There is a traditional misconception that one should not question what comes from the authorities of the church. I think that is a very european attitude about church. For good reason. In the past, people have been killed for disagreeing. I think many still practice church in this way.
Wonder what century some people live in... are you a ghost come to haunt us by any chance?
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  #86  
Old 22.04.2009, 17:42
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

To this point, Adam Smith argued that fierce (but within a peaceful/tolerant legal framework :-)) ) competition and mobility in denominations is actually a good thing for religion in general for two reasons.

A. It keeps the institutions on their toes, involved in outreach.
B. By creating more "choices" for believers of different hues (e.g. in NYC, there's a huge participation by gays in a set of congregations that truly welcome them whereas in Europe such folks just drop out, likewise- hard core evangelicals, people who like the Lation mass, etc can all find their thing).

In the US, something like 50% of people have changed their denomination. By contrast, conversions in Europe are very rare. Step into almost any US church as a visitor, and you'll find a panoply of mechanisms to recruit/welcome/outreach to you.

Monopoly (especially tax-supported) denomonations have much less incentive to prosleytize, change and adapt to the culture, etc.

However, this fundamental approach is probably contradictory to the Catholic Church (whose fundamental tenet is that authority of the church/magesterium) and for whom division is symptomatic of a rejection of the corporate teaching authority of the church. ("No Salvation Outside the church"). For them, pluralism is bad. It fits a lot more comfortably with protestantism which emphasizes an individual's own interpretation of the scripture as paramount.

Catholics would argue that their centralized governance has preserved the integrity of their "core" doctrine a lot more than loosey goosey protestant governance. They would argue that people ultimately want their religion to be "black and white" and not roll with the times.

Interestingly, the most secular countries in the world (measured by belief and attendance) are those with monopolistic and state-supported _protestant_ churches. For example, Scandanavia, the UK, protestant parts of Germany. So perhaps they're both right!!!!
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  #87  
Old 22.04.2009, 18:11
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

I think its a mistake to measure the value of a church by the number of its members. Membership fluctuate up and down. People get hot and cold: They come and go.

The specialization is an interesting trend. I'm always glad to hear of gay, punk rock or drug addict churches. Particularly people who are marginalized by society. These are the people who need love the most.
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  #88  
Old 22.04.2009, 19:33
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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My church here in Zürich does that as well. Most of the church is served with wine in chalices, and then one section with grape juice in individual plastic glasses. I miss the symbolism of the common cup - but that's how it is here, and really I'm delighted to be able to partake at all.
I should say I was shocked. But not offended. It was very tasty. I just had this pre-conceived idea that all baptists were fruit juicers.

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There is a traditional misconception that one should not question what comes from the authorities of the church. I think that is a very european attitude about church... .
That I don't agree with. The whole "shepherding" movement came from the US. You don't get much more authoritarian than that.
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Old 22.04.2009, 19:57
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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The specialization is an interesting trend. I'm always glad to hear of gay, punk rock or drug addict churches. Particularly people who are marginalized by society. These are the people who need love the most.
I am sure those "who are marginalised by society" love being patronised like that...
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Old 22.04.2009, 21:01
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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That I don't agree with. The whole "shepherding" movement came from the US. You don't get much more authoritarian than that.
Shepherding? What is that? Link please.

I suppose in Europe they didn't "shepherd" them. They went straight to the chopping block.
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  #91  
Old 22.04.2009, 21:22
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

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I am sure those "who are marginalised by society" love being patronised like that...
How could wishing these people well be patronising.

You have a twisted mind Sandgrounder. Stay away from me please.
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Old 24.09.2011, 14:48
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Re: Whats the story with Religion and Churches in Switzerland?

I like the Swiss flag. I'm a Muslim. any Muslim is meant to start any deed with bismillah ir Rahman ir raheem. same as the constitution.

Switzerland is great. I also support the minaret ban. until Saudi Arabia allows a Christian church all Muslims should think harder about what it would be like to be unable in a country to go to a mosque.

I'm really glad that there are examples of diversity like Switzerland and the flag has every right to be a white cross on a red base.
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