Pacific Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 19 1982, Page 21

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - December 19, 1982, Tokyo, Japan Pacific stars and stripes 22 religion december 1982 experts foresee religious growth by George Cornell a religion writer looking at prospects for american religious experts say trends at work indicate a lessening of denominational More Church run schools and a worrisome feminization of the analysts also say that Reli Gions influence continues to defy predictions of gradual decline in a secular and signs now suggest Strong religious renewal in the last two decades of the several scholars and researchers recently have offered their assess ments of whats ahead for citing various trends that they say Are Likely to have increasing the Lyle Schaller of Rich a widely known Church researcher and inter Preter of change in religious says one of the biggest changes is greater acceptance of clergy i its not uncommon today for a Clergyman to get a divorce and stay on As pastor of his Schaller something that could never have happened just 20 years the shift of viewpoint has been so he that in at least one congregation a divorced pastor was found preferable because his divorce experience common among Mem Bers was seen As an asset to his although statistics Are unavailable on the extent of clergy he estimates it at nearly 25 percent of clergy still Only about pastors out of touch a a Southern Baptist professor says some pastors use religious ghetto language that ignores the existence of millions of people for whom words like born again and Faith have no urging preachers to find new ways of communicating the gospel to persons outside the the Raymond Bailey of Southern Baptist theological Seminary says ninety five percent of what the High powered to preachers say can Only be understood by people reared in the and that terror found in Guatemala new York a Back from a six Day inquiry in a fou member team organized by the National Council of churches says it found Gross and consistent violations of human rights by Guatemala armed the army carries out extra judicial killings of those it identifies As supporting ses terror and torture at random and undercover operations in which soldiers disguised As a guerrillas raid the team group cites threat to religion Union a the american Council of Christian an organization of relatively Small conservative says threats to religious Liberty Are rising in the the councils annual convention cited government efforts to regulate the Content of curricula and qualifications of teachers in Christian schools and to require religious groups to report any efforts to influence half the rate among Lay Schaller says the trend that most concerns is the feminization going on in almost every denomination the increased proportion of female about 60 to 40 percent devoted to the program and distinctive role of the particular he new members also now tend to pick churches for different reasons than he Young who used to shop for churches with the influence of religion continues to defy predictions of gradual decline in a secular and signs now suggest a Strong religious renewal in the last two decades of the nobody is taking this seriously or attempting to find out Why this is he he also cites a proliferation of Christian Day usually among conservative As obvious and says the real Issue is whether mainline protestant de nominations move into the he says the erosion of denominational loyalty also is with less than half of new members joining an average congregation being of the same denominational less emphasis is being Given to denominational labels and More is programs for their now seek a Strong ministry in their own age he also sees trends to earlier sunday worship services so As to free More of the and Bible study moving out of the Church into weekday groups mens break women Home study and High school and College the Orrin Morris of Southern Baptist research says various factors indicate a continued conservative encouraging favourable Atti tude toward he says an analysis of 1980 census data indicates that Church growth will depend greatly on developing hispanic and other ethnic pastors and on new racial and ethnic sociologist Dean Hoge of Catholic University of America in Washington says hispanics now make up the largest sector of growth in catholicism and is certain to George Gallup of head of the polling Organiza says a variety of data indicate the final two decades of the Century May be a period of profound religious renewal in our noting that As recently As five years dire predictions were being made about the end of the Church As an he said such predictions were clearly off tar at a recent new York various prominent scholars said religions continued vitality is defying Many Long Range predictions of decline under the Impact of prevailing citing the recent islamic Resur Catholic social activism in South America and fundamentalism thrust into historian Mary Douglas of North Western University in said no one credited the traditional religions with enough vitality to inspire Large scale political commented Church historian mar tin Marty of the University of Chicago contrary to religion is very much in old labels clouded by ferment on religious landscape in by George Cornell a religion writer some Odd shifts Are taking place on the Christian landscape of with old labels of Liberal and conservative being thrown Askew and with a switch in zones of conflict and seen in the past As fractious splinters of Church have become More cohesive and involved in Public with cooperative signs appearing among former battling the fundamentalist movement has come of says a Slick fundamentalist edited by the Jerry Falwell of television preacher and moral majority the conservative religious movement has become the dynamic spiritual Force in America at the same avowed Liberal roman catholics and Liberal protestants have mobilized to fight what they see As leftist tendencies in the usually More unified Church often dubbed Liberal the critics claim that frequent statements by the Catholic Bishops and by protestant ecumenical organizations reflect a leftward swing away from real Many who used to be Liberal have moved decisively to the both in substance and says a Independent Lay Catholic catholicism in edited by Ralph Mclnerney of South such complaints also Are raised by other recently formed Catholic groups in which assail the Bishops objections to nuclear on the mainline protestant some who term themselves Liberal have formed the Institute for religion and democracy that voices similar criticisms of major ecumenical the main target is the National Council of churches and leadership of the mainline denominations that Are their pattern of leadership suggests a betrayal of the Liberal tradition and an abandonment of the ecumenical task of says the Richard a lutheran and an Institute the Institute claims the mainline churches and cooperative Council display a leftist going easy on soviet oppression but being Overly critical of conditions in democratic the Edmund Robb of a United methodist who Heads the says the Council and mainline churches Overlook crimes of communist despotism but give obsessive attention to some participants in the Institute also Are associated with catholicism and including Catholic Lay scholar Michael Novak of the american Enterprise Institute and Catholic James finn of Freedom catholicism and crisis charges a kind of clericalism in roman usurp ing the laity role of dealing with political while the Institute similarly charges a mainline protestant bureaucracy out of touch with the while the friction went on in the customarily More unified ranks of protestantism and the historically More combative fundamentalists and evangelicals showed signs of greater one drastic shift for them is their plunge into speaking out on social something they used to denounce mainline churches for the single most startling change in evangelicalism is its shift toward political and social says the Kenneth Kantzer of retiring after five years As editor of the evangelical christianity

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