Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Comments: American and Russian Churches

Recently I had a lot of visitors reading my post that I got translated from Russian to English. And two visitors wrote very interesting opinions about American church as well as a Russian church in USA.

The first person's nickname is Abales:

"Unlike Europe & Russia - American churches never receive funds from the government. This would violate the US Constitution. Except for some radical fundamentalists that want the whole world under their religion, no one in the US wants government control or money in any church.

US Churches are also free to move about and collect members; and lose members & die off. They are competitive for members. This inspires them to change and adapt to their members spiritual and emotional needs far more than the Russian Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church does even here. Because of the competitiveness and nimbleness of the small churches, they are the dominate form of religion in the US.

Most of these pastors have other jobs. When I worked in the mailroom at the USDA gov agency for food crops we had a lot of pastors working in that building.

What you have witnessed is the evolution of Christianity and the death of Russian/Greek Orthodox & Catholic/Protestant Euro Churches. If trends continue all of those old churches will exist only as muesums.

I am an aethist."

And a second opinion was left by Jeffrey:

"Churches in America can be very competitive. I would not prefer a child of mine to attend a typical church in America because the doctrine allows no questioning. If you do question, the pastors are trained to find the answers in the Bible and guide you to your salvation. God is a personal matter form, and I don't want a church to be critical of every aspect of my life, let alone determine for me how I should be living. On a brighter note, there are a few beautiful places in every city, but the person must endeavor to find these places. You will know you are in the right place when people honor you as a human being and don't spend their time in judgment or criticism of your life. You will know these places by their work to bring a better quality of life to people in the world and in the community and that their work is not tied to any sort of mandatory affiliation.
Last, Let not the government have it's hand's in our churches and let the churches keep away from government. Spirituality has a place in every home, but not in government. Government should concentrate itself on the building of bridges and roads and on feeding the people, proper welfare functions. I understand that government must help to pay for the churches in Eastern countries, but this is so because the churches never had a way to pay themselves and were to be considered a right of the people. American system is vastly different and steeped in a different historical background. Many people use religion as a cover to show the world that they are good people. Good people don't need church to cover with, but many good people are active parts of churches that share their values. Values should not be dictated by churches or by governments but should originate in the minds of honorable women and men who care deeply about their futures, then the church and the government, rightfully so, may find ways to reflect these values. The Christian church in particular claims to have a value system, but it is filled with holes, thus holier than thou. Be careful. If you are a Christian, I only suggest that you reflect on the teachings of Christ and see to it that your church is not trying to control the government, nor that the government is trying to control your church. This is all related to the ideas of free religion, free speech, and free press. A free people must be exactly that, Free!"

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