Politics and Religion
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The Logic of The Faith Market and its Implications
The division in religion experienced in the United States has created both uniformity and homogeneity. In particular, homogeneity is the element that makes it a problem for an individual to identify and recognize. The aspect of homogeneity in the religion of most Americans is common in multi-ethnic churches. For this reason, different congregants assemble given the fact that they speak a similar language, listen to a similar music genre and eat a given diet (Kunzman, Robert). Therefore, these individuals find it easier to identify with God who they believe assumes the same image as them and acts like them too. However, despite the fact that the homogeneity and uniformity elements bring out the identity of a given group, there are limitations caused by religious diversity.
Diversity has brought about division in the various religions in the United States as it brings the perception of non-inclusiveness of God’s heart. Thus, looking into the logic of the faith market in greater depth we can see the sense of belonging different people possess which nonetheless shows the fullness of God. Important to note is that virtually all religions identify God with regards to interdependence, fellowship, and corporate identity. There is a relationship created in the long-run which overlooks individualism and self-portrayed characters. However, human beings cannot exist independently but share an identity with God. For this matter, we ought to appreciate religious diversity in the United States.
Goals and Institutional Religious Missions for Various Churches
The community churches have their history deeply-rooted in the ethnic diversity of religion. For this reason, there is a common perception that followers should represent the populations of a given region and neighborhood. However, diversity is known to bring distrust to the church. There has been opposition to the policies that uphold diversity rather than the sense of community in most churches in the United States. Congregants believe that the integration brought by community churches provide them with opportunities, unlike diversity which is known to limit the creation of better interpersonal networks. Hence, the more followers and church authorities push for diversity; the more community churches lose the sense of togetherness and their faith market.
Despite the push for diversity in community churches, we ought to celebrate the church which will push us towards a diverse gospel-centred community. Subsequently, congregants will embrace the nature of interacting with different couples, individuals of different races, and even mixed babies. Moreover, the community churches will be in a position to celebrate new followers, marriages, and engagements without setting focus on the race. Important to note is that despite how little the diversity is in the community churches, the presence of minority within the church means a significant step has been made.
Another goal by the community churches in embracing diversity is through empowerment. In particular, the church has the mandate to provide a level in which different races actively participate. However, when making these decisions, the authorities of community churches ought to choose church leaders on the basis of their ministry and not the mere fact that they belong to another race (Kunzman, Robert). Moreover, it becomes a challenge when trying to incorporate a diverse community in the church while overlooking a diverse worship service. Hence, different leadership and ideas need to be undertaken when transitioning community churches to multi-ethnical worship places.
Church of the Suffering
The church of the suffering houses the poor, addicts, new converts among other individuals. Moreover, there is the inclusion of fragile women in this church as embracing diversity does not only empower them but secures the future of millions of kids and provides a better environment. The beliefs of various religions clearly state that love overcomes all obstacles and evils. However, some churches in the United States do still face sufferings similar to the ones in the past years. The church ought to embrace diversity by accepting all kinds of congregants including those suffering as Christians believe that nothing surpasses the worth of a human being. On the other hand, Christianity being among the various religions in the world supports the union of families and upholds human dignity. Hence, the goal and institutional mission of the church of the suffering is to embrace diversity by accepting these people (Fox, Adam and Trang Thomas). Having the belief that God is a healer indeed gives every church a reason why they should freely invite all people. Despite the fact that we have not fully attained diversity when it comes to accepting the suffering in different churches, there has been immense progress over the years in incorporating them into the congregation which has had an impact on the faith market.
Church of Mobility
They are churches that believe in adopting the changes that have occurred over time into the transition to a modern world. Despite the church maintaining its sacred nature, the way in which we conduct ourselves in the church ought to change depending on what we are experiencing. For this matter, shifts in the faith market come about through the sanctification and criticism of the success these churches have seen over time. One of the sanctification factors evident in churches of mobility is the way in which congregants maintain ministries that reach out to various groups including the youth which was not the case with traditional churches. Moreover, there has been more transference regarding teaching the acceptable ways in the Christian religion. However, the church of mobility receives criticism given the fact that it has a poor modeling perception. The congregants in churches of mobility make decisions when they believe they are in their best interest and not viewing the effect their actions have on the church. For this reason, the impact on the faith market that comes with churches of mobility has its advantages and disadvantages.
Immigrant Bridges and Mega Churches
Regarding the immigrant bridges, there are a couple of factors which immigrants face apart from the change in the environment they used to live. For this reason, they look for means to reconcile the differences they face which include change of faith in a move to fit in the new society. The Muslims who believe in Masjid occasionally practice Catholicism in states such as Miami in a move to guarantee them survival. Moreover, without adopting the new faith, their lives become full of unrest, and by joining other Christians in mass, they relieve themselves from stress (Aran, Gideon). The impact of immigrant bridges to the faith markets occurs due to the fact that these individuals seek refuge in the faith which has the majority of believers in a neighborhood. It is important to note that change to other faiths by immigrants has a little impact on the way they lead their lives despite the fact that it is helpful.
On the other hand, mega-churches entail mass fellowships, televangelists, and internet churches. A large number of congregants in these churches is a powerful attraction which most at times has drawn other people. Despite the effort put by church leaders in justifying the big numbers of congregants in these churches, some have grown within a very short time span which has become a worry in the United States. Moreover, the huge sizes of mega-churches make them become independent and non-denominational. They have no interest in denominational resources as they can generate the benefits by themselves. The attributes for this churches makes more individuals shift to these churches making them grow bigger and bigger.
The implications of the faith markets are primarily in the society and the economy. Regarding the society, the faith market determines the balance of sacred and bad deeds through the outlined morals of the underlying religion. On the other hand, the role of the family is another implication of the faith market as it is through the church we fellowship that we know what is sacred before the eyes of God. Lastly, the faith market determines the source of cohesion and togetherness through the integration of diversity among the different churches. Regarding the economy, the faith we believe guides us in the valuation of property and wealth, what we consume, and assessing our achievements.
Examining the everyday faith of congregants, it is clear that there are various consequences from religious practices. The consequences influence the manner in which we conceive God which entails His nature, government, and the role God plays towards our lives. On the other hand, the consequences affect people by their conception, salvation, and destiny (Fox, Adam and Trang Thomas). Lastly, the implication is on the accessibility to God with more emphasis on why the people who do the good deeds end up suffering. Regarding the conception of God, the different churches believe in prayer and rituals which they occasionally perform in a move to come closer to God. The issue of God’s governance bases its rules on the boundaries we should contain our actions and behaviors in fulfilling the word of God. Humans have the role of acquiring knowledge about the faith they believe through education, texts, and knowledge they obtain through teachings. Therefore, conception among people is through inspirational faith.
Looking into the logic of the faith market in greater depth, we can see the sense of belonging different people possess which nonetheless shows the fullness of God. Important to note is that virtually all religions identify God with regards to interdependence, fellowship, and corporate identity. Regarding community churches, congregants believe that the integration brought by community churches provide them with opportunities, unlike diversity which is known to limit the creation of better interpersonal networks. Hence, the more followers and church authorities push for diversity; the more community churches lose the sense of togetherness and their faith market. On the other hand, the congregants in churches of mobility make decisions when they believe they are in their best interest and not viewing the effect their actions have on the church. Thus, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with a particular faith market.
Aran, Gideon. “On Religiosity And Super-Religiosity (I): Measures Of Radical Religion”. Numen, vol 60, no. 2-3, 2013, pp. 155-194. Brill Academic Publishers, doi:10.1163/15685276-12341262.
Fox, Adam and Trang Thomas. “Impact Of Religious Affiliation And Religiosity On Forgiveness”. Australian Psychologist, vol 43, no. 3, 2008, pp. 175-185. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1080/00050060701687710.
Kunzman, Robert. “Religion, Politics And Civic Education”. Journal Of Philosophy Of Education, vol 39, no. 1, 2005, pp. 159-168. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/j.0309-8249.2005.00427.x.