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Religion and socialization?

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by palefrost, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

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    I found out yesterday that someone I know had tried out about 7 or 8 different denominations before settling on becoming a Mormon. Now, I couldn't understand why anyone would actually choose to become Mormon, but hey, to each their own, right?

    Their reasoning, however, was surprising. They wanted to belong to something. They wanted something with a family/social atmosphere. They wanted somewhere to socialize.

    Personally, I had never considered using my faith as a tool for socialization, nor would I consider choosing a religion on the capacity for socialization. I'm wondering if other people chose their faith for the family/socialization aspect as opposed to because of the beliefs of that faith.

    So what about this new twist?
     
  2. Brandon

    Brandon New Member

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    Human beings have a tendency to gravitate towards like-minded people. Humans also have a strong instinct to belong to something e.g social clubs, churches, etc...

    While I personally wouldn't join a church for that reason, I could care less what other people do. If it makes the person happy and doesn't infringe on my rights, then why not?!
     
  3. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Religion can be both a beautiful thing and a distortion of who a person is. If someone becomes or is a member of a religion because they believe in that faith then it can be the most wonderful and fulfilling thing that person will ever know. However if someone joins a faith simply for the reason of becoming a part of something, that person should be placed in some serious counseling. People who gravitate to cults generally follow the mindset of someone wanting to belong and be a member of something greater than his/her self.
    Personally, I think that if someone is that dissatisfied with themselves that they need to be a part of something, they need help. Not the kind of help that a religion can provide necessarily, but help with the issues inside their own head.
    But then again to each his own…
     
  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Religious institutions can be useful in building and maintaining cohesive communities because of the social forums they create. However, a person who joins a religion for the purpose of being part of a social group, rather than exercising his or her beliefs, is making a mistake. Palefrost's acquaintance is likely to find himself in an awkward situation in the fairly near future.
     
  5. LyricB

    LyricB New Member

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    I truly enjoy the socialization I get from the church I attend, but that comes second to the real reason I'm there. Anyone who goes with the primary purpose of getting social isn't there for the right reasons.
     
  6. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    i tend to agree that is the reason you should be their. Though I do know some people who live down South from their discriptions social pressure can be pretty tough. I guess being "unchurched" turns you into some sort of social perih.


     
  7. kelkat

    kelkat New Member

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    First, faith and church are two seperate things. If we are going under the assumption that a person is choosing a christian denomination to belong to, then I think the socializing has an effect and it should. The church was designed for fellowship. Each person was expected to study and learn the word for themselves then they came together to support one another.

    We all do that. I don't know many people who go to a church with three elderly couples and an old worn out organ. You go where there are people your age doing the things you like. In that respect, there's nothing wrong with it.
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Kelkat has a good point here IMO. Going to a church to worship together IS about socialising to an extent, as well as also to enrich one's personal experience with the faith. Which is pretty much what you said. This doesn't have to solely apply to religion and socialisation either, as the process of socialisation pervades every interaction we have as social beings (obviously)

    Essentially it's about being careful not to conflate the church, and everything it involves, and the faith. It doesn't strike me as theologically inconsistent to accept a faith based on socialisation although one must be careful to be fully aware of what the faith itself entails otherwise what probably results either way is tantamount to disrespecting the faith.
     
  9. Plumley

    Plumley New Member

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    I don't have any problem with people taking advantage of the social aspects offered by their religion. I think that's all part of a faith community. What doesn't make sense to me is making a choice of faith based on the opportunities for socialization. How meaningful is that? I guess your friend could have found the tenants of the religions so similar that socialization was the deciding factor. It just seems to be that beliefs would me the important part of the decision.
     
  10. kelkat

    kelkat New Member

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    We've been on the search for a new home church the last few months. The boys enjoy one place, but it's not mine and my husband's first choice. The more I thought about it - and this thread really got me thinking - if they are having fun with other christian kids, then that's fine with me. That is fellowship and that is the very basic function of the "church" as it was origionally designed. They get biblestudy and memory verses at home. We have prayer time in the morning and in the evening. They read their bible on their own. Mom and Dad study in the morning and at night. We don't rely on the church to teach them, so where we are going doesn't matter as much for us.

    Does that make sense?
     
  11. dong

    dong New Member

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    Yes, it makes sense to me in that I don't view the church as being the central necessary institution that it would have been in previous centuries. Religion and its practice has diversified on more levels than denomination, such that the interpretation of value of such would have to be updated too. I suppose that one could possibly caution you in, say, "lacking a guideline" that an established body (church) would provide you with, but if the focus is primarily on building in faith and relationship with god, then I personally don't see any problem. Ironically, it would be in questioning the validity of adherence to tradition that your attitude to church would be justified, were a detractor to harangue you about not finding and sticking to a church to mould your attitudes.
     
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