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classism and the church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. nodak

    nodak Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 9, 2008
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    I don't want to hijack the annual how we dress for church thread, so will start another.

    How much do you think the argument over how we dress, or buildings, or music, or whatever we are currently in a snit over is classism?

    I'm sure you can plug in different denoms, but when I was a kid the Salvation Army and rescue missions ministered to the lowest rung on the social ladder in our region. Working class folks went to Baptist, Nazarene, Church of Christ or Assembly of God churches mostly. Middle class folks went to Presbyterian, Methodist, and a few were Lutherans. At the top were the Episcopalians.

    Now, most folks in the area of the state were Baptists, so yes we also had our higher socio-economic group Baptists. Mostly those went to fancier churches in the bigger towns in the region. If the population was over 10,000 in a town you could bet any Baptist upper crust would be at "First Baptist" and there would be very few truckdrivers there.

    Today nobody considers themselves lower than upper middle class it seems, but we are often working class people. Seems to me we expect middle class dress/behavior/music/whatever from folks that are not middle class.

    And sometimes I wonder if that explains the emptying of the churches.

    Your thoughts?
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Dec 17, 2010
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    I think your classification of economic status vs. denominations held some truth 25 years ago or more, but not so much anymore. One area where there might be a distinction--I think there is a good likelihood that there are more wealthy individuals in mega churches than in smaller churches, at least in my neck of the woods.

    I don't see too many churches in my area that expect middle class dress/behavior/music from folks that are not middle class.

    I don't think the decline in overall church attendance (if there truly is any) can be attributed to an expectation that folks lower on the economic scale "dress up a level." Could be different in other geographical areas though.