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Independent Fundamental Baptists in Oregon???


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#1 IrishEyes

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 04:14 PM

I'm wondering if anyone has a theory on why certain Christian denominations seem to take hold in certain geographic regions? For example, I generally consider Boston to be a Catholic town. And I usually think of Southerners as Baptists. I tend to associate people from Northern states (Wisconsin, Michigan) as Lutheran or Methodist, while Pennsylvania is full of Quakers. Do you see what I mean?
Our church supposrts missionaries to other states, because there are no churches that preach the same doctrines in those states/areas. There is actual data showing that most of Montana is without a Baptist church (check the phone books). The same goes for some the Pacific Northwest. Yet there are many towns in the South that don't seem to have any Catholic steeples in them either.
I'm wondering if these places have these denominational associations in only my mind because I probably met someone from that denomination also from that area, or if people seem to congregate in a certain geographic region based on its perceived religious attitude.
Does this make sense? And do you guys have any ideas/theories to support or contradict it?
Also, for those not living in the US, do you have similar areas in your own countries, or a certain religious view that you hold of certain countries? For instance, do you think of Italians as Catholics? And Brazilians as Catholics? And Brits as Anglicans?

#2 Southtown

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 05:17 PM

Haha! I'm from Texas and started out Baptist. Then I moved to Oregon and considered Seventh-Day'ers and Jehova-Witness'ers before soon becoming unconvinced in either, but partially convinced in all, and swearing off of denominations altogether, since a fixed set of beliefs in a quest for absolute truth seems rather illogical. Now I'm not just non-denom, I'm anti-denom.

I can see how denominations could be geographical, since they are propagated in churches and fellowships. That would explain why they are so different. The localization of Christians would evolve their beliefs collectively much like gene pools in diverging African tribes.

Luckily I was liberated by moving across the country, ferretting the internet, and a personal drive to know other beliefs. Local churches or denominations aren't necessarily spreading mistruths. The messages are probably mostly true if they use a non-denom bible. And where else would most people get information? Most can't even read the whole bible much less comprehend it like a theologian. I just don't like the idea that people go to church and study, read, and learn yet never plan on altering their official doctrine or mission statement whatsoever.

#3 Erasmus00

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 09:08 PM

Well, Pennsylvania makes sense, it was founded by Penn, a quaker, partially as a refuge for quakers. Similarly Boston had a HUGE influx of irish immigrants in the potato famine periods from 1820-1850. Ireland was traditionally Catholic, and Catholicism took root. I'd imagine thats what happened in other geographical areas (look at mormons in Utah). Given that children usually keep the religion of their parents, it makes sense for religions to stay in one geographic region.
-Will

#4 Biochemist

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:06 PM

A couple of points:

1) People are impacted by the opinions of their peers.
2) Denominations don't mean much.

I have moved from California (grew up in Southern, school in Northern) to Florida to Portland, Oregon. I have regularly attended (more than a year) about a half dozen churches in 25 years. Two were baptist, three were non-denominational, one was Episcopalian, and my current church is Nazarene. And I was baptized Presbyterian. The woman that owns my heart is Catholic.

What I can say from my church experience is that the vast majority of attenders (at any church) do not know their own church's doctrine. I can also attest that most pastors do not specifically teach the doctrines of thier denomination in any depth.

This means that any city with lots of Baptist churches will have lots of Baptists, even though few will know what that means. New churches and/or new denominations will tend to differentiate their "newness" on their distinctions. After about 100 years, that stops.

I think there two kinds of Christians. One type believes the Bible is true. They are often called conservatives. The other type does not believe the Bible is true. They are often called liberals. All churches have both kinds of people in them. Only the fraction varies from church to church.