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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about personality types and religion and unpack which personalities are more likely to leave or stay with religion.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • What’s the relationship between personality types and joining religious movements? Are there some that aren’t compatible with religion? Do certain types leave their religion?
  • What personality types have the tendency to gravitate to certain religions?
  • Externally structured– are surrounded with organization and various methodologies (for example: actual buildings that you worship and certain sacraments that you follow).
  • Internally experienced – some people have much more comfort in expressing their religion internally. These people are not interested in external markers and have that sense of private worshipping processes of expressing their faith.
  • Baptists
    • Have the tendency to be individual expression-oriented in the religious faith. Personal salvation is big. If they don’t like what the pastor or minister is saying, they’ll simply just move to the next church and they’ll look for someone who’s more in alignment with how they feel.
    • Attract a lot of feeler-perceivers because it’s about your personal faith expression and personal salvation.
  • Presbyterians
    • A lot more organized as a collective and structure-oriented. The congregation’s a lot systematized.
    • Attract a lot of feeler-judgers and thinker-judgers.
  • Accuracy people (TPs) have the highest likelihood of leaving religion in general. Oftentimes they leave early (teen years). If there is something they can convert/move on with, it usually is Buddhism. Why Buddhism? Because it does not require them much faith or submission to established systems. Buddhism is more inclined on practices, meditations and exercises.
  • Intuitives V Sensors
    • Intuitives do speculative thinking – things that can’t be proven by reality.
    • Sensors – more interested on what can be verified
    • Intuitives tend to be the one’s leaving religion at some point.
    • Intuitives are the ones who are comfortable with redefining.
  • Understand that no group is entirely representative of those who do or don’t describe themselves as religious.
  • Whatever is your dominant cognitive function (driver process), if you are in a religion that doesn’t honor it or allow full expression, eventually you will leave that religion.
  • If your driver process has full expression of your religious belief, you’re probably stay in the religion for a long time.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Is this truly serving me or just leading me to unhappiness?
    • How can we make sure that we haven’t outsourced our belief system?
    • What tools and models can we gather in order to take a deeper look at the structure of what we think and believe?
  • Let’s celebrate each other’s differences and cultural backgrounds.

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  • Danny
    • Danny
    • August 31, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you for this brave podcast! You both did a fantastic job of being authentic, yet respectful. I was raised in the south, went to college for and then spent more than a decade in full-time ministry, and while still very much fascinated by the subjective experience of spiritual experience, now identify as an atheist. It was – and continues to be – a challenging adjustment, not just for me and those around me, but for the interactions between us. It’s tough to be fascinated by the universe right here at our fingertips, when your views are automatically assumed to be ‘broken’ since they do not adhere to some societal norm.

    I am an INFP and highly value the necessarily subjective spiritual experience and continue to seek out those experience for myself – but I do not have a belief in personified gods or supernatural forces. I will admit that I still struggle with some bitterness (as Joel Mark rightly predicted) post-emancipation, and wish sincerely that I could simply relax into apatheism (but it is such a big and fascinating and frustrating subject with so much real world implication that I struggle to stay away). I would say that it is an issue that causes a bit of obsession – and yet is still so difficult to discuss with anyone as the terms can be so loaded and personal.

    This is a podcast I’ll probably listen to more than once. Thanks for doing it!

  • Joel Mark Witt
    • Joel Mark Witt
    • August 31, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Shannon for sharing your thoughts on this.

    It’s been my personal experience that some groups are more likely to “push the emotional buttons” than others.

    I would say that Christian Evangelicals are usually open to working with strong emotions.

    I also think music/lighting/sound design etc plays a significant part during a “worship service” for Evangelicals. Some Evangelical churches feel more like rock concerts on Sunday mornings than what you see in the movies.

    As an INFP – you would lead with Introverted Feeling (We call it “Authenticity”) as your dominant mental process.

    Your natural talent is to see the nuances and grey areas with regard to ethics. When mature, “Authenticity” is not about black & white thinking. It’s about seeing and understanding that we each have a very unique individual personal emotional experience.

    INFPs (when mature) are some of the best at honoring these individual perspectives.

    So – like we mention in the podcast – if your dominant mental process (for you it’s “Authenticity”) is threatened – you may find yourself needing to reevaluate things.

    This doesn’t mean you leave your faith necessarily – just re-define it or find an expression of it that matches what you know to feel right in your soul.

    Does that resonate? What are your feelings about this?

  • Shannon
    • Shannon
    • August 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I became a Christian through a personal strong spiritual experience as an adult. One thing I notice over the years is that I tend to run up against people who are very legalistic and interpret things very strongly in black and white terms (TI?) In relation to my faith, I find this an area of conflict with some others. As per your podcast, Knowing MBTI types now I wonder if that is Ne seeking or using vs. Ne ignoring. (INFP) I have been actually rethinking my faith strongly in recent years, questioning many things because of the evangelical manipulation of my emotions and actions.

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