The Eradiction Of Christianity From Our Culture

We are in the midst of a great war.  The fact that most of us do not see soldiers on the street does not change the fact.  That we do not hear bombs exploding does not change the fact.

 

The war has been going on since the Garden of Eden and continues today stronger than ever.  In fact, today, for one of the first times in the history of man, the planet seems to be somewhat united in the belief that we have outgrown a need for God.  After all, we can create life through cloning.  We can build ships that travel across the solar system—never mind the fact that we keep sending out equipment that does not work right.  Nowhere have we found any evidence that God is out there.  There was time when we knew God existed because we could feel His presence around us.  We knew He existed because we could see that creation screamed His presence.  Now science explains it all and it simply does not require God.

 

The war came home to roost during the French Revolution—the Age of Enlightenment became the prevailing worldview.  Until that time, and even for some time after the Revolution, man’s worldview, even when he was not a Christian, was influenced and dominated by a Christian understanding of the world around us.  Science was content to look for explanations that explained how God’s principles controlled everyday existence.  Then came the Age of Enlightenment and man became the dominant force in the Universe. 

 

Part of the French Revolution was a battle to destroy the influence of the Church in France.  Some of it was justified as the Church was part of the problem.  The divine right of kings and the class system it spawned were clearly part of the problem.  Unfortunately for the revolutionaries, the Church was too strong to eradicate.  So they were only able to dilute the power of the Church rather than destroy it.

 

Now, a couple of centuries later, the revolution continues.  The French Secte Report was designed to further weaken the influence of religion in general and the Church specifically.  This report screamed that enlightened man should question all religion.  Man is too intelligent to be lead around by old wife’s tales.

 

And the battle continues today—not just in France, and not just in the ideas of the Revolution.  America was greatly influenced by the Age of Enlightenment.  Thomas Jefferson and other of our founding fathers believed in its principles, even though they could not completely eradicate the Christian worldview from their minds.

 

Now the battle has taken the form of political correctness.  There are certain things we can longer say.  We are no longer allowed to be considered racist in any matter.  We are no long able to hold contrary views on a number of issues.  People no longer want us to speak about these issues in public.

 

A pastor was arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for sharing the Gospel on the sidewalks during Spring Break.  After all, we do not want to disturb the right of our college students to have their drunken drug-induced fun—that would be un-American.

 

Now the police were not so stupid as to actually charge this pastor with preaching the Gospel illegally.  Instead, they charged him with blocking the sidewalk.  That is even more interesting given the fact that at the time he was accused of blocking the sidewalk he was actually talking with the police officer about his constitutional rights.

 

This is one battle in the larger war.  The first phase of the war was to convince us that religion is a private matter.  We should not be on the sidewalks trying to tell people about God.  We should not be using our faith to influence our culture.  That is what lead to the taking down of the Ten Commandments and other references to God and particularly Christianity in our public areas. 

 

We have the right to use government money to pay for a crucifix immersed in urine as an art project. We have the right to use government money to pay for sex education that teaches that sex, with anyone of any sex, is good and moralless.  Yet, we cannot allow the posting of plaques in public places if they have a reference to God.

 

The next phase of the war is to remove the ability of Christians to share their faith in public.  It might sound like the impossible dream at first, but it is already being methodically introduced into our culture.  We have started by taking the most extreme cases and hassling them.  Anyone who preaches that God has exact standards that cannot be modified by man is finding the public arena to be a hostile place suddenly.  The first step is to say that you should preach a kinder message.  Why don’t you talk about God’s love?  Who are you to speak about what God considers sin?  After all, we are enlightened and God will not judge us for those things that we honestly believe are okay.

 

When these extreme prophets of God are threatened with arrest or even arrested our initial response is that they are bothering us with there message and it does disturb our peace.  I was only attending a ballgame or a concert and looking to have some fun.  Why do I have to listen to someone questioning my moral standards?

 

The idea is fairly palatable.  They are only cutting off the fringe.  They are not trying to stop those who will preach about God’s love or the need for us to love the earth more.

 

The trouble is that this is a true slippery slope.  After you have cut off the fringe preachers the standard for what is fringe has been moved further in.  Now the next group begins to sound fringe.  So, we will have to cut them off eventually.  Then, once again, the fringe is moved in further.  So we have to cut off that fringe and move the fringe in closer.

 

Eventually, we get to the place where the only place religion is an appropriate discussion is within the four walls of the Church.  The end result, as hard as it is to believe is that at some point we reach a point where we step inside the Church and declare that some or all of the message is incompatible with the culture.

 

It sounds like an impossible stretch to get all the way to inside the Church from where we are, but it has already begun to happen in Europe.

 

A pastor in Sweden was charged with a crime for reading scriptures from the Bible that condemned homosexuality.  It was considered a message that was incompatible with modern society.

 

During his court hearing the judge actually told this pastor that he should get a modern version of the Bible that properly dealt with homosexuality.  He was found guilty after the judge declared that he did not have the right to say, in his own pulpit, that homosexuality was considered a sin by God.

 

Eventually the courts in Sweden corrected the problem by overturning his conviction.  This is the first shot in the battle.  It will not be the last one.

 

We have to stand strong.  We can no longer give into a culture that is more and more finding our faith old fashioned and judgmental.  This does not mean that we should not find better ways to present our message.  It does mean that we should not compromise the message for the sake of the culture.

 

We are called to be salt and light.  If we do not continue to answer our calling with courage we will find our faith something is only shown in museums—at least until those museums become too offensive and our faith is hidden from view.

 

At that point the Church will be like a bad rapture movie

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Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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