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Featured Do you think religion is being taken out of secular society.

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by stevevw, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    I have been pondering this question for a little while now and was wondering what others thought. Lately I have noticed that more people, organizations and governments are talking about the irrelevance of religion or religious belief. I am mainly talking about Christianity as in my country Australia we seem to be moving away from it pretty fast. Considering that we were built on Christian values it seems that we are forgetting our foundations.

    I think this has been spurred on from the troubles we have had with some of the extremist groups like ISIS which is giving all religion a bad name. I know that there has been less people involved in religion over the pasts few decades and today's young generation are the least religious. I think at least in Australia because we are a multicultural country we are seeing other religions come in and the government is saying we can have any one religion being dominant. They are being too politically correct and saying it may offend other religions if we promote our own christian beliefs.

    So now we can't have traditional celebrations like Christmas or Easter and now it is not being acknowledged anymore. In fact the commercial aspect of these occasions is becoming bigger and kids are more likely to believe in Santa Clause. It seems some are even getting angry or intolerant of any religion now and see it as not being relevant in today's world. Do you think this trend will continue and will Christianity eventually be totally removed from all public places.
     
  2. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

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    I think one should be free to practice their religion, but I do fundamentally believe in the separation of church and state.

    For example, in Canada the government still pays for the Catholic School Board on top of the public school board, and I think this is wrong.

    Where I live I haven't experienced intolerance of religion though, most are happy to let you do your own thing. :)
     
  3. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Yes, I expect the trend to continue. If, when, and where a revival occurs is impossible to predict, but God isn't going to disappear. Western Christians have become much too accustomed to associating Christianity with government even though they are theoretically separate in the U.S. I'm not one to advocate either separation or theocracy.
     
  4. hengesthorsa

    hengesthorsa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think we're about to see a resurgence of at least nominal Christianity in the USA.
     
  5. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree.
    Actually, Americans have come to associate everything with government. If you don't have enough money to live on, it is the government's responsibility to help you. If you don't have good medical care, the government should provide it. If you're unemployed, the economy is bad, or terrorism is happening, it is the government's fault.

    It's not surprising that allowing religion to be publicly acceptable is the government's "fault." In fact, atheist and Christian alike in America think that anything not the way he or she wants it is a problem that should be solved by the government.

    People will turn back to Jesus Christ when they have needs that can no longer be met by worldly means. Their problems must surpass the technical capabilities of humans, otherwise it will be someone else's fault.

    However, in general, the real God has been fading from most parts of the world for a long time. Praise God for meeting the needs of the people that need him to and believe he will! (e.g., many in China)
     
  6. Anguspure

    Anguspure Slave Supporter

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    I agree on your observation (I work in one of the most secular anti-religious environments in the land of Oz), but I don't think (Christian) religion is removing itself from secular society fast enough! If secular society wishes to half reject Christ Jesus and all he stands for then we should, in imitation of Our Lord, allow them the complete freedom to do so, completely. Then the holy message of Christ will stand in contrast to the darkness.

    [​IMG]

    Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

    “The stone the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone,”

    and,

    “A stone that causes people to stumble

    and a rock that makes them fall.”

    They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2)
     
  7. JackRT

    JackRT I'm on the left.

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    This was a compromise that the Fathers of Confederation made in order to bring Quebec into the union. That compromise is long overdue to be scrapped or modified or replaced.
     
  8. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    I actually didn't think of it that way where secular society should hurry up and separate itself from Christian belief so that there is a contrast. This is true as at the moment it is all too mixed up and watered down. Some in Australia want to claim we are a Christian nation and that they are Christians when comparing ourselves with extremist religions to show we are different and better. At the same time they want to ban everyone that's different. When you ask them what it means to be a Christian they think it just means having an Aussie way of life. This is what has happened where Christian beliefs is being compromised into a watered down version that people think is good enough to call Christianity.

    I agree that church and state should be separate but what is happening is that some people are rejecting Christian belief because state policies and secular views are becoming the dominant view and are saying Christian views are actually wrong and uncaring. Now if you make an opinion about your belief you are being attacked for being intolerant. As I stated originally I think all the conflicts about extreme religions have caused people to think all religion is wrong. But I agree that if Christianity becomes completely separate then people will see the example and this should reflect Gods love. This will be the revival but still I think there will be a lot of rejection before this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  9. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    I agree and its this watered down version of Christianity that compromises things to fit in with world views. When I see some religions making stacks of money and justifying it as the way things are like you have to use business to get by today to succeed I think they are taking things to far. Some religions own millions while people go hungry. If there is a revival it will be from those whole practice what they preach and go about living the example which will be more powerful in the end.
     
  10. JackRT

    JackRT I'm on the left.

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    I suspect that this is a long overdue reaction to the many centuries long total Christian dominance of society.

    And Christians themselves are reacting to this reaction. A fairly large block of my fellow Christians have what could be called an entitlement mentality. For many centuries they have had things their own way and have controlled society to such an extent, that when minority groups started demanding and recieving rights that they had previously been denied, rights that Christians held all along, these same Christians felt threatened and claimed that they were being persecuted. Rights and freedoms are not part of a zero-sum game. Expanding them does not thereby reduce them for some other group. Extending the vote to women did not reduce the rights of men in society. In reality Christians have lost no rights and are not threatened in any meaningful way. In Canada and the USA Christians are certainly not being persecuted. I think this is may be true in Australia as well.
     
  11. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    I would disagree. While you don't want to compromise the Gospel, the purpose of Christianity is not to retain moral purity or protect ourselves from danger. Our calling is to spread the Gospel, which means accepting the dangers associated with that calling. Christians need to get dirty, eat with the sinners and tax collectors, etc.
     
  12. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Oh! So THAT's what that means!!! Supporter

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    Answer to your question: Christianity will likely become challenged (and thereby shrink) from all social quarters, but I don't think it will ever completely disappear ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  13. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Oh! So THAT's what that means!!! Supporter

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    Resha, ...we might want to qualify more specifically what we mean by "not needing to retain moral purity." ;)
     
  14. dayhiker

    dayhiker Mature veteran

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    Interesting read and an interesting question.

    I think the percent of Christians Christian countries is falling because God hasn't poured out His Holy Spirit on us sense the 70's. Without revivals the church kinda plods along. Some get saved but there is not enough people getting saved to change society.

    With all the different religions getting a voice these days because people have been so mobile bring their religion with them. One moral code is as good as another. Christianity doesn't stand out because it has a superior moral code. Christianity is to stand out because we have a personal relationship with God. Yet most of the talk I read and hear isn't from that point of view. So I think we loss what our faith really has to offer.
     
  15. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Good point and this would set an example by action. I think many people are sick of just talk and the TV evangelists and all the money making in the name of God. That is what is turning them off. Its the same for politicians where people are turning away from the same old spiels and bull. That's why these fringe politicians are getting a vote because people don't trust the mainstream ones because its the same old same old.

    If a politician came and lived like the poor and sacrificed his extravagant pay then people may begin to take notice and respect them. Its the same for Christianity if people got down in the dirt and hung with the sinners then people would start taking notice. Christians more than anyone should be doing this and that's probably why people are feeling annoyed at religion because it should know better.
     
  16. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Sure. I realize that could be misinterpreted. I meant a pharisaic self-righteousness.
     
  17. Anguspure

    Anguspure Slave Supporter

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    This is the thing, we are called to go out into the world, which implies that there is something to go out of, and something to go into.

    If the body of people that is the Church does not maintain itself holy, set apart, what is there to go out of ? If the world thinks that it is a part of the body for whatever moral or religious reason, apart from Christ Jesus, then what is there to go into?

    For myself, I have lived the compromised life for a very long time now, have got dirty and damaged eat with sinners, accountants and lawyers regularly, I have accepted the dangers and have stumbled twisted my ankle often.

    So I would love to be able to have a rest in the Church every now and again, to be supported, healed, trained and sent out again. But the truth is that for 90% of the time the Church is indistinguishable from the world and I am unable to get those things.

    And this is why we need a holy church (and I talking about the body of peole here, not the institutional organization) 7 days a week 365.25 days a year so that we can actually be effective and useful to the world that we go out into.
     
  18. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting Berean through and through

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    Separation of church and state IS government not interfering with religious practices.
    They are the same issue.
     
  19. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting Berean through and through

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    That's what secular means.
     
  20. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Sure (Luke 5:16). But the point is not to be different to be different. If one drives the Church to be different just to be able to tell it's different, that's nonsense. Nor is the point to drive out the sinners. That assumes there is someone perfect who can remain behind (usually the person who is driving people out).

    Seeking comfort from the Church is not the same as a litmus test.