Colossians 3:17 (HCSB)- And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
This morning, I was graced by God through a conversation with a sister in the Faith. One of the things she mentioned was the frustration she felt whenever she saw secular society trying to silence Christian expressions of Faith in the public square.
I could not agree with her more. In fact, the issue of secular persecution of the Church has been of great concern to me for a long time. After trying as hard as I could to stand against an overwhelmingly-pervading culture of rebellion against God, I came to realize that the methodology we have been espousing needs correction.
Individual Christians must come to the realization that there is one main reason why secular culture has overwhelmed us in every corner of society.
- Western secular society is the way it is today because WE (the Church) have allowed or caused it to be. We only have ourselves to blame.
There was a time in Western culture where being a faithful church-goer and participant was an honorable thing. Christian morals and lifestyles were considered to be of the highest standards and worthy of emulation. Prayer was respected as a means of seeking equality UNDER ONE CREATOR and the love of neighbor through means of service was highly encouraged. Society was family-oriented and protected through familial vocations that guarded the holy institution of the household.
History proves that as opportunities for sense-gratification were made more readily available after WW2, that Western society became more selfish and individualistic in nature. The age-old morals and standards of the Faith became obstacles or inconveniences to the gratification of the self. Drug addictions, fornications, abortion and gluttony became the expressions of the self-worship that characterizes our society.
The Christian Church is mostly to blame for this on many levels…but the foundational reason is that we are AS SECULAR AS THE SECULAR WORLD, the only difference being that we have an occasional sprinkle of Jesus.
There are some that have said that Christians invented “secular society.” If this is so, then we must admit that secular society has been hijacked, and that we have in turn adopted its modus operandi because we have existed for too long as a culturally-vacuous people.
1 Peter 2:9 calls the Church “…a chosen RACE, a royal PRIESTHOOD, a holy NATION, a PEOPLE for God’s own possession…”
All four words (Race, Priesthood, Nation, People) imply a particular group with particular vocations that find expressions and societal unity through a COMMON CULTURE.
Rather than facing secularism head on by fighting them on every corner of society, we would fare well to go back to basics. Although space and time will not allow for us to go back and re-pair the past, we can heal the damages that we have created by developing a NEW CHRISTIAN CULTURE that transcends our denominational divisions so that we can once again begin to feel like a community under The Cross.
This means that the Church will have to experiment with forms of worship and of living that can become expressions of an all-encompassing devotional lifestyle that both unites and distinguishes us as a particular PEOPLE.
It would do well for us to return back to the Scriptures, while comparing the devotees of ancient times to contemporary, extra-Christian communities that follow similar universally-ancient practices and principles.
Christianity has become a fractured society in which the self takes precedence over the One we call Lord and Savior. Only when we re-learn to focus our attention upon Christ and His teachings, will we be able to experience the unity in love that Christ desired for us.
When we begin to unite as a PEOPLE and to love one another as Christ has loved us, then a fractured, secular society will see the Faith that we embody and desire to be part of us.
We will know that we have accomplished our mission of becoming a PEOPLE when we come to the realization that eating and drinking with brothers and sisters in Christ, is actually associating with family.
The Church must learn to become a family again…and this by creating a new culture that centers around the Name of Jesus, to the glory of God the Father.