Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What’s Bothering You? (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of a discussion on an informal survey that was taken by a Christian magazine.

II. Survey Results

As I said, this was an unscientific survey of people’s opinions, and the responses were lumped into nine categories by the magazine. There was no explanation given as to why a particular a category was of concern, nor were there more detailed definitions of the categories. Therefore, I’m going to define each category as I understand it, explain why it is a concern, and then see what you and I can do about it.

1. Secularization of Our Society

The first concern is, and I quote: “The secularization of our society—led by the rejection of a Creator God and the dominance of evolutionary thinking.” It’s obvious that the country is moving away from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the teaching of macro-evolution contributes to that shift. When you have a universe in which God doesn’t have any part (as we are told by authority figures), then God is marginalized and trivialized. Arrogant evolutionists claim to have the answers, which exclude God from the equation, but God will eventually ask them the same question he asked Job (38:4): “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”

We have to educate our children that God was behind any form of creation that took place, and God is active today. The rest of the areas of concern in this survey flow from this increased secularization of our society.

While there’s not a lot we can do to reverse this trend, we can do a few things within our own spheres of influence:
-We can bring up our children and grandchildren in the faith.
-We can educate our children and grandchildren, letting them know, for example, that God was behind the creation process.
-We can bring others to faith.
-We can build up our own faith thru practicing the spiritual disciplines and educating ourselves in the Bible.

I received a mailing recently for a seminar entitled: “Sober, Vigilant and Hopeful: Living in Apocalyptic Times” (put on by New England Conference of the United Methodist Church). The subject of that seminar has to do with this secularization issue, and the description says it all:

“How can we live awake, alert and compassionate in times that shake the foundations of the familiar? We cannot take for granted what the future brings. As society moves toward more secularization, the relationship of church and culture shift, and the very shape of the world order changes drastically. We very well might find ourselves once more in a situation similar to the first generations of Christians. We’ll consider how early Christianity as a movement, rooted in God’s passion for the world, can provide clues for ways to root ourselves in God, Gospel and spiritual community.”

2. Men and Women

The second category is, and I quote: “Loss of the distinctive identities of men and women, leading to a loss of understanding of marriage and family.” There are several possibilities as to what this could mean. I think the biggest problem when it comes to marriage and the family is a lack of commitment resulting in a high divorce rate. Divorce is incredibly painful for all concerned, it disrupts lives, and it often results in a lower standard of living for women and children.

Probably the concern about the: “Loss of the distinctive identities of men and women” may refer to certain aspects of women’s liberation. Some libbers have tried to blur the unique and God-given distinctions between men and women, and deny there’s any real difference. God made us different and we should celebrate it, not try to deny it. However, these differences should never be used to hold women back from equal pay and equal opportunities.

3. Abortion

The third concern is one word: “abortion.” I think we all know the arguments against abortion, but from a societal point of view, there is a good reason why its legalization is troublesome. That reason, so the theory goes, is that if you legalize abortion, you are going against our traditional respect for life. As a result, it could then become easier to legalize infanticide, euthanasia, and then who knows what? What distinguishes Western culture from the rest of the world is this respect for life – we can’t lose that. The good news is that he U.S. abortion rate has been declining.

More about this survey in future posts. Note: Survey is from World Magazine, “What Ails Us” by Joel Belz, (July 28, 2012, Vol 27, No 15, page 3)

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