Friday, June 06, 2014
Engagament and Separation
The Christian response to secularization, where the process cannot not be stopped, has historically been separation. Indeed this is the only strategy compatible with obedience to God. The loss of a Christian denomination to orthodoxy, once it became clear that the denomination is not likely to be recovered and the falling away from orthodox belief and practice is too severe to be tolerated, has led to the formation of new denominations, nondenominational churches, and parachurch organizations. And similarly with the secularization of public schools and colleges, which led to the establishment of Christian schools and homeschooling, while Christian charities have been in some measure an alternative to the welfare state. With society at large and the state ruling it no longer Christian, it has still been possible to maintain a Christian sub-culture in which God was obeyed and faithful Christians could live in that obedience."May" be failing? - Oh, I think it is quite obvious it IS failing. He then goes on to look at ENDA and its ramification and then concludes:
But as we move further into the twenty-first century, this essentially defensive strategy may be failing...
If orthodox Christians are deprived of their parachurch institutions, and only worship services are tolerated by the state, then we will remain as a faithful community, and perhaps begin to argue that we should be able to serve God as we believe he requires, regardless of how offended others profess themselves to be. The partisans of a nonreligious society and the sexual revolution that is destroying religious liberty take no less non-negotiable positions, and a nonideological state should not prefer one side over the other. Most importantly, we will continue as faithful disciples of Christ until he returns.PLEASE! Is that the response of Paul? IS that how the faithful community of Christ came to shape the western world? I don't think so! He fails to address two central problems for the church.
One of the very fracturing he so describes. That fracturing as developed a world where the para-church is separate from the church. There was a time when all this para-church stuff was church. We have participated in this separation willingly. Secondly, is the fact that we continue to fracture instead of ignore, again, the example of the apostles. When some thought the church was for all and some thought it was just for the Jews, they sat down and figured out what to do. They did not run off and start a bunch of different churches. They worked hard to build unity instead of division.
Wish we were that smart.
church society unity