Presentation on theme: "Rise of Secularism and Christian Engagement Christ Us World."— Presentation transcript:
Rise of Secularism and Christian Engagement Christ Us World
Christian Foundation Worldview Christian Foundation Worldview Secular Worldview Bridging The Gap Enlightenment 17 th -18 th Century Other Spiritual Worldview Western Worldview Development Renaissance 14 th Century
Christian Worldview Secular Worldview Bridging The Gap Christian Secular Worldview Divide Science/Reason Wealth Accumulation Popular Media Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment History The US Supreme Court since the mid 20 th century has interpreted the First Amendment as if it requires this "wall of separation" between church and state. Meaning, it not only prohibits the government from adopting a particular denomination or religion as official, but, in violation of the free expression clause, has regularly ruled to limit religious expression in the public sphere from prayers to passive displays of the 10 commandments which had been allowed the first 150 plus years of the nation.
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment History In the landmark 1947 case, Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court applied the "establishment clause" of the First Amendment to the states. Taxpayer in New Jersey brought a lawsuit against the state to stop travel reimbursement to parents sending their kids to religious schools by the state of New Jersey. He claimed it violated both the State’s and U.S. constitutions supporting one religion.
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment History In the landmark 1947 case, Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court applied the "establishment clause" of the First Amendment to the states. The interpretation put forward overturned 150 years legal interpretation that allowed public expression of religion even in government supported entity such as holding church services in the capitol building.
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment &1947 Everson v. Board of Education "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.' " 330 U.S. 1,
Christendom and the U.S. Before 1947 Everson v. Board of Education 1800 – Congress decided to use the capital as a church building John Quincy Adams – “Religious service is usually performed on Sundays at the Treasury Office and the capitol.”
Christendom and the U.S. Before 1947 Everson v. Board of Education 1853 – a group petitioned congress to separate Christian principles from government, asking chaplains to be turned out of congress and military and Christianity from the public sphere. Judiciary Committee Report in response Mar. 27, 1854 – “Had the people [the Founding Fathers] during the Revolution, a suspicion of attempt to war against Christianity, the Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle... At the time of the adoption of the constitution and its amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one sect.”
Christendom and the U.S. Before 1947 Everson v. Board of Education 1892 – Church of the Holy Trinity v United States Immigrant worker contracted as Rector and Pastor for the church U.S. claimed this was illegal under law Not the intent of the legislators to prevent churches from doing this. Listed 80 precedents – many looking at the religious foundations of the nation through rulings and state s’ legal documents. Ruled unanimously that Christianity was the bases of U.S. law and institutions
Christendom and the U.S. 1892 – Church of the Holy Trinity v United States If we examine the constitutions of the various states, we find in them a constant recognition of religious obligations. Every Constitution of every one of the forty-four states contains language which, either directly or by clear implication, recognizes a profound reverence for religion, and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the wellbeing of the community. This recognition may be in the preamble, such as is found in the Constitution of Illinois, 1870: "We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations,"
1892 – Church of the Holy Trinity v United States If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find every where a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, "In the name of God, amen;" the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. In the face of all these, shall it be believed that a Congress of the United States intended to make it a misdemeanor for a church of this country to contract for the services of a Christian minister residing in another nation? Page 143 U. S. 472
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment History Supreme Court ruling in 20 th century began legal change Engles v. Vitale (1962) – ruling about state sponsored prayer. New York Board of Regents wanted to have a non- denominational prayer to recite in school. ”Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country.” Students were not compelled or encourage to participate. 11 of 13 judges who considered the case felt the ruling “would be historically wrong and itself constitutionally objectionable.” – No precedents cited in this case.
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment History Supreme Court ruling in 20 th century began legal change Chief Judge of the New York court of Appeals said regard the Engel v. Vitale case: “Not only is the prayer not a violation of the First Amendment... But holding that it is such a violation would be in defiance of all American history, and such a holding would destroy a part of the essential foundation of the American governmental structure.”
Christendom and the U.S. Engel v. Vitale case: Term Church redefined to mean a religious activity performed in public instead of religious institution Now meant government must not allow a public religious activity
Christendom and the U.S. 1 st Amendment History Supreme Court ruling in 20 th century began legal change Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) – from a case originating in Alabama ruled that public schools may not set aside a period of silence at the beginning of the school day if there is the mere suggestion that students might use the time for prayer. See Justice White’s and other justices dissenting opinions where he show the precedents for not ruling against a period of silence.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Three forces developing from the Enlightenment period Secular Humanistic Philosophy (Knowledge sector & Reason) Evolutionary Theory and Materialism (Science & Reason) Modernization (Wealth accumulation & Media)
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Enlightenment period strengthened humanistic thinking (18 th century) Has its roots in some aspects of Greek philosophical thinking Humanism Positively - it refers to the dignity of human beings and improving the human condition. Negatively – it refers to a belief system in which humans beings replace God as central source knowledge and ethical decisions.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Humanism defined: A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth. A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance and Enlightenment that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Humanism defined: Christian Humanism is defined by Webster's Third New International Dictionary as "a philosophy advocating the self-fulfillment of man within the framework of Christian principles.“ Secular Humanism or Modern, Naturalistic Humanism, Scientific Humanism, Ethical Humanism, and Democratic Humanism, is defined by Corliss Lamont, as "a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion."
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Renaissance (14 th and 15 th centuries) Scientific Revolution (16 th and 17 th centuries) Enlightenment period (18 th century) Industrialization and Modern period (19 th and 20 th centuries) Friedrich Nietzsche ( ) – proclaimed God as dead indicating that enlightenment thinking had killed him in the sense Western culture had excluded him from public life.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Genesis in the Enlightenment Age of Reason – Thomas Paine (1794) Darwinism – Evolutionary Theory & Materialism Before Darwin (1700’s) there was an idea of the world moving from primitive to the more complex Darwin ( ) gave it a scientific setting Origin of Species (1859) There is a philosophical commitment to the idea of progress of humanity
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Society for Ethical Culture – Secular Humanism Philosophy Founded in 1876 by rabbi Dr. Felix Adler Other societies were formed and later merged into American Ethical Union founded also by Adler in Became the center for what would become “secular humanism” which teaches that God does not exist, and that man is perfectible, self-sufficient and the measure of all things.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular First Humanist Society Founded in 1929 by Charles Potter 1930 wrote Humanism: A New Religion “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?” Horace Mann would widely promote Humanism in the public schools
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Humanist Manifesto I (1933) Signed by 34 prominent national figures including the educator John Dewey Rejects traditional Christian beliefs Supports naturalism, materialism, rationalism, and socialism The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world. -- Raymond B. Bragg (1933) Humanist_Manifesto_I Humanist_Manifesto_I
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Torcaso v. Watkins (1961) Secular humanism recognized as a religion. “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would general be considered a belief in the existence of God, are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular humanism and others.” Secular humanism becomes more prominent with the modernization and people looking to humanity as the answer to everything and God is pushed further out of consideration.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Modernization to secularization Modernity is often associated with what Jurgen Habermas ascribes as the “Enlightenment project” or “project of modernity”. This project finds its genesis in the eighteenth century Enlightenment. It is composed of the ongoing “development of the objectivating sciences, the universalistic bases of morality and law, and autonomous art in accordance with their internal logic but at the same time a release of the cognitive potentials thus accumulated from their esoteric high forms and their utilisation in praxis: that is, in the rational organisation of living conditions and social relations” (1992).
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Modernization to secularization Netland states that modernity is…characterized by an emphasis upon the capacity of reason to uncover universal truths; the rejection of superstition and religious authoritarianism; and understanding of science as producing ever more accurate pictures of the universe and the human person; and expectation that science, technology and education working together will eradicate problems and progressively improve human life; and a general toleration for various creeds and ways of life, so long as they do not conflict with what reason sanctions (2001, 67).
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Modernization to secularization Originating with the eighteenth-century Enlightenment we see an increasingly globalized culture that is rooted in the processes of modernization associated with the economic, industrial and social transformations progressively moving worldwide The Enlightenment is the intellectual heritage of the West during the past three hundred years
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Secularizing factors in modernization Science is objective Science can give humanity a true understanding of the world Reason can be the basis of morality and law Universal truths can be discovered through reason only Science, technology, and education can solve humanities problems Views contrary to reason not respected or even tolerated
Christian Thought and American Culture Founding of the U.S. Political Thought Political Praxis Science Education Societal Issues Cultural Practices Open Worldview U.S. CULTURE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE Christian Worldview Foundational
Christian Thought and American Culture Secular Influence in the U.S. Political Thought Political Praxis Education Science Societal Issues Cultural Practices Open Worldview U.S. CULTURE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE Christian Worldview Foundational
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Three primary carriers of modernity (Hunter) The first is “industrial capitalism” with its “applied rationality” and “rational control.” (also communism, et. al) The second carrier of modernity is the “modern state” as the primary purveyor of a “rationalistic or bureaucratic form of social organization” with its compartmentalization rather than the integration of knowledge. The third is the “knowledge sector” with its “institutions of culture formation and reality definition” comprises the third carrier of modernity. Prominent within this latter group are universities, the mass media, and the arts (1994, 18-20).
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Modernization to secularization Modernization and modernity challenge Christianity as it interprets God’s timeless message in the midst of cultural and sociological changes. Whether the progression of modernity constitutes what Max Weber calls the “iron cage” or Peter Berger imagines as a “gigantic steel hammer,” there is little doubt that the Christian message has lived within, confronted, moderated, wrestled with, and even compromised with cultural and social issues as historical situations and societies have changed with the onward march of modernity or forms of modernity, i.e. modernities.
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Influence of Modernization on Culture Dependence on reason & science from a closed worldview Wealth accumulation and self-sufficient perspective Popular media and technological influences Knowledge sector’s pursuit of truth from a closed worldview perspective
Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular Modernization’s Influence on Christianity Emphasis on self as the center of human life Knowledge and education through science and reason is enough for ethical and moral decisions Material well-being given priority Religion relegated to sub-conscious experiences, needs, desires and feeling.
Influence of Secular Thinking Biblical Criticism Liberal scholarship denies inspiration Modernization & belief in “science” as answer Religion redefined (see section on religion) Subjective or psychological Evolutionary Secularism Religion seen as a personal matter Religion pushed to the fringe of academic pursuit Religion seen as not important Spiritual aspects of humanity down-played or ignored
Influence of Secular Thinking Humanist Manifesto II (1973) “Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices. Modern science discredits such historic concepts as the "ghost in the machine" and the "separable soul." Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context. There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body. We continue to exist in our progeny and in the way that our lives have influenced others in our culture.” anism/Humanist_Manifesto_II anism/Humanist_Manifesto_II
Influence of Secular Thinking Modernization to modernity Peter Berger notes that modernization consists of the “transformation of the world brought about by the technological innovations of the last few centuries, first in Europe and then with increasing rapidity all over the world.” This transformation especially centers itself within political, social, and economic patterns and structures that substantially influence beliefs, values, and cultures (1977, 70). Humanism see modern abilities of humans as able to provide answers to all of humanity’s needs. (See Fifth in Humanist Manifesto II)
Influence of Secular Thinking Humanist Manifesto II (1973) “ FIFTH : The preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value. Individuals should be encouraged to realize their own creative talents and desires. We reject all religious, ideological, or moral codes that denigrate the individual, suppress freedom, dull intellect, dehumanize personality. We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility. SIXTH : In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized... Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their lifestyles as they desire.
Influence of Secular Thinking Humanist Manifesto III (2003) Mostly contained in Manifesto II Puts forward the “self-existence of nature” Denial of the supernatural Finality of death Idea of religion comes from an interaction with the natural environment
Division of Spiritual and Secular RevelationReason God Self Spiritual BoxSecular Box
Division of Sacred and Secular Excluded Middle Faith Miracles Other-worldly problems Sacred – God centered Sight and experience Natural order This-worldly problems Secular – self centered Western Two-Tiered View of Reality Adaptation of Paul Hiebert, Missiology: An International Review 10.1 (January 1982: 35-47) God Religion Self Science Not Real Real Separating Christian worldview from being an important dimension of humanity, culture and society,
Division of Sacred and Secular How did this two-tiered worldview emerge? Platonic dualism Enlightenment thinking – humanity as center Rationalism – human reason as the answer to humanities problems Science based on materialistic naturalism Naturalism – physical world is all that exists Religion relegated to a persons feelings or sub-conscience experiences, needs, desires, or neurosis. Religion reactive rather than engaging secular thought
Christian Worldview Secular Worldview Bridging The Gap Ideological & Sociological Influences of Secularism Science/Reason Wealth Accumulation Popular Media Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective Secular Humanism Philosophy Evolutionary Theory Materialism Modernization
Division of Sacred and Secular Two-tiered division Result : This has given rise to secularization of science and the mystification of religion. Science – deals with the empirical world using mechanistic processes based on the certitudes of sense experience, experimentation and proof from observation of natural law. Religion – religion was relegated to faith in dreams, visions, inner feelings, subjective thinking, and exceptions to natural law, e.g. miracles and spiritual realm.
Division of Sacred and Secular Christian worldview should dissolve the excluded middle by: Not confining God to the supernatural realm only or removing the spiritual dimension of our world completely from our understanding Not viewing the world as simply a system of autonomous scientific laws Recognizing both the spiritual and physical nature of our world and of people Recognizing God is involved in human history, affairs of nations, peoples, and individuals.
Spiritual and Physical Nature of the World S C I E N C E CHRSTIANCHRSTIAN Integrated and Holistic View of Reality Closed Worldview Open Worldview Physical Realm Spiritual Realm
Secular Humanism Pushes to Remove the Spiritual Reason Revelation God Self
Christian Perspective Humanity is both Spiritual and Physical (Body, Soul, Spirit) Revelation/Reas on Self God Spiritual/Physical Worldview
Church in an Engaging Mode Spiritual/Church/Physical Worldview ChurchGod World Incarnational Church Missional Engagement Communitas Missional-Incarnational Communitas Approach Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways, p. 239
Church in a Dualistic Mode Church as a Fortress to the Worldview ChurchGod World God’s interaction with his people (worship, etc.) The Dualistic Christendom Mode Individual and church’s interaction with the world (work, play mission, evangelism) sacred realmsecular realm Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways, p. 237
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularism Secular – from the Latin saeculum meaning “generation” or “age” signifying belonging to this age or to the world rather than to a transcendent religious direction. Secularism is a worldview that find little if any place for the supernatural and transcendent. It represents a philosophical viewpoint that had its genesis with the Renaissance and developed more fully during the Enlightenment.
Division of Sacred and Secular The term “secularism” was coined by the British writer George Jacob Holyoake in 1851 (Origin and Nature of Secularism by Holyoake, 1896, p. 51) Holyoake viewed secularism as a social order separate from religion as “light and guidance in secular truth” but this did not mean there is not light or guidance elsewhere. Barry Kosmin, Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, points to two types of secularism: hard and soft. “The hard secularist considers religious propositions to be epistemologically illegitimate, warranted by neither reason nor experience." The view of soft secularism is that, "the attainment of absolute truth was impossible and therefore skepticism and tolerance should be the principle and overriding values in the discussion of science and religion."Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularism – Max Weber perceived secularization occurring because of a consequence of modernity’s rationalization because rationality no longer gave space to religion thus creating a “disenchantment of the World.”
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularism – “the process by which sectors of society and culture are removed from the domination of religious institutions and symbols.” Religious institutions have less influence in society Religious symbols have less meaning in society “As there is a secularization of society and culture, so is there a secularization of consciousness.” (Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy )
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularism – Religion for the first time in history has lost its validity for the individuals in the society. (Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy, 124 ) An increasing number of individuals have a philosophy and worldview that does not involve a religious dimension.
Division of Sacred and Secular Yves Lambert ( Sociology of Religion, Religion in Modernity as a New Axial Age: Secularization or New Religious Forms (1999):60:3) Social secularization – Less influence is society Organizational secularization – Less spiritual emphasis in churches and other institutions) Individual secularization – Less of a Christian worldview Secularization produces emphasis on: This-worldly orientation rather than other –worldly orientation Individual choice Less religious involvement
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularism – is “the process through which the decisive influence of religious ideas and institutions has been neutralized in successive sectors of society and culture, making religious ideas less meaningful and religious institutions more marginal. In particular, it refers to how our modern consciousness and ways of thinking are restricted to the world of the five senses.“ (Os Guinness, The Call, 148)
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularization The process through which successive sectors of society and culture are freed from the influence of religious ideas and influence. It is a historical process in which religious beliefs, values, and institutions are increasingly marginalized and lose their value and importance. Secularization is associated with modernization where technology and human achievement are emphasized and thought to provide ultimate answers.
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularization Social scientist is the 1960s and 70s were predicting the demise of religion in the Western world because of the growth of secularism. Although secularism is still growing and having an impact in the West, the U.S. has particularly not followed the trend at the pace most thought would happen. It is argued by some that as secularism progresses, people will cause people to look for the transcendent.
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularization Secularize religion means transforming the nature, meaning and place of religion in society where its emphasis is “this world” oriented rather than “other world” oriented. The book The Christian Mind gives examples of the secularization of religion.
Division of Sacred and Secular Secularism ultimately is the denial of the reality of the spiritual realm in the events of human life. Elements of Secularism Autonomy of the individual Power of human reason Only real world is from sensory experience Reduces reality of this world to simple materialistic explanations – modern scientism Universe is a closed system Nothing outside the physical system
Division of Sacred and Secular Ramifications of Secularism With evolutionary theory it provided grounds for an epistemological shift from creator/creation, design and purpose to understanding the universe as a product of chance and random relations that trigger chains of cause and effects. Gave rise to the denial of moral absolutes. God became remote as in Deism God’s existence denied as in Atheism Science becomes the authority
Division of Sacred and Secular Ramifications of Secularism Secularism worldview became a rival to a religious worldview which became marginalized as a product of particular historical cultural and socio-economic contexts. Reduce the influence of religion in society Rely on reason and science Religion is marginalized as a way to answer ultimate questions and provide ethical and moral norms or sanctions relative to a culture.
Division of Sacred and Secular Ramifications of Secularism Secularism works against Christian principles by putting self and reason above revelation and belief Secularism’s increases the marginalization of Christianity to be simply a self-help crutch for the weak minded Public morals become increasingly personalized and privatized Morals become relative Reliance on instrumental reason to find “truth” Scientific method to find “truth”
Division of Sacred and Secular Secular Humanist Declaration (1982) Free enquiry Separation of Church and State Freedom Critical intelligence Moral education Religious skepticism Knowledge through reason Science & technology Evolution Education
Atheism in the U.S. 1990, 10% of U.S. population was non-religious In % (40,000,000) claimed to be non- religious In 2010 – 16.5% (52,411,00) claimed to be non- religious 2010 Europe – Eurobarometer Poll of EU % no God, 26% life spirit/force, 51% God No personal God - Czech Republic 84%, Sweden – 82%, France 73% -- Italy 26%, Ireland 30%, Germany 56%, UK 63% In the non-western world Christianity is growing
Atheism in the U.S. Books by Atheists The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins The End of Faith by Sam Harris God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor Stenger God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens Atheist Manifesto by Michel Onfray
Atheism in the U.S. Dawkins and Dennett want to be called “brights” like in I am bright. Dawkins defines a bright as one who espouses “a worldview that is free of supernatural and mysticism.” Dennet states, “We brights don’t believe in ghosts, elves, or the Easter Bunny – or God.” The point is they are too smart to believe in supernatural aspects of the world.
Secular Spiritual Closed WorldviewOpen Worldview Material universe only Material and spiritual in universe Humanity evolved and is solely a product of material forces Humanity created in the image of God Truth is relative on moral issues Truth is revealed by God Existence by accident Creation by intelligent design Humanity the authority God the authority
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World The context of the early Christians The Roman Empire was very diverse ethnically and religiously Christianity came into a world where moral standards were very low and relative Christianity showed its value in the midst of diversity, moral, ethical, economic, and political challenges Christianity started in A.D. 30 at Jesus death and by A.D. 350 it is estimated that approximately 60% of the Empire were Christians
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Early Christians examples to the world Centered on Christ – how much he valued humanity Lived its beliefs Recognized Christ’s attitudes and emulate them Shared its beliefs Adhered to living in peace even at their own expense Engaged in overcoming infanticide Held to a higher standard of morals Served the sick in times of plagues Offered a belief system of love and hope Started schools for common people
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Foundation of Christian living & engagement Everyone created in the image of God Value of all people God’s love for all people Two greatest commandments Love God with all your heart, soul, mind & Strength Love your neighbor as yourself Os Guinness How the church engages in a post-Christian culture
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Four keys to engaging a secular world Live for Christ – represent Christ’s attitude Love for people – practice sacrificial love Serve people – treat them as people created in God’s image Share Christ – through spiritual and physical service
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Christian keys to engaging a secular world Live for Christ – represent Christ’s attitude Mt. 7 – Lives build on Christ, the rock Rom. 12:18 – Live in peace with all people 2 Cor. 5:15 - He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Gal. 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal. 5:25 – live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 1 Pet. 2:24 - He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Christian keys to engaging a secular world Love for people – practice sacrificial love Jn. 3:16-17 – Same love Jesus had for people Mt. 5:43-44 – love your enemy Jn. 13:35 – they will know you are my disciples by your love for each other Jn. 14:15, 21 – if you love you keep commandments Jn. 15:13 – greater love has no man than this than to lay down his life for another Jn. 15:17 – commanded to love one another 1 Thess. 3:12 – abound in love for all people 1 Cor. 13 – Love in practice 1 Cor. 16:14 – Let all you do be done in love Eph. 4:2, 15 – love with humility and speak truth in love
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Christian keys to engaging a secular world Serve people – treat them as people created in God’s image Mt. 20:28 - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jn. 13 – Jesus’ example of service Mk. 10:44 – a slave to all Gal. 5:13 – serve one another Gal. 6:10 – do good to all people Phil. 2:17 – poured out as a drink offering in service 1 Pet. 2:16-17 – use freedom to honor all people 1 Pet. 4: serving to glorify God
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Servanthood Model OpennessAcceptanceTrustLearningUnderstanding SERVING Elmer, Duane Cross- Cultural Servanthood, p. 152
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Servanthood Model Serving – to serve a person you need to understand that person Openness – willing to step out of your comfort zone Based on God’s openness who welcomes sinners and people created in his image and valuable in His sight Acceptance – a person must be welcomed by you to feel valued and esteemed They feel safe with you Trust – having felt valued over time builds trust in who you are and in your concern for them Can only happen after acceptance Elmer, Duane Cross-Cultural Servanthood, p
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Servanthood Model Learning – a person learns better from those they trust A person shares important information and parts of their lives with those they trust Understanding – understanding comes through learning from another person and then with that person “A learning attitude signals humility and a willingness to identify with the people.” Elmer, Duane Cross-Cultural Servanthood, p
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Christian keys to engaging a secular world Share Christ – through spiritual and physical service Mt. 10:5f – limited commission Jn. 17 – Sent as Christ was sent Mt. 28:18-20 – Sent to all ethnic groups Mk. 16:15-16 – Go into all the world Lk. 24:46-49 – Proclaim Christ and be witnesses
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Biblical Christian perspective of non-Christians: Created in the image of God Love our neighbors as ourselves Remember God ultimate concern for them shown on the cross Live at peace with all people so much as it depends on you Live by the Golden Rule Be salt and light in the world Be a positive influence on people’s lives
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World How should we live as Christians in the midst of a secular world Move from “self-centered” to “Christ-centered” Move from “self-centered” to “other-centered” Value others as much as Christ does Live authentically in our relationship with Christ Practice Christ’s attitudes toward others Share our beliefs in the midst of practicing the fruit of the Spirit
Living Spiritual to Engage a Secular World Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:13-25) Through love serve one another and fulfill “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Living by the Spirit Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness, Goodness Faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Christian Perspective or Worldview Humanity is both Spiritual and Physical (Body, Soul, Spirit) Eph. 6:5-7; Col. 3:17-23 Kingdom – God’s Rule Self God Spiritual/Physical Worldview
Science/Reason Wealth Accumulation Popular Media Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective Secular Humanism Philosophy Evolutionary Theory Materialism Modernization Science/Reason Wealth Accumulation Popular Media Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective Science/Reason Wealth Accumulation Popular Media Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective Faith - Hope Love - Service Transforming Conforming Of the World In the World Self - World Reason-Science
Science Reason Wealth Accumulation Popular Media Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective Take the Christian worldview, teachings, actions and attitudes into your chosen profession to serve and make a difference. In the World but no of the world John 17:14-15 “Go into all the world and make disciples…” Matthew 28:19 “You are the light of the world…” Matthew 5:14