In recent years, many evangelicals believe life has become more difficult for them in America than before. A survey done by Pew Research in June 2016 found that 41% of protestant evangelicals said it has become harder for them compared to 34% in September of 2014. That is an increase of 7%. The numbers are even higher among non-white evangelicals. In a 2016 survey of non-white evangelicals 31% said it’s harder for them compared to 22% in 2014. That is an increase of 9%. There seems to be a general consensus among evangelical Christians, that there has been a shift of attitude toward them in the country. But what is the cause of this change of attitude?
One of the main contributing factors to this change of attitude is the secularization of the country. More and more Americans do not identify with any religion. We are definitely becoming more secular, but what does secular mean? And how does it impact the people’s attitude toward religion.
The word secular means: worldly, temporal, this world, this realm. Secularism is a way of looking at life as if this world is all there is. We have no access to other realms to see if there is a God or not and as the result a secular person is an agnostic. He does not deny that there may be a God, but as of now he has no sure way of knowing. Since we don’t have an absolute authority who can tell us what is right or wrong, morals and values become relative. Morals are based on one’s culture, traditions and family upbringing. No one can dogmatically assert that their view of things is the correct view. It may be correct for them, but they have no right to impose their values on the rest of us who believe differently. Sadly, truth loses its importance since there is no absolute truth to be found. Secularism will create an environment where morality becomes a matter of personal choice and preference. Society at large, decides what is good and bad based on the attitude of the majority. It’s this attitude toward morality that brings the Christian community into conflict with its secular counter parts.
A case in point is the idea of gay marriage. Historical Christianity and society at large always viewed marriage as a union of one man and one woman. In recent years there has come a shift in people’s attitude toward the idea of gay marriage. More and more people are in favor of gay marriage than in the past. But what is the Christian community to do?
Do you change your values to accommodate, or do you remain the same? What if your opinion is no longer acceptable in the eyes of the people, do you try to adjust or ignore the people’s opinion? These are some of the issues that Christian denominations and individuals are wrestling with. Some denominations have embraced these changes, while others have remained steadfast to the historical Christian understanding. These are the kind of issues that will bring us into conflict with our culture. As our society goes further and further away from God it will only exasperate the situation.
In my judgement, I can see a day that not only our traditional views will not be acceptable, but it will be considered dangerous and harmful to the society. If we want to retain a biblical view of things we may have to go into closet or it may cost us something. It will be good for us to think about these things and decide which way we will choose? The Lord could always intervene and change people’s hearts and minds, but outside of that, I think our rift with society will only increase.
So what are we to do?
1 peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2 timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord,…share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses…v.25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. V.26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
Finally: Hebrews 13:13 Let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.
May the Lord be with you all.