Have you ever wondered how our morals and values became relative? From time to time I teach Sunday school at a church where most of the members are in their sixties and seventies. I ask the question, how many of you feel like you are living in a different country than the one you grew up in. Almost everyone raises their hands.
The questions is why? What happened in a relatively short span of time that made such a huge difference in our culture? One possible answer is a shift in worldviews. In times past our culture was permeated with aChristian worldview. The way people determined right from wrong was predominately based on Judea-Christian ideals.
Today, the dominate worldview in our country is Secularism. We all have heard this term “Secular”, but what does Secular and Secularism means? And how does Secularism impact our morals and values?
The word Secular means the “world, this world, here and now”. Secularism is a world view that believes this world is all there is. What matters is here and now. We live in this world, this realm, we cannot go beyond this realm to see whether there is a God or not, and if there is one whose God is it? Is it the Christian God, Muslim God or the Hindu God?
Since there is no absolute authority that determines right from wrong morals and values become relative. People’s morals and values are determined by their background, culture, families and preferences. No one can claim that their morals and values are the correct one, since there is no absolute arbitrator. As a result morals and values become relative.
As Secularism permeated more and more into the culture, it began to change and shape the way our culture evaluates morals and values. We hear statements like “everyone has the right to determine for themselves what is right or wrong”. “You have no right to tell someone that their actions are wrong. It may be wrong for you, but it’s not wrong for them.” These are all statements that are shaped by Secularism.
Secular cultures ultimately lose their ability to determine right from wrong, since there is no overarching value system to evaluate personal behavior. Wrong or right becomes a matter of what the majority accepts, personal choice and preference. Secular cultures become occupied with social good but have no answer for personal actions and behaviors.
Ultimately Secular cultures become decayed from inside and disintegrate. In my judgement this is the predominate reason for the decay of social values in western culture.
Secular cultures will tolerate Christianity as long as it keeps its values to itself. As soon as it begins to proclaim certain actions to be wrong, that’s when it will have a problem with Christianity. Here is where we find our conflict with secularism.
The biggest problem a Secular culture has, is with the people who have fixed morals and values. It sees these people as imposing their values on the rest of the society. If they keep their values to themselves that’s fine. But when the majority in the society begins to accept certain behaviors as normal and these people begin to condemn these behaviors that’s when we’ll have a problem. It’ll gradually begin to look at these people as hateful and unkind. A minus to the society as a whole.
Secular societies will gradually become more and more hostile toward a biblical Christianity. I believe that will be the choice before us, do we conform, compromise or do we remain true to the biblical world view.
In the future article we will examine the impact that secularism has had and will have on the Christian Church.
May the Lord be with you all