Christian Life 

Rising tide of 'militant secularisation' in Britain

In a speech delivered at the Vatican a high-profile Muslim Peer will emphasise her view that Britian and other European countries need to become more confident and more comfortable in their Christianity.
 


Baroness Warsi1Baroness Warsi, who is the first female Muslim cabinet minister, is currently leading a large ministerial delegation from the UK to the Vatican as a reciprocal visit following the State Visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the Britain in 2010.

In an article in the Telegraph she has written:
"I will be arguing that to create a more just society, people need to feel stronger in their religious identities and more confident in their creeds. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faiths and nations not denying their religious heritages.

"This is a message I’ve delivered before. But today I will be taking the argument one step further. I will be arguing for Europe to become more confident and more comfortable in its Christianity. The point is this: the societies we live in, the cultures we have created, the values we hold and the things we fight for all stem from centuries of discussion, dissent and belief in Christianity."

Coming days after a High Court ruling that a Devon town council had acted unlawfully by allownig prayers to be said at meetings, the Muslim peer and senior Conservative has echoed the words of Prime Minister David Cameron who said last December that the UK was a Christian country and 'should not be afraid to say so.'

While the British Humanist Association has described Baroness Warsi's comments as "outdated, unwarranted and divisive" she believes that the nation's Christian values "shine through our politics, our public life, our culture, our economics, our language and our architecture".
She is "astonished" that those who wrote the European Constitution made no reference to God or Christianity and she received "countless messages of support" when, two days before the Pope's UK visit last September, she said that the government should 'do God'.

Christians Together, 14/02/2012

Feedback:
Peter Carr 14/02/2012 18:15
The problem for too many Christians is that they prefer to let others (usually those in leadership) do the talking. Yet, we all have the bible, we all have the ability communicate in a number of ways and we all have God's Spirit to help us be Christ's voice.

Church leaders have a number of God given responsibilities that they have to juggle, which are not always obvious or appreciated. One of the biggest responsibilities of church leaders is to help others to take responsibility for their own discipleship (in every way).

So, in conclusion it is the responsibility of every Christian to stand up and speak up for The Lord!!
Editor 14/02/2012 18:34
See 'Stand up for the King' -
http://www.christianstogether.net/Articles/237560/Christians_Together_in/Christian_Life/Stand_Up_for.aspx
Brian Ross 14/02/2012 21:10
I love that video! However, as Peter has stated, we need to have disciples of Jesus stand up and be counted.

Recently, I have found myself, in my personal devotions, confessing that the Church (as the Body of Christ, not any individual group or denomination!) in the UK has, for far too long, failed to be the prophetic voice to the nation; seeking the Lord's forgiveness; and asking Him, in His sovereign power, to breathe life into dry bones, and cause us to be as "an army, terrible with banners" (Song of Solomon 6:4).

Indeed, I have been led, with confirmation, to preach on that very topic in Livingston Baptist Church: Ladywell congregation, on Feb 26th, at 1100 (DV). If they have the facility to record the message, then I hope to add it to my audio blog at revcbross@blogspot.com

Some may think it sad (wrong?!!) that it is taking a Muslim to argue "... for Europe to become more confident and more comfortable in its Christianity." But the same God who anointed the pagan Cyrus to do His will (Is.40:1), is more than capable of doing a similar work today!


Christian Concern (Guest) 14/02/2012 22:53
Call for urgent Parliamentary action as non-Christian and atheist voices stand against militant secularism

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, today calls for Government and Parliament to address the challenge of militant secularism to the Christian foundation of the UK and the vital freedoms that it secures.

Speaking as a Committee of Parliamentarians prepares to report on its inquiry into the marginalisation of Christians, Mrs Williams said:

“Recent events have again underlined the reality and aggression of the militant secularist lobby as a variety of commentators, including non-Christian and atheist voices, are highlighting. That Cabinet Ministers are publicly expressing concern indicates the severity of the situation. Here at the Christian Legal Centre, we see the effects of this aggressive secularist campaign first hand and on a daily basis, as we have done for nearly a decade.

“The consequences for the individuals concerned can be devastating but these cases also highlight a wider trend. They are pointers to the direction of the tide. That tide is an aggressive secularism that suggests that the influence of Jesus Christ on our communities is oppressive and malign. Nothing could be further from the truth. His influence has given rise to the freedoms, values, laws and rich cultural heritage that benefit us all, whether Christian or not.

“The ugly effect of aggressive secularism is receiving greater attention. Urgent action now needs to be taken. Where there is a will, a way through can be found. Given the recognition of the severity of the problem, even by senior government figures, we look forward to seeing concrete proposals and leadership from the ‘Clearing the Ground’ Committee to enable Parliament and government to ensure that freedom to express, manifest and practice Christian belief is protected and that ‘reasonable accommodation’ of Christian conscience is secured.

Mrs Williams’ comments follow concerns raised today by the Muslim Cabinet Minister, Baroness Warsi and the Atheist Alain de Botton over the aggressive and damaging nature of militant secularisation.

Writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, Baroness Warsi, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, indicated: “For me, one of the most worrying aspects about this militant secularisation is that at its core and in its instincts it is deeply intolerant. It demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes – denying people the right to a religious identity because they were frightened of the concept of multiple identities. That’s why in the 20th century, one of the first acts of totalitarian regimes was the targeting of organised religion.”

Asked by the BBC’s Nicky Campbell whether he had any sympathy with the Baroness’ comments, Alain de Botton, himself an atheist, said: “If you’d asked me three months ago, I would have said ‘no’. But I now understand, and I know that this could sound sort of paranoid, but, there is an organisation of very well-funded militant atheists who are systematically going through every area of British life and trying to persecute any voices that defend religion, and it starts with Thought for the Day and it goes on to school prayers and it extends right the way through British life, and it’s not done particularly nicely – it’s done with quite a lot of aggression and quite a lot of ad hominem attacks.”

Last week another cabinet minister, Eric Pickles, said in response to the Bideford Town Council case: “While welcoming and respecting fellow British citizens who belong to other faiths, we are a Christian country, with an established Church in England, governed by the Queen. Christianity plays an important part in the culture, heritage and fabric of our nation. Public authorities - be it Parliament or a parish council - should have the right to say prayers before meetings if they wish.”

His comments echoed those of the Prime Minister who said, before Christmas, that: “we are a Christian country. And we should not be afraid to say so.”

Peter Carr 15/02/2012 08:47
Brian said, "However, as Peter has stated, we need to have disciples of Jesus stand up and be counted."

Yes! Until we all learn our God given resposibilities we will continue to play the blame game pointing the finger at our already overstretched leaders, and we will also remain ineffective and inept!! (And that suits Satan just fine).

Matt 28 "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”"



John Parker (Guest) 15/02/2012 10:11
The post above referred to 'overstretched leaders' and that's an interesting subject. Perhaps, Editor, this could be addressed at some point. And ask the question "if this is the case, why is it so?"
Editor 15/02/2012 10:43
Ref. John Parker (above): "Will do a short starter article."
Brian Ross 15/02/2012 23:31
Not to Editor: Did you not do something on this some time ago? If my memory serves me well, it was to do with the "one-man ministry" which, I would suggest, is at the bottom of most "over-stretchedness".

I deliberatley say "most" as I was in correspondence, recently, on another forum, with a clergyman who informed us that he works "full-time" for his church, and "part-time" as a chaplain to the emergency services. In my personal experience, that is trying to serve two masters - unless the members of the emergency service involved are also members of his fellowship!
Or am I being too harsh????
Peter Carr 16/02/2012 08:57
Brian asked, "Or am I being too harsh????"

In these hard economic times it may well be it that he is having, like so many others, to take on extra just to make ends meet!!!

Editor 16/02/2012 09:50
Thanks Brian for the reminder.

There are quite a few articles (a 'trawl' is required) in which I touch on the weaknesses of the 'one-man-band' form of ministry which has developed in the church since the 2/3rd century and continued unchecked through the Reformation.

I think that we can boil it down to a combination of problems in 'people' (behaviour of leaders and congregations), 'systems' the structures in which we all operate, and the 'climate' (ethos of the operating environment.)

Peter's comment is relevant also as more and more churches are unable to financially support a 'full-time' minister (whatever that term means????).

However as this article is about 'secularism' and not leadership, I will say no more here (to allow any discussion to 'get back on track').

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