Christian Life 

No Room at the Inn

Elizabeth Kendal writes of how Christianity in particular and religious faith in general is being - at an increasingly rapid pace - pushed out of public life in 'Western' nations.


 
by Elizabeth Kendal

No roomSecularism essentially mandates the separation of Church and State. It ensures that the Church does not rule over the State (as happened when Popes ruled over states in the Middle Ages) and the State does not rule over the Church (as happens in totalitarian states even today).

Traditionally secularism mandates openness wherein all views can be explored and tested in liberty and with security. Movements that seek to eradicate Christianity from the public square are usually driven by cultural totalitarians seeking to remove something they despise and recognise as a threat.

Religious repression in the West is mostly led by atheistic humanists who are embarrassed by, ashamed of, or in denial about the West's Christian foundations and heritage.

The aggression and shrillness of this intolerant and repressive 'new secularism' leaves many Christians shocked and intimidated. What is required though is courage and conviction: not to cling to tradition; but to assert confidently the value of those Biblical truths that make Judaeo-Christian culture truly great.

In Sweden, whilst public schools are by law non-confessional, Advent services are part of the compulsory curriculum. In an effort to balance Sweden's Christian cultural tradition with the 'new secularism', the government has ruled that Advent services be held -- for the sake of tradition -- but without prayers or any mention of Jesus -- in deference to 'new secularism'. 
Because there is as yet no law regulating what a pastor can say inside his own church, the school principal will bear the responsibility. Consequently, if the pastor will not consent to presenting a prayer-less and Christ-less Christmas, the principal must decide not to have the compulsory Advent service in the church.

Scotttish Government airbrushes over Christmas

Last year the Scottish government promoted a 'Winter Festival' program, highlighting the main events of the Scottish winter -- Christmas was not included. In January 2011 the European Union (EU) Commission issued three million secondary school diaries which detailed Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Chinese festivities and Europe Day, yet made no reference to Christmas or Easter. Responding to complaints, an EU Commission spokesman said that in the interests of political correctness, future school diaries would make no references to any religious festivals.

Unless there is a return to the Lord, Western civilisation as we know it will perish -- a consequence of forgetting the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:11-20). 'And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. (v19)' Actually, it would be good to see a spiritual struggle for Europe, for at present Europe is in fact surrendering, ashamed of its own Christian foundations and heritage. Should the West continue down this path, it will reap cultural collapse and chaos, to be countered through desperate totalitarianism and appeasement of the most belligerent. Indeed, the process has already begun. The West urgently needs revival. (See: Not Ashamed)

'For whoever is ashamed of me [Jesus Christ] and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.' (Luke 9:26 ESV)

'So everyone who acknowledges me [Jesus Christ] before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.' (Matthew 10:32,33 ESV)



PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL --

use this Christmas season and even the 'new secularist' opposition to acknowledging Jesus Christ:
  •  to impassion Western believers, infusing them with a fresh realisation of what they are celebrating, whom they are celebrating and why all this is worth celebrating.  
  •  to awaken Westerners to what they will lose if they do not 'wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die . . .' (from Revelation 3:1-6 ESV)
* in his grace and mercy bless the West with revival, so that Christians might overflow with passion, zeal and boldness to declare, despite hostility and in the face of opposition, '. . . I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .' (from Romans 1:16 ESV)

* accept as an offering the risky, counter-cultural gospel witness of his faithful ones, blessing it and using it as seed for revival and to bring many who are new to the West to faith in Jesus Christ.

Elizabeth Kendal, 13/12/2012

Feedback:
Isa 9: 2 (Guest) 13/12/2012 19:09
How much has the Church played a part in its own downfall? Years, nay decades of judgementalism, pointing the finger at the unbelieving world whilst ignoring its own inhouse sin!
J J Hamer (Guest) 13/12/2012 20:16
Much of this article by EK is utter tosh.Paragraph three is a good example of it.
stephen (Guest) 13/12/2012 20:52
I tend to agree with Mr Hamer. Paragraph 3 is a sweeping statement. Religious repression in the west is not put into context with religious repression in other parts of the world. No definition of "atheistic humanists" is given. It is asserted that the repression comes "mostly" from "atheistic humanists". Who else is doing the repressing?
Apart from that, the obvious question regarding paragraph 3 is - Is there religious oppression in the west or in the uk in particular? I would argue that there isn't. The existence of secularism in society and even in institutions does not prohibit religious freedom.
The challenge surely is to try to win the argument
Cliff (Guest) 19/12/2012 22:44
Don't be silly , do you believe in God! No? Then the sweeping statement stands ...atheistic humanists! Maybe there isn't religious oppression in the west at present, not to such at extent, or maybe you have not stood in the open air to preach Christ! Careful now. Don't start the oppression. With regard to the first reply I tend to look at my own life first, before judging others, we will all face the judge in a coming day, make yours right first.
With regard to mr Hamer....you said it in a nutshell, winning an argument? It's not a clever university led argument!
Religious freedom ..accept it or reject it, maybe in a coming day, you will no why you needed it.

stephen (Guest) 19/12/2012 23:02
Cliff,
I am finding it difficult to translate your remarks.
My issue is that the article makes statements without backing them up and uses terms without defining them.
Andy (Guest) 19/12/2012 23:12
Religious freedom? What believe in God of the Christians? Full of love ,hope and future peace! Well I suppose we can accept that or we can take the love of the Islamist faith....kill the infidel . Oh and peace as well , otherwise you don't fit in and can disappear, or have apart of your body chopped off! Yeah your right Stephen lets try and win the argument.
I will leave that to you, I only hope your not to late.
University of life.xx
stephen (Guest) 19/12/2012 23:27
I like what you say Andy.
We should take the opportunity that our freedom affords and evangelise. Incidentally that doesn't necessarily mean preaching in the street.

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