The past couple of weeks have been a busy time for the church and the national press. The media has been reporting on the outcry on the church’s stance on gay marriage, the handling of the Sun on Sunday, the conservative Evangelicals’ influence on American politics (especially with potential Presidential candidates), and the continued debate on religion in public life. The Philosopher Alain de Bottain has written a book entitled ‘Religion for Athiests’, where he takes some of the most helpful parts of the church life and reconfigures them in to secular life.
All of these issues show one thing: Christianity is far from over and done with.
The idea that Christianity is a little twee thing that will wilt and die doesn’t seem to fit what the media are reporting on. I would argue that the church is a place where soundbites are readily availble on areas of ethics and justice. The anti-theist dialogue with some parts of the popular media has had a vocal reaction from all quarters, which has lead to more debate, conversation, and refletion on the big issues and our understanding on eternal things. Some how, the church, though still not regard as ‘sexy’, is still something to talk about. It has something to say about everyday life, and a public body that all kinds of people react to.
It does beg the question: Why is this happening? How come the Church still has something to say when doubt is a much valued opinion today? Why does an institution with a relatively small group of members have something that non-members react to?
I’m not sure there is an satisfactory answer here. However, I find the reaction to all of this so interesting. I’m wondering if the knee jerk reaction and the fascination surround religion is something ingrained in all of us. The Old Testament reads ‘… [God]has placed eternity in the human heart…’ (Ecclesiasted 3:11). This quote fits with all of this: Our sense of right and wrong, our quest for equality, and our desire for a better life is part of what it is to be human; that quality of humanity comes from a sense of the forever and ever. This is why the church will always be a noticed public voice in public life due to it being a spokesmen to the everlasting God of all.
Picture is taken from: https://www.dioceseofreno.org/Admin/Uploads/tv_2458c.jpg
- [religion] Who’s persecuting whom? (jlake.com)
- ‘Militant secularisation’ taking hold of British society, says Lady Warsi (guardian.co.uk)
- The Rise of the “Nones” (bobcornwall.com)