CHRISTIANS ARE LOSING THE BATTLE for the hearts and minds of Americans. Today about 65% profess some adherence to Christianity, but about 30% have no religous affiliation. And, according to the Pew Research, if current trends continue, by 2070 only about 45% of Americans will confess some form of Christian belief, but the percent with no religious faith will have grown to over 40%. In other words, they will be “secular.”
This means that increasing secularism is the environment in which we swim. Therefore, it matters greatly that we understand what we are working with. Here is the take away. If by “secularism” we mean people with no religous faith, we are deceived. There really is no such thing. Secularism is a hostile religous system.
To unpack this assertion we need to define religion. All worldviews (i.e. religions) are held by faith. Because it is held by faith, not fact, secularism, just like Christianity, is a faith system.
All thought for all people everywhere, whether Christian, Secular, or Muslim, proceeds out of assumptions about reality. Most of these assumptions are subconscious, but they are almost always held by faith. Here lies the problem. Although our assumptions are statements of faith, most of us assume they are statements of fact. Here are some examples.
The universe was made by a all-knowing, all-loving, self-existent God who dwells outside of time, OR the universe has always existed. It had no beginning, and it will have no end. Note: both assumptions are outside the realm of science. They are faith assumptions. So, we are not dealing here with science. We are dealing with naked religion.
Here is another example. There is an unseen spiritual world ruled by God, but also inhabited by good and fallen angels, OR there is no reality apart from what I can detect with my five senses (philosophical materialism). Again, both are faith assumptions, outside the realm of science.
Another popular assumption is that a just society is one with equal outcomes. Everyone should get the same amount of money. OR, a just society is one with equal opportunity. In a just economic system everyone gets an equal opportunity to do something with their life. But there is no guarantee of equal outcomes. Both assumptions arise out of our worldview and are religous at heart.
Here is another. Human beings are personally responsible for our behavior. OR, we are not responsible. Instead, the problem is outside of us. We are determined by our enviroment—parents, schools, place of birth, etc. and therefore, we can blame our behavior on external influences not the condition of our heart. (The name for this assumption is “environmentalism”).
We could go on and on. The important point is that all of these assumptions are held by faith not fact or science.
We need to make a second important point. Our faith assumptions will be determined by the God or god that we worship, and we are all worshippers. We will all worship someone or something. God made us in his image and likeness. God is a worshipper. He worships himself as he appears in the other members of the Trinity. The Father worships, loves, and adores the Son and the Spirit. The Spirit worships the Father and the Son. Therefore, because God made us in his image, we too are worshippers, and worship is unavoidable.
For non-Christians the god worshipped is usually self in the form of reason, superstition, or self-love, etc. Often it is the State. However, our assumptions about reality will flow from that god. David Brooks, writing for The New York Times, describes the effects of self-worship.
Moral authority is no longer found in some external objective good; it is found in each person’s unique original self. Greater emphasis is put on personal feelings as a guide to what is right and wrong. I know I am doing right because I feel harmonious inside. Something is going wrong, on the other hand, when I feel my autonomy is being threatened, when I feel I am not being true to myself. In this ethos, sin is not found in your individual self; it is found in the external structures of society— in racism, inequality, and oppression.The Road To Character
The upshot is this. There is no religous neutrality. We are all worshippers, and our worship produces a set of assumptions about reality held by faith. Therefore, if by secularism we mean people devoid of religion, we are hopelessly deceived? There is no such thing!
First, the inescapable fact is obvious: all of life is religous. All of life is worship. Life really turns on faith, not science. Have you faced this? Do you accept it? For this is the real world in which we live.
Second, we have been deceived about religous neutrality. Jesus called Satan “the Prince of this World.” He is the Lord of secularism. He loves secularism, and he actively deceives us about its nature. Jesus called him “a liar and the Father of Lies” (John 8:44). He wants all Americans to think that Christians are religous bigots, but that the secular world is somehow religously neutral.
Third, secularism is a hostile religion. It is not neutral towards Christianity. Like Islam, it seeks to capture the hearts and minds of Americans. It is evangelistic and arrogant. And on the short term it is winning the battle. This is the religion of the media, hollywood, the scientific community, academia, and government, and they boast in their perceived “neutrality.” But secularism, not Islam or New Age, is the greatest threat to our way of life.
Fourth, all of this means that it is impossible to separate government (or politics) from religion. All governments, including ours, are founded on someone’s religious assumptions. In our case it is an aggressive secularism. Therefore, all governments are theocracies, actively imposing a religious system on its citizens. For those who understand this Christian Nationalism is no problem. The options are either Christian Nationalism or Secular Nationalism, but neutrality is not an option.
Last, Believers have great hope. God’s Kingdom will utlimately conquer the secular world in space and time. This is our hope. Our best efforts, however, will not get this job done. Only supernatural power from a supernatural God is sufficient to accomplish this task. Therefore, confess the rampant idolatry of the United States. Ask God to forgive, evangelize your neighbors, and pray, pray, pray for revival.