In a lot of ways, the secular world wants the same thing as the emergent Christian world. There is just a difference in finding the answer. A philosopher and out-spoken atheist, Richard Rorty, once wrote: “My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.” Well, Mr. Rorty … welcome to HEAVEN! “God is love. In Him there is no darkness.” Isn’t it sad that atheists can’t feel His presence on earth, so they can experience it in Heaven? One of life’s many mysteries…
In A Secular Age, the author explores that the shift to secularity consists of a move from a society where belief in God is unchallenged to one where it is one option among others and not the easiest to embrace. The “options” are what people often grasp onto. I had the opportunity to listen to the stories of human traffickers (pimps) while counseling at Kalamazoo Probation Enhance Program (KPEP). Traffickers do not see themselves as being in the wrong, since they are just providing “products” to the supply-and-demand of the customer. (It is true that if there was no customer, there would be no human trafficking in this world.) A trafficker is a person who controls their commodity (usually young girls) and arranges clients for them, taking their earnings in return. Yet, I’ve spoken with traffickers who still see themselves as Christians. Their skewed ideas that the Christian world allows one to “pick and choose” their own value system allows them to believe that they are not turning from God – because they are just working to meet the needs of their clients. One trafficker stated that he is an engaged Catholic, who is just fulfilling his calling.
Nearly half of traffickers have shared that they entered the trafficking world because they grew up around it. To many of them, exposure to the sex trade industry as children made the trade seem like a normal, acceptable means to earn a living. One trafficker told me that he doesn’t lock his girls up and they can leave whenever they want. “It’s their choice,” he said. Yet, the victim has most likely lost her home and all her possessions while living in the trafficking world, been introduced to drugs, and would then be free to live on the streets, because of her dependency on the support of the trafficker. So, the trafficker feels vindicated of any blame on him, because there are no locks on the doors.
In Smith’s How Not to be Secular, the author is laying out a vision of resisting the spin of all shades. The “spin” is what allows people to make Christianity fit within their world versus Christians fitting within the world that God created for us to live in within His well-defined blueprint for life. The author explains that even Taylor agrees, though, that ardent secularism is not always appreciated or embraced secularity at all times. He acknowledged that in some fleeting moments, even the secularist is struck by a sense of something more – “a fullness that wells up within,” which is seeking more out of eternity. Thank you, Holy Spirit!
How can we be a light to others in the secular world? Pastor John MacArthur wrapped it all up in a few questions: “You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read. What do others learn from you? Do they see an accurate picture of God?” Just saying….
 Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), 3.
 James K. A. Smith, How (Not) to be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2014), 18.
 Ibid, 20.