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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

To Be, or Not to Be … the conclusion

Written by: on February 22, 2017

  The conclusion of the Secular Question

The Shift…

A big part of the shift is that the condition of belief have changed. Therefore. whatever we believe is detestable or contestable. Nature is what has changed…Secularism

Taylor’s Book, Secular Age, Plays Out in the British Court

Foster parent ban: ‘this is a secular state’, say High Court judges

There is no place in British law for Christian beliefs, despite this country’s long history of religious observance and the traditions of the established Church, two High Court judges said. Here is part of their judgement Press, 2007.

 

 “Anti-gay” Christian couple banned from being foster parents

Eunice and Owen Johns, who are Pentecostal Christians, were told that they could not be foster carers because of their view that homosexuality was wrong. The High Court sided with Derby City Council against the couple when two judges said that there was no place in British law for Christian beliefs.

Should we call it atheist delusion?

The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, homosexuals’ rights “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values. In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular,” multicultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity.”

Campaigners for homosexual rights welcomed the judgment for placing “21st-century decency above 19th-century prejudice.” Christian campaigners claimed that it undermined the position of the Church of England. The ruling in the case of Owen and Eunice Johns, from Derby, is the latest in a series of judgments in which Christians have been defeated in the courts for breaching equality laws by manifesting their beliefs on homosexuality.

Reflection on Taylor’s Book

This book is an excellent explanation of how and where people fail in the belief of the existence of God and His involvement in Christians’ lives. It gives direction and a new meaning to faith, even in the face of doubt from the works of modernity and science. It is an encouragement to all the leaders in the faith that no matter what science may find, God is always there. It is an eyeopener to look for God in the appropriate places.

 

Reflection

 

James K. A. Smith not only summarizes what Taylor has to say in his book, but focuses and reveals the main goals of his work. As such, there is no limit for the readers of the book and anyone who can get his/her hand on the book if they are interested in the idea of “secularism.”[1] Yet, Smith targets teachers, leaders, pastors, and anyone who has feelings and emotions related to the subject:

That our secular age is messier than many would lead us to believe; that transcendence and immanence bleed into one another; that faith is pretty much unthinkable, but abandonment to the abyss is even more so.[2]

What Smith wants is to relieve the tension between religion and secularism that is due to the era in which we live. The focal point of his book is especially for Christians so that they can learn the necessity of faith and understanding religion.

It is not an exaggeration to state that the essence of Taylor’s elucidation of Western progress since the beginning of Christianity is the manner by which human culture has taken care of the pressures required in the “maximal request,” which is characterized along these lines: “How to define our highest spiritual or moral aspirations for human beings, while showing a path to the transformation involved which doesn’t crush, mutilate or deny what is essentially human.” The discussion provided by Taylor is best fleshed out in his elucidation of the worries. However, Smith clearly summarizes the ideas under Christendom:

Under Christendom …, there was a unique tension between self-transcendence’ and the worldly concerns of human flourishing and creaturely existence. We might re-describe this as a tension between what “eternity” required and what the mundane vagaries of domestic life demanded.[3]

At another point, Smith analyzes Christendom thus:

In Christendom, this tension is not resolved, but inhabited. First, the social body makes room for a certain division of labor. By making room for entirely “religious” vocations such as monks and nuns, the church creates a sort of vicarious class who ascetically devote themselves to transcendence/eternity for the wider social body who have to deal with the nitty-gritty of creaturely life.[4]

Smith explains that inviting people to Christianity is the basic goal:

An alternative story that offers a more robust, complex understanding of the Christian faith.[5]

This statement by Smith touched me; I, too, believe that the barricades between people and religion are many, but still people and believers across the community come when they are in need to call and talk to the Lord.  When  ever there are tragedies… they always say “PRAY”,  regardless of their belief. Why?

 

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007).

Notes

[1]. Anders Berg-Sørensen, Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2016).

[2]. James K. A. Smith, How (not) to be Secular Reading Charles Taylor (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2014), x.

[3]. Ibid., 31.

[4]. Ibid., 32.

[5]. Ibid., 77.

About the Author

mm

Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

8 responses to “To Be, or Not to Be … the conclusion”

  1. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Rose Maria,

    In light of what you wrote about Britain and secular government: The twenty/thirty-something generation of Christians in America really strive to be open and welcoming to homosexual people.

    What would be your advice to them regarding how to maintain Biblical theology while remaining open to gay people?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Marc for sharing
      In regard to gay people I have to follow the word.
      Yes, we are all sinners, and Homosexuals Just Sinners Too, this is true. But Christians are not Homosexuals. Neither are they Whores, Thieves, Murderers and Drunkards. The distinction is that these are not terms for Christians.

      There is a difference between being a homosexual and being a sinner, and it’s not just semantics. We may fall into sin, but we will not any longer live that former lifestyle. In the Spirit that dwells with us, we have an earnest desire to repent or turn away from former things. Not a desire to retain the title in order to keep some “vicarious” pleasure in it, but to make it “dead” to us. This will be our sincere desire when we become true Christians. 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 illustrate this particular principle.
      My advice is alway biblical, but I let them know that God loves them and Jesus died for their sins.It is always about the love of God, therefore they should never be mistreated, because of their lifestyle because Jesus loves them and so should we.
      Thanks Rose Maria

  2. Claire Appiah says:

    Rose,
    Thanks for the enlightenment on British law and the open admission of the High Court of being a secular nation. Interesting in view of the Church of England’s power and authority in the political arena throughout Britain’s history.
    I can appreciate your objectivity regarding homosexuals in the church. You are correct, if they are born again Christians and washed and transformed by the blood of Jesus, then they are no longer practicing homosexuals and should shed the label. But, I believe the matter of homosexuality is becoming more complex for the church in that some are welcoming practicing homosexuals into the church with full rights of membership due to some homosexuals declaring that they were born that way. What is your take on homosexuals who claim it is a genetic factor they cannot change and their acceptance into the Body of Christ, just as they are so to speak?

  3. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Claire,
    It seem like the church want to be like and accepted by the world instead of following the command and the commandment give by Jesus, in the great commission. We are dealing with the spirit world….Good and evil will never agree. Church should be what it is and stop trying to become social acceptable.
    Yes,homosexuality is becoming more complex for the church, because the church does not want to take a pro-active position and stand on the word of God; because of the political climate that affect the church outreach ministries… the tax status (money).

    In reference to,” … genetic factor they cannot change and their acceptance into the Body of Christ, just as they are so to speak”. Don’t you think that God knows… and there is no scientific or DNA test to tell us if a person is homosexual, bisexual or even heterosexual for that matter. And since nobody is “born gay,” it’s clear that sexual orientation is, at its core, a matter of how one defines oneself — not a matter of biology or genes.

    The church has a mandate to follow, because when God is reputed to sanction what He has already clearly forbidden, then a religious travesty is being played out in bold fashion. Confronting it is necessary because the pro-gay theology asks us to confirm professing Christians in their sin, when we are Biblically commanded to do just the opposite.
    For me and my household we are going to serve the Lord and stand on His Word.
    Thanks for sharing Rose Maria

  4. Claire Appiah says:

    Thanks Rose. I was anticipating this type of response from you, so aptly addressing the tension between Christian perceived responsibility regarding practicing homosexuals in church membership and the explicit commands of God articulated and elucidated in His Word. Warning: The church is on a slippery slope and will be accountable to God for any and all deviations from the precepts outlined in His Word.

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Claire ,
      you are getting to know me, because there are many of us who stand for the full recognition of gay and lesbian persons within the Christian communion find ourselves in a position similar to that of the early abolitionists—and of the early advocates for women’s full and equal roles in church and society. We are fully aware of the weight of scriptural evidence pointing away from our position, yet place our trust in the power of the living God to reveal as powerfully through personal experience and testimony as through written texts.

      To justify this trust, we invoke the basic Pauline principle that the Spirit gives life but the letter kills (2 Corinthians 3:6). And if the letter of Scripture cannot find room for the activity of the living God in the transformation of human lives, then trust and obedience must be paid to the living God rather than to the words of Scripture.

  5. Pablo Morales says:

    Rose,
    Your introduction to Taylor’s work with the example of the British court was clever. I was flabbergasted by the ruling. A secularism that is completely closed to the transcendent leads to unexpected places. I wonder if that ruling is just a glimpse of what we will begin to see in the United States of America.
    Pablo

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