It is commonplace that the mind of modern man has been secularized. For instance, it has been deprived of any orientation towards the supernatural. Tragic as this fact is, it would not be so desperately tragic had the Christian mind held out against the secular drift.
But unfortunately the Christian mind has succumbed to the secular drift with a degree of weakness and nervelessness unmatched in Christian history. It is difficult to do justice in words to the complete loss of intellectual morale in the twentieth-century Church.
One cannot characterize it without having recourse to language which will sound hysterical and melodramatic. There is no longer a Christian mind. There is still, of course, a Christian ethic, a Christian practice, and a Christian spirituality. . . But as a thinking being, the modern Christian has succumbed to secularization.
This quote was originally stated in 1963. One can only imagine his take on modern Christianity 50 years after this observation.
If we were merely dumb in the 60’s, we may be brain-dead today.
“Secular” means you focus on the world, there is nothing outside the physical, there is nothing spiritual. This has become the growing intellectual trend in our world. The modern crop of atheists who hold Science as their Almighty, are fully based on a secular, physical, observable philosophy.
This makes sense for the unbeliever, but why is this secular obsession so popular in the Church?
–Prayer requests are 98% for physical things. These things can be prayed for, but where are the requests for spiritual things? It has been forever since someone asked me to pray for someone’s salvation.
–Church success is based on largeness of buildings, acres of land, how many remote campuses, attendance, budget, salary of pastor, number of employees, etc.
–Christian growth (which used to be called “sanctification”) is increasingly proved by how easily it was to find a job, buy a house, get a raise, have kids who go to college, etc.
While basing our Christian success on material things, we have left off talking about heaven and hell, God creating the heavens and the earth, final judgment, the work of the Holy Spirit, fruit of the Spirit, self-denial, taking up the cross, being a living sacrifice, setting affections on things above, having the mind of Christ, etc.
What gives? So a bunch of Bill Nye the Science Guy fans belittle the Bible, we cave for that? We feel it necessary to chuck the word of God because some atheist philosopher makes fun of the virgin birth of Christ?
Do we believe the Holy Spirit is powerful and can do things? Do we have any confidence in God whatsoever? Or do we need physical things to buck us up? Do we need the world to accept us in order to prove the truth of Christianity?
What are we afraid of? Persecution? Tribulation? Christ told us to expect these things. Paul told us any one who lives godly in Christ will get persecution. Yet we view persecution as something to be ashamed of. We moan about opposition because our life isn’t comfy anymore. Because they are hurting our feelings. Because they are causing us to have to pay a physical, tangible price for our faith.
“I glory in my infirmities” says Paul. Tribulation works patience, experience, and hope. Stuff not going well on earth is exactly what we need in order to grow, to think above this world. Yet we’ve chucked it. We’ve traded the birthright for the bowl of pottage.
I think we’ve bought into the secular mindset simply because we don’t believe in the heavenly reality.
But this world is not our home. Let the secular minded folks fight over it. Seek first the Kingdom of God, don’t worry about the rest. If God, Jesus, the Gospel, heaven and hell are real, it would help if we thought and lived like it.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,
whereunto thou art also called