How shall we live, as society becomes more secular?
Now a woman in Oregon USA has been rejected from adopting because of her Christianity. Her faith can't affirm LGBT so she can't adopt as the child might want to identify as LGBT.
Lord’s Path conversation 16th April 2023
Some action points regarding ‘How shall we respond to society becoming more secular?’
Be discerning regarding what information we receive and choose to access. The idea of keeping an IT/media/news diary or log for a week to observe what we see was suggested.
Keep close to God
Be humble in our interactions with others.
We need one another to talk with and support one another in a ‘safe’ environment. This a gift to one another and an expression of Christian fellowship. Acts 2:42-47
1 Chronicles 12:32 speaks of the men of Issachar ‘who understood the times and knew what Israel should do’. Let us pray for such people in our time and have the ears to hear and follow their wisdom.
Remember to read the bible ourselves
I have been thinking about our instruction to preach the word, to proselytise, to make new converts.
Found this pdf "Problem of Proselytism" . It takes the perspective of faith based organisations which are taking government money.
I can't help but feel that there is a problem when Religion takes any government money or tax concessions as it make it beholden to the government. In meeting the demands of the governments conditions the faith is compromised. Maybe organised religion should be an amateur affair based of voluntarism.
I have been thinking about Fr Sheehy's homily where he points out the sins that are happening around him in the world today, how that relates to our Churches and and living in a secular world.
When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
It is the duty of Christians and the Church to warn other Christians that they are going the wrong way, to turn back and to return to the narrow path. The Church is here to give spiritual guidance. It is becoming harder to find a church that is willing to do this. This is why homosexual relations and marriage as an issue is different to other changes in the church due to the clarity in the bible in its' opposition to it. Where as for contraception there could be an argument made for it within marriages, divorce in certain circumstances, abortion in a few rare instances but homosexual relationships are clearly and expressly forbidden. A church that allows it signals that it is unable to give spiritual guidance.
Fitting Matthew 7:1-5 in with Ezekiel seems difficult when one commands us to intervene while the other asks us to steep back and consider own sins before the sins of another.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I can reconcile these two passages by considering in Matthew that the "measure you use, it will be measured to you" is the bible and that we should be open to having our lives measured against the bible.
We should judge each other so as to ensure that we help each other stay on the narrow path and it is through GODs' justice that we can stay on the path. It is an act of love to help each other stay the course but an act of indifference to ignore the sins of our fellow Christians.
In a world that has left Christendom behind our judging needs to be reserved for other Christians as a humanist doesn't measure their lives by the same standards.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Jesus judges us by how we have treated other Christians. We are all the body of Christ so when we mistreat another Christian we mistreat Jesus. When we care for another Christian we care for Jesus.
So in Sheehy's homily he is pointing out the sins that are out in the world: abortion, transgenderism, homosexuality and promiscuity. He is giving spiritual guidance to beware of these things.
In Fr Goring's "seven principles of spiritual warfare" the first principle is know who you are. We are made in the image of GOD and we are apart of the body of Christ and the Church is apart of the body of Christ. When he says "Am I Catholic, you better believe I'm Catholic." I would love to go to a church that proudly proclaimed their membership in the body of Christ. That could give and was willing to give Spiritual guidance because it was willing to stand apart from the world and not be swept around by it. I have a hard time finding the motivation to invite people to a wishy-washy church.
"As Christians we need to stand up for GOD for if we don't there is no hope for many people."