For any useful prognosis, it’s important to get the initial diagnosis right. With that in mind, in what kind of society do we dwell? The current consensus appears to be that this is a secular society, providing an ostensibly neutral ground for various beliefs to coexist. Useful, perhaps even noble in its way?
Only, I don’t think that’s the truth. When our society abandoned its Christian roots, it didn’t become somehow more enlightened, more noble, more evenhanded. Rather, it became pagan. We didn’t stop worshipping, we just transferred onto new objects. Fervent devotion to political parties, to science, to sport, to work, to money …. you name it. And when these gods do not satisfy, pseudospiritual mashups of our own making.
The only reason we haven’t seen at a societal level the full range of darkness is that it takes time to regress. Desire conceives sin, which when full blown leads to death. It’s not an overnight thing. Trappings remain that create illusions of stability. But they can’t and don’t last. Perhaps some of the insanity in recent years shows the fruit of the tree we have chosen to tend. Do we really think this will end well?
This then comes back to the Church. What are we to be? Well, we’ve already been told – to be salt and light. Not candifloss and popcorn. To preserve, flavour and bring illumination into a great gloom. Not to sit on the sidelines engrossed in our own programmes.
If a pagan society doesn’t hate the Church in its midst, the problem is with us. Are we distinct, different, or did we take on the miasma of the world around us? Did we lose our saltiness? The times to come will show the truth of this, with the wordly church, the dark lighthouse, being separated from the Church of God. We’ll all be faced with the questions – Who are you, Whose are you and What are you willing to pay to follow Christ?