The Secularization of the Church
It seems unreasonable that anyone would argue against the idea that the Church is to be separate and distinct from the rest of the world. Yet so many see no reason for the church to remain an entity within itself rather there has been an effort on the part of many to move the church more from God and closer to the world. It is not certain that this is the thing that God had in mind when he gave rise to the idea that the Church should be separate and apart from the world in every aspect.
Moreover God has always required that His people be distinct from all others. One clear evidence of this can be found in Leviticus chapter eleven. While much of the discussion in Leviticus has to do with priestly ceremonial law it is certain that God wanted His people to be different from others even in what they ate. Now, there no suggestion as to what should be eaten by the Christian noted here as that is not the point of this missive. Rather it is important that the people of God not give in to secular ideologies which seek only to distance the people of God from a most holy God.
But like Israel Christians have pulled away from the truth of God’s Word. Instead of being separated from that which displeased God there is a welcoming of secularism in Houses of Worship. Take for instance the idea of shacking up. It is certain that God does not condone fornication even while He honours marriage. Some in the church have decided that it is acceptable for a man a woman to live together without being married so long as the couple is committed one to another. This very notion flies against the standards of God while welcoming the secular idea that a mere piece of paper does not determine love.
Marriage is not the only issue at hand even while some “church” members purport the honour of same-sex marriages. The idea that there are acceptable alternatives to what the world does further erodes the standards of the Church. One such idea is that the young people of the church are taught that it is wrong to go to clubs and like venues. And while there is considerable truth to this pulling away from ungodliness the same people teaching the fallacy of clubbing have introduced club-like atmospheres in local bodies. This dichotomy is not only unacceptable but has created a double standard and hypocrisy in the lives of those involved. Further, it has become increasingly difficult, in some cases, to tell the difference between the Church and secular venues.
Romans chapter one provides clear insight into some to the issues taking place during the time Paul addressed problems that were going on not just in the secular world but also in the Church. Versus twenty-four through thirty two show some of the issues at hand:
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
These very things are taking place in the Church today and God is not pleased. The people of God were called out to be separate and apart from the world. After all that is what “church” really means taken from the Greek “ekklasia” which means the called out ones. And while there is a bit more to the definition it is certain that Christians are called out from the world to please God. As such matters such as whispering, backbiting and disobedience must be removed from the church even as homosexuality, adultery and other sex sin should not be named even once among the people of God.
Yes, there has been a secularization of the Church yet it is high time the people of God referred back to the standards of God in order to be that shining light in and for this untoward generation.