Resisting the secular slide
by Philip Bell
In many ways, the experience of children and young people raised in today’s western societies is very different from a generation or two ago. Children of the 1970s (like me) had no knowledge of mobile telephones, computers, video games, tablet devices, the Internet, satellite navigation, and more besides—they were not even ‘on our radar’!
Another radical difference back then was the degree to which religion was still an accepted part of society. In my native UK, it was quite common for children to be sent to Sunday School, even those from non-Christian families. Schools had Christian assemblies; commerce and organised sport were largely restricted to a six day week; the rates of cohabitation of unmarried couples and of children born out of wedlock were very low; so-called ‘gay marriage’ was unheard of. We could go on, but the fact that this moral slide is aided and abetted by governments, and tolerated (even welcomed) by the spokespersons for the established Church, would be deeply shocking for many people of that time. Christianity was much more an accepted part of the fabric of life—unlike today.
European antagonism to biblical Christianity
Biblically-minded Christians are increasingly aware that this encroaching secularism has much to do with the Church’s capitulation to evolutionary dogma in past generations—that the chickens are coming home to roost as we increasingly reap the evil fruit of this anti-God philosophy. Certainly, Creation Ministries International (among other groups) has long emphasised this connection.
However, back in 2007, unnoticed by many, the Council of Europe passed a resolution which was nothing less than a full-frontal assault upon biblical Christianity.1 At the heart of their stated concerns was, “The values that form the very essence of the Council of Europe risk being directly threatened by creationist fundamentalists.”2 They claimed, moreover, “It is impossible to reconcile faith and science” and contrasted ideas involving God (which they labeled “absurd”) with evolution, which they asserted to be “the central theory for our understanding of life on earth and for the reassessment of the foundations of our societies” (emphasis added).
Building the correct foundation
Notice the acknowledgement that the creation/evolution issue is a foundational one. As CMI’s many articles, books, DVDs and other resources highlight, it is only when Genesis is affirmed as history that Christian teachings on morality, ethics and the Gospel of Christ have a firm foundation. These things cannot be logically defended (founded) upon a belief in evolution and/or long ages of death-and-struggle. Therefore, the constantly-changing moral zeitgeist3 which we witness in society today is undeniably associated with peoples’ embracing evolution.
The aforementioned European resolution goes further still: “Creationism, if we are not careful, may be a threat to human rights, which are at the heart of the concerns of the Council of Europe”, strongly urging member states to “firmly oppose the teaching of creationism”. It is quite clear that the Council of Europe sees where the real battle rages. Biblical creationist teaching must be resisted at all costs because the Christian morality and ethics founded upon it are an offence to the nonbelievers. True Christianity (as opposed to the inoffensive, non-evangelistic privatised variety) is a threat to their ‘right’ to enjoy, practice and promote sinful attitudes and behaviours, free from any criticism. As one Christian commentator observed, “The resolution … targets all things educational. In this way, it could affect religious education in churches.”4 We agree. How long will it be before pastors who faithfully teach according to Scripture risk committing an offence? In the UK, secular pressure groups have already persuaded the government to ban the presentation of creationist views in state funded schools as anything other than ‘religious myths’.5 Astonishingly, the Department for Education now views belief in creation as religious extremism which must be opposed, along with the teaching of Islamic hardliners.6
The UK’s Christian Institute recently reported that the beliefs of Christian parents could well be criminalized if a ‘sweeping parental law’ comes into force—a maximum prison sentence of 10 years is proposed for any parent found guilty of harming their child’s “physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.” Dubbed the “Cinderella Law”, there is genuine concern over how this might be recklessly enforced.7 Columnist and radio presenter Libby Purves, writing in The Times (UK), has criticized the proposals, pointing out for example, that it could surely be deemed “potentially damaging to ‘intellectual development’ to bring up a child in a strict religious belief that daily contradicts the evolutionary science they learn at school?”8 When non-believers are wiser to the endangered civil liberties of Christian people than they often are themselves, it is high time for the Church to wake up!
Obviously, censorship of Christianity, and persecution of its adherents, is nothing new. The evidence indicates that there is now a rocky road ahead for some who dare to stand up for Christ, resisting the secular slide. What will you do? As Christians, we need to be committed, informed, prayerful and outreaching. This is what it takes to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). And CMI is here to help, with our speaking ministry, magazines, books, DVDs and wealth of website resources. Together we can stand, engage and make a real difference.
References and notes
- Article 18, Resolution 1580, Council of Europe, 2007. This first came to my attention in June this year. Return to text.
- The information for this section of my article is courtesy of: Jérémie Cavin, Europe Resolved to get rid of God?, translated (by Benjamin Bell) from the French evangelical magazine, Christianisme Aujourd’hui, June 2014. The writer is commenting on a new Ph.D. thesis by Pierre Amey, an engineer-turned-pastor and lecturer at Faculté Jean Calvin, Aix-en-Provence, Switzerland. Return to text.
- To quote Richard Dawkins, chapter 7 of his book The God Delusion, 2006. Zeitgeist means ‘spirit of the age’. Return to text.
- Pierre Amey, see ref. 2. Return to text.
- Statham, D.R., Strawmen and censorship: the British Humanist Association and creation in schools, 9 August, 2014; creation.com/humanist-censorship. Return to text.
- Holehouse, M., Toddlers at risk of extremism, warns Education Secretary, The Telegraph, 7 August, 2014; telegraph.co.uk. Return to text.
- The Christian Institute, Religious parents ‘could be criminalised’ under new law, christian.org.uk, 3 June, 2014. Return to text.
- Purves, L., You can’t always bring ugly sisters to trial, thetimes.co.uk, 2 June, 2014. Return to text.