Evangelism Is A Core Leadership Quality
Many Christians love evangelism as long as somebody else is doing it. It's kind of a recurring theme that people want to talk about it or even bemoan the lack of evangelism, but they themselves, are unengaged in the activity.
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“It's just a box of rain...”
Since: May 07
#1 Aug 10, 2014
As I began this article, my first reaction was, why is it being presented to the atheist forum? It seems more of an internal Christian matter. Then I reached the section that rails against the presence of alternative world views, including atheism and secularism, termed "its (atheism's) ugly step-sister. Opposition to atheism in religious articles is expected, but secularism? Perhaps they define it differently.
To those who promote it, secularism is the separation of religion and civil government, i.e., government neutrality with respect to religion. This actually works to the advantage of religions, especially those that are less popular or out of the mainstream, the only real limitations being that they cannot use government to promote religion in general or theirs in particular and that they must abide by civil laws along with everyone else.
Even that limitation has broken down in small ways--"In God We Trust" becoming the national motto and the insertion of "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance being the tow most obvious examples. Before that, Blue Laws that were based on religious prohibitions had proliferated around the nation, but most of them have been removed from the books or are no longer enforced.
To me, that's all small stuff. It's more important to assure that basic human rights are not limited because of religion. It's important that the enforcement sins that have no civil value in the way that theft and murder do, be limited to sanctions that churches impose on their own memberships. Churches have every right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, for instance, but government has no business restricting it or denying equal protection under the law to gay couples.
Nor should religion be used to exempt people or organizations from the requirements imposed on the rest of society, especially by laws enacted in order to assure equality for minority populations within the general citizenry. We've com along way in that regard. Emancipation from slavery for blacks followed by the rights to vote and to live, work, and go to school free from the requirements of segregation/discrimination policies, the rights to vote and control their reproduction for women, and freedom from discrimination for LGBT citizens and the right to marry in many states.
Secularism is not against religion, only neutral towards it. It has nothing to do with atheism--most of its supporters are believers themselves. Absent that neutrality, governments would have the right to interfere with religion even to the extent of eliminating all but recognized state religions that were under government control. Thus, secularism makes room in the societies where it is practiced for a wide range of religious organizations and activities that might well be prohibited in non-secular societies.
Atheism's ugly step-sister? I think not.
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