This post sets down some significant challenges and opportunities facing Christianity in the United Kingdom. These concerns arose out of a prayer meeting on New Years eve, but highlight several areas importance for 2007.
– Criticism of faith schools.
– Intolerance of religious symbolism *British Airways.
– War on Iraq *Clash of civilizations (Muslim vs. Christian) rhetoric.
+ Voices of Faith Politics:
– Consumerism no longer discussed just taken as a given for many.
– Pornography issues linked to availability via the web.
– Growing scepticism and hedonism among young people.
– Drugs and Alcohol fuels domestic violence, escapism with ambiguous relationship to real life.
– Family break down a mistrust of long term relationships
– Pseudo-spiritual writings: like the Gnostic Gospels, the Gospel of Judas, Dan Brown’s novels, Phillip Pullman’s books, even the Harry Potter series.
– Suspicion of authority and thereby orthodoxy and organised religion.
+ Growing popularity of C.S. Lewis’ novels.
– Richard Dawkins and Christians like Bishop Shelby Spong.
– Growth in militant Atheism
– The book The God Delusion.
– Creationism vs. the Big Bang theory argument
+ Alistair McGrath
Satellite TV – multiple channels
*Vicarious Living, seemingly without consequences is causing damage to the soul.
It is not necessarily right for the Church to avoid the growing intolerance towards Christianity but neither should we seek to provoke secularists we must be prepared to answer them and we must continue speak truth, live justly, and love mercy. In the midst of all of this the Church must remain true to its own agenda and continue to be a light in dark times and places.
I invite fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to remember these issues in their prayers throughout the next year.
Yours in Christ,