The Church and its Christians are not respected on the public stage any longer. Both are being muscled out through mockery, furore, indignation and false humility, all at the behest of the new pagan ideals. The pagan adherents hate Jesus and they act on it by shaming and punishing his followers (Jn 15:18–25).
Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13).
God told us not to be surprised. But I’ll admit it, sometimes I’m still surprised!
We Australians have failed to teach our children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD, so subsequent generations have spurned Him. Like the Israelites, we have grown lazy in our wealth and not given proper honour to the Giver of all good gifts. What used to be a Christianity-infused nation is fast driving out anything Christian-related.
What will fill its place? We are creating a new national religion that is broadly a copy of the same religion being formed in other western nations. We are made to be worshippers, so if not the LORD God, we will find idols to worship.
Wherever you look around the world, people live in groups that often become nations. These groups are usually tied together by shared cultural, geographical and religious identities. Australia is part of the multi-cultural globalisation experiment, where we have tried to create a nation that has no shared cultural or religious identity, and, many of us are removed from our geographical roots. We have little that ties us all together except a citizenship.
The cliché says “nature abhors a vacuum,” and more pointedly, Satan will leverage any opportunity to oppose God. With the decline of Christianity and its cultural effects comes something else to fill its place.
We Christians were deceived. We thought that with the rise of more religions and more “alternative” points of view in Australia that Christianity would simply be a voice among the many, and a loud voice at that. After all, we can just be tolerant and respectful of differing views, right?
We thought that in the public sphere that it would be a true contest of ideas, where the best ideals for humanity would be vigorously tested and enshrined in law for the good of us all. Surely God knows best, so His ethics and ideals would always win, right? If it were a fair debate, with unbiased participants, that would be the case.
Alas, when the masses are left to their own devices, their carnal desire drives the agenda. It is only by the grace and design of God that anything but godless chaos can come out of us.
The fool says in their heart “there is no God, and I hate Him.” And so it is no surprise that when given the option, most people will trend away from the LORD and His Word. Fools despise wisdom and instruction (Pro 1:7).
What is this new religion being formed in our society? It is a new paganism. It is disguised as being no religion at all, it is portrayed as the progressive movement toward a utopian society (just like communism before Christians are oppressed, murdered or exiled).
The new paganism is much like the old versions, seen in animism, Hinduism or Greek/Roman religions. There is a proliferation of gods and associated idols. There are respected priests and temples. There are rituals to be observed. The state will endorse certain elements of the religion, and rejection of this religion is seen as being incompatible with one’s cultural identity. In fact, refusal to pay homage invites the wrath of the spirits or gods, and so people who won’t bow the knee must be excised from society for the safety of everyone else. Perhaps this paganism can tolerate our subversive faith, but only if we keep quiet and hidden.
It’s worth exploring the shape of this religious development further, but there is not the space here. Instead, let’s look at the fruit, or evidence of this shift that is quite visible to Christians right now.
The Church and its Christians are not respected on the public stage any longer.