A dominant religion progressively builds the prevailing culture in its own image. As secularism is the dominant religion in the West, it is building progressively a secularist culture that excludes genuine Christians to an ever greater degree. Christians and the Christian faith are being ghettoised.
A salient manifestation of this phenomenon is the increasingly strident demand that one's Christian faith remain a silent and private affair. Society demands that one must restrict one's faith to the space between one's ears. As soon as a Christian steps out of bed he is expected to act and think and worship like a secular humanist. To the extent that he does not, he will be progressively excluded from participation in the community.
Here is an example from the UK and Europe.
Three cases have just been heard in the European Court of Human Rights. All involved Christians resisting rules and regulations and judgments in the UK which denied the expression and application of their faith to the way they lived. The Daily Telegraph takes up the issue:
So the first thing to go is freedom of speech. There are some things which one can no longer aver because the law--mandating the dominant secular humanist culture--forbids it. This is the secular humanist version of blasphemy laws. One of these is the denial of free speech against homosexual "marriage". That's the implication of the rulings of the court.Campaigners claimed that “millions” of people who hold traditional “politically incorrect” views could now face new restrictions because of rulings against three other Christians involved in the European Court of Human Rights case. They claimed that the judgment actively increases the risk that those who dissent on the issue of same-sex marriage will not be free to voice their dissent.
But it is not just free speech. A further implication of the rulings is that if anyone works in the marriage or counselling "industry" and conscientiously objects to homosexual "marriage" because they are Christians they can legitimately be fired, fined, or even imprisoned, depending on the local and particular statutes on the books.
Significantly, [the Court] also threw out parallel challenges brought by two other Christians who lost their jobs for taking a stand on what they saw as a matter of conscience. Gary McFarlane, a Relate counsellor, and Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar, both resisted performing tasks at work they believed would amount to condoning homosexuality. Miss Ladele was disciplined by Islington Council for asking to be excused from conducting civil partnership ceremonies.Christian need not apply! It's beginning to look like the old Soviet Union when non-communist Party members were semi-ghottoised, kept from jobs, made unemployable, and reduced to second-class citizens. The marginalisation of Christians is an inevitable consequence of the dominant secular humanist religion conforming all culture and social interaction to its own doctrines and image.
Gary McFarlane indicated during a training course that if the situation ever arose he might have a conscientious objection to providing sex therapy to a same-sex couple on account of his Christian faith. He was dismissed for gross misconduct for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Paul Lambdin, partner in the employment department at Stevens & Bolton said: “Those with religious faith will take scant comfort from the ECHR's decision to allow the wearing of a religious symbol at work (when there is no health and safety risk). “It appears that those Christians, Muslims and others who disagree with same sex marriage and/or civil partnerships will be excluded from certain jobs. He added: “These cases demonstrate the difficulty of divorcing a belief from its practice. “The practical effect is that Ms Ladele, Mr McFarlane and others with similar religious convictions may be lawfully excluded from certain jobs.”A spokesman for the Christian Institute painted the picture of the broader implications:
Mike Judge, spokesman for The Christian Institute, which supported Miss Ladele, said: “What this case shows is that Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold. “If the Government steamrollers ahead with its plans to redefine marriage, then hundreds of thousands of people could be thrown out of their jobs unless they agree to endorse gay marriage.”This is but one issue. There will be more, many more issues where secular humanism will drive to conform society to its dogma and doctrines. It is pretty clear that in the shorter term it will be successful. This is what it means when a formerly Christian society falls under the judgement of the Almighty. God turns His face away and dominion is given to the Devil for a time. One of the first targets of oppression, punishing those who refuse to accept the doctrines of secular humanism, is always the Christian Church. As Peter puts it: "For it is time for judgement to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17)
Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, which supported Mr McFarlane and Mrs Chaplin, said: “If the Government redefines marriage in the next days and weeks we are going to see more and more cases like this because there are millions of Christians that believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and will have conscientious objections to facilitating that.”
One consequence of the oppression and suffering is always the purification of the Church itself. When the fiery trials fall, fellow-travellers within the Church lapse and depart. Those truly born of the Spirit reconfirm and recommit their loyalty to the Saviour. Oppression radicalises belief, in the sense that it drives it more deeply into the heart. The Church is made more pure as a result.
But Unbelief can only remain regnant for a time. It ultimately gnaws upon itself and destroys itself. God's judgment thus falls upon Unbelief, bringing it to nothing. But let no Christian amongst us be unclear or blind to what is happening in the West and what the implications are for us all. Again, the words of Peter are becoming more and more relevant to our days:
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1: 6,7)The times are a' changing--and our faith will be proved by fiery trials. It's time for all Christian parents to be thus warning, preparing, and encouraging their children and grandchildren for what they will most likely have to face.