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Author Topic: What is the Greater Threat to Christianity: Islam or Secularism?  (Read 4582 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: September 13, 2009, 04:25:33 AM »

I am curious as to what others think is a greater threat to Christianity: Islam or Secularism?

I will proffer a supposition (this is merely a supposition, not an outright profession of what I actually believe): 

Secularism is a greater threat to Christianity because it does not have the belief in God as its foundation. But Islam is purely monotheistic, plus it professes to be an extension of Judaic and Christian belief. Therefore, an objective appeal to morality and justice can be made to those within Islam. But in a secular society, "anything goes," so to speak. 

Islamic cultures have produced their share of iniquities and injustices: misogyny, polygamy, Jihadist invasions, and antiSemitism just to name a few. But most Islamic cultures have strict laws against homosexuality, adultery, and abortion.

My opinion is that there will be more hope in dealing with monotheistic Muslims than in dealing with godless secularists.

What do you guys think?

Selam   
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 04:45:28 AM »

I believe with time Islam will become more and more secularised, especially with interaction with the Western World.  The vast majority of my peers and colleagues who have Islamic roots are either incredibly lax (culturally Muslim) or agnostics.  So if one views secularism as a threat, it would be the only threat, since I see the faithful of x faith becoming more secularised with time.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 01:45:01 PM »

Neither.
The greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians".
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 03:56:18 PM »

I believe with time Islam will become more and more secularised, especially with interaction with the Western World.

Traveling through the Muslim world, I sadly don't see this. It seems like people are becoming more radical. In places like Egypt and Morocco, it was formerly rare for cosmopolitan people to strongly identify with Islam and for their women to wear the veil, but now that demographic is becoming as fanatic as the masses. Muslims have also succeeded in having it both ways, with access to Western-imported sex and booze easy to find in private spaces, but in public they maintain a hard line, so there is no societal push to become westernized.
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 05:10:35 PM »

I am afraid that the greatest threat to Christianity is "Christianity." I mean, it is so tempting for powerful men who in a way control the nuclear button to use it, justifying this use by what little and foggy and distorted they think they "know" about Christ, the Bible, the "only right religion..." If they succeed, the whole world will go up in flames and the whole "Christianity" thing will not matter anymore...

And if I were asked strictly to distinguish between the two (Islam or secularism), I would perhaps say, "I need more information." Islam is extremely heterogenous. So is what people call "secularism."
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 01:31:21 AM »

Both...and neither.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 01:36:48 AM »

Secularism,


Secularism came from Protestant Christianity, and look what it has done to different christian groups. It is a real killer, and it is being exported all over the planet. I have been rethinking the Iranian revolution. In this country we have been brainwashed to hate it and see it as wrong, but recently I have been seeing some of the good things of that revolution. In many ways, they were fighting "secularism", and so I have alot of respect for them now. They were trying to preserve their culture and way of life.













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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 01:47:50 AM »

Neither.
The greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians".

I am in agreement since the reaction of "Christians" to Islam and Secularism is far more dangerous than either movement by its own.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 01:52:37 AM »

Neither.
The greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians".

I am in agreement since the reaction of "Christians" to Islam and Secularism is far more dangerous than either movement by its own.

So it's wrong for christians to react? Why is it ok for every group under the sun to do whatever they want to christians, but it's wrong for christians to react back?









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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 02:05:47 AM »

If I am forced to accept your terms the way that you are using them, couched in your presuppositions, then I will say that secularism is far more dangerous.

But ultimately Christianity thrives and flourishes when it is put against fire.  It is an eschatological religion at heart, so when immanent doom and worldwide collapse seem likely, Christians tend to step up to the plate.  However, the secular threat is trickier.  There is no martyrdom in the West today.  We are showered in luxury and plenty, free of any compulsion to pray or exert any spiritual effort.  And if we do, we'd do best to keep it to ourselves.

The privatization of religious convictions was one clever move on the part of the deceiver.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 02:51:25 AM »

Secularism,


Secularism came from Protestant Christianity, and look what it has done to different christian groups. It is a real killer, and it is being exported all over the planet. I have been rethinking the Iranian revolution. In this country we have been brainwashed to hate it and see it as wrong, but recently I have been seeing some of the good things of that revolution. In many ways, they were fighting "secularism", and so I have alot of respect for them now. They were trying to preserve their culture and way of life.













ICXC NIKA

I tend to agree with you.

The atheist Christopher Hitchens (usually a darling of the Left) was maligned by the Left for his wholehearted support of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hitchens said that it was a simple case of a war between theocracy and secularism. So what is so ironic is that George Bush was actually fighting to preserve and defend the very "freedoms" that the Left holds dear- abortion, pornography, gambling, secular education, etc... Hitchens saw this very clearly, and that's why he supported the war.

Selam   
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 02:56:27 AM »

If I am forced to accept your terms the way that you are using them, couched in your presuppositions, then I will say that secularism is far more dangerous.

But ultimately Christianity thrives and flourishes when it is put against fire.  It is an eschatological religion at heart, so when immanent doom and worldwide collapse seem likely, Christians tend to step up to the plate.  However, the secular threat is trickier.  There is no martyrdom in the West today.  We are showered in luxury and plenty, free of any compulsion to pray or exert any spiritual effort.  And if we do, we'd do best to keep it to ourselves.

The privatization of religious convictions was one clever move on the part of the deceiver.

I absolutely agree with you.

BTW, you aren't forced to accept my terms or the way I'm using them. I just asked a simple question and offered a simple supposition that is certainly debatable.

Selam
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 03:47:54 AM »

In what way are you conceiving of anything being a threat to Christianity?
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 04:12:24 AM »

In a real, absolute, theological sense, there is no threat to Christianity because we are more than conquerors in Christ.

I think I can tell where the original poster is coming from, and to answer his (?) question, I am inclined to pick secularism as the bigger threat. But what I really consider the big threat is the "me me me" attitude. This can be seen in... well, pretty much every symptom of social decay in my country (the USA) and elsewhere. How this is a threat is when the attitude creeps into the odious "prosperity gospel" crap from charlatans like Joel Osteen or in those Pentecostal churches that preach that becoming a Christian gives you super powers.

I guess it's not really secularism per se, but many secular social policies are a "me me me" perversion of traditional institutions like marriage (the whole gay marriage thing... I'm counting the minutes until they legalize marriage between a man and a sheep) or moral relativism.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 04:33:33 AM »

In what way are you conceiving of anything being a threat to Christianity?

Good question.

I guess what I mean is, what threatens to do more to undermine our true Christian practice and our true Christian calling? I agree with what many people have said so far, that we are perhaps our own worst enemy. We know that whenever Christians are really persecuted, then the Church spreads. As someone once said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."

So, what is the greatest threat to us living an authentic Christian life? I guess the reality is that whenver and wherever we truly strive to follow Christ, then persecution will accompany us. Isn't this what St. Paul says? "All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted." [II Timothy 3:12]

Selam
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 06:48:46 AM »

I think the response "Christians are the greatest threats" is short-sighted and, quite frankly, idiotic.  If you want to take the position that most Christians do such a poor job representing and living their faith that they push people away, then your answer should be that the greatest threat to Christianity is
THE DEVIL AND TEMPTATION.

Thankfully, while we know that He is the greatest threat, we also know that ultimately he is powerless thanks to the Lord's conquering of death.  But the Orthodox spiritual ethos requires that we put blame where it belongs (with the tempter) and focus on rehabilitating those who merely become tools of his.
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 06:55:49 AM »

As for the OP: I don't know if I'd put either movement above the other as far as level of potential threat to Christianity.  On the one hand, the faith is actually not threatened by either - they both have a tendency to only draw away those weak in their faith, and strengthen the resolve of those truly committed.

OTOH, either one only threatens the faith if the people involved in the movements allow them to, which would then point back to my previous point: the only threat to Christianity is the Devil and his determination to tempt all humanity to sin against God.  Thankfully, we know how the story with him will end.
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2009, 07:47:50 AM »

The atheist Christopher Hitchens (usually a darling of the Left) was maligned by the Left for his wholehearted support of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hitchens said that it was a simple case of a war between theocracy and secularism. So what is so ironic is that George Bush was actually fighting to preserve and defend the very "freedoms" that the Left holds dear- abortion, pornography, gambling, secular education, etc... Hitchens saw this very clearly, and that's why he supported the war.

That's exactly the reason I wrote that the biggest threat to Christianity is "Christianity" (note, I did not write "Christians"). What I meant was the distorted quasi-Christianity, the messianic zeal to save this world by trampling over other ("bad," "evil") countries, nations, cultures. However, I do not think G.W. Bush was knowingly leading American boys and girls to slaughter to defend abortion and pornography - rather, he did that imagining that he supports democracy (whatever that meant for him), and God directly leads him by His revelation. Hitchens just happens to have a different "revelation..."
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 09:41:51 AM »

That's exactly the reason I wrote that the biggest threat to Christianity is "Christianity" (note, I did not write "Christians").
I disagree. I still think the greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians". Christianity cannot be a threat to itself any more than Buddhism is a threat to Buddhism. But "Christians" who believe they know the "Absolute Truth Of All Things And How Things Should Be" will be its undoing in many places throughout the world.
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2009, 10:25:22 AM »

That's exactly the reason I wrote that the biggest threat to Christianity is "Christianity" (note, I did not write "Christians").
I disagree. I still think the greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians". Christianity cannot be a threat to itself any more than Buddhism is a threat to Buddhism. But "Christians" who believe they know the "Absolute Truth Of All Things And How Things Should Be" will be its undoing in many places throughout the world.
But I deliberately put "Christianity" in quotation marks. The reason I did not write "Christians" is because I think the threat is not as much particular people behaving in a particular way; rather, this threat is the general trend to act right here and right now, aiming to change this (fallen, broken) world by political - and also militaristic, violent - means. Delusionally thinking that they "hear the revelation from God," people who live this "faith" of "Christianity" are ready to hurt many others and even to erase lives of countless thousands or millions; they absolutely forget about compassion, humility etc. for the sake of what they perceive as a "more important goal" (world peace, spread of democracy, protection of the Palestinian homeland of "God's chosen people," stopping "Islamo-Fascism," etc.).

Forgot to add that I most certainly agree with Cleveland in that this "faith" is diabolic. 
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 02:12:20 PM »

Neither.
The greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians".

I am in agreement since the reaction of "Christians" to Islam and Secularism is far more dangerous than either movement by its own.

So it's wrong for christians to react? Why is it ok for every group under the sun to do whatever they want to christians, but it's wrong for christians to react back?

Should Christians react against anything initiated by Satan whether Islam, Secularism, et al.?  What kind of reaction are you looking for?   Huh

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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 02:50:33 PM »

Islam was once very open-minded towards Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox even feared the Latin Church more then Islam. Muslims during the Ottoman Empire allowed Orthodoxy to survive in a sort of "spiritual oasis" until more recent times, since the Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews, at that time, were defended by the Ku'ran principle to respect "the Peoples of the Book". With the recent events of the last century (I think the key event is the Restoration of Israel), Muslims have begun their fight with the Judeo-Christian/Western World as they (=their leaders) conceive it.
Secularism, and the consequent atheism/agnosticism, is also a great problem. In fact, while Islam works stronglier in the Middle East (but I know of converts both from Europe and North America), secularism is going to mix itself with the historical churches of the Western word. There are lots of clergymen who refuse to believe in Satan and angels as myths or allegories, a fruit of a rebirth of sadducean attitudes. Even Preterists, who deny the resurrection with their idea that the Apocalypse has already been fulfilled in 70 AD, are a result of secularism, of a weak faith in the contents of the Christian religion.

I think that the greater threat to Christianity is Freemasonry. This permeates, in a form or another, every religion one after the other, and is at the base of false ecumenism. Satan could rule all churches and religions easily if all Christians, Jews and Moslems would say "Afterall, WE'RE ALL GOD'S PEOPLE" (sorry for my free reference to a song of the Queen). Reducing all religions to "free opinions" is the best way to strengthen the principal instrument of the Devil, relativism, which is the sceptre of Freemasonry. The recent changes in the Roman Church (including the post-Vatican II "liturgical decay", Communion on the hands and the kiss of pope Wojtila on the Ku'ran), in the Protestant/Anglican Churches (the introduction of women priests) and even in Orthodoxy (with a special reference to the annulment of the excommunications with Rome by Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople) are just instruments of Freemasonry, understood more as a "tendency" to relativism whose obscure purpose is to give the world as a present to the Devil. The Church should find more cohesion within itself and resist the temptations towards ecumenism and modern relativism. A good step might be the final reunion with the Copts, Armenians, Ethiopians and Eritreans, whose schism is a fruit of misunderstandings on both sides. A reunion would benefit our missionary activity in the world, especially in those areas now afflicted by Islam (such as the Middle East) and allow the other Orthodox to concentrate on the liberal relativistic West. Of course this is an utopia, but how can't this happen one day, when Jesus himself prayed for Church unity some 2000 years ago?

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2009, 03:16:39 PM »

Islam was once very open-minded towards Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox even feared the Latin Church more then Islam. Muslims during the Ottoman Empire allowed Orthodoxy to survive in a sort of "spiritual oasis" until more recent times

If Islam were truly tolerant of Christianity, the Middle East would still be Christian. As it really was, the Christians were assailed by high taxes, lack of opportunities and the forbidding of missionary activity until most eventually converted to Islam.

Remember, even the Ottomans you speak highly of here martyed Turks who converted from Islam to Christianity. St Ahmed the Calligrapher, pray for us.
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2009, 04:46:12 PM »

Islam was once very open-minded towards Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox even feared the Latin Church more then Islam. Muslims during the Ottoman Empire allowed Orthodoxy to survive in a sort of "spiritual oasis" until more recent times, since the Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews, at that time, were defended by the Ku'ran principle to respect "the Peoples of the Book". With the recent events of the last century (I think the key event is the Restoration of Israel), Muslims have begun their fight with the Judeo-Christian/Western World as they (=their leaders) conceive it.
Secularism, and the consequent atheism/agnosticism, is also a great problem. In fact, while Islam works stronglier in the Middle East (but I know of converts both from Europe and North America), secularism is going to mix itself with the historical churches of the Western word. There are lots of clergymen who refuse to believe in Satan and angels as myths or allegories, a fruit of a rebirth of sadducean attitudes. Even Preterists, who deny the resurrection with their idea that the Apocalypse has already been fulfilled in 70 AD, are a result of secularism, of a weak faith in the contents of the Christian religion.

I think that the greater threat to Christianity is Freemasonry. This permeates, in a form or another, every religion one after the other, and is at the base of false ecumenism. Satan could rule all churches and religions easily if all Christians, Jews and Moslems would say "Afterall, WE'RE ALL GOD'S PEOPLE" (sorry for my free reference to a song of the Queen). Reducing all religions to "free opinions" is the best way to strengthen the principal instrument of the Devil, relativism, which is the sceptre of Freemasonry. The recent changes in the Roman Church (including the post-Vatican II "liturgical decay", Communion on the hands and the kiss of pope Wojtila on the Ku'ran), in the Protestant/Anglican Churches (the introduction of women priests) and even in Orthodoxy (with a special reference to the annulment of the excommunications with Rome by Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople) are just instruments of Freemasonry, understood more as a "tendency" to relativism whose obscure purpose is to give the world as a present to the Devil. The Church should find more cohesion within itself and resist the temptations towards ecumenism and modern relativism. A good step might be the final reunion with the Copts, Armenians, Ethiopians and Eritreans, whose schism is a fruit of misunderstandings on both sides. A reunion would benefit our missionary activity in the world, especially in those areas now afflicted by Islam (such as the Middle East) and allow the other Orthodox to concentrate on the liberal relativistic West. Of course this is an utopia, but how can't this happen one day, when Jesus himself prayed for Church unity some 2000 years ago?

In Christ,    Alex
When all else fails...  blame it on the Freemasons. Roll Eyes  All joking aside, do you have any evidence that the Freemasons are really behind many of the "reforms" made in the Christian churches during the 20th century, or are you just using them as a scapegoat?
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2009, 05:10:49 PM »

Secularism came from Protestant Christianity, and look what it has done to different christian groups. It is a real killer, and it is being exported all over the planet. I have been rethinking the Iranian revolution. In this country we have been brainwashed to hate it and see it as wrong, but recently I have been seeing some of the good things of that revolution. In many ways, they were fighting "secularism", and so I have alot of respect for them now. They were trying to preserve their culture and way of life.
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I believe there were many causes of secularism:

- The renaissance humanism that over time evolved into secular humanism that promotes a non-religious approach to life

- Anti-clericalism (started in the Catholic France and Italy)

- The printing press, in conjunction with the reintroduction of personal responsibility in matters of faith (this was sparked by the non-reform protestant traditions).

- General disappointment with the Church as a worldly institution.

- The victory of science over faith as polar opposites (now of course we no longer oppose them as it was in the past)

- Rise of nationalism in the 18th Century

- Leftist socio-economic movements of the last two centuries (again based on Marx's two leaps of faith: that species (ideal) man exists and that man can perfect mankind). Such movements include communism, facsism and their variants at on extreme, and modern liberalism/progressivism toward the center. I am not here delving into politics but the culmination of a humanistic world view.

- I have to also believe that Satan was not idle during this long period.

Interestingly, as Jaroslav Pelikan has shown, one of the strongest forces that changed civilization was Christianity itself with its emphasis on the equality and dignity of each individual. (See Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture (1985) Yale U. Press, ISBN 0-300-07987-7). To me this was the genesis for the humanistic impulse. Everything else pushed the movement of the Western Civilization toward materialism and secular humanism.
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2009, 05:30:00 PM »

Islam was once very open-minded towards Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox even feared the Latin Church more then Islam. Muslims during the Ottoman Empire allowed Orthodoxy to survive in a sort of "spiritual oasis" until more recent times

If Islam were truly tolerant of Christianity, the Middle East would still be Christian. As it really was, the Christians were assailed by high taxes, lack of opportunities and the forbidding of missionary activity until most eventually converted to Islam.

Remember, even the Ottomans you speak highly of here martyed Turks who converted from Islam to Christianity. St Ahmed the Calligrapher, pray for us.

I would add that historical perspective is very important, as are the foundational documents and history of Islam. Some historians have noticed that at times local populations that were not favored by the ruling ethnic group did welcome the advancing Muslim armies. This may have been the case in Northern Africa and the Near East (the Levant) where the local non-Greek populations felt misused by their masters in Constantinople. Others have pointed out the extreme cunning and resourcefulness of the tribe of Osman in rising to the fore and then proceeding to conquering the entire Byzantine Empire.

In either case, I would have to agree with CRCulver. I do not think that Islam amd Muslims were at all "very open minded" toward the Orthodox. I think that they used a very consequential aspect of their faith to their advantage: that is, they are permitted to misinform, dissemble or lie as the circumstances dictate, as long as the strategic goal of the faith is not changed. Thus, their faith (based as it is in the Qoran and the Muslim holy tradition--the Sunnah and the Hadith), also provides its own historical context. In accordance with their foundational texts and traditions, Muslims are nice to non-Muslims when they have to be (or want to) and not so when they don't have to (or want to).

Bottom line still is the everybody on this earth is supposed to be converted to Islam. The difference between the People of the Book and those who are not boils down to their answers to the Muslim call for conversion. People of the Book get to keep their heads and the rest lose them. However, there are many conditions imposed on the People of the Book for the privilege of keeping their heads affixed to their shoulders: they become second class, oppressed citizens of the Muslim state.
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2009, 05:32:02 PM »

I am curious as to what others think is a greater threat to Christianity: Islam or Secularism?

By "Christianity", do you  mean (1) the political structures of the West informed by Christian tradition (e.g., the U.S. governmental structure); (2) the religious institutions within Christianity (e.g., particular churches)?; or (3) the beliefs and practices engaged in by adherents of the Christian tradition?

When people speak of a 'threat' to Christianity, they often mean a 'threat' to what they believe Western culture is all about (freedom, justice, etc.). They alternatively might equate Christianity with a particular institutional manifestation -- e.g., the Southern Baptist Convention. Will the SBC survive the onslaught of radical Wahhabis on American shores? Or, thirdly, the very ability to believe and practice in a Christian manner might be seen as under threat: back to the Roman catacombs, anyone?

Likewise, Islam can be conceived in three analogous ways: as a culture, as institutions, as individual praxis.

Secular humanism, likewise.

So, I think what you're asking is, what is the greater threat to Christian culture: Islamic culture (of which there are many) or secular culture?

The greatest threat to Christian culture are those raised in that culture, who (1) refuse to keep that culture alive, and who (2) fail to re-interpret Christian teaching for new generations.

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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2009, 08:28:48 PM »

In a real, absolute, theological sense, there is no threat to Christianity because we are more than conquerors in Christ.

I think I can tell where the original poster is coming from, and to answer his (?) question, I am inclined to pick secularism as the bigger threat. But what I really consider the big threat is the "me me me" attitude. This can be seen in... well, pretty much every symptom of social decay in my country (the USA) and elsewhere. How this is a threat is when the attitude creeps into the odious "prosperity gospel" crap from charlatans like Joel Osteen or in those Pentecostal churches that preach that becoming a Christian gives you super powers.

I guess it's not really secularism per se, but many secular social policies are a "me me me" perversion of traditional institutions like marriage (the whole gay marriage thing... I'm counting the minutes until they legalize marriage between a man and a sheep) or moral relativism.

And they will also pass a law that would make it hate speech to speak out against it. Thus making religion even more private and no longer relevant in ones day to day life.

I remember listenning to an Episcopal scholar some weeks ago on ITUNES who was speaking about the eradication of various protestant congregations in passing when talking about another topic. The congregations he was talking about were in western Europe, and he mentioned briefly the history of it all, in how those congregations were at one time large and how eventually they disappeared with the rise of secularism in the area. What made me a little upset with his lecture was that he saw that as a good thing, and I was like no........that's a bad thing.


So there is something about secularism, it's materialism, and the instant self gratification and hidden atheism/agnosticism it represents that destroys religion. Secularism decays /erodes religion.

We are a moderate ascetical Faith, a faith that tells us to pick up our cross, a faith that teaches self denial, a faith that teaches self control, a faith that teaches a delay of self gratification. Extreme secularism guts all this.


A nonviolent way of destroying secularism is for christians worldwide to stop buying or selling anything during our christmass and Easter seasons. This alone will cause the modern world economy to collapse. I say this because 2/3rds of the American economy is based on us buying stuff, but if we refused, our economy would collapse again, and extreme secularism might collapse with it.

For you can't export something if you don't have the funds to support it.








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« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2009, 09:06:06 PM »

I am curious as to what others think is a greater threat to Christianity: Islam or Secularism?

By "Christianity", do you  mean (1) the political structures of the West informed by Christian tradition (e.g., the U.S. governmental structure); (2) the religious institutions within Christianity (e.g., particular churches)?; or (3) the beliefs and practices engaged in by adherents of the Christian tradition?

When people speak of a 'threat' to Christianity, they often mean a 'threat' to what they believe Western culture is all about (freedom, justice, etc.). They alternatively might equate Christianity with a particular institutional manifestation -- e.g., the Southern Baptist Convention. Will the SBC survive the onslaught of radical Wahhabis on American shores? Or, thirdly, the very ability to believe and practice in a Christian manner might be seen as under threat: back to the Roman catacombs, anyone?

Likewise, Islam can be conceived in three analogous ways: as a culture, as institutions, as individual praxis.

Secular humanism, likewise.

So, I think what you're asking is, what is the greater threat to Christian culture: Islamic culture (of which there are many) or secular culture?

The greatest threat to Christian culture are those raised in that culture, who (1) refuse to keep that culture alive, and who (2) fail to re-interpret Christian teaching for new generations.


Re-interpreting christian teaching is the main problem we see in modern times. Re-interpreting christian teaching is what caused alot of protestant groups to accept women priests and Bishops, it is the reason why many protestant groups are embracing pro-homosexual lifestyle clergy, before I left the ECUSA, some of the liberals I was arguing with hinted at the idea that homosexual relations was holy before God. Now some are actually saying that.

Re-interpreting christian teaching is nothing more than being a domesticated slave to secular humanism. It is being an uncle tom to secular humanism. It is being an automatic yes man to secular humanism. Whenever secular humanism changes it's mind, christianity must automatically change it's mind and re-interpret it's teachings.

This is the problem........not the solution. If there is such a thing as "freedom of Religion", then let Religion be free!!!! Free to not conform to whatever secular humanism says. We should be free to be ourselves.......free to be christian!

Protestantism is the master of "re-interpretation" of christian teaching.........they do it all the time.....they are pros when it comes to that, but we are suppose to be different. We are suppose to be keepers of the faith......not chameleons




Are we going to change to get people to like us and join us because we now changed ourselves to look like them.....only to change again for the next generation that have different tastes and beliefs?


No, we are not chameleons.










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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2009, 09:24:57 PM »

That's exactly the reason I wrote that the biggest threat to Christianity is "Christianity" (note, I did not write "Christians").
I disagree. I still think the greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians". Christianity cannot be a threat to itself any more than Buddhism is a threat to Buddhism. But "Christians" who believe they know the "Absolute Truth Of All Things And How Things Should Be" will be its undoing in many places throughout the world.

So the answer is women bishops? So The answer is being domesticated slaves to secular humanism?

Is being a yes man to secular humanism right?

Is being an Uncle Tom to secular humanism right?

Secular humanism can do no wrong?

Is secular humanism always right?


Why is it that christians are always to blame for wanting to be christian? What's wrong with holding on to what we have as christians? Why are some so quick to dump certain things in order to fit in with modern secular humanism?











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« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2009, 09:27:44 PM »

That's exactly the reason I wrote that the biggest threat to Christianity is "Christianity" (note, I did not write "Christians").
I disagree. I still think the greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians". Christianity cannot be a threat to itself any more than Buddhism is a threat to Buddhism. But "Christians" who believe they know the "Absolute Truth Of All Things And How Things Should Be" will be its undoing in many places throughout the world.

I agree, ozgeorge.
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« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2009, 11:31:28 PM »

That's exactly the reason I wrote that the biggest threat to Christianity is "Christianity" (note, I did not write "Christians").
I disagree. I still think the greatest threat to Christianity is "Christians". Christianity cannot be a threat to itself any more than Buddhism is a threat to Buddhism. But "Christians" who believe they know the "Absolute Truth Of All Things And How Things Should Be" will be its undoing in many places throughout the world.

So the answer is women bishops? So The answer is being domesticated slaves to secular humanism?

Is being a yes man to secular humanism right?

Is being an Uncle Tom to secular humanism right?

Secular humanism can do no wrong?

Is secular humanism always right?


Why is it that christians are always to blame for wanting to be christian? What's wrong with holding on to what we have as christians? Why are some so quick to dump certain things in order to fit in with modern secular humanism?











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I'm with you.

Christianity loses its relevance as soon as it seeks to be considered relevant by secular society.

Selam
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« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2009, 03:33:58 PM »

The greatest threat to Christian culture are those raised in that culture, who (1) refuse to keep that culture alive, and who (2) fail to re-interpret Christian teaching for new generations.
Re-interpreting christian teaching is the main problem we see in modern times. Re-interpreting christian teaching is what caused alot of protestant groups to accept women priests and Bishops, it is the reason why many protestant groups are embracing pro-homosexual lifestyle clergy, before I left the ECUSA, some of the liberals I was arguing with hinted at the idea that homosexual relations was holy before God. Now some are actually saying that....
That's not re-interpretating Christian teachings. That's altering Christian practice. By "re-interpretation", I'm referring to re-interpretations that may be necessary when given scientific discoveries regarding the Second Scripture, the Book of Nature.
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« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2009, 03:57:48 PM »

The greatest threat to Christian culture are those raised in that culture, who (1) refuse to keep that culture alive, and who (2) fail to re-interpret Christian teaching for new generations.
Re-interpreting christian teaching is the main problem we see in modern times. Re-interpreting christian teaching is what caused alot of protestant groups to accept women priests and Bishops, it is the reason why many protestant groups are embracing pro-homosexual lifestyle clergy, before I left the ECUSA, some of the liberals I was arguing with hinted at the idea that homosexual relations was holy before God. Now some are actually saying that....
That's not re-interpretating Christian teachings. That's altering Christian practice. By "re-interpretation", I'm referring to re-interpretations that may be necessary when given scientific discoveries regarding the Second Scripture, the Book of Nature.

Amen to that...
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« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2009, 05:06:08 PM »

The greatest threat to Christian culture are those raised in that culture, who (1) refuse to keep that culture alive, and who (2) fail to re-interpret Christian teaching for new generations.
Re-interpreting christian teaching is the main problem we see in modern times. Re-interpreting christian teaching is what caused alot of protestant groups to accept women priests and Bishops, it is the reason why many protestant groups are embracing pro-homosexual lifestyle clergy, before I left the ECUSA, some of the liberals I was arguing with hinted at the idea that homosexual relations was holy before God. Now some are actually saying that....
That's not re-interpretating Christian teachings. That's altering Christian practice. By "re-interpretation", I'm referring to re-interpretations that may be necessary when given scientific discoveries regarding the Second Scripture, the Book of Nature.

Amen to that...

I think it is dangerous to equate Scripture with nature. There is natural revelation and special revelation, but we must remember that the natural world has been affected and perverted by the Fall. We must also remember that satan is called the "god of this world." Thus to re-interpret Christian teaching according to nature is a grave error in my opinion. Natural science has made some wonderful discoveries, but it has also led us such insidious ideas as the belief that man has evolved from an amoeba, that some people are born homosexual, and that a human embryo does not deserve the right to life.

Selam
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« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2009, 05:08:20 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.
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« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2009, 05:12:12 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.

So that begs the question: Which is the greater threat, Islamic fundamentalism, Secular fundamentalism, or Evangelical Christian fundamentalism?

Perhaps the are equally dangerous?

Selam
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« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2009, 05:15:47 PM »

Natural science has made some wonderful discoveries, but it has also led us such insidious ideas as the belief that (...) some people are born homosexual

Just talk to these people and they will tell you, regardless of their knowledge of science...
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« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2009, 08:57:34 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.

So that begs the question: Which is the greater threat, Islamic fundamentalism, Secular fundamentalism, or Evangelical Christian fundamentalism?

Perhaps the are equally dangerous?

Selam

They are not equally dangerous because to do so requires one to overlook the fundamental differences between them.  Wink (the wink is for my use of "fundamental" here). In any case, I think that secular humanism is the greatest threat because:

a. Islamic extremists are self-proclaimed enemies of the West.

b. Evangelical Christian fundamentalists are Christian after all.  They are not enemies.

c. Secular humanists rarely advertise their disdain of Christianity but do all can do to undermine serious Christians and Churches.

d. Materialism, communism, fascism and all of the other destructive "ism's" of the past century are derived from secular humanism.

e. Post-modernism, nihilism, existentialism are all opposed in most respects to Christianity.
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« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2009, 09:20:46 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.

So that begs the question: Which is the greater threat, Islamic fundamentalism, Secular fundamentalism, or Evangelical Christian fundamentalism?

Perhaps the are equally dangerous?

Selam

They are not equally dangerous because to do so requires one to overlook the fundamental differences between them.  Wink (the wink is for my use of "fundamental" here). In any case, I think that secular humanism is the greatest threat because:

a. Islamic extremists are self-proclaimed enemies of the West.

b. Evangelical Christian fundamentalists are Christian after all.  They are not enemies.

c. Secular humanists rarely advertise their disdain of Christianity but do all can do to undermine serious Christians and Churches.

d. Materialism, communism, fascism and all of the other destructive "ism's" of the past century are derived from secular humanism.

e. Post-modernism, nihilism, existentialism are all opposed in most respects to Christianity.

I agree with your assessment.

Selam
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« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2009, 09:41:21 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.

ytterbiumanalyst

I see this as the greatest threat the Christianity and it's quite natural that people are completely turned off from seeking Christ in such an environment. IMO, fundamentalist "Christians" have done far more damage to the Gospel message than Islam, humanism, secularism or any other "ism" ever has.
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« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2009, 09:45:23 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.

So that begs the question: Which is the greater threat, Islamic fundamentalism, Secular fundamentalism, or Evangelical Christian fundamentalism?

Perhaps the are equally dangerous?

Selam

They are not equally dangerous because to do so requires one to overlook the fundamental differences between them.  Wink (the wink is for my use of "fundamental" here). In any case, I think that secular humanism is the greatest threat because:

a. Islamic extremists are self-proclaimed enemies of the West.

b. Evangelical Christian fundamentalists are Christian after all.  They are not enemies.

c. Secular humanists rarely advertise their disdain of Christianity but do all can do to undermine serious Christians and Churches.

d. Materialism, communism, fascism and all of the other destructive "ism's" of the past century are derived from secular humanism.

e. Post-modernism, nihilism, existentialism are all opposed in most respects to Christianity.

I disagree; Christian fundamentalists are lethal. Evangelical, Orthodox, Roman Catholic; wherever they are found, they are simply lethal. 
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« Reply #42 on: September 15, 2009, 10:06:36 PM »

The greatest threat to Christianity is fundamentalism. People are pushed away by those who claim to have the absolute correct way of doing things and condemn all others who do anything even slightly differently. Such a philosophy is anti-Christian.

So that begs the question: Which is the greater threat, Islamic fundamentalism, Secular fundamentalism, or Evangelical Christian fundamentalism?

Perhaps the are equally dangerous?

Selam

They are not equally dangerous because to do so requires one to overlook the fundamental differences between them.  Wink (the wink is for my use of "fundamental" here). In any case, I think that secular humanism is the greatest threat because:

a. Islamic extremists are self-proclaimed enemies of the West.

b. Evangelical Christian fundamentalists are Christian after all.  They are not enemies.

c. Secular humanists rarely advertise their disdain of Christianity but do all can do to undermine serious Christians and Churches.

d. Materialism, communism, fascism and all of the other destructive "ism's" of the past century are derived from secular humanism.

e. Post-modernism, nihilism, existentialism are all opposed in most respects to Christianity.

I disagree; Christian fundamentalists are lethal. Evangelical, Orthodox, Roman Catholic; wherever they are found, they are simply lethal. 

Disagreements between brothers are normal. I was wondering if this is a matter of aesthetics for you or is it a matter of differing definitions. It seems like your use of the word "lethal" indicates an opposition to a virulent, unthinking and extreme kind of fundamentalism. Am I close?
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« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2009, 11:10:57 PM »


Islam was once very open-minded towards Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox even feared the Latin Church more then Islam.

Paralleling this, initially the Oriental Orthodox were highly persecuted by the Byzantines and very much welcomed the invasion of the Muslims, as, ironically enough, the religious toleration of the Muslims was significantly greater than that by the Byzantines.
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« Reply #44 on: September 15, 2009, 11:13:49 PM »


I guess it's not really secularism per se, but many secular social policies are a "me me me" perversion of traditional institutions like marriage (the whole gay marriage thing... I'm counting the minutes until they legalize marriage between a man and a sheep) or moral relativism.

 Roll Eyes
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