14 Apr, 2017 Easter reflection: Without Jesus Western culture is but a cut flower

With Easter upon us I cannot help but lament the silence of our our national media regarding the Easter story. Cadbury’s have taken it a step further – removing even the word ‘Easter’. It is as if they think that religious tolerance will be improved by this – when the opposite is the case!

Increased religious fervour ironically  = increased tolerance

Victoria University is studying religious views in NZ in detail. Their studies over the past approx 9 years have revealed that, the more passionately religious a person is, the more religiously tolerant they are. And the more secular a person is – the more religiously intolerant they are!
  • Not what most would have expected!
  • The idea that being silent about the Easter story is about religious tolerance is not only an ignorant cultural insult to ourselves as Westerners, it’s a step toward greater intolerance!

However, there is more to the picture…

The greatest values of Western culture have their roots decidedly within our Christian heritage. Consider these values and things that we esteem (while noting that each of them is a statement of contrast – comparing to how things would be without Christianity):
  • Human life has value because we’re made in the image of God.
  • Education – even for the poor is a moral good.
  • Health care – even for the poor, is likewise.
  • The weak, powerless and marginalised should be protected (because humans aren’t just advanced animals – for, were this the case, we could kill disabled people just like we do animals, like Hitler did – and also a surprisingly great many cultures throughout history, to our shame if we dare to look).
    • Hence the Christian battle against slavery – leading to the values the West now holds.
  • God gave freedom of the will – so people can choose to think and believe what they like (hence freedom of religion and speech).
  • Rationality exists (aka: our rational rejection of the idea of evolution as the only source of life is why we can say that humans are NOT merely ‘biological response units’, programmed by our DNA and previous experiences…
  • …which is  why we are morally culpable for our choices! In turn, this belief (that we’re morally culpable) is why we have the kind of justice system we do (which is only a few hundreds years old!). That justice must also be fair – because moral truth does exist (morality is not relative / made up by us – like so many say).
  • Kindness is a good thing (while many are unaware that even a simple view like this is logically unsustainable if we deny the existence of God. A thing isn’t true because we believe it or think it. It’s true only if it is actually true – so ‘kindness’ is all about why we value life).
  • Integrity is necessary (for even the idea of democracy stands upon this Christian value, which is empowered by the belief that God is watching. This belief ALONE can sustainably motivate we ‘naturally corruptible’ humans to do what is right even when no one else is looking).
  • And ideas like humility and forgiveness are likewise necessary for a caring and peaceful society (or family) to exist
    • If evolution explains life, then the value is logically the ‘survival of the fittest’ – which will lead to attitudes of pride, power and dominance within society (which our Christian worldview calls ‘corruption’), not humility, self-sacrifice and forgiveness.
  • Self-control is a virtue to pursue (because we’re not just biological machines – so following our natural instincts and impulses sometimes will be the wrong thing to do.
    • Sex is not a merely biological act – and is also something that happens within the context of a family – or relationship – or society, to which we are also accountable, because our actions affect others. Hence the faith-view that MORAL boundaries exist regarding sex – as contrasted with our societies current that it’s an individual matter only. More harm has come to our society though this errant belief than any other thing. The costs of the resulting family breakdown that is happening at a societal level are broad and devastating. Marches down streets protesting the growing violence against children in our nation address the problem entirely at the wrong conceptual level!
  • Love exists (because free will does)
    • and loving God and others is our highest calling.


I love everything that the true story of Easter stands for…

…and pray our nation will one day stop being embarrassed about its identity as a distinctly ‘Christian nation’ in its values – as contrasted to the values that naturally come from other faiths and atheism.

(…because – the research is proving that if we do this, we will even be more tolerant!)




Remember Jesus this Easter – because without the values that this faith creates and sustains within us, these good things within our culture are like a cut flower!

DAVE MANN. Dave is an Author and gifted communicator with a passion for the Gospel. This passion started when he came to faith at age 11. After Secondary School he went straight to Bible College, followed by 7 years in outreach ministry in New Zealand, then nearly 9 as a pastor in Singapore, before returning to New Zealand at the end of 2011. Dave is a visionary and fearless about pioneering initiatives aimed at helping the Church in New Zealand in the area of its mission. Author of various books and Tracts including “Because we care”, “That Leaders might last”, “The Elephant in the Room” and available free on this site: “The what and how of Youth and Young Adult ministry”.
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