01 Aug, 2023 Post-secularism: A global trend that’s good for the gospel
Post-secularism: A global trend that’s good for the gospel
Culture is constantly changing. I also don’t think global news has been as crazy as it is right now for a long time! Where is it heading – and with what effect on the gospel?
In the book ‘In One Spirit’ I noted various trends within our wider culture. Some were working for the wider hopes of Christians – and some against. The point was to assess the potential future interplay of these trends. By considering where they might lead, what areas of outreach might be wisest to focus on, to position ourselves well for the future?
Half a dozen years on, it is my believe that the ‘post secular’ trend I wrote about is reaching a tipping point.
Here are a dozen news incidents that suggest this trend to me.
It is my view that we’re about to see a broad cultural swing in the West toward ‘conservatism’ – which will also represent a general warming toward the Christian faith.
I note that these are listed in no particular order.
Conservatism growing in Europe
Currently my understanding is that 17 nations in Europe now have conservative Governments.
The globalists have a challenge on their hands, because the representatives of various nations are finding their voice. They can see that their freedoms and futures are being undermined by costly agendas that do not always have the merits that are claimed in news broadcasts.
Giorgia Meloni’s win in Italy was particularly amusing. Western media naturally labelled her a ‘fascist’ – because she’s not a communist (the irony being that both are expressions of socialism).
In truth, her sin was pursuing values based on the following three things: ‘God, nation and family.’
Who would ever have believed a liberal Western nation like Italy would elect a Prime Minister who campaigned on the values of ‘God, nation and family’?!
My best guess is that the crazy immigration laws of the EU from 15 years ago are now backfiring. Rampant immigration of people from other cultures and faiths – who had no intent of ever integrating, is now causing untold troubles. Rape statistics of white women in particular are through the ceiling. Crime likewise. Race related crime likewise. Terrorist activities have literally multiplied across the period of a decade – to the point where many are no longer reported in public news media (like rapes also – because they are so common place). It’s a changed world. Many are realising the the idealistic narratives that were pushed upon them have not been for their good! They are realising they have been duped – and they aren’t happy!
The recent protests in France were huge. In about a week they saw 1000 buildings set alight, 250 schools burnt or vandalised and 6000 cars burnt. The protestors (terrorists – noting their actions) were also – interestingly – largely immigrants. Having come from poverty to a nation where they can be paid a to do nothing on a benefit, they feel they are being harshly treated – to point out the irony. While Western media compared it to the BLM protests (riots / terrorism) that were leveraged out of Floyd death – it’s really just anarchy. (BLM did nothing to help Floyds family by the way. It was Christians who did that – including Candice Owens, who went on to make a documentary about it, to ‘pull the sheets back’ on the corruption of the whole thing).
Nothing excuses violence, looting and the burning of buildings and cars! That’s not a protest. It’s full-blown civil disorder – or anarchy – or an attempt to catalyse a revolution! (In America – but not France, this happened with the support of it by Governmental leaders too. Their hands are stained!)
The French-French and immigrant-French are becoming further and further apart.
The immigrant French aren’t interested in French (the language), or France, or its culture or traditions. They want to live their cultural way, using their own language – with their own schools and even laws – while residing in France. It’s not an easy problem to fix. But it is the problem that the European powers have created – and still defend! (They want even more immigration).
Trump – and the rise of the conservative anti-corruption voice in the US
Most wouldn’t know, but Fox is bigger than of any the so-called ‘main stream’ news channels, and many times over if measured by audience. Even political commentators like the comedian JP Sears (who runs a youtube channel) have bigger audiences than the likes of MSNBC, while he has maybe 1 staff to help him edit videos, compared to MSNBCs 800+. Or consider CNNs approx. 3000 – with no bigger audiences in America that Im aware of. Tucker’s single programme had a larger audience in the US than the enormous CNN.
Something is shifting in culture!
In reading between the lines though, I aren’t convinced loyalty is to the Republican party – or to Fox news. This is because can likewise be corrupted by the ‘swamp’ that they call Washington (or ‘the wealthy global elite’). The public don’t want commercialised news, purchased by the wealthy elite and their companies. They want actual journalism – which isn’t scared to challenge the corruptions of power. The numbers are telling a story.
This is why Trump is so loved – despite his peculiarities. He is calling out the corruption of the system itself – which everyone else has been too scared to do. This is also why he is attacked so much. He is threatening the very establishment that gives the elite their power.
This leads to intriguing news commentaries like one titled “Republican party changed forever.” It suggested the loyalty of the public was even from the Republicans, to individuals they trusted who would call out the clear corruptions of power. The article suggested “Trump and Tucker Carlson have become the voice of the populace.” (Video here)
A new Anglican Priest, Calvin was invited to a public debate within the Anglican church around the issue of homosexuality. He spoke honestly, that the Bible says what it says. The church’s role isn’t to pander to the changing desires of popular culture – even though it is certainly to love all people. He lost his job as a result. Concurrently, the video of his speech went viral – with huge audiences. Intriguingly, many in public media supported him – not necessarily agreeing with his points, but agreeing with his right to hold those views, and certainly with the idea that the church should follow the Bible rather than allowing itself to become yet another pawn of globalist culture.
Theological changes within Anglicanism in England continue at pace currently – and with it various Vicars are leaving the denomination.
The significant support of the public toward Robinson is what is most notable.
People are sick of the far left calling them racist and homophoebic – when they know they are not. It’s not hateful to have different ideas and thinking. Tolerance is about how we treat people – no matter how much we disagree! The logic of this isn’t difficult to understand!
The accusations of homophobic, transphobic and racist have now been thrown so many times that people are losing their fear of the labels! They know who they are – and they are now seeing through the manipulation that this name-calling is!
It is a turning point in culture!
What is a woman?
A woman is an adult human female. It is a very simple question. The fact that a crazed political correctness has silenced the mouths of politicians, teachers, health-care professionals, media commentators and is what is astounding.
The far-left who are pursing this agenda no doubt have their reasons. I don’t profess to know or understand what those reasons are.
The public, however, can see a wider picture of what is happening. They can see how silly this is.
Disagreement is not hate. Transitioning the gender of children who think they are superman one moment, and a different gender the next if encouraged… is also foolish. The prevalence of autistic children in the mix is known – and it is details like this that begin to raise an alarm. It’s going to backfire – as it already is in the UK! Over there law suits from young adults against those who transitioned them are in full swing. The schools of psychiatrists who were silenced (therefore being approving) are now changing their opinions back to what most would have considered to be common sense. There is more carnage due us all yet around this one – but it again represents a push that has somehow gone too far.
It’s feeding a cultural trend in the opposite direction to what is being quite forcefully promoted.
GBN (Great Britain News)
Started only two years ago, it’s the highest rating news programme – and Nigel Farage just became the most popular news journalist/commentator in Britain.
Concurrently it is conservative – giving a voice to conversations that other public media were no longer allowing any alternative views on.
How did a new news channel go from ‘zero to hero’ that quickly?
It’s reflective of a wider cultural trend!
It deserves a mention. While it won the vote by a very small majority, it was the majority – and that was a vote against blind trust in the wider establishment. The ‘doom and gloom’ predicted if it went ahead hasn’t eventuated either.
J.P. Sears’ conversion
It was intriguing to see this American comedian and political commentator becoming a Christian recently. He put out a 25 minute video – which he prefaced by saying it wasn’t a comedy video. Previously he’d supported both Democrats and Republicans – and was a promotor of various Eastern spiritualities. So, why become a Christian?
He said that seeing the rise of evil convinced him there is evil – which pushed him to move toward what is good. If true evil exists, then God must. It was, for him, a natural progression.
Increasing courage to disagree with bicultural narratives in our own nation
I’ve been an adamant supporter of the Treaty for many years – but to note a trend, the way the public have been pushed into compliance with all things ‘bicultural’ is going to backfire! The primary weapon is the fear of being called a racist – which you can be called if you ever dare to disagree with what you’re told you have to agree with. For a Māori it is different though. They might simply be called white (not a true Māori).
It’s an approach that is doomed to fail – eventually!
With CRT (Critical Race Theory) thinking clearly now in the narratives of Government and educational think, many of the public are realising that they’re eventually going to be called racists no matter what they do. Merely being white (skin colour) means they are a racist to some. It’s not hard to see that that itself is racism. The left has pushed too far – as it does!
Our own recent public social media engagements around Matariki were interesting. Two years ago no one would dare say anything that didn’t fully comply with the cultural expectation that we embrace and support all things ‘bicultural’. There was a lot of trust a few years ago – as compared to now. Increasingly it is being (sadly) discovered by many that racism really is alive and well – just not in the direction they expected. “It’s the Treaty – how can you disagree? You racist!” But what does the Treaty / Te Tiriti actually say – as compared to the interpretations given by the more radical scholars or activists? Also, why aren’t I allowed to interpret the Treaty / Te Tiriti, and to express an opinion, if I’m no brown?
(I can vouch for the fact that this kind of racism is happening. It’s very sad – because it’s undermining something that was so good!)
To get to my point (or illustration): This year there was courage on our social media platform to speak – even where the accusation of ‘racist’ might come. We hid some posts that we considered directly too racist or insensitive to others – and we do that in all directions on any topic, if a person is too rude. But there were views stated that Id not have imagined being said out loud 2 years ago – for fear of being called a racist.
I was concurrently extremely impressed by some Māori’ who engaged with humility, grace and gentleness – answering questions, or giving perspectives relevant to conversations. (Phew 😉
My point is, however, about the change in public sentiment. Not everything ‘bicultural’ is true or right or good. Many are now awakening to this. Not everything that is claimed Te Tiriti / The Treaty says or guarantees is actually said or guaranteed by the Treaty / Te Tiriti! Dishonesty has crept into the narratives – and it’s gone too far. Manipulation with race-baiting – threatening to call people racists if they don’t agree etc… has gone too far! There is an awakening taking place.
Consider slavery – which the CRT crowd will try to pin on white people, as if skin colour told you a persons thoughts and heart. Many are realising that slavery and racism have been everywhere on our planet. It’s not at all a ‘white’ problem. Blacks had black slaves. While slave traders bought their slaves from black slave traders in Africa to take them further abroad. North african Blacks concurrently (at the same time) had white slaves – taken from Europe. Blacks in America owned slaves – and battled in the civil war to preserve slavery (not to stop it).
Meanwhile what is definitely true – if we want to pin something on a skin colour, is that it was whites who pushed against the slave trade and stopped it. It was whites in America who battled against slavery in the civil war, giving their lives, and the lives of their sons, to free their black brothers and sisters. And while Obama gets a Nobel Peace Prize for merely being the first black President in America, the truth is – it was white Americas who voted him into that role expressly because they were not racist! Meanwhile the ignorant mobs in the BLM and Antifa riots pull down statues of the very people who battled against and stopped slavery!
Does that mean the credit is due to whites? Absolutely not. We shouldn’t judge people by the colour of their skin. That’s racism!
The credit is actually due to Christianity. That is why the push against slavery happened!
The public are increasingly seeing through the narratives – and are finding their own voice as a result. That’s the trend!
Atheists in New Zealand engaging happily in public prayer
I stood at a protest against the mandates (by chance – long story) in Whangarei. Here were the secular public, with 100 of more people who’d lost health care and teaching jobs lined up along the front, all bowing their heads IN SECULAR NEW ZEALAND to pray – in English. Those lined up had just lost jobs and income for nothing more than a personal health choice – which at all other times would have been recognised as a fundamental human right.
Christian prayer at a public event in New Zealand – and with favour? It certainly made me think!
For example, I stood in that moment next to an adamant atheist who had no problems at all with the prayers. Without explaining why, my suspicion is that even one year prior, that same man would have felt very different about a public prayer.
How did his attitude toward expressions of the Christian faith in the public square change so fast?
The Wellington protest was similar. I wasn’t there but I heard of many giving their lives to Christ. Like the comedian JP Sears, they saw evil arising in the form of a Government that wasn’t willing to listen to the concerns of its people. ‘As the darkness gets darker, the light shines brighter.’ There were daily prayers – and outreach services – morning and evening, with a continual stream of people choosing to follow Christ!
I’ll add a twelfth article when I think of one – because 12 is better than 11 😉
(I’ve heard hundreds of news reports – so it’s just a matter of remembering an interesting one that fits the wider trend)
Post-secularism: Is it ‘conservatism’?
I suggest the wide trend is toward conservatism – because it is a reaction to the abuses of power, and endless growth of Government, at the hands of the ‘progressive left’ – who’s values are most akin to those of atheism and socialism. They are controlling media. they are controlling education. And now they want to control everyday language and speech. It’s either going to backfire, or cause a terrible mess!
Broadly speaking ‘Conservatism’ means ‘to conserve’.
What is being conserved it usually… the values of the past that enabled us to become what we are (or have been).
What have we been? It would be objectively true to say we’ve been one of the most amazingly prosperous, free, equality-based and charitable societies in the world, and in human history!! That is no small thing!
How did we get to have it so good? Christianity is literally at the core of it. Study any of the longer-term social changes, from tyranny to democracy, or the subjugation of the poor to the giving of voting rights, or of private education for the wealthy only through to public education, and you find Christianity, Christianity and Christianity!
So what is a swing toward ‘conservatism’ going to bring? Many things – but amongst them a growing positivity toward Christian spirituality.
Regarding ‘post-secularism’ – I suspect the trend we’re looking at is near to a tipping point – despite the enormous power of the far left, who have the majority stake-holders in globalism, the UN, the WEC, the WHO, the banks – and in the shaping of public media.
It is a drama playing out in front of our eyes. It is very interesting. Its end also isn’t yet determined. Those power players are powerful. Even this year meetings around Agenda 2030 are taking place, with globalism as the greatest goal – leveraging everything that could be called ‘sustainable development’ to get there. Only time will tell.
So – what does it all mean?
Post-secularism is a trend to watch.
The politics are impossible to control – though we all get our vote.
The promises of secularism, to give us a better world, have failed. Secularism doesn’t work – if human wellbeing is the goal.
People are likely to become more interested in the Christian faith
Let’s be ready because, no matter the politics or changes – for good or for bad, we will have work to do!
DAVE MANN. Dave is a networker and creative communicator with a vision to see an understanding of the Christian faith continuing and also being valued in the public square in Aotearoa-New Zealand. He has innovated numerous conversational resources for churches, and has coordinated various national nationwide multimedia Easter efforts purposed to open up conversations between church and non-church people about the Christian faith and its significance to our nation’s history and values. Dave is the Producer of the ‘Chronicles of Paki’ illustrated NZ history series created for educational purposes, and the author of various other books and booklets including “Because we care”, “That Leaders might last” and “The Elephant in the Room”. Married to Heather, they have four boys and reside in Tauranga, New Zealand.