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-Americans Becoming Polarized When it Comes to Religion?

by Dr. D ~ April 26th, 2011

Keller's preaching hand gestures

          (Pastor Tim Keller by djchuang via Flickr)

It is obvious that Americans lately have become more polarized when it comes to politics. But in an interview with ABC News journalist Christiane Amanpour, Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, N.Y., observed that it is also the case when it comes to religion and secularism:

“What’s happening is secularism and devout religion is growing together. And what’s going away is the kind of mushy middle, where people are just part of the synagogue, the mosque or the church because it’s expected. So what’s actually happening is polarization.”

Keller also noted that part of that polarization of religion involved its close identification with certain political positions. He went on to say that he believed that the Gospel called the church and Christians to care for people and be more civil in our discourses:

“I personally think that the church, as the church, ought to be less concerned about speaking to politics and more concerned about service.”

“The Gospel creates people who say, ‘I’m loved by God but I’m a sinner.’ So there should be a certain humility and graciousness about the way in which you talk to everybody. So I think it’s our job as individual congregations to care for the poor, to produce people who speak civilly, to just serve our neighborhoods and serve people and be careful about speaking ex-cathedral, you know, about these great political positions on issues.”

Response: Years ago in the 50’s and 60’s when I was growing up nearly everyone was identified religiously as a Christian or connected to a Synagogue. Probably 90% of the country attended church on Easter, this is no longer the case.

Secularism is on the rise in the USA and secularists and atheists are making their presence felt politically but particularly in the courts. Many are going out of their way to try and push religion out of the public square. In response, those who are religious have also risen to the occasion and become more outspoken.

The cultural battles over religion are still going on in this country and folks have chosen sides on nearly every issue. A lot of the battles are being played out in the political arena for better or for worse. There the dialogue has escalated to the point that both sides now insist on ‘demonizing’ the other.

I agree with pastor Keller that Christians are called to speak civilly, however we are also called to stand up for our faith and our beliefs. Christians should not be expected to quietly disappear into the night. Christians cannot allow the American culture to slide into the darkness without a battle. We just need to remember to be gracious in the midst of it all.            *Top

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1 Response to -Americans Becoming Polarized When it Comes to Religion?

  1. Religion’s Decline & the Rise of Secularism « The Call of Troythulu – Musings of a Skeptophrenic

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