Christianity as Private Worship Hobby? Or as the Law-Word for the Nations?

The journal Christianity & Society can be found at this site.

This material from the Kuyper Foundation: Post Office Box 2, Taunton, Somerset, England, TA1 4ZD, www.kuyper.org

The quote below is of the Preface of Common-Law Wives and Concubines, written by Stephen Perks.

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What is the nature of Christianity? Is it a religion or a cult, i.e. a personal worship hobby? This question goes to the heart of the modern Church’s failure to exercise a world-transforming faith. The Church’s abandonment of Christianity as a religion, i.e. as a world-view that structures every sphere of human life and society, has exposed the Western world to the religious influences of secular humanism, New Age-ism (neo-paganism), the Green and ecology movements etc., which are all really modern variations of pagan religion, and which have now begun to transform Western society in a direction diametrically opposed to the principles and practice of Christianity. The result has been that while Christians have maintained their faith as a cult, a system of belief that is little more than a personal worship hobby, when it comes to the question of how Christians should affect the world in which they live they have largely fallen back on trying to clean up secular human- ism. In this process the Church has become increasingly irrelevant and powerless as society has been first secularised and then repaganised.

The antidote to this failure on the part of the Church to affect the world, which is her mission field, and the present condition of Western society to which this failure has led, is the rediscovery of Christianity as the true religion, i.e. as an overarching structure to human life that anchors both the individual and the society of which he is a part in God’s will for man in Christ. This religious structure the Bible calls the covenant, and it embraces the whole of human life, including politics, education, science, art, welfare, healthcare, marriage, family life, Church, business, economy. Until the Church rediscovers this religious structure for life the Christian faith will continue to decline amidst the rise of other faiths that do provide the individual and society with a religious structure for life. This is so because man is a religious creature by nature and must express his religious attitudes in all that he thinks, says and does, both individually and societally. This is just to say that mankind will either serve the God of the Christian Scriptures or else some idol of his own making. But the religious nature of human life is inescapable. Until the Church rediscovers Christianity as the true religion Christians will continue to have saved souls but live their daily lives as secular humanists without answers for the desperate problems that face the modern world.

These are some of the main issues addressed in this collection of assays, most of which were originally published in Christianity & Society, the quarterly journal of the Kuyper Foundation. Their republication here is the result of requests from readers of Christianity & Society for a collection of my essays and articles together in one volume. All the essays reprinted here have been re-edited for this volume; the changes made, however, for the most part amount to no more than minor alterations and typographical corrections.

Stephen C. Perks
September 2003

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