Over at Along the Watch Tower, Chalcedon’s post speaks loudly of the sad reality that engulfs youth of today: not having confidence or language to talk about religion or faith. He writes, ‘Religion is to this generation what sex was to some previous ones ; something which embarrasses students because they do not know much about it, what they know makes it seem difficult, and they do not have a language in which to discuss it. He compares it to generations past who felt the same way about discussing sex.’
How the pendulum swings…
I believe this dilemma not only afflicts the youth but society in general:- what the youth do well is to reflect the society in which they live. Many Europeans are “unchurched,” meaning they have never step foot in a church for any reason besides weddings, funerals, or Baptisms. They have never gone to a church service once their entire life. So, how could they talk about religion?
I place this dilemma squarely at the feet of the assiduous and determined acceptance of secular values by Western governments. All this in the name of progress:- through modernization and relativism, systematically removing religious authority/ influence in all aspects of life and governance.
As a direct result of secularisation Christianity is marginalised. As a result of individualistic religion , a century of war and disregard for religion and faith matters the appreciation and understanding of religion or faith has declined. Many Europeans still identify themselves a Christian, but do not actively attend Christian services. We need also to keep in mind, that as a former continent known as “Christendom”, Europe is experiencing a rapid change in religious diversity. The two fastest growing religions in Europe are secularism (no religious affiliation, agnosticism, atheism, etc.) and Islam. I believe that secularism has completely won over European culture replacing Christianity as Europe’s world-view.
I use excerpts of an article from The Catholic News Society to substantiate my feelings about our Christian responsibility to live as Christ’s disciples as a way of life and as examples to those around us. :- (Emphasis my own)
Sharing an obligation to spread the good news of salvation in Christ, all Christian communities are challenged by the fact that many people today do not think they need God, Pope Benedict XVI said.
“The spiritual poverty of many of our contemporaries, who no longer perceive the absence of God in their lives as a privation, represents a challenge for all Christians,” the pope said Nov. 15 in a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Pope Benedict said authentic ecumenical prayer, dialogue and cooperation cannot ignore “the crisis of faith that vast regions of the planet are experiencing,” nor can Christians ignore signs that many modern people still feel a need for some kind of spirituality.
Efforts to reunite all Christians are an essential part of the new evangelization, the pope said. Responding to the obligation to share the Gospel and to heal a divided Christianity, he said, every Christian must “return to the essential, to the heart of our faith, giving the world a witness of the living God, that is, a God who knows us and loves us and in whose gaze we live; a God who awaits the response of our love in our everyday lives.”….
...What is at stake, he said, is the credibility of Christianity as a whole and its ability to speak to modern men and women and to influence the way they live and act.
The archbishop said while secularization places challenges before the church, the real danger is “the secularization of the church” itself, which begins very concretely with church members living and acting as if they aren’t church members.
This means that Christians living in a secularised society will face many a challenge when having to share Truths about ethical questions, particularly regarding the safeguarding of human life from conception to death, family and marriage.
CCC 31 Created in God’s image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God, not in the sense of proofs in the natural sciences, but rather in the sense of “converging and convincing arguments”, which allow us to attain certainty about the truth. These “ways” of approaching God from creation have a twofold point of departure: the physical world, and the human person.