ADVERTISING
 
Friday, August 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Church and state
 

“Secularism seems to fit many religions very well”, Nick Park

“A secular society, with a firm separation between Church and State, is beneficial for both society and the Church”, Secretary General of EAI wrote in an article.

SOURCES Irish Times AUTHOR Evangelical Focus DUBLIN 04 MARCH 2016 15:30 h GMT+1

Nick Park, Secretary General of Evangelical Alliance Ireland, has written an article in the newspaper Irish Times, about the separation between church and State.



Park started his article quoting what Peter Berger said in 1968 in the New York Times: “by the 21st Century, religious believers are likely to be found only in small sects, huddled together to resist a worldwide secular culture.”



Thirty years later, Park said, the author of those words recognised “that he and other sociologists had got their predictions so spectacularly wrong because of their own bias against religion.”



However, the Secretary General believes that “Berger was in many ways correct. The world has grown increasingly secular.



 



“SECULARISM SEEMS TO FIT MANY RELIGIONS WELL”



“Religious organisations have, slowly but surely, seen their political and cultural influence eroded. Establishment religions and State churches have haemorrhaged hundreds of millions of members”, he stated.



At the same time, “counter-cultural forms of religion that demand intense, even fundamentalist, belief have continued to grow rapidly”, Park commented.



Something similar has occurred within atheism: “in the last 50 years the raw number of self-professing atheists worldwide has decreased sharply, largely due to the collapse of Communism.”



But “this decline in ‘nominal atheism’ has been accompanied by a rise in the visibility and influence of those who passionately hold atheism as a convictional belief.”



Although “Popes and archbishops (of various denominational stripes) regularly condemn the bogeyman of secularism as a social evil that threatens to destroy religious faith”, Park pointed out that “the evidence increasingly points to a very different conclusion. Secularism seems to fit many religions very well.



 



Pastor and Secretary General of Evangelical Alliance Ireland, Nick Park / solidrockchurch.com



 



DOCTRINAL AND POLITICAL SECULARISM



UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt distinguished betweendoctrinal secularism’ and ‘political secularism’:



Doctrinal secularism refers to the desire to eradicate religion from the public sphere altogether.



While Political secularism refers to the ideal of the separation of Church and State. By this definition, secularism refers to a society where religion is afforded no special privileges, but nor is it subjected to any special restrictions or penalties.



“In this understanding of secularism, the religious should have the same rights and opportunities as would similarly-sized groups of vegetarians, atheists, or any other voluntary associations”, Park affirmed.



He mentioned Martin Luther King Jr and William Wilberforce, as examples of how “living in a secular society does not silence the religious, nor does it prevent them from engaging in political activity.”



 



“CHRISTIAN SECULARIST”



Park described himself as ‘a Christian Secularist ’ because he argued “that a secular society, with a firm separation between Church and State, is beneficial for both society and the Church.”



He recalled that “history demonstrates that religions behave badly when they hold political power”, and said that there are examples of it in early Christianity and reforming movements.



Besides, “the 20th Century demonstrated that atheists behaved with equal savagery when they found themselves in a position of power”, because “the problem lies not in religion, but in our human condition.”



“Religions and ideologies are at their best as part of a secular pluralist society where we can all share our faith, or lack of it, on a level playing field. I want the best for my country, and I want the best for my faith, so I thank God for secularism”, he concluded.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - “Secularism seems to fit many religions very well”, Nick Park
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How has Christianity influenced the modern world? How has Christianity influenced the modern world?

Paul Copan, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University, explains how many key features of Western civilization, are the legacy of the biblical faith being lived out by believers in society.

 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.