“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” -Romans 1.18-23
In light of some former posts on the problems facing the church in so-called “Christian” societies such as Great Britain, France, and even the United States (see The Laodicean Project), I thought it was interesting to hear the words which Pope Benedict XVI had to say this weekend is opening up a synod on Biblical relevancy. [Note: I do want to remark that I am in no way endorsing the papacy or the Catholic church, but only find this interesting as a matter of general Christian awareness]
Here are a few of the quotes from his speech:
Today, nations once rich in faith and vocations are losing their own identity, under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture.
There are those, who, after deciding that ‘God is dead,’ declare themselves to be ‘god’ and the artisan of their own destiny, the absolute master of the world.
When men proclaim themselves to be absolute masters of themselves and sole masters of creation, can they truly build a society where freedom, justice and peace reign?
As a point of information, these comments were directed specifically at the withering communities of Western Europe which have in the past half-century seen secular humanism replace Christianity, and are on the verge over the next half-century of seeing Islam replace Western society as a whole. I am curious to see how the wider Christian community deals with this issue, as these words coming from the papacy, though certainly nothing new, may strike many people for the first time as to the degradation plaguing the culture around (and possibly including) them.
I’ll be the first to say that a return to the 1950′s is not what we need, but it would be negligent to think that things aren’t snowballing downhill rather quickly these days. In a time when the Gospel message has all but vanished from our daily lives, I am thankful for any voice which may speak awareness to this in the Christian community (even if it is the Pope).
Here is the full news story from the Associated Press: Pope decries godless nature of modern societies