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Sunday, June 30, 2013


What social statement are you making with the clothes you wear: (a) Out of it? (b) In charge? (c) Dressed to kill? If the clothes you have on were all made of burlap, how would you feel? (Serendipity Bible 10th anniversary edition, page 1260).

Why is it that we are all quick to deny that social pressure has much to do with our choices – which choices we like to believe are almost entirely our own and were substantially, if not entirely, a matter of our own free will and choice initiative to make? Quite to the contrary, the fact of the matter is that we are all creatures who more often than not abjectly yield to social pressure. Sometimes our motives are altruistic – we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But an equally strong and perhaps more decisive motive is that we do not wish to hurt ourselves.

When discussing my religion I can often take a high and mighty tone. The fact of the matter is that when I was a youth the church was an extremely important social institution in the community and that it behooved me to assume the demeanor of Christian behavior whether or not it arose from deep religious belief and conviction. As a believer today, I find myself in a situation quite different from when a youth. Now to affirm that I am a Christian in polite discourse outside the church is seen as a serious faux pas. It is exasperatingly affirmed by nonbelievers that religion is entirely a private matter. Thus, nonbelievers get absolute sway in the matter – complete silence required of believers while they on their part exercise unrestrained freedom to chatter on endlessly in a secular fashion. In other words, nonbelievers can enforce their secular religion by simply disallowing anyone else to express their earnest convictions in the matter. Total enforced silence regarding religion in normal discourse is simply another way materialism engages in proselytization. For many believers the drift away from faith approaches a national crisis. But as polite protocol now stands, it resembles very much finding ourselves in a burning building yet finding it ironclad taboo even to broach the matter of smoke’s steady insinuation.

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