Secular religion – today, society has endorsed a code of conduct, not by any religious standards, but by the accepted values of our current society. Society has become a religion of the world, not one brought by Jesus or God. Yes, we are taught to be tolerant of everything, live our own beliefs, but not force them on others. Society asks me to restrict my religion to my devotional life, and let society’s culture and customs determine the practical direction of my life.

Society’s religious pressures make me feel like dropping out of this world. I have to sacrifice everything the world has to offer. Therein no compromise. Now as I am dealing with God, my whole life must change .Today, society does not have to hide its value system. We all want our religion to tell us what to do. Yet, most religions tell you how to live so God can show you what to do

Society’s religion is “a nice thing to do”. However, God must be set apart from my life in this world. We are told to accommodate to the language of society. If it's legal, it must be right. Religion is okay as long as it doesn't interfere with society's way people live. This religion of society could also be called “paganism”. If the culture approves of it this is what nice people in our society should do.

Our value system is expressed by our dress, our language and our circle of friends. The cars we drive, stores we shop , the food we put on a table, and the neighborhood we choose to live all express who we are. The work we do to make a living, what political party we support, what magazines we bring home, and how we budget our money and allocate our time all are dictated by the pressures of the religion of society. God is often denied to rid myself of a troublesome person. Since God is no longer playing a part of my life, he obviously has ceased to exist. The saying is “if you don't use it, you lose it”.

We are told to just conform to society's rules as it integrates a commandment into society. I must believe and then act on what I believe and others will follow. I accept things because everyone else does. It's impossible to believe that despite what my heart tells me ,I must do what everyone else is doing, even if it is not the right thing to do. When everyone is looking in one direction,, it's hard for me to say: “Hey guys, all the action is over this other way towards the east.” My words then don't make anyone who turn around. Only my actions would speak louder than words. Gamblers say “put your money where your mouth is.” Yet your actions must match the stakes.

Many countries have reshaped their points of view
and principles along the American lines. They assimilate our business practices, industrial know-how, and even our blue jeans and rock music. We have affected the thinking and conduct of millions of people in other countries. For good or bad, they have taken over our values. We always feel our values are better and provide a happy life. We think democracy is such a value.

Society is reshaping our society more than Christians.
This has resulted in pornography going public, abortion legalized, and mutual degradation of our bodies. Our families are in trouble, as are our schools. our prisons, our nursing homes,and our cities. Poverty is destructive, drugs are rampant, sex has gone into publicized perversion, our children have no respect for us, our parents show very little concern for their children, and crime and racial unrest is rampant. It's amazing that I can survive without getting mugged, investigated for tax fraud or illegal contributions to politicians.

Many in America are rebellious towards their parents, are insolent, have no loyalty or conscience,and have no affection. Perhaps the absence of spirituality plays a role. Perhaps we are not trained to put spirituality and secularism together. This is personal private and individual matter. By simply not doing anything bad, we fulfill their obligations to God and our fellow man. There is a difference between being guided by society spirit of pride hatred, anger, and need to crush and achieve, and the spirit of God – embracing humility, gentleness, concern for everyone, obedience, and desire to be used by God for His purpose not mine.

Society calls itself Christian and tricks us into believing that society’s culture and religion are really the same. We are taught not to stand out or stand against things, but try to fit in. This has caused us Christians to lose our identity. Our children are tricked into believing the city of God is the city of man. They are comfortable, without persecution, without war and also without witness. We Christians are absorbed into the American culture. Our wine has lost its taste as it is mixed with huge quantities of water.

I live in this world, and am a part of it. I married, had a job, invested in this world and put all my roots down in the world. I don't think it's hopelessly bad. Yet I know my real treasures lie in heaven. But I still keep my stakes in this world. I'm trying to redeem the world through my efforts in my being. I believe that the kingdom of God is for here and now. No Christian can live without struggling. No matter how good our society tries to be, it is never completely receptive to our values and attitudes as Christians.

The world has two sides: sin always working and threatening us, and its inertia resisting our efforts to bring the world into a higher religious orbit. If you rock the boat, you stir up anger and resentment. You run into trouble when you live in the world, engage in all its activities and try to set its course to Christ. We are on a collision course with powerful forces that cannot understand why you want to be different.

I accept the complexity of moral choices in this world. Everything is not black and white. Often I have to compromise and accept what I can do versus what I would like to do. I try to mix and participate in societies life, and activities. I no longer accept a normal life in this world, but I sure expect to be able to live in it. I know I will be crucified many times and expect this in my family, professional, and civic life. Whatever the consequences, I am seeking the kingdom of God. I will try to avoid being persecuted and ostracized. I want to live in mix in the society like anybody else yet I cannot let society determine my judgments of what is right and Christian thing to do. I don't have to drop out of society. I try to find ways to stay in society and still be Christian. I know Jesus but tried to do.

Society has certain things it considers normal
I took a stand against cultures of divorce, birth control, sexual morality abortion. This was a private stand and did not involve my public confrontation. The important issues of social justice and international politics were never discussed in school. Yet sex and its moral confrontation was always in front of me. I was talked always to confront what is real and at this moment. The values of society are not taught through words but through experiences. Through observing what other people do.

My word just has the value of my actions. Society condemned in the past stealing killing and lying and it was easy for me to be a Christian. I never saw them as moral issues. I knew poverty was an evil. My lifestyle pretty much was set. I took a stand on politics and social issues that were universally accepted by being a Christian. Since adults do pretty much what other adults do, I expected my kids to do pretty much what other kids do.

Today, society does not have to hide its value system. Abortions are legal, pornography is everywhere, business is very amoral, sex is taken for granted, politics is ruthless, drugs are everywhere, and our youth can be very brazen. In summary, we have become a pagan society.

What is the difference of doing something bad myself or cooperating materially with the evil of others. Could I sell a man a gun if I knew he is going to shoot someone? Moralists feel that material cooperation is not wrong if: you don't do it or desire to do it, and you can't stop evil by refusing to cooperate. If you don't cooperate, you will suffer a proportionately greater evil. Look, society is not asking you to do anything simple. Just get somebody else to do it. If you don’t, your fired.

God did not use political power to change social structures. People died for what they believed in and when they refused to cooperate they had to pay the price for it. I don't have the option to carry the cross or not. My only option is how I choose to be crucified. I can stay in the world and risk everything, or leave the world and renounce everything. The choices is mine. So dear reader, what do you do? You also don’t have far to go now. DrNeedles September 2016

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