An extremely interesting article that is a worthy read as it is written -- as an atheist sociologists view of a cultural phenomenon, the growth of Christianity in China. It closes with this:
The paradox, as they all know, is that religious freedom, if it ever takes hold, might harm the Christian church in two ways. The church might become institutionalised, wealthy and hence corrupt, as happened in Rome in the high Middle Ages, and is already happening a little in the businessmen’s churches of Wenzhou. Alternatively the church, long strengthened by repression, may become a feebler part of society in a climate of toleration. As one Beijing house-church elder declared, with a nod to the erosion of Christian faith in western Europe: “If we get full religious freedom, then the church is finished.”As a believer, I choose to give another perspective.
The church will never be "finished" -- Christ promised that it will stand forever against the powers of Hell. It has stood for over 2K years. The Catholic Church is the oldest continuous institution on the planet, and I believe that it will remain so. If the climate industry had 2K years of human carbon emission led global warming fully documented, I suspect that they would consider their position "settled"! Since they claim to not be "faith based" however, it is amazing that the climate industry seems to lack grave doubts after 15+ years of a warming "pause", in direct repudiation of their prophets.
Freedom of at least Christian worship existed in Europe for the entire time from Christ up to modern times. The Reformation -- nearing it's 500th anniversary in 2017, meant significant freedom from mandatory CATHOLIC worship, but Christianity was still in ascension -- in Europe and increasingly around the globe as explorers and immigrants, often seeking freedom to practice Christianity as they believed, sought new lands -- including America.
It wasn't religious freedom that caused the decline of Christianity in the west, it was the rise of the new state religion of Secular Humanism. Christianity in the west isn't "finished", it is no longer the dominant religion -- a place that has been taken (for now) by Secular Humanism, but Christianity is still a major factor.
In fact, since the dogmas of Secular Humanism include abortion, birth control, gay marriage and general lack of children. The population outlook for Secular Humanism is less than stellar. It is a religion reminiscent of the Shakers who famously believed in a life of celibacy -- thus limiting their future to little more than a single generation.
No, Christianity will continue to be blessed, in the West and in China:
That is largely because many officials see advantages in Christianity’s growth. Some wealthy business folk in Wenzhou have become believers—they are dubbed “boss Christians”—and have built large churches in the city. One holds evening meetings at which businessmen and women explain “biblical” approaches to making money. Others form groups encouraging each other to do business honestly, pay taxes and help the poor. Rare is the official anywhere in China who would want to scare away investors from his area.The founders of the US were aware that the free society they were founding was impossible without the people being strong in religious belief -- generally, to their minds, Christianity. Personal responsibility, strong families, honesty, thrift, non-violence, vocation as service to God and a desire for a life ordered by God -- these and many other elements mean that a Christian population is highly prized, if not required for a growing successful nation that allows major individual freedoms -- freedoms that seem to be required for economic growth! Without such a religion, the state must be oppressive merely to keep the amoral population under control -- which is not conducive to economic growth!
Secular Humanist America and Western Europe are and will continue to fail -- and that is ultimately a blessing, because Christianity will rise from those ashes yet again and continue to be blessed.
How can Christians with 2K years of documented history that continues to fulfill prophecy in places like China today have less faith than Global Warmists with a scant 30 years of history -- with the last 15+ years of it failing to follow their prophecy?
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