Is there any societal reason to protect religion? That is, do we get anything out of religion, as a society, even if we’re not religious, and is that “anything” worth protecting?
In First Things, Movsesian says religion does do good for a society – a good that is worthy of protection.
Religion, especially communal religion, provides important benefits for everyone in the liberal state—even the non-religious. Religion encourages people to associate with and feel responsible for others, to engage with them in common endeavors. Religion promotes altruism and neighborliness, and mitigates social isolation. Religion counteracts the tendencies to apathy and self-centeredness that liberalism seems inevitably to create.
Movsesian says that those that go to church tend to be civic-minded; they put energy into creating a just place to live. They’re charitable and helpful. All of this means a nicer society for everyone.
But what if you’re “spiritual, but not religious?” Or an atheist? Certainly you can be kind, civic-minded, helpful. (These folks, often referred to as “nones”, make up about 20 percent of the American population.) What exactly does religion bring to the mix?
Mary Eberstadt, in her book How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization (Templeton Press, 2013), assures us that religion is really important. Without active faith, our society starts to fall apart, beginning with the nucleus of society: the family. Traditional religion promotes marriage, promotes parents raising children together, promotes sound education of these children, and so on. Simplistically, the family is the glue of a sound society, and sound families are built on traditional religious foundations.
Owen Strachan, at Canon & Culture, says Millenials (who tend to be non-political and non-religious) do have a striking role to play in church and culture. Despite the fact that many people in this age range don’t see themselves as “hard-core” when it comes to faith, Strachan says they have a lot to offer:
Part of what has pushed some Millennials away from being the speaking church is that we have not always heard our leaders make the biblical connection between rightness and health, truth and flourishing. But what is true is always what is best. We need to make this elegant connection on moral matters.
Millennials have an opportunity today to speak on matters of sexuality and gender, for example, from the perspective of both rightness and health. It is wrong to change God’s super-intelligent design for the family, for example. But we also must make clear that altering the family will not lead to human flourishing.
Movsesian says that “religion counteracts the tendencies to apathy and self-centeredness that liberalism seems inevitably to create.” Indeed, this is true, but only if those who claim a faith actually live it.
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For the Life of the World is an entertaining film series that explores the deeper meaning of Salvation. Have you ever wondered, “What is my Salvation actually FOR?” Is it only about personal atonement, about getting to heaven, or something that comes later? Is it just to have a “friend in Jesus?”
Join Evan Koons and his friends – Stephen Grabill, Amy Sherman, Anthony Bradley, Makoto Fujimura, John M. Perkins, Tim Royer and Dwight Gibson – as they discover a “new perspective,” the BIGGER picture of what it means to be “in the world, not of it.” This seven-part film series will help you, your friends, church or organization investigate God’s Economy of All Things – OIKONOMIA (a Greek word that has a lot to say about God’s plan for his creation, the world, and us.)
This Combo Pack includes a letter from Evan and two discs for your player of choice: DVD and Blu-ray. Enjoy seven episodes around 20 minutes each, along with episode teaser videos, a series trailer, and bonus content.
Explore how God’s purposes are woven into every area of our lives: family, work, art, charity, education, government, recreation and all creation! The Bible calls us Strangers and Pilgrims, living in "the now and not yet" of God’s Kingdom Come on earth. We are also called to be salt and light, to have a transforming presence among our neighbors. Rediscover the role of the church and how our lives lived on earth matter in God’s plan for the world.
Designed for deep exploration, the series invites viewers to watch the series again for new insights. Also, check out the companion Field Guide to jump-start group and individual investigation and enhance the film experience! FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD Field Guides are available in print or via streaming access at StudySpace.org.