For many centuries in the West, Christianity has to a large extent determined and shaped culture and society.
Culture is the way a person inhabits his/her world. Culture structures all the components and dimensions of human existence.
All people live on this earth, but they do not inhabit the earth in the same way. Thus, there are a plurality of cultures.
At a time, all cultures were religious cultures; in religious cultures, religion plays a decisive role.
Religion is not only one of the components in a culture, it is the determining factor in a culture.
Religion is the frame of reference, the world-view in which people think and act.
Christianity was the cultural religion in the West for centuries, western culture has been Christian culture.
Now in a secular society, religion is not what determines the components of society – it may be one of the components, but not the decisive one. In the West, Christianity no longer has the status of cultural religion; it is no longer the frame of reference of the culture.
The secular character of our culture has fundamentally changed the place of Christianity and the Church.
What do we do?
Enter a battle, the “culture wars”, in an attempt to restore a Christian culture.
Circle the wagons and become an isolated community and thus ignore the world in which we live.
The Church now lives within a secular culture. The Church must enter into a dialogue with the secular culture in which it lives. The Church has something to say and has a need to define a new way of being church in a secular culture.
Fr. Steve Adrian