Again: There is a need for training and education vs mediocrity and ignorance! Let there rise a strong generation of pertinent Christians and ministers (the Apostles showing the way) as educated and spiritually equipped and sound as possible in order to fill the growing societal gap of ignorance of God, and to impact the social, professional as well as economic spheres of peoples' lives.
1 Chronicles 12:32 "Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command."
Let's not forget that, from the middle ages until the 19th-20th centuries, most social and educative endeavours in the Western world were proposed, initiated, financed and led by the Church.This field was sadly and progressively lost to people and eventually governments who had a different agenda and worldview than the Christian based educational structures that had helped people and the world to progress so much from a state of ignorance and poverty to being educated and thriving.The Protestant Reformation was a powerful force in that change.
Those people and states, benefiting from large amounts of money created through the industrial revolution (remember that education costs), understood that if you can shape the youth with appropriate self-reliance rather than God-reliance - mainly rational, humanist, lay and liberal educational programs - progressively drifting from Christian teachings and principles, then you will be better able in time to raise and train generations of self-reliant rather than God-reliant, rational, humanist, lay and liberal leaders, shapers and influencers.
By wanting in the late 1800's to early 1900's to establish the respect for freedom of thought and freedom of religion, governments also enforced the separation of church (or religion) and state.
Thus the absence of a state religion, and the subsequent separation of the state and Church, is considered by such proponents to be a prerequisite for such freedom of thought.
But as experience has shown, these positions have all too often also been anti-Church and anti-clerical. As much as I can accept the separation of church and state and a person's freedom to have other beliefs and another religion, I cannot accept that a State, which choses to be secular (no one forced it to be so) and whose primary role is to protect its citizens, ends up protecting one faith more than another for whatever reason; I can even less respect a government having a bias against the very core beliefs and heritage (Christian influence) which caused its very identity, strength and prosperity through history. For this is at best a guilty compromise, at worst, perjury.
This is sadly how, by and large, our western societies became more and more secularised, worldly minded, estranged from Christian teachings and influence, to the point that today it is considered a smart way to try to solve the religious dilemma in our nations, by choosing the “lay-secularised” or profane way. By trying to be fair to all faiths and worse, to strange religious systems and organisations, governments run the risk of tolerating and condoning guilty and dangerous agendas.
Clearly our States took up themselves too high a responsibility to arbitrate between faiths and religions, having by and large lost the sense, substance and responsibility of what it is to have received a Christian heritage.
Even today, some nationalist political parties are challenging the status quo by restating that European nations do have a Christian tradition and heritage which must be protected - at least someone is saying it!
By choosing to put aside (let's hope only for a time) the Christian heritage in our European nations to try to accommodate all sorts of other cultures and religions, our governments fall guilty of compromising the very root and substance of what made their progress, vitality and prosperity.
Romans 1:22 "Professing to be wise, they became fools".
Europe which was once the cradle of Christianity has sadly become its cemetery, thanks to formal (lifeless) Christianity and secularism.
We are in the days that Apostle Paul spoke about and we should take heed:
2Timothy 3:1-5 "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power".
“Europe which was once the cradle of christianity has sadly become its cemetery”.
Remember that we get what we sow, this is not only an earthly principle but a spiritual one too.
Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap".
The world is facing dire crisis, challenges, needs and changes that are hard to understand and even imagine. Even our leaders are at a loss, lacking vision, understanding, discernment and courage which are the very ingredients of which leaders should be made of.
Our western governments which thought the world would remain secular for ever, are discovering a deep seated need for spirituality in the population; as much as communist countries have discovered that they could never eradicate “faith in God” in their population, so will secular countries discover the same; indeed as put it by French writer André Malraux: “The 21rst century will be spiritual or will not be”.
With the challenges and evolution our societies face, our industries and economies will still probably suffer as old business models become outmoded and the financial world has proved to be so immoral; people will yet suffer from these ailments and have already been suffering; not only do western economies not grow much anymore, but the world economy (just that !) is in a deflationary curve; unemployment is still at an all-time high in many countries, 7 years after the last economic crisis of 2007-08, whereas we should have recovered by now.
These trends will probably leave some “taken for granted” state-funded social and educational services, under or un-funded in the future; I already see this happening even in rich Switzerland.
Therefore, I believe that in the future, societal changes and needs will lead the Church to new opportunities to take on again the mantle of not only spreading the Gospel message but also with it, that of serving communities by instructing, educating, teaching, training, leading and coaching them to become what they are meant to become and regain what the devil has stolen for the better good of the masses.
We should therefore be as educated as possible without going to the extent of wanting to know everything about everything which is presumptious and outright impossible; there must be a good balance between tolerating or choosing ignorance (which is worse) and being educated and trained as best we can in order to live our lives correctly, profitably and serve God and mankind efficiently.
Let there rise a strong generation of pertinent Christians and ministers (the Apostles showing the way) as educated and spiritually equipped and sound as possible in order to fill the growing societal gap of ignorance of God, and to impact the social, professional as well as economic spheres of peoples' lives.