Christianity is closely linked with morality. ‘Being a Christian’ has commonly been understood as entailing certain behaviours, or more often, avoiding certain behaviours; this is why the media take such pleasure when sin is exposed in the church, it cuts against what the church is ‘meant’ to stand for.
But times are changing. Christian morality is no longer respected, but increasingly ridiculed, or at least, seen as a bit naïve.
Why would God really care about the minor moral actions most of us take? Surely the important thing is that we are ‘good’ people who don’t hurt anyone? What’s the big deal about a bit of sex, a few white lies and a slightly inaccurate tax return?
Christian morality is increasingly seen as illogical. More than this, we are now often seen as a deeply immoral people: we say that homosexual sex is sinful, thus repressing and discriminating against a minority group whose rights and personal fulfilment we are inhibiting. Some sections of the church are seen as chauvinistic patriarchal strongholds that are yet to treat women as equals.
The track record of religion is often thrown in our faces – from the crusades of the middle ages to the child abuse of the twentieth century. Anyone who engages with unbelievers regularly will face these kind of conversations, and this Sunday we will attempt to explore what’s going on here and find a way to constructively engage with the real questions that are legitimately being asked by a post-modern, post-truth, pluralistic culture.