Faith is a private matter! Is it really?

Faith is a private matter! Is it really?

We constantly hear: Faith is a private matter. Would you agree with that? Or could it be that those who declare faith to be a private matter want to make their worldview absolute to exert their power with it?

 

Of course, faith has a private side. A personal relationship with God is precious. As in any deep relationship, not everything is public. However, faith and the values associated with it are always public. For example, it should be in everyone’s interest if the fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” do not remain a private matter, but become visible and tangible in the lives of Christians for the benefit of the wider society. This is also part of the freedom of faith and conscience, which go hand in hand with the right to express opinions freely and respectfully. As it is so stated in many constitutions of European countries.

 

Some time ago I read an article that praised  a project in a nearby town At the same time, an undertone of suspicion was constantly audible: Does this project somehow have a Christian mission objective? This is the typical suspicion to which religion is exposed today. And unfortunately, this is often associated with hints of abuse of power or even possible tendency towards violence.

 

Wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest that in our secular and liberal Europe all topics and opinions could be expressed and discussed openly and respectfully? As Evangelical Alliances and members associated with it, we should be open to questions and criticism. This is a given. At the same time, we should also be allowed to pose our questions to all others who do not subscribe to a Christian worldview.

 

No one should be censored  because their worldview is declared a private matter! On the contrary, may our words lead to meaningful and deep conversations.

 

Let’s work towards open and honest dialogue  as it can truly knock down barriers and build bridges.. And yet, let’s not be naive. When we enter into conversations with people of another worldview, we might find that our worldviews clash and we will be faced with unexpected challenges or rejection as we so often experience these days.

 

But people of hope never give up! Do they?!

 

 

Thomas Bucher

 

General Secretary EEA

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