At National Review David French writes that
It was foolish for anyone to believe that a less Christian America would be a less religious America. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, God “put eternity in man’s heart.” Traditional Christianity and Judaism aren’t just being removed from American life; they’re being replaced. The more passive person often fills his heart with the saccharine sweetness of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. The angry activist often stokes the burning fires of intersectionality. And when commitment collides with confusion, commitment tends to win.
Working with college students for the last almost 30 years (where has the time gone?!), I can attest to the shift and collision French describes.
He is likewise correct in his conclusion that
America’s traditional Christian and Jewish communities need to understand this reality. Intersectionality steamrolls right over the lukewarm, leaving them converted or cowed. The answer, of course, isn’t to steamroll back — after all, our faith is supposed to be full of grace — but rather to respond with calm conviction. Christianity has survived ancient heresies. It can prevail against modern fads. But don’t for one moment underestimate the depth of the zeal that drives our latest religious divide.
Political and cultural activism have their place. To simply withdraw from the cultural and political debates is not only irresponsible–Christian are called to be “salt and light” and “yeast in the loaf” after all–it is naive. I see almost daily how the faith of Orthodox Christians students is being slowly replaced by MTD.
The response to the concerns French outlines though isn’t political or cultural so much as it evangelical. We must make sure that our young people have heard the Gospel, know that they are loved by God and have a sense of their own, personal vocations.
Of course to do this for the next generation, we need to do this for the current generation. It isn’t enough for individual Orthodox Christians to do the work of evangelists. We need evangelized communities of Orthodox Christians who are committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
Nothing less will be sufficient for the challenges we face today.