I was born and raised in the context of the Body of Christ — the Church. Over the course of my life I have seen and, unfortunately participated in, in a variety of ways, the spirit of “secularism.” One aspect of my transformation in Christ Jesus has been to adopt a commitment and way of life that results in the rooting out of this spirit under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.)
Now, the reality of “secularism,” in the world and in the Church is not all that easy to define. Nor is it always easy to detect. On the other hand, it is sometimes so obvious and easy to identify. That is, in fact, what makes it so dangerous. You can’t pin it down. It morphs like bacteria, becoming immune to the “cure” we create for it. That methodology, the “this will cure that” approach, is one of its strategies — life according to the formula. That is not to say that the word “cure” is wrong. It is to say that the definition of “cure” is inaccurate. It works for a while. But then, POW, down you go.
I do not propose to define “secularism.” I have several friends who are much more competent in that arena and am happy to refer you to them. For my part, I desire to do two things. First, to remind us of the the danger; and, second, point to a resource that might help in a way that is not just one more “pseudo-cure” but the real therapy that leads to a authentic “cure.”
Fr. Stephen, has posted a wonderful reflection on the subject of “secularism” and how it has crept into the Church and led many outside the Church to a life of emptiness in spite of its promise to provide fullness. It can be read here. In addition, I recommend For the Life of the World, by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, upon which the post is based.