What is a society made of?

A society consists of a number of sections in which one will find pioneers and leaders on one side and followers on the other. In other words: ‘trendsetters’ and ‘trendfollowers’. Diagramatically a society can be viewed as a cone. We shall take the Netherlands as an example. If we look at this cone from a religious point of view, we see two sections. The smaller section represents Christians belonging to different churches and denominations. The bigger section consists of the non-Christians or nominal Christians. They are non-religious, spiritually amorphous or even anti-Christian. The number of non-Christian people is increasing. There used to be a very large section of nominal Christians, but that number is decreasing. Religious interest may increase again, however. The active believers, the true Christians, are found at the bottom of the cone. They are there because, among other reasons, they choose to hide away in their own cosy corner, to feel safe in their own ghettos. They are also pushed there by the great weight of a non- and anti-Christian society. Denominations and Christian organisations can also be pictured as small cones with leaders and church members/followers.

Let’s have a closer look at those small cones. Some leaders look forward to a revival: they dream and pray for growth. Others don’t think about it like that. Hardly anybody has a clear wish to play a role in society and culture or to ‘reconquer’ it. Despite campaigns organized by several Christian movements there appears to be no major breakthrough of the Gospel - rather, we seem to be losing ground. And yet the evangelical cones are growing. This, however, is mainly as a result of people migrating from one cone to another and of reactivating nominal Christians. The resistance of society to the Christian message appears to be enormous. A positive development is the fact that the cones at the base are coming into contact with each other more and more. However, we should not expect the small cones to join forces and become a big one, because that is very unlikely. Taking everything into account, a massive breakthrough (a revival) seems nearly impossible because of the resistance to faith, morals and religion as mentioned earlier. Society does not want God’s message. But we believe that the essence of Christianity: the morals, values, and norms are the essence of the European civilization. Eventually a renewed interest in these aspects of our faith will rise.