We are now Post-Christian, not Postmodern
Recent cultural trends and societal indicators strongly suggest that our times have moved beyond the shifting parameters of postmodern thought into the more hardening effects of post-Christian belief and practice. Now more than ever, we are living in times governed by the fascination and interest in the occult/darkness, the social and local construction of truth in pragmatic (what works for me), skeptical (distrust of all forms of authority), relative (what’s right for the moment), and authentic (what appears most credible and legitimate) ways. Living in a post-Christian world means that the previous generation’s preferences for foundationalism (belief in absolutes), institutional trust and the hope of a better future are now replaced with anger, existential fear, mystical experimentation (any spiritual practice or belief is as good as another), and the pursuit of personal control
In a post-Christian world, life is driven by technology and communicative presentations that elevate human performance (seen in the popularity of pop music artists, athletes, cinematic special effects and glamor/fashion) to a “god-level” platform. This explains why many of the most influential people in society today are not found in the long-term cultural institutions (church government, school, etc.) but rather in individual performance venues that show ability and success.
People engage life issues and challenges with deconstructive agendas in post-Christian approaches today. With any presentation, they attempt to peel back the layers of appeal to see the agendas and power motives that are present. In postmodern times, people questioned whether power was present in a person’s agenda. In post-Christian days, power is assumed present and operating in the individual’s plan of action. Therefore, the active process at work among most people is de-legitimatization: the work that discredits a presenting party’s message before affirming anything that is genuine or valid. In this evaluative process, there is little civility. Information that is collected is not for illuminating purposes (what can I learn from this source?), but for self-affirming purposes (does this data align with my beliefs and opinions?).
Because of the influence of big media in general and social media in particular, there is little self-censoring present in a post-Christian environment. Instead of reporting information that is impartial and unbiased, big media often favors certain viewpoints, lifestyles and beliefs while suppressing—even attacking—other viewpoints and positions, rarely evaluating audience response to their presentations. With social media, participants blast out opinions and views regularly with this idea: “you WILL listen to what I have to say, and I don’t care what you think.” This kind of one-way “dump” reveals an existential resentment, a feeling of suppressive powerlessness with no hope of relief or help in sight. Because this generation has felt these effects for more than a decade, it is little wonder that a depressive-type of darkness has claimed the personal and corporate identities of many people and groups today.
To combat this sense of depression and existential doom, people and groups often take authority into their own hands. In recent times, this explains why law enforcement officers have been attacked and killed, uncontrolled protests turn into destructive revolts in many cities, and most people feel that corruption abounds universally across many levels of government. Without the tenets of a Judeo-Christian decision-making matrix in their engagement processes (found in previous generations), there is a black hole present in today’s culture. People decide for themselves what they will put into this vacuum rather than trust what previous generation’s trusted for stability and order. That is why living in a post-Christian conditioned culture is often like walking on eggshells.