Repentance means ‘a change of mind’. It is commonly associated with Christian theology, which majors on the need for ‘repentance unto life’. However, it is possible to change one’s mind from bad to worse – in other words, there are different forms of repentance.
Christian teaching on metanoia, the Greek word that the New Testament uses for repentance, is well developed – but it is not well known in our day. Instead, nowadays we are subjected to the pressure of its secular equivalent – secular repentance.
Secular repentance is changing one’s mind towards conformity with secular opinion, towards a secular worldview, that we are not accountable to God.
Politicians are adept at secular repentance. When Conservative MSPs changed their minds from Margaret Thatcher’s opposition to teaching homosexuality in schools to following David Cameron’s lead to embrace the aggressive homosexual agenda, we witnessed secular repentance in action. They behave like this as they feel accountable only to man and do not feel accountable to God.
It is not wrong to change one’s mind, but excessive changeability among politicians leads to the public being unable to trust them. A notable example is the Lib Dems breaking their pledge about tuition fees. Now their new leader Vince Cable has broken another pledge.
It reminds us of Paul’s guidance: ‘Henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive’ Eph 4:14.
Secularists seek to impose secular repentance upon society. This can be illustrated in various ways.
Homosexual activists do not want us to tolerate their opinions (a Christian concept) but to endorse their opinions. They consider mere toleration to be sanctimonious, supercilious, opinionated arrogance arising from a dogmatic blindness that cannot see the superiority of their opinion. No – they want everyone to endorse their opinion. They want us to become believers in homosexual opinion. They want us to change our minds – to repent – and they will use the civil and criminal penalties of the state to enforce their opinion. This is what is behind Diversity legislation and the unequal Equalities legislation. It promotes theological error. It is secular repentance.
The same is true of transgender activitists. I had never heard of Munroe Bergdorf before watching BBC This Week on 12/10/2017 but the dogmatism was wonderful to behold. An internet search shows that others have picked up the more extreme opinions already, but not the controlling aspect of secular repentance. Secular repentance does not include the toleration taught by Christian repentance.
Aggressive atheists are the same. Richard Dawkins thinks it is child abuse to teach children about religion and he is pursuing an agenda to prevent it. This happens already in communist China.
Secular morality is not the same as Christian morality.
Secular repentance is not the same as Christian repentance.
Secular toleration is not the same as Christian toleration.
Secular morality is known as political correctness in common parlance.
2 Nov 2017: “Even though activist LGBT Christians and their allies welcomed Peterson’s reported change of heart, they ultimately want nothing less than full-throated support for secular LGBT issues, and the requisite adaptations to Christian theology and ethics to accommodate it.”
6 Nov 2017: Homosexual Christians – an oxymoron? Eugene Peterson’s 85th birthday present.
4 Dec 2017: secular repentance is part of secular religion.