Secularism helping religion

Every worldview has gaps in it. These gaps that are exposed when we meet someone with a different worldview and they begin to ask questions of or about us. This is one of the great values of diversity, our strengths may supplement the weaknesses of others and others' strengths can supplement our weaknesses. 

So it is with the religious worldview. Those of us with this worldview understand that we see through a mirror only dimly. The question posed in the previous post is what does the secular worldview have to offer the gaps in the religious worldview? I would like to submit one of the things the secular worldview can help the religious worldview is, perhaps paradoxically, something that used to be the bread and butter of religion - storytelling. 

Jesus was a master storyteller when the people wanted to discuss the issues of the day, he wanted to tell stories. Religious people may be a people of the book, but at the core religious people are people of story. We tell the same story every Christmas and Easter. We use calendars to force us to bump into different stories every year. We are a people who talk about how our story and God's story intersect. 

While we may have great storytelling pedigree, we have moved farther and farther away from telling captivating stories. This is why, no matter how crummy the movie is, some Christians will get excited when a Christian movie is released - we are parched for good stories that we will celebrate even the mediocre stories.

Storytelling is something that the secular worldview is really doing very well these days. Just look at the entertainment industry. From movies to books to video games, the secular worldview understands the power of stories in the same way the religious worldview may, but the secularist worldview makes and takes time to cultivate the storytelling craft.

For instance, there is this great story about a company called the Dollar Shave Club. And in 90 seconds they tell you their story and many of us are compelled to sign up just to be a part of this creative company. A beer company can tell a story in 60 seconds and people talk about it. Even Facebook can tell a great story that borders on sermonizing. 

We will sit through commercials during a sporting event with the full knowledge that these stories are have one goal in mind - get you to buy their product/service. We know these stories are being told in order to get us to open our wallets and we will happily do so. 

Perhaps we are not annoyed at churches that ask for our money or ask us to conform our lives to that of Christ. We are more than willing to do that for companies around the world. Perhaps what we are annoyed with the most about churches is that the stories we tell are just boring and crummy. They are not compelling or engaging. Heck they may not even be interesting! Perhaps we are becoming more secularized because humanity is drawn to stories and we desperately want to hear and participate in the best stories. 

The storytelling monopoly that religion may have enjoyed in the past is now over. And this new storytelling machine, secularism, are telling some amazing stories. 

We religious can learn from the secular by listening to the stories.