The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Why Christianity Must Adapt — Or Perish

Alex Wilheml (The Huffington Post)

There is a fundamental question facing Christian sects in America, an ideological distinction that cleaves the many churches into two different camps: is it better to fit the church and Christianity to the world, thus keeping the faith relevant, or is it better to mold the world to the faith? Put more bluntly, whose vision of the future of Christianity is correct: the conservative, literal Baptists or the modern, liberal Episcopalians? Which is best for the people? Which is best for the world? Are their dogmas really so distinct?

The non-religious of the world will be quick to point out that this is in fact something of a new question, whether the religion should fit the culture or the other way about. Historically, Christianity’s church held much more control and influence in daily lives of people around the world. The question of adapting the religion to better fit a morality in flux (most people would say for the better) was moot. The Bible and the Church were both the guide and the morality.

Modern times have changed the equation. Freedom to practice religion as one wishes implies less central homogeneity among Christians. Without a central core, doctrine can wander. Once you have the freedom to leave to find a better-fitting sect, start your own, or just stop practicing all together, it becomes much more difficult to corral a society. Unless a single sect so dominates a certain area, no specific church or even Christendom can exert enough control to enforce its views. I would posit that voluntary assimilation is no control at all.

If the number of non-believers doubles again in 50 years, then by around 2050, the United States will be a majority non-religious country. Clearly, if Christianity seeks to not only stay relevant but viable, it must adapt. The proof is in the numbers; Christianity is suffering.

The Biblical passages subjugating women to the back of the bus need to be let go to reach the modern woman, who no more expects to be treated as a second class citizen than to be beaten. The passages condemning people born homosexual as abominations need to be released to make the church inclusive. The blatantly incorrect attempts at science and history in the book need to be shut out if Christianity is to attract the educated who could not reconcile the Bible and the real world.

If Christians want to find some sort of hope to reverse the trend in the game that they are losing, they would be wise to listen to … the person sitting next to them who left the Church because it never spoke to them. That person is the reason Christianity is suffering a silent crisis.

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October 7, 2010 Posted by | Church, Commentary | , , , , | Leave a comment