Christianity, throughout its twenty centuries of history and existence, has been confronted with realities that posed challenges and forced it to give some answers or take specific positions. However, today many people profess to be Christians but do not want to admit or live the principles of their Christian faith outside Christian circles.
They are “Sunday Christians”, but their behavior on Monday is no different from that of non-believers. And this is firmly connected to changes and differences that modern times are bringing into human life.
Without any intention to dive into controversies over whether it has done it well or badly, or if it could have been done better, today we’re reflecting on certain challenges that arise in our day. To be able to see what they are, we need to analyze a little bit the temptations that contemporary life provokes in the world.
Christianity requires changes
Having in mind that the world could be a much better and pure place than it actually is, this means that one needs to decide to give up on everything that comes up in an easy way. Basically, everything that makes them act differently than it’s said in Christian books and legacy. Here we have so many things that tend to lure us, satisfy our needs and make us follow our inner impulses. And that’s not always what’s best for us.
Jesus committed himself to people integrally. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, revived the dead, comforted those who suffered and forgave sinners. A commitment without action is indifference and faith without commitment is simply a religion.
Christianity invites us to put these spiritual and inner challenges aside and learn how to overcome them, but it’s not the easiest task to do. It’s hard to give up on some things that it advises us to give upon as our lives do contain many vices that seem to collide all around us with each passing day.
For many, it’s quite a big change nowadays, which makes everything more complex. And, as it seems complicated, we simply choose not to follow it. Mostly thinking that we’re not able to respect it and achieve those goals.
Unity in church and its influence
The challenge of unity within Christians also represents one of the major problems when it comes to this topic. As has been remembered in the world of this religion for a little over a century now, the division of the Church is a major scandal.
And here is the thing, without entering into historical-theological disquisitions that claim to justify or condemn this reality as a whole or in its parts. The truth is that the image of Christianity today remains that of a tidal wave of churches, groups and sects of all kinds, which in too many cases have anathematized each other.
Christianity must be united if it wants to give this world a credible testimony of its faith and its message from Jesus to his people. The undeniable differences between the various questions, old and newer, may very well be focused in a way that helps us better understand each other and even enrich us with their views on certain issues.
Finally, what defines someone as a Christian is not a theology, traditions or sacramental liturgy in particular, but the adherence to Jesus and his unity with the people and the world.
Modern times bring a lot of permission and relativism
Today, so many things are allowed and accessible to us – enough that we can do it. We take everything for good and we downplay it. This permissiveness sneaks into us and puts in front of our eyes the reality of freedom without a clipper.
Also, nothing in this world is absolute, but everything ultimately depends on one’s point of view, on what you think. Christianity too, according to many opinions. Skepticism, the devaluation of knowledge, becomes unable to access its highest peaks.
If everything’s relative, if everything’s good and bad if nothing’s final… what matters then? Relativism is that modern and powerful god who demands a subjective point of view for everything since there’s no absolute truth. It involves entering into inconsistency, and it’s the cause of many ruptures and irreconcilable arguments.
The abrupt arrogance of relativism has a devouring tone that affects feelings by removing solidity. This is why the religion can’t reach some people anymore – skepticism makes them indecisive and more likely to refuse the facts.
Materialistic world and technology
The human became an object, a matter; it’s no longer someone that exists to be something. The disease of the West is that of abundance. Having everything material and having minimized the spiritual, people are no longer interested in coming closer to God as they used to be.
The characters that are proposed as models have no ideals: their lives are well-known for their economic and social level, but broken, without appeal or ability to fly and overcome the emptiness.
And, of all the factors that affect human life in modern society and the presence of Christian doctrine in their lives, probably none reaches such a preponderance as technology. It has come in so many shapes until it reached today’s look, but what happens is that never before in history, mankind had absolutely depended on it for so many things.
In our time, informatics and communications stand out. But not all scientific advances are destined for human development and the welfare of the planet in every sense. And this is where the challenge comes, as the technology seems to be the source of many temptations that move us away from values that should be followed. You can learn more here about some opinions on this topic.
Christianity starts reminding us of our imperfections
No one is perfect, alright? That’s completely fine. Although Christian doctrine tends to teach us how to turn into better beings, it also might remind us of the things we’re not proud of, deep inside.
Reading and listening about the things saints were doing and their virtues, where they’re set as an example, we see all the opposite things in ourselves. This might come tough to us. All the things we do wrong come out and tickle our ego, as sometimes we’re too prideful and that’s exactly why many people decide not to follow them.
Simple as that – the inability to cope with realizing that what you’re doing is not an example of a good feature, good behavior, and a good man.
However, if someone is Christian, they’re not called to always give reasons or answers of what happens in the world. Sometimes, they should show enough humility to recognize that they don’t know many things, or that they don’t always have the right answers to each situation.
Destroying the environment in which we live
It’s impossible not to worry about a man ignoring the environment in which he lives and contributing to preserving it, and as far as possible to improve it. Christianity has been accused of having led to the destruction of planet Earth for the sake of a supremacist philosophy that makes human beings the king of creation.
We cannot, by intellectual honesty, deny that this has been true, but neither, for the same reasons, can we fall to the opposite extreme and give rise to ideologies incompatible with the most genuine Christian thought.
There are several passages in the Holy Bible that suggest a respect for the environment and the people that inhabit it as a work of God. The superiority of man as the dominant species is shown, precisely, in the responsible use of creation.
That is why today it’s a challenge for today’s Christianity to take care of the environment and the contribution to this planet on which God has placed us. Respect for creation implies respect for the Creator and a contribution to the well-being of our great human family, as some critics say.