Modern challenges

MODERN CHALLENGES

Modernchallenges

Summary

Christianityreligion shares some aspects with other religions. For example, justlike Christianity, other religions also believe in the existence of asupreme being. Besides, all religions acknowledge that suffering ofinnocent or rather just human beings is unwarranted and they all seekto minimize it as much as possible. The religion has a role inresolving modern challenges. This assignment will discusssimilarities of Christianity with other religions, how Christianityresponds to challenges in the modern world, and changes in the roleof women in Christianity over time.

Despitetheir varying sacred texts, it is important to note thatChristianity, like other faiths such as Judaism and Islam, allacknowledge the existence of a supreme being. This often is the mostbasic of the similarities between the faiths. In addition, all thefaiths rely on creation theories to explain the existence of man andhis source. These faiths all wrestle theodicity by simply trying toreconcile the presence of evil and suffering with God’somnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence (Rea, 2008). It is mostcertain that all religions acknowledge that suffering of innocent orrather just human beings is unwarranted and they all seek to minimizeit as much as possible.

Theconcept of a punitive judgment and reward in a life to come alsodevelops in all the faiths. Mostly, this is so in a bid for them tohelp man understand evil and suffering. Aquinas in his work arguesthat maintaining a reasoned perspective is very imperative in theface of suffering (Waghorne, 2004). In this light, the faiths try togive hope by providing the argument that all things are under God’sprovidence and will eventually reach their providential end.

Therole of women in both Judaism and Islam like in Christianity has beengravely underplayed. It is evident that the faiths are notparticularly enthusiastic about empowering the woman. In fact, in allthe faiths’ sacred text, the woman is depicted to be a dormantfollower who is there to be seen but not heard. Although women arementioned in the sacred texts of these religions, it is clear thatthey are exempted from making any substantial decisions especially asconcerns leadership.

Oneof the modern day challenges being experienced win the globe ispoverty. Despite being a very old problem that can probably be datedback to time in memorial, it has persistently been a nag.Christianity being a faith that particularly inclines towards easinghuman suffering and giving hope has taken interest in this challenge.Slingerland (2004) argues that poverty affects human dignity andposes some challenges to the stewardship of nature and thus drawingthe interest of Christians.

Inresponse to this challenge, Christian institutions mobilize theirChristians to give aid to the needy by emphasizing the need to help abrother or sister in need. The promise that God will be happy by thisaction of altruism and bless a person is the key motivation. Inaddition, war has overtime been identified to be the main source ofpoverty and thus Christian teachings take considerable efforts ininsisting the importance of peaceful co-existence.

Secularismis yet another modern day challenge that the Christian faith has todeal with. Secularism is basically the ideology that religiousperspectives should be omitted or rather excluded from publiceducation and or from civil affairs. As such, in a secular statethere would be no preferential treatment given to any religious viewpoint and indeed in both local and national affairs there would be noplace given to religious convictions (Rea, 2008).

Christianityis chiefly driven by the desire to please God and to love onesneighbor. The incorporation of such beliefs or their consideration inthe legislation processes can be of positive influence to thesociety. Adopting a secularist approach however, alienates thepossibility of caring for each other giving birth to lawlessness.Therefore, Christian population is dealing with this threat by tryingto discourage the adoption of secularism in societies.

Religiouspluralism is the other factor posing a serious threat toChristianity. This is basically the relationship between theChristian faith and other faiths and religions the acknowledgementthat different or forms of religious belief and behavior that maybeeven contradictory exist and the need to co-exist (Kahera, 2002).Worth noting is the fact that Christians are all the same hesitant torespond to the growingpresence of other religions by capitulatingto secularism. Part of the motivation for this is obviously the fearof Islam considering the fact that there is no evidence secularismcan resist Islam.

Christianityhas had a gender paradox for a long time. Usually, female adherentshave been predominant in the churches, but it is the male populationthat has dominated church leadership. With passage of time though,female clergy have rapidly increased their numbers. Female religiousleadership is controversial not only in the Christian faith but incontemporary Jewish and Islam societies as well. To date, a fewChristian denominations such as the Roman Catholic Church, variousEastern Orthodox Churches, and some conservative protestantdenominations have never officially accepted the ordination of women.

Itis evident that, in the early church, the role of women was seriouslydown played. It was indeed not just in leadership but rather in allaspects too. This is owed to the context by which the faith ofChristianity is based. It is paramount to understand that theChristian faith is closely associated with patriarchy considering thesociety of its origin. The bible, which is the Christian sacred text,tends to down play the role of the woman.

Firestone(1998) insists that evangelical feminists refuse to accept and adhereto the bible’s plain words which forbid teaching of men by women.According to him, Jesus himself did not appoint any women as apostlesbefore his crucifixion and neither did he after his resurrection.Conservative Christians use various bible passages to support theirargument. This has however, not deterred determined women fromworking their way to recognition.

Withtime, women have come out boldly and are demanding recognition fortheir contribution towards the growth of the Christian faith. Thoughthe progress have been slow and tedious, it is very difficult toignore its existence. In order to get the invisible women to bevisible, there is increased reference to female bible characters whowere considered to be heroines. This encourages women and makes thembolder in their actions and hence registering eminent positivechange.

Ahuge percentage of Christian theology, spirituality and even languageis considered to be very sexist, being sourced almost exclusively onthe masculine experience and imagery thereby denying women’sexperience as an authentic knowledge source about the divine. Thisperspective has over time been diluted by the persistent reminderthat God is beyond gender and no one really thinks that God is male.Whereas the use of male imagery and symbolism for God are predominantin the Christian tradition, there exists a rich mine of feminineimages preserved but are never fully exploited. Images of Godportrayed as a midwife, mother, lady wisdom, a housekeeper, and bakerwoman are just but few biblical images which make it possible to makeaffirmations of women’s experience and corrective to the maledominated models of God.

References

Firestone,R. (1998). “Merit, Mimesis, and Martyrdom: Aspects of ShiciteMeta-Historical Exegesis On Abraham`s Sacrifice in Light of Jewish,Christian, and Sunni Muslim Tradition.” Journalof the American Academy of Religion66: 93-116.

Rea,M. C. (2008). “Wright on Theodicy Reflections on Evil and theJustice of God.” Philosophia Christi 10 461-70.

Slingerland,E. (2004). “ Conceptual Metaphor Theory as Methodology forComparative Religion”. Journalof the American Academy of Religion72 1-31.

Waghorne,J. (2004). Comparison: Moving Out of the Scholar`s Laboratory.“Method and Theory in the Study of Religion.

Kahera,A. I. (2002). Gardens of the Righteous: Sacred Space in Judaism,Christianity and Islam.“ Cross Currents 52 328-341.