What can Christianity Contribute to a Pluralistic Culture?

What can Christianity Contribute to a Pluralistic Culture?

American civilization in the early 1900sindicates that the culture of America was founded on Christianity and its beliefs. As explained by Newlands (2008), leaders from different sides of the divide were somehow judged based on what was ‘American,’ and at the time, this was more-or-less firmly what Christianity was. Between the 1940s to the 1970s, the association of Christianity and the modern culture took a different turn particularly in developed nations such as the UK, the United States, and part of continental Europe with a majority of the youth adapting pluralistic ideas socially, politically, and religiously. In the current era, America may arguably be the most pluralistic society in the entire world considering that the amount of diversity has been influenced by globalization. Over time, values and norms have gradually become issues of private morality and self-determination. Issues such as sexual orientation, abortion, use of birth control, and euthanasia or assisted suicide, have all become hot topics in the social realms with Christianity seen as an opposing force leading to unexpected animosity.

The influence of Christianity on the American culture has reduced, and people are no longer judged by Christian values but pluralistic standards. During the first century Judea, the Romans allowed the Christians to worship Jehovah on condition that they in a similar manner called Caesar Lord. As narrated by Aslan (2013), this did not happen, and a majority of Christians lost their lives in the processes. Additionally, Paul’s sermons on Mars Hills were delivered to individuals who did not believe in one God. The information provided indicates that Christians have contributed or had to deal with pluralistic societies; however, in the 21stcentury, pluralism is much more complex, thus making Christians vulnerable in certain ways. Most Christians find themselves in a dilemma of either democracy or theocracy when dealing with moral issues in today’s’ society. For instance, regarding abortion, Christians are taught to uphold life and not choose death regardless of the circumstance. This option may not be good for a woman who became unexpectedly pregnant after being raped. The insistence on keeping the pregnancy seems inhumane in a way because the parent will go through a lifetime of torment and most likely not take good care of the child. In summation, Christians have been born and lived in pluralistic societies; however, with the dynamics of the current era, there is a need for a change in how Christians contribute to society.

Pluralism is not bad; it is in many ways a consequence of freedoms of speech, expression, and rights to worship. In the Christian context, all persons are respected and cared for as directed by God’s guidance on the love of neighbors. Christians do not oppose pluralism or see it as a cultural tool that is used to affect the religious foothold in modern society negatively. As explained by Vanhoozer, Anderson, and Sleasman, (2007), pluralism is a social and political phenomenon that shows the promotion of the freedom of thought and expression of any citizen, as long as that practice does not interfere with other people’s rights. Additionally, a pluralistic society does not necessarily state that all individuals are equally right in what they think or do but are allowed to do what they feel is right within the confines of the law. That is, a pluralistic society does not state that all people need to agree with each other regarding any views or practices. Nevertheless, it does not indicate that societies will not appropriately express their disagreement or dislike for other viewpoints. Christians have an ample platform to express themselves through God’s love without prejudice. Having a single dimension religious society means having limited growth spiritually, Christians can set up shelters for the needy and have modern-day crusades, which will all be a positive addition to a free world.

 

A pluralistic society is open minded and selective thus most members in the of such a community try and change the view or ideas of their counterparts by sharing facts on the issue is considered as hot topics such as euthanasia or abortion. As explained by Aslan (2013), pluralism precisely secures a social context that is described by full and free interchange of dissimilar ideas in life, making it the best type of society for Christians to thrive. For decades, Christians have been on a ‘save the faith’ program, which is defined as a way of life that affects not only an individual’s personal life but also the outward manifestations meaning changing the lives of those around them. It is believed that Christianity and plurality are opposing forces; nevertheless, the discomfort felt between parties from each side comes from the failure to compromise particularly from Christians. Christians are expected to live by God’s Word and set aside any other obedience to other deviating issues in society. As explained by (Smith, 2003), the principal drive behind the life of Christians is to live their lives under the authority of the King as well as extend the kingdom of God in every possible way–morally, geographically, and personally. According to the Christian faith, it is believed one ought to seek the righteousness of good first, and the riches of the world would come after. With this in mind, Christians have been seeking to not only find but also share their beliefs and at times judging others particularly the clergy. On the contrary, if a Christian does not live under the lordship of Christ in society, he/she adopts the powers of spiritual power known as humanism or populism. Saving faith means letting the public know what Christianity preaches but enforcing these beliefs on everyone is not prudent. Christians should take an advisory stance rather than judgment for each person to enjoy a pluralistic society. In summation, Christians, perhaps more than other groups of people, are expected to have reason to favor such interchange and be confident about its outcome.

When Christianity was the major religion in society, there was a limited motivation for individuals to engage in missions since the religion was largely accomplished. As narrated by Newlands (2008), the cure of souls, provided by priests or pastors, can be tracked back in the fourth century after Christianity was identified as Rome’s state religion. Over time, there was a shift in the introduction of multi-religions. Currently, with the advent of technology such as the internet and the connectivity around the world, there is a need for the change in spreading the missions to all parts of the world. It is currently clear that the modern society across the globe is least likely to follow the scriptures as their moral compass not because of rebellion but the existence of diversity. A community that acknowledges the existence of particular issues such as same-sex relationships and accepts such ideas morally right yet not long ago they were reserved as taboos are bound to ask why religions do not accept differences in people. Christians have been considered as an opposing faction to the diversity seen today and are seen as irrational. However, in this paper, the Christian position has been discussed regarding how can take part in community engagement and development without feeling that they are opposed to people of a different religious orientation. The current population allows Christians to spread the message of love as ordained by God through the neighbor’s love. Additionally, during the same time, society is open-minded, there is little to do with opposition and more of discussion. With such a platform, Christians should take up an advisory and fact-checking group that allows people to see and evaluate the differences between what is preached today and what has been misconstrued over time.  Pluralism or a pluralistic society taps to the part of Christian theology that is sensitive to this development showing a group of apologetic people.

 

 

References

Newlands, G. M. (2008). Generosity and the Christian Future. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Smith, C. (Ed.). (2003). The secular revolution: Power, interests, and conflict in the secularization of American public life. Univ of California Press.

Vanhoozer, K. J., Anderson, C. A., & Sleasman, M. J. (Eds.). (2007). Everyday Theology (Cultural Exegesis): How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends. Baker Academic.