Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are some of the prevalent religions in the world with different historical backgrounds. Judaism was established in 1812 BC, over 3800 years ago. Christianity began in the 1st Century AD while the Islamic religion began in the 7th Century which is approximately 600 years after the beginning of Christianity. Beliefs distinguish various faiths. Judaism believes that there is only one God who is spiritual and controls the universe. Christians believe in the existence of God the Father, Jesus Christ who is the son of God and the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, Muslims believe that their faith was revealed through the prophets such as Adam, Abram, and Jesus and considers the Quran to be the final revelation of God. Different beliefs mean different practices in various religions. However, modernity poses the biggest challenge to religions, and hence the question of whether and how religions should develop and change with time has been hotly debated.
According to Vaughan, religions are dependent on a tradition that includes sacred texts, liturgy, and social beliefs, these aspects need to be inherited from one generation to the other, and therefore religions should not change with time. The author further states that religions will lose their meaning if they evolve with time. He supports his idea by stating that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have been in existence because of observing their traditions for thousands of years (Vaughan 47). According to Noss, the truth can never grow old, and therefore religions should not change with time. He emphasizes his point by stating that various religions have their spiritual truth or rule of their sacred books followed by believers, the truth in the texts do not change with time and thus religions should stick to their teachings (Noss 58). Additionally, he states that religions will be compromising with their beliefs if they will be regularly changing with time to gain favor from followers. He further argues that if doctrines are compromised, then the meaning of religion will be lost.
Modernity has paved the way for increased pressure for religions to change and adapt to the changing times. Baker argues that contemporary issues such as marriage, crime, etc. are understood to be some of the practical matters of concern and their treatment changes with time; therefore religions should change with time. The author uses an example of Christianity, the religion forbids divorce, yet in the modern world, there are rising incidents of divorce. The author further argues that religions should change to evolve with the changing situations (Baker 47). He also contends that religions should change with time to address the barbaric beliefs evident in some religions. He gives an instance of Muslims in the Middle East who stone a woman to death for suspected adultery. The author claims such acts are against human rights and thus religions should revisit their traditions to protect society.
William Jones, a pastor at Vanier Community Church, argues that the changing times also provide an opportunity for religions to exploit; therefore beliefs should change with time. He gives an example of how technology could be used by religions fellowships more convenient. He supports his arguments by stating that he can hold a conference at a place of his convenience and religions should not stick to the old norms. His argument is evident with the massive technology in the church setting. Molloy states that religions have to adapt to the times to survive because of the symbiotic relationship exhibited between religions and culture which has been closely associated with economic social and political events (Molloy 107).
I think religions should change and adapt to the changing times but maintain their doctrinal basis. Sacred books guide beliefs. The Muslims use the Quran as their guideline for teaching while Christians use the Bible. The holy books were written at different times addressing different types of people. Changing issues characterize the change in time, therefore religions need to incorporate such changes in their teachings as long as it doesn’t conflict the doctrinal basis. For instance, the scripts in the Bible should not be used the way it has been written, but the teachings highlighted should be interpreted and applied in the relevant settings. Nevertheless, the core values and virtues should be upheld at all times.
Additionally, adaptation to the changing times presents a unique way of looking at the world. Therefore, religions should aim at presenting messages that make sense to an audience of a particular culture without necessarily the truth. The world is dynamic, and denominations should aim at addressing all the emerging issues by using set principles to emerging situations. It is also evident that religions can be the biggest obstacle to positive changes in society. Some traditions are a hindrance in society. For instance, the Muslim faith has suppressed the voice of a woman in the community and thus there is inequality in the freedom of expression which poses a challenge for the growth of society. Religions should aim at promoting the best practices by adapting to changing times.
Irrespective of the different religious religions in the world, it should not be a reason for the existence of religious conflicts. Religions should practice their traditions being mindful of the emerging trends. Religions should promote fair values by adapting to the changes in time so that faith cannot be used for personal interests or gain.
Baker, Jenny. Religions. South Yarra, Vic: Macmillan Education Australia, 2017. Print.
MOLLOY, MICHAEL. Experiencing the World’s Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change. Place of publication not identified: MCGRAW-HILL, 2019. Print.
Noss, David S, and John B. Noss. Man’s Religions. New York: Macmillan, 2014. Print.
Vaughan, Jenny. Religions. Hove: Wayland, 2016. Print.