ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Modern Christianity Lacks the Willingness to Understand the Unknown

Updated on June 30, 2019
Jason Capp profile image

I grew up in South Carolina, USA, and I currently live in Tokyo, Japan. I am well versed in religion, various cultures, and world politics.

History of Christianity and Culture

Historically, Christianity was often the supporter of science, the arts, and the progressive state of mind.

Often in areas of hostility, sacrificial religious practices, and stubborn ways of thinking, Christianity would provide outlets of real medical attention to those that were ill, hurt, or dying. They would display beautiful messages through song, dance, and theater. And they would love the least, care for the broken, and offer resources to those unable to afford.

In a time where many people were struggling to make ends meet, Christianity truly provided a light in a dark world. It became the standard-bearer for medical advancement, philosophical thinking, scientific progression, art and music, and especially humanitarianism.

In so many ways, Christianity valued these outlets and saw the importance of their role in culture, and it truly changed the world.

Of course, Christianity during this time was not without its flaws, but what happened to this fervor? What happened to Christianity's desire for progression and growth? Why are many Christians today obsessed with returning to the past instead of striving towards the future like generations prior?

Christianity Today

To be perfectly honest, modern day Christianity needs to grow up. It has seemed stagnant for too long, and it is falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to relevance within the culture.

Christianity has sadly become the brunt of many jokes the past century, especially because of this unwillingness to understand what is happening around them. Many non-Christians see the religion as judgemental, hypocritical, misogynistic, cash-grabbing, hate-filled, untrustworthy, and lacking an ability to progress, among other things.

Modern day Christian influence in medicine and science is lot higher than most Christians are even aware, but many Christians today view certain sciences and medicinal practices as blasphemous, unbiblical, or even evil.

Today's views on things like global warming, abortion, vaccines, psychology, flat earth, space exploration, nutrition, sexuality, birth control, stem cell research, and many other things show just how little the religion has grown over the past century. It is lacking a serious understanding of the world around them, and it is hurting the message of the Gospel more than most are willing to admit.

Becoming All Things to Everyone

As the world continues to move forward, God and the Christian message become more and more irrelevant. This neglects the teaching Paul gave in 1 Corinthians 9;

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Instead of becoming all things to all people, most Christians today require outsiders to become Christian or else. The heart of the Gospel message has gotten lost in the desire to fight the world. It is no longer an image of the Church plus Science. It has sadly become an image of the Church versus Science.

Empathy: A Way to a Better Understanding

Something that should come very natural to the Christian message is empathy. However, most people confuse empathy with sympathy, but they could not be more different.

Sympathy is feeling bad for someone going through a hard time, while empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. For example, you encounter a woman who just had a miscarriage. Sympathy would feel sorry for her and her problem. Empathy would sit down, listen to her, ask her questions to better understand, share the feeling to show the depth of understanding, and comfort her how she needs to be comforted.

Empathy requires a lot more work, but it is the right path for strengthening the relationship and learning what it is like to be in the other person's shoes.

How Christians Act and How They Should Act

Empathy is not about being on the defensive. Many Christians put their hands on their hip ready to pull the gun out in self defense when the sight of something offensive comes up. The smallest hint of questioning their faith can cause a wave of poor apologetic reasoning at a time that it is completely irrelevant.

This is often the case when Christians interact with the scientific community, the atheistic community, the feminist community, the liberal community, and others regarding the presentation of opposing views.

Instead, it would be incredibly more effective if Christians learned to listen to and understand their audience. A dose of empathy could help Christians a long way, as it would help them to connect more with the people around them and know the struggles of those outside of their context.

This creates a much deeper community of love, grace, and understanding, and that is exactly what the Christian message desperately needs right now.

The Road Ahead

In my own experience, I have felt the long-lasting sting of a violent Christian strike.

As an advocate for women to lead, I have received unmerited insults more times than I can count.

As a husband to a wife who has mental issues, I have seen the Christian body lose their cool and overreact to something they have little knowledge of.

As a person who studies Christian history and ancient language, the amount of times I have been called heretic for sharing certain learnings has been unbelievable.

As a supporter of freedom, it is amazing how many times my job was threatened at a Christian organization for holding people accountable and sharing the truth.

This is not how we get the Gospel message across. We need to uplift our women, we need to care for those with mental illnesses and learn how to best care for them, we need to be intellects of the faith and know Christian history for our own sake, and we need to value integrity.

Get To Know Your People and Love Them Right

But the truth is, my own experience is limited. You have certain people in your life to teach you important things. I grew up with a strong mother to teach me how powerful women can be. I married a woman with Bipolar II, and that has taught me so much about how to care for people like her, understand deep down what is actually happening, and be aware of trigger points and how to handle them lovingly.

You have these people in your life too, and they are incredibly valuable. Instead of trying to defend your faith, become the person in front of you. Learn as much as it takes to love that person unconditionally. Connect with them in a way that breaks down walls and allows for embrace. Forget yourself and get to know them.

This is what Paul was teaching in 1 Corinthians 9, and this is honestly what Jesus expects of you.

© 2019 Jason Reid Capp

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Reid Capp 

      7 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I have lived in Japan for over 10 years now, so my experience of Christianity is heavily colored from numerous different Christian cultures around the world. The Christian organization I mentioned in the article is actually a Japanese one that is led by Japanese people. I just talked to a Japanese Christian this past Thursday that told me bluntly how evolution and psychology are lies of the world trying to ruin the Gospel message.

      I have done service projects in places like the Philippines and Thailand where the Christianity is about as ignorant as it can possibly be.

      I have seen and experienced plenty of versions of Christianity, and although I realize not all of them are "hate-filled, cash-grabbing" people, we must recognize that a lot of the judgments from the world about Christianity ring a lot truer for the group as a whole than they do false. Judgmental and hypocritical, especially, are defining words of the modern day church, and that applies heavily to both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church.

      Consider a topic like homosexuality. Although it is getting better within Christianity as a whole, it is still way too far behind the rest of the world. The amount of vitriol towards homosexuals and the LGBTTQQIAAP communities is still way too aggressive and not empathetic in the slightest.

      When I used all of those descriptors in the second paragraph of "Christianity Today", I was simply referring to how the world views Christians. You can simply type "Christians are..." in a Google search to find many of the adjectives I used.

      And although you may believe that the UK is better off than the US regarding such styles of Christianity, might I remind you that the UK, especially England, influenced Christianity in America heavily. I'm not saying the UK is responsible for American Christianity, but it would be ignorant to neglect all of the corruption that preceded Christianity entering America.

      My point was simply this; Christians just lack a real desire to grow nowadays, and yes, that includes a lot more places than America.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      7 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      I see that you are an American - although not now living there - and this must mean that your experience of Christianity is coloured by what you witnessed when growing up in the US.

      Had you grown up somewhere else - say in the UK - you would have been exposed to many different varieties and seen that hate-filled, cash-grabbing Christians were a tiny minority of those that professed to follow the religion.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)