Is Christianity and the Bible Too Old-Fashioned to be Relevant in Today’s Society?
by Rich Deem
One of the common criticisms of Christianity is that it is too old-fashioned to be relevant for living in today’s society. It is often thought that the Bible speaks to a different time and place that no longer exists in modern society. Does the Bible have anything to say to us at this time?
Most people who are not Christians judge Christianity on the basis of those who claim to be its adherents. Since most non-Christians never go to church, their impression of Christians often come from the media. Outrageous, prejudiced, and insensitive statements make for great press, so they are often reported, with the implication that these kinds of things are typical of Christians. However, one shouldn’t think that all Christians are crazy based upon what is reported in the media.
The other main perception of Christians is that they want to tell everybody else how they should live, while ignoring some of the more fundamental aspects of proper moral behavior. This kind of behavior is known as hypocrisy, and was one of the main things that Jesus preached against. For example, during the first century, the religious leaders were giving to the poor to receive recognition by others, praying in public to be seen as being pious, complaining about other people’s behavior when theirs was even worse, testing other people to try to make themselves look superior, repressing the poor, giving to the church, but neglecting justice and mercy, and doing everything for show, while really being self-indulgent and unrighteous. Does any of this sound familiar? However, people who behave in such a manner are not really adherents of Christianity, but hypocrites. Besides, we are not advocating that you become a Christian and behave like the people Jesus detested.
Old Testament teachings
Much of the complaint against the Bible is often directed at the Old Testament, which does speak about a time when society was almost exclusively agrarian. Even though the times and societies were different, the moral choices that existed at the time are still with us today. So, even though the ten commandments talk about coveting your neighbor’s ox and donkey, they also speak about coveting your neighbor’s wife or "anything that belongs to your neighbor," which would include his car and whatever other technology he might possess.
The ten commandments
Almost everybody has heard of the ten commandments, especially since their placement in United States government buildings has become a controversy in the courts. However, few people can name more than a few of them. Are they no longer relevant to life? The ten commandments can be grouped into two broad categories. The first four commandments pertain to a person’s relationship with God…
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