People live in the confinement of their religions without taking a closer look at the overview of humanity especially on the issues regarding the past, present and future. Arguably, there is need for people to go beyond the religious setting of beliefs, arguments and, claims that seem to cause problems.
Today people are questioning whether being a member to a particular religion enables one to live in a peaceful, productive and sustainable society. Poor interpretation or understanding makes people to base believes and practices into small confinements know as social groups, who main function is to condemn the evil spirits. Arguably, this is the source of misunderstanding and conflicts.
There is existence of innumerable gods that human beings continue to prise in maintenance of a strong group unity and induction of euphoric feelings. The religious groups differ in the styles they use to deliver the group activities because each has a unique version of the rituals. Religion has a number of identifiable basic themes but a wide range of imaginative variations.
Every religious circle believes they have a special relationship with God or Spirits that the other groups seem to lack. This is an implication that the study of religion always lacks a proper basis until one first understands the importance of group identity. The physical appearance of human beings indicates individuality but in real sense, everyone belongs to a local group that determines knowledge, communication and treatment to other human beings.
We can define religion as a compilation of people with special common believes rituals, rules and stories. They are easily identifiable through the religious slogans or practices.
This is the reason why religion often claims special privileges or use the term ‘religious’ to protect the followers or claim advantage and superior moral authority over others. The religious aspect remains deeply embedded into the human mind and therefore makes them selective. Religion is identifiable through the costumes, the language difference, beliefs, and universal ritualistic behaviours or practices.
This paper is a fundamental analysis that seeks to understand human nature in the domain of care, thoughts and understanding. The study assists in assimilation of knowledge about culture particularly the Christian culture in relation to religious society. The study of religious expressions requires one to understand that different religions have different claims that in most cases tend to reject others.
Christianity and culture
Religious society is a culture made by the people and their achievements through thoughts or physical existence. It includes both the mental and physical resources thus forming an integrated system of beliefs, customs and, values that binds people to give them a sense of identity, security, continuity and dignity (Eliots, 93). The culture represents the religious society, which is ever dynamic to embody individuals, groups and associations.
The problem in the religious society regards knowledge or faithfulness between Christian values and culture. We fail to administer the law because the culture involves the achievements of human beings. Christian culture for instance is not only about growth but is also concern with material achievements and the system. The culture of a religious society is an “an integrated system of beliefs, values, customs, and institutions which binds a society together and gives it a sense of identity, dignity, security, and continuity” (Eliots, 93).
The Development of Christian Society
The spread and transformation of Christianity rarely follows a linear path. The difference in doctrine of faith undergoes wide transformations through discussions by people of a wide locality and rationale. The historical transformation of the religious culture indicated the advancement to more leadership roles in Christianity. There is a connection between controversies of these Christian dynamics and the social conflicts.
Christian leaders had spiritual as well as educational duties. Their involvement entailed presiding over social and illegal matters of society by deciding over controversies among the states. The Christian leaders had the ethical duty for both a local government and spiritual nature. The ruling was equally hash with swift but severe penalties because of the power for the ultimate decision.
Is Christianity taking the leading role to guide and advocate for measures that prepare people effectively for a multifaceted society? The multi-faith world requires Christians and other religions to present teachings in a manner that strengthens the understanding of the traditions and the major world religions. There is need to understand the controversies and conversations concerning the multi-faiths. The need to learn about the world existing religions comes about because of the sophistication in the understanding of Christianity.
The Christian church has modernized from the original status where nothing occurred outside the church setting, and has embraced the recognition for other multiple religious groups and diversities (Klein, 162). In the aim of fostering an understanding of comparative religions in the society, the shift of attitude is highly experienced. According Klein (162), Christianity does not link culture to the religious teachings but specifies that man be in charge of the cultural diversifications.
According to the Christians believes, since man enjoyed authority to manage the cultural society, then the culture is a command or a mandate from the Creator. According to Carroll and Prickett, in connection to the bible, “God blessed Adam and Eve… and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground,” Gen. 1:28.”
Form the Christianity point of view; this was the guidance for what Man would do after creation. It is the definition for the purpose of life. Arguably, the Creator accorded work force to own and harness earthly possession.
This is interpretable as development or utilization of earthly resources for personal benefit. Man therefore has the power to change or alter earthly creation into a cultural setting worth of human society. However, man is a subordinate to the earth, she/he has to understand the mutual relationship with the earth for instance, the world depends on the people for management and man depends on the world for existence.
There is therefore the need for use and preserve. Culture is what man is able to make and is equally a value because it is not just meant to happen, but according to Christian teaching it is something that God values and desires for his own glory because as indicated in the bible (1 Cor. 11:7), “God created us as his “image and glory.”
Today there is a great change on the Christian view of religious a society. There is recognition of the plurality and diversity that strengthens relationship between Christian religions. The concept of considering the evangelicals as very religious is still deep rooted among many. People often believe in the conservative political aspects as a religious right, but at the same time, there is denial of religious practices among the evangelicals.
The question in the religious society regards the legitimacy of the evangelical circles. What is Christianity, a religion or a circle of relationship? From a critical point of view, Christianity is not a religion but is a personal relationship between the Christians and their saviour ‘Jesus Christ.’ On the other hand, from a Christian point of view, Christianity is evangelical. Even from the protestant point of view, they never objected the term religion because they often use it in reference to their faith.
The existence of multiple religious groups may be the root cause of resistance towards Christianity. Christians may also be the root cause of conflict among people in the religious society because they tend to preach God’s love and emphasises on a personal relationship, thus abandoning religion because they end up with an argument that indicates the ploy to get converts (Eliots, 123).
There is a personal aversion among most Christians concerning religion. The image created in some people especially the non-Christians is that of oppressed religious society that is empty of matters pertaining faith or self-righteousness but full of showy rituals or hypocrisy, thus repel against the religious teachings.
They may have deep love for God but end up feeling deprived the feeling and thus the lack of joy for a life as a believer. The condemnation of the current religious society among people today is viable because the mare observance of the religious rules and rites is ‘religiosity’ and not religion (Klein, 163).
According to Carroll and Prickett on the Bible, Jesus also condemned religiosity in very hash terms (Matthew 23). And in a close link to the same book, ‘religiosity’ is clearly defined ““These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13).
A conclusion of religion as a comparison to religiosity is a one implicating all religious societies as bad. Christianity does not condemn all religion, the true expression defining religion is “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father…: it is to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27), meaning that Christianity is a religion.
According to Cornell (67), “true religion involves a relationship with God.” The strength of the religious societies is amplified by the existence of a relationship with God. The religious rules and rituals in Christianity are in line with the first books of the Old Testament in the bible, which had all sort of God’s commands; 613 rules to be precise.
The current religious rituals also borrow a leaf from the ancient practices that involved sacrifices and, purification rituals among others. The religious society has a complex establishment full of ceremonies, practices involving rules and rituals. The ancient point of view consequently indicates that religion is an expression of a covenant with God without conflict between the relationship and religion.
The bible presents the elements of a religious society in the Christian context. The commencement of the church indicates existence of the doctrine such as the apostle’s teachings, the rituals such as breaking and sharing of the bread and the communalism by shared prayers or worships in the temple. As the holy book of Christians indicates, the elements of religions present a joyous religion and not a cold religiosity.
“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers….And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people” (Acts 2:41-47).
Christians practice joyous religious believes as a critical part of their relationship with their creator, as evident with the start of the Eucharistic Liturgy especially among the Catholics.
The religion should not oppose the relationship between believers and God because ordinance of religion occurred in the ancient Israel and had followers who practiced the religious rituals. This means that, “dichotomy is a human platitude invented by certain Evangelicals and therefore…. Christianity is not either a religion or a relationship; it’s both a religion and a relationship” (Cornell).
The definition of religion in a religious society would take the form of believe in God and existence of love that people share among themselves out of the love and reverence of God. The relationship with God would therefore take the aspects presented in the catholic ‘Penny Catechism,’ that God made man out of love and requires a reciprocal of the same love in the earthly practices.
Therefore, religion is believe that the society encompass with regards to existence of God. Knowledge of God calls for believe, love, obedience and service to God, thus eliminating any contradiction between religion and the relationship with God.
Religion is meant to bring about sharing of life belonging with others thus creation of a family. Today, some people misinterpret religion and end up having a self centered lifestyle thus the emergence of Christianity implicated to loneliness. Christianity is certainly a relationship with the creator among the believers, as well as among the wide religious society.
Christians have to be part-takers in the divine nature as a basis for a relationship with the creator because of the shared divine nature of sacred humanity among the religious believers as well as others within the unfortunate fraternity. “Christianity goes beyond the ‘do’s and don’ts’, the ‘smells and bells’; it is a family relationship and a sharing in the life of God as a part of a glorious whole” (Cornell, 67).
Today, people are experiencing the religious age of pluralism, which increases the knowledge of garnering faith. A major of religious society has a Christian structure, mainly Catholics and Protestants who believe alike. Such Christians believes are necessary for the maintenance of a valid and truthful salvation.
The religious society hence ought to be people oriented with conservative views or perspectives especially for other religions. The perspective is under the pluralism, inclusiveness and, exclusiveness. Pluralism has a reference to the existence of many different but valid paths to the existence of a religious society such as Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Christianity is not superior to other religious groups and therefore conflicts the Exclusivist’s point of view that the religious believes are only practical through explicit faith. The Inclusiveness holds the society together because of recognition of other religious groups.
Carroll, Robert & Prickett, Stephen. “The Bible: Authorized King James Version”, Oxford University Publishers, 1998
Cornell, John J. “The Principles of the Religious Society of Friends and Some of It’s Testimonies” BiblioBazaar, LLC Publishers, 2009
Eliot, Thomas, Stearns. “Christianity and Culture” READ BOOKS Publishers, 2008
Klein, Elka. “Jews, Christian society, and royal power in medieval Barcelona” University of Michigan Publishers, 2006
Christianity in the religious society