I can see the merits of Sola Scriptura. I can see why so many people choose to adopt that ideology. Just as Jesus seemingly condensed the law into two rules, so a summary compilation of the tenets of the faith, the Bible, condenses the work of millennia. It’s easier to read, and, in theory, it’s all a Christian needs to learn the faith. I posit, however, that adhering to Sola Scriptura alone can lead to dangerous levels of oversight.
In 2020 Anno Domini, poverty is considerably less of an issue than in 20 Anno Domini. Is the means of our success pleasing to God? There were no democracies in Jesus’ time, but democracy is now the predominant government structure on Earth. How does God choose the leaders when the people decide? What’s more, the modern equivalent of the well-to-do, the rich described in Jesus’ teachings, do not obtain their vast hoards of wealth from their inheritance or through war, but rather through innovation or extraordinary intelligence and hard work. Should we treat them any differently than we did two thousand years ago? This philosophical infrastructure has been lacking in Christian society because we fail to apply our Bible to a modern setting.
Yet more inadequacies slip through the cracks. What does God think about role-play? About video games, television, and similar entertainment? Does God care about pollution? Space travel? Welfare? Evolution? Further, now that the populace controls the government, a thousand new questions as to what, objectively, is good leadership arise. God is omniscient, so He has answers for all of these things. The problem is within ourselves. We have failed to translate the Bible through all times and places to apply God’s teachings to the modern day. As a result, many factions have chosen to vehemently oppose the new ways of life. While the Amish are the most cartoonish example, there are many families who have sworn off video games, who abhor Dungeons and Dragons and its ilk, who isolate themselves from everything under the pretense of, perhaps, a singular verse in the Bible.
One might say, rightfully so, that such modern elements are far from the fold of Christianity. This is true. Many are steeped in mythologies and do not reflect reality. I concur, but I believe that these spiritual wanderings arose because of Christians’ lack of interest, not the other way around. By not adapting to the new systems, the Christian community created safe havens under which atheists and pagans alike could delve deeper into their beliefs and sins. Even in China, where Christians are persecuted for their beliefs, there are still Christians who are willing to do God’s work and spread the faith. As a result, Christianity in China is growing, not dwindling. This is not so in the United States. Go online, peruse the skeptic community, and contemplate how poorly Christians have evangelized in the most crucial places.
In fact, there’s so much corruption that churches have found it in themselves to complete their doctrinal values with worldly politics. How many times have you seen a pastor on his pulpit espousing conservatism, or social justice, only using the Bible to defend his argument? We receive missionaries from places where we evangelized not fifty years ago to set us on the right track. This is not how the church is supposed to be.
Albeit slim, there is hope. Masterminds like C.S. Lewis have tried to move the Bible forward to this day and age, but too few Christians adhere to his lessons. By no means a mastermind, I have decided to devote the next year to parts of modern society, relevant to the past decade, as seen through a Christian lens. Expected topics include evolution, role-play, space travel, and the environment. I doubt that it will stop the United States’ death spiral away from Christ, but, with God, all things are possible. I will see you soon.