The past is one of the vital organs of every major religion. It is what gives each their unique and valued traditions and also what gives them their clout. Without the history behind Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, these religions wouldn’t have the global communities that they do today. No one can deny that the past is critical to each of these faiths, but is this history also a hindrance?
I cannot personally speak for Judaism or Islam, but as a Christian I see a lot of differences between what is preached on Sundays and the ideals that many Christians hold. This is especially true of the Christians of my generation. There seems to be a disconnect between the youth and religion. I believe a lot of that stems from how old our religion is. Many teachings seem outdated in the lifestyle of today, so most young Christians will disregard them. There are many strange Old Testament teachings that we don’t follow because they “don’t apply to us anymore.” Well, who’s to say that some New Testament teachings don’t apply to people today? This isn’t necessarily my opinion, but it is one held by many members of my generation.
Along with religion appearing outdated, the past wrongs of religions have turned many away from the idea of religion altogether. Wars and crusades may not reflect the current mentality of a religion, but those events are something a lot of people refuse to move past. It seems that as time passes, people become more intrinsically focused and that just isn’t a mentality that meshes well with religion. If the faith of our world is going to return to its former gusto, something will have to give. So what will it be: the people, or the pulpit?