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Its a common enough occurrence, to hear people say as if the most natural and logical of things, that religion ought to change with the times, that it ought to adapt to the particular foibles and perceptions of the modern age, that somehow modern man’s great intellectual advances and tolerant society behoove that even God should modify his diktats to conform with our newly realized erudition. This notion is often called in Christian circles that of the Liquid Church, in Islam they call for a return to Ijtihad (Intellectual Striving) and wait for the Islamic Reformation to ‘update’ an religion out of synch with the demands of modern day life. These are but examples, and you will find such false progressives in every faith.

I think this notion is the most patent rubbish that I’ve ever encountered, all the more dangerous because of the importance of the topic that they try to mold in this manner. I think three telling arguments demolish any argument on this matter.

The first is what proof do you have that man has really changed? This minor aberration of civilization in the last 200 years? And what real civilization do you see there? Millions are starving, millions deprived of the basics at the expense of an elite few. Jealousy, hate, petty revenge and materialism probably still the dominating driving force on the planet. Prejudice, racism and sexism run rampant, heck I would say that we live in a even more sexist era then ever before, feminism now a corrupted idea of female objectification rather then any liberating ideology. How is that progressive against religious ideas that command you to treat each as his brother, and to give all you can in the trust that the Lord will provide you more. Tell me again how things have changed that we can discard such demanding standards in favour of lower standards.

Even if people have changed, then one wonders what basis that they have for thinking that the rules God laid down hanged. His message and the revelation still stand unchanged, no new prophet has arisen to show people that their is a new religious order that is both right and true. God in the conception of most of these religions is entire, eternal and unalterable. How presumptuous then to decide when to alter our covenant with God, and the never to vary it unilaterally. We don’t allow two people to vary their contracts unilaterally, but we presume God won’t notice or care when we alter our oaths to Him. Keep dreaming.

The second aspect of the same argument is that no one in their right mind expects the laws of physics to change between today and yesterday. They are eternal and unchanging, a veritable physical reminder of the nature of the covenant with God. Fixed eternal and unchanging. One would be a fool to presume that when one woke up tomorrow, that you could unilaterally repeal the law of gravity, just because you didn’t like it anymore. This deals conclusively with the argument that people feel internally incapable of accepting the stricture a religion places on them, that it somehow cramps their ability to be themselves. The argument is patent nonsense, if it restricts then it does so in the same way that the laws of thermodynamics restricts, naturally, obviously and without an escape clause. To think that somehow you are too clever, too precious an individual to be subject to Gods law, is the height of arrogance and folly.

It follows logically and of necessity, that religion should be fixed, timeless and its edicts eternal. To do otherwise is to consciously err, and to believe that somehow you know or understand yourself better then your Creator. It is the most rampant delusion.

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  1. By A Blogosphere Odyssey « A Fire To Be Kindled on 03 Mar 2007 at 1:09 pm

    […] and Modernity that is traditionally territory I’ve shied away from and often seen as unnecessary. To discover the context in which the broader Islamic world behaves and is perceived in a broad […]

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