An Insight on Adaptation in Christianity in Nigeria


By Ero Ewaen Arnold

Adaptation plays a great role in the evolution of man physically, mentally and spiritually. Not only does it put one’s determination to the test but also acts on one’s marred qualities in convergence with one’s environment. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term “adapt” simply means “to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification”. In 1859 Charles Darwin, an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, well known for his massive contribution to the science of evolution, set out his theory of evolution by natural selection as an explanation for adaptation and speciation. This theory explains the ability for organisms, which possess heritable traits, to be more adaptable to their environment in order of a better chance of survival, reproduction and passing more of their genes to the next generation than other members of their species.

Adaptation as we all should know, is one of the characteristics of living things which can be commonly referred to as survival of the fittest. As perplexing as its mode of operation may be, it can be conveyed if acted upon by a more determined factor. There are many factors that can influence the process of adaptation in the life of humans. Be it in the physical, mental or spiritual plane, adaptation can be piloted to alight at two points (Negative and Positive) of the pole on any of the planes.

As Christians, adaptation therefore should be aligned with our journey for salvation as this will help strengthen our faith. The Holy Bible condemns the negative navigation and reveals the positivity of adaptation for the sake of the Gospel and for the betterment of our souls. 1 Corinthians 9: 19-27 says “19for though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all that I might win the more. 20To the Jews, I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law- though not being myself under the law- that I might win those under the law… 27but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”.

The concept of these words were not made known as pardon for one to partake in sinful acts but as an understanding that in order to pass on the good message to an individual of a different belief system, you should be able to empathize as a process of adaptation, to that individual’s belief system to be able to comprehend the lifestyle of the individual and hence, reveal the Gospel in a way that can follow the reasoning process of the individual and also enlighten the person. John 13:13-17 “13You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 if I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15for I have given you an example that you also should do I as I have done to you.16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

Here, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, uses himself as an example to reveal to the disciples the empathetic process of adaptation with respect to divine leadership and oneness.

I encourage every Christian to take into consideration the concept of adaptation and how it can enhance their spiritual life on the journey to Salvation.

Ero, a poet, writes from Benin City, Edo State

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