Observations on life; particularly spiritual

The benefits of Christianity

The benefits of ChristianityThe media generally presents a negative picture of Christianity. But what does history tell us?

Despite its humble origins, Christianity has made more changes on earth for good than any other movement or force in history. To get an overview of some of the positive contributions it has made through the centuries, here are a few highlights (Kennedy and Newcombe, 1994):

  • Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.
  • Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started for Christian purposes.
  • Literacy and education for the masses.
  • Capitalism and free enterprise.
  • Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment.
  • The separation of political powers.
  • Civil liberties.
  • The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times.
  • Modern science.
  • The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
  • The elevation of women.
  • Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic.
  • Higher standards of justice.
  • The elevation of the common person.
  • The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.
  • High regard for human life.
  • The civilising of many barbarian and primitive cultures.
  • The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.
  • Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
  • The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the good news about Jesus.
  • The eternal salvation of countless people who have security because they have replaced the massive risk of unbelief with the low risk of belief. This is the primary goal of Christianity. All the other benefits listed are by-products of what Christianity has often brought when applied to daily living.

Have Christ and Christianity brought tyranny to the world? Or have they been the world’s greatest force in freeing us from tyranny? Christianity elevated the value of human life. It ended infanticide and ended gladiatorial contests. And the pattern of immigration is instructive (Appendix). Jesus was the first to proclaim the golden rule, “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Mt. 7:12). The notion that every human being is important comes from Jesus.

Other benefits

Bogart (2009) has suggested that Christianity can have the following benefits on society.

Better marriages. Couples can discover a deeper and more lasting love for one another because of their relationship to God. A commitment to one’s spouse, a willingness to work though issues and a dependence upon God to cause positive change in both lives has saved many marriages which otherwise would have ended in divorce.

Better family life. “Parents: don’t exasperate your children, but bring them up in the teaching and discipline of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), is a hugely valuable principle at a time when families are breaking down in record numbers.

Lasting relationships. We are moving so fast in these times that it is difficult to form deep, long-term friendships. The Bible’s perspective on relationships tends to produce people who know how to befriend others and work through issues which could otherwise cause separation.

Personalized care. Christianity promotes a giving, caring culture. Churches often provide free counseling to their members and others. Obviously the more people who receive this care, the healthier a community becomes.

Character building. While it is not the only voice in society encouraging people to become more than they are, the Christian church performs this role as well. It encourages people to dream large dreams and achieve great things. When a person is involved in things which are harmful to others and ultimately self-destructive, they can be lovingly confronted and helped to find a new path in life.

Conclusion

Christianity has brought many benefits to our world. If Christ had never been born, nearly every facet of human life would be much more miserable than it is today and the world would be a cruel and heartless place.

Appendix: Pattern of immigration

Is Christianity beneficial? People vote with their feet. Watch where the net flow of immigration is in the world today. Is if from Christian countries to non-Christian countries, or the other way around? The answer is obvious.

References

Bogart M, 2009, The benefits of Christianity in society
Kennedy D J and Newcombe J, 1994, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? Thomas Nelson, TN
Faith facts: The impact of Christianity
Muehlenberg B, 2022, Top 20 books on how Christianity changed our world.
Video: What if Jesus had never been born?

Acknowledgement

The text of this post is based on information within the references.

Written, July 2022

One response

  1. Pingback: mid-week apologetics booster (7-7-2022) – 1 Peter 4:12-16

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