What Has Christianity Done for Us?
The Christian faith has had a huge impact upon our country for almost 2000 years. Christian believers fought for many of the things we cherish in our society.
Christians established schools to educate the poor. This led to the free education for all we enjoy to day.
Christians built hospitals to care for the sick who could not afford expensive medical fees. We now take free healthcare under the NHS for granted.
Christians, like the Victorian Lord Shaftesbury championed health and safety reform in the workplace. He stopped children being used as chimney sweeps and made employers provide a safe working environment for their workers.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs were Christian believers. They were deported to an Australian penal colony because they dared form a trade union to challenge the over-mighty power of the wealthy landowners. The workers rights we have today were won partly as a result of what those men stood for years ago.
William Wilberforce, an 18th Century Christian challenged the racist cruelty of the Slave Trade and worked tirelessly for its abolition.
The sciences have benefited from the work of Christians. Electricity was discovered by Michael Faraday (1791-1867). Samuel Morse (1791-1872) invented the electric telegraph. His first transmitted message was “What has God wrought!”
As Christianity has had such a beneficial effect upon our country, why are so few people interested in the Christian message today? What are some of the common objections that people raise against the Christian message?
Some objections to Christianity
1. Christianity is old fashioned!
An Ancient Faith In a sense, this is true. Christianity is one of the oldest world religions. It is around 600 years older than Islam. The roots of Christianity lie deep in the ancient Hebrew Bible. Some parts of the Hebrew Bible or the “Old Testament” are over 4000 years old. Even the “New Testament” is almost 2000 years old.
Christianity has given many millions of people hope for centuries. But today we value what is new and up-to-date over what is ancient, tired and tested. We want the latest gadgets to adorn our homes, the latest computers and mobile phones. Old things are seen as slow, bulky and obsolete.
Our Deepest Longings But some things never change. Christianity is not some glitzy, cool gadget that has now ceased to be of any use. The Christian message addresses some of the oldest and deepest longings of the human heart. Augustine, a fourth century Christian thinker put it like this, “God has made us for himself and we can find no peace unless we find peace in him.”
Now that is something deep and fundamental. The human heart longs for friendship with God. Only friendship with him will give our lives meaning and purpose. It is because people do not know God that they are restless and dissatisfied despite all the material things we enjoy in modern day Britain.
The Problem of Sin Sin had broken our relationship with God. If we are honest we will admit that all too often we live for ourselves and not for him. That is the essence of sin. A sinner will not put God first and live for his glory.
The history of the human race from ancient times until the shiny modern world is a history of sinners. History is a story of war, greed and hatred as well as great artistic and scientific achievements. That is because as human beings we have great, God-given potential but we also mess things up because of the sin that ruins our lives. Our sin deserves the judgement of God.
No Quick Fix Christianity addresses not some passing need that can be met with a quick fix. The Christian message tells sinners like you and me how we can be right with God. People have always needed to know that and we need to know it today.
The ancient, yet ever new and up-to-date message is this: God sent his Son, Jesus Christ into our world almost 2000 years ago. Jesus was God who became man. He lived a full and perfect human life. His life and teaching are described, for example in the Gospel According to John in the New Testament. Jesus was nailed to a Roman cross to die, outside the city walls of Jerusalem. There he died for the sin of the world, to put human beings right with God. Three days later, he rose again from the dead and showed his followers that he was alive. This convinced them that Jesus is the Saviour of the world. Jesus is Lord and God to be trusted and obeyed.
When we believe that Jesus is the one who alone can put us right with God, all our sins are forgiven and God accepts us into his family. This is a relationship that people of all centuries including our own have needed, a relationship that lasts for eternity.
2. Science has disproved Christianity!
Evolution? This is a common assumption. Many people think that Darwin’s theory of Evolution as disproved the Bible. But wait a minute! We live in a world of obvious beauty, order and design. We can see that all around us, from the stars at night to other human beings, from flowers and butterflies to exotic peacocks and sweet singing birds.
Scientists who don’t believe in God are asking us to accept that this whole universe from the level of galaxies to atoms simply came into being by chance with no ordering mind behind it all. I think that is asking a bit much.
Creation! The grand opening words of the Bible are these:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
God made everything in accordance with his carefully worked out plans and purposes. This accounts much better for the wonderful nature of the Universe than impersonal forces of time, chance and matter.
Acceptance of the view that this world has no purposeful Creator means that life is ultimately meaningless. We are then just the product or random, blind forces. What a bleak, hopeless view of life!
Christianity has made a positive contribution to the sciences and continues to do so today as believing scientists explore the glories of God’s creation for the good of humanity.
3. Christianity claims that Jesus is the only way to God!
Multi-Faith Today we live in a multi-faith society. It is good that people of all faiths and none can live peaceably together in our country. To persecute someone because of their faith is just wrong.
The Only Way But Christians do claim that Jesus is the only way to God. We do so because Jesus made this claim himself. He said,
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Jesus is the only way to God because he alone has with the sin that separates us from our Maker. He came into the world as God’s Son, to be born a man. He lived, died and rose again so that our sins might be forgiven.
God cannot simply ignore our rebellion against him as if it does not matter. God is absolutely just. Sin demands death and condemnation. But because God is love, he sent his Son, Jesus to be condemned in the place of sinners like you and me.
That is why Jesus is the only way to God. No one else can claim to be the Saviour of the world because no one else has died in the place of lost human beings.
A Life of Love When we believe in Jesus and commit our lives to serving him, then he becomes our personal Saviour.
Jesus commanded that his followers live a life of love. He laid down the golden rule,
Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them (Matthew 7:12)
Christians try to live out this wonderful principle. That is why Christianity has led to so many great social reforms. God’s love in Jesus’ death on the cross is a great inspiration for living a life of love and compassion.
Christianity offers you a New Start in Life!
Christianity will change your life. For many people this is the real objection. They don’t want to have their lives changed by knowing God and believing in his Son, Jesus Christ. We like to live life our own way without anyone telling us what to do - not even God!
But change we must. Jesus once said to a deeply religious man “You must be born again” (John 3:7.) To be a Christian is not simply to adopt a certain way of thinking about the world. To be a Christian means more than just attending Church. Christianity is about new life, a complete new start. To be sure of heaven and life in God’s presence we must be changed.
God commands us to repent, to turn from our sinful lives to him and accept that his way is best. Jesus invites us to come to him for forgiveness and new life. He calls upon us to follow him and to live out his teaching. He demands our all. A truly Christian life puts God first in all things. Are you willing to do that?
You don’t need to go to Church to become a Christian. You can seek God’s mercy just where you are now. But if you want to learn more about the Christian message and how it applies to you, then get along to a Church where the Bible is faithfully preached. Come and hear what the word of God has to say to you.