Being thankful for what Christianity has brought to our societies

I’m doing a course in biblical interpretation at the IBI and this came up during it.  I thought I’d post it here for others to see also.  All comments are welcome.

First this from a bible school textbook:

  • “We are under the new covenant and not under the old covenant thus we are not under the law as the terms of the covenant.
  • Also we are not Israelites preparing to live in the Promised Land with God dwelling in the tabernacle or temple; we are Christians with God living within each of us.
  • We do not approach God through the sacrifice of animals; we approach God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” (Extract from “Grasping God’s Word” by Duvall & Hays Chap. 19).

We have access to the results of generations of the Lord’s people operating in the abundance of His grace that has been given to us as a result of the death of Christ.  Their (and our) faith in Him has resulted in many blessings being released into the world.

As a result of the prayers of the saints and the gracious action of God in our societies here in the West (and elsewhere) we experience innumerable blessings:

  • good governmental systems;
  • justice systems based on a good moral basis[1];
  • freedom from slavery;
  • law enforcement;
  • business in an environment of trust[2];
  • access to hospitals, nursing, doctors;
  • education
  • a legacy of Christian inspired classical music, literature, art, etc. for nearly everyone in our societies if they want it.

Resulting from the Christian understanding of a rational God we have

  • technologies that our ancestors couldn’t even have conceived of impacting the military, medical, communications, computing, transport and other areas.
  • We enjoy a lifestyle of luxury arising from free trade and corporate business cooperation that even their kings in their wildest imaginations had no idea could be had;
  • We enjoy the exotic produce of the land and sea from all over the world delivered to our door if we want it[3]

our material comforts are in another league to theirs.

Our understanding of the world and its astonishing variety and our exposure to knowledge about it and the universe through personal travel, education and TV, means that – if we had eyes to see it – we have been exposed to many of the miracles of God.

Here in the west we know little or nothing about persecution to the point of death.

That is not to say that every advance in Western society is directly attributable to Christians but I believe they are directly attributable to a Christian worldview – or on a more fundamental level – to God.  He is working through the revelation of His truth in the Scriptures to provide the basis for everyone’s thinking in Christian societies.  You only have to learn about the development of a society where some other basis is at work (e.g. animism, Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism) to see the difference. Not that many of those have been left untouched by the Christian worldview since the 19th century.

[1] At least originally – nowadays they are inclined to move to precedence but there is still an underlying Christian basis to the constitutions of the world’s major democracies which in turn determines the principles of justice used (e.g. innocent until proven guilty).

[2] That mightn’t seem to be the case but you only have to experience the difference between operating in a society where there is much less or no trust to see how important this is and how much we take it for granted.  Transparency International clearly show the relationship between trust (i.e. lack of corruption) in society and its prosperity.

[3] Tesco deliver to your door for just €5 more in nearly every part of Ireland.

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