10th July 2013
The superiority of Christianity as a worldview is so obvious demonstrable and real that the current Western contempt for it is irrational, weird and dangerous.
No other religion, or ideology has presented a worldview through which nations have been formed with such freedom order and humanity. Name a country with a majority of either Buddhists Hindus Moslems or atheists which has out of its own culture developed a stable, open, free, humane peaceful and economically progressive democracy? They don't exist. But where the Bible has been preached and its message believed by the population, civilisation is created.
So powerful the Bible message that indeed countries which since the Second World War have copied forms of governance from successful Western democracies have also advanced in these qualities.
The Bible's worldview is based in free moral personal relationship with the living God. From this comes wisdom about true relationship human may have with creation and the ability to grow in the nature and character of God. From this also has grown the social trust which has undergirded free democracies. Compassion and concern for neighbour, dignity and equality of all including the sick, disabled and offenders makes Bible shaped countries the desired of the world. Ninety percent of world migration flows to them. All the major research Indexes of country performance:
- The Human Development Index
- Corruption Perceptions Index
- Global Peace Index
- World giving Index
- Democracy Index
indicate that the countries most influenced and impacted by the Bible score best.
Such societies are characterised by an internalising of law and an understanding of the rule of law. This means freedom can be enjoyed without external coercion. Though imperfect, the more pervasive Biblical Christianity has been in a country, the greater the benefits it enjoys. This is the New Testament influencing the functioning parts of a nation.
As significant as the great individual social reformers and preachers of the Great Awakening were, the thousands of chapel and class meeting leaders bringing the teachings of Jesus to the masses week by week, some historians consider to be of chief effectiveness in ordering and humanising British and colonial societies.
What will nourish and sustain the drying roots of this rich legacy in Australia from which all the movements and actions for liberty-including our heroes and ANZACS have drawn or assumed their best direction? It is churches which faithfully and joyously persevere in giving the account of the Bible and offering the blessings of orthodoxy! Former deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe symbolised it when he said "the work of a Sunday School teacher is more important for the well being of this nation than that of a prime minister".
Those who feel the need to prepare well for Sunday teaching, who take care to publicly read the Scriptures, as well as to keep feeding personally on the written Word-these and such acts do more for the nourishment of the Christian worldview and a democratic society than anything else. The presence of Christian communities living the commands of God through Gospel grace are ultimately, the only spring of truth influencing the wider communities with the ideas and attitudes necessary for sustaining free and humane societies. You might be in a small rural or suburban church-build your little church up, follow the impulse to support actions aimed at winning people to Christ, even if simply a special Gospel celebration on Saturday night with testimonies and Gospel music. From this to ordinary daily Christian living to worrying your local member with your Christian worldview on contemporary matters is nation building first rank.
Footnote. For study groups wanting introduction to these ideas, try one of these: V Mangalwadi The Book that made your world; A Schmidt How Christianity changed the world; James Kennedy What if Jesus had never been born? ; Jonathon Hill What has Christianity ever done for us? Also check resources from The Centre for Christian history and experience, headed by Prof. Stuart Piggin at Macquarie University. All these provide interesting starters into this subject.