What Have Christians Ever Done for Us?
So, I figured I have had a plethora of posts that mention how bad we Christians can be, and it is about time I actually talk good about Christianity for once! I’ve grown up in church, and I have seen it all. Most of the time here on my blog I have talked about everything we do wrong which makes me seem, I suppose, like I hate Christians. There are many “Christians” out there that, if we were honest, that make us think we would never want to be a Christian if it meant being like them, but what about the Christians who actually do exemplify the edicts, if you will, of Christianity?
So, what have we Christians done right? We can go off into so many tangents with this question, but I will try and limit it to just a few topics.
First, let’s talk about the church as a whole. Not the church “organizations” like Catholicism or the different denominations of mainstream Christianity because we all know that could use some work, but just the idea of “the church” as a body, a congregation, a community, a group of people, the different groups that assemble in different buildings all across the world.
For this post, I am going to ignore all of the negative things we can all think of about people and groups of the Christian faith and only focus on what “we” have done right.
The church as a whole has done a lot of good. The church is the only organization other than maybe the salvation army or the such that helps men, women, and children of all races, creeds, religions, orientation, and mental health by the scores, even the scores of scores. The church is the biggest helper of those that need help. As far as my ignorant self goes (at least in researching these facts…so…don't quote me on this) the Christian “church” is the largest religious group that is involved in helping other humans maintain a decent lifestyle, or achieve a better lifestyle. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
The church ministers to the needy in every country of the world (again, I haven’t researched if it is EXACTLY every country, but I’m willing to bet it is). The church preaches love and life in every country, as well. Now, ignoring the “church” that preaches hate and death, pretty much every missionary that I know has one goal in mind. The eventual salvation of the lost. Usually, if not all of the time this is accomplished through helping their communities in some way, which opens the door to preaching the saving grace and love of Jesus Christ to the lost and unbelieving world.
Now, we do minister to people’s physical needs in order to reach the spiritual needs, but that is not the only reason we minister to the physical. We minister to needs because it is the compassionate and loving thing to do. True, it helps us to reach the soul…but…you know…nobody cares what you know until they know how much you care, right.
So, basically, in short, the church has done a phenomenal job of reaching the physical needs of our fellow human beings whether or not we ever see the soul saved.
Okay, so enough about what the “church as a whole” has done, what about individual Christians? Well, this one is a lot harder to pin down as there are so many things we could discuss about individuals. I’m going to ignore the obvious Christians recorded in the scriptures and jump right into the more modern-day believers.
Some historical figures we might know…
Jim Eliot and fellow missionaries who were killed attempting to preach the good news to an unreached people group. The wives of the murdered men soon, themselves, went to the same people that brutally killed their husbands, preaching the love of Christ to those who murdered the loves of their lives! Now this is crazy love!
Martin Luther King Jr. who preached loving those that hate you…even segregate you. Not to retaliate with hate when someone reacted toward them with hate. Instead, he taught that love can change the world. He advocated for PEACEFUL protests and PEACEFUL…well…everything, even after being treated brutally by those who chose to hate. By persevering through the battle with love instead of hate we have a much better nation for minority groups. He was (as far as my ignorant self knows) one of the only civil rights activists who insisted on NEVER retaliating with hate. A truly great man not worthy of this world!
Then there is Chiune Sugihara. Long story…shorter…. He was alive during Hitler’s reign and the Nazi invasion of Poland. He worked at the Japanese embassy and kept requesting visas for the Jewish refugees. His government denied every time. Eventually, he told his wife that he will be disobeying his government because if he didn’t it would mean disobeying God. He had to follow his conscience. He then started handwriting exit visas. Within just a few months he wrote about 10,000. He was ordered to abandon the embassy, and when he was getting on the train to leave, he voiced that he was sorry and he had done everything that he could. Of course, those Jews there replied that they would never forget him. When he was on the train, he began signing blank pieces of paper and throwing them out the window for the refuges to fill out their own exit visas. As a result, in short, he lived the rest of his life poor.
These are just a few of millions of examples from history that we can see how individual Christians have done “the right” thing. They followed what they knew to be what God wanted. Some Christians never even preach Jesus, they just show His love.
Let’s jump to pretty much nowadays. In a world where Christians preach against sin so hatefully (and very lovingly) and the world sees us as the villains spouting hate, there are a few groups who have loved those who hate them…who knows…maybe we will see a culture shift because of them.
One such group (I don’t remember who they are…and frankly…again…I’m too lazy to look it up) decided to stand along the sidewalk or the such during the recent gay pride march and picket with signs that said that they were sorry how they (Christians) have treated them. I can only hope that that small act of love can lead to a clearer understanding that even though there is disagreement as to lifestyle, disagreement doesn’t automatically equate to hate! We shall see, I suppose.
Then there’s those who go to the “dark” places as a lot of Christians call them and just pray with people. Never confronting any sin or behavior, merely praying for blessing, favor, etc. Never once commenting on sin or even preaching Jesus. Just loving.
I could go on with example after example of Christian after Christian simply showing an act of kindness to random strangers, or showing love to a so-called “enemy.”
I could talk about Christians just “being there” for non-believers and believers alike who just needed someone to listen and hug.
This is what the Christian church has done well. We do show love, and we do minister to the needs well. Sure, we could always do better, but it is sad to say that no matter how much love we show, we will always be viewed as the villains by many.
We do a lot of things wrong, but we do a lot of things right, too. Those of us who "be Christian properly" spread love and hope, not death and condemnation. That is what the Christians do for people.
I hope this post wasn’t too long of a read.