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Christian faith and human rights

 

 

Read how the Christian faith has improved human rights and conditions of people  

 

 

- (1 Cor 6:9) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived

 

- (2 Tim 2:19) 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

 

- (Matt 22:35-40) Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37. Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

- (Matt 7:12) Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

 

One of the views in the modern West is that renouncing God and Christian faith means the development of morality and culture. Value liberal people and people prone to a naturalistic worldview may think that the world will become substantially better as one gets rid of God. It leads to freedom, to civilization, to a fairer society, and to a space where reason is valued. At least that’s how many people who reject the Christian faith think.

    Many may also bring up wrongs committed in the name of Christianity and God without realizing that they are the result of apostasy from God or that the teachings of Jesus and the apostles have not been followed. They are not because the teachings of Jesus and the apostles have been followed, but because they have not been followed. This important difference is not understood by many critics of the Christian faith.

   But how is it? Has the Christian faith had a positive or negative impact on human rights and human dignity?

    We look at this in the light of a few examples, such as the status of women, literacy, the birth of the literary language, and the establishment of schools and hospitals. They show how the Christian faith has had a positive impact in many areas. Those countries where the Christian faith has played an important role are also the countries to which people most preferably move. In them, human rights and economic conditions have generally been better than elsewhere. 

                                                            

Has the Christian faith weakened or improved the position of women? First, it is good to pay attention to the status of women, as some have argued about the detrimental effect of Christianity on the status of women. They have attacked against the Christian faith, claiming that it is patriarchal and has weakened the position of women. This accusation has been made especially by members of the feminist movement and others who have adopted a similar mindset. These people think that the status of a woman depends on her acting in exactly the same way as a man (e.g., the female priesthood) and not on her being worthy of herself and especially through Christ. In this view, a woman’s value is measured only by her resemblance to a man and not by her identity as a woman alone.

   However, it is contradictory that the same members of the feminist movement who claim to represent women are strongly pushing for abortion, which is the rejection of true femininity. True femininity does not include killing a child in or outside the mother’s womb. Instead, the close relationship between mother and children and caring for children is healthy femininity. The current leaders of the feminist movement have forgotten about it.

   Another problem that has followed during the intense activity of the feminist movement is the increase in the number of single mothers. This, too, has become more common in the present generation, when Christian principles and the permanence of marriage have been abandoned. Many women are under a greater burden than they were before the era of the current feminist movement. It has not eased, but made their situation worse.

 

Actress and writer Eppu Nuotio and researcher Tommi Hoikkala discuss the confusion about the male-female relationship. Hoikkala wonders why is it that the nuclear family started to disintegrate when women got more rights. He believes that Finland will soon be faced with the same situation as Sweden is already facing: the most common family form is a single mother and her one child. Women wanted to be freed from the situation where they had no freedom of choice and ended up in a situation where they have no freedom of choice. (...) Many women become exhausted because of their household chores, studying and short-term employment. Hoikkala is of the opinion that these problems in relationships have been caused by the fact that men cannot bear women who are successful. As people’s tolerance becomes lower, their threshold in getting a divorce also lowers. Finland now has a culture of divorce. (1)

 

What about history and the status of women? Many attack against the Christian faith precisely because they claim it has weakened the position of women.

   However, this argument does not stand up to historical consideration. For, compared to women in Greek and Roman societies, the position of Christian women was considerably better.

   One example from the ancient world was the abandonment of baby girls. In the Roman Empire, it was common practice to engage in family planning by abandoning newborns. It was the fate of the girls in particular. As a result, the relation amount of men and women was distorted, and it is estimated that there were about one hundred and thirty men per hundred women in Roman society.

   However, the Christian faith changed the situation and improved the position of women in antiquity. When Christians forbade abortion and the killing of newborns, it affected the survival of girls. Girls were cared for just as much as boys. This made the relation amount of men and women more even.

Another example is child marriages and marriages arranged at a young age. In the antique society, it was commonplace to force girls to marry whilst still in their puberty or even before that. Greek Cassius Dio, who wrote the Roman history, stated that a girl is ready to marry as early as at 12 years old: “A girl wed before her 12th birthday becomes a legal partner on her 12th birthday.” Christian faith impacted in a way that allowed women to marry later and choose their own partner.

Our third example concerns female widows, whose situation was poor in the antique world (like in modern day India, where female widows have even been burned alive). They represented one of the most vulnerable and less fortunate groups, but Christianity improved their lives too. The community was compelled to take care of the widows as much as they were compelled to care for neglected children. This affected the spread of Christianity in the Roman empire. The Acts and Epistles, e.g., bring forth the state of widows (Acts 6:1, 1 Tim 5:3-16, James 1:27)

   Fourth, there is a teaching in the New Testament for husbands who are to love their wives, just as Christ loved the church. If here is anything negative towards women, contemporary feminists should tell us what is wrong with it. Isn’t a man’s love towards his wife exactly what every woman wants in a marriage?

 

- (Eph 5:25,28) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. 

 

Fifth, it must be borne in mind that the proportion of women among the followers of Jesus has always been great. This was the case during the first centuries and beyond. If the Christian faith had not brought about an improvement in their lives, why would that have happened? Why were they interested in this thing if they knew the Christian faith subjugated a woman? The fact is, it generally improved their lives. In addition, the fact is that women have played a large part in many Christian revival movements. A good example is e.g. Pentecostal revival and Salvation Army. Women have played an important role and have spread the gospel to areas where there are not enough men.

 

The professor of sociology and religious studies, Rodney Stark, has written a book about the growth and success of Christianity, and he also analyzed women’s significance on the spreading of Christianity. According to Stark, the status of Christian women was good ever since the early stages of Christianity. They enjoyed higher status and protection than, for example, their fellow Roman sisters, whose status in their part was significantly higher than that of Greek women. Abortions and the killing of newborn babies were also not allowed in the Christian communities – both were strictly prohibited. Consequently, Christianity was very popular among women, (Chadwick 1967; Brown, 1988) and it spread, especially through posh women to their husbands.(2)

 

Besides, it is futile to deny, what even the heathen opponents of Christianity openly admit: that this new religion attracted unusual amounts of women and that many women got such comfort from the teachings of the congregation that the old religions were not able to provide. As I have mentioned, Kelsos thought of the vast proportion of women among Christians as evidence for the irrationality and vulgar nature of Christianity. Julianus criticized the men of Antiokia in his scripture Misopogon for letting their wives waste their possessions on “Galileans” and the poor, which unfortunately resulted in Christian “atheisms” gaining public admiration. And so on. Evidence concerning early Christianity does not directly leave room for doubts of it being a religion, which heavily attracted women and it would have not spread nearly as widely and not as fast if it did not have as many women. (3)

 

What about the female priesthood and the negative attitude towards it? Many Christians understand from the Bible that this matter belongs only to men (1 Tim. 3: 1-7; Titus 1: 5-9). It is not a question of women being considered inferior but of men and women having different roles. It is also important to note how Jesus worked. Usually people think of Jesus as good, and he really was good. He had male and female followers alike. However, an important finding is that Jesus chose only men as apostles (Matt. 10: 1-4), not women. Jesus did not follow the model of modern feminists here, although he certainly loved all people, regardless of gender.

   So why pay attention to the pattern set by Jesus? The main reason is that Jesus was not only human being but God with the capital G. He was the God who created all things and who came from heaven (John 1: 1-3,14). Jesus himself said: "And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins." (John 8:23,24).

   So if Jesus is the God who set the pattern for the first apostles, we should not ignore this matter with a shrug and claim that it has no meaning. Those who speak of inequality in this matter today seem to reject also the other teachings that Jesus brought forth. Many of them do not believe in hell or any other Bible basics that Jesus taught. They claim them to be false and think they are wiser than Jesus. Isn’t this a arrogant attitude? One can ask such a person why you are a member of a ward or church if you don’t even believe the basics Jesus taught? Such people are bread priests and similar "blind guideers to the blind" what there was in the time of Jesus.

   On the other hand, if you are the kind of person who disagrees on this matter, do not reject eternal life because of it! God is calling you to His eternal kingdom, so don’t reject this call because of such a thing!

  

The state of children.

 

Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion, nor again shalt thou kill it when it is born (Epistle of Barnabas, 19, 5)

 

You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born (Tertullian, Apologeticum,9,8:PL 1, 371-372)

 

Secondly, Christianity improved the human rights of children. Above, we expressed how the negligence of unwanted newborn babies was a common practice in the antique society. It was commonplace in all social classes, and the general practice was to let the father of the family decide during the first week of the newborn’s life whether he or she would be allowed to live. If the child was a girl, disabled, or unwanted, he or she was often neglected. Some abandoned children were sometimes later brought up to be prostitutes, slaves, or beggars, which showcases their vulnerable position.

Christianity improved the state of children. As a result, people began to abandon their habit of negligence, and children became viewed as people with complete humanity and complete human rights. Abandoned children were collected from the streets and were given a new opportunity in life. Eventually, legislation was changed as well: in 374, during the time of emperor Valentinian, negligence of children became a crime. 

 

Slavery. When the Christian faith improved the position of women and children, it also improved the position of slaves and ultimately contributed to the disappearance of this institution. In the Roman Empire, slavery was widespread and also in the Greek city-states, 15-30 per cent of the members of society were slaves without civil rights, but the Christian faith brought a change in the situation. Many today criticize the Middle Ages naming it Dark Ages, but it was during that time that slavery disappeared from Europe, with the exception of a few peripheral regions.  

   What about the slavery of the new age? In modern times, there is reverent talk of a time of the Enlightenment, but when slavery began again, this institution was at its greatest just during the Enlightenment. It was a dark era for several groups of people. However, representatives of revival Christianity, such as Quakers and Methodists, contributed to the banning of slavery in England and other countries. It improved human rights:

 

Slavery continued to exist and became more widespread throughout the whole Age of Enlightenment during the four last decades of the 18th century. Only at the very end of the century first bills were made to abolish slavery in major colonies. An abolitionist movement began in England, which was put in motion by two Christian sects, Quakers and Methodists. According to their declarations and verdicts slavery was deemed particularly a sin rather than some sort of human rights violation. (4)

 

Democracy and the stability of society

 

- (1 Tim 2:1,2) I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

 

The first letter to Timothy urges us to pray for authorities so that it  leads to a peaceful life. It is better than that there is disorder in society, unlimited dictatorship, or constant rebellion against rulers. It is better for economic and other developments that leaders strive for good.

   Some scholars have stated that it is Christian missionary work that has played a positive role in the development of democracy and the stability of society. This has been seen in African and Asian countries. Where there has been active missionary work, the situation today is better than in areas where the impact of missionaries has been less or non-existent. It comes to the fore in matters such as the fact that the economy in the mission areas is more developed today, the health situation is relatively better, child mortality is lower, corruption is lower, literacy is more common and access to education is easier than in other areas. In Europe and North America, the same development has taken place in the past, and the Christian faith has certainly had an impact in that as well. The Christian faith has had a positive impact on the status and human rights of the people.

 

Scientist: Missionary work set off democracy

 

According to Robert Woodberry, the assistant professor at Texas University, the impact of Protestants’ missionary work in the 1800s and in the beginning of 1900s on the development of democracy has been more significant than originally thought. Rather than having a minor role in the development of democracy, missionaries had a substantial part in it in many African and Asian countries. Christianity Today magazine tells about Asia.

Robert Woodberry has studied the relationship between missionary work and the factors affecting democracy almost for 15 years. According to him, there where Protestant missionaries have had a central influence. There the economy is nowadays more developed and the health situation is relatively much better than in the areas, where missionaries’ influence has been smaller or nonexistent. In the areas with prevalent missionary history, child mortality rate is currently lower, there is less corruption, literacy is more common and getting into education is easier, especially for women…

According to Robert Woodberry, namely the Protestant Evangelists had a positive influence. However, the clergy hired by the government or Catholic missionaries, before the 1960s, did not have the same influence.

Protestant missionaries were free of the control of the government. “One central stereotype in missionary work is that it relates to colonialism. - - However, Protestant workers, who were not funded by the government, reacted always critically to colonialism”, says Woodberry to Christianity Today.

The long-term work of Woodberry has received praise. Among others, research professor Philip Jenkins of Baylor University has noted the following about Woodberry’s research: “I really tried to find gaps, but the theory holds. It has great influence on the worldwide research on Christianity.” According to Christianity Today magazine over ten studies have reinforced Woodberry’s findings. (5)

 

Crime and its amount

 

- (Matt 22:35-40) Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37. Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

- (Luke 18:20,21) You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother.

21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

 

- (Rom 13:8,9) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.

9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

 

The level of crime has an impact on human rights. The less there is crime, the more likely a society is stable and no injustices is done to others.

   What is the impact of the Christian faith on crime? If it is genuine, it should contribute to positive change in the person and reduce injustice to others. Many complain about the evils of societies, but the gospel and the call to repentance (cf. Jesus' words, Luke 13: 3: “… but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.) is a positive force for change. In addition, following the greatest commandment on loving one's neighbor, accompanied by other commandments, will reduce crime. Where a neighbor is loved and valued, there is no wrong  doing towards him. Proper treatment of a neighbor is the basis for reducing crime.

   So if a person becomes touched by God, it should bring about a positive change in him. Gloomy and bitter individuals can become more positive, the addict is able to stop their drug use and theft. A gambler gains interest other than games, or a terrorist can stop terrorist activity. They are changes that can have a positive impact on the lives of themselves and others.

   A small example shows how God can change the lives of many. The example shows how large numbers of people have changed internally. The description is from the 19th century and from Charles G. Finney's book Ihmeellisiä herätyksiä.

 

I have told that the moral situation changed greatly through this revival. The city was new, economically prosperous and enterprising but full of sin. The population was especially intelligent and ambitious but as the revival swept through the city by bringing large crowds of its most remarkable people, men and women, to conversion, there happened a very miraculous change concerning the order, peacefulness and morality.

   I had a talk with a lawyer many years later. He had been converted in this revival and was a general prosecutor in criminal cases. Because of this office, the criminal statistics were thoroughly familiar to him. He said about the time of this revival, “I have examined documents of criminal law and noticed a surprising fact: while our city has grown three times larger after the times of the revival, there has not been even a third of the indictments than there were before. So miraculous an effect did the revival have on our society.”(…)

   (...) Both public and personal opposition gradually abated. In Rochester I did not know anything about it. The salvation had its own great visitation, the revivals were so powerful and moved so widely, and people had time to become acquainted both with themselves and the results of them to such an extent that they feared to oppose them as before. The priests also understood them better, and the wicked were convinced that they were acts of God. This idea of them became almost common, so clear was the sane nature of the conversions, so really transformed, “new creations”, were the converts, so thorough a change occurred both in individuals and in the society, and so permanent and undeniable were the fruit.

 

What about the mistakes of the church? Many atheists may argue that the Christian faith don't bring about positive change, and they may point to thousands of injustices done in the name of God, over the centuries. On that basis, they are sure that there is no God. They say, "Isn't it absurd to believe in God when so much injustice has been done in His name?"

    However, these people do not take into account

 

• that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God: Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived… (1 Cor 6:9)

• that Jesus refuses to confess wrongdoers: And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. (Matt 7:23)

• that Jesus, John the Baptist, and the apostles proclaimed repentance. Jesus also said that ”but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

• that Jesus warned against grabbing the sword and exhorting to love enemies (Matt. 26:52, 5: 43,44).

• Many also ignore Paul’s words in which he warned of the cruel wolves that would come after his departure. These words of Paul show well the development of history. They describe the centuries and injustices done in the name of God that have taken place. It is impossible to deny that Paul was not right. In addition, Paul showed that deeds can testify against man. He could also himself say to others: ”Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.”, Phil 3:17.

 

- (Acts 20:29-31) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

 

- (Tit 1:16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. 

 

Education and literacy are not directly related to human rights, but countries in which it is easy to access to education and literacy have usually also made progress in human rights.

    So how does the Christian faith relate to the subject? Many have a blind spot here. They do not know that much of the written languages in Europe and other countries - as well as many schools and universities - were born out of the influence of the Christian faith. For example, here in Finland, Mikael Agricola, the Reformer of Finland and the father of literature, printed the first ABC book as well as the New Testament and parts of other books of the Bible. The people learned to read through them. In many other nations in the Western world, development has taken place through a similar process:

 

Christianity created the Western sophistication. If the followers of Jesus would have stayed as a faint Jewish sect, many of you would have never learned how to read and the rest would have read from hand copied scrolls. Without theology coined with progression and moral equality, the whole world would currently be at a state, where non-European societies were roughly in the 1800s: A world with countless astrologists and alchemists, but without scientists. A despotic world without universities, banks, factories, spectacles, chimneys and pianos. A world, where most children die before the age of five and where many women would die of childbirth – a world that would truly live in the “Dark Ages”. A modern world only arose from Christian societies. Not in the Islamic realm. Not in Asia. Not in a ”secular” society – as such a thing did not exists. (6)

 

Nor are hospitals directly related to human rights, but they improve people’s status and well-being. In this area, the Christian faith has played a major role, as many hospitals (including the Red Cross) were born out of its influence. God-given love of neighbor and a desire to help people are in the backround of most hospitals:

 

During the Middle Ages the people, who belonge to the Order of Saint Benedict, maintained over two thousand hospitals in the Western Europe alone. The 12th century was remarkably signigicant in this respect, especially there, where the Order of Saint John operated. For example, the large Hospital of the Holy Ghost was founded in 1145 at Montpellier, which quickly became the center of medical education and the medical centerl of Montpellier during the year 1221. In addition to medical care, these hospitals provided food for the hungry and took care of widows and orphans, and gave out alms to those who needed them.  (7)

 

Even though the Christian church has been criticized a lot throughout its history, it has still been the forerunner in medical care for the poor, helping captives, homeless or the dying ones and improving working environments. In India the best hospitals and educational institutions connected to it are the result of Christian missionary work, even to that extent that many Hindus use these hospitals more than the hospitals maintained by the government, because they know that they are going to receive better care over there. It is estimated that when the Second World War began, 90% of nurses in India were Christians, and that 80% of them received their education from missionary hospitals. (8)

 

A few examples from Africa show the significance of the Christian faith. Many criticize missionary work, but it has brought great change and stability to African societies. As a result, the economy has also started to grow and people's living standards have risen.

   The first of the comments is by Nelson Mandela. The latter has been written by Matthew Parris, a well-known British politician, author and journalist in The Times, entitled “As an Atheist, I really believe Africa needs God,” and under the subheading, “Missionaries, not grants, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem - people’s crushing passive mindset.”

   Parris had come to this conclusion after living as a child in various African countries and after doing an extensive journey across the continent. He himself is an atheist, but noted that missionary work has positive effects. Mere social work or the sharing of technical knowledge is unlikely to succeed, but will leave the continent to a malicious combination of Nike, a witch doctor, a cell phone, and a jungle knife.

  

In church the affairs of this life were as much taken care of as were the affairs of the future life; it seemed that everything that the Africans accomplished, originated from the missionary work of the church. (Nelson Mandela omaelämäkerrassaan Pitkä tie vapauteen [Nelson Mandela in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom])

 

Matthew Parris: It inspired me to renew my died down faith in charity for developing countries. Walking around in Malawi also reinforced another opinion, that kind of opinion that I have tried to get rid of my whole life, but it is an observation that I have not been able to avoid since my time growing up in Africa. It confuses my ideological opinions, tenaciously denies agreeing with my world view and has led my growing faith in God’s nonexistence into confusion.

   Now as a stained atheist I am convinced of the immense impact that the spreading of Christian gospel achieves in Africa – completely standing out from secular national organizations, government projects and national aid. These alone are not enough. Education and teaching on their own is not enough. Christianity changes people’s hearts in Africa. It brings a spiritual change. Rebirth is real. Change is good.

…I would say that it’s a shame that salvation is part of the package, but white Christians as well as black Christians working in Africa take care of the sick ones, teach people how to read and write; and only the strongest of the secular kind people could look at a missionary hospital or a school and say that the world would be better without it… Removing the spreading of Christian gospel from the Africa-equation would leave the continent at the mercy of a malevolent combination of Nike, a witch doctor, a cell phone and a jungle knife. (9)

  

Health and wellbeing

 

- 1 (John 3:11) For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

 

- (1 Peter 2:17) 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

 

Health and well-being are issues that are near to human rights. Especially mental well-being depends very much on other people, that is, how we react to the behavior of others towards ourselves. In general, if a child has a supportive growth environment, friends and loving parents, he or she will most likely grow into an adult who accepts himself or herself and others. His/Her soul and mind are well because he or she has been valued and loved. The same is true, of course, for adults. They too are well when they are accepted and valued.

   What is the impact of the Christian faith on mental health? In this area, we have been given clear instructions; we should love our neighbors and respect everyone, such as e.g. the previous verses show. It has a good basis for mental health and also for human rights.

   However, human well-being also depends on physical, not just mental, factors. If he lacks food, if he is in poor health, or does not receive treatment when he is ill, this reduces well-being. These things often do not happen in societies that do not respect the human rights of others.

   What is the Bible’s guidance when it comes to people in difficult life situations? There is a wealth of teaching and verses on this subject on the New Testament side. They appear in the teaching of both Jesus and the apostles. They urgue us to help for people who are poor, sick or in trouble. The only problem is that we are slow to implement them. Our faith is not always practical enough so that it extends to our neighbors:

 

- (Mark 14:7) 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always.

 

- (1 John 3:17,18) But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

 

- (James 2:15-17) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

- (Tit 3:14) 14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

 

However, some have followed the previous Bible teachings. As a result, many Christian charitable organizations have sprung up. For example, the Red Cross was born when a warm-hearted Christian, Henri Dunant, saw the plight of the wounded on the battlefield and began devising ways to alleviate it. Florence Nightingale, a pious Christian who reformed both military and general medical care, also operated in the same area. Also known are William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, and Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children. The latter organization originated when Jebb worked for starving Central European children after the First World War.

   One example of the practicality of faith is John Wesley, who was a well-known preacher and father of the Methodist movement in the 18th century. Under his influence, England was able to experience real social renewal with significant political, social, and economic improvements. They reduced the injustice and poverty of society, raising the living standards of thousands of people. Historian J. Wesley Bready has even estimated that the Wesley Brothers Reform Movement prevented England from drifting into a similar revolution and violence that took place in France:

 

Wesley's message emphasized the comprehensivity of the gospel. It was not enough for the human soul to be saved, but also the mind, body, and human habitat had to change.

   Thanks to Wesley’s view, his work in Britain was much more than evangelism. He opened a pharmacy, a bookstore, a free school, a shelter for widows, and rose up to oppose slavery long before William Wilberforce, the best-known opponent of slavery, was born. Wesley promoted civil and religious freedom and aroused people to see how brutally the poor were deprived. He set up spinning and handicraft workshops and also studied medicine himself to help the needy.

   Wesley’s efforts led to improved workers ’rights as well as the development of safety regulations in the workplaces. Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George said that for more than a hundred years, the Methodists were the main leaders of the trade union movement.

   … Robert Raikes came up with the idea of ​​starting Sunday Schools because he wanted to give the children of the workers the opportunity to go to school. Others affected by Wesley’s revival reformed orphanages, mental hospitals, hospitals, and prisons. Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry, for example, became known for the development and modernization of medical care and the prison system. (10) 

 

 

 

References:

 

1. Pirjo Alajoki: Naiseus vedenjakajalla, p. 21,22

2. Mia Puolimatka: Minkä arvoinen on ihminen?, p. 130

3. David Bentley Hart: Ateismin harhat (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies), p. 224,225

4. Pekka Isaksson & Jouko Jokisalo: Kallonmittaajia ja skinejä, p. 77

5. Matti Korhonen, Uusi tie 6.2.2014, p. 5

6. Rodney Stark: The victory of reason. How Christianity led to freedom, capitalism and Western Success. New York, Random House (2005), p. 233

7. David Bentley Hart: Ateismin harhat (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies), p. 65

8. Lennart Saari: Haavoittunut planeetta, p. 104

9. Parris, M., As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God, The Times Online,

www.timesonline.co.uk, 27 December 2008

10. Loren Cunningham / Janice Rogers: Kirja joka muuttaa kansat (The Book that Transforms Nations), p. 41

  

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Gender-neutral marriage and children, ie how children's human rights are trampled on when they are denied the right to their biological parents - using as a reason human rights and equality of adults

 

Read how  people defend injustice, one's own selfish lifestyle and increase children's suffering in the name of equality and human rights

 

Learn how abandoning the Christian faith leads to a loss of dignity. It is a return to time before the birth of the Christian faith
 

Many reject the Christian faith in society, but other options are worse in both moral and economic terms

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Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

 

 

  

 

Grap to eternal life!

 

More on this topic:

Read how the Bible and the Christian faith have affected literacy, health care, and other positive ways. Many are blind to this fact

About Abortion. Learn why abortion is wrong and a murder. It is not about a woman’s right to decide on her body but about killing a child in the womb

Gender-neutral marriage and children, ie how children's human rights are trampled on when they are denied the right to their biological parents - using as a reason human rights and equality of adults

 

Read how  people defend injustice, one's own selfish lifestyle and increase children's suffering in the name of equality and human rights

 

Learn how abandoning the Christian faith leads to a loss of dignity. It is a return to time before the birth of the Christian faith
 

Many reject the Christian faith in society, but other options are worse in both moral and economic terms

The Ten Commandments under analysis. The Ten Commandments are a good foundation for conduct. By following them, crime and most of the problems will remove from society