GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
IS CHRISTIANITY IRRELEVANT?
By Keith L. Estes
Many people today accept a number of myths about Christianity, with the result that they never respond to Jesus as He really is. This is one of the articles that speak to some of those misconceptions.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to live with an eye toward the "cloud of witnesses" who watch us from heaven and to look to Jesus who sits at God's right hand. Perhaps it is images such as these that cause some people to see Christianity as detached from the world. They prefer a worldview that seems more relevant to everyday life.
But the Christian worldview is very relevant. To be sure, Christians look to realities that lie beyond our natural universe. But we do so in order to gain perspective on life, to find a star by which to steer. A belief in the living God changes our outlook dramatically. We can see His hand in history. We can gain insight into His purposes for the world. As a result, we can find tremendous meaning and motivation for our lives and our day-to-day work.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of being absorbed with the person of Christ is that we no longer insulate ourselves from people for whom He cares. Human beings really matter. We take people seriously. As a result, we get involved with them for their welfare.
This means that we have a definite mandate for Christian social involvement. Wherever the tide of faith sweeps in, it brings a corresponding rise in social concern and service to the community. In England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a dedicated Christian named William Wilberforce led a lifelong struggle to abolish slavery, a fight he eventually won. Nearly all of the later social reforms of that era were brought about, not by the agnostic followers of John Stuart Mill, but by people who responded to the great Christian revivals of the day. The Great Reform Bill was passed largely through the influence of Christian parliamentarians. The Mines Act, forbidding the forced labor of Women and children in the mines, and the Factories Act, limiting hours of work, were masterminded by the Earl of Shaftesbury. A believer named Dr. Barnardo founded homes for orphans. A Christian woman named Elizabeth Fry brought about prison reform. Another believer, Josephine Butler, lobbied Parliament to protect women and outlaw child prostitution.
There may be some Christians who are, as they say, "so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good." But believers who cultivate a Christ-like mind and heart cannot help but get involved with the world around them. Just as Christ came into the world to do the will of His Father, so His servants go into the world to accomplish the Father's work.
References: Heb. 12:1-2 The Holy Bible, Ten Myths About Christianity by Michael Green and Gordon Carkner, Lion Publishing. Batavia, Ill. 60510
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