The Benefits of Christianity in Society

Why Serious Christians are an Asset

Gone are the days when society largely took for granted that the Christian Church was a necessary part of Western Culture. Long gone. This has become such a fact of life that the benefits of an organizational Christian presence in society should be re-examined. Studies of the behavior patterns of North Americans and Europeans in the early Twenty-first Century show that when making important decisions, most people think, not in terms of Christian values, but of personal fulfillment and well-being. This is a significant shift from much of the Twentieth Century, when a Christian decision-making grid was commonly accepted.

Believers may bemoan this trend as an abandonment of core Christian values, such as honoring God, obeying his will and serving others but, like it or not, it would appear that this trend will be around for the foreseeable future. So maybe Christianity ought to be evaluated from this new pragmatic perspective. What are the benefits of a significant Christian presence in society? Let me suggest a few of the positive outcomes of vibrant Christianity in a given community.

Better marriages. All things being equal, the presence of churches which teach biblical family values results in more couples staying together. I am not just referring to husbands and wives agreeing to remain married even though they have ceased have affection for one another. I am talking about couples who discover a deeper and more lasting love for one another because of their relationship to God. It is a known fact among Christian people that a commitment to one’s spouse, a willingness to work though issues and a dependence upon God to cause positive change in both lives has saved many thousands of marriages which otherwise would have ended in divorce court.

Better family life. Along with husbands and wives staying together, there are fewer problems raising children when families are involved in churches. “Parents: don’t exasperate your children, but bring them up in the teaching and discipline of the Lord”, is a hugely valuable principle at a time when families are breaking down in record numbers. Churches which teach the Bible by precept and example tend to have a higher percentage of intact and reasonably healthy families.

Lasting relationships. We are moving so fast in these times that it is difficult to form deep, long-term friendships. Again, churches who teach the Bible’s perspective on relationships tend to produce people who know how to befriend others and work through issues which could otherwise cause separation. Churches also provide venues for meeting people who desire these kinds of friendships. In Christian circles it is a rather routine thing to meet people who have remained friends over many years through some pretty difficult circumstances.

Personalized care. One of the best kept secrets in most communities is the fact that churches regularly provide free counseling, not only to their members, but often to virtually anyone who desires it. Many churches have pastors or staff members who are trained and gifted in the art of listening to people, helping them understand the dynamics behind their situation and offering sound, practical and biblical advice toward a solution. Obviously the more people who receive this care, the healthier a community becomes. This is especially refreshing when people are sometimes seen as figures on a spread sheet rather than as valuable persons.

Character building. While it is not the only voice in society encouraging people to become more than they are, the Christian church performs this role as well. Not only does it encourage people to dream large dreams and achieve great things, but it also builds character in ways that the other voices seem to be neglecting: that of correction. How many places can you go in Twenty-first Century Western Culture and have someone tell you the painful truth about yourself? I understand that this sort of thing seems out of fashion. I also know full-well how abused this type of thing can be, with churches sometimes working people over in the most trivial and narrow-minded of ways. But when a person truly is involved in things which are harmful to others and ultimately self-destructive, isn’t it a good thing that there are places where people can be lovingly confronted and helped to find a new path in life?

Finding God. When people get tired of the materialism and the seemingly endless chasing of personal fulfillment, many crave something more substantial. Christianity promises that if anyone desires to find God, he is willing to be found. In fact the truth is quite a bit better than that. God has made himself very accessible by becoming one of us, living as we live and doing what was necessary for us to have full and abundant relationship with our Creator. Of course I am speaking of Jesus Christ.

I am well aware that some people take this basic Christian assertion to be narrow and exclusive. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Other religions teach that people must attain some ultimate spiritual goal through hidden knowledge, austere self-denial, or the offering of something precious to win the deities’ favor. The Christian gospel is so simple and so attainable that some people have found it almost too good to be true. A person may be welcomed into relationship with God simply by putting their trust in Jesus. This means believing that he is who he claimed to be: the Son of God; accepting his self-sacrifice in payment for your wrongdoing and embracing his offer to join with you in making you new from the inside out.

The irony in this is that in putting faith in Jesus, a person actually finds the personal fulfillment which has eluded them for so long. Far from being narrow, faith in Jesus is something a small child can do. It is something a mentally disabled person can exercise. The basic message of Christianity is truly trans-cultural, finding those in every people group who resonate with its good news. It embraces both men and women. It reaches every strata of society. It changes lives when nothing else can.

All this and more come with an active Christian presence in society. Those who are concerned with the welfare of their communities would do well to make certain that churches are free to do what they do so well: benefit people and change lives for the better.

Michael Bogart

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Comments 8 comments

Tokogareo profile image

Tokogareo 6 years ago

hmmm interesting....

TJBaruch profile image

TJBaruch 6 years ago from Clearwater, FL

Yes, interesting. This is how it should work. Unfortunately, the Barna polls on Christian living indicate it is not how it works much of the time...evidence that the church in the US is weak.

But there is GOOD NEWS! For a testimony from Argentina and how God actually changed an entire prison system for the better, check out my hub on "A Prison Transformed..."

Peace to you and every blessing in Jesus.

mbogart 6 years ago

I agree that theory and practice don't always match. That's why I subtitled the article "Why serious Christians are an asset." My experience is that people who really "get it" about the gospel do make a difference. Thanks for your interest. I'll see if I can check out your article on the Argentine prison system. Blessings.

bob 6 years ago

i love it

Brian 5 years ago

When was this article submitted?

M. Bogart 5 years ago

Nearly two years ago.

Family Black profile image

Family Black 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Thanks for the post; you have made some very good points. As I read, my mind went to a video I saw on YouTube; a debate between the author of, “What’s So Great About Christianity”, Dinesh D’Souza, and a leading atheist. The debate was about Christianity, is it good for America or not good for America?

I think that many holding modern moral values evaluate Christianity as dying and in need of a proper funeral; a view also held by many that attend churches with declining membership. My point is that you cannot make the right judgment call about Christianity by looking at it from the outside, or from inside the walls of a dying church. My family and I made a move to a new city last fall and began to attend a vibrant church that proclaims and lives the truth as found in Scripture. Over the Easter weekend through outreach and church services there were 700 professions of faith, 100 following the Lord in Baptism on Easter morning. Wow, that will change your perspective!

Current morality washes many from the membership rolls and into the quagmire; it has always been that way. Paul experienced Christian defection and low morality as recorded in Galatians, Corinthians, and Colossians; by these examples we are encouraged and strengthened.

Dr. A. Lee Black

John Worcester 3 years ago

My experience is that this article is right in. What are some studies that show that serious Christians benefit society?

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