What says Valentine’s Day better than a box of conversation hearts? I have happy childhood memories of opening my sack lunch and finding a box of candy with sayings such as “BE COOL,” “TRUE LOVE,” and of course, “I ♥ YOU.” My friends and I would share giggles over “MARRY ME” and “FIRST KISS,” and assumed that “PUPPY LOVE” affirmed our affinity for young dogs.
(I was going to post something about microenterprise, but I wanted to get this up while it was still timely. You’ll have to wait a few weeks for the microenterprise post.)
Here we go again. Christmas is coming. And in the spirit of the season, Christians are getting angry.
- We’re angry when someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
- We’re angry that our kids are on winter break instead of Christmas vacation.
- We’re angry that Starbucks has plain red cups.
Seriously? Do we have nothing better on which to spend our time and energy?
(This is the second half of my answer to the question, “What good has the church ever done for the world?” I posted part one last week.)
One way to see how Christianity has affected our world is to compare areas that have historically been Christian to areas where the church is largely absent.
Probably the clearest understanding of the difference the church has made, and is still making, in the world comes from a short article written in 1990 by missiologist Luis Bush. He describes a concept called the “10/40 Window”—a square box drawn on a map of the eastern hemisphere between 10 degrees and 40 degrees north. In that part of the world you will find the spiritual center of the major non-Christian religions (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) and the least access to Christian resources.
Of course, we’re talking about a generalization. There are glaring exceptions, such as the inclusion of Korea, a predominantly Christian country with a high standard of living, and the exclusion of Indonesia with its huge Muslim population.
“What good has this “my way or the highway to hell” religion ever done for the world?” —TheFriendlyAtheist
It hurts to come across statements like the one above (I found it in the comments section of an article I was reading). Christianity has done a world of good in the last two thousand years. The sad thing is that few people are aware of our legacy. This is largely the church’s fault. True, we don’t want to boast, but a bit of PR might make a big difference. Besides, these aren’t our accomplishments—they are God’s blessings. Shouldn’t we tell everyone what God has done?
Here is my answer to TheFriendlyAtheist: