Recently, I reflected on the question, “What has Christianity done for the world?”
The following came to my mind:
- Christians in the Roman Empire caring and protecting disabled persons and abandoned babies regardless of their beliefs. They did so even though they were persecuted and hated by the society and authorities.
- Martyrs like Polycarp (AD 69-155) who died for his faith thereby causing the followers of Jesus to increase. Polycarp had been the bishop of Smyrna. Before he had been burnt alive, he was told to recant his faith so as to escape death. His response, “86 years have I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”
- St. Augustine (AD 354-430), a Latin Father of the Church and arguably the most influential Christian thinker after St. Paul. Augustine wept when he was initially appointed as a Presbyter in the City of Hippo because he knew that serving as one will entail a very heavy cost. And yet, wielding his powerful rhetorical skills to tremendous effect, he fiercely served the God he loved. He produced writings that indelibly changed the Church and the world.
- William Wilberforce (1759-1833) in championing the abolition of slavery in the British Parliament, so that lives can be saved, families kept together and the dignity of all races may be preserved. Wilberforce struggled for many years to enact legislation to abolish slavery. Finally, on 26 July 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act was passed by the House of Commons and became law the following month. Then, Wilberforce was called home to be with the Lord three days later. A faithful servant had found his heavenly rest.
- Missionaries like William Carey (1761-1834), who sacrificed much to carry out the Great Commission to the ends of the earth. Carey was known as the “Father of Modern Protestant Missions”. He served in India and had spent 41 years there. Although his work resulted in about 700 converts only, he had made significant progress in the areas of Bible translations, education, and social reform.
- Christians setting up homes, orphanages, hospitals and other facilities where human suffering can be alleviated and love shown.
- Ordinary Christians like you and me, sharing the gospel and showing acts of kindness and love to those they meet.
At the start of my reflection, I asked myself the question, “What has Christianity done for the world?”
However, the more important question should be, “What will I do for Jesus so as to make a difference in this world?”
Do you agree?