In light of how Christianity is so often portrayed in such a negative light: Consider The Uplifting Effects of Scripture
The teachings of the Bible, when taught with their proper intent, produce these following results:
Christianity tends to heighten education in a society, for those of all classes. For example, the numerous outposts of the Spanish missionaries in the US sought to elevate and educate man. Throughout its history the Biblical faith encourages both a moral and intellectual development of children which is rooted in the principles of the Old Testament Israelites. Education of the masses, of all citizens, is a fruit which has grown on the tree of Christianity. Wherever the Bible is loved and obeyed, there the common people generally receive the blessing of education for children and youth. Missionary efforts in foreign lands typically involve education in all subjects.
Biblical Christianity also elevates the status of women. Among nearly all of the ancient peoples the position of women was degraded, except among the Children of Israel. Where Christianity prevails in a society, woman is placed on an equal status with the man. The principles of Christian marriage are also protective of women and children, causing men to become better husbands and fathers when applied faithfully to daily life. Husbands are commanded to love their wives with the same self-sacrificing love as Christ has shown His church.
Christianity seeks to foster a person’s potential and provide for a healthy environment for business, commerce and friendly relations among humanity. Nations with Christianity at the core of their societal development tend to rank among the most generous toward other impoverished nations. Christianity strives for human liberty, and when its principles are followed has brought an end to slavery. Even among those who do own slaves it encourages a fair and kind treatment, and a genuine concern for the welfare of those in their service, treating them as equals (Philemon).
Christianity encourages and honors labor, even manual labor, as seen in the various earthly vocations of those God would use as His spokesmen: shepherds, fishermen, farmers, and even that of a carpenter’s son.
Biblical concepts have advanced the studies of literature, art and science. Much of what the world recognizes as the best in music, painting and sculpture have come through the influence and structure of the Christian Church. Christianity seeks to bring order and structure, and strives for a high ascetic level in the arts.
Jesus taught, “I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven.” The Bible fosters purity, honesty, fairness, generosity, peace, patience and many other virtues among men. At its core Christianity addresses the root cause of man’s problems (sin) and provides eternal salvation by the work of Christ. The process of a man’s regeneration by the Holy Spirit imparts moral strength and a dramatic improvement of character. This moral change is frequently seen among those who have been converted while incarcerated, or during various types of rehabilitation. Christianity also provides hope in a world plagued by death and destruction. It discourages suicide and shines the light of dignity upon each individual life. Despite challenges Christians face from worldly opposition, the faith itself creates a positive environment among those in its sway. The most generous nations in the history of the world are those founded in Christian societies.
The instruction of Biblical Christianity has also served to foster democracy and a civil government of the people and by the people and for the people. Daniel Webster once wrote, “It seems to be a law of our human condition that Christianity and civilization must live and flourish together.”
Some may point to times when the Church has historically abused its power in the world, such as the Spanish Inquisitions, persecutions during the Dark Ages, the Ku Klux Klan, the polygamy of Mormonism, etc. However, all theses instances are examples of distorted views of the faith taught in Scripture, and are therefore contrary to the Bible’s directives. They represent a malpractice of the faith, permitting the sinful elements of man to be empowered. Christianity never calls for rooting out heresy by violent means. Rather than seeking a man’s conversion through intimidation, threats or violence, its approach is rather love through the mercy of Christ toward us.
The apostles were men of sober judgment and discernment, who were not easily deceived themselves. The gospels tell us that they doubted the words of Jesus till the Savior fully convinced them by appearing to them after his resurrection. They were honest witnesses with surprising candor. Had they been dishonest they would have omitted many of the facts and stories which put them in a bad light, as seen in the denial by Peter, the doubting of Thomas, the rebukes they heard from Jesus, their many mistakes in thought, word and action. They frequently explain their own faults, failings and weaknesses, unlike authors of other religious works.
On account of their faithful testimony about Jesus they were made to suffer and die. People will not suffer abuse, torture and martyrdom for a false idea they wish to promote. They endured all of this because they were convinced that the very Gospel which they preached, including the hope of the physical resurrection of the body, was true.– by Don Moldstad, based heavily upon: A System of Christian Evidence, by Leander Keyser and Faith Unshaken, by Dr. J. T. Mueller