Christianity and Civilization

As with the oppression of women, the principles found in the Bible will always be found to contrast those of the heathen nations. Nations without biblical influence, or those who have rejected that influence, have also treated children terribly, despised labor, limited education to a select few, and sacrificed the “imperfect.” Of course, these societies totally changed when Christian missionaries brought the influence of the Bible.

Now we are witnessing many societies degenerate back into tribal barbarism. The odd thing, though, is that those who oppose God’s revelation see things differently.

John Shelby Spong, leading liberal clergyman opposed to the Bible, in a debate against James White, said:

“I don’t want to blame God for a lot of things in the Bible. I think some of the things in the Bible are dreadful. I think they reflect our tribal upbringing. They reflect the adolescnce of childhood of our humanity.”

Leading figure of the New Atheism, Sam Harris, had this to say: 

“There is not a single line in the Bible that could not have been authored by a first century person. There are pages and pages about how to sacrifice animals and keep slaves and who to kill and why. . .there’s nothing particularly useful, and there’s a lot of Iron-Age barbarism in there, and superstition.”

How can these thoughts, which seem to be gaining momentum these days, be reconciled with volumes of history that show us that that it is the influence of the Bible that changed barbaric cultutres into civilized ones? Well, they cannot. Unfortunately, though, many Christians don’t know what to think about it. They are told their book is outdated, tribal, and barbaric. And they begin to believe that. This must not be. Christians must get back to reading the Bible and living the Bible, an equation that can only yield a transformed life.

Aristotle said, “let it be the law that nothing imperfect or ed shall be brought up.” This was the underlying philosophy of many heathen nations before the influence of the Bible. A desire for a utopia has always been a longing in man’s heart since the days of Eden. But natural man takes his own course of action to achieve it, and here we see the ideaology – if it’s not perfect, kill it. Don’t believe that?

Seneca (54 BC – AD 39), writer and rhetoric in Rome, advised the of his mother because she was too old and infirm to do good any longer or have enjoyment.

Solon, the most celebrated lawgiver of Greece, gave parents the right by law to kill their own children. Plutarch saw several youths whipped to and infants thrown into a chasm at the altar for Diana.

Cicero admitted that the drowning of infants was moral. In Egypt, the most beautiful maiden, “the Bride of the Nile” was sacrificed to the river god, a practice existing at least centuries after Abraham.

In Polynesia, two thirds of the children of Tahiti were ed by their own parents; sometime as many as eight or ten were killed in one household.

In the Hawaiian Islands, a child’s earliest and latest teachings comprised careful instruction in “theft, lying, drunkenness, riots, reveling, treachery, revenge, incest, ness, infanticide, and .”

These were some of the things that went on in nations without the Bible’s influence. When the Bible came, everything changed.

One missionary accounts that when the Bible came to Tahiti, they became the fondest parents, lovingly instructing their children in the Bible, teaching them to pray, and leading them to school. Another says that in New Hebrides a despairing women ed her babies, but when she became a Christian, she gathered all the orphan children in the village to her mother heart and made a home for them.

It was Christianity that introduced the idea of asylums, homes for the aged, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and orphanages. Just take a look at the orphanages of Hermann Franke at Halle, Pastor von Bodelschwingh in Westphalia, George Mueller at Bristol, Spurgeon in Stockwell, Dr. Barnardo in London, and the numerous asylums for children in St. Petersberg. Why? Jesus placed a high value on the life of a child:

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

This is just one example of how different the Bible is in contrast to what liberals want to claim.

Where the nations have been barbaric, the Bible has introduced the dignity of life. But just as Aristotle laid the philosophy of yesteryear, we are dealing with the same today. His quote, “nothing ed or imperfect shall be brought up” is the underlying philosophy of liberalism today: abortion, eugenics, stem cell, etc. Why do they fight for these things? Why do they carelessly disregard human life in these matters? Because they also have rejected God’s revelation, and in doing so, they are just as barbaric and tribal as the ancient peoples of the world living in jungles, only they clothe their barbarism in modern apparel and technology.

Take a look at this portion of the debate between another figure of New Atheism, Christopher Hitchens, and Dinesh D’Souza, author of What’s So Great About Christianity.

When we read Romans 1:22-32, we tend to think of those tribes in the jungles. Although this passage is written with them in mind, it is also written to describe any society which rejects God’s word. As you read this again, don’t just picture peoples that are considered barbaric, but also sophisticated cultures like ancient Greece, and especially our own culture, as it erodes away its awareness of God’s truth.

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the s of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, , debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, rs of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of , not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

“Draw a line around the nations which have the Bible and you will then have divided between barbarism and civilization, between thrift and poverty, between selfishness and charity, between oppression and freedom, between life and the shadow of . Here are two or three men who land on a savage island. Its inhabitants posses no literature and have no written language. They regard the white man as their enemy and have no desire to be shown ‘the error of their ways.’ They are cannibals by instinct and little better than the brute beasts in their habits of life. The missionaries who have entered their midst have no money with which to buy their friendship, no army to compel their obedience and no merchandise to stir their avarice. Their only weapon is ‘the Sword of the Spirit,’ their only capital ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ,’ their only offer the invitation of the Gospel. Yet somehow they succeed, and without the shedding of any gain the victory. In a few short years savagery is changed to the garb of civilization, is transformed into purity, cruelty is now kindness, avarice has become unselfishness, and where before vindictiveness existed there is now to be seen meekness and the spirit of loving self-sacrifice. And this has been accomplished by the Bible! This miracle is still being repeated in every part of the earth! What other book, or library of books, could work such a result? Is it not evident to all that the Book which does exert such a unique and unrivaled influence must be vitalized by the life of God Himself?” – A.W. Pink


2 comments so far

  1. TJ on

    Historical understanding is a priceless perspective.
    It is sad that it has become so fashionable to critique Christianity in light of historical misrepresentations, and that’s exactly what they are – misrepresentations (ie, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, etc.). With the revival of atheistic skepticism, Christianity is being heeped together with all other religions, and naturalism is hailed as the needed solution. However, anti-religious regimes have a historical record of genocide which exceeds that of all religions combined.
    Soviet Russia under Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev saw an estimated 66.7 million deaths due to the state repression and terrorism from October 1917 to December 1959. During the communist control of Mao Tse Tung in China, historians estimate that no less than 40 million people died, either by execution or deliberate starvation. Between April, 1975, and January, 1979, one third of the population of Cambodia (formerly known as Kampuchea) was put to death under the rule of Pol Pot, the founder of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. All three of these examples were the result of regimes that asserted atheism.
    Even if we were to simply throw these examples out as a reason to disregard atheism altogether, it would seem viable simply because the numbers are staggering by comparison. No one can assert that any religion was the cause of these genocides because the regimes under which they took place were purposefully non-religious.
    Atheism produces a philosophy that projects man as the center of existence. Therefore, it is man who determines logic, purpose, and morality. It is the responsibility of man to provide for his own survival and success. That success ultimately comes by one solution. Perhaps Joseph Stalin said it best: “Death solves all problems – no man, no problem.”

  2. alfaarooq1 on

    Islaam lead the way…
    Accross the world throughout history in all religions and all nations women were seen as being less then men, they were taken as usless and as a loss to the family, have a look through the Holy Bible…
    The Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh) destroyed this by placing women in their rightful place which is equal to men, He told his followers the best of you men is he who is best to his women ” meaning his mother, grandmother, sister, wife, cousin etc…” people in those ages used to burry their daughters alive, when Islaam the religion of our forefather The Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) was brought back into the world all this changed. Islaam uplifts women, encourages women to up themselves financially, mentally individually etc…
    As in my previous discussion The Oppression of Women vs. the Bible
    Let us put your views to the test…
    Have a look at women in Islaam, see the rights of Marriage and at the bottom you may find a comparison between women in Islaam and women in christianity.

    We also know that there are the sad parts in life so have a look at them too…

    Can you deny the truth when it comes to you?
    I’d like to see what your viewers think of this, it’s time for change lets work together for the upliftment of our women.
    Together we can make a change, we can find common ground and work in peace and harmony…

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