In Alvin Schmidt’s profound book How Christianity Changed the World, he documents the amazing advancement of society due to the influence of Christianity. Women were oppressed in cultures prior to the coming of Christianity. Slavery, which was quite common before Christianity, has been almost virtually eliminated from the civilized world. There was little interest in the poor, the sick and the dying until early Christians ministered to these needs. The first hospitals were started by Christians. Education came into maturity under the influence of Christianity. The commandment against stealing redefined the concept of private property and property rights. The rise of modern science has been directly linked with the biblical understanding of the world. Schmidt documents and gives hundreds of examples of how Christianity has caused society to advance.
A few years ago we moved into a house that had more room for our growing family. It was not a new house so most of the appliances had been there for a number of years. One day after church my wife came and told me the oven stopped working. We were having people over for lunch so we went to plan B and I cooked the meat on the grill. From that time on my wife and I resigned ourselves to not using the oven ever again. I guess it’s not God’s will for us to have an oven. Is that how we responded? No! What is our intuitive response when something like this happens? Get it fixed or get a new one. We got a new one…better than the old one and added a microwave too. In addition, we did a lot more improvements to the house to make it better. This is an example of an advancing mindset.
Understand that God wants you to advance
We only have to look at the beginning of the Bible to find out God’s heart on this. We discover that soon after Adam and Eve were put on the earth they were commissioned to advance and bear fruit.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28).
Schmidt, Alvin J. How Christianity changed the world : formerly titled Under the influence. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.