The Impact of Christianity
Charlotte, NC – We often fail to recognize the many ways in which Christianity has influenced America. A quick look reveals twelve key areas in which our faith has had tremendous influence on our society today.
- Human Rights. People are created in the image of God and are equal in His sight, which is something affirmed in our nation’s Constitution.
- Women’s Rights. Still today, it is illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia. Why is this? It is simply because the nation does not have a Christian worldview regarding women’s rights. Instead, America offers equality for women, and, though far from perfect, it far exceeds the rights of women in non-Christian societies.
- The Rights of Children. Christianity has caused many to join the pro-life movement to save the lives of the preborn. Historically, Christian convictions have also been behind the creation of child labor laws, Christian schools, increased emphasis on education, and social services to help children in need, whether due to abuse, special needs, disability, or any other need.
- The End of Slavery and Legalized Discrimination. On the negative side, it is true some have used the Bible to justify slavery and racism. However, it is also true that it has been Christians who have led the way to end slavery and legalized discrimination. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. was known as a Baptist minister long before he was known as a civil rights activist.
- Education. America’s earliest schools were held in churches. In fact, Christians started the first colleges in America, including Harvard, to further higher education and to train ministers.
- Health Care. Still today, some of the most notable hospitals in our nation include the names Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian at the end, acknowledging the fact that they were started by churches and Christian organizations.
- Marriage and Family. Christian convictions regarding marriage focused on heterosexual monogamous love and the rearing of children within a marriage relationship.
- Government. Fifty of the fifty-five signers of the US Constitution were Christians. The concept of checks and balances and many other aspects of our founders’ beliefs were based on biblical concepts. Still today, the Liberty Bell reminds us of the Bible’s influence through its inscription of Leviticus 25: 10, which reads in our modern translation: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
- Science. The scientific revolution that has so influenced our nation’s economic and educational advancements developed prior to Darwinian theory, building its basis upon a God who created all things— even rational truth and scientific laws.
- Free Enterprise. Where Christianity exists as the predominant religion, free enterprise is generally the result. The Protestant work ethic that was popularized by John Calvin during the Reformation became the basis for America’s system of work and employment.
- The Arts. Many of America’s greatest artists, musicians, and literary geniuses have been people of the Christian faith. Even much of America’s early architecture was inspired by Christian religious themes.
- Foreign Relations. America has long served as a leader among the world’s nations. This is greatly influenced by the Christian beliefs of loving one’s neighbor as one’s self as well as belief in the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Furthermore, American Christianity, despite its flaws, has led the modern missionary revolution. In addition, Christians working in foreign relations in American government have had great influence to often improve the lives of those in other nations, encouraging democracy and peace, and offering humanitarian aid to those in need.
My hope is that these twelve themes that have shaped our own faith will influence your faith as well. When we encounter the importance that faith has made in the lives of the early influencers of our nation, we can then learn how to better influence our nation— and our world.
Jason is a worldview expert that specializes in cultural, philosophical, theological, and religious issues, and speaks on popular topics, such as: religious freedom, ISIS, Islam, same-sex marriage, America’s Christian heritage, the reliability of the Bible, biblical leadership, and many more. Jason conducts numerous interviews in the media, and has appeared on CBS Radio, the Christian Post, World Net Daily (WND), Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson, TBN’s Praise the Lord, and Sky News. Jason’s latest book, “Stand Strong America: Courage, Freedom, and Hope for Tomorrow,” coauthored with Alex McFarland, offers a vision of hope in the midst of great uncertainty and fear in America.