- Pastor Tom Cunningham
THE PRACTICAL VALUE OF CHRISTIANITY
"Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood, the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on? Instead, it is thrown into the fire for fuel; the fire devours both ends of it, and its middle is burned. Is it useful for any work? Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made from it. How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned?" —Ezekiel 15:1-5
Christianity should first be practical. Like the practical value of a vine, above all else, it must bear fruit or indeed it is useless. Unless it bears fruit of its labors, it is useless intrinsically as wood. In the same manner, Christianity, when practiced intently, should work. If it is your ‘religion of choice’, your faith, your beliefs and your philosophy than it should work to make you and all adherers better world citizens. Period. Don’t talk about your faith, belief-system or worldview if it has not remarkably changed the way you live your life.
Citizens of the world should be a direct reflection of their chosen adherent faith. What our Nation, the United States of America as a whole believes in now, we are not certain. However, every great contribution to modern global society by the United States has been made because our foundation as a nation originally embraced Christianity and the Biblical ideology. Modern Europe was shaped in much the same manner. The United States and European Democratic Judeo-Christian societies are identified throughout history by their contributions on the world-scene and to civilization as a whole. In the past 500 years, although there have been horrible tragedies, misguided leaders, slavery and very poor theology, as a whole God’s blessing has been evident on these societies. Remember, God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah had their been only 10 righteous in the entire twin city region. That was His promise to Abraham. Indeed, I believe there are a much greater number of born-again, Bible-believing, fundamentalist Christians than 10 now across the US and Europe. So, at least for now, we have been spared.
Let’s compare religions by comparing the state of societies where that religion is practiced. Because religion should be practical in all areas of societal life, the mark of your God should be written on the good and contributory nature of the society that worships that God. History should record a stronger, more successful, artistic, creative and functional society in reflection of the foundational truths that society is based on.
For a practical example in our world, when was the last time a person from Iraq got a medal in the Olympics, discovered a cure for a disease or invented something of historic consequence? When was the last time somebody from Saudi Arabia wrote a symphony? When was the last holiday brochure from Yemen — talking of the exciting places to visit? Why aren’t the masses of humanity trying to encroach their borders to find a new life of freedom as they are the United States of America? We bend over backwards catering to the image of Islamic nations as peaceful, productive societies, yet the foundational dysfunction is historically clear.
75 years ago the Judeo-Christian West was already living in a superior technological state than the Islamic peoples live in even now… except, perhaps, for the wealth of oil-rich royalty. Where is the real unproductive element here? It has been repeatedly demonstrated that nobody kills more Muslims on the face of the earth than… well… other Muslims. It is that simple! Their societies do not work and as a whole do not produce stable, progressive and enriching environments for human achievement. They do not work because they are not founded on truth — the lies of Islam coupled with the exploitation and extortion of a class system of elite dynasties that are prevalent in those societies.
If you want to know the practical value of becoming a Hindu and adhering to or believing in Hindu philosophies, then travel to where Hindus are the foundational religion for an entire society and you will find your answer. Some of the largest populations on earth are living in societies based on non-Christian ideology. India is a prime example. That nation is a mess. Only recently when they began opening their borders to Christianity and then Christian Missionaries began bringing revival, could you begin to see the nation changing, evolving and prospering. No more abject poverty exists anywhere in the world than in India. Temples with gold-inlayed ceilings and priceless furnishings exist right next to thousands of poverty-ridden people dying of hunger.
Religion should be practical. Living for the God you serve and allowing God to live in you should make you a better person — a more productive and less burdensome member of society; a better worker, a better student, a more conscientious citizen and a stable, responsible family member; the most faithful of disciples, an honorable vessel for God’s use.
If your relationship with God does not produce any of these things in your life, than you are of no practical value as a real Christian and perhaps have not truly embraced an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Your life should be a reflection of the God that you serve.
"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God". —2 Corinthians 5:20