Recently someone said to me, “How can you be a Christian? They’re just a bunch of hypocritical do-gooders.”
In the haranguing that followed, the person went on to criticise the church, its leaders and the greed he perceived the church stood for.
His views on the church were, in the main, archaic and misguided.
What he failed to see is how Christian believers in this country have been instrumental in bringing about reforms and changes to the legal and judicial system, the rights to equality and freedom, an education system for all children and improvements in health care where our NHS has been the envy of the world.
Christian believers have also been instrumental in changes to homeless legislation and benefit systems that have protected the most vulnerable in our society and beyond.
Like any institution or organisation, the church is not perfect, but the majority of us who believe and trust in Jesus as Saviour seek to bring into the lives of those we meet the values of God’s kingdom.
Rarely has the Christian gospel message been needed more than in today’s world where the news we hear from around the world and at home is often of conflicts, violence, terrorism, disasters, disunity and fear.
All faiths seek to do good.
Better a ‘do-gooder’ than a ‘do-badder’ in my opinion!
However, the Christian faith is unique because it has Jesus at the centre of all it believes and seeks to portray.
Striving for unity amongst all peoples, bringing them together as one body bound together in love is at the heart of what Jesus proclaimed.
This means that the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, the powerless and the powerful, the accepted and the outcast have an equal share of God’s love.
If the values we all lived by were equal to those of Jesus there would be an end to unnecessary rivalry, an end to prejudice, no more racism or sexism, no more rejection of the less fortunate, no more aggression, wars, or manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.
Instead, everyone will have a place to exercise their gifts to build up the body of the community. There will be a common concern and right attention to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all people.
The vision of Jesus is that the world will reflect the kingdom of God and the unity of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So why am I a Christian? Love, peace, unity, and eternal life are promised by Jesus to all believers. Who wouldn’t want that?