Is a Christian Society a Better One?

Christians who argue that no society can be a good society without Christianity need a history lesson. They need to study some of the great societies of the past, like Greece during the golden ages, or The Roman Empire, or several of the dynasties in ancient China, or the Islamic Empire under Muhammad, or the historic Japanese culture. None of these societies were Christian ones, but they were great societies by all standards of history. And yes, there was corruption in every one of these societies too, just like any ancient or modern society, even Biblical Judaism and Christian America.

If Christians want to maintain that a Christian society is a better society, then just let them volunteer to go back in time to medieval Christianity and see if they like it. Probably all Christians today would be branded as heretics and persecuted or burned to death. And if today’s Christians will say that medieval Christianity doesn’t represent true Christianity, then which Christian society does truly represent true Christianity? Even in the first few years of the early church there was corruption. There was sin in the camp (Acts 5); grumbling about food (Acts 6); and a major dispute that threatened to split the church (Acts 10-11, 15; Galatians 2). Then there were the constant disputes among these Christians over a very wide assortment of issues (I & II Corinthians). I could go on and talk of Calvin’s Geneva, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, witch trials, or any period in the history of America too, with black slavery, the Salem witchcraft trials, Manifest Destiny, and our treatment of women and minorities, to mention just a few.

Christian inclusivist scholar, Charles Kimball, argues that certain tendencies within religions cause evil. “Religious structures and doctrines can be used almost like weapons.” (p. 32). Religion becomes evil, according to Kimball, whenever religion: 1) has absolute truth claims; 2) demands blind obedience; 3) tries to establish the ideal society; 4) utilizes the end justifies any means when defending their group identity; or 5) when they see themselves in a holy war. He says, “A strong case can be made that the history of Christianity contains considerably more violence and destruction than that of most other major religions.” (p. 27) [When Religion Becomes Evil (Harper, 2002)].

Richard Dawkins, a world-renowned evolutionary biologist, has released a two-part video series in 2006, called “The Root of All Evil?: The God Delusion.” Dawkins describes God as the most unpleasant fictional character of all and he attacks religion as the cause for much of the pain and suffering in the world.

I just don’t see where a Christian society is a better one. And even if Christianity was the main motivator in starting most all early American universities, most all of our hospitals and many food kitchens, and the like, these things still would have been started anyway, if for no reason other than necessity. It just so happened that Christianity has reigned in America for a couple of centuries, that’s all.