HOW BIBLICAL JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY RADICALLY PIONEERED MOST FREEDOMS IN THE WORLD

SUMMARY: This shows some of the terrible injustices in the world that existed in cultures that rebelled against God’s principles (all the basics principles of justice have been given to all major cultures around the world), how first Judaism and then Christianity pioneered nearly all the major human rights in world history (and people who followed the God of the Bible in some other cultures also pioneered some too). Certainly there are tragic cases of believers doing wrong. This is mostly due to ignorance of God’s principles (when people were largely illiterate), rebellion, or being duped by propaganda in their nation. But nonetheless, esearch shows that people Jews and Christians pioneered far more human rights than all other worldviews combined. Most importantly, much research also shows that when people give up belief in God, human rights decline or are demolished in time and populations descend into various forms of exploitation and slavery. God’s principles are the foundation of thriving civilizations, always have been and always will be.

COMPELLING QUOTES

  • “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalm 119:45 
  • “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
  • “The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.” Proverbs 29:7
  • “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9
  • “Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others.” Titus 3:14
  • “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17 (see also Lev. 19:18, 34, Deuteronomy 4:1-8, Deuteronomy 28, Proverbs 14:34, 19:23, Proverbs 4:4,22 Proverbs 7:2, Matthew 7:12, Matt. 19:17 Matthew 22:37-40, 1 Tim. 4:8, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 Timothy 6:3-5, 1 John 4:1 and many other verses).

Individuals, families, churches, communities and countries are all extremely interested in how to enjoy the best life and how to make the most progress and development in life. Many scholars have tried to identify the principles and habits that help civilizations progress most and those that cripple development. Some people in different cultures and religions have done helpful work in human rights to some degree, especially in modern times. Buddhism has promoted the protection of life and pacifism. Islam has promoted the protection of life, some equality and some other rights. 

A crucial part of a nation’s development is almost always involved with adopting human rights, nearly all of which were pioneered by Judeo-Christianity throughout history. Most of the first ideas of human rights in protecting life, equality, women’s/children’s rights, economic rights, opposition to slavery, marriage rights, education, and many other freedoms came from Judaism (and later Christianity). These have been the most stable over history because they don’t depend on the opinions of people, but on principles from God. This “World Perfect” seminar shows some of this: 
http://international.aish.com/seminars/worldperfect/, international.aish.com/seminars/worldperfect/wp03n05.htm

President John Adams wrote:
“I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation…They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern… If I were an atheist of the other sect, who believe or pretend to believe that all is ordered by chance, I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization. Letter to François Adriaan van der Kemp (16 February 1809) – John Adams, Second President of the United States (From a letter to F. A. Van der Kemp [Feb. 16, 1808] Pennsylvania Historical Society) John Adams

This seminar, WorldPerfect, shows 12 of many major moral values that Jews gave to the world, confirming what Adams has said:
https://www.aish.com/sem/wp/

Dr. Joshua A. Berman (professor at Bar-Ilan University and Associate Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, Israel) has written a book on the origins of human rights titled, “Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought”. His book shows in detail how the laws of most ancient nations gave the king and the wealthy and powerful many unfair privileges. The laws that God gave to Moses were the earliest laws that treated every person as equals.[3]

When you look at what makes nation’s thrive and provides a better life for everyone, Max Weber said the Protestant work ethic was crucial. Marx suggested that communism was the route that would overcome the defects of capitalism and bring about progress. Dr. Jared Diamond (UCLA) said that national progress comes mostly from the physical environment, social environment and being open to learning from other cultures.[1]

But God says,
“Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

And that is what the best and most current research is saying. Dr. Niall Ferguson (Harvard) pointed out that east and west Germany, North and South Korea have about the same environment, but very different levels of success. So environment can’t be a major factor. He said it was due to competition, the scientific revolution, property rights, modern medicine, the consumer society and the work ethic.[2]  And the Bible has principles that pioneered or strongly advocated each of these.***

Dr. Woodberry at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill also did exhaustive research about modern democracy and development. His research shows decisively that protestant Christians and missionaries (especially those not connected to the government) have been the primary factor responsible for over 50% of democracy, higher levels of printing, education, economic development, organizational civil society, protection of private property, the rule of law and lower levels of corruption in modern society. His research is online at Harvard.[4] 

Dr. Woodberry from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (UNC) has done exhaustive research which shows decisively that protestant missionaries (esp. those not connected to the government) are responsible for over 50% of democracy, higher levels of printing, education, economic development, organizational civil society, protection of private property, the rule of law and lower levels of corruption in modern society. 

His work began with a professor who told Woodberry that there seemed to be some connections between missionaries and democracy. Robert started researching this. He spent months looking at old maps, history books, missionary travels, etc.

Woodberry traveled to Togo in 2001 and went to a top university. He found that the whole university didn’t have even 1/2 the books he did. 

“Where do you buy your books?” Woodberry stopped to ask a student.

“Oh, we don’t buy books,” he replied. “The professors read the texts out loud to us, and we transcribe.”

But across the border, at the University of Ghana’s bookstore, Woodberry saw shelves lined with hundreds of books, including books by local scholars. Why the difference? The reason was clear: In the past, British missionaries in Ghana had established a whole system of schools and printing presses. But France, the colonial power in Togo, restricted missionaries. The French only wanted to educate a few smart people. This caused the difference. 

In the Congo, both French and Belgian colonists had forced villagers to get rubber from the jungle. If they didn’t, they burned down villages, cut off hands and feet and did other horrible things. In the French Congo, no justice was done and it wasn’t even news. But in Belgian Congo, a huge protest started. Why the difference? Woodberry found out that there were missionaries in the Belgian Congo, especially 2 named John and Alice Harris who took photographs of the terrible crimes—including a picture of a father gazing at his dead daughter. They took this evidence all over the United States and Britain and protested the abuses and that brought important changes to the Congo.


“Mass literacy and mass education were…deliberate projects—the consequence of a Protestant vision that knocked down old hierarchies in the name of ‘the priesthood of all believers.’ If all souls were equal before God, everyone would need to access the Bible in their own language. They would also need to know how to read.”

“They focused on teaching people to read,” says Dana Robert, director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University. “That sounds really basic, but if you look worldwide at poverty, literacy is the main thing that helps you rise out of poverty. Unless you have broad-based literacy, you can’t have democratic movements.

“As Woodberry observes, although the Chinese invented printing 800 years before Europeans did, in China the technology was used mostly for elites. Then Protestant missionaries arrived in the 19th century and began printing tens of thousands of religious texts, making those available to the masses, and teaching women and other marginalized groups how to read. Not until then did Asian authorities start printing more widely.”

In Korea, King Sejong invented Hangeul, which is the most efficient and scientific alphabet in the world (It won the alphabet olympics 3 times and they closed it down since no other alphabet can compete. It’s possible to learn to read it in ~2 hours or even less. It’s that good.). But Korean scholars still used Chinese. The powerful elite didn’t want people to learn to read and be able to get knowledge to detect the exploitation that elites are always involved in to some degree***. But when Christians came and began starting schools, they realized that Hangeul was much easier to learn and more efficient. So it became the language of education in Christian schools and later in other schools. Christians were the first to use Hangeul to teach students in schools***. They also started many of the schools in the country and influenced many government policies. ~1/2 of the signers of the Korean protest against the Japanese were Christians*****. So, the Korean govt. followed many Christian ideas. Many Korean freedoms and the reason people use Hangeul are largely because of Christianity. 

Basically, missionaries were major factors in bringing democracy to over 50% of countries in the world as well as other major freedoms . They were the #1 cause, more important than all other causes combined. 

Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, reviewed the work:
“For [Woodberry] to show through devastatingly thorough analysis that conversionary Protestants are crucial to what makes the country democratic today [is] remarkable in many ways. Not only is it another factor—it turns out to be the most important factor. It can’t be anything but startling for scholars of democracy.” 

Layman and academic summaries of Dr. Woodberry’s research can be found here:
https://www.disciplenations.org/media/CT-Article-On-Missionaries-And-Global-Democracy.pdf
(https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/january-february/world-missionaries-made.html). 
http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-economics/robert-woodberry-world-missionaries-made/
https://tifwe.org/robert-woodberry-and-the-benefits-of-protestant-missions/https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/january-february/world-missionaries-made.htmlhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/235503063_The_Missionary_Roots_of_Liberal_Democracyhttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-science-review/article/missionary-roots-of-liberal-democracy/3D96CF5CB2F7FEB19B1835393D084B9A

Dr. Paul L. Maier, Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, writes: 
“Not only countless individual lives but civilization itself was transformed by Jesus Christ. In the ancient world, his teachings elevated brutish standards of morality, halted infanticide, enhanced human life, emancipated women, abolished slavery, inspired charities and relief organizations, created hospitals, established orphanages and founded schools.In medieval times, Christianity almost single-handedly kept classical culture alive through recopying manuscripts, building libraries, moderating warfare through truce days, and providing dispute arbitration.

It was Christians who invented colleges and universities, dignified labor as a divine vocation, and extended the light of civilization to barbarians on the frontiers.In the modern era, Christian teaching, properly expressed, advanced science, instilled concepts of political and social and economic freedom, fostered justice, and provided the greatest single source of inspiration for the magnificent achievements in art, architecture, music, and literature that we treasure to the present day…

In a climate of multiculturalism and its mandate to “find the truths in all world religions,” it is hardly politically correct to say this, yet after reading this book, I must: No other religion, philosophy, teaching, nation, movement–whatever–has changed the world for the better as Christianity has done.” Dr. Paul L. Maier, Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University (in “How Christianity changed the World”, p. 8)

This pioneering of human rights did not start with Christianity. It started with the human rights principles that God gave to the Jews. They did not always follow them, but when they did, they did extremely well, and people in other nations were impressed and some began to follow them.

Kenneth Scott Latourette, Sterling Professor at Yale University, wrote, 
“Across the centuries Christianity has been the means of reducing more languages to writing than have all other factors combined. It has created more schools, more theories of education, and more systems than has any other one force. More than any other power in history it has impelled men to fight suffering, whether that suffering has come from disease, war or natural disasters. It has built thousands of hospitals, inspired the emergence of the nursing and medical professions, and furthered movement for public health and the relief and prevention of famine. 

Although explorations and conquests which were in part its outgrowth led to the enslavement of Africans for the plantations of the Americas, men and women whose consciences were awakened by Christianity and whose wills it nerved brought about the abolition of slavery (in England and America). Men and women similarly moved and sustained wrote into the laws of Spain and Portugal provisions to alleviate the ruthless exploitation of the Indians of the New World…By its name and symbol, the most extensive organization ever created for the relief of the suffering caused by war, the Red Cross, bears witness to its Christian origin. The list might go on indefinitely. It includes many another humanitarian projects and movements, ideals in government, the reform of prisons and the emergence of criminology, great art and architecture, and outstanding literature.” [7]
The pragmatic evidence listed here and in the works of many historians, strongly supports the claim that even though sometimes believers sin and there are some who are corrupt (as God hHimself warned about in the Bible), there is no rival to the good that Judeo-Christianity has done for the world. 

In addition to the information below, I highly recommend that you check out these sources for much more documentation of these facts of history and science:

1) Dr. Alvin Schmidt lists 100s of primary and secondary historical references in this book alone documenting how Biblical and Christian principles radically influenced and changed western civilization in a whole slew of ways that greatly advanced human rights, rights of children and women, education, science, health, literature and the arts and many other things that empowered human beings far more than anything any rivals, esp. atheism have even attempted. 

“How Christianity Changed the World” by Dr. Alvin Schmidt: 
http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Changed-World-Alvin-Schmidt/dp/0310264499/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349800477&sr=8-1&keywords=how+Christianity+changed+the+world#reader_0310264499

2) A Hindu scholar has also written a similar book documenting similar facts:
The Book That Made Your World 
http://books.google.co.kr/books?id=9RPKxPNYa1UC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+book+that+made+your+world&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dJtwUYSYGoatkgWFv4H4DA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=the%20book%20that%20made%20your%20world&f=false

3) Another very good link with over 100 scientific and historical references, many of them peer reviewed is this one:

Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/12/why-religion-matters-even-more-the-impact-of-religious-practice-on-social-stability

The Judeo-Christian worldview was to put it simply, the father of human rights for all since idea of human rights (esp. for foreigners, women, slaves, etc.) didn’t even exist in other cultures outside the Judeo-Christian one, especially in ancient times. It just was not a part of global or even national consciousness. A very few may have made a few baby steps in that direction, such as Socrates, but they were mocked and in Socrates case probably killed for questioning the established wisdom that might makes right. 

The fact is that nobody will ever be able to list all the progress that Judeo-Christianity has contributed to society. The information on this page is just a small drop in the bucket of how Christianity has changed the world in human rights, health, medical, economic areas and some others. 

A FEW BIBLE VERSES ON HUMAN RIGHTS–NO GENETIC FALLACY
In stark contrast to the cultures above, the Bible in 1000s of verses gave vast improvements in human rights over other nations.  Ms. Lichtman interviewed John Hulley, a former senior economist with the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Hulley is author of the book, “Comets, Jews, and Christians”, published in 1996. According to Hulley, 86% of Nobel Science prizes from 1901 through 1990 have been won by Jews and Protestants, with Jews taking 22% of the prizes. Jews are also 40 times more likely to win the Science Prize than projected, based on a per capita basis. 

Ms. Lichman asked, “Why does the Bible make the difference?” 

Mr. Hulley replied,”Scientists and inventors need a favorable social environment, one which is fair. Human relations and standards of behavior make a very big difference — they must be based on justice. In non-Bible societies’, Hulley declared, you can’t expect justice. They are organized on power relations. Only in Bible-based societies is there the concept of fairness…Bible-based societies respect the rights of individuals within the framework of law.”

Hulley said, “What we are talking about is the social environment. It is the religious people who create the environment and the secular who benefit from it. Fairness is in the backbone of both Jewish and Protestant cultures.”. 
http://plancksconstant.org/blog/2006/02/Article-19.html
http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1076.html

Some will say it is just incidental that the leaders of these human rights movements were Christians (claiming a genetic fallacy). But, there is not the slightest truth in that. Literally 1000s of verses in the Bible speak about the rights of people, including the poor, widows, orphans, foreigners and underclasses of different types that directly challenged the status quo of other cultures. Jesus tells us explicitly that the way we treat the poor is the way we treat God and that it has direct connections to our eternal life in Matthew 25. It’s directly because of this and many other biblical reasons that many Christians did the humanitarian work that they did. 

  • Jeremiah 32:33 My people have turned their backs on me and have refused to return. Even though I diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey. 34 They have set up their abominable idols right in my own Temple, defiling it. 35 They have built pagan shrines to Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing. What an incredible evil, causing Judah to sin so greatly!

  • Jeremiah 7: 3 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. 4 But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the LORD’s Temple is here. They chant, “The LORD’s Temple is here! The LORD’s Temple is here!” 5 But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; 6 only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. 7 Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever. 

    8 “‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! 9 Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again? …12 “‘Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites. 13 While you were doing these wicked things, says the LORD, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer. 

  • Jeremiah 22:15 “But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him.16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?”, says the Lord. 17 “But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.

  • Here a godly king is compared to an evil king. Note that the godly king gave justice AND help to the poor. Justice is definitely a government function and it’s associated with helping the poor which also must be understood as a government function. These 2 concepts, justice and helping the needy are both part of a government’s function in the Bible. And they were not only the responsibility of Israel. God also expected other nations to help the poor. If they didn’t, it was sin. 

  • “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.“ Ezekiel 16:49 

  • “King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.” Daniel 4:27

  • Ezekiel 45:9 “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop all your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land! Stop expelling them from their homes!

  • Proverbs 29:7 says, “The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.”

How we treat those in trouble and disenfranchised is so important that it is linked to the final judgement.

THE FINAL JUDGEMENT AND MATTHEW 25: 
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (note that “eternal punishment” here does not refer to eternal punishment, but that the effects of the punishment are eternal. See www.helltruth.com for more on why the Bible never teaches an eternal burning of sinners in hell.) 

Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” 

These and 1000s of other verses directly motivated Christians to think of other people in all classes as equal creations of God deserving of the same human rights. And because Jesus and prophets and apostles emphasized so constantly the importance of helping others with the talents and material things we’ve been blessed with and caring about the quality of their life, Christians more than any other group have done exactly that.

In the next sections there will be listed a few examples and a very short list of some of the many human rights movements pioneered by Christians (see the links I have listed for MANY more). But first, here are 2 leading atheist professors (1 later converted to Christianity) who agree that religion and esp. Christianity have been leaders in pioneering human rights.



CHRISTIANITY PIONEERED THE VAST MAJORITY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

• NURSING: Florence Nightingale heard God directly calling her to work to help those in suffering and misery just before her 17th birthday. She empowered women, pioneered statistics, sanitation, opened the first official nurses’ training program, the Nightingale School for Nurses & her work has saved millions of lives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale 

• SOCIAL WORK: Christianity from the beginning was involved in social work (see Acts 2 and 4). Later under Constantine it set up poorhouses, homes for the aged, hospitals, and orphanages, funded partly by grants from the Empire. It continued to be the main agent of social work in the west up through the 18th century. Jane Addams pioneered modern social work. The Salvation Army was started by an evangelist, William Booth, and cares for the poor and downtrodden in many different countries. Mother Teresa & Little Sisters of the Poor / Missionaries of Charity care for the poorest of the poor (which won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979) and India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1980. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_social_workhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almshouse
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Booth , http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa 

• ORPHANAGES: Early Christian nurses picked up children on Roman roads and took care of them. George Mueller pioneered the care and education of orphans for 1000s of children. Amy Carmichael and many missionaries pioneered international orphan care. 
http://74.84.206.112/ChurchHistory/11630420/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Muller,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Carmichael 

• WOMEN’S RIGHTS: Christians pioneered many rights of women. You must remember that to the Greeks for example, women were “defined as near slaves, or as perpetual minors” in Athenian society (The Greek World, pg. 200). The Greek Poet Propertius said: “May my enemies fall in love with women and my friends with boys.” Semonides wrote about 10 types of women which were at best a beautiful evil and at worst a curse for mankind. Hesiod writes wrote, “Whoever trusts women, trusts thieves.” Similar concepts were in many ancient cultures. The rights of women in the Bible was vastly superior to most other ancient cultures. Read Proverbs 31 and compare that to the above. In modern times, Gladys Aylward, Amy Carmichael, Mary Slessor and Christian governments helped stop the binding of feet in girls in China, the burning of widows in India, throwing away girl babies in Africa and many other evils.

• ABOLITION OF SLAVERY: On Sunday 28 October 1787 Wilberforce wrote in his diary: “God Almighty has set before me two great objects: the suppression of the slave trade and the Reformation of society.” Wilberforce was smeared mercilessly, assaulted and even the target of attempted murder. Yet, he never gave up & after nearly 50 years of campaigning, slaves all over the British Empire were freed (with the govt. paying ~20 million pounds to do it). Quakers, Adventists (who almost to a person were against slavery even at the time of the Civil War) and many Christians like Harriet Tubman worked in many ways to free slaves due to biblical principles that forbade oppression of foreigners many times and said that all are equal (watch Amistad). 
www.reformationsa.org/articles/William Wilberforce – Campaign to End Slavery.htm

• CHILDREN’S RIGHTS: Save the Children. This large relief agency was founded by Eglantyne Jebb, a Christian, who also campaigned for social reform in this area. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the League of Nations. She also pioneered the Child Sponsorship program. The London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (London SPCC) was also started by Christians. Josephine Butler was a passionate Christian who campaigned against child abuse and for an age of consent & led in other social reforms. World Vision, is one of the largest relief and development agencies in the US involving child sponsorship. It was founded by the Christian, Dr. Robert Pierce. Mission of Mercy meets the needs of children in poverty stricken areas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eglantyne_Jebbhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Butler,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pierce 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Society_for_the_Prevention_of_Cruelty_to_Children#History 
http://missionofmercy.org/home/index.cfm?flash=1 

• Compassion International is a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, functions in 26 countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, and India. They also currently help more than 1,200,000 children.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion_International 

• Kindernothilfe (KNH) is a charity organization and was founded in 1959 by a group of Christians in Duisburg, Germany, in order to help needy children in India. Over time, it has become one of the largest Christian organizations in Europe for children’s aid.Today it supports more than 580,000 children and young people in 28 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. KNH aims to give needy children in the poorest countries of the world a chance to a good start in life.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindernothilfe 

• END SEX SLAVERY: Tiny Hands International (THI) is a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to helping orphaned and abandoned children and fighting sex trafficking in South Asia. Tiny Hands operates through national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Hands_International

• MEDICAL WORK: There are countless Christians medical missionaries who have given up lucrative careers in their home countries to go and serve abroad…sometimes for a whole lifetime. Dr. Victor C Rambo was a passionate Christian who could have made a lot of money as a doctor in the US. Instead he lived in India where he “worked from dawn ’til dusk” operating on cataracts where little or no other help was available. Some stayed at home though. Dr. C. Everett Koop. Koop performed groundbreaking surgical procedures on conjoined twins and infants, invented techniques which today are commonly used for infant surgery, and saved the lives of countless children who otherwise might have been allowed to die. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Everett_Koop#Career amazon.com/Apostle-Sight-Victor-Surgeon-Indias/dp/0915684543 

• HUMAN RIGHTS: Amnesty International campaigns for justice for oppressed people all over the world. It was started by 2 Christians Peter Beneson & Eric Baker in 1961. Early Church Fathers advocated against polygamy, abortion, infanticide, child abuse. The Magna Carta is considered one of the most important documents in human history for human rights and western law. Lord Denning described it as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”. The man most responsible for writing it was Stephen Langton (Archbishop of Canterbury). 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesty_International#History 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Western_civilization#Roman_Empire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Langtonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta

• CIVIL RIGHTS: Rev.Martin Luther King Jr., a man of great courage and faith who was at the centre of the civil rights movement as were many other pastors. They worked to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means (yes, sometimes against other Christians who were in power). MUCH of his effort derived directly from the Bible, including key parts of his “I have a Dream speech” 
http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr

• ECONOMIC JUSTICE. Christians have long been heavily involved in pioneering economic justice and fair trade for the poor. In the last 25 years, 1.3 billion people have escaped from poverty largely because of campaigns like Jubilee2000, Make Poverty History, Christian Aid, Oxfam, ONE, Tearfund, and 100s of others. Many like these were started by Christians. Oxfam pioneered modern famine relief. It works to address famine and economic injustice on a worldwide scale. It was founded by Quaker Christians in Oxford in 1942.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tearfundwww.makepovertyhistory.orghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxfam 

• MICRO-FINANCING: David Bussau AM (born November 10, 1940) is a pioneer of microfinance who founded Opportunity International Australia and co-founded the Opportunity International Network. His efforts have been focused on addressing the roots causes of poverty through responsible wealth creation. According to the World Bank, micro-enterprise has proven to be one of the most effective and sustainable ways to solve poverty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bussau 

• EDUCATION: Jews and Christians pioneered the concept of public education fueled by the faith’s embrace of equality, since we believe all were created in God’s image and have a right to knowledge and a decent start in life. Christian influence led to the first universities, in Paris and Bologna, then Oxford and Cambridge along with Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Ewha, Yonsei (in Korea), and numerous others. Out of the initial 110 universities started in the US, 100 had Christian foundations. Ellen White puts it eloquently, “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness–godlikeness–is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress.” http://www.whiteestate.org/books/ed/ed1.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education_in_the_United_States 

• EDUCATION FOR BLACKS/WOMEN: Mary Lyon is one of many Christians who pioneered education for blacks, women, etc. She valued socioeconomic diversity and did much to make schools affordable for students of from different economic backgrounds. Booker T Washington http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lyon 

• LITERACY CAMPAIGNS: Frank Laubach. Committed Christian and pioneer of world literacy. Known as the “Apostle to the Illiterates” the programs he developed have been used to teach about 60 million people to read their own language. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Laubach 

Christianity is the largest single provider of health care and education in the world.http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article6057334.ece 

There’s a video on this here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ0yjgYyCms&feature=player_embedded

• YMCA/YOUTHWORKD: THE YMCA was founded in 1844 a Christian, John Mott and won him the Nobel Peace Prize. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Motthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YMCA 

• HOUSES FOR THE POOR: Millard Fuller, a Christian, founded Habitat for Humanity, one of the largest charities in the US which provides housing for the poor internationally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millard_Fuller 

• PRISON REFORM: The Quakers pioneered prison reform during the Victorian age. Women like the Quaker Elizabeth Fry were horrified by prison conditions and formed the Ladies Newgate Committee which started schools for prisoner’s children, suggested basic human rights for prisoners and teaching prisoners a trade etc (she also pioneered setting up homeless shelters). Gladys Aylward pioneered prison reform in China advising the Mandarin to give the prisoners jobs. She was known to the Chinese as 艾偉德 (Ài Dé Wěi -meaning ‘Virtuous One’). Today, Prison Fellowship International (amongst other Christian ministries) works around the globe in prisons to help reform and rehabilitate prisoners.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_reform#United_Kingdom, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Fellowship_International 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Fry, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladys_Aylward, http://www.historyswomen.com/womenoffaith/GladysAylward.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_reform#United_Kingdom
http://www.pfi.org/media-and-news/news/copy16_of_index_html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Fellowship_International

• WORK REFORM: The 7th Earl of Shaftsbury was inspired by his faith to become a leader of the movement for a multitude of work reforms such as the Factory Acts of 1847 and 1853, the Ten Hour Bill, as well as the Mines and Collieries Act 1842 and the Lunacy Act 1845. He also supported children’s welfare rights and was a chairman of the Ragged Schools Union and a keen supporter of Florence Nightingale. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Ashley-Cooper,_7th_Earl_of_Shaftesbury

• LEPROSARIUMS: Jesus reached out to the ostracized lepers. Christians continue to do this. Dr. Paul Wilson Brand was a pioneer in developing tendon transfer techniques for use in the hands of those with leprosy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wilson_Brand 

• ADDICTION HELP: Alcoholics Anonymous helps 2 million people. It was inspired by the Christian “Oxford Group” and the co-founder of AA, Dr. Bob Smith, said AA’s basic ideas came from their study of the Bible; the Steps, in essence meant “love and service.” There are now many 12 step groups. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholics_Anonymous#Oxford_Group_beginnings 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Smith_(doctor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcotics_Anonymous 

• Mercy Ministries is an international, Evangelical, charismatic, Christian, charitable organization that offers a long-term residential program for young women aged 13–28 who struggle with various “life controlling” issues. In 2008, the top issues that Mercy Ministries reported themselves to be dealing with were: eating disorders (69%), self-harm (60%), sexual abuse (55%), emotional/verbal abuse (55%), depression (55%), chemical dependency (49%), physical abuse (37%) and pregnancy (6%)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_Ministries • 

• TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT: Christians led the campaign to address the abuse of alcohol in society. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_movement 

• KINDERGARTENS: Friedrich Wilhelm August FrÃbel (or Froebel) (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He developed the concept of the “kindergarten”, and also coined the word now used in German and English.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Fr%C3%B6bel 

• BRAILLE: Louis Braille said, “God was pleased to hold before my eyes the dazzling splendors of eternal hope”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Braille 
• HOME CARE: Rose Hawthorne Lathrop created the first homes/treatment centers for cancer patients in the US. St. Rose’s Free Home for Incurable Cancer 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Hawthorne_Lathrop 

• ANIMAL RIGHTS: The Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to Animals was founded by Christians like William Wilberforce. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society_for_the_Prevention_of_Cruelty_to_Animals 

• TOTALITARIAN OPPONENTS: Christians like pastor Niemoller, pastor Dietrick Bonhoeffer, John Weidner and 1000s more were the leaders in opposing Hitler’s regime in Germany and saving 1000s of lives from death camps. Controversially, Bonhoeffer was also part of a group planning to assassinate Hitler.

IMPACT ON PERSONAL LIVES
http://christiangoodinsociety.blogspot.com/p/impact-on-individual-lives.html 

OTHERS
The church is the largest single provider of health care and education in the world, and in many of the poorest countries where other health care is unavailable, the church is the only hope for countless souls. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article6057334.ece 

• One of the largest international literacy organisations in the world, SIL International, brings literacy to thousands of the world’s poorest language communities. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIL_International 

• (UK) Recent research showed that 81% of evangelical Christians do some kind of voluntary work at least once a month. This compares with a much lower figure of 26% for the population at large, obtained in citizenship surveys by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and is consistent with comparable differences identified by researchers in North America. 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/mar/17/christians-big-society-voluntary-work 
Similar results were confirmed through a five-year study by the political scientists David Campbell and Robert Putman. 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-11-15-column15_ST_N.htm 

• Barnardo’s homes — world’s largest orphanage system. Founded by Thomas John Barnardo. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_John_Barnardo 

• Protection of young people in our society: English Factory reform bill and anti-poor movement,- Richard Oastler 
http://www.christianhistorytimeline.com/DAILYF/2002/09/daily-09-29-2002.shtml 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Oastler 

• Pioneering free or low cost health care for the terminally ill in our society dying of cancer. 
Macmillan nurses. Douglas Macmillan. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Macmillan 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macmillan_Cancer_Support#History 

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop created the first homes/treatment centers for cancer patients in the US. St. Rose’s Free Home for Incurable Cancer 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Hawthorne_Lathrop 

Leprosy Mission International has over 130 years experience working with people that are considered “untouchable” in some societies. Founded by Wellesley Bailey in the 1860s. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellesley_Bailey 
http://www.leprosymission.org/ 

• Sight to the blind. Dr. Victor C Rambo was a passionate Christian who could have made a lot of money as a doctor in the US. Instead he lived in India where he “worked from dawn ’til dusk” operating on cataracts where little or no other help was available. Literally thousands of patients were helped through his ministry who would have otherwise been left seriously visually impaired or gone blind. 
http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/blog/695.htm 
amazon.com/Apostle-Sight-Victor-Surgeon-Indias/dp/0915684543 

• Samaritans Purse. Humanitarian organisation reaching those suffering in war, poverty, famine, disease and disaster. Franklin Graham 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan%27s_Purse 

• Education UK. An overwhelming number of early education establishments were Christian before the State took over. 
http://www.jstor.org/pss/1050784 

• In the UK, faith schools (Christian and Jewish) dominate the league table of performance. Two thirds of the 50 best Âperforming institutions were Church of England, Roman Catholic or Jewish. This comes despite the fact that faith schools account for only one in every three schools. 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338725/Faith-schools-leading-way-dominate-league-tables.html 

• Lech Walesa. Devout Christian and charismatic president of Poland 1990-95. World renowned human rights activist. Winner of numerous international awards including the Nobel Peace prize 1983 and awarded over 30 honorary doctorates from universities worldwide. Co-founder of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s first independent trade union. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lech_Walesa 

• Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, LL.D., (December 10, 1787 – September 10, 1851) was a renowned American pioneer in the education of the deaf. He co-founded and raised funds for the first institution for the education of the deaf in North America. For many years he was principal of that institution. His son Edward Miner Gallaudet (1837–1917) founded in 1864 the first college for the deaf which in 1986 became Gallaudet University. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hopkins_Gallaudet 

• Charles Loring Brace (June 19, 1826 in Litchfield, Connecticut – August 11, 1890) was a contributing philanthropist in the field of social reform. He is considered a father of the modern foster care movement and was most renowned for starting the Orphan Train movement of the mid-19th century, and for founding The Children’s Aid Society. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Loring_Brace 

• Despite being crippled himself, John Pounds (1766-1839) was the man most responsible for the creation of the concept of “Ragged Schools” (charitable schools dedicated to the free education of destitute children). Working in the poorest districts, teachers initially utilised stables, lofts, and railway arches for their classes. The success of the Ragged Schools definitively demonstrated that there was a demand for education among the poor. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pounds 

• Robert Raikes (“the Younger”) (14 September 1736 – 5 April 1811) was an English philanthropist and Anglican layman, noted for his promotion of Sunday schools. Pre-dating state schooling and by 1831 schooling 1,250,000 children, they are seen as the first schools of the English state school system. 
The movement started with a school for boys in the slums. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Raikes 

• Michael Faraday. Contributed extensively to the fields of Electromagnetism and Electrochemistry. 
Known as “one of the most influential scientists in history. Historians of science refer to him as the best experimentalist in the history of science.” Discovered Benzene, invented early form of Bunsen Burner. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday

There are 100s more. It’s hard to find an area of human rights that Christians haven’t been involved in, often pioneering them. 

JUDAISM/CHRISTIANITY PIONEERED OPPOSING INFANTICIDE & VALUING HUMAN LIFE
Frederic Farrar states that “infanticide was infamously universal among the Greeks and Romans during the early years of Christianity esp if they were deformed or frail. The Early Days of Christianity (New York: A. L. Burt Publishers, 1882), 71.

Plutarch reports that the Carthaginians, “offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds; meanwhile the mother stood by without a tear or moan” (Moralia 2.171D) Cicero justified infanticide (De Legibus 3.glasses. Even Seneca, more admirable than many, said “We drown children who at birth are weakly and abnormal.” (De Ira 1.15) Research shows that infanticide was common around the world in places such as India, China, Japan, among Brazilian jungles, the Eskimos, was common in Africa, among the Indians of North and South America before Europeans came, and others. 
Susan C. M. Scrimshaw, “Infanticide in Human Populations: Societal and Individual Concerns, “ in Infanticide: Comparative and Evolutionary Perspectives, ed. Glenn Hausfater and Sarah Hrdy (New York: Aldine Publishing, 1984), 439.
James S. Dennis, Social Evils of the Non-Christian World (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1898), 69-70.

Oedipus, Ion of Ionia and other Greek heroes were abandoned as infants. You find little if any feelings of guilt among the Romans or Greeks for infanticide.

The Bible in contrast strictly forbade infanticide and sacrificing children:
“The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the LORD…. They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” Jeremiah 7:30-31

Christianity’s strong opposition to infanticide resulted in Emperor Valentinian outlawing it in 374 and criminalizing child abandonment (Code of Justinian 8.52.2). This spread eventually to all of Europe and other countries as Christian influence spread.

This same thing happened in other areas of life where Christianity transformed culture by also discouraging abortion, outlawing human sacrifices/gladiator games (390s/early 400s AD) and condemning suicide, (which was even extolled by some Greek poets and philosophers).

Afra of Augsburg (late 3rd century) was a pagan prostitute, but after becoming a Christian, she “developed a ministry to abandoned children of prisoners, thieves, smugglers, pirates, runaway slaves, and brigands.” There are numerous examples in historical writings of Christians adopting throw away children.

JUDAISM/CHRISTIANITY PIONEERED WOMEN’S RIGHTS
Women were oppressed by many cultures and there were many reasons that had nothing to do with religion (the Greek focus on male beauty, homosexuality and pederasty for example denigrated women a lot and lowered their status). 

Scholars agree that “the conversion of the Roman world to Christianity [brought] a great change in woman’s status.” (J.P.V.D. Balsdon, Roman Women: Their History and Habits (New York: John Day, 1963), 283) Another scholar wrote that, ‘The birth of Jesus was the turning point in the history of woman.” L. F. Cervantes, “Woman, “ New Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), 14:991.)

This is very true. But, many people are unaware of this since they have grown up in a civilization mostly built by the Judeo-Christian world view and are not aware of the realities that existed before Christianity changed the world. 

In Greek society, most women couldn’t even leave the house without a male escort and couldn’t eat with guests. Men kept their wives “under lock and key” according to Plutarch (Lycurgus 15:8).. The average Athenian woman had the social status of a slave7 and weren’t educated. Sophocles wrote “ ‘O woman, silence is an adornment to woman.” (Ajax 293). Aristotle agreed. Euripides said, “Silence and discretion are most beautiful in woman, and remaining quiet within the house.” (Heraclitus 476)

They also considered women a curse
“Euripides has Hippolytus ask, “Why hast thou given a home beneath the sun, Zeus, unto woman, specious curse to man?”
Aristophanes, writes in his play, “For women are a shameless set, the vilest of creatures going” (Lysistrata 368-69)

For the Greeks, women were “defined as near slaves, or as perpetual minors” in Athenian society (The Greek World, pg. 200). And it’s emphasis on male beauty and pederasty caused many to think like the Greek Poet Propertius who said: “May my enemies fall in love with women and my friends with boys.”

The Greek poet Semonides wrote a poem about 10 types of women ranging from a bristly sow to the ugliest and worst evil. Only one is any good, but almost impossible to find. Here are some excerpts 
“In different ways god made the mind of woman in the beginning. He made one from the bristly sow through whose house everything, smeared with mud, lies in dishevelment and rolls along the ground. Unclean and in unwashed clothes herself, she sits among the dunghills and grows fat. 

Another the god constructed from a mischievous fox, a woman skilled in everything. Nothing evil alludes her, nor anything good. Of them, she often deems the latter bad and the former good. Her temperament is fickle. 

Another he made a rogue from a dog, image of her mother, who wants to hear everything and know everything and goes about snooping and wandering everywhere, barking whether she sees anybody or not. Her husband couldn’t stop her with his threats, not even if he got mad and knocked her teeth out with a stone or if he charmed her with words, not even if she is sitting beside guests. No, she keeps up her useless yapping constantly. 

Another from the dusty-gray, stubborn donkey, who, under force and abuse, toil and trouble, loves the work after all and does the best. Then, she eats in the innermost stall 
all night, all day, and she eats at the hearth. Likewise, too, regarding matters of sex, she accepts any companion who comes along. 

Another god made from a skunk, wretched, woeful sort. Nothing beautiful, nothing charming about her, nothing pleasant, and nothing sexy, either. But she’s mad for the bed and sex, and when he’s around, she makes her husband nauseous. She steals from the neighbors and commits every evil. Often she eats sacrifices waiting to be offered. 

Another a dainty mare with flowing main bore, who avoids the toil and drudgery of slaves. She makes her husband intimate with Hard Times…for him who has her, she proves to be an evil. 

Another from a monkey. This one Zeus bestowed upon men as the worst evil beyond all evils. Her faces is the ugliest…She’s got no buttocks but is all legs. Alas, the poor man who takes this evil in his arms. Every scheme and turn she knows, just like a monkey..she wouldn’t do anyone any good but {plans } how she will do anybody the greatest evil. 

Another from a bee. Anyone getting her is lucky. To her alone cleaves no blame, but livelihood flourishes with her and increases. She loves her husband, and he loves her. She bears him noble and renowned sons. They grow old together. Conspicuous among all women is she, and divine grace surrounds her…” 

Zeus made this to be the greatest evil–women. If they seem to be helpful, they prove in the end to be an evil for whoever has them. He never goes the whole day in cheer, that man who has a woman. She will not push away famine from the house, a hostile housemate and harsh god. Whenever a man seems glad at heart, in his home or by god’s allotment and men’s favor, she finds something to blame and arms for battle…Zeus made this to be the greatest evil and put round us unbreakable fetters from which Hades receives men who have quarreled over a woman.” 
from: https://www.msu.edu/~tyrrell/Semonid.htm

The life of Roman women was some better, but not by much. Many things were similar to the above and in both cultures, baby girls were routinely killed. A woman could be divorced for merely could outside the house without a veil according to Plutarch (Romulus 22.3), but had almost no rights to divorce her husband. Women had almost no economic orproperty rights in either Greece or Rome. The above traits were common in cultures around the world in Bible times.


The views of other cultures in some cases did influence both individuals in Judaism and Christianity in wrong ways. But, it can easily be shown from history that the Bible pioneered women’s rights since it gave women rights vastly exceeding any other contemporary cultures. Read Proverbs 31 for example and compare it to the above.

————————————————————————
A FEW BIBLE PRINCIPLES ON THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN
————————————————————————
1. The Bible teaches that women and men were created as full and equal partners. The word “helper” (ezer) used to refer to Eve in Genesis 2:18 also refers to God in most instances of Old Testament usage (e.g. I Sam 7:12; Ps 121:1-2). It does not indicate female subordination or inferiority of any kind. 

2. The Bible teaches the full equality of men and women in Creation and in Redemption (Gen 1:26-28, 2:23, 5:1-2; I Cor 11:11-12; Gal. 3:13, 28, 5:1).

3. The Bible teaches that man and woman were co-participants in the Fall: Adam was no less culpable than Eve (Gen 3:6; Rom 5:12-21; I Cor 15:21-22). 

4. Women had the right to do business and to work in a number of respected careers in the Bible and to be honored and admired for good work and wisdom. Read Proverbs 31. They could also divorce their husbands if he didn’t provide them with sex, clothing and food…or if he committed adultery. **

5 Jesus and Paul wrote strongly on the equality of all, including both sexes:
• Jesus: “all of you are equal as brothers and sisters” Matthew 23:8 
• All are equal–“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
• All are to submit to each other. Men to women, women to men, etc. ( Ephesians 5:20+)

6. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ came to redeem women as well as men. Through faith in Christ we all become children of God, one in Christ, and heirs to the blessings of salvation without reference to racial, social, or gender distinctives (John 1:12-13; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:26-28).

7. The Bible teaches that at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came on men and women alike. Without distinction, the Holy Spirit indwells women and men, and sovereignly distributes gifts without preference as to gender (Acts 2:1-21; 1 Cor 12:7, 11, 14:31).

THE BIBLE PIONEERED WOMEN’S RIGHTS: 
——————————————————–
The rights of women in the Bible were vastly superior to most other ancient cultures. They were considered an equal partner in Genesis. While nearly all ancient societies were patriarchal and many treated women as having few if any rights, Israel women had rights to food, clothing & sex and if not given these, they had the right to divorce. Women in the Bible were also important in many ways: 

  • judges (Deborah). Note that judges were the highest political position in the theocracy of the time. Deborah was an incredible woman who functioned as the “king” of Israel, a prophetess, a judge who decided legal cases and also joined Barak as a women warrior fighting for Israel’s freedom (Read her story in Judges 4-5). Few if any men or women in history have held as many leadership roles as she did and she is highlighted as a godly female hero in the Bible.
  • queens and heroes (Esther, Rahab), See Esther’s story here: “One Night With The King” @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=trvUgCgWrdA or older version here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM-cB7xp-uk)
  • prophetesses (Huldah, Anna, Noadiah, Isaiah’s wife),
  • mothers of miracle babies (Sarah and Elizabeth),
  • leaders of nations, (Miriam, Esther, Deborah, many queens, Jezebel & Athaliah (evil)),
  • wise managers of the home with rights to do business in public, manage household affairs. They deserved public praise for their wise dealings (Proverbs 31:10-31),
  • Mary was honored to be the mother of Jesus (He had no human biological father of course. God could have done a miracle with a man if He had really wanted. It’s not that much harder to do that having a virgin give birth.)
  • disciples of Jesus (Luke 8:1-3, 2 Marys, Salome, Joanna, Susanna and other women),
  • women supported Jesus when his disciples abandoned him (Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41).
  • Mary Magdalene and other women were privileged to be the first to discover that Jesus had risen from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-11).
  • Due to the statements by Jesus, Paul and others, all men and women were treated as equals, although there are some differences such as physical. They were allowed to hold positions of responsibility and important in the early church (Mary, Dorcas, Julia, Lydia, Persis, Priscilla, Phoebe, Tryphena and Tryphosa: Acts 1:12-14, 9:36, 16:14, 18:24-26, 21:7-9, Romans 16:1-16). Why?
  • Caring for widows was an important moral issue in both the Old Testament and New Testament (Exodus 22:22, Deuteronomy 14:29, James 1:26-7).
  • All are equal–“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
  • All are to submit to each other. Men to women, women to men, etc. ( Ephesians 5:20+)

See a bit more here about how the New Testament protected and expanded the rights/role of women here. It basically talks about how Jesus was one of the first to have female disciples and how Paul pioneered the role of mutual submission, both men to women and women to men (it does not do justice to the freedoms of the Israeli women compared to other surrounding nations though unfortunately, although Israel at the time of Jesus had been much influenced by the Greeks and Romans and some corrupted due to that):
 

CHRISTIANS PIONEERED WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN MODERN TIMES
————————————————————————————-
–Amy Carmichael rescued many girls from being sex slaves in Hindu temples, adopting many of them. 
–Many Christians argued strongly against burning widows when their husbands died in the Indian and other cultures.
–Gladys Aylward and many Christians pioneered the fight against binding girls feet.
–Mary Slessor and other Christians fought against killing twins (thought an evil omen) in Africa and throwing away girl babies in many countries.
–Mary Lyon is one of many Christians who pioneered education for blacks, women, etc. She valued socioeconomic diversity and did much to make schools affordable for students of from different economic backgrounds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lyon 

Many more examples are in the 4th chapter of “How Christianity Changed the World” See from about page 98 here (you can see some for free)
http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Changed-World-Alvin-Schmidt/dp/0310264499/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349800477&sr=8-1&keywords=how+Christianity+changed+the+world#reader_0310264499

See a longer overview of how God pioneered women’s rights here:
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/human-rights/god-led-womens-rights/



ECONOMIC RIGHTS MATTER A LOT
Economic rights and land rights are to a large degree the crucial foundation for most other rights as many insightful thinkers on both sides have understood. The U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a leading liberal, said
“We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” 

Even the conservative president Reagan eventually realized this:
“Our founding fathers knew that the American experiment in individual liberty, free enterprise, and Republican self-government could succeed only if power was widely distributed, and since in any society social and political power flow from economic power, they saw that wealth and property would have to be widely distributed among the people in the country ..Could there be anything resembling a free enterprise economy, if wealth and property were concentrated in the hands of a few?“ [5]
See more on the Bible and economic justice here:
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/jubilee-economics/
www.truth-is-life.org/jubileeeconomics.htm

Peter Greer explains one reason why God’s principles are essential for development. He recounts the story of how he helped a man start a business with microloans. Later he came back to the man’s home, but nothing had changed. Why? The man spent his increased money on affairs with other women and alcohol. Greer says: 
“There has got to be more than just a change in a wallet for significant change to happen. And I think that is where certainly the church and the faith community has something materially different to offer than just another loan, just another job.”[6] 



WHAT WERE ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS LIKE IN HUMAN RIGHTS AREAS?
The above achievements of Christianity are impressive on their own. But they are much more impressive when you look at the cultures that surrounded Israel and the customs that were common then. Let’s go back and take a bit of time to get some historical perspective and background about what life was like before Judeo/Christian influences became so pervasive. What was life like for most ancient people?  If we go though the historical records, for most of history, ancient people didn’t care hardly at all about human rights for others, especially the the lower classes, women, foreigners, slaves, etc. Here were some of the typical ways they thought (remember only a few of the rich and powerful had any significant education and so you can’t just assume that most ancient people think like you do, let alone have the capability to even reason logically and rationally):

1) MIGHT MAKES RIGHT/ LAW OF THE JUNGLE: Whoever was strongest made the rules. Others couldn’t complain about their lot in life. The strong and violent were the heroes and they had the right to do anything they wanted. Even the victims agreed that they had the right to do what they wished. There was no international criminal court to even think of appealing to. The Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser for example writes what his victims said here:

“The nobles [and] elders of the city came out to me to save their lives. They seized my feet and said: ‘If it pleases you, kill! If it pleases you, spare! If it pleases you, do what you will!’” 
Albert Kirk Grayson, Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, Part 2: From Tiglath-pileser I to Ashur-nasir-apli II (Wiesbaden, Germ.: Otto Harrassowitz, 1976), p. 124. 

2) SUCCESS & JOY COME FROM DEMEANING OTHERS: Many thought that the best way to be successful and happy in life was to cause others pain, loss of pride, defeat, suffering, embarrassment, etc. Genghis Khan for example said,

“The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies & drive them before him. To ride their horses & take away their possessions. To see the faces of those who were dear to them bedewed with tears, & to clasp their wives & daughters in his arms”

3) STATE GLORY/WAR WAS A DUTY: In ancient times, war was a duty of kings. Spring was considered the season for wars to begin. The king’s main job was to increase state glory & war was one big way to do that. The rights of the victims didn’t matter at all.
“The two principal tasks of an Assyrian king were to engage in military exploits and to erect public buildings. Both of these tasks were regarded as religious duties. They were, in effect, acts of obedience toward the principal gods of Assyria.”
faculty.uml.edu/ethan_spanier/Teaching/documents/CP6.0AssyrianTorture.pdf, p. 3

4) PEOPLE WERE PAWNS: The powerful used the powerless no different from beasts of burden. The great Emperor Chin alone enslaved millions for his projects. It is estimated that up to 1 million laborers died on the Great China Wall alone. Others spent their whole lives far from loved ones and family doing nothing but work for the glory of others. Many of the world’s great ancient edifices, far from being admirable, are actually symbols of nearly unrivaled levels of human rights abuses and enslavement. Many leaders in history ruined thousands end even millions of lives for the glory of the state. 

5) KARMA & FATE & DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS—Whatever happens to people is punishment from gods..so don’t interfere. It’s their Karma. Kings were gods, so the condition of the oppressed couldn’t be questioned.

6) TORTURE/KILLING WAS FUN & A GLORY TO THE CONQUERER: As is well known, gladiator games were sport in ancient Rome. But, many ancient kings and nations not only enjoyed torture, as a show of their strength and a way to boast of their power, they also immortalized the sadistic acts they indulged in for all time in paintings, reliefs, stone slabs, etc. And if this is what they BOASTED about, imagine what they must have done in secret. The thought boggles the mind. 

“From the reign of Shalmaneser III, Ashurnasirpal II’s son, we also have some bronze bands that decorated a massive pair of wooden gates of a temple (and possibly a palace) at Balawat, near modern Mosul. These bronze bands display unusually fine examples of bronze repoussé (a relief created by hammering on the opposite side). In a detail, we see an Assyrian soldier grasping the hand and arm of a captured enemy whose other hand and both feet have already been cut off. Dismembered hands and feet fly through the scene. Severed enemy heads hang from the conquered city’s walls. Another captive is impaled on a stake, his hands and feet already having been cut off. In another detail, we see three stakes, each driven through eight severed heads, set up outside the conquered city. A third detail shows a row of impaled captives lined up on stakes set up on a hill outside the captured city. In an inscription from Shalmaneser III’s father, Ashurnasirpal II, the latter tells us, “I captured soldiers alive [and] erected [them] on stakes before their cities.” 
                 

King Esarhaddon was another example, 
“I hung the heads of Sanduarri [king of the cities of Kundi and Sizu] and Abdi-milkutti [king of Sidon] on the shoulders of their nobles and with singing and music I paraded through the public square of Nineveh.” faculty.uml.edu/ethan_spanier/Teaching/documents/CP6.0AssyrianTorture.pdf

Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death, pg. 6, 8. 
http://faculty.uml.edu/ethan_spanier/Teaching/documents/CP6.0AssyrianTorture.pdf 

See also:
“Torture Practices of the Ancient World” by Matthias Schulz 
www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/the-worst-ways-to-die-torture-practices-of-the-ancient-world-a-625172.html

7) THE KING IS THE HIGHEST AUTHORITY: Most cultures considered the king the highest authority, often divine himself & there was nothing higher. So, if you were oppressed & the king did nothing in life, there was nothing else to do but submit to his wise omnipotent judgment. 

“In one case when a city resisted as long as possible instead of immediately submitting, Ashurnasirpal proudly records his punishment: 

“I flayed as many nobles as had rebelled against me [and] draped their skins over the pile [of corpses]; some I spread out within the pile, some I erected on stakes upon the pile … I flayed many right through my land [and] draped their skins over the walls.” 

The account was probably intended not only to describe what had happened, but also to frighten anyone who might dare to resist. To suppress his enemies was the king’s divine task. Supported by the gods, he always had to be victorious in battle and to punish disobedient people…: 

“In strife and conflict I besieged [and] conquered the city. I felled 3,000 of their fighting men with the sword … I captured many troops alive: I cut off of some their arms [and] hands; I cut off of others their noses, ears, [and] extremities. I gouged out the eyes of many troops. I made one pile of the living [and] one of heads. I hung their heads on trees around the city.” †

The palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud is the first, so far as we know, in which carved stone slabs were used in addition to the usual wall paintings. These carvings portray many of the scenes described in words in the annals.”
faculty.uml.edu/ethan_spanier/Teaching/documents/CP6.0AssyrianTorture.pdf

There were laws and morals in ancient cultures to be sure. Most of the laws were designed to protect citizens and those with wealth and power. The disenfranchised groups were often had few human rights at all, and had a status not much different from that of animals. Hammurabi had some moral laws and some not so moral…which applied to those in power, but not those in ostracized groups. Here are just a few of them.

129. If a man’s wife be surprised (in flagrante delicto) with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the water.
130. If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father’s house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless. 

The above are similar to the Bible and give equality to both men and women and considers context.

132. If the “finger is pointed” at a man’s wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband. 

But here, the Bible never kills someone only on suspicion.

142. If a woman quarrel with her husband, and say: “You are not congenial to me,” the reasons for her prejudice must be presented. If she is guiltless, and there is no fault on her part, but he leaves and neglects her, then no guilt attaches to this woman, she shall take her dowry and go back to her father’s house. 
143. If she is not innocent, but leaves her husband, and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this woman shall be cast into the water. 

Nowhere in the Bible will you find a punishment of death for a person falsely claiming, “You are not congenial to me.”

There might be a very rare few exceptions to the typical level of morals in history among non-Israelis (esp. among some cultures that God revealed himself to through prophets and who were willing to follow those messages…this did NOT happen only to Israel…God spoke to others in many documented cases as well)…but without God’s influence, there was very little if any progress in this areas.

It was entirely because Jews and Christians did NOT follow their own opinions and the morals of the nations around them, that humanity made the progress in morality that it did. What may seem logical to a person now (such as understanding that violence and stealing from others will come back on your own head), was not logic that was used in history, esp. in regard to people in other races/nations. The vast majority weren’t even educated and could not even begin to use the logic that modern people have due to education. This is a historical fact. It’s easy to invent pleasing fantasies now, based on morals that seem logical now AFTER Christianity gave them to the world…but as they say, hindsight is 20/20 and once someone has invented something, THEN everyone comes along and says…hey, that’s just common sense. But, the fact is that it wasn’t long ago and no one else was pioneering these rights like the Israelis and Christians were back then. 

WHY TOTALITARIAN REGIMES HATE CHRISTIANITY
Richard Dawkins, Hitchens and most leading atheists love to sensationally claim that Christianity causes immorality and is harmful.But, here’s yet another atheist refuting those fallacies that distort the historical facts. He is Walter Block is Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar, Endowed Chair of Economics Loyola University, senior fellow of the Mises Institute, and regular columnist for LewRockwell.com:
——–
For most, it will appear as nothing less than a logical contradiction for an atheist such as myself to be an actual supporter and even admirer of religion. Let me explain.

So, which institution is the greatest enemy of human liberty? There can be only one answer: the state in general, and, in particular, the totalitarian version thereof. Perhaps there is no greater example of such a government than the USSR, and its chief dictators, Lenin and Stalin (although primacy of place in terms of sheer numbers of innocents murdered might belong to Mao’s China). We thus ask, which institutions did these two Russian worthies single out for opprobrium? There can be only one answer: primarily, religion, and, secondarily, the family. It was no accident that the Soviets passed laws rewarding children for turning in their parents for anti-communistic activities. There is surely no better way to break up the family than this diabolical policy. And, how did they treat religion? To ask this is to answer it. Religion was made into public enemy number one, and its practitioners viciously hunted down.

Why pick on religion and the family? Because these are the two great competitors – against the state – for allegiance on the part of the people. The Communists were quite right, from their own evil perspective, to focus on these two institutions. All enemies of the overweening state, then, would do well to embrace religion and the family as their friends, whether they are themselves atheists or not, parents or not.

The main reason religion sticks in the craw of secular leaders is that this institution defines moral authority independently of their power. Every other organization in society (with the possible exception of the family) sees the state as the source of ultimate ethical sanction. Despite the fact that some religious leaders have indeed bowed the knee to government officials, there is a natural and basic enmity between the two sources of authority. The pope and other religious leaders may not have any regiments of soldiers, but they do have something lacking on the part of presidents and prime ministers, greatly to the regret of the latter.

Such is my own position. I reject religion, all religion, since, as an atheist, I am unconvinced of the existence of God. Indeed, I go further. I am no agnostic: I am convinced of His non-existence. However, as a political animal, I warmly embrace this institution. It is a bulwark against totalitarianism. He who wishes to oppose statist depredations cannot do so without the support of religion. Opposition to religion, even if based on intellectual grounds and not intended as a political statement, nevertheless amounts to de facto support of government…This makes it all the more important that the rest of us, atheists or not, support those who worship God. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

It will at this point be strenuously objected that numerous innocent people have been murdered in the name of religion. True, alas, all too true. However, a little perspective comes not amiss at this juncture. Just how many people were killed by religious excesses, such as the Inquisition? Although estimates vary widely, the best estimates (see here) are that the number of deaths during this sad epoch, which took place over several centuries, was between 3,000 and 10,000; some experts, here, place the number as low as 2,000. Were it not murdered human beings that we are talking about, but considering solely the relative magnitudes, one might fairly say that this pales into utter insignificance compared to the devastation inflicted upon the human race by governments. According to the best estimates (see here, here, here, here, here and here), the victims of statism in the 20th century alone approached the 200 million mark. That is no misprint! To compare a few thousands of unjustified deaths with several hundreds of millions is unreasonable. Yes, even the murder of one victim is an outrage. But in comparing religion and government one must keep in mind these astronomical differences.

It is time, it is long past time, that the Austro-libertarian movement reject the virulent Randian opposition to religion. Yes, Ayn Rand has made contributions to our efforts. We must not throw out the baby with the bathwater. But, surely, anti-religious sentiment belongs in the latter category, not the former.
The views expressed above are consistent with the perspective of my long time mentor, Murray Rothbard. This scholar, who was often called “Mr. Libertarian,” was very pro-religion, especially pro-Catholic. He ascribed the concepts of individualism and liberty to Christianity (and almost everything else good in Western civilization), and argued strongly that as long as libertarians made hatred of religion a basic or organizing principle, they would go nowhere, since the vast majority of people in all times and places have always been religious.”
www.the-classic-liberal.com/atheist-defense-christianity/

www.the-classic-liberal.com/atheist-defense-christianity/

Einstein had a similar view. During the reign of the Nazis, nearly the whole nation collaborated with the Nazis, including some Christians. But the one institution that didn’t completely buckle and bow to them was Christianity, especially what was called “The Confessing Church”. 
‘Not you, Herr Hitler, but God is my Führer. These defiant words of Pastor Martin Niemoller were echoed by millions of Germans. And Hitler raged: ‘It is Niemoller or I.'”
www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,765103,00.html

Many Christians opposed the Nazis and quite a number were directly involved in helping Jews to escape the Nazi death camps. People like 

  • Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom,
  • John Weidner (an Adventist who saved ~1000 Jews and others),
  • Maximilian Kolbe (a friar who saved many people, including ~2,000 Jews),
  • Oskar Schindler (of the famous Schindler’s list who saved ~1200 lives),
  • Hugh O’Flaherty (an Irish Catholic priest who saved about 4,000 Allied soldiers and Jews),
  • André and Magda Trocmé (A French pastor and his wife who led the Le Chambon-sur-Lignon village movement that saved 3,000-5,000 Jews)
  • and many others.

After seeing Christians challenge the Nazis and rescue more of his people than anyone else, Einstein wrote of that time,
“Being a lover of freedom…I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom, but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.” (Religion: German Martyrs, Time, Dec. 23, 1940 , The Evening News, Baltimore, April 13, 1979.)http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,765103,00.html
See also “The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity” by Bruce Walker 

So Christianity has been a bulwark against totalitarianism many times in history.

PROF. RENE GIRARD (Stanford) ON WHY THE BIBLE INSPIRED HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNS AND CHANGED HISTORY

RENE GIRARD & GIL BAILIE’S THESIS ON THE BIBLE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Rene Girard was a professor at Stanford and an atheist. As he analyzed history, he realized that there just wasn’t hardly any concern for human rights.  It had grown some during the 1st centuries AD and kept on growing until there was an explosion of human rights concern.  He looked at different factors, but ruled them all out. He found that the very best explanation was that the Bible and Judaism/Christianity that brought a whole new view of human rights into the world based on the injunctions of prophets that people must care about the oppressed and based on Jesus example as the innocent victim who became the conquering hero.  The Bible’s attitude towards the underclass was this: The way you treat the people in trouble is the same way you are treating God.  All are equal in Jesus, so you need to care about these people as if they are brothers and sisters and children of God the same as you are. It was because of sentiments like these that Christianity “turned the world upside down (with love)” as one of their critics put it.

The thought provoking Christian author Philip Yancey summarizes professor Rene Girard’s findings on how Christianity changed history:
“Rene Girard was a secularist French philosopher and anthropologist who taught at Stanford for ~14 years until his retirement. He became fascinated with the fact that in modern times disenfranchised people gain a sort of moral authority and noted that in the last couple centuries human rights have increased exponentially. It was surprising because he could find nothing similar in ancient literature. Victors, not the marginalized, wrote history, and the myths from Babylon, Greece and other places celebrated strong heroes, and ignored the rights of the losers/weak if they mentioned them at all. In his research, he traced this phenomenon back to the historical figure of Jesus. 

It struck Girard that Jesus’ story was radically different from every heroic story of its time. Jesus chose poverty and disgrace, spent his infancy as a refugee, lived in a minority race under a harsh regime and died as a prisoner. From the very beginning, Jesus took the side of the underdog: the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the “marginalied”. His crucifixion, Girard concluded, introduced a new plot to history: the victim becomes the hero by being a victim which introduced a student of Girard’s called “the most sweeping historical revolution in the world, namely, the emergence of an empathy for victims.” 

Girard contends that Jesus’ life and death brought forth a new stream in history, one that undermines injustice. It may take centuries for that stream to erode a hard bank of oppression, as it did with slavery, and sometimes that stream has to confront Christians who have gotten corrupt or comfortable following the morals of the society of their time instead of thinking of how God wants them to advance, but with people like Nightingale, Martin Luther King, Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, the founders of Habitat for humanity, Oxfam, Amnesty International, society for prevention of cruelty to animals and 100s and 100s of others, the stream of liberation flows on. To the consternation of his secular colleagues, Girard eventually converted to Christianity for this and other reasons.”
from “What Good is God” by Philip Yancey
See also: 
http://fora.tv/2009/12/01/Uncommon_Knowledge_Ren_Girard#fullprogram
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1999/february8/9t2136.html

CHRISTIANITY GREATLY IMPROVES MORAL BEHAVIOR NOW! 

Does Christianity contribute to positive moral behavior now? Even atheist professors biased AGAINST Christianity discovered in the research that yes, Christianity still makes a major difference now.

First of all, the research is quite comprehensive in support of the idea that religions, especially Christianity, but also others, significantly improves morals these days. This is true for both young people and adults.  While there are certainly some moral people in nearly every view that exists, belief in God produces a significantly higher morality overall. It’s even more impressive when you realize that MANY of these studies count people as being Christian just because they attend church (Would you consider someone a scientist, just because they attend a science class once a week?) and they do not compare their lives before and after they believed in God. They also do not consider the fact that religions are constantly recruiting new believers from all sorts of different maturity and moral levels, often those who are down and out and in big trouble with the law and those types.  Their policy of reaching out to the very lowest dregs of society and redeeming them with God’s love over time, certainly drags the statistics down quite a bit. The numbers below would be MUCH higher if these and other important aspects were included.  

Belief in God improves moral behavior in adolescents on ~30 behaviors
In one of the largest studies of its kind, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined the role of religion in the lives of nearly 2500 adolescents. The adolescents indicated the level of their indoctrination (i.e., frequency of church attendance) and importance of religion, along with a number of activities that they have or have not participated in. The study was called:

Religion and American Adolescent Delinquency, Risk Behaviors and Constructive Social Activities. National Study of Youth and Religion. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
Christian Smith and Robert Faris. 2002. 

http://youthandreligion.nd.edu/assets/102504/religion_and_american_adolescent_delinquency_risk_behaviors_and_constructive_social_activities.pdf (if this link is not correct, check here: http://youthandreligion.nd.edu/)

Listed below are graphs of behaviors that would generally be considered to be unfavorable or favorable and the difference between those who attend church and those who don’t. Again, note that the term “indoctrination” refers to how often adolescents are going to church, a term with unfortunate negative connotations that is not accurate for almost all churches. Actually atheism should be considered indoctrination, since it deprives its adherents of  crucial knowledge of historical facts, such as those on this page.

CONCLUSION
The above information is only a small part of the evidence for God and how His principles have radically changed the entire world and been directly responsible for many of the freedoms that almost everyone on earth now experiences. Paul wrote this in 1 Timothy 4:8:
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

The evidence certainly shows that this has been fulfilled overwhelmingly in the areas of human rights and morality in history.  What difference does God have for humanity in the future?  Learn and follow Him and maybe you can contribute to many more improvements in the future and experience many benefits yourself as well! See the link on Jubilee Economics for starters.

God bless and I pray you seriously consider serving Him with your life (this link gives a good overview of the way to do that: http://www.truth-is-life.org/EternalLife.html

Sincerely,
Bryan Bissell

REFERENCES
[1] Jared Diamond, Why do societies collapse?, www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse/, Oct. 2008. 

[2] Niall Ferguson, The 6 killer apps of prosperity, www.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer_apps_of_prosperity, July, 2011. 

[3] Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought www.amazon.com/Created-Equal-Ancient-Political-Thought/dp/0199832404/ref=pd_luc_wl_01_03_t_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1

[4] Robert Woodberry, The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy. American Political Science Review, 106, pp 244-274, May, 2012. http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic965299.files/Woodberry APSR 2011.pdf 

A layman’s summary of Dr. Woodberry’s research is here: 
https://www.disciplenations.org/media/CT-Article-On-Missionaries-And-Global-Democracy.pdf 

[5] Ronald Reagan, On Expanding Ownership, www.foreconomicjustice.org/2952/expanding-ownership-2 

[6] Joseph Sunde, Why the Gospel Is Necessary in Economic Development, blog.acton.org/archives/82083-why-the-gospel-is-necessary-in-economic-development.html, Tuesday, September 22, 2015. 

[7]  [A History of Christianity, Vol. II, pp.1470,1471]. http://www.tektonics.org/scim/sciencemony.htm 


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