In Christianity Verses Fatalism in the War against Poverty, Udo Middelmann writes that while religion has enslaved, Christianity has set humanity free to better their lives:
- "When biblical Christianity took a stand against the cacophony of other religions, it drove the accused imperialists to greater humanity. Whereas religions drug people into submission and, at times, stupidity, Christianity energizes mind and body to creative action. Religions still serve as the opiate of the people and contribute to human, intellectual, and economic poverty in many parts of the world. But the teachings of the Bible have contributed massively to positive cultural consequences, in a broad sense, in all Western countries and where they were carried abroad. Belief in the God of the Bible has led to significant—though never perfect—practices of biblical ethics, human rights, intellectual development, and individual and social responsibilities that have had visible consequences in the material realm."
In what ways has the God of the Bible produced positive change?
- "Biblically influenced societies, in general, have been able to more effectively fight disease, reduce hunger, and restrain human and natural evil."
How is it that the Bible has been able to produce positive change? Middelmann offers one example of how an errant belief can stifle the human instinct to improve their lives:
- "Abolition of slavery, defining women’s rights, making time for a real childhood, safer work conditions and precise norms, definitions of malpractice, and multiple other clarifications of right and wrong do not come from a cyclical attitude that every day repeats the day before."
Many religions are entirely fatalistic, teaching that life is a matter of endless repeating cycles. Therefore, lives cannot change.
In contrast, the Bible teaches that God has a benign plan. Instead of time being cyclical, leading nowhere, it is linear, leading to a glorious future, where all the tears will be dried, at least for those who are willing to take hold of His program.
Many have similarly noted that Biblical teachings are conducive to doing science. Here are several of these essential teachings:
- To a great extent, God rules through discoverable and predictable laws.
- He is knowable and wants to be known.
- Having correct knowledge of Him is what He esteems.
- He is not a God of confusion but of order.
These truths have provided humanity with a signed invitation to seek out God's ways, and many Christians have taken this invitation seriously.
Is it chance that the Bible contains just the right presuppositions for human thriving, or are these teachings evidence of God's love for His human creations and the fact that we were created like Him and for Him?