What is the true influence or legacy of Christianity?
The influence of Christianity is beyond our ability to measure. Christianity helped in the shaping
of European nations, brought kings and kingdoms together. An example would be in England, where varying peoples were united under the Christian banner
to become one nation. Without Christianity, the U.S. would have never been the nation we now know either.
Then Christianity transformed language, especially with the translation of the Bible into the vernacular. The Bible made its way into art, architecture,
law etc., and shaped the way we think about family, community and morality.
Christianity gave many of us our names, common phrases and the names of many places. Paul, Peter, John are all Christian names, many
live or work in places or streets called St. this or that and we speak about ‘the gospel truth’ and ‘being a scapegoat’ – all Christian references.
Most of our great authors and many of our great freedom fighters have found inspiration from the Bible, from Martin Luther King Jr. who fought for civil
rights to Desmond Tutu, who fought to end Apartheid. In the cause of democracy, many of the great leaders were Christians inspired by the Bible.
U.S. President Herbert Hoover said, “Democracy is the outgrowth of the religious conviction of the sacredness of every human life. On the religious
side, its highest embodiment is the Bible; on the political side, the Constitution.”
In law, the Ten Commandments became the foundation for Western society, and Christian lawyers and freedom fighters fought for our freedoms and changed
the law. The end of the slave trade and slavery happened because of the influence of Christianity. Workers’ rights, children’s rights and women’s
rights were all fought for by Christians like Lord Shaftesbury who got the law changed for the better.
William Wilberforce also set up animal welfare associations and child protection agencies – all of these world firsts took place because of the
influence of Christianity. In the West, education and healthcare is all a part of the Christian legacy, as well as great movements to help the
impoverished like the Salvation Army.
Then we could consider our concept of time itself. We still choose to number our times and days within the timeline that the life of Jesus Christ began.
Today, the influence of Christianity is still spreading as more and more people globally become Christians and as great Christian campaigns take hold.
Making Poverty History was famous in the Church, a long time before it became well known in the world. Also Christians are fighting to end the modern day
slave trade and many other horrors that continue where sin abounds.
The story of the influence of Christianity upon the world is huge and to consider it in greater detail, take a look at the book
‘How Christianity Made the Modern World.’ Go