Would the World Be a Better Place If Everyone Became a Christian?

I was recently asked if I thought the world would be a better place if everyone were a Christian. My immediate response was yes. But the answer did not sit well with me and, upon further reflection, I said, “actually, I’m not sure. I would hope so, but maybe it wouldn’t.” Here are the reasons I changed my mind.

Extreme Examples

The answer to the question depends on what kind of Christian you have in mind. If it is any of the following, the answer is no. No, the world would not be a better place if everyone was a Christian. Consider:

  • Christian snipers in Beirut.
  • Catholics and Protestants blew each other up in the Northern Irish Troubles.
  • The Lord’s Resistance Army that wanted to create a Ugandan state based on the Ten Commandments.
  • Plus, the Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, and forced conversions to Christ during the Crusades.

Those “Christians” certainly did not make the world a better place.

Modern Examples

On social media, I am frequently exposed to Christians acting in anything like a Christian manner. Unkind, judgemental, accusatory, argumentative, aggressive, you name it. There is a definite lack of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:23-24). I try and reason with such people but often to no avail. I wonder how they treat people in their workplaces and families.

And yet, they all say they are Christian, but there is a disconnect between their faith and actions.

In the early 2000s, the Barna Foundation commissioned David Kinnaman to conduct “groundbreaking research into the perceptions … sixteen to twenty-nine-year-olds” have of Christians. What they discovered should shock and challenge all Jesus’ followers. These young adults perceived Christians to be hypocritical, anti-gay, judgmental, and insensitive. The research published in UnChristian is one of the most challenging books I have ever read.

It is a sad indictment upon the church that produces disciples of Jesus that are nothing like Jesus. Jesus, the man who hung out with the poor and side-lined and who ate with the unclean. He was scathing towards those who were religious but lacked mercy, who “shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces” (Matthew 23:13). The world would certainly NOT be a better place if all the Christians were unchristian.

I think it would be helpful to rephrase the question. “Would the world be a better place if everyone were like Jesus?” It’s a massive YES from me!

R. Buckingham

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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