I was talking to Jonathan Bock last week and he had a great question: How can Christians change their perception in the culture? For 2,000 years Christians have stuck out – mostly for the unusual things they did. For instance, during the Roman empire when sons were more desired, wealthy Roman families would put unwanted baby girls on the city wall to die of exposure.
It was the Christians that took in those unwanted children, and the idea of orphanages was born. When barbarians were sacking the empire and burning their way across Europe, it was Christian monks who hoarded and protected books and learning. They eventually created the university system. Some of the greatest scientists and artists throughout history were believers.
Throughout the years, Christians have done the things the rest of society wouldn’t do – care for lepers, the mentally handicapped, orphans – anyone the world despised. They built colleges and hospitals.
But today, with some exceptions, it’s getting harder to tell Christians apart from the rest of the culture – based on the things we do. Today, there are secular organizations that work in most areas of need, and especially during the last 50 years, believers have retreated into a “Christian bubble” and nearly stopped engaging the culture altogether.
So what’s the answer to Jon’s question? What should we be doing today? And don’t just give me vague issues like “eliminate poverty.” Give me specifics, and give me the things that would not only do good, but change the way the rest of the world looks at Christians…