Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Thought on the Role of Religion in Civilization

"The truth, however, is clear from his Enquiry: Even before coming to India (William) Carey had understood that nothing but the Gospel could dispel the social darkness of India. Carey knew the Gospel to be the only effective antidote to social evils. This conviction sustained Carey's chief labor: to make the Bible available to the Indian masses in their own language.

It is worth repeating: Our mistake today is that some who believe the Gospel look upon it merely as a means of private salvation, for going to heaven. They do not seem to realize that the gospel is the God-given "public truth" - the means of organizing a decent society. Therefore, their faith becomes privately engaging but publicly irrelevant. On the other hand, those "Christian" activists who not believe the basic truth of the Gospel, that Jesus Christ died and rose again for our sins, attach themselves to ideologies that are most popular in their day....

Unfortunately, many Christians today who are sincerely trying to serve society are oblivious to the power that God has already given to us to dispel darkness. They tend to put their hope for social change primarily in their own projects....

Why have we sunk to this level? I suggest that we have done so as a result of the materialistic presupposition of our age. Since the time of Karl Marx, many have assumed, often unconsciously, that material reality is basic and that the moral/intellectual/spiritual aspects of reality are secondary - that they are mere by-products of economic reality. Carey, on the other hand, believed that the real battle is in the mind. False beliefs lead to wrong behavior and harmful culture. Therefore, Carey strove to fill the Indian mind with the truth of God's Word. That, he understood, was conversion - the cornerstone in the task of civilizing."

- Vishal and Ruth Mangalwadi, The Legacy of William Carey: A Model for the Transformation of a Culture, pp. 129-130.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be posted after review. If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!