In the current anti-christian climate it is vital that we do two things. 1. Demonstrate to the world just how much good the church can do for them even in temporal matters. 2. Make some form of common cause with those who are of other faiths.
The secular mind is trying to tell us that people of faith just fight with each other, do no good to society, and in short, ideally, all religion should be mocked, and eventually banned. This recent article on a UK blog gathers some interesting data that contradicts all this. Here are some excerpts to make you want to read the whole thing:
Lady Warsi, who is Britain’s first minister for faith, said that she went to meet Pope Benedict last year “to tell the world that Britain does do God”. [cf Campbell's famous interruption of Blair]
“There is one big reason why I made the case for faith that day … and why, I have made freedom of religion and belief a priority, and that’s that people who do God do good. In other words, very often faith is the basis for good deeds. It influences, it inspires, it impels at every turn.”
Warsi’s assertion that ‘people who do God do good’ is backed up by the statistics presented by the Jubilee+ report. Jubilee+ is an initiative of the New Frontiers churches network. They contacted several thousand churches of all denominations in the autumn of 2012 as a follow-up to a similar survey carried out in 2010.
Some of the main findings were:
- Hours spent by volunteers in UK Churches on local social action initiatives have increased by 36% in two years to 98 million hours.
- In spite of the current economic problems, funds given by UK Church members that were spent on social action initiatives have increased by 19% in two years to £342 million. . .
- Only 26% of the churches in the sample received any outside funding. This averaged £12,382 per church, a 7% decrease in outside grants over 2010.
- . . .the total contribution to social initiatives is probably above £2.5bn per annum.”
. . .anyone who thinks that Christians should be keeping their faith to themselves and stay out of public life, as the National Secularist Society advocate, has no idea how big a gaping hole in community work this would leave nationally. To even suggest such a foolish idea displays a high level of ignorance and intolerance that really does not deserve any respect.