Back from holidays!
September 6, 1837: "Oberlin Collegiate Institute in Ohio granted equal status to men and women, the first American college to do so. This milestone for women was a direct result of Christian ideals..." (Christianity.com)
The true Christian faith lived out in practical terms and fully Biblical application has always
resulted in improved conditions for the society it which it is rooted.http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30445.html
Also from the article, this foundational truth: "Asa Mahan, a well-known holiness leader, was Oberlin's first president. Under his direction, the school taught that Christian conversion should be linked with a commitment to a changed society. Holiness should be the mark of every Christian, and this holy character should result in personal actions to reform society."
Where would Mahan get such an idea? Well, maybe from what Jesus said - “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:13, 14, NET)
What was the context for these words? To whom was Jesus speaking? He was speaking to a crowd of the curious who had gathered to hear him. The message he gave we now know as the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon Jesus described in clear detail
how the lives of those who follow him will be different from the society which rejects him and his teaching.
His instructive words to the hearers addressed anger and murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, retaliation and love for enemies, to borrow the headings found in the NET passage linked below -https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NET
Today, many preachers give out a bastardized version of the meaning of grace and forgiveness, saying that since Jesus died for our sins, we are no longer accountable for our actions after we accept his sacrifice. Not according to Jesus ("Think not that I came to abolish the Law...") or to Asa Mahan who would have understood this passage to mean that discipleship makes a difference, first in the person and then in broader society. Because if there is no difference, what good is the Gospel message?
Jesus said that when those who are called his followers no longer make a difference, they are of no value and will be trampled underfoot by the rest of society!
What does it mean that the distinctions between the "churched" and the "unchurched" have pretty well eroded to nothing? When we see little difference in the matters of "anger and murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, retaliation and love for enemies"?
Since there is no longer much difference, should the church be surprised to find itself under increased attacks from a Godless society? That it feels the pain of being trampled underfoot by those who hate what we are to represent?
Oh well, maybe Jesus didn't mean those words for our day. Or did he? What does "Salt and Light" look like today?
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.