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Some positive effects of religion
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I like to read. I have to admit I prefer to read books, magazines and newspapers, not computers and electronic pads. There is something about having the book or paper in my hands that I enjoy. I cannot see getting the same satisfaction from any other source.

I try to be eclectic in my reading. That means I read many kinds of things on a variety of topics. I try to read from sources with which I know I will not agree. It helps keep me sharp. But there are times when that is hard to do.

For instance, not long ago I read a book by a man named Christopher Hitchens entitled, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” The author is one of a group known as “the new atheists” who adamantly oppose any and all displays of faith. He goes so far as to declare that most of the problems we face in this world are the result of religious faiths and that no good has come from any religious beliefs.

I wonder: Does that argument have any validity at all? Please understand this. I am aware that Christians and churches have done bad things. They have hurt people on occasion. Other religions have done the same.

But here are questions that must be asked: Is the world a better place because of the presence of Christians and churches? Did Jesus do anything that has made a positive impact on us today?

I want you to consider two things. First, consider the presence of hospitals, nursing homes, children’s homes, retirement homes and schools founded by Christians. You do not have to look very far to see at least one of these wherever you live in this country. All of these were founded and funded because of the Christian worldview of their first leaders.

The second thing I would mention is a story. This was told to me as true, but even if fictional it drives home a point. A little boy was dropped off at the beach by his mother. Before he ran to get in the water, he asked a question to a couple of people: “Do you believe in God?” The first man said no. The second said yes, but to the question, “Do you go to church?” he said no. Finally, a lady answered yes to both questions.

The boy then asked her, “Will you please hold my lunch money for me while I swim?” My point? That boy believed that a person who believed in God and attended church would be trustworthy. We all know that is not always the case, but the point is still valid. The Christian faith has made a positive impact on our world. And it can make a positive impact on you.

I would encourage you to find a place to worship tomorrow. Take the time to spend some time with God and his people. I believe you will be glad that you did.

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