Thursday, June 10, 2010

What if Everyone Were Christian? Would it Make a Difference?

An interesting thought occurred to me yesterday while I was in the shower (that happens a lot by the way), what would the world look like if everyone somehow were Christian? Obviously hypotheticals are always an iffy proposition, and this one is no different. But leaving aside the obviously severe improbability if not total impossibility of that prospect, assuming it were true, what would the world look like? Would it look better? Would people get along better? Would we have less conflict internationally? Or more? Or would it remain pretty much the same as it is now? Would economic inequality improve? Would we take better care of the natural world?

Another part of this hypothetical equation concerns the term "Christian" itself. How is it defined? I'm an evangelical Protestant, should that be the definition? What about Roman Catholics? What about the Orthodox? What about the mainline Protestant denominations? And then there are the various non-denominational Christian groups that have existed for centuries not attached to any liturgical tradition or ecclesial succession such as the aforementioned?

For the sake of argument, let's assume that if everyone were Christian they would exist within the current state of affairs within the larger Christian world, with all its diversity and divisiveness. And especially with that in mind, again, how would the world be different if that were the case? Would it be any different than it is currently? And if the answer comes even close to that conclusion, what does that say about the state of Christianity in the world?

I find this both a fascinating thought experiment and deeply troubling.


The Sanity Inspector said...

This was a largely Christian country for many years. The relative lack of sectarian strife stood in sharp relief compared to the troubles found in other countries.

Yet at the same time, look at how much friction there is between Christian denominations overseas, such as between Catholics and Orthodox. A Christianized world would, one hopes, be a better world--but it wouldn't be perfect.

Irenicum said...

Thanks for the comment. It's nice to have fellow lizards visiting my page. I agree that in certain respects the world would get along better, but you're quite right that there has already been a history of Christian on Christian violence. We even saw that during our own Civil War. As a Christian who leans Reformed I have a strong already/not yet view of the Kingdom of God. Even as believers we nonetheless see through a glass darkly.