I'm a bit surprised that someone could actually say that Christianity has "never been good". I'm sure even most atheists would reject that statement. But I suppose that if you can't even being yourself to call it Christianity (in favor of xtianity) you are still pretty bitter about it. Hopefully your local hospital is a state or federal one and not a St Johns...
but here are some things that Christianity has accomplished in our modern age:
• Impact on language, literature and culture
The Authorized Version of the Bible has been called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language", "the most important book in English religion and culture", and "the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world".
• Impact on civil liberties
The Magna Carta is considered one of the most important documents in human history; vitally important as an early foundation of law in Western society. It is considered the founding document of English liberties and hence American liberties. The influence of Magna Carta can be seen in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Lord Denning described it as "the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot". The man responsible for drafting it's content wasStephen Langton (Archbishop of Canterbury). Various "Barons" were also implicated in the construction of the Magna Carta, but Stephen Langton is believed to be the central architect.
Impact on civil liberties
Rev.Martin Luther King Jr., a man of great courage and faith who was at the centre of the civil rights movement. He continued despite attempts on his life including a fire bomb attack on his family home. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. His father and grandfather were both ordained ministers. The U.S. have declared the 3rd Monday in January to be an annual public holiday in his honour. Written on his memorial are the concluding words from his "I have a dream speech": ""Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Prison reform. The Quakers pioneered prison reform during the Victorian age. Suggested basic human rights for prisoners and teaching prisoners a trade etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_reform#United_Kingdom
Today, Prison Fellowship International (amongst other Christian ministries) works around the globe in prisons to help reform and rehabilitate prisoners:
• The 7th Earl of Shaftsbury was inspired by his faith to do many things.
He became a Tory MP (Member of Parliament) in 1826, and almost immediately became a leader of the movement for factory reform. He was responsible for promoting a plethora of reform causes, including the Factory Acts of 1847 and 1853, the Ten Hour Bill, as well as the Mines and Collieries Act 1842 and the Lunacy Act 1845 . One of his chief interests was the welfare of children, and he was chairman of the Ragged Schools Union and a keen supporter of Florence Nightingale . He was also involved as patron and president in the field of model dwellings companies , which sought to improve the housing of working classes in England.
• Braille worldwide system used by blind and visually impaired people. Louis Braille was an innovator. Lying on his deathbed he said, “God was pleased to hold before my eyes the dazzling splendors of eternal hope…” His system is now used on a worldwide basis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Braille http://22.214.171.124/ChurchHistory/11630360/ • Pioneering free or low cost health care for the terminally ill in our society dying of cancer.
Macmillan nurses. Douglas Macmillan.
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop created the first homes/treatment centers for cancer patients in the US. St. Rose's Free Home for Incurable Cancer
• Promotion of International fair trade for the poorest societies in the world. Tearfund.
Trade justice movement, Make Poverty History. Richard Adams OBE.
• Habitat for Humanity, one of the largest charities in the US which internationally provides housing for the poor. Founder Millard Fuller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millard_Fuller
• Salvation Army, caring for poor and downtrodden in many different countries. Founder William Booth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Booth
• Leprosy Missions. Dr. Paul Wilson Brand was a pioneer in developing tendon transfer techniques for use in the hands of those with leprosy. He spent 19 years serving in India. During his career, Dr. Brand received many awards and honors. He was awarded the Hunterian professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1952 etc…
Leprosy Mission International has over 130 years experience working with people that are considered “untouchable” in some societies. Founded by Wellesley Bailey in the 1860s.
http://www.leprosymission.org/ • Kenneth L. Pike - World renowned linguist
Working for Wycliffe Bible translators, K.L. Pike became one of the worlds leading linguists with significant contributions to the field. His book "Phonetics", "revolutionized the thinking in the field" according to Prof. Eric Hamp. Hamp continues," It is fair to say that something like one half of all the raw data from exotic languages that has been placed at the disposal of theoretical linguists in the past quarter century can be attributed to the influence, and efforts of Kenneth Pike." He originated the Tagmemics theory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Lee_Pike • Dr. Carl Becker - Missionary Doctor and Leprosy expert
News of Dr. Beckers compassion spread and literally thousands of lepers sought out his help. By the early 1950s he was treating some four thousand resident patients on an eleven hundred acre property. Leprosy specialists worldwide also visited to learn from him, even the world's leading expert Dr. Robert Cochrane of Cambridge University was impressed with his findings. He lived in hostile conditions in the Congo, Africa where other people might not care to go.
http://www.dacb.org/stories/congo/becker_carl.html • Sight to the blind. Dr. Victor C Rambo was a passionate Christian who could have made a lot of money as a doctor in the US. Instead he lived in India where he “worked from dawn ‘til dusk” operating on cataracts where little or no other help was available. Literally thousands of patients were helped through his ministry who would have otherwise been left seriously visually impaired or gone blind. http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/blog/695.htm http://www.amazon.com/Apostle-Sight-Victor-Surgeon-Indias/dp/0915684543
• Ministry to young people in our society – YMCA founded in 1844. Nobel Peace Prize winners. John Mott: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mott http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YMCA
Founded by George Williams: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Williams_%28YMCA%29
• World Vision, 1950 – child sponsorship, one of largest relief and development agencies in the US. Founded by Dr. Robert Pierce http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pierce • Samaritans Purse. Humanitarian organisation reaching those suffering in war, poverty, famine, disease and disaster. Franklin Graham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan%27s_Purse
• Education UK. An overwhelming number of early education establishments were Christian before the State took over. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1050784
• In the UK, faith schools (Christian and Jewish) dominate the league table of performance. Two thirds of the 50 best performing institutions were Church of England, Roman Catholic or Jewish. This comes despite the fact that faith schools account for only one in every three schools.
• Lech Walesa. Devout Christian and charismatic president of Poland 1990-95. World renowned human rights activist. Winner of numerous international awards including the Nobel Peace prize 1983 and awarded over 30 honorary doctorates from universities worldwide. Co-founder of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union.
Dr. Ida Scudder - Missionary Doctor to India
Dedicated her life to womens health in India. Her reputation was so high that women and girls used to seek her out just to touch her. Doctors all over India sent their most difficult gynecological cases to her. She became so well known that a letter simply addressed "To: Dr. Ida, India" reached her in a country of over three hundred million people. In 1918, she started one of Asia's foremost teaching hospitals.
David Bussau AM (born November 10, 1940) is a pioneer of microfinance, having founded Opportunity International Australia and co-founded the Opportunity International Network. He has been hailed for his innovative approach to solving world poverty by challenging the conventional wealth distribution model of development, addressing the root causes of poverty through responsible wealth creation. According to the World Bank, micro-enterprise has proven to be one of the most effective and sustainable ways to solve poverty.
• Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, LL.D., (December 10, 1787 – September 10, 1851) was a renowned American pioneer in the education of the deaf. He co-founded and raised funds for the first institution for the education of the deaf in North America. For many years he was principal of that institution. His son Edward Miner Gallaudet (1837–1917) founded in 1864 the first college for the deaf which in 1986 became Gallaudet University.
• Charles Loring Brace (June 19, 1826 in Litchfield, Connecticut - August 11, 1890) was a contributing philanthropist in the field of social reform. He is considered a father of the modern foster care movement and was most renowned for starting the Orphan Train movement of the mid-19th century, and for founding The Children's Aid Society.
• Despite being crippled himself, John Pounds (1766-1839) was the man most responsible for the creation of the concept of “Ragged Schools” (charitable schools dedicated to the free education of destitute children). Working in the poorest districts, teachers initially utilised stables, lofts, and railway arches for their classes. The success of the Ragged Schools definitively demonstrated that there was a demand for education among the poor.
• Robert Raikes ("the Younger") (14 September 1736 – 5 April 1811) was an English philanthropist and Anglican layman, noted for his promotion of Sunday schools. Pre-dating state schooling and by 1831 schooling 1,250,000 children, they are seen as the first schools of the English state school system.
The movement started with a school for boys in the slums.
• Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (or Froebel) (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) laid the foundation for modern educationbased on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He developed the concept of the “kindergarten”, and also coined the word now used in German and English.
• Supporting mothers and families worldwide - The Mothers' Union (founded 1876)
Mothers’ Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families worldwide. It main aim is to support marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity.
Particularly concerned with the plight of women in the world, its projects include literacy and development, parenting, micro finance and campaigning against violence against women and the trafficking of women. The Mothers' Union is part of Make Poverty History and the Jubilee Debt Coalition.
• Pioneering education for women. Mary Lyon 1797-1849.
She valued socioeconomic diversity and endeavored to make the seminary affordable for students of modest means.
• Thomas Cogan. Humane Society. A humane society is a group that aims to stop human or animal suffering due to cruelty or other reasons, although in many countries, it is now used mostly for societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCAs). In the United Kingdom, it may also be a society that provides a waterways rescue, prevention, and recovery service, or that gives awards for the saving of human life (see: Royal Humane Society).
• Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to Animals founded by Christians (William Wilberforce). It is the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world and is one of the largest charities in the UK. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society_for_the_Prevention_of_Cruelty_to_Animals
• One of the largest international literacy organisations in the world, SIL International, brings literacy to thousands of the world's poorest language communities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIL_International • Frank Laubach. Committed Christian and pioneer of world literacy. Known as the “Apostle to the Illiterates” the programs he developed have been used to teach about 60 million people to read their own language. He was deeply concerned about poverty, injustice and illiteracy, and considered them barriers to peace in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Laubach