[Excerpt from IS JESUS “GOD”? Copyright © 2017 Edward K. Watson. All rights reserved. Section 6.4.]
Modern Christianity is, without a doubt, the most confident of the four largest religions. It does not fly into a rage whenever someone disrespects it or ridicules its founder. It does not instigate its followers to go on murderous rampages to solve grievances. It does not go into a panic when it is marginalized or persecuted. It does not tell its followers they are superior to nonbelievers and have the right to denigrate, abuse, rape, kill, and take the possessions of others by force. No one has ever screamed “Jesus is Lord!” while murdering people for religious reasons. It does not demand special privileges that are not accorded other religions. It is perfectly happy being on the sidelines and out of the spotlight.
Christianity knows at its core that it will triumph no matter what the world may do to it provided it clings to Jesus Christ and his message. Unlike the other large world religions, it knows what it’s like to be a small persecuted minority only suitable for becoming human torches or fed to lions for entertainment. It knows what it’s like to have major divisions of itself exterminated or have its geographical heartland forcefully taken away from it. It knows what it’s like to be hated and oppressed.
It also knows it will survive and thrive regardless of whether it is a tiny persecuted minority, a provincial power, a national government, or a continental superpower. Why? Because it already experienced all those things and knows from experience that it will keep succeeding regardless of what happens. It also knows it functions best when it is not in control of governments or not placed as a state religion, as evidenced by the spectacular success of American Christianity, which saw the strongest and most vibrant versions of the Christian branches.
Christianity also knows it has given, and will continue to give, mankind tangible benefits to make humanity’s life happier, healthier, and nicer. It knows we need it and anyone who embraces it will find peace, contentment, a sense of identity and purpose, and joy in this life and the next.
True or false, it is an incredibly powerful message and appeals to every decent person, regardless of age, education, wealth, or social status. It isn’t surprising that millions become Christians every year and find peace and happiness within it—and because of it, strive to make the world a better place.