Growth — The Good and the Bad
by Gilbert Alexander
The growth of true New Testament Christianity is good, even vital, because it means that souls are being saved from eternal condemnation, and lives of promise and hope are being embraced. What makes one a Christian makes him free from guilt and condemnation for his past sins (Romans 6:17,18), makes him a child of God with the promise of an eternal inheritance (Galatians 3:26,27; I Peter 1:3-5), and makes him a member of the church of Christ, in which he works and worships and receives strength from his fellows (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4: 15,16).
The growth of true New Testament Christianity is bad for some businesses. It is bad for alcoholic beverage sales, for it reduces the number of customers (I Peter 4:3-5). It is bad for lawyers because it reduces the number of divorces, criminal acts, and lawsuits for all kinds of damages due to various excesses, abuses, and lack of self-control (Matthew 5:25; I Corinthians 6:1-11; Ephesians 4:17-32). It is bad for job opportunities in law enforcement because there are fewer crimes of theft, murder, violence, violation of others' rights, criminal mischief, indecency and lewdness, and public or domestic drunkenness (Romans 13).
The growth of true New Testament Christianity is good for any society in general. It produces honesty in the workplace and wherever Christians are (Ephesians 4:28), greater productivity (I Timothy 6:1,2; Philemon 10-19), and less loss of manpower due to excesses and evil doing (Titus 2:9,10). It makes a free nation more secure and freer by reducing crime and making communities safer places in which to live (Romans 13:1-10). A careful observer of society once wrote, "When the state is most corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied" -- Tacitus. The purest freedom that humanity can enjoy is in being servants of Christ. The burden of court dockets grows lighter proportionately to the growth of true Christianity. Open and friendly discussion of Bible truth is encouraged more by the growth of true Christianity. How far better this world is when righteousness is the subject of conversation rather than things that are base, corrupt, and appealing to the appetites of sinful men!