It’s often said that our society is based on Christian values. But I completely beg to differ. For at least three reasons:
1) Our society is not based on Christian values. It is based on a desire to run things in the best way we can think of. And many of our decisions fly directly in the face of Christian values. For example, if legalising gay marriage seems like the right thing to do, then it doesn’t matter that it goes against the Bible (and “Christian values”). We’ll do it (eventually).
2) There’s no such thing as “Christian values”. Many Christians think gay marriage is terrible and shouldn’t be allowed. But many other Christians think it’s fine. If you listed the things all Christians agree on, you wouldn’t have a very long list.
3) Correlation does not equal causation. There are definitely some values in the Christian worldview that are part of what our society is based on. Theft and murder are prohibited in the Bible and also in our society, for example. (Stealing people is kinda OK, though, right?) But this is just because these aspects of Christianity happen to be based on good ways to run a society. It’s not like everyone thought societies where people could take and kill whatever and whoever they wanted were great until the 10 commandments came along.
I definitely get it that many of my values are shared by many Christians, and I’m really glad about that. I was a Christian myself for a long time, and I didn’t suddenly reverse my opinion on every moral question when I left the Christian faith behind.
But Christians need to wake up to the fact that our society isn’t based on their values, and that while it’s great that they agree a ban on murder is sensible, it doesn’t mean they came up with the idea.