We now celebrate Christmas and the magic of the baby boy born in Bethlehem who grew to become the world’s most significant person.
As over two billion Christians across the globe seek the grace of this celestial king, the man with greater spiritual powers than anyone else on earth, we also reflect on the powerful ethical standards and values he brought with him.
The ground-breaking values of Jesus: As history has been twisted to fit the now totally dominant Marxist, atheist narrative, it is well worth remembering that the values of Christianity once produced a strong Western civilization—with ideals that we are now leaving behind, writes historian and bestselling author, Hanne Nabintu Herland in her Christmas column at WND.
WND is America’s largest Conservative network with columnists such as Larry Elder, Ann Coulter, John Whitehead, Joseph Farah, Ben Shapiro, Dinesh d’Souza, Pat Buchanan, Dennis Prager, David Kupelian, Jesse Lee Peterson and most of the leading Conservatives in the United States.
The ground-breaking values of Jesus: The work of Yale and Harvard professor, historian Robert R. Palmer, and Joel Colton in A History of the Modern World is one of the most highly praised history texts ever that has been adopted in more than a thousand schools. It has been praised as “an elegantly written historical narrative, filled with analysis and balanced historical insights as well as its traditional attention to the processes of historical change, conflict, and political transformations”.
Palmer asserts that Christian philosophy was revolutionary in that its definition of humanity was inclusive of all people.
- Why we Celebrate Christmas: St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and the birth of Jesus
- Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All
- Christmas and the most significant person in world history
- The 25th of December, a pagan feast? What drives the modern, warped understanding of Christmas?
- The Evergreen Tree and Christmas Celebrations over time
The ground-breaking values of Jesus: Christianity represented an altogether new definition of the value of human life, developing human rights and the value of tolerance as well as accepting differences and the concept of equality regardless of race, creed, gender, and class.
Christianity’s influence on Western values is overwhelming, writes Palmer, as it was Christianity that introduced the principle of equality, which unleashed the revolutionary idea that each man, regardless of class, gender, and race, has a unique value:
“It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the coming of Christianity. It brought with it, for one thing, an altogether new sense of human life. For the Greeks had shown man his mind; but the Christians showed him his soul.”
“They taught that in the sight of God, all souls were equal, that every human life was sacrosanct and inviolate.”
“Where the Greeks had identified the beautiful and the good, had thought ugliness to be bad, had shrunk from disease and imperfection and from everything misshapen, horrible, and repulsive, the Christian sought out the diseased, the crippled, the mutilated, to give them help.”
“Love, for the ancient Greek, was never quite distinguished from Venus. For the Christians held that God was love, it took on deep overtones of sacrifice and compassion”.
Even suffering was viewed as a divine path to humility, since God himself had suffered death on the cross. In humility, Jesus gave his life so that others might live—the utmost expression of love.
Palmer points out that the early Christians worked hard to help the poor as none before them. They protested against the massacre of prisoners of war, were strong voices against slavery, and did not support the Roman tradition of gladiator matches, where men killed each other for the amusement of the crowd.
The early Christians taught humility and virtues such as selflessness, honesty, chastity, perseverance, and justice for the fatherless and the poor, and that all men were brothers.
In A Time of Transition, the German philosopher who often is viewed as the most important post-war intellectual in Europe, Jürgen Habermas writes that the concept of individual morality of conscience, human rights, ideals of freedom and solidarity—all this is the legacy of the Judeo-Christian ethics of love.
To quote him, “Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love.”
The ground-breaking values of Jesus: “This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk”.
The famous French philosophers and writers, Bernard-Henri Levy and Michel Houellebecq, explain in Ennemis Publics that Western civilization would never have the high view of human life and rights if it were not for the Judeo-Christian bold idea of a blessed creation made in the likeness of God and, therefore, sanctified.
In “A Time of Transition,” the German philosopher who often is viewed as the most important post-war intellectual in Europe, Jürgen Habermas, writes that the concept of individual morality of conscience, human rights, ideals of freedom and solidarity – all these ideals are the legacy of the Judeo-Christian ethics of love. To quote him, “Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.”
So, as we celebrate the genius of Jesus Christ at Christmas, we should be filled with gratitude for this great gift that has enlightened our darkened world with the possibility of love and kindness. His groundbreaking values shaped the West. Let us cling on to our Christian values.