Humanitarianism is a beautiful and a wonderful aspect that everyone should have, it is supposed to be known to all, and it should not be a cause of vanity or bragging.
Nowadays, some promote humanitarianism as an alternative to religions, and therefore, it has become a duty to tell the differences between Christianity and the rest of other religions, which may infringe human rights with their laws.
This article is meant to show how human rights and the constitutions of the world’s greatest nations were derived from the Christian faith and the Holy Bible.
Jesus Christ is the first legislator of human rights.
The roots of International human rights law goes way back to the principles of the natural law or what we call “justice”, which results in applying equity on earth. Christian priests such as Grosius Gallup and Montesquieu contributed to the development of human rights’ concepts.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are considered the historical stage for the formulation and development of the principles of human rights and the natural law.
Then in the twentieth century, we witnessed the establishment of a set of international documents on the basis of which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established, and no one can deny the role of the Church for 2.000 years until today, in defending the rights of the oppressed around the world, by helping the hungry, the needy, the refugees, and the marginalized, and by caring for the sick and the tired. Also the Christian believers around the world contributed through their diligent work to laying down the principles of human rights and applying them.
The first paragraph of the preamble and the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state:
1-All human beings of the human family inherit dignity and equal and inalienable rights.
2- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
Christianity is the only belief or religion in the world that is distinguished by the sanctification of man, not only honoring and respecting his rights, but sanctifying him, in Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
What is a greater honoring for man, than to be said that he was created in the image and likeness of God, which was repeated twice!
For the first time, He said: “God created man in his own image.” Then, He said, “in the image of God created he him.” as to establish it.
Christianity glorifies the human being and preserves his dignity, which people began to demand through human rights only two hundred years ago.
Also the commandments: “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.”, they maintain the relationships between human beings, so that none would assault, minimize, or infringe the dignity of the other, we can also search in the Holy Bible for phrases such as “Do not lie, do not intimidate, etc.” and we‘d find hundreds of vocabularies and terms in which we are commanded to respect the dignity of others.
3- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
Here, we note that two thousand years ago, Christianity explicitly banned slavery and the enslavement of human beings by another human being.
In Paul’s epistle to the Galatians 3:28, it says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Thus, the basic element of preserving human dignity and sanctification and equality between human beings was laid, as races and gender differences between males and females were abolished.
4- The foundations of civil life and the separation of religion from the state.
This is what our societies still demand to this day, which is difficult to implement in the Arab world, to the extent that there are countries that refused to sign the Human Rights Document because they are governed by Islamic Sharia, whose laws contradict the freedom of man to choose his own religion, just as there is no equality between a Muslim and a non-Muslim.
While in Christianity, two thousand years ago, the LORD Jesus Christ drew a line separating matters of faith and civil duties, with a very simple verse in Mark 12:17: “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Christianity is the first faith in the world whose followers respect the laws of the state, while most other religions may destroy their states if they conflict with their religion.
5- Respect the freedom of belief and religion.
We find in the Holy Bible in Luke 10:27 “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
Hence, the Christian faith firmly rejects the principle of imposing or forcing a person to do anything, because loving God is not an obligation, but rather an optional act. That’s why Christianity is the only religion that asks people to give joyfully and happily, without being obliged; 2 Corinthians 9:7 “for God loveth a cheerful giver.” At a time when the other religions are busy on how to increase the weight of rituals on their followers and turn them into slaves, after the LORD has raised them into being sons, so that their blind obedience would increase without them thinking, and be controlled tightly.
6- Respect for human freedom and choices.
In Deuteronomy 30:19 says the LORD God to Moses: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
The LORD God gave Moses choices, He did not give man only one way to take, or one option to choose, and this is the respect for the freedom of man in all his choices.
7- Women’s rights and equality between women and men:
In 1979 the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the rights of women in terms of equality between women and men, and the Holy Bible since the creation of Adam and before adam’s coming to earth, said in Genesis 1:27-28 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”, so that no one could tamper with the words, saying that God created the male in His image, and therefore He is masculine, without continuing the verse. Here, we see the best example of equality and justice put by the LORD God on human beings, so that there would be no discrimination between men and women.
And in the Epistle of Paul the apostle to the Galatians 3:28, he says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” As I mentioned earlier, racism and sectarianism and any other discrimination based on race, color or even gender, were abolished in Christianity, because each one is a member of Christ, and everyone is one in Christ, and is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of the LORD is present in him/her, therefore, it is not permissible to distinguish according to colour, gender or race.
From the beginning of Genesis, we find that the LORD God established the rights of man and woman on earth, like creating one woman for the man to sanctify their lives, to form a holy family, and to raise their children to glorify the Name of the LORD.
8- Social Equality.
We now come to the social equality between the rich and the poor, between the employer and the employee. We find in Luke 1:51-52 “He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.”
And in the Holy Bible, whether in the Old Testament, like the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Psalms, or in the New Testament, like in the epistles, or in the way the LORD Jesus Christ loved the tax collectors, the sinners, the poor and the needy, which was the reason why the scribes and the Pharisees criticized him, it proved to people that we are all equal before God, and on the contrary, the poor are honored more than the rich, as the LORD Jesus Christ said in Mark 10:25 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Concerning the social equality, remember the words of the LORD Jesus in Mark 10:21 “go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor.” and He also says in Luke 3:11 “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.” The LORD God has given us commandments to follow, so that there would be no class distinction between the rich and the poor.
The Holy Bible says in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” We also see verses about equality in Matthew 28:19, when the disciples recieved the Holy Spirit, the LORD has sent them to evangelize the world without distinction saying: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” and here “all nations” means that there is no distinction between the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Romans.
9- Rights and duties:
Jesus Christ enacted and legislated all human rights laws, and everything that powerful countries made an effort to produce, He summed it up with only seven words, in Matthew 19:19 “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” as there is no sentence on the face of the globe that includes the laws of the whole world, and can be this brief. It is a great sentence that runs the entire universe according to a system free of discrimination, and full of social and human justice. When the LORD said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”, none came before or after Him who was able to add to humanity any possible legal detail to benefit mankind more after this sentence. And in Luke 6:31, He emphasized it even more when He said: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Obviously and certainly none would like to be stolden from, killed, gloated over, insulted, or lied to. If people treated each other in the same way they wanted to be treated, social justice would be achieved and there would be no crime left on earth in the first place.
10- Child rights.
The rights of the child were proclaimed in Geneva in 1924, and you may know many of these rights, such as the right of the child to life, education, an appropriate atmosphere, the prevention of injustice, etc., and the LORD Jesus Christ honored children two thousand years ago, and we, as Christian believers, are proud that we are the only belief that went to honoring the child. Most of faith and religious beliefs around the world support the adult man and honors the youth, while Christ began honoring starting from childhood, where he said in Luke 18:16 “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Of course, the verses in which Jesus honors the child are many, in Mark 10:13, Matthew 19:13, Luke 18:15, Mark 9:36-37, Matthew 18:3-5. Also in Luke 9:48 “And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me.” Whoever accepts a child, accepts the LORD, and whoever helps a child, helps the LORD. So the LORD Jesus Christ gave 2000 years ago, the greatest honor to children, when we still wonder how to give them their rights in the appropriate way.
And do not forget the verse in Colossians 3:21 which says: “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” where it is forbidden for the fathers to embitter the child, giving by this the first base to a healthy raising and a healthy atmospehre, which are included in the human rights.
11- The right to work.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
The Holy Bible mentions the profession of Jesus Christ, also Joseph’s, a carpenter, Peter’s, a fisherman, and Paul’s, a tentmaker.
The Apostle Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8 “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.”
Here, the work charter was established and the sanctity of work respected, which we today see in human rights law.
12- Victims of wars:
In 1949, in the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and the Protection of Victims of War, Article 38, they could not find a better, more merciful, and more meaningful emblem for the war-wounded than the red cross on a white background, so that this would be the only healing symbol for everyone who seeks it around the world.
With this, we have given you some laws in human rights, and explained to you how they were taken from Christianity and the Holy Bible, so being a true Christian means that you are an absolute humanitarian, so do not let anyone underestimate you and draw you with malice through terms and words to take you away you from your faith and lead you to perdition, for example, by saying: “Humanitarianism is enough.”
If human rights laws are based on my faith and belief, so why would I allow some to insult my faith and my Holy Bible on the pretext of human rights?!
Mar / 10 / 2019