"Would they want to spend an eternity with you and your God?
In his science fiction novel, Hidden Empire, Orson Scott Card cites a historical work on Christianity, Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries. Basically, early Christians proved their worth during the two major plagues that brought down the Roman Empire. The plagues killed about one third of the Empire’s population each time. The Roman Pagans largely isolated those who caught the diseases and left them to their fate. So many of the sick died not just of the plague, but of thirst and starvation in their own fecal matter even if they managed to survive.
The Christians, less afraid of death, nursed not only their own survivors back to health, but strangers as well, including Pagans. So a much lower percentage of Christians who caught the plague died, including those grateful Pagans they nursed back to health. The Christians thereby won respect for their good works and gained new members for their religion. Thus began modern health care.
But are Christians like that today, now that the need for public health care is widely accepted? We have all seen examples of Christians who preach love and forgiveness, but only for themselves. Unlike their Christ, who made friends of publicans and prostitutes, they consign to hell any who disagree with them, for any reason. They are the experts of the righteous jeer. They cut anyone might contaminate their perfection out of their lives. Their idea of “help” is more like a punitive stay in the local loony bin, where other Christians just like them can wield guilt like a horsewhip.
In the absence of any universal viral plague to test the mettle of today’s Christians, the question may well be, “Based upon the way that you treat them, would they want to spend an eternity with you and your God?” "