Motivated by love for human beings in need
Motivated by love for human beings in need, the early Christians went everywhere preaching the Word of God, because nothing has such a humanizing influence as the gospel. Later they founded schools, hospitals, and refuges for the outcast. Later still they abolished the slave trade and freed the slaves, and they improved the conditions of works in mills and mines, and of prisoners in jails. They protected children from commercial exploitation in the factories of the West and from ritual prostitution in the temples of the East.
Today they bring leprosy sufferers both the compassion of Jesus and modern methods of reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. They care for the blind and the deaf, the orphaned and the widowed, the sick and the dying. They get alongside junkies, and stay alongside them during the traumatic period of withdrawal. They set themselves against racism and political oppression. They get involved in the inner city, the slums and the ghettoes, and raise their protest against the inhuman conditions in which many are doomed to live. They seek in whatever way they can to express their solidarity with the poor and the hungry, the deprived and the disadvantaged.
I am not claiming that all Christians at all times have given their lives in such service. But a sufficiently large number have done so to make their record noteworthy.
Why have they done this?
Because of the Christian doctrine of man, male and female, all made in the image of God, though all also fallen.
Because people matter.
Because every man, woman and child has intrinsic, inalienable value as a human being.
Once we see this, we shall both set ourselves to liberate people from everything dehumanizing and count it a privilege to serve them, to do everything in our power to make human life more human.
Stott, J. (1984, p. 24). New Issues Facing Christians Today. London: Marshall Pickering.