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Friday, November 5, 2010

The Anti-Virus Program Has Been Uninstalled

"The West is like a computer from which the anti-virus program, the gospel, has been uninstalled," writes Vishal Mangalwadi in Truth and Transformation.

Mangalwadi understands the significance of "uninstallation." His country, India, experienced the benefits of the anti-virus program for about 150 years. But when the anti-virus program was removed, negative consequences were far-reaching.

British rule in Bengal began in 1757. The British East India Company came to India to make money. British governmental leaders took bribes, and corruption was rampant.

"British corruption," Mangalwadi writes, "destroyed Bengal's economy and became a factor in the death of several million people in the famine of 1769-70."

But then something remarkable happened.

The Wesleyan revival, birthed through John Wesley (1703-1791), produced British leaders like William Wilberforce, who saw the gospel as something more than a private, personal religion. They saw it as having enormous ramifications for whole societies.

The abolishment of slavery was not the only outcome. "Following the Wesleyan revival in England," writes Mangalwadi, "the British evangelicals transformed their government in India."

Mangalwadi credits Charles Grant, who, in the 1770s and early 80s, campaigned to give India "a philosophical basis for moral absolutes....via evangelization."

The effect of Grant's campaign was a significant transformation of Indian government and business. So much so, writes Mangalwadi, that "in 1947, independent India and Pakistan received clean, although not perfect, administrations."

"During the nineteenth century," he writes, "British evangelicals succeeded in transforming England and their government in India because they believed in a different God. Their God used his power not to oppress and extort, but to serve..."

Mangalwadi also credits Charles Trevelyan, who risked his life to expose corruption in business and public life in India.

But after Independence in 1947, Mangalwadi laments, "we have not seen secular or Hindu civil servants take heroic personal risks to fight corruption."


Because the worldview that inspired Trevelyan and Grant has been "uninstalled."

While the biblical worldview had a profound effect on India for more than a century, "in the last sixty years," writes Managlwadi, "corruption has grown exponentially."

The anti-virus program has been uninstalled in England, too, and is currently being uninstalled in America.

Proverbs 14:34 says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."

Mangalwadi asserts, "What the gospel did for England and India once, it can do again."

For America, too.

But will we let it?

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