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Evangelicals Who Make the World A Better Place. Guest Post by Robin Jones

One of my biggest complaints against a lot of deeply committed evangelical Christians I know, and know about, is that they don’t live and act like Christians. They go to battle for issues not even addressed in their own Scriptures as if they were the most important things in the mind of God, and they completely ignore the moral imperatives Jesus himself did promote: active concern and love for those who are in need, whether they are of our own ethnic background, gender, country, socio-economic class, creed, or … anything else.  House the homeless, feed the hungry, help the outcast, work for the oppressed.

But every now and then I am surprised by some Christians whose faith drives them to fulfill the commands of their own gospel in a humble and helpful way  Many of these people do not toot their own horn; they go about silently doing amazing things for those in need.

I was 17 when I met Robin Jones.  We were first year students at Moody Bible Institute.  She was sparky, outspoken, and opinionated: not your typical pious Moody student.  She became a very good friend and has been ever since.  We don’t talk much these days, but do on occasion — she’s the only one from that part of my past I’m still in contact with.  The most recent face-to-face was particularly memorable.  Quite remarkable for me.

I’ve asked Robin to discuss it on the blog.  I’d like to do this because it involves a side of evangelical Christianity that I and most non-evangelicals never see, and I think it is very good indeed to know that liberal atheists (well, like me) and committed Bible-believing evangelicals (like Robin) can make common cause on issues of real importance to both of us.

So here is her first post.  Robin has kindly agreed to respond to questions.  Please, as always, be polite and respectful in your comments; anyone who is not will be cast into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

**************************************************************************

 

Divine Coincidence?

Right outside the Old City of Jerusalem we met for dinner. Two Moody Bible Institute alumni from the class of 1976. After decades and very different paths, we were connecting because of a short text I had sent saying, “Happy Birthday Bart Ehrman from Petra, Jordan!”

Bart responded, “Thanks Robin from Kfar Giladi Kibbutz in Israel.” At first, I thought he was mocking my Jordan reference, but quickly realized he indeed was in Israel. Three days later we met. Divine Coincidence?

Traveling on a Christian mission trip and knowing Bart’s general thoughts on Christianity, God, and suffering, I planned to steer clear of any discussion about my trip which was focused on serving people with disabilities and therefore the suffering.

As it happened, Bart was just too interested in that very topic and my Christian mission trip became the main discussion of the evening.

At one point, he said, “If I knew more Christians like you, I might look at Christianity differently.” Noting that there are millions of Christians compelled by their faith and love for people who are involved in large and small acts of compassion throughout the world, I assured him I was not an anomaly. (Yes, there is much more to Christians than politics, abortion, homosexuality, and placards.) “Well,” Bart interjected, “maybe so, but I never hear about it.”

That was 2018. Fast forward to earlier this summer when I received an intriguing email from Bart saying he thought his blog community might be interested to read of the “good things” Christians are doing and asked if I would be willing to write some of their stories. Well, yes, I would!

To do that I have to begin in 1967 when 17-year-old Joni Eareckson Tada had an ill-fated dive into the Chesapeake Bay and became a quadriplegic. In spite of her disability, Joni has lived out her Christian faith becoming an author, advocate for the disabled and eventual founder of Joni and Friends International (JAF). Today, at 70, Joni is one of the longest surviving quadriplegics and remains intensely focused on her love for God and His love for people. In tandem with local churches worldwide, Joni has leveraged her talents and influence to share the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ and give practical help to the most under-served peoples in the world – the disabled.

In our culture I am not sure we fully appreciate how far we have come since the 1990 Americans with Disability Act (ADA) which Congress established into law based on the work of the National Council on Disability on which Joni served. While we may have a way to go, the United States has significantly embraced the issues of disability. In much of the world however, this is not the case and the disabled are still relegated to the very lowest tier of humanity. They are often ignored by society and for those without committed families there is virtually no support system.

Which is where JAF and one of its cornerstone ministries – Wheels for the World (W4W) comes in. W4W has a simple strategy – communities in the United States collect used wheelchairs and ship them to select federal prisons where inmates are given the opportunity to feel like contributing members of society by restoring the wheelchairs to “like new” condition.

The chairs are then sent to 21 nations where they are met by a team of mechanics and occupational and physical therapists who, motivated by their love of God and their compassion to serve others, give of their own time and finances to personally fit each chair to its new owner.

On this particular trip we would be distributing 400 refurbished wheelchairs to local Jordanians and Syrian refugees. Throughout our stay we met hundreds of people and heard hundreds of stories, some had a chapter on faith, many did not. But all of them had chapters about suffering, pain, social ostracization, and financial challenges. Our goal was simply to be a conduit for God to touch these people in a tangible way… through a wheelchair.

Among the most memorable moments of my trip was hearing the heartbreaking words spoken by a father who said, “Outside of our family, I believe my son has only been treated like a human being twice in his 24 years.” Joseph’s father said that to us more than once during the afternoon his son was being fitted for his new wheelchair.

Joseph’s physical deformities were obvious and extreme. He was curled in a fetal position, his head seemed rather large, his face was not proportional, his ears were mismatched and he had no control of the spastic actions of his withered arms and legs.

As his father told us Joseph’s story, we learned that his physical challenges began at birth. At one time, through a unique opportunity from the King of Jordan, Joseph had graciously received some specialized medical attention. According to his father, this visit with us was only the second time since that day that he had been treated as a human being.

Then there was Ataf, a 30-year-old woman who came in with her mom and sister. She had been educated in Information Management and had been the sole provider for her family, but because of a disability, and without personal mobility, she was unable to get a job. She left us that day with transportation… and hope.

Our distribution sites varied but my favorite ones were at the local churches. In the heart of a city not too far from the Syrian border was one of the most externally focused churches I have encountered. Like thousands throughout the world this church has a heart for the displaced and an intentionality about meeting the needs in their community. One picture I still have is that of Omar, a 14-year-old boy who was born blind and unable to walk and had been carried around his entire life. He left the church that day with his first wheelchair… and the gift of freedom for both him and his family.

These stories and many more represent lifetimes of suffering and alienation for these precious people, but each was infused with a sense of hope because of their encounter with Wheels for the World.

During my evening with Bart overlooking the Old City he stopped me at one point and asked, “What makes this a “Christian” mission trip?”

Outside the Old City of Jerusalem, in the same neighborhood that the historical Jesus walked, I did my best to connect the “works” of our mission trip with the core of the Christian gospel. There are certainly a lot of issues that are of deep concern to Christians, but none is more closely connected to the heart of God than suffering people. And so, every local church, every volunteer, everyone who works on a wheelchair, everyone who prays for our efforts is expressing the love and mission of Jesus. For indeed he told us in the Gospels that when we give a cup of cold water to the downtrodden, the forgotten and the unlovely in his name we are displaying the great love of God. And interestingly… sometimes a cup of cold water looks exactly like a wheelchair.

 

 

 

 


Apology to the Blog
Christianizing the Old Testament and the Museum of the Bible: Guest Post by Jill Hicks-Keeton

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    WSChatham  July 31, 2020

    I loved her article. How can we contribute?

  2. Avatar
    RJTINGEY  July 31, 2020

    Excellent post, Robin and Bart! I’m a progressive Christian, and I have a conservative Evangelical friend with whom I have had many enjoyable conversations, even though we often disagree on issues and Biblical interpretations. Seems like we deepen each other’s understanding of our faith, and where we agree is in following the teachings of Jesus about compassion and love. She gave up a lucrative career as a CPA to work for a Christian charity that works around the world to help people share their faith and work with others. She is not the only Christian of whatever persuasion who lives her faith, and it’s wonderful to hear such stories.

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 2, 2020

      Appreciate the encouragement!

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 3, 2020

      There is a special richness in life to have friends you care about but with whom you don’t agree! Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. Avatar
    gbsinkers  July 31, 2020

    Powerful! Perhaps the blog could adopt one more charity. Whadaya say Bart?

  4. Avatar
    veritas  July 31, 2020

    Hello Robin and thanks for sharing this moving experience that is often witnessed and felt by many. I was reminded,as you spoke about inmates refurbishing the wheelchairs, of two men who you probably know well. Billy Graham and Ravi Zacharias. You know both men had their coffin’s built by the prisoners of Angola in Louisiana. One of the oldest and crowded institutions in America, where most inmates are in for life with no chance of parole. I often struggle with belief, but I keep an open mind to believers and non-believers. Everyone has some goodness to share. We seem to share a commonality of dignity and equality that permeates innately and mystified of its source. Oftentimes it is easier to talk about than act out. I think you have found meaning to your faith. Most of all, I am glad someone like Bart is still part of your circle of friendship, that is truly something Jesus would have taught.

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 3, 2020

      I agree that it is a gift that Bart’s and my friendship has withstood time and such varied paths.

      As a side note, I have had the privilege of spending time at Angola Prison, not as an inmate, but in the role as a journalist. I met the man who is their coffin maker. His story (at that time) along with many others there are tethered to a strong Christian faith journey. AND it so happens that Angola is a location for refurbishing wheelchairs for Wheels for the World which I referenced in my blog.

      Thank you for your comments.

  5. Avatar
    rmallard  July 31, 2020

    Hi Robin,

    Thank you for your post. Unlike many in the agnostic/atheist community, I have never questioned the sincerity or decency of Christians as a whole. I have known and seen many great and generous things that self-proclaimed Christians have done and are doing. Too, I can say the same for many who are of other faiths or no faith at all. My self identification as an agnostic (it always seems presumptuous calling oneself atheist) is based on my inability to accept the core tenets of Christianity (or any faith for that matter) and has absolutely nothing to do with my political or moral disapproval of the various spokespersons for evangelical. And no, the mean-spiritedness doesn’t help but my suspicion is that people who sincerely are so mean and judgmental just totally don’t get what made Jesus the revered figure he was. I for one think sincere adherents to Christianity like yourself need to be the ones pointed to as exemplars not despicable Trump worshiping wealth gospel frauds.

    As a person who works with incarcerated youth and an admirer of the Christian religion, thank you and please keep doing great work. It’s needed.

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 3, 2020

      There certainly is no lack of opportunity to serve and love others. I appreciate your service to those youth in challenging situations..

  6. Avatar
    JeffreyFavot  July 31, 2020

    I can assure you that Bart is disconnected from the works of Christians in the Church. He’s stuck in the bubble of academia. My greatest brag is that I don’t see any group of people on Earth doing the works that Christians are doing throughout the world. Willing to lay down their lives for the cause of the Gospel and people in general. I spent a summer in Ramallah, Palestine a few years ago on a mission trip and witnessed firsthand what the Church is doing. Bart is fully aware what James chapter
    2 says in regards to true faith. It’s a living faith. That’s outward. Don’t discredit the importance of the role the Church is playing against the countless murder of children in the womb or the destruction of the nuclear family. Those issues are just as important than feeding the hungry. They destroy lives as well. Politics are important and they have devastating consequences for society. The Church should be engaged in cultural issues. We are the salt and the light. An atheist has no foundation to judge what’s moral or not anyways.

    • Avatar
      Stephen  August 2, 2020

      Jeffrey, I would say that if you think regulating other people’s sexual behavior is more important than feeding the hungry perhaps you need to go reread Matthew 7:5 and Matthew 25:31-46!

      • Avatar
        JeffreyFavot  August 4, 2020

        Those passages DO NOT mean that Christians should not condemn sinful behavior. Nor celebrate it. Paul admitted in Romans 7 that he had his only struggles in the flesh, yet he condemns lots of evil behavior throughout his letters.
        Stephen, I will tell you exactly what you need to hear. Your problem is not with interpretation, but authority. Your inner refusal to submit to the revealed will of God through his Word. It’s a truth.

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 3, 2020

      Many of us have a tendency to determine reality within the bubble/silo of our everyday life and that can be frustrating to see and experience. At times, I am amazed when I find yet another blind spot in my thinking but am grateful when it is unveiled. Conversations like this help shift our thinking and expand our awareness. Thank you for your ministry!

      • Avatar
        JeffreyFavot  August 5, 2020

        That’s correct. That’s why we need an authority and revelation outside of ourselves (humans), that can reveal to us what is reality. The Bible is that object. God has revealed to us the reality of the world around us, what is good and evil, and his holiness. In his love and mercy, he’s given us knowledge of himself, and a way for reconciliation to himself. In Jesus Christ. He commands all men everywhere to repent and believe. Whether you believe that or not, you’ll find out the truth sooner or later.

  7. Avatar
    Poohbear  July 31, 2020

    Quote “They go to battle for issues not even addressed in their own Scriptures as if they were the most important things in the mind of God, and they completely ignore the moral imperatives Jesus himself did promote…”

    I think YOU are serving issues not addressed in scripture. Care for others in scripture was a MANIFESTATION of Godliness, not an end in itself.
    Many Godless people care for others. That’s stated in the Gospels.

    The Facts – Jesus gave no money to the poor; set up no soup kitchens; caused those of his ministry to be poorer; was rejected by many poor; never spoke of a better world; rejected those who just wanted to be fed; never liberated Israel and had followers with above average standard of living. Worst of all, Jesus said the Jewish lot was to become a whole lot worse because they ” knew not the time of your visitation.”

    Some religious people have made “poverty” their focus. Some celebrate poverty (Mother Teresa style) or promote poverty through economic ignorance (Marxist theologies and welfare state, anti-Capitalist thinking etc.)

    Christianity is spelled out in the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5,6 and 7.

    • Bart
      Bart  August 2, 2020

      I wish you could see how contradictory your last sentence is to everything else you said.

    • Avatar
      AstaKask  August 2, 2020

      “For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…”

  8. Avatar
    Judith  July 31, 2020

    Robin, thank you for this. I love the ending!

  9. Telling
    Telling  August 1, 2020

    Hi Robbin,

    Through this blog (which I think is fantastic, to communicate directly with the “master” Bart) I’ve been pounding it into his head that there is something, over, under, and beyond Christianity and atheism and science that unites them all.

    Bart is right that the Bible is filled with myth and fabrications. And yet Christianity is distinctly ahead of atheism and science. The central elements of the Master’s message are preserved in the New Testament Bible, but the central message of Christianity — the Crucifixion narrative — is pure myth.

    Your focus is of the Master’s message: the great and the small are entirely equal and we are a single body.

    This brings us to “metaphysics”. Consciousness is the root of everything, and God as defined by us is the whole of it and is a conscious personality.

    Bart doesn’t understand how God could be so cruel and allow such suffering. But we, consciousness, create our own futures and thus our present via our imaginations. We create our own reality via our thoughts. We must change our thoughts and our present world will change.

    “If you truly believe it will happen then it will happen.” -Me. Give care to our thoughts.

  10. Avatar
    thaumkid  August 1, 2020

    If you google “mormon wheelchairs”, you’ll see that they’ve made a big deal of the tens of thousands of wheelchairs they’ve distributed since 2003. No doubt a good thing, but with a bit of cynicism it seems to me their charitable work was partly chosen based on optics and self-promotional media they could make from it, rather than overall impact (neither here nor there, maybe, but they give only a miniscule fraction of their total income toward charitable [by secular standards] work) . I’m far more impressed by the impact per dollar of effort demonstrated by charities listed by “The Life You Can Save”, “Give Well”, and related forums. It’s good to see Christians doing genuine good, and even better when they join hands with or even compete against (in a friendly way) non-believers and those of different faiths also attempting to make a big, positive impact in the world. In the long run I think the attitude of “giving what we can” (another good group) is what matters most — if one is committed and self-critical, they’ll figure out ways to make a decent impact and manage their giving better over time.

  11. Avatar
    thaumkid  August 1, 2020

    I’m worried about the casual mention of W4W’s use of prison labor to refurbish wheelchairs. A google search or two shows me that the 16 or so “select federal prisons” that W4W uses include private, for-profit prisons such as Kingman in Arizona and Taft in California, and in the words of one friendly post about them, these prisons “provide free labor” to refurbish the wheelchairs.

    John Oliver did a good piece on the problems of our privatized prison systems and the almost-slave labor that goes on in them. I wonder if the good being done in providing wheelchairs justifies the probable harm being done in how they’re provided. Recalls to mind how China is offering detained Uighurs as cheap labor for their factories.

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 9, 2020

      To give you a detailed response, I would have to do a deeper dive. But I will way, that the prisons (3-4) I have visited who have the Wheels for the World program are not private, for profit prisons and those who are selected to provide the wheelchair refurbishing skills are a very select group in terms of wanting to provide the servie to “give back”.

      • Avatar
        thaumkid  August 10, 2020

        Thanks for your response. Did some digging.

        W4W runs restoration shops in the following 11 government-run prisons: at the Norton Correctional Facility, the Louisiana State Penitentiary (“Angola”), the El Dorado Correctional Facility, the Ellsworth Correctional Facility, the Correctional Industrial Facility, the Stafford Creek Corrections Center, the Buena Vista Correctional Facility, the Monroe Correctional Complex, the Southeast Correctional Center, MCI-Shirley, and the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility.

        3 government-run prisons do tangential services for W4W’s restoration shops: the Ozark Correctional Center, the Algoa Correctional Center, and the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center.

        W4W runst restoration shops in the following 6 prisons run by private, for-profit groups: Taft, run by MTC. Kingman, the Lea County Correctional Facility, and the Rivers Correctional Institution, run by GEO. The South Central Correctional Facility and the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility, run by CoreCivic.

        MTC lost their contract for Kingman in 2015, after an investigation showed they had “a culture of disorganization, disengagement, and disregard”.

        GEO seems to regularly “pay” their prisoners in snacks or as little as $1 per day for their labor. At Rivers, 16-17 inmates at a time are assigned to work $0.40 / hour to fix up wheelchairs (https://cic.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/cic/publication/attachments/Rivers%20CI%20Inspection%20Report%20with%20Federal%20Bureau%20of%20Prisons%20Response%20.pdf).

        Metro-Davidson employees have exploited prison labor –> https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2017/jan/10/pln-goes-undercover-bust-cca-employees-misuse-prisoner-labor/.

        • Avatar
          thaumkid  August 10, 2020

          It was this pro-W4W christian post article that mentioned the “free labor” being used to refurbish the wheelchairs –> https://www.christianpost.com/voices/joni-eareckson-tada-wheels-for-the-world.html.

          I wondered, what is the value of that “free labor”? Since Joni and Friends is a 501(c)(3) organization, they openly publish financial summaries. For 2019, they listed $7,109,763 as the value of “contributed services” they received, and they further clarified, “Contributed services consist of the value of the labor involved in refurbishing the wheelchairs”. At minimum wage, that’s almost 1 million hours, or 500 full-time jobs’ worth of “free” labor. It would be nice to know how they derived that figure and how much of it is based on prison labor.

          I did see some very good signs that the folks involved are generally running very positive operations, and Joni and Friends is even auditing at least some of them. Y’all are doing good on many levels for many people, not least of all the prisoners involved. Still, the laborer is worthy of his hire, and it seems that especially the private prisons are exploiting their workers, including those working in W4W’s restoration shops.

  12. Avatar
    AstaKask  August 1, 2020

    “For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in…”
    If I’m not mistaken this is one of the two things Jesus say you have to do to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. The other being to follow all the commandments, sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and follow Jesus. In both of these cases it’s compassion with the poor and downtrodden that counts. I wish more people were like you.

  13. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  August 1, 2020

    Robin: Wow! I love the ending. Interestingly, last Sunday’s “New York Times” had a whole section on disabilities.

    Bart’s responses to you do not surprise me as he is always reaching out to those with whom he disagrees.

    Two questions if I might. The first is the question I always ask because it is the most important question of all questions: Given all that we know about historical Biblical criticism, how would you make the case for God and how would you make the case for Jesus? The second is a related question: how does the “essence” of Christianity differ from secular humanism?

  14. Avatar
    John Morris  August 1, 2020

    Robin these are awe inducing words of faith and hope that touch me very deeply! You see I was born with Cerebral Palsy and the son of a fine Kentucky country preacher! So this hits home in every way! Mere thanks on behalf of those who have been given a gift by your groups Christ driven love of those in need leaves me so glad hearted! As we say in the hills of Kentucky “May the Lord continue to bless you till you just can’t stand it”

  15. Avatar
    janmaru  August 1, 2020

    A famous rabbi is annoyed that his students dedicate their lunch breaks playing soccer instead of discussing the Torah.
    The students were so deep into the game that they tried to convince their teacher of the game’s beauty, inviting him to watch a professional match. During the break, they ask what he thinks.
    “I have solved your problem,” the rabbi says.
    “How?”
    “Give one ball to each side, and they will have nothing to fight over.”

    So give to committed evangelical Christians some disbelief and to militant hardcore atheists some charity work.
    They would not have anything to fight over.

  16. JulieGraff
    JulieGraff  August 1, 2020

    Thank you Robin for sharing this post!

    And you just made the point that suffering doesn’t meen that G.od doesn’t exist and takes care of is Creation… (like he created this world and left the building!!! Not!)

    How could your heart be so open, on a day to day basis, if you didn’t have this mission?

    People think that when they help someone suffering they save them.. no, they save you!

    (as you are both scholars, you know the importance of the premise!)

    Evangelicals and Catholics can break you to the point that even a wheelchair could not help you… I know, I have lived it! (shame on me, I let them do that to me!)

    I was taken apart, outcast etc.. because of what, because I have lived something profound regarding reincarnation (OMG bring out the holy water!) … and the most beautiful thing I have lived with this reincarnation story is seeing with my own eyes how two people who had a fall out in an other lifetime, in this life, one had muscular dystrophy, living in a wheel chair, and the other one was taking care of him!

    Yes G.od is in charge of his Creation, and knows how to Open our Hearts!

    • JulieGraff
      JulieGraff  August 4, 2020

      Mr. Ehrman

      I guess that since my comment is still awaiting moderation after some time has passed it is because as you said “I am cast into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

      Well I am sorry, but if it is because I wrote “Evangelicals and Catholics can break you to the point that even a wheelchair could not help you” just know that I will not take it back!

      I did not write that ALL can do that, but yes they can… just look at the apology you just posted for a link that could lead to such a thing! At least you had the decency to apologise for the link!

      Sometime when we dont speak up, or tell the truth about something, it’s like giving it our blessing!

      I will not do that with what I have lived as I dont wish that on anybody else!

      Yes suffering can turn our face to G.od, but we are not allowed to bring it upon anybody!

  17. Avatar
    flshrP  August 1, 2020

    Certainly evangelical Christians do good works. But I think it’s a mistake to automatically credit their faith as the cause of this charity. I think that these individuals do good works because they are intrinsically good and moral people who would do the same even if they were non-believers or atheists. I think the same about my sister who is a nun (School Sisters of Notre Dame). If these individuals are doing good works solely to cheat death by believing in the fantasies of an immortal human soul and an eternal afterlife (i.e. they are salvation seekers), then it’s very difficult for me to have much respect for their motives.

    • JulieGraff
      JulieGraff  August 5, 2020

      “If these individuals are doing good works solely to cheat death by believing in the fantasies of an immortal human soul and an eternal afterlife (i.e. they are salvation seekers), then it’s very difficult for me to have much respect for their motives.”

      flshrP, this is one on fhe fundamental reason why it was not Aaron who was chosen to lead Israël out of Mitsraïm.. and why it was not Moses that was to bring Israël on it’s Land…

      G.od knows how to Take Care… and it’s not with bull(or golden calve)shit!

  18. Avatar
    Manuel  August 1, 2020

    Thank you for your work and your inspirational stories. Could you comment on whether or not true Christians such as your self have an obligation to speak out against the “Christians” most of us see on tv who are spouting words and views that Christ himself might find objectionable.

    • Avatar
      robinj  August 9, 2020

      I would say each Christian would need to make that decision for themselves. There are definitely things that some “high visitbility” and “everyday” Christians say and do that would not reflect what the one they say they serve would approve of and the best response for me in that situation is for myself to be faithful to the truth I know.

      I realize that is a simple response but there are so many variables.

  19. Avatar
    patim  August 1, 2020

    As a former evangelical for many years and now an atheist, it really bothers me when I hear religious people of any stripe, give credit to their God or religion as the reason or purpose for them doing good things. The percentage of atheists I have encountered, is much higher…and I mean really much higher than the evangelicals I have known and still observe when it comes to being actively involved in helping to alleviate suffering. Also, they are extremely less racist, homophobic, chauvinistic, and much wiser in who they vote for and the crazy conspiracy theories they readily dismiss.

    So, my question is what basis do you claim that your desire to do good is from a God or could it be just because you happen to be a good person, which you obviously are. If you discovered that God did not exist, would you still continue doing good? If so, why give credit to your God? Thank you.

  20. Avatar
    webattorney  August 1, 2020

    Thank you for sharing your story. As Bart hinted, this kind of project is something I, an agnostic, would not mind joining. I have tremendous respect for persons of any faith who undertakes effort or donates money to help other human beings without any ulterior motive. For example, after watching countless stories of families suffering, I have been donating anonymously $50 per month each to two families who are encountering tremendous suffering due to either an incurable disease or having lost parents to cancer. In some weird way, it wasn’t the influence of Christianity but Bart’s effort of charitable donations as an agnostic that influenced me more to undertake this sort of charitable donation. I don’t even feel the warm glow of good feeling when I make monthly donations but I simply do it because I feel it’s my duty, not as a Christian but as a human being who happen to be placed in a lot better position, to help those who are in very bad situations. Whenever I undertake a charitable act, I am struck by a singular feeling: that a deeply flawed person like myself is capable of helping others in less fortunate positions. And I hope that if there is God, He will take this into account when He judges me. lol

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