At the moment I’m working on multiple things, I am trying to finish off my prep for a sermon this weekend. Working towards finishing an article about the life of King David, and doing a fair bit of planning. However, this story from The Christian Institute came across my news-feed earlier on, and I felt the need to respond.
In summary this story is about the group, Humanists UK, giving a “warning” about the “ulterior” motives behind Operation Christmas Child. In the story, the Education Campaign Manager for Humanists UK (and I use the term education here very loosely) has this to say about the campaign.
“Using the donations of well-meaning parents and children as a tool for promoting an evangelical Christian agenda is appalling.”
Now this quote in of itself is very revealing, not only is it a means of trying to lure families away from supporting this venture, it reveals a lot about the true intentions of a group such as Humanists UK.
The article also states the following:
“Humanists UK believes that this practice manipulates well-intentioned children and parents, who may not be aware of the evangelising mission behind the appeal.”
Now before we go to much further let me preface this by saying that Samaritan’s Purse is quite upfront about their faith, in fact the following statement is found on the about page of their website.
“Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief and development organisation that works through local churches to proclaim and demonstrate the love of God amongst communities in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We are part of the global Samaritan’s Purse family that has been providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world since 1970. Samaritan’s Purse also has offices in the USA, Canada, Germany, and Australia.”
On top of that the statement below is found on their OCC page about the annual campaign.
“A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child. See the impact a simple shoebox gift packed and sent with love, has on a child and how it reaches into a community.”
So straight away we can easily see that the claims that Samaritan’s Purse are “manipulating well-intentioned children and parents, who may not be aware of the evangelising mission behind the appeal” is unfounded. In fact to even make such a statement is either very ill-read or deceptive on the part of Humanists UK. This is not something they should be looking to do in their argument.
Speaking practically, if you want someone to believe what you say, saying things which are so easily refuted does not benefit your argument, it only hurts it.
However, this issue is indicative of a much bigger issue. One that should be addressed. That issue being that to many secular groups, a Christian (or Christian Organisation) is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
The Humanistic Bias
Now an article like the one from Humanists UK clearly shows that a bias is at work here. But what exactly is that bias? It is one of that anything a Christian does is wrong, because it is done from a Christian ethos.
What groups like Humanists UK want to do is to see faith in any form disappear, and for only secularism to remain. Often from those who live a humanistic lifestyle you will see arguments such as, “well, shouldn’t Christians be doing more to serve the poor”? Where in reality we see that when Christians do in fact do that, then it’s only out of ulterior motives and we should somehow be ashamed of ourselves.
The accusations of ulterior motives are quite comical actually. Often a campaign like OCC is upfront about their Christian faith and desire to serve God in their work. This becomes comical when organisations like Humanists UK hide their intent behind nice flowery statements that create a smoke and mirrors effect. Humanists UK claim to be an organisation who want a tolerant world where rational thinking and kindness prevail, this being achieved in their mind by ensuring that religion of any kind (particularly Christianity) is out the door.
So to sum all this up, basically the issue here is that we’re demanded of to do “more Christian things” when our views don’t line up with what pop culture tries to enforce. But when we do those said Christian things, like help the poor, feed the hungry, love the lonely, it’s not done out of love, but of a malicious intent to warp people’s thinking to make them become Christians. It is an absolute joke.
But what I want to do here is leave this article on a positive note. So let’s do that, as I have a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth after writing this.
A More Positive Note
So let’s ask the question, what can we do when we read stories like the one from Humanists UK?
Firstly we can pray. Quite often we as Christians are guilty of taking pot-shots without thinking it through (myself included). Where what we need to do is pray for those who attack us. And let’s be clear, this is an attack. So we need to pray. Pray that those at the top of organisations like this can truly connect with the gospel and be saved. Pray that God will show the light to the people who work for groups like this. And pray that God will use this (even though it’s disgusting) to bring His glory about.
Secondly we can educate those around us about groups like this and what they’re really up to. What I mean by this is talk to those who are in our world about the agenda groups like this have. Prepare them for when they come up against these kind of issues. Half of the battle is won by preparation, and often times we’re not prepared for it.
Finally, we can respond. Now not everyone will want to respond, often if you voice the truth of scripture, people will come to bite you, even inside the church. The key is to respond in love, understandably this can be difficult, as it is extremely tempting to bite back. But this is what we’re called to do by Jesus. In Matthew 5:38-42, we see the familiar command to turn the other cheek. Applying the context of this passage to persecution in any form leads this to becoming a passage that tells us to show grace when we’re attacked. Granted that is easier said than done many times, it is important for us to do this nonetheless.
As we close, let me encourage you in this. Just because someone takes a shot at something like Operation Christmas Child, it doesn’t mean we should do it. Check out those who took the shot. Are they telling the truth? If not, why? Don’t let groups like this, who only want to do away with Christianity, lead you to not supporting wonderful causes. The Christian community is full of great causes to support, such as this one, so get involved, and get supporting. Bless the lives of others, don’t give in to the pressure.