Tuesday, October 26, 2004When it comes to humanitarian efforts, what is a Christian to do?
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 3:14-16
We all know we are supposed to help the less fortunate, so is this an area where Christians of various denominations, as well as nominal Christians and Catholics ought to work together? After all, if we pool our resources, we can surely do more good, right?
Here is the scenerio:
You have just accepted a job working for a medium sized Christian humanitarian agency that distributes medical supplies and medicine in third world countries. Your job is to answer phones and perform administrative tasks, as well as updating the office’s computer capabilities. The work is pleasant and challenging. At first, you cannot believe your blessedness to be in a workplace where daily devotions and prayer time are considered as vital as coffee break. All of the staff profess to be born again believers, and you find it very easy to talk to them and share spiritual thoughts.
As time goes on, you start to question many of the agency’s practices, in light of Scripture. Then the question arises in your mind: Just what is a Christian humanitarian agency anyways? The agency itself cannot be Christian; it is just a logo after all. The staff do profess to be Christians, but they all have different doctrinal beliefs, making it hard to use the Scriptures as the ultimate authority in judging conduct. The agency does have a board of directors, who have regular conference calls and meetings. The board has authority by voting to determine how the agency operates. The board is supposed to be made up of Christians, but you come to realize that these people have been chosen for their business credentials and/or political influence.
Please give me your thoughts on:
Is it alright for a Christian to work in such a place, or is it better to separate from this type of thing?
Is it possible for a non-denominational Christian humanitarian agency to exist and truly glorify God?