The Mystery of the Christian Ebola Doctors Solved!

Readability

The Mystery of the Christian Ebola Doctors Solved!

Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lep­ers, drive out demons. With­out cost you have received; with­out cost you are to give.

Matthew 10:8

The Doc­tor: You’re run­ning out of time.
Court­ney Woods: For what?
The Doc­tor: Every­thing! Human beings have incred­i­bly short lifes­pans. Frankly, you should all be in a con­stant state of panic. Tick tock, tick tock.

Doc­tor Who The Care­taker 2014

…As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear I take no plea­sure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s con­ver­sion, that he may live

Ezekiel 33:11a

Via Instapun­dit a writer at Slate finds him­self con­fused by a real­ity that his cul­ture can’t under­stand:

Mis­sion­ary doc­tors and nurses are sta­tioned through­out Africa, in rural out­posts and urban slums. Rather than para­chut­ing in dur­ing crises, like some inter­na­tional med­i­cine spe­cial­ists, a large num­ber of them have under­taken long-​term com­mit­ments to address the health prob­lems of poor Africans.

This isn’t news to any faith­ful Chris­t­ian . Any per­son famil­iar with his­tory knows Chris­tians have been the spear­point of help­ing oth­ers. In Africa for exam­ple the Catholic Church is very active:

Church africa

The Screen shot come from this video (via sacred space) with fig­ures from dat­ing from 2011. (In fact we had a 2nd col­lec­tion in our church two weeks ago to help sup­port this work) and of course these num­ber don’t count activ­i­ties by var­i­ous protes­tant denom­i­na­tions which, while not to the scale of much larger Catholic Church, are quite commendable.

But all of this brings unease to our sec­u­lar writer

And yet, for sec­u­lar Amer­i­cans — or reli­gious Amer­i­cans who pre­fer their med­i­cine to be focused more on sci­ence than faith — it may be dif­fi­cult to shake a bit of dis­com­fort with the situation.

Focused on sci­ence? Does the writer think Chris­t­ian doc­tors are using rat­tles and bleed­ing their patents to equal­ize their humors?

For all that,snark, the writer, to his credit notices that there is some­thing wrong with how he feels

And yet, truth be told, these valid cri­tiques don’t fully explain my dis­com­fort with mis­sion­ary med­i­cine. If we had thou­sands of sec­u­lar doc­tors doing exactly the same work, I would prob­a­bly excuse most of these flaws. “They’re doing work no one else will,” I would say. “You can’t expect perfection.”

I’m not alto­gether proud of this bias — I’m just try­ing to be honest.

While this fel­low has got­ten a lot of grief on com­ments I’m not both­ered by the story because hon­esty echoed by dif­fer­ent lib­eral writer ear­lier this week is the first steps to real­iz­ing that there is some­thing wrong there is still that inex­plic­a­ble unease.

Frankly it’s log­i­cal that Chris­tians, believ­ing in heaven, hell (and pur­ga­tory if Catholic) there­fore see­ing this life as a tran­si­tory phase in their exis­tence might be less adverse to risk­ing said life that oth­ers. Con­trari­wise it’s just as log­i­cal that an Athe­ist ratio­nally con­clud­ing he has but one life, is not about to risk it for a bunch of peo­ple thou­sands of miles away that he’s never met.

Com­pletely log­i­cal, com­pletely ratio­nal, makes per­fect sense, par­tic­u­larly if one has a world­view that moral­ity is rel­a­tive and not an absolute handed down from on high, but if that’s so why is athe­ist writer Brian Palmer uneasy about all these Chris­t­ian Doc­tors risk­ing their lives fight­ing Ebola?

That answer is quite simple.

You see the real­ity is we are cre­ated in God’s image, all of us. Because of that fact even if one has spent a life­time deny­ing God’s exis­tence, this intrin­sic truth of our nature cre­ates, a gut feel­ing, an instinct a lit­tle whis­per in the ear say­ing that maybe, just maybe all we have been con­di­tioned to believe about Chris­tian­ity as vast waste­land of igno­rance & hate by the media, by our cir­cle and by the sec­u­lar cul­ture might be wrong.

That mer­est hint that your world­view, cel­e­brated by the dom­i­nant media cul­ture is lack­ing, threat­ens to divide you away from your com­fort zone and is makes the other side in this spir­i­tual bat­tle very ner­vous and he’s and his friends will fight like rav­en­ous wolves to snuff that spark out.

It’s also means those Chris­t­ian Doc­tors are get­ting it right because cre­at­ing that dis­com­fort is part of the job descrip­tion. I’ll give Christ the last word:

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daugh­ter against her mother, and a daughter-​in-​law against her mother-​in-​law; and one’s ene­mies will be those of his household.’

Matthew 10:3436

Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.

Matthew 10:8

The Doctor: You’re running out of time.
Courtney Woods: For what?
The Doctor: Everything! Human beings have incredibly short lifespans. Frankly, you should all be in a constant state of panic. Tick tock, tick tock.

Doctor Who The Caretaker 2014

 

…As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live

Ezekiel 33:11a

Via Instapundit a writer at Slate finds himself confused by a reality that his culture can’t understand:

Missionary doctors and nurses are stationed throughout Africa, in rural outposts and urban slums. Rather than parachuting in during crises, like some international medicine specialists, a large number of them have undertaken long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans.

This isn’t news to any faithful Christian .  Any person familiar with history knows  Christians have been the spearpoint of helping others.  In Africa for example the Catholic Church is very active:

 

Church africa

 

The Screen shot come from this video (via sacred space) with figures from dating from 2011.  (In fact we had a 2nd collection in our church two weeks ago to help support this work) and of course these number don’t count activities by various protestant denominations which, while not to the scale of much larger Catholic Church,  are quite commendable.

But all of this brings unease to our secular writer

And yet, for secular Americans—or religious Americans who prefer their medicine to be focused more on science than faith—it may be difficult to shake a bit of discomfort with the situation.

“Focused on science?  Does the writer think Christian doctors are using rattles and bleeding their patents to equalize their humors?

For all that,snark,  the writer, to his credit notices that there is something wrong with how he feels

And yet, truth be told, these valid critiques don’t fully explain my discomfort with missionary medicine. If we had thousands of secular doctors doing exactly the same work, I would probably excuse most of these flaws. “They’re doing work no one else will,” I would say. “You can’t expect perfection.”

I’m not altogether proud of this bias—I’m just trying to be honest.

While this fellow has gotten a lot of grief on comments I’m not bothered by the story because honesty echoed by different liberal writer earlier this week is the first steps to realizing that there is something wrong there is still that inexplicable unease.

Frankly it’s logical that Christians, believing in heaven, hell (and purgatory if Catholic) therefore seeing this life as a transitory phase in their existence might be less adverse to risking said life that others.  Contrariwise it’s just as logical that an Atheist rationally concluding he has but one life, is not about to risk it for a bunch of people thousands of miles away that he’s never met.

Completely logical, completely rational, makes perfect sense, particularly if one has a worldview that morality is relative and not an absolute handed down from on high, but if that’s so why is atheist writer Brian Palmer uneasy about all these Christian Doctors risking their lives fighting Ebola?

That answer is quite simple.

You see the reality is we are created in God’s image, all of us.  Because of that fact even if one has spent a lifetime denying God’s existence, this intrinsic truth of our nature creates, a gut feeling, an instinct a little whisper in the ear saying that maybe, just maybe all we have been conditioned to believe about Christianity as vast wasteland of ignorance & hate by the media, by our circle and by the secular culture might be wrong.

That merest hint that your worldview, celebrated by the dominant media culture is lacking, threatens to divide you away from your comfort zone and is makes the other side in this spiritual battle very nervous and he’s and his friends will fight like ravenous wolves to snuff that spark out.

It’s also means those Christian Doctors are getting it right because creating that discomfort is part of the job description.  I’ll give Christ the last word:

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.  For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’

Matthew 10:34-36