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