by Susan D. Harris 8/10/14
Ann Coulter’s recent article “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to Idiotic” really hit home – if you’ll excuse the pun. Coulter makes a good argument as she questions why American missionaries don’t stay home and help a country in the violent throes of spiritual decay. She accuses them of slinking off to Third World countries (and coming back with Ebola), while they abandon the most consequential nation on earth — their own.
It’s a thought I’ve often had as I’ve watched church after church suck their congregations dry for overseas missionary work while the old lady in the house next-door struggles for food – physically and financially. These same missionaries are lauded as heroes for going to Africa when their hometowns are awash in drugs, pornography, murders, domestic abuse, pedophilia, and a thousand other byproducts of spiritual darkness.
I would go even farther and liken the situation to child adoption in the U.S. Couples, often citing impossible U.S. adoption laws and red tape, have been going overseas to adopt children for years while nearly 400,000 American children remain in foster care. Roughly 102,000 of those are waiting to be adopted at any given time, and another 58,000 become available for adoption after their parents’ rights are terminated.[pullquote]It’s a thought I’ve often had as I’ve watched church after church suck their congregations dry for overseas missionary work while the old lady in the house next-door struggles for food – physically and financially.[/pullquote]
I know a Christian couple who recently adopted five siblings from Bhutan. Another couple, misled about the health of a newborn, adopted a Russian baby who needed so many operations they nearly went bankrupt and ended up divorcing. All of this happens while a little boy or girl from Nebraska or Kentucky grows up in the uncertain love and insecurity of foster care. I’ve rarely met a couple who adopted an American-born child.
The truth is, instead of staying and fighting, Americans developed a pattern of running to other countries – whether for missionary work, adoption, or cheaper labor and smaller overhead.
I once worked for a company that boasted they used only local contractors in order to “keep their money in the community.” Imagine my surprise when I found out their largest “local” contractor actually contracted his work to Mexico.
Despite our professed American pride, we became increasingly lured to foreign countries to avoid crippling taxes in our homeland; we became enchanted with converting foreigners instead of helping our own neighbors.
Years ago I was looking for a church in my new area; longing for fellowship with other Christians. I invited a friend to attend a Sunday service at a church I was considering attending. My friend was an Indian national who floundered between Buddhism and Hinduism. I suppose I hoped he’d convert to Christianity one day, but as I got to know him I doubted that would ever happen. After the service, we were descended upon — I was happy and eager to make new friends with similar beliefs. To my surprise, they surrounded my Indian friend and quite conspicuously ignored me. I received neither greeting nor handshake. My friend was amused and indulged them. We wrote our addresses in the visitor’s log. The next day I visited my friend and found his table filled with baked goods; courtesy of a contingent of ladies from the church who knocked on his door at 9 a.m. As he bit into a piece of chocolate cake, he laughed at them. He confessed he always enjoyed getting food or gifts from Christian’s eager to boast they’d converted some Third World pagan. I sighed at my loneliness for Christian fellowship and chomped down a brownie.
Ann Coulters article was harsh, but it needed to be said. I only regret that it was Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse that found itself in the eye of the Ebola hurricane. Samaritan’s Purse has consistently been one of the first responders when disaster strikes here at home. They raised $37 million dollars as they toiled at disaster relief units in Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. They were there for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, bringing in truckloads of emergency supplies including chainsaws, tarps and generators. They rushed to assist flood victims inPensacola, Florida deal with water damage, removal of wet insulation and spraying for mold. In short, this organization knows how to help at home too.
I have no affiliation with Samaritan’s purse, I just like give credit where credit is due.
Recently, Franklin Graham courageously reprimanded his Christian colleagues — right here in America — for not speaking out against the moral issues of our day. “God hates cowards,” he told a gathering of pastors at a Watchman on the Wall event in Washington, D.C. last May.
The speech was reminiscent of his father’s, (Rev. Billy Graham’s), early years. (Back before he became more “mellow;” stopped preaching the Biblical truths of Hell and Judgment; confessed the Clinton’s were “wonderful friends,” and suggested Bill become an evangelist and let Hillary run the country.)
There was none of that in Franklin Graham’s address:
God hates cowards. And the cowards that the Lord is referring to are the men and women who know the truth but refuse to speak it…We have a responsibility to speak on the moral issues. Abortion, homosexuality, these are moral issues. This is a free country, you can do what you want to do but I want you to know it’s a sin against God. This is a sin…
Directing his remarks at pastors who refuse to address these issues for fear of “becoming targets,” Graham said, “Well don’t you think the Lord Jesus Christ was a target? … Could we get our heads chopped off? We could, maybe one day. So what? Chop it off!”
It’s lamentable that it was Graham’s organization that created such controversy by bringing their volunteers back to America to be treated for Ebola; because it could have been any number of secular organizations knocking at the door of Emory University Hospital for access to their specialized isolation unit.
Still, Ann Coulter was right to raise such relevant questions: “…Why do we have to deal with this at all? Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?”
Coulter said: “Your country is like your family. We need to take care of our own.” Indeed we are a nation in peril. It’s time to sound the shofar and ring the church bells – not just as a warning, but to summon decent, God-fearing Americans everywhere: “Come home…your family needs you!”
(This article originally appeared in American Thinker.)
Susan D. Harris can be reached at SusanDHarris.com.