Darrow Miller and Friends

This Just In … Christians Care!

Christians care!

That’s the gist of a recent editorial from the New York Times, “A Little Respect for Dr. Foster” by Nicholas Kristof/ @NickKristof.

Kristof begins by referencing polls that indicate “gays and lesbians” are viewed more favorably than “evangelical Christians.” But he admits that Christians care: “I’ve been truly awed by [the latter] I’ve seen in so many remote places, combating illiteracy and warlords, famine and disease, humbly struggling to do the Lord’s work as they see it, and it is offensive to see good people derided.”

dr-steveKristof cites as an example the remarkable service of Dr. Stephen Foster who has spent a lifetime in Angola. And he points out that “a disproportionate share of the aid workers I’ve met in the wildest places over the years, long after anyone sensible had evacuated, have been evangelicals, nuns or priests.”

Kristof is to be applauded for his journalistic integrity; he gave credit where it was due, even at the risk of exposing the ignorance of the “liberal circles” of his acquaintance. Good for you, Mr. Kristof.

What comes as a surprise (or maybe it isn’t a surprise, on second thought) is this further evidence of a growing divide between two parties in the US and other Western societies.

On the one hand, Christians know that so much good being done today (and historically) is being done in the name of, and for the sake of, Jesus Christ. Good is what Christians do. We celebrate and applaud them, as we wrote last March, for example, in Missionaries: What Good are They?

On the other hand are people such as those in Kristof’s circles. Apparently his associates don’t know any Christians. His peer group regard Christians as “rubes.” Evangelicals are often considered uneducated, their views often summarily dismissed from serious consideration by society’s elite.

Mr. Kristof was also curious to note that “religious Americans donate more of their incomes to charity, and volunteer more hours, than the nonreligious, according to polls. In the United States and abroad, the safety net of soup kitchens, food pantries and women’s shelters depends heavily on religious donations and volunteers.”

What? Christians care?

Yes, indeed. That truth has been documented in Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.

As for his question about why social conservatives are often personally generous while resisting government programs for needy children, Mr. Kristof (and/or his readers) might have a look at What Exactly Do You Mean By “Social Justice?

Nevertheless, a word of advocacy from a writer of Mr. Kristof’s  reputation is welcome.

  • Gary Brumbelow

See also:

Compassion AND Law at the Border?

Like Father, Like Children: God’s Compassion Shows Up In His Offspring

A WORLD WITHOUT CHRIST is a World Without Compassion


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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.