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8 December 2004

Let’s not be too narrow here

Ignoring the AIDS crisis worldwide.  This isn’t a problem just
among evangelicals, but Christians in general.  But perhaps
evangelicals are supposed to get it more?  That’s what the columnist seems to be saying
I can’t agree; it’s not just to hold evangelicals to a different
standard than other Christians.  Regardless, there’s plenty of
shame here for evangelical Christians to think about.

The survey, conducted by the Barna Research Group for World
Vision, a nondenominational Christian relief organization that does
heroic work in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, revealed
that since November 2002, the percentage of American evangelicals who
said they would be willing to make a donation to help alleviate the
AIDS emergency has risen from 5 percent to 14 percent.

The survey of 1,004 adults also found that 17 percent of evangelicals
(a group Barna researchers define with a complicated set of nine
questions about doctrine, belief and practice) now say they would help
children orphaned by AIDS, a figure that is up from a shocking 3
percent two years ago.

World Vision calls this a “small but significant increase.”

That’s far too generous. They’re being way too easy on their evangelical friends, and I say that as one of them.

Let me be sure I’ve got this straight: Two years ago, almost none of
the evangelicals polled (in the same Barna survey) said they intended
to make a donation to help the African AIDS emergency. And now, about
85 percent of them still feel the same way.

Hardly reason to celebrate. The numbers should be the direct opposite of what they are….

Jesus said: Suffer the little children to come to me. Feed the hungry. Care for the sick. The poor will always be with you.

Most Christians know this, right?

So, why didn’t the Barna surveyors discover nearly all evangelicals —
the alleged caretakers of Jesus’ gospel message — ready, willing and
able to do whatever it takes to help millions of dying men, women and
children in sub-Saharan Africa live?

The Barna surveyors also reported that about 12 percent of Americans in
general are willing to donate money toward the African AIDS crisis, and
about 13 percent are interested in supporting children orphaned by AIDS.

That’s a negligible difference from the evangelical results.

Where does Jesus fit into the equation?…

Hey, church, what’s it gonna take?

Does Jesus himself have to make a special guest appearance, point at
Africa and shout, “Yo, a little help over here?!” before you realize
it’s unquestionably your responsibility to do something significant to
stem the tide of the AIDS pandemic there?

Yes, it’s up to all of us as human beings, regardless of our religious
persuasion or lack thereof, to care for those most in need….

Actions speak louder than words.

Or as yer man puts it in what (since you asked) is the best track on U2’s new album full of emotional and spiritual spleen:

You speak of signs and wonders
But I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table.

Posted in Rayleejun on 8 December 2004 at 11:20 pm by Nate

Discussions below the surface

Good discussions goin on in the comment threads of this entry and this entry.  Take a look.  Join in.

Posted in RmAuNsDiOnMg on 8 December 2004 at 10:24 am by Nate