There are occasionally times when I am ashamed to publicly admit I’m a Christian, and this is one of them.
Maybe that’s not exactly right. Maybe it’s that I’m embarrassed to be associated with other Christians. And that’s okay. There are times I’m embarrassed to be associated with gun owners, or old white males, too. But this one? This is not something I want the Church or Muskogee to be associated with.
Murrow Indian Children’s Home, a Baptist-run charity that caters to Native American children in crisis, is raising funds for its annual pow-wow. In the past, the programs have been printed free of charge by a local printing shop. This year, the shop owners said they’d no longer print them for free.
A particular employee of the print shop offered up a $100 donation to help cover the unexpected costs, and when he filled out the form, said it would be in the name of Muskogee Atheist Community.
Let that sink in for a moment. An atheist community is offering up money to a Christian charity for an event. People who don’t believe in God are willing to support an activity put on by a Christian charity, because they support the underlying cause.
The charity turned away the donation. Since the story hit social media, a GoFundMe account set up by Muskogee Atheist Community founder Matt Wilbourn has grown to $17,616 as of 7:10 PM CDT.
Seventeen thousand dollars, from a group of people that doesn’t believe the same things you do, but is still willing to support your cause.
Murrow has said in part, “Murrow cannot Honor the Atheist non-belief in God our father, and Honor God our Father under our Biblical principles.” Yet Murrow receives funds from the Federal government. Given that the country is not a Christian country, no matter how my brothers and sisters might wish it so, how can Murrow justify taking aid from the government?
The charity is basing their stance on Matthew 10:32-33, which states “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (NIV)
I think they’d be much better off looking at Luke 10:25-37 and asking, “Who is my neighbor?”
I’m thrilled though by the number of pastors and Christians who are donating to the GoFundMe. Read the comments there. They’ll gladden your heart just a little.