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Atheist Tuesday: Good Samaritan Evangelism

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I was encouraged to read this from the weekly Living Waters Newsletter (sign up here); I hope you will be as well:

A few years ago, we told you that an atheist was having financial troubles, and many of you kindly sent him gifts. This week he wrote to Mark Spence and said:

“Dear Mark …. about three years ago we talked on the phone. Even though I insulted and berated you, you proved that you were the real deal and a true follower of Christ by loving your enemy and blessing him. You responded with kindness even though I insulted you viciously. In addition you even helped me financially as well as some of the followers of Way of the Master. You guys really saved me from a disaster because I had no income and if I didn’t get those MRIs and other medical tests, I never would have gotten the social security disability income on which I now survive. I just wanted to say I will never forget you, Ray and the other Way of the Master followers. I want to thank you very much again.”

I followed up with Mark and asked if there was any other information he could provide to round out the story. This is what he said:

“From what I remember, he had a problem with how little the church did to help those who weren’t Christians. When he would get angry and cuss at me I would hang up on him. This happened like three times with him calling back each time and apologizing.  We had a few talks about his disabilities and his issues with God.  That’s all I really remember about him.”

It’s nice to hear every now and then about an atheist who responds in a kind and gentle way when truth is lived out in action.

*****Click here to read about another way to love your unbelieving friend.

Image courtesy of www.symbolism-in-art.org

17 Comments

  1. The problem is that so many Christians want to limit those they help to those they approve of.

    Rampant discrimination against homosexuals runs through much of Christianity, from the open discrimination by the Salvation Army to Catholic adoption groups refusing to allow gays to adopt children (even when those children would otherwise stay in the system).

    Don’t even get me started on the stupidities of opposition to gay marriage.

    (This year, reports came out that the Salvation Army refused to give out Harry Potter or Twilight themed toys in their toy drives, and likewise wouldn’t give them to a more “sinful” toy drive – they got trashed. Meanwhile, they were happy to give out guns and other violent toys. Interesting stand to take…)

    I assume you’ve heard of Westboro Baptist Church. Enough said.

    Catholic opposition to condoms has helped Africa’s AIDS rate skyrocket (they recently backed down a little – we’ll see how that turns out.) The list goes on.

    Your story was nice, but more of an outlier than the standard. Does it really count as charity if you’re only helping those who submit to your churchin’ and sermons? If your hope is to bring them into your flock, then does it count as charity, or more of an attempt at quid pro quo?

  2. Steve, this isn’t the clarification you told Nohm to wait for.

    What happened?

  3. Nameless,

    You may want to read this article concerning my attitude about gay people. And make sure you click the reference links: http://stonethepreacher.com/2010/08/12/perspectives-inside-the-mind-of-a-sign-guy.html

    Garrett,

    A permission for a photo came in too late and I had too much to do to post that article in the way I wanted to do it. I’m hoping to explain it all next week. I haven’t forgotten. Thanks!

  4. Hi Steve,

    It appears that you forgot a link in your comment above (regarding “read this article concerning [your] attitude about gay people.”)

  5. Eh, homosexuality isn’t really that big a deal Nameless, two homosexual men could live lustful lives with one another and get saved, stop having sex but still be together and in love there’s nothing wrong with that in the bible. I’m more interested in what you’re take is on transgendered or intersexed people Steve. What is the church’s stance on that particular minority of people?

  6. Pastor Steve, thank you for sharing this story. God bless you!

  7. Hmmmm nothing on this, oh well I guess I could keep asking.

  8. My previous posts about what your take on transsexual or interssexual people are, Steve.

  9. Well an encounter is one thing, and you seem to love people who are different, but is someone who changes their gender committing a sin, even if they are intersexed? I mention this only because the transgendered community seems to get lumped in with the homosexual community but is rarely if ever talked about.

  10. So why did you censor me this time, Steve?

    I wasn’t attacking anyone, nor being uncivil. I don’t recall swearing neither.

  11. Was he being less graphic then telling children that they will roast forever in a pit of eternal hellfire? What’s more graphic than that?

  12. I was not graphic. I used a euphemism, for crying out loud. Graphic requires detail, of which I gave none.

    Should I just be blunt? How exactly should I describe it, Steve?

  13. Wait, I got the perfect compromise (since you edited my comment and didn’t bother to answer).

    Vin, why can two men be in a relationship together (even long-term marriage), but not get to know each other in a biblical sense?

    Happy, Steve?

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