I’d like to share in response to the news report of a Spartanburg, SC ‘christian’ based soup kitchen rejecting atheists from serving the homeless.
My reply is intended to reflect what christians are taught and what they should do. First, i’d like to point out God is not respecter of persons.
There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:9-11 NASB)
This tells me there is equality in the viewpoint of God. Regardless of your belief in Him or not. Therefore everyone deserves to be treated with love and care. God is the Creator of us all. Show love to all mankind.
Second, the christian is called out to do service. When we do we are doing it as if it were Him who is the recipient.
[“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40 NASB)]
Christians are to act so that all we do is done for the Glory of God.
[Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB)]
I’m not certain the christian based organization spoke in a manner glorifying God. Having said that, I will say it is my conviction the Soup Kitchen was right to refuse to let Atheist serve. However, the remarks as to why the Soup Kitchen denied the atheist fell short of glorifying God.
The reasons to deny the atheist group the opportunity to serve is because the service of the Soup Kitchen is an act pointing to God as a service to Him be helping the homeless. Therefore the atheists participation would be a conflict to their own premise of there being no God and against scripture.
[Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV)]
Granted this verse deals primarily with marriage, but you certainly see where the principle applies to the fellowship of light with darkness. To oppose God is to be identified with darkness,
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:8, 10 KJV)
The bottom line is Christians are called upon to love everyone. God first, family second but love is for all. The rejection should have been issued but in such a way to display God’s love to everyone. While hurting or offending people is not the right course of action, it is best to consider God and His precepts first.
A story is told of a person winning thousands of dollars through gambling and asking if they should tithe from it. One response was, ‘yes, the devils had it long enough. It’s time for God to do something good with it!’
I share this story because the reaction of the atheist group is to go across the street and distribute care packages to the homeless. I applaud this because of the winners. Atheist win because they get the packages. The Soup Kitchen wins because they serve God serving the homeless. However the Homeless win out the most because now they get food plus a care package!
Until next time
Follow up news reports point out responses from people whom the Atheist group don’t condone. Also, as in most conflicts there are always things said that shouldn’t have been said and things which were not said which should have been spoken.