Love Thy Neighbor

Why Shut Down Christian Charity with Sexual Politics?

Some weeks ago, workers from Samaritan’s Purse set up a field hospital in Central Park in New York City, which has become the United States’ epicenter of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organization holds deep Christian beliefs and was founded by Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist, Billy Graham. The field hospital aimed to aid any person suffering from the virus and provide some relief for the city hospitals overflowing with patients. It did not take very long for New Yorkers to voice surprising antagonism towards Samaritan’s Purse—not for refusing service or for serving poorly, but for their beliefs about marriage. That’s right. Since the organization espouses a traditional view of marriage, they’ve been deemed “bigoted” and “dangerous” by LGBT proponents and other city leaders. Even the governor of New York remarked that he was “troubled” by the field hospital’s presence. Now it’s gotten even worse. The field hospital has been forced to close early despite the ongoing pandemic due to its religious views that were deemed oppressive and hateful. Gay rights organizations such as the Reclaim Pride Coalition has demanded the operation be shut down and considered their success a great victory for their cause.[1] Those working in the field hospital were not discriminating against anyone based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, and were there simply to help those in need in accordance with Christ’s command to care for the sick and needy.

In situations like these it can help clarify our perspective to reverse the scenario. Suppose a LGBT organization set up a field hospital in Central Park and started treating patients for the coronavirus regardless of race, religion, or creed. Christians should applaud this kind of initiative even if we as the church do disagree with the sexual practices and views of the volunteers. What matters is that people are being helped. It does not matter who is doing the helping.

The early closure of the field hospital should alarm Christians and LGBT citizens. How are we going to sustain any kind of peaceful society if we don’t postpone judgment towards each other and work side by side to combat a pandemic? The fact that people may perish for want of help is reason enough to forget about sexual politics for at least a moment and lend a helping hand. In addition, it has always been a prerogative of the church to care for the sick and “love those who persecute” us. (Matthew 5:44). I merely reiterate the teaching of Jesus Christ to love our neighbor as ourselves. Right now, that means assisting people affected by the pandemic in any way we can. It’s blind and cruel to shut down a hospital trying to help people due to our disagreement over sexual views. We can love and tolerate each other while disagreeing about some things. In fact, that’s what it means to tolerate: to remain at peace with a person despite disagreements about their behavior.

This unfortunate news should not spur the church to excessive frustration or promote hostility toward those who are claiming a victory for their sexual agenda. All we can do is continue in obedience to the call of Jesus to love. No organization, agenda, or government can oppress the love and truth found in Christ working through His people, the church. Samaritan’s Purse will continue to serve those who need help, wherever and whenever they can. So should we.


graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois with a Bachelor's Degree in English Writing and is currently pursuing a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University. He was born and raised in rural Oklahoma and currently lives in Walla Walla, Washington. 

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