Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Good and the Bad

From the Gospel Coalition blog, a good story,
    Dana Robert’s 177-page book, Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religion, does a lot of things (including a chronological and thematic study of 2000 years of Christian mission!). Along the way, Robert points out that Christian missionaries have done much good for the societies they have entered. The book could have fittingly been titled, In Defense of Christian Mission. Robert shows that missionaries have defended human rights, advocated for indigenous peoples, advanced women’s rights, improved medical care, cared for the weak and marginalized, and supported ecological sustainability and conservation.
But in other news, two posts today highlight the fact that Hitler had Christian roots, and can hardly be held to be an atheist.


Mara Reid said...

I'm going to post here concerning the bad.
Who the heck started the myth that Hitler was Athiest?
All I can figure out is that people confused him with Stalin who WAS Athiest and killed millions as well.
I've heard preachers say that, yes, the Christians in the middle ages and during the Inquisition killed thousands because of (a misunderstanding of) their faith. But Stalin Killed over ten million with full understanding of his 'faith' or lack thereof.

So perhaps this is where this myth comes from that the athiest on one of those blogs feels the need to bring attention to... the fact that Hitler was not Athiest and killed nearly as many people as Stalin.
I dunno.
But yeah, Hitler wasn't an Athiest.
I'm not surprised by that. I already knew it.
I'm surprised that misinformation had gotten so bad that an Athiest felt the need to debunk it.
I also have heard, though not confirmed (to me), that Hitler had a Jewish ancestor somewhere.

To me, this neither proves nor disproves anything.

Men can be evil whether they wear a religious coat or non-religious or even anti-religious coat.

I learned something from your good news, though.
It's good to know that Christian missions is helping the downtrodden and marginalized.

I have a friend stuggling with her faith who feels otherwise.

L said...

Mara, that is too bad that your friend is worrying about missionaries. I grew up on the mission field and am still really proud of the work my parents and other people around me were doing. However, as I have gotten older I have seen more of the other side of things and gotten disgusted at certain situations.

I grew up in a jungle and my parents did a LOT of health-related work. My mom studied health constantly, though she was not a nurse, and people came all the time with injuries, infections, diseases, pregnancy problems - if we couldn't help them in the village my dad was always willing to help someone go by river to the nearest city and help them with the hospital. The hospital tended to be very "these are aborigines and not really humans, who cares about them," so my parents had many run-ins over the years with the staff there. The Indians didn't always know the country's dominant language well enough to understand what was going on so it was way too easy for people to cheat and take advantage of them, especially in emergency situations. When we were in the city we had pregnant ladies with high risk pregnancies stay with us sometimes and my mom would try to give them tons of vitamins and nutrition.

My parents also became very interested in things like water powered energy, educating on drinking filtered water, educating on disease prevention and treatment, dispensing medication so that people do not take all their pills in one day, all sorts of things. My parents did a lot besides preaching.

I also remember our jungle friends teaching me how to do all sorts of things as a toddler and young child. They were really cool people and my dad had lots of fun "trying" to learn how to copy some of their skills, like archery. That was always good for a laugh. My parents still talk about how much the Indians taught them about life and attitudes and what being a good Christian and a health person is about. The learning/benefit did go both ways in the case of this village and my parents. I know not all stories are like that, but just wanted to add a story of a good situation.