For Non-Christians Only
An apology from a Christian and a message from an Atheist.)
Dear Person of Compassion:
I offer my sincere and deepest apologies for every cold-hearted person who has called themself a follower of Jesus Christ. No words can express the terrible guilt "the Church" has earned through atrocities such as the Crusades and the Inquisition. Why would any moral-minded person choose to identify with such a cold-blooded legacy? I, too, rejected Christianity for years, since I could not see the love of Jesus through the thick layer of well-churched hypocrites. But eventually, I saw past the fakes (past and present) to Jesus himself. Someone saying he follows Christ does not make it so. Jesus himself explained that Christianity is not about the appearance of religious practices, (like those of the Pharisees), but about one's' intimate relationship with the creator of the universe. I discovered individuals and small clusters of people around the world who have surrendered their hearts and lives to the will of God. These are the true followers of Jesus, the real Christian church, the ones who will "shine like stars in the universe." In addition, you may be surprised to discover a new trend of evangelical Christians actually becoming more responsive to the needy. (See link for article on "The Sin of Sodom.")
Please consider the compassion of God by reading my web page, "Scripture Regarding the Poor." A true Christian is not someone who simply believes the claims of Christ, for that kind of faith is dead! (James 2:26.) The Bible says that even the demons believe there is one God. (James 2:19), but authentic Christians show their faith by their good deeds. (James 2:18.) There are endless good deeds to be done, but among the most obvious is helping the innocent who suffer. If you have ever met a "Christian" devoid of compassion, you have met a person devoid of Christ. For scripture says that God IS love, and he who lives in love, lives in God. Please do not reject true and perfect love because of the lies and confusion of men. By doing so, you fulfill the best-layed plans of Satan himself.
If you love the oppressed, you may have more in common with Christ than you realize. Christian musician Keith Green used to say that going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger! Please don't let the hypocrisy of others steal from you what could be the best thing in life, (and the only thing worth having after it.) I am praying for His touch on your heart. He loves you so deeply. Do you realize that you are an orphan yourself? If you reject the instruction, provision, and protection of the one by whom you were created, you are like a wandering lost child. He wants you to find him, and He is not far from any seeking heart.
With His Love, Sylvia
Message from an Atheist Regarding Compassion
"The path from the library at my university to the Humanities lecture theater passes a shallow ornamental pond. Suppose that on my way to give a lecture I notice that a small child has fallen in and is in danger of drowning. Would anyone deny that I ought to wade in and pull the child out? This will meaning getting my clothes muddy, and either cancelling my lecture or delaying it until I can find something dry to change into; but compared with the avoidable death of a child this is insignificant. A plausible principle that would support the judgement that I ought to pull the child out is this: if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance, we ought to do it. This principle seems uncontroversial."
"Nevertheless, [this principle] is deceptive. If it were seriously acted upon, our lives and our world would be fundamentally changed. For the principle applies, not just to a rare situation in which we can save a child from a pond, but to the everyday situation in which we assist those living in absolute poverty. Not to help would be wrong, whether or not it is intrinsically equivalent to killing."
"For the principle takes, firstly, no account of proximity or distance. It makes no moral difference whether the person I can help is a neighbor's child ten yards from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, ten thousand miles away...Unfortunately, for those who like to keep their moral responsibilities limited, instant communication and swift transportation have changed the situation. From the moral point of view, the development of the world into a "global village" has made an important, though still unrecognized difference to our moral situation...There would seem, therefore, to be no possible justification for discriminating on geographic grounds."
-Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics