Can Christ Not Spare One Man?

I like Ann Coulter. There is no “but” after that. I like Ann Coulter, period. There are many people reacting with hostility and anger toward her over her latest column about the doctors in Atlanta who are infected with Ebola.

In her column, Ann asks, “What was the point?” She goes on to write

Your country is like your family. We’re supposed to take care of our own first. The same Bible that commands us to “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel” also says: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”

Right there in Texas, near where Dr. Brantly left his wife and children to fly to Liberia and get Ebola, is one of the poorest counties in the nation, Zavala County — where he wouldn’t have risked making his wife a widow and his children fatherless.

I am neither angry nor outraged by Ann Coulter’s column.

I have written several times that American Christians have a mission field in their own backyard that too many are ignoring. Too many Christians send their kids on church run beach trips to Mexico where they hammer nails for a few days while working on their tan. I think Protestants should be pouring money into building church run schools that the poor can go to for free or at great discounts, emulating the Catholic Church. I think Christians should take up the cross in inner cities where too many liberal Christians preach a body nourishing social gospel that never feeds their soul.

I also think had St. Thomas stayed in Jerusalem instead of journeying to India, many Indians would have never found salvation through Christ. Had Paul stayed in Tarsus instead of going on his missionary journeys, we would not have his contribution to the body of faith or the churches he planted along the way.

I also think that American Christians can do more than just domestic missions. It should not be a binary decision. We should emulate the apostles who went into all the world to share the gospel instead of only focusing on our own.

Christianity has been a stabilizing influence around the world. Had Christian missionaries stayed in their home countries, the world would be worse off. Is the faith so small that Christ cannot spare one doctor to Liberia?

Should Jim Elliott have never gone into the jungle? He was savagely killed there. His death inspired countless Christians to follow in his footsteps delivering the gospel to places it had not been delivered.

Not every Christian survives. Many are martyred. We, as Christians, should understand each person is called by the Lord in different ways. Ann and I are called to our keyboards to write and speak boldly. Dr. Brantly was called to Africa.

My wife and I use our income to fund missionaries in the United States of America. But we also use our money to fund missionaries to parts of the world where, were they exposed as missionaries, they would be killed.

Liberals treat prosperity in America as a zero sum game — if there are winners, there must be losers. They are wrong. Christians should not do the same with Christianity — surely a Christian may lose his life, but even then he is a winner. There are no losers except the Devil himself when a Christian goes therefore unto all the nations.

How many Liberians might come to know the Lord because of Dr. Brantly’s sacrifice? How many Americans, in an age of growing hostility to Christians, might see his sacrifice and pick up their own crosses? How many Liberians might grow in affection for the United States through Dr. Brantly’s sacrifice? We may never know the answer to any of these. But history itself shows us many will be saved and many will turn their hearts toward this great country. Christians should be focused on saving souls where the Lord leads them and lends them talent and we should all praise the work of the Holy Spirit in so doing.

Surely Christians in America can spare one man to Africa or even ten. After all, Christians are to save souls, not just American ones. Had Dr. Brantly gone to our southern border and provided his services there, some would attack him there too for helping illegal aliens.

But Dr. Brantly, as do we all, goes where the Holy Spirit leads. I don’t think we should be in the business of questioning the motives or direction of any Christian led by the Lord to any corner of the Earth — particularly when the missionary is prepared to lay down his life for a stranger merely because Christ said, “Go ye therefore . . .”.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

I have no reservations or caveats in liking Ann Coulter. She is a warm, kind, and generous person. I know this from my own experience. I must, however, disagree with her in this.

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Erick Erickson

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