This post is on how we unwittingly do harm worldwide, & how we can obtain a more higher noble love for those in need. “Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” PS 95:8 (In 1984, a Mennonite church rep who had to assist his church to decide whether to donate relief to Africa asked me for counsel; 30 years later the issues are still the same.)
You’re having fun… Here he comes… A donation? Now what?? A Spirit of Greed might say, it’s his problem, I earned this. A Spirit of Religion might say, I need to do this. And the Spirit of Truth might inspire us to pray, What do you want Holy Spirit? What is compelled, but not of faith, is sin. Let us imagine for a moment you mindlessly give money to this man, he goes immediately & gets drunk with the money, walks out in the street & gets run over. You have just been an accessary to his death. If you can rightly discern the Spirit’s voice, you will know better when & how to give. What I have just described goes on in a much bigger scale every day, & most of us participate, although unaware of what is occurring & the harm we have perpetrated.
THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. One way the Spirit of Truth sets us free is from religiously doing something that supposedly is beneficial when in reality it is harmful. “Humanitarian aid” around the world probably does as much harm as good. There are international govt. agencies (the World Bank, OECD, WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF), national govt. agencies (USAID, Marshall Plan, USCR), international Non Government Org. (IFRC, Doctors Without Borders), and Christian humanitarian relief agencies (Mennonite Central Committee, World Vision, Compassion For the Nations) which are all supposedly doing humanitarian aid. My sampling of organizational examples only scratches the long list of agency acronyms. I won’t be discussing the obvious harm, like the World Bank destroying economies, and like WHO giving vaccinations in third world countries that sterilize the women. I want to focus on the less obvious. For instance, in 1967, my heart went out to the starving Biafra children caught in a civil war. The world grieved from the ads for help in the media. Relief agencies sent aid in by plane by night to land on a small section of road to avoid them being shot down by the Nigerian antiaircraft guns. By & large, the world did not learn what happened to that aid. Col. Ojukwu, who had seceded Biafra from Nigeria on May 30, 1967, insisted all planes w/ aid also carry weapons & ammo. The humanitarian agencies quietly cooperated. The weapons, ammo, food & medical supplies then all went to his 40,000 troops fighting the 180,000-man Nigerian army. The Biafra aid prolonged the civil war & had a big share of the responsibility for the 2 million civilian Biafrans who died. The Colonel also stashed away millions of dollars stolen from the relief, fled to other nations & lived wealthy for many years. Many relief agencies keep quiet (in situations like Biafra) about the abuse of relief, because they figure they may do a little good in spite of the abuse. Time & time again, the overall results are negative, and get covered up. In an attempt to bring accountability to humanitarian relief the periodical Review of Humanitarian Action is published. 5/’08 issue states, “The humanitarian system still lacks a systematic & regular means of assessing its overall performance…There are no mechanisms that can track & access performance.” (For sure the World’s controlled mass media doesn’t! Most of the few journalists covering humanitarian aid are paid by the aid agencies.)
FALSE PIETY & POLITICS. Another example would be the Cambodian refugee camps set up on the Thai-Cambodian border for the over a million refugees from the repeated Vietnamese offensives in Cambodia. Long story short, the U.S. govt. & China used the camps to prop up Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge govt. It would have gone out of existence without the military sanctuary Thailand gave in line w/ U.S. & Chinese political goals to keep the Khmer Rouge troops in battle w/ Vietnam. In a number of serious genocides (the crime of crimes): Christians in the Sudan (80’s-90’s), north Iraq (’88), Rwanda (’94), Dafur (2003+), the World pretended that no genocides were happening. The genocide charter of the UN allows any nation to intervene to stop a genocide…none did. No one has really called the UN & world govt.s out on all this. (Instead I listen to programmed sheeple tell me that the Christians are responsible for all the people killed in all the wars.ughh.) “Phantom Aid” is the name given govt. foreign “aid” that really subsidizes their own economy. 75% of U.S. govt. “foreign aid” goes to U.S. companies like Halliburton, which got away w/ billions of dollars worth of fraud in rebuilding Iraq, & then managed to have $12 billion unaccounted for in their relief of New Orlean’s Hurricane Katrina damage!! So roads are built in countries w/ no cars, & clinics where there are no doctors or equipment, but the project reports in mainstream media sound great! An expose of Mother Teresa is Christopher Hitchens’ book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory & Practice (1995).
Man tries to control the Holy Spirit of God, and human law the Spirit of Greed. They fail on both counts. The Apostle Paul, under inspiration, wrote that Christ’s Spirit lived in him. (GAL 2:20). The Word says, “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” What is Christ’s Spirit like? He was concerned with nutritionally feeding both spirit & soul. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, and then turned around & commanded his disciples to do the same! (MT 25 & other verses) He said we should serve others. (MK 10:43-44). We should by our actions show others how to be helpful. We are the light of the world. “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you…” (JN 12:35) Similar advice comes in the OT ECCL: “Cast your bread upon the waters…sow your seeds…” In other words, go out spread positive assistance, for it will produce positive fruit in due time. To do these noble humanitarian deeds is proof of divine workmanship in our lives. (EPH 2:10) “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 JN 3:17 (James 2:15-17 has a similar warning.)
Christ mentioned to his disciples 6 areas of need: hunger, thirst, being a stranger, nakedness, sickness & captivity (MT 25:35-39). These needs are everywhere. I often think of how a starving child looks as she dies of hunger. (And she is just one of about 30 million a year that die of hunger.) I note to myself that people in places like Africa also die of thirst. When we give a cup of water to the least of these, Christ says we gave it to him.
You know my friends, we will also in some near future be alienated from mainstream society and we will also need these basics. In light of the upcoming future reality of hardships, let us apply ourselves while it is light (before the darkness comes) to do the Kingdom of God’s work. I say this while I note that increasingly, church goers & churches turn to the govt’s supposed “wisdom & wealth” to take care of problems. The obligation as God’s representatives is to show His love for mankind. (Don’t pass the buck to the govt.) The Bible is clear about His concern. Christ’s first mission was to people’s hearts, but he didn’t stop there. A boy dying of hunger, and feeling rejected by God, is not going to hear that God loves him. At one pt. missionaries discovered that giving water to thirsty Africans was a more powerful message of love than words!! Our love needs wisdom behind it. Self-defeating help & pious platitudes help no-one, and don’t impress our heavenly Father, and may make a bad situation worse…like so much of the World’s so called “humanitarian aid”.