It’s not the first time something like this has happened, but Samaritan’s Purse ended up in trouble because of its willingness to help heal the sick.
Samaritan’s Purse, founded in 1970, is now run by Franklin Graham, the son of Evangelist Billy Graham. With offices in over 100 countries, one of its goals is to provide material assistance and medical aid in times of disaster.
During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse set up a 68-bed field hospital in New York City, one of the regions the hardest hit by the Coronavirus in the US.
As a Christian humanitarian organization, it is staffed by believers and volunteer Evangelical doctors and nurses.
Though the organization supports traditional marriage, and requires its staff to do the same, Samaritan’s Purse helps all who come through its door. It doesn’t matter what their faith is or sexual preference, if they are sick, the doctors and nurses will tend to their needs.
And equally important, Samaritan’s Purse provides this help at no charge.
But as Samaritan’s Purse set up its temporary tent hospital in Central Park, that was in operation between March 29 and April 1, 2020, a few LGBTQ activists stood several yards off and protested.
As National Review‘s John Hirschauer wryly noted:
“… the volunteers for Samaritan’s Purse put themselves in harm’s way, acting as backstops for a municipal hospital system at risk of being overrun with coronavirus patients. The group’s Evangelical Christian volunteers expose themselves to infection and disease at no charge to patients, treating the sick without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, or any of the other identity groups under putative ‘siege’ in the United States.”
Those protestors were outraged that an organization that supported traditional marriage would be in their city helping the sick. And they weren’t the only ones, several political leaders also took advantage of the moment to take a swipe at the Christian organization.
It seems, they were more concerned about what the people working for Samaritan’s Purse believed, than the good they were doing.
But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, because a similar thing happened to Jesus when the Lord healed a lame man on the Sabbath (John 5:1-31).
The Jewish pharisees were in an absolute uproar that this healing took place on the Sabbath. They didn’t care that a man who had been lame for 38 years was now able to walk. They were more concerned that Jesus wasn’t following the rules.
He wasn’t thinking the approved way.
And because of this, John writes:
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. (John 5:16 NIV)
The Jewish leaders actually persecuted Jesus for doing good. They preferred that the people stayed sick, then have them healed on the Sabbath.
- Stop Harassing Samaritan’s Purse: National Review