Catholics and Samaritans' Purse


#1

Hi,

Our pastor has brought in the Christmas Child project from Franklin Graham’s Samaritans Purse. It’s a nice project with a great intention–to give gifts to needy children. But there is a dilemma. They put a booklet in each shoebox with the gifts explaining Christianity, which is, of course, evangelical.

While I believe it is great to tell the world to accept Jesus and indeed necessary I know there is a big problem when we support such groups. The website which is
www.samaritanspurse.org
has a section there about how to accept the Lord. Fine so far. But then the people are told to be sure to attend a “church where Christ is preached.” We know they don’t mean us.

I was a Baptist for 15 years and know the anti-Catholicism that is so pervasive. Should we support a project with them when they could go farther than tell people about Jesus and tell them not to attend our Church? I hope I am only being suspicious because of past experience–but the “attend a church where Christ is preached” sounds very famililar. It means go to an evangelical church.

Any thoughts?

Gloryb


#2

[quote=gloryb]Hi,

Our pastor has brought in the Christmas Child project from Franklin Graham’s Samaritans Purse. It’s a nice project with a great intention–to give gifts to needy children. But there is a dilemma. They put a booklet in each shoebox with the gifts explaining Christianity, which is, of course, evangelical.

While I believe it is great to tell the world to accept Jesus and indeed necessary I know there is a big problem when we support such groups. The website which is
www.samaritanspurse.org
has a section there about how to accept the Lord. Fine so far. But then the people are told to be sure to attend a “church where Christ is preached.” We know they don’t mean us.

I was a Baptist for 15 years and know the anti-Catholicism that is so pervasive. Should we support a project with them when they could go farther than tell people about Jesus and tell them not to attend our Church? I hope I am only being suspicious because of past experience–but the “attend a church where Christ is preached” sounds very famililar. It means go to an evangelical church.

Any thoughts?

Gloryb
[/quote]

My personal opinion:

I have great respect for Dr. Billy Graham, even while (obviously) disgree with him theologically. My respect for the father does not extend to the son. I have found some of Franklin Graham’s public statements to be of concern, and would hold him at arm’s length.

Also, there are many fine Catholic charities with similar programs to which you could donate instead. One of my favorites? CNEWA – Catholic Near East Welfare Association.


#3

don’t most parishes have a program similar to that, i know
ours does… Christmas balls… we get Christmas balls with a
childs first name, age, and a Christmas wish… then we try
to answer as best we can, then bring the gift to the church…
Catholic Social Services distributes the gifts to the children…

every year, all the balls get ‘selected’… Father makes sure of
that. lol

:slight_smile:


#4

Our catechism program has always donated to Operation Christmas Child. I think it is the same program you mentioned. Anyway, what we do is place Catholic prayer cards, even rosaries in the shoe boxes. I always wondered if those items were removed and discarded! :frowning: I think it would be much better though, to donate to a Catholic program.


#5

Having been involved in Baptist circles for several years and having worked with Samaritans purse twice I have two comments:

  1. Although many Baptists are anti-catholic, many are not. Billy Grahams evangelistic association actually does include Catholic churches by “wherever Christ is preached”., It is a known policy that Mr. Graham regularly uses Catholic counselors as part of the group of people to minister to those who “come forward” to his message. If you do not believe me look him up on the internet and read all the vile some fundy Baptists shoot his way for being “syncretistic with the ----- of Babylon”. I don’t know about his Son spec filly, but Mr. Graham himself is a very ecumenical Baptist.

  2. We were never told to remove any religious items of any sort, we were only to remove perishable foods/candy and violent items such as army soldiers. We even left in some incense once, the only issue being whither it was safe to ship and give out. I cannot think of a time when I ran into any Rosaries however, and removing this or any other Catholic item would depend on the person doing the sorting (and if they asked, the supervisor). But the official policy states we are to remove a specific list of items, none of which are religious. (I’d personally remove a Koran or something like that though after asking about it of course!).


#6

[quote=Knight4God]Having been involved in Baptist circles for several years and having worked with Samaritans purse twice I have two comments:

  1. Although many Baptists are anti-catholic, many are not. Billy Grahams evangelistic association actually does include Catholic churches by “wherever Christ is preached”., It is a known policy that Mr. Graham regularly uses Catholic counselors as part of the group of people to minister to those who “come forward” to his message. If you do not believe me look him up on the internet and read all the vile some fundy Baptists shoot his way for being “syncretistic with the ----- of Babylon”. I don’t know about his Son spec filly, but Mr. Graham himself is a very ecumenical Baptist.

  2. We were never told to remove any religious items of any sort, we were only to remove perishable foods/candy and violent items such as army soldiers. We even left in some incense once, the only issue being whither it was safe to ship and give out. I cannot think of a time when I ran into any Rosaries however, and removing this or any other Catholic item would depend on the person doing the sorting (and if they asked, the supervisor). But the official policy states we are to remove a specific list of items, none of which are religious. (I’d personally remove a Koran or something like that though after asking about it of course!).
    [/quote]

That’s good to know! We have always been a part of the program for as long as I have lived here, and we always wondered if they left in our Catholic prayer cards!


#7

[quote=gloryb]I hope I am only being suspicious because of past experience–but the “attend a church where Christ is preached” sounds very famililar. It means go to an evangelical church.
[/quote]

A few years ago, I’d have told you that you are paranoid and that “church where Christ is preached” is just a wordy way to say Christian Church. However, at a Christmas party, I once overheard a Fundy talk w/ pride that he attended a “church where Christ is preached” and inferred that our host attended something else. The host of the party was Catholic. Since then, I’ve listened more closely and every time I’ve heard the phrase, there was an implicit inferrence that some churches don’t preach Christ, and Catholicism is the apex.


#8

[quote=gloryb]Hi,

Our pastor has brought in the Christmas Child project from Franklin Graham’s Samaritans Purse. It’s a nice project with a great intention–to give gifts to needy children. But there is a dilemma. They put a booklet in each shoebox with the gifts explaining Christianity, which is, of course, evangelical.

While I believe it is great to tell the world to accept Jesus and indeed necessary I know there is a big problem when we support such groups. The website which is
www.samaritanspurse.org
has a section there about how to accept the Lord. Fine so far. But then the people are told to be sure to attend a “church where Christ is preached.” We know they don’t mean us.

I was a Baptist for 15 years and know the anti-Catholicism that is so pervasive. Should we support a project with them when they could go farther than tell people about Jesus and tell them not to attend our Church? I hope I am only being suspicious because of past experience–but the “attend a church where Christ is preached” sounds very famililar. It means go to an evangelical church.

Any thoughts?

Gloryb
[/quote]

I would like to point out that Billy Graham has a history of being remarkably pro-Catholic for an Evangelical. He used to refer people to Catholic Churches, if that was their background, and he was attacked by many Protestants for this. I wouldn’t assume an anti_Catholic position here by this aid agency.


#9

[quote=johnshelby]don’t most parishes have a program similar to that, i know
ours does… Christmas balls… we get Christmas balls with a
childs first name, age, and a Christmas wish… then we try
to answer as best we can, then bring the gift to the church…
Catholic Social Services distributes the gifts to the children…

every year, all the balls get ‘selected’… Father makes sure of
that. lol

:slight_smile:
[/quote]

This type of program is wonderful for the local level, where the needy of the parish and/or community are served. But the shoebox program is different. You get a shoebox and fill it with gifts, personal care items, etc, and they are shipped by the millions to far off countries where there is true poverty. It may be the only bar of soap the child gets all year. Many times the first toy they ever had.

I have mildly struggeled with supporting the shoebox program because I know it is the evangelicals running it. But I have to believe that bringing these people to Christ has to be good, even if they might not be getting the full TRUTH.


#10

[quote=Knight4God]Having been involved in Baptist circles for several years and having worked with Samaritans purse twice I have two comments:

  1. Although many Baptists are anti-catholic, many are not. Billy Grahams evangelistic association actually does include Catholic churches by “wherever Christ is preached”., It is a known policy that Mr. Graham regularly uses Catholic counselors as part of the group of people to minister to those who “come forward” to his message. If you do not believe me look him up on the internet and read all the vile some fundy Baptists shoot his way for being “syncretistic with the ----- of Babylon”. I don’t know about his Son spec filly, but Mr. Graham himself is a very ecumenical Baptist.

  2. We were never told to remove any religious items of any sort, we were only to remove perishable foods/candy and violent items such as army soldiers. We even left in some incense once, the only issue being whither it was safe to ship and give out. I cannot think of a time when I ran into any Rosaries however, and removing this or any other Catholic item would depend on the person doing the sorting (and if they asked, the supervisor). But the official policy states we are to remove a specific list of items, none of which are religious. (I’d personally remove a Koran or something like that though after asking about it of course!).
    [/quote]

I have donated to the Samaritan’s Purse - I have no problem with it.

Blessings
Richard


#11

Samaritan’s purse is a wonderful organization, who does great work around the world in helping poor countries, disasters and leading people to Christ. Personally, I don’t really care what KIND of church a person goes to, as long as Christ is preached.

I’m sure there are bad Catholic churches and good ones, just like there are bad and good Protestant churches.

Since the Grahams are Evangelical, it isn’t too shocking they don’t jump up and down for Catholicism, but that doesn’t mean they’re against it either.

Is it really that bad for a person to accept Jesus, then go to a non-Catholic church…or would it be better they did nothing and went to hell instead?


#12

I’ve never heard of Samaritan’s Purse, but I don’t live in the Bible belt. In our area, Twin Cities, MN, we give to Catholic Charities, Caring and Sharing Hands (an outreach program run by a local Catholic lady and an order of Franciscan friars) and our local parish’s Giving Tree program, plus an Indian mission in Arizona. I am uncomfortable giving to non-Catholic organizations like the Salvation Army, even though their seasonal donations go to feeding the poor not to evangelization–we always toss some money into their pots at Christmas time. Still, I’d give to Catholic Charities or some other Catholic mission or apostolate to the poor before donating to any that promote Evangelicalism to the point of directing people to any particular church group over any other with a line like “a church that preaches Christ”, as if the Catholic Church doesn’t.


#13

[quote=roadrunner570]Samaritan’s purse is a wonderful organization, who does great work around the world in helping poor countries, disasters and leading people to Christ. Personally, I don’t really care what KIND of church a person goes to, as long as Christ is preached.

I’m sure there are bad Catholic churches and good ones, just like there are bad and good Protestant churches.

Since the Grahams are Evangelical, it isn’t too shocking they don’t jump up and down for Catholicism, but that doesn’t mean they’re against it either.

Is it really that bad for a person to accept Jesus, then go to a non-Catholic church…or would it be better they did nothing and went to hell instead?
[/quote]

This is not about being for or against a church. This is also not about there being good and bad of all denominations. In fact, it’s not about the Grahams specifically. It’s known that they are more favorably inclined to Catholics than many of their colleagues.

In fact, I doubt anyone here opposes their desire to win souls. This is about the Christmas Child program specifically, which must by it’s nature go to Christian areas. They will not be going to where people have never heard about Jesus if they are giving out Christmas gifts.

The gifts for the children are wonderful. Trying to win the lost is even better. But this is about booklets going into boxes for children of many denominational backgrounds, leading them to an evangelical interpretation of Christianity. And even this alone is not a problem except evangelicals tell people to do exactly what you said—“go to a church where Christ is preached.”

You can make the point for us here. You say you are not Catholic but do not care where anyone goes “as long as Christ is preached.” If you are approached by a new Christian and they say they are going to go to the local Catholic Church do you say “praise God” or do you divert them to where “Christ is preached?” (And it’s not about good and bad within denominations—in general does Catholicism “preach Christ?”)

Gloryb
(who goes to a Catholic church where Christ is preached :thumbsup: )


#14

Anyone know of an Catholic organization that does a similiar thing - perhaps for the recent hurricane victims? I’m the RE coordinator for our community and would love to have us become involved in a project like this.


#15

[quote=Orionthehunter]A few years ago, I’d have told you that you are paranoid and that “church where Christ is preached” is just a wordy way to say Christian Church. However, at a Christmas party, I once overheard a Fundy talk w/ pride that he attended a “church where Christ is preached” and inferred that our host attended something else. The host of the party was Catholic. Since then, I’ve listened more closely and every time I’ve heard the phrase, there was an implicit inferrence that some churches don’t preach Christ, and Catholicism is the apex.
[/quote]

Interesting. I’ve heard that phrase, too.

By the way, I attend a “Church where Christ is truly worshipped”.:bowdown2:


#16

[quote=Writer]I would like to point out that Billy Graham has a history of being remarkably pro-Catholic for an Evangelical. He used to refer people to Catholic Churches, if that was their background, and he was attacked by many Protestants for this. I wouldn’t assume an anti_Catholic position here by this aid agency.
[/quote]

The question is . . .

Does FRANKLIN Graham share his father’s views? He certainly does not seem to share his father’s temprement.


#17

[quote=gloryb]This is not about being for or against a church. This is also not about there being good and bad of all denominations. In fact, it’s not about the Grahams specifically. It’s known that they are more favorably inclined to Catholics than many of their colleagues.

In fact, I doubt anyone here opposes their desire to win souls. This is about the Christmas Child program specifically, which must by it’s nature go to Christian areas. They will not be going to where people have never heard about Jesus if they are giving out Christmas gifts.

The gifts for the children are wonderful. Trying to win the lost is even better. But this is about booklets going into boxes for children of many denominational backgrounds, leading them to an evangelical interpretation of Christianity. And even this alone is not a problem except evangelicals tell people to do exactly what you said—“go to a church where Christ is preached.”

You can make the point for us here. You say you are not Catholic but do not care where anyone goes “as long as Christ is preached.” If you are approached by a new Christian and they say they are going to go to the local Catholic Church do you say “praise God” or do you divert them to where “Christ is preached?” (And it’s not about good and bad within denominations—in general does Catholicism “preach Christ?”)

Gloryb
(who goes to a Catholic church where Christ is preached :thumbsup: )
[/quote]

It would depend on the Catholic Church they were going to. If it was one where Christ was not being preached, I wouldnt’ want them to go there any more than I wouldn’t want them to go to a Universtalist church.


#18

I am protestant and when I hear someone say “a church where Christ is preached” I assume just that - whether Catholic or Protestant. There are protestant churches where the blood of Jesus is not preached just as I have attended mass where messages were about good living and outside of the eucharist, no mention of Christ’s blood. I have often heard Franklin Grahm and he definatly preaches the salvation message. By supporting organizations like this and contributing prayer cards and rosaries we show that we are united in Christ even though we have differences.


#19

[quote=thogg85]I am protestant and when I hear someone say “a church where Christ is preached” I assume just that - whether Catholic or Protestant. There are protestant churches where the blood of Jesus is not preached just as I have attended mass where messages were about good living and outside of the eucharist, no mention of Christ’s blood. I have often heard Franklin Grahm and he definatly preaches the salvation message. By supporting organizations like this and contributing prayer cards and rosaries we show that we are united in Christ even though we have differences.
[/quote]

Franklin Graham definitely preaches the salvation message? What you say is the salvation message! To a Catholic living as Jesus commanded and receiving his Body and Blood are a great part of the salvation message. We don’t subscribe to a “walk down the aisle, accept Jesus as Savior, be baptized by immersion, and believe you are saved eternally no matter what you do” type of salvation message. So why should we support Franklin Graham?

As for adding our prayer cards and rosaries—do you honestly think those would be left in or are you saying this will make us feel we are spreading our message? Actually prayer cards and rosaries are methods of prayer. Evangelicals especially dislike rosaries, what with all the “Hail Marys” and such. They’d never get to their destination.

Unfortunately we are not united in many of the ways that matter. While we are happy that Jesus is preached evangelicals are not happy when someone elects to be Catholic. That goes back to my original post. It’s not about preaching about Jesus with the booklets. It’s the drawing of people to evangelical churches and away from Catholicism. If we believe the latter, which most of us here do, it seems we are working against out own Faith to support this.

Just ask if you would support a Catholic charity that leads people to believe Catholicism. If you believe Franklin Graham has the correct message I doubt you would do that.

Gloryb :o


#20

[quote=roadrunner570]It would depend on the Catholic Church they were going to. If it was one where Christ was not being preached, I wouldnt’ want them to go there any more than I wouldn’t want them to go to a Universtalist church.
[/quote]

Let me ask it this way—how do you define “church where Christ is preached?”

Gloryb


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