I was reading an article in WIRED magazine today from an atheist about how science can point us to better morals than religion or any other ideological thought process. He mainly stayed on the broader spectrum of morals and somewhat ignored ‘personal’ morals. I agree with some points he made, because his ideas morals were just plain common sense: people dying from hunger is obviously wrong, just as terrorist groups are wrong.
What really annoyed me was what he said about Christianity. He is either ignorant as to what Christianity is or he has had it portrayed to him poorly. He said this:
“The problem is that religion tends to give people bad reasons to be good. Is it better to alleviate famine in Africa because you think Jesus Christ is watching and deciding whether to reward you with an eternity of happiness after death? Or is it better to do that because you actually care about the suffering of your fellow human beings?”
Is that really what he thinks it’s all about? Have Christians done a horrible job at portraying our relationship with Jesus?
We shouldn’t feed people to ‘gain a reward’, or just because we love human beings (that’s called humanism), but we feed those who are hungry because we love Jesus and we want to love what He loves – and He loves people. We feed the hungry, help the orphan and widows because we love what Jesus loves. But it’s not just enough to feed them food, we must also feed them with the Word of God and the good news of salvation. What good is it to feed someone for a week only to let them spend eternity in hell?
So to respond to his question: Yes, it is better to alleviate famine in Africa because you actually care about the suffering of your fellow human beings. So much so that they be eternally secure in the love of Christ.