The Christian Post, by Anugrah Kumar: While Samaritan’s Purse has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients at its field hospital in Central Park, New York City; Council Speaker Corey Johnson demanded that the Christian charity leave the city over its biblical views on homosexuality.
“It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC. This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed,” Johnson wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”
The openly gay speaker said while he’s aware that the coronavirus battle is far from over and that the healthcare system needs ongoing support, “we can’t continue allowing a group with their track record to remain here when we’re past the point they’re needed … Mount Sinai must sever its relationship with Samaritan’s Purse. Its leader calls the LGBTQ community ‘detestable’ and ‘immoral.’ He says being gay is ‘an affront to God,’ and refers to gay Christians as ‘the enemy.’”
The Samaritan’s Purse 68-bed field hospital has treated 315 patients since opening on April 1 adjacent to Mount Sinai Hospital in Central Park’s East Meadow to help meet the needs of local hospitals that are facing an unprecedented wave of sick patients.
As the organization faced criticism from the start over its views on marriage, Franklin Graham, who heads the organization, has made it clear that they treat all patients and do not discriminate. While staff is required to subscribe to a Statement of Faith, he stressed that “we have never asked any of the millions of people we have served to subscribe to anything.”
“In other words, as a religious charity, while we lawfully hire staff who share our Christian beliefs, we do not discriminate in who we serve. We have provided billions of dollars of medical care and supplies, food and water, and emergency shelter without any conditions whatsoever. Our Christian faith compels us — like the biblical Good Samaritan — to love and serve everyone in need, regardless of their faith or background.”
Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded to Johnson’s tweets and argued that Christians are the ones being discriminated against.
“This open hostility to Christianity is breathtaking. Christians have always believed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that all sexual relations outside marriage are by definition immoral,” he tweeted. “It’s not a particularly popular point of view in the secular West, but it is what all faithful Christians everywhere throughout the 2,000-year history of the church have always believed. This is nothing new.
“What is new is the notion that real live Christians are unwelcome to live and work and practice their faith in our nation’s largest city. That is an innovation of recent vintage and is nothing more than unvarnished animus—invidious discrimination. If Christians are not allowed to practice their faith in NYC, rest assured that it is only a matter of time before they won’t be allowed to practice it anywhere in the U.S.”
That’s the cost of allowing “this kind of illiberal intolerance” to drive a Christian group from NYC, he concluded.
Intolerant and hateful attitudes are increasing as we approach the end.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be…despisers of those that are good.” 2 Tim. 3:1–3.