Atheism Verses Charity

America has the reputation for being the most charitable nation in the world. Whenever and wherever mother nature strikes, Americans are quick to respond with individual and collective aid. This aid is provided regardless of the religious, ethic, or political background of the people in need. At the close of World War II, Europe was devastated. America instigated the Marshall Plan to rebuild the devastation of her former enemies. We submit that this American caring and charitable conduct has its roots in Christianity rather than Atheism.

 The truth is that Atheism has no roots other than the egotism that seems to be in the DNA of human nature. This fact is illustrated in the Bible by the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). When left to his own devises, as in Atheism, man's social engineering tends to end up in wickedness as it did prior to the flood. "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). In Atheism, there is no universal doctrine, purpose in life, morals, the family, much less charity. The current demonstration of this truth is exemplified by abortion for any cause, homosexualism, and same sex marriage.

 Charity in the common version (King James Version of 1611) of the Bible is translated from the Greek agape meaning love; but our English charity comes from the Latin carus meaning "dear." Our use of charity is defined as "the voluntary giving of money or other help to those in need." Traditionally, most Americans felt receiving charity was to be avoided at all costs. The advent of Socialism in America has seemingly removed charity from the individual and community to the state. Those reared by or in the "welfare state" currently feel that food, clothing, and shelter, as well as education, are "rights" and must be provided to them by the government, for free.

 In Christianity, it is agape or love that provides the motivation for charity. The disciple of Christ does not only love his brethren in Christ but is expected to love his enemies (Matthew 5:44). Paul admonished, "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another" (Romans 12:9-10). John's application is simple, "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? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:17-18).

 This is in stark contrast with worldly wisdom. The Atheist's creed results in "Look out for number one," and "Do unto others before they do unto you." Their philosophy is, "He who dies with the most toys wins." On the other hand, God points out, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1 Cor 1:19-21).

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City, OK