Now a lot of people have a bit of a problem with evangelical Christianity. They don’t much care for people who try to convince them out of word views and beliefs they’re perfectly happy with already, and they feel that there is something a bit distasteful in the whole missionary to the world, spreading the light kind of thing.
And I can understand where they’re coming from as well, but when you look at who is and who is not stepping up to help people with addictions in this country, you have to give a lot of credit to Christian good works.
I’ve just spent a week compiling an enormous list of free or almost free rehabs (1300 or more by now, contact me if you need some advice!) and the there are more Christian residential programs offering free of charge care to those in need than all others combined. Some may be effective and some may struggle, but at the core, they strive to do good, strive with limited resources, and strive to include access to all in need…without a thought of monetary reward.
Now there is no doubt that they act out of dual motivations, and intermingled with a desire to do good works is surely a desire to spread the word of Christianity; but they make no apologies for their actions and they never hide their intentions. They are doing what they think is right and what needs doing, and they are saving an awful lot of lives in the process.
Compare them to another "religious" organization, Narconon, which although a front for Scientology, makes no mention of this in any of their aggressive promotional literature, and once they get you into their quasi scientific program of questionable merits, do make efforts to convert you to their world view. To me, this is extremely distasteful.
So if you do resent the motivations and actions of evangelical Christianity and their works to spread the word, that is your right; but remember that they do great good for those in need and with no where else to go; and if you feel strongly enough about it, get involved and give these people some secular alternatives for help.
They do want you to "switch teams" as it were, and in the process of saving lives from the pains of addiction and despair, they probably recruit a few grateful members along the way. But if your philosophy is to deny them the right to do their Christian good works, without somehow providing an equal quality and quantity of secular services to those in need, then you espouse hypocrisy. Addicts and alcoholics enter into free of charge recovery programs willingly and with thanks, and they are never forced to participate. If you’re trying to save them from the pains of conversion, you’re sending back to the pains of addiction…and ask them which fate they’d rather.
All of us should feel some personal obligation to do more good than harm throughout the course of our lives, and there are a great many ways to even out that balance sheet; but those who speak badly about Christian recovery organizations, who would deny them funding and who would like to see them gone do not contribute good, and without providing an acceptable alternative, do harm.
Whether you are Christian or not, see that these people do good works, and if you don’t like it, don’t wish them removed, but give freely to the United Way or to your local secular shelter or rehab, and let them expand their services to more who need it.