I received an interesting email this morning through the young adult ministry I’ve been involved with this fall. The group is called Dalit – an ancient Marathi word that means to be broken or ground down upon from above. An appropriate description, we thought, of what many young adults have had done to them by institutionalized religion. The email was in regards to some Christmas giving that we are talking about doing for a group called the Dalit Freedom Network.
The email stated the following…
“The one problem that we have with donating to them is that they have no Christian message whatsoever. They profess themselves to be “secular in ethos”. While I’m all for supporting the downtrodden and disenfranchised, I would like to do so in the name of Christ, not just as a nice person who doesn’t discriminate. We feel that, since our group is supposed to be a Christian group, the goal should be to do things in the name of Christ. “
For some reason the above really got my wheels turning… It seems to me that everything that Christians do is “in the name of Christ.” As Christians, we wear that label and all of our actions are – in that name. Does this mean that giving through organizations not explicitly labeled “Christian” isn’t giving in the name of Christ? Even if the DFN isn’t explicitly naming their work “Christian” it seems to me they are doing the work of Christ – working to end the caste system in India, to bring education and rights and representation to persons who are labeled as “untouchable” by the society that surrounds them. It seems to me that Christ is at work in the midst of that!
I don’t know that this new little blog is getting much readership, but this has at least helped me process a little. If you do happen to be reading this let me know what you think – must an organization by labeled “Christian” to be doing the work of Christ? Or does an organizations work not carry as much validity if they’re not doing that work explicity in the name of Christ?