Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr. denounced the hostility expressed by many in New York City to the presence of Samaritan’s Purse’s field hospital due to the organization’s Christian views.
Samaritan’s Purse built a 68-bed field hospital at Central Park in cooperation with Mount Sinai Hospital for the purpose of helping to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus.
In an episode of his podcast “The Briefing” that aired Tuesday, Mohler noted that LGBT activist groups and some city officials had attacked Samaritan’s Purse due in large part to its biblical beliefs on sexual ethics.
Of particular issue was a statement by NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, in which he said Samaritan’s Purse’s “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."
“Now, of all things, just notice what's not here,” responded Mohler on his podcast. “What's not here is any statement of thanks for an evangelical Christian ministry that not only expended funds but brought an army of volunteers and medical personnel who put themselves at risk on behalf of efforts to try to save New Yorkers in the midst of the pandemic.”
“No one has been able to put any substance to the charge that Samaritan's Purse has ever discriminated when it comes to medical treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or anything else, that's not even alleged here. It is simply the fact that Samaritan's Purse dares to hold to historic biblical Christianity.”
Mohler said that Samaritan’s Purse was found “guilty of being an evangelical Christian ministry” by those who took issue with their stance on LGBT issues and the requirement that their members by Christian.
“The same principle ought to be true of any legitimate Christian ministry. If you do not state clearly what your beliefs are and make those obligatory throughout the institution, then you can basically just watch your institution collapse to the left,” Mohler said.
“Without that kind of confessional or convictional accountability, then a Christian organization begins to stand for basically any definition of Christianity, which eventually means no definition of Christianity.”
Mohler viewed the opposition to the work of Samaritan’s Purse as not being about “the inevitable collision between the LGBTQ revolution and religious liberty” but rather “an inevitable collision between the LGBTQ revolution and medical rescue.”
“The lesson here is that right now, in some portions of the United States, indeed in America's largest city and one of the most influential cities in the world just coming to help people, if your trucks say ‘helping in Jesus' name,’ is intolerable,” he concluded.
After opening its field hospital in April, Samaritan’s Purse treated more than 300 patients affected by the coronavirus.
As the ministry began to take down their tents, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that they and other healthcare workers who went to New York City to help, per his request, will be required to pay state income taxes.
“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo said at a press briefing last week.
According to a New York state law, anyone who works in the state for more than 14 days has to pay income tax, but organizations and healthcare workers came to the state to help fight the novel coronavirus outbreak at its epicenter after an appeal by the state government seeking assistance.
Graham told The New York Times that the decision to leave New York was motivated by falling infection numbers, not politics. However, Graham said critics of the organization’s stance on marriage were “a distraction” from saving lives.
“New York is — how many million people live here?” Graham stated in his interview while responding to Johnson’s comments. “There’s not one set of values that represents 9 million people. I think that’s just ludicrous to me even make a statement like that.”