You don’t know me and perhaps we will never meet in person, but I’ve often applauded as I’ve listened to your scathing rebukes of our failed political policies. However, as I read your article regarding Dr. Brantly and the horrific Ebola virus in Africa, I was very much saddened by your words. I just returned home from Africa. To use your words, I “slinked off” to Zambia Africa – a Third World country. I was sent off with another man from our church on a vision trip for a church planting project through our local church. As I read your article, I was extremely concerned with your tone and interpretation of the gospel of Jesus. The problem with your assessment is that you have rightly addressed many of the issues facing America while missing the mark of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is America in the gutter of sin? Is our nation overrun with teenage pregnancy fueled by promiscuous “safe sex” campaigns through political propaganda? Absolutely. However, in your love for America, you fail to see that Jesus doesn’t need America. The thriving of America is not the answer to the world’s decadence. If our teenage girls practice abstinence and our inner city boys play basketball without murdering their friends or raping sleeping grandmothers in the middle of the night – the world is still being swept down the river of perverse depravity. The answer isn’t for American nationalism to rule and moralistic values to increase here in order for the world to follow in our footsteps. The answer to the world’s decadent sin problem is very simple. Jesus gave the Great Commission to His followers saying, “go to all nations” rather than a selected powerhouse nation. Jesus didn’t command His followers to merely focus on Jerusalem or Israel as a nation. He scattered them across the entire world.
In your article, you said, “If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia. Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.” Once again, what you fail to see is that Jesus doesn’t need Hollywood power-brokers to accomplish His work. In fact, in His own earthly ministry, Jesus called and commissioned fishermen and shepherds who were often the lowest people of society to do His gospel work. Jesus didn’t need to call a king from his throne to do the work of the gospel. The fact that Jesus chose to use the the unwise, weak, and common man to spread His gospel message across the world is what confounds the wise and causes all attention to be placed upon God rather than the power of a man (1 Corinthians 1:20-31).
It is true that America is in trouble politically. It is a fact that our schools are in shambles. It is indeed a sad reality that our inner cities are saturated with violent acts against women and the elderly. However, the answer for the world is not a safe America. The answer to the world is a rapidly spreading gospel. In many cases, Americans have exported vile decadent sinful practices and false religions to these Third World nations. Jesus’ commission is first to the heart of the unbeliever and His commission likewise involves loving your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). Therefore, what these doctors are doing in these Third World nations to treat Ebola is part of Christ’s mission. Rather than going to these nations to merely focus on disease, these mission agencies you referenced are interested in treating the soul – not just the physical body. Did Dr. Brantly risk making his wife a widow and his children fatherless as you accused? Yes he did. However, you failed to remember Jesus’ own words found in Matthew 19:29-30, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
As you conclude your article, you claimed that Christians “need to buck up, serve their own country, and remind themselves every day of Christ’s words: ‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.’” Could it be that in your rash rebuke of Dr. Brantly and others that you failed to interpret Jesus’ words in their proper context? Just before the words you quoted, Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:12-14). What did Jesus command? To go to all nations with the light of the gospel – the good news.
Wouldn’t it be just like Jesus to use one of those Third World countries to send missionaries to America in order to spark a national revival? He once chose a fisherman who preached one of the greatest sermons in world history where about three thousand souls were saved (Acts 2:41). The entire world has never been the same since that sermon. God often chooses to use the underprivileged and the outcasts. God often picks the poor of society or the uneducated to do His work. What if He chose one of those Third World African nations to bring America to repentance? You seem to be worried about Christian narcissism. I’m worried about American narcissism. If we stay home and send selfie pictures with American flags and healthy children to the Third World via smart phones it will do them little good. If we fool ourselves into thinking that Jesus needs America, we have failed to understand His sovereignty.
I pray that you will rethink your positions. I pray that you will apologize to Dr. Brantly and his family. I pray that you will take another long and detailed look at the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is there anything wrong with being a proud American? Absolutely not. But when the passion for America outshines our passion for Christ, we are standing upon sinking sand.
A Concerned American Christian,
Pastor Josh Buice
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
*This letter is a response to Ann Coulter’s article “EBOLA DOC’S CONDITION DOWNGRADED TO ‘IDIOTIC‘”