The present situation, then, offers an important opportunity for evangelicals to demonstrate their deep concern for the fundamental physical needs of suffering people in Iraq. I am convinced that these two evangelical groups who are poised to provide humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people can perform a crucial service--not only to the people they are reaching out to, but also for the cause of Christianity in the world.
But--and this is an important qualification--we must do this with a genuine desire to serve human needs. If this is viewed as a pretense for evangelism it will only hurt the Christian cause--and perhaps further endanger the lives of the 600,000 Christians in Iraq (about whom surprisingly little has been said in the recent discussions of "God-talk" and American foreign policy!).
I rejoice in the stated purposes of the Southern Baptists and Franklin Graham's ministry. And I will pray that these evangelicals will be given both the wisdom and courage to witness silently but compellingly to the spirit of Jesus as they perform this crucial humanitarian work.