Oh, the ire this hashtag has caused! Atheists jumping on believers for praying to a god they don’t believe exists when money is what is needed; Christians angrily defending their God when there are people dying from this powerful earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.
Whatever we believe about God and about prayer, the fact of the matter is this: many people have died, many are missing, and many need help. WE need to be the ones to help them. Donate $100; donate $50; donate $10. Seriously…all you college kids, just skip Wendy’s and Chipotle for a couple of days, and give that money to people who really need it.
For atheists, I think I’m preaching to a choir. Strangely enough, I get the feeling I need to preach to the Christians more. While God will do miraculous things through prayer, prayer is almost never the end – it’s the beginning. God uses prayer, often, to convict us to do something. Remember that James said that faith without prayer is dead; you might as well replace faith with prayer and keep that mantra in mind. God does miracles, but time and time again, He’s shown that He usually works through His people. No surprise there if we see Him as a relational God.
If you’re looking to donate directly to Japan, there will certainly be a number of programs set up today. The Red Cross is accepting funds, though past criticisms of their financial managment have made me wary. I know little about Global Giving, but they’ve quickly set up a donation page and may be the best charity to give to at this time.
Please pray. Then…please give.
Edit: The Huffington Post has a page listing a number of different charities to give to.