Attack on Christian relief aid agency
In the early "cold war" years of the Blythswood relief and outreach effort, the hostilities relating to the charity's Christian motivation came mainly from the anti-Christian communist regimes which collapsed in the late 80s.
Today the most sustained attacks emanate from Western secularists; and last week, from a local newspaper columnist who aimed an impassioned assault at the Blythswood Christmas Shoe Box gift programme.
In response to last week's outburst which accused Blythswood of a duplicitous and unprincipled approach in delivering both gifts and Christian literature, Blythswood's CEO has had his letter of response published by the newspaper concerned. (16 November 2007).
Christians Together has Mr. Campbell's permission to publish his letter.
The newspaper's caption is/was -
No deceipt behind acts of Christian generosity
I take strong exception to the misrepresentation of Blythswood Care in the columns of Friday's Inverness Courier. Far from being an act of deceit, as Lorraine Mann implies, our Shoe Box Appeal leaflet explicitly states on page 2 that we will add a Bible storybook for children or a Bible calendar for adults to each box.
This is not something done in secret, nor something of which we are ashamed. As recently as the 1980s, Christians in east European countries were persecuted and imprisoned for their faith. Like Ms Mann, their communist rulers held that religious belief was the root of the world's problems.
These same Christians are now at the forefront in helping the poor, the disabled, the marginalised and the addicted — those left behind in the stampede to prosperity. I'd like to thank the hundreds and maybe thousands of your readers who have donated a shoebox this year.
Ms Mann's derision of the contents as "Western goodies" suggests that she has never known what it is to be without a toothbrush or a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo. Don't let such scorn detract from the simple joy of having shared what you have with someone much worse off this Christmas.
Thank you, too, to the hundreds of volunteers who check that boxes' contents comply with customs regulations. Many well-meant items are not allowed — talcum powder, tinned meat, matches, medicines. That's why we ask for the boxes unsealed. Cash aid for social care projects is a major part of what we do.
Thanks to our donors we are able to fund projects in Europe, Africa and Asia. Every bag of used clothing and every box of bric-a-brac handed in to our shops or collection lorries helps us to do this.
If Ms Mann would like to visit our Evanton headquarters I would be pleased to show her what we do. And, yes, show her the Christian literature of which she is so afraid.
This year's book for children is Jesus the Saviour. It gives a simple account of the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. This is the Gospel and it's our privilege to share it with everyone.
James M. Campbell
Ed footnote: Continue to pray for all those who are so hostile to God's love through Jesus Christ. Many anti-Christian acts are and have been perpetrated in the name of religion (including Christianity). And many individuals have been hurt in the process.
Pray too that the columnist concerned might be open to the invitation to visit Blythswood's headquarters to see at first hand what the organisation does, and how it operates.