We honestly had trouble believing that there was an option this good for us and our family—especially given the current government debacle.
We are so blessed by the members who reimbursed the costs associated with the birth of our daughter. Their words of encouragement were nourishment to our souls!
Ryan and Coleen
I remember feeling very insecure about leaving the insurance world to come to Samaritan Ministries, but now we feel quite the opposite—so secure that our needs will be met without us being “hung out to dry.”
May SMI and its members be blessed with strength, wisdom, and guidance from above.
The Hamilton Family
We start the new year with a bevy of original material in the Samaritan newsletter, featuring:
- Founder and International President Ted Pittenger reflects on Samaritan’s amazing growth during 2014 with his annual State of the Ministry message.
- Worldview writer Rob Slane reminds us to judge in righteousness and not be partial.
- Chris Hogan reflects on how he and his wife, Anne, started Noble Call Institute in this month’s Member Spotlight. Chris also teaches us how to bless our family members. Finally, there are short sidebars on why the Hogans joined Samaritan and their family priorities.
- There’s good news for cash-pay patients as free market resources begin to emerge, Jed Stuber reports.
- A retired UK doctor is unnerved by what he’s finding in medical journals.
- The Doorpost reflects on Hebrews 3:13, which encourages us to be aware of deception.
By Ted Pittenger
The past year came in with a bang. In fact, it was an explosion. January 2014 was the largest month of growth in our history. More than 2,770 new households joined the ministry. By comparison, that number was 2,000 greater than in January the previous year! Today there are more than 40,000 households sharing medical needs through Samaritan Ministries, an increase of 39 percent from a year ago. It is exciting to see more and more members of the Body of Christ join in trusting Jesus Christ to provide for their health care needs, bearing one another’s medical burdens.
In 2013, we grew by 20 percent for the entire year. In 2014, we grew by 25 percent in just the first four months! This explosion in growth is even more amazing if we focus on the period from July 2013 to July 2014. In that 12-month period, membership grew by an astounding 47 percent!
The large increase in membership has been a huge challenge, requiring a lot of hard work by our team at the office to provide the needed services to all of our members. We have been aggressively improving our facilities and expanding our technical capabilities. We have been adding and training many additional staff. I am grateful to God for His provision, and proud of our team for their determined, sacrificial effort.
I am grateful for all of you Samaritan members who have been faithfully upholding the ministry in prayer. We are keenly aware of our need for Him in this time of great change and challenge, both on the inside of the ministry and on the outside.
Share increase approved
By Rob Slane
A jury retires to consider its verdict in the case of a white cop shooting a black man. There are protestors outside demanding justice, and nothing other than a guilty verdict will still their anger and stop yet another series of violent protests across the nation.
We have a problem, and while it might feel like a very modern one, there is no new thing under the sun. The details might change, but the general principles involved are simply a modern manifestation of an age-old problem—the propensity of humans to judge people partially and often in accordance with their own circumstances or social strata:
“You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15b).
What this law teaches us is that there is an innate temptation in all of us to be partial to one group or another. However, contrary to much current sociological thinking, this is as much of a problem to those on the margins of society as it is to those in authority. It is possible to pervert justice by being partial to the rich and despising the poor, and it is equally possible to pervert justice by being partial to the poor and despising the rich.
The principle in this law applies exactly in the sphere of race relations. Racial prejudice is a real issue and there are genuine examples of miscarriages of justice involving black men who have been unjustly treated, simply because they were black. But we have to recognize that the opposite tendency is also real, and this is manifest in the type of knee-jerk reaction which filters every white-on-black incident through a preconceived oppressor/oppressed narrative, and leads people to axiomatically conclude that the white person’s motivation must have been racial.
God tells us in this verse not to think or act in this way. We are not to favor the poor or the rich, the powerless or the powerful, black men or white men. Nor are we to despise the poor or the rich, the powerless or the powerful, black men or white men. Rather, we are to judge each case on its own merits, armed with nothing but facts and sound judgment, not allowing any pre-existing prejudice to cloud our judgment.
This ought to be obvious, but events over recent months suggest that we have lost sight of this and are now edging perilously close to mob justice. This is a hallmark of a society that has been busy abandoning the Gospel for years. Secularists love to talk about the need to heal divisions in society, but when these divisions manifest themselves, they don’t actually have any effective mechanism with which to bring about resolution. Calling for inquiries into police brutality and racism won’t do it. Sympathizing with the protestors and then “appealing for calm” when the rioting starts won’t do it either.