Mixed Motives and Methadone

photo credit: http://addictionblog.org/the-news/efficacy-of-methadone-maintenance-treatment/

I just read a blog from an atheist who took exception with street preachers who hung out in the pub district and offered aid to the revelers there.  He made some great points.  One of his problems with these folks was that they did good out of mixed motives.  They offered physical assistance to people in crisis but they also wanted to spread the gospel.  So my question is, “What’s wrong with that?”

Consider a non-profit organization whose goal is to help heroine addicts.  They open a methadone clinic hoping to attract addicts seeking relief from withdrawals.  At the clinic they also offer rehab services.  Should we fault them for having mixed motives?

As believers in Christ, we believe that humanity suffers from one problem, sin.  That disease manifests itself through a myriad of symptoms.  Whether we’re addressing symptoms or offering a cure the mission and the motive remain the same.


  1. We shouldn’t fault any christian organisation for wanting to help but when they try and convert using their help as a cover then that raises questions.

    1. Perhaps it is a matter of perspective. I would agree that if they are using trickery or subtrifuge that is wrong. If they say, “We’re here to demonstrate the love of Jesus in a practical way.” I think that is honest and appropriate.

      1. As long as they are upfront about demonstrating the love of Jesus as you say, then fair comment but I feel cards certainly have to be on the table in any given situation regarding such matters.

  2. How much different is this really from public educators saying they wish the best for the kids, and then commence their indoctrination ? They do provide a service to the children, the parents, and the state. However, it is the state that pays the bills.

    This reminds me of two things :

    One, Mother Theresa’s protection of a known child abuser because the church needs more clergy like him.


    and two: The debate between the late ( of state ) Tony Blair and the late Christopher Hutchinson on whether religion exerts any beneficial influence on the world.


    It is a tricky question as the ease of which help can be given to another because of a willingness to change beliefs. Reminds me also of the conquest of central and south America by the conquistadors. Not quite the same of course, but I am reminded all the same.

    1. Good stuff, Zane. I’ll take a look at those references next week. This week’s pretty busy for me as you might imagine 😉 Thanks for your contribution to the dialogue.

  3. The only issue I would have with this group would be if the group were forcing their beliefs. Say, you were an atheist and were getting help from the group. If you kindly and respectfully stated that you did not believe in God and then they refused to help you, that’s where the problem would be. It’s all a matter of respect. They should then accept that you don’t believe and should still help you and not try to force their beliefs. Simple. 😀 Respect.

    1. Okay, so what if the methadone clinic continued to accept patients who did not want to recover from their addiction? I see what you mean but the street preachers do not owe help to anyone. They certainly cannot force a person to become a follower of Christ but whether to help physically or not is completely under their discretion. I assume they would help either way, however.

      1. That would be the same wrong action. I’m totally against anyone forcing anything on anyone. In both situations, accepting the patients or not accepting those who do not believe, would only hurt those people and would be wrong. You’re going to hurt yourself by accepting people who do not want to recover and you would be hurting yourself if you refused to help someone you were previously helping because they dont believe.

Comments are closed.