January 27, 2017
It’s all yours today…
January 18, 2016
October 10, 2015
June 7, 2014
First shall be last and last shall be first…
Do our modern Bible translations still include this verse? Anyone planning on preaching from it in the near future?
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)
I have a friend who is a physician. He is Syrian. His parents come to visit him in the winter, because they have no heat in their home on the outskirts of Aleppo. I have met them. They don’t want to leave Syria because they are committed to their home and want to help in rebuilding their country. When they return this time, however, they will most likely not be allowed back in to the US to see their son. Real people, real consequences…
Duane Arnold’s example is inconvenient.
Here is another.
I have a family friend who was born in Syria. As a child he was sent by the Muslim village chieftain to a Christian missionary school for boys in Beirut. It was operated by dedicated family from Minnesota. When he got there he was so filthy and lice ridden they had to burn his clothes. The boy became Christian and excelled at school. Previous graduates and other Christian groups sponsored him to attend Messiah College in the U.S. And he got a good job with a major American company. Eventually he married the daughter of that Minnesota couple and they had children. All of the children work or have worked in missionary or social service positions. One now helps run the school in Beirut.
When he retired , my friend did not sit by the fire in Minnesota, he took a position with an international non-profit. Now he travels to dangerous places to work with refugees.
Most of his family has had to flee Syria to live in refugee camps in Lebanon. They are the lucky ones, because others have been murdered. My friend helps them as he can, but there are so many. He prays for and witnesses by example for his family and neighbors to know Jesus. He became a servant by the prayers and witness of other Christians.
What example are his Muslim family members seeing now?
Duane, what an ass you physician friend must be if he won’t even buy his parents a heater. He may be treating his parents as poorly as the Syrian government.
Offensive as always. In Aleppo they have electricity for an hour a day if they have it at all. They’ve had no running water for over two years…
That was way out of line, even by your standards.
I have this hope that maybe we can discuss these issues here without the vitriol …
Maybe his parents could keep warm playing golf or turning on the heater in their Lexus.
OK, fair enough and I will retract my comment, but this is what happens when we tell a ‘personal story’ that is used to somehow silence or negate a whole policy issue.
Personal stories can illustrate part of a policy issue.
It’s much more helpful than posting 25 year old videos on Facebook as if the same circumstances are in play today…as some have done.
I will retract my comment<<<<
By the way, they are a Marionite Christian family…
History consists of personal stories, some big, some small. They all matter. They are all part of the record. MLD himself tells anecdotes.
I just saw that the ban includes green card holders…some of whom were traveling when the ban was signed and now can’t get back in the country.
i cannot take a stand on the immigration issue, because there is no one clear place to stand…
we say we’re not a Christian nation and then we castigate our leadership when they aren’t meeting the standards of the Christian…
we see good people (by the world’s definition) going thru truly horrible trials, by anyone’s definition of horrible because they are living in nations infested by demonic evils and their escape to safety lies in reaching lands not so infested…
but, to borrow the lice example above, the evil they’d escape clings to them in nefarious pretenders in their ranks…
we can say/hope that there are not enough bad guys to matter much, but we can look at Germany, Sweden and England and see clearly that the impact they have goes beyond the need for charity…
the only thing that is really clear to me is that we are in a dangerous, Satan driven world and, for the Christian it may be time to just live as one doing whatever God places in our hands to do… whether it’s that cup of cold water, offering a hiding place to a desperate and confused fugitive or the responsibility for a whole church to be led to and in the Way of Christ…
i think i see better now the hearts and intentions of Christians who join the crowds in the streets, but i still don’t think joining with those marchers so many of their causes are antithetical to God’s way is an answer…
unless chaos ultimately breeds sanity and compassion… when i got tired of telling my kids to clean their rooms, i’d go in and get everything that was out of place and leave it in a pile in the hall to greet them when they got home from school so …?… dunno
truth be told grace does have its limits, yet from the human view it is not all black and white by any means… or so it seems to me … today
To supplement my #2,
Regarding a Christian response to the plight of refugee children:
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”
Regarding a Christian response to any deportation force against the innocent from countries where a threat to life is high:
“Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.”
I am weary of the Pro-Choice caricature of the Pro-Life Movement. Their canard is that Pro-Life cares about the baby in the womb and then doesn’t give a rip once the baby is born. I have adopted two children. That is the answer to the problem. Adoption and not abortion. And my viewpoint on this matter is growing in our culture…quickly!
well, i cannot believe that i am questioning Jean’s logic here, …. but i am …
bringing Muslim children to the U.S.A. to lead them to Christ? better keep that one under the radar…
those newborn babes of the Jews? yes, those ancient midwives did right… that example conflates into justification for bringing unbelieving women and children into the U.S.A? does it? … dunno … i have noticed that the ‘children’ today are pretty long in the tooth… well, perhaps that is just a case of distortion of principles by bureaucrats?
yes, it would be good if we could bring those poor women and their babes in arms to safety, but that would break up families and break hearts in the separation… perhaps, leave the decision to the victims? we’ll take your women and your babies if they wish to come, but your able bodied young men?
dunno … just don’t know….
This will get me in trouble – so what’s new?
I can’t believe that Jean is advocating making US policy by the Bible.
This is no different than a Muslim advocating that US law should be made and enforced by Sharia.
Bible Law is no different than Muslim Law according to MLD.
“Bible Law is no different than Muslim Law according to MLD.”
When it comes to government policy — well that’s right. Which of these do you want to legislate and impose on the American people under civil penalties?
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make idols.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
When we hear God’s Law, such as “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,” it often makes us feel very uncomfortable, irritable, and/or afraid. That is good. The Spirit uses the Law to convict and mortify the flesh, and it hurts. When people talk about and ask for sanctification, here it is: “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
One defensive reaction to God’s Law is to try to soften it or render it irrelevant. This defense is designed to keep the old Adam/Eve alive and kicking. However, Christians are not allowed to add to or subtract from God’s Law. The Law is the immutable will of God. We must hear it preached in purity, so that it serves it’s proper purpose.
How do we deal with the hammer of the Law? There are two proper responses:
(1) Always Repentance: We should add our “amen” to the hearing of God’s Law and turn to Christ, “for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”
(2) Always Hear the Gospel: Christ died for our sins, including our fears of the stranger and attempts to hide behind walls and governments. Christ kept the law of love perfectly, because we in our weak flesh cannot love as we should. Christ forgive us all our sins. The Gospel gets the last word.
“This is no different than a Muslim advocating that US law should be made and enforced by Sharia.”
Actually, in mainstream Islam, Sharia (the path) is the law and applies only to the Ummah (the community of the faithful). As we do not wish our faith to be caricatured, we would not wish to caricature others… It’s probably part of what has gotten us into this mess is the first place…
Many of the “bible studies” today are so full of the pastor’s personal stories that they should begin with: “Once Upon a Time, ……… ” 🙁
Perhaps this is the biggest danger Donald Trump has created. He now has the liberals demanding that we follow Biblical law in our civic affairs.
Jean – #22, yes, for the Christian. When you run into those situations as an individual – yes follow God’s law and persuade as many as you can to go along with you. But are you going to legislate God’s law on all Americans? How about that one to not forsake assembling together — are you going to force people to go to church?
What about “if you don’t work you don’t eat.”? Do you enforce that one? 😉
How about we add Jewish law (they are good people – shouldn’t disturb Xenia too much) – we add some Jewish law and everything in the country shuts down for 24 hrs for Sabbath.
#22-and always remember we are strangers and pilgrims here…
if i may: John 18:36-37
one on one i hear what Jean is saying, i must ask, however, do we fear strangers? is ‘fear’ the right term? dunno… i don’t
well, maybe… because if the Muslim strangers are the strangers in question and they reproduce at their accustomed pace and become the majority in this land, enough of a majority to make and change laws, there will be a new definition of freedom
as a nation, we are facing a devilish conundrum… but one on one and as Christians on a pilgrim journey thru this land, Jean’s words good ones… i guess
In our current situation, I’ll stand with the Confessing Church. Bonhoeffer was explicit about the church’s obligations to fight political injustice. The church, he wrote, must fight evil in three stages: The first was to question state injustice and call the state to responsibility; the second was to help the victims of injustice, whether they were church members or not. Ultimately, however, the church might find itself called “not only to help the victims who have fallen under the wheel, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself” in order to halt the machinery of injustice.
“The first was to question state injustice and call the state to responsibility”
For example, barring law abiding green card holders from re-entering the U.S.?
#23- on the other hand you have the United Arab Republic – a powerhouse in their world (maybe the powerhouse, next to Iran) – i don’t know that ‘mainstream’ is the word you want to make your point…
perhaps, in many Muslim dominated nations, the non Muslims have lived unmolested, but not the big players in their world… and those extremists think nothing of killing their own, if they don’t line up, so… there is valid reason to be cautious IMHO
Duane, I agree 100% – we fight evil.
So, is it your understanding that the United States has no control over it’s borders – even up to and including shutting them down temporarily to sift through a 50 year problem?
Are you calling that act in itself evil? (and remember, evil actually means something – nt just I am offended by a policy)
“For example, barring law abiding green card holders from re-entering the U.S.?”
That will work it’s way out shortly in the process. It’s an inefficiency within a broad law — kind of like all the ‘inefficiencies of the ACA that are suppose to work their way out.
“The first was to question state injustice and call the state to responsibility; the second was to help the victims of injustice, whether they were church members or not. Ultimately, however, the church might find itself called “not only to help the victims who have fallen under the wheel, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself” in order to halt the machinery of injustice.”
is that the Church’s role? not sure, but it certainly describes what we, as a Christian nation have been doing around the world for a hundred years now – it doesn’t seem to be working, except that we’re close to falling under wheels, not into the spokes so much, of the devil’s machinery in our attempt…
i think our reactions over the travel barricades that has been thrown up this weekend is premature… so far this is temporary while things immigration reorganize… if, when the dust settles, we see that it is a bad thing, then do whatever serves one’s sense of justice demands
“So, is it your understanding that the United States has no control over it’s borders – even up to and including shutting them down temporarily to sift through a 50 year problem?”
This is where we always end up, with gross mischaracterization of others views.
Because I believe in the need for comprehensive immigration reform, I’m accused of wanting “open borders”.
I’ve never said that, nor have I written such, neither did my mentor in all his voluminous work.
It’s easier to deal with these issues as binary choices…when the complexity of them far exceeds that kind of thinking.
I had a hope that we were better than that…
i seem to remember that i heard the purpose of Obamacare, as it was set in motion, was to cause a crisis that would move us into a melt down and the implementation of socialized medicine… never trust those politicians, no matter which pew they’re sitting in 🙂
And since this is Open Blogging – I have a big anti government gripe that I voice every year at this time … I am sitting here doing my taxes.
We need to end employer withholding taxes – for 2 reasons
1.) it makes me as an employer (as I was between 1997 – 2012) an agent of the state.
2.) People have no idea how high their taxes are – and this is the deceit of the government – because people never see the money that has been taken out of their pay checks.
If people had to write out a check every April for the amount of their total tax bill – there would be rioting in the streets.
“It’s easier to deal with these issues as binary choices…when the complexity of them far exceeds that kind of thinking.” amen, sometimes hard not to do, but amen again – we surely do need good discussions among reasonable men (generic) now…
You may know about a topic, that I am beginning to believe should be mandatory reading for American Christians in this generation. Are you familiar with the evolution and steps by which the state churches of pre-WII German Churches eventually sided with or at the least stood silently by while the 3rd Reich came to power?
I am not suggesting that the current administration is another 3rd Reich, but what I do see happening is the inability of the current conservative church in America to distinguish itself and its Christian values from the demands of the government. I just read a dear brother say that stranding innocent green card holders oversees, some on lay overs in 3rd countries, others divided from family, as an “inefficiency.”
If you feel the urge, I would love to read an article on what happened within the German churches leading up to WWI.
On the right hand side of the blog under “Pages” I have added the Barmen Declaration of the Confessing Church in Germany written prior to WW 2.
#35- and that’s why we have employer withholding… the worker blames their employer, not the government – that and the gov’t would have a terrible time collecting those lump sums in April LOL
I am really glad you are posting here
Michael – everything is not about you and your opinions. My comment had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with you – so do not mischaracterize me. I was addressing Duane who directly to this conversation about Trump’s action with the borders, threw a direct charge of evil into the conversation.
I was giving hi a chance to rethink the comment – so we do not dilute the term evil down to insignificance.
You boiled Duane’s views down to binary opposites…Either the United States has no control over it’s borders or Trumps actions are righteous.
It doesn’t work that way.
Oh, the continual comparison (as subtle as you all want to hide it) to Hitler, makes me sick.
You guys have now brought Nazi Germany down to insignificance. One week in office and Trump is Hitler – this crap is all over Facebook and should not be here on the Phoenix Preacher.
well, dear Jean, your dear brother is right – IMO – it is an inefficiency (governments thrive on that) and not a world shattering event… no worse that a computer breakdown in the airlines, world travelers aren’t little children traveling in the backseat with mommy and daddy doing the driving… is that caustic? hope not – just seems to fit
Michael – that’s fine – go ahead and label everything you disagree with as evil.
“One week in office and Trump is Hitler – this crap is all over Facebook and should not be here on the Phoenix Preacher.”
It’s not on the PhxP.
What is on the PhxP and will be on the PhxP as long as I have breath are discussions about how the church and state act and interact.
Some of us believe that the American church has been co-opted by political values that are in opposition to Christian ones…and we are still allowed to speak as well.
one thing i must thank God for and that is the hearts of the voices here on the PhxP even when i’m not in agreement – perhaps the big eternal picture – the heart of God – shows itself here better than anywhere else today…
Where have I labeled anything as evil today?
yeah, what Michael just said @46 🙂
Thank your for posting the Barmen Declaration. I had heard about it, but just read it for the first time. Those were some brave men to have entered into that confession.
I believe that a declaration similar to the Barmen Declaration would be relevant today, but like in its original context, I suspect that many churches today would not join. Without making this comment too long, these two confessions, in particular, resonated with me:
“8.14 As Jesus Christ is God’s assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, in the same way and with the same seriousness he is also God’s mighty claim upon our whole life. Through him befalls us a joyful deliverance from the godless fetters of this world for a free, grateful service to his creatures.
8.15 We reiect the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords–areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.”
Thank Duane, who suggested it to me…I thought about doing it before, but now is the time.
Well there have been issues with the church and the state in other times – we do not need to run to Nazi Germany to project the outcome.
Really, running straight to the Barmen Declaration and Bonhoeffer as first point does not hide the views very well.
Perhaps my family is right – trains to the death camps are coming over the horizon.
Hi everyone! Hope you all are having a good day. Love ya ♡
Off the top of my head I don’t recall a time when the church wrote such a declaration in different circumstances.
I’ll gladly post others as well.
Michael , praying miss kitty meets her curfew on time tonight
Here’s a reasoned response from Republican Sen. Sasse
“The President is right to focus attention on the obvious fact that borders matter. At the same time, while not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad. There are two ways to lose our generational battle against jihadism by losing touch with reality. The first is to keep pretending that jihadi terrorism has no connection to Islam or to certain countries. That’s been a disaster. And here’s the second way to fail: If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion. Both approaches are wrong, and both will make us less safe. Our generational fight against jihadism requires wisdom.”
That is something we can all work with…
She’s on my lap…things are back to normal. 🙂
And Sasse said that with no subtle comparison to Nazi Germany.
Not rethinking one damn thing…
There’s some great material on the RC White Rose movement. If you’re interested, I’ll search it out for you.
Thank you. I’m glad to be here.
Many thanks, all the way around…
Michael, I’m glad she is safely home where she belongs. Does she get tuna again tonight? Lol
OK, we will wait to see how long it takes for the Joseph Goebbels quotes to start showing up – they have been going strong on FB.
I will go away so I am not a distraction … taxes piss me off enough. 😉
I know this conversation on borders is important to you all but it was getting a bit tense and i wanted to lighten the mood.
Sometimes it is hard to tell when you are really flaring up or just pullimg each others chains.
But i do love you all
Dusty…it’s all good…and even when it isn’t you’ll still be loved by all here.
Thank you big brother
MLD, you think doing taxes is tough, try preparing for a DOT safety audit. I’m a one man operation and it’s taken me over 10 hrs (so far) to assemble everything they’re asking for.
Just read a story on FB from a woman with a green card who has been here for 7 years, has a job, a home, etc.
she went home to Teheran to visit her family she hadn’t seen for a year. Heard what happening with Trump, got an earlier flight back to US, got on the connecting plane back to US. She was removed from flight and is now stuck with no way to get back to her job, her life or her dog she has here.
She is one of many stories.
Also hearing that green card holders who landed were detained, handcuffed and had their social media accounts checked to see if they had ever spoken out against Trump.
This is insanity.
Maybe it is time to bring out the Goebbels quotes.
Whenever I travel the first few times to a new place, I always feel a bit disoriented and foreign. I’m never really sure where things are or how to get there.
I feel that about America and Christianity right now.
I was really touched by this story I saw the other night. The mother was diagnosed with cancer. Went into remission after chemo. Got pregnant shortly thereafter with quadruplets!
The cancer returned during her pregnancy and they had to take the children early. They were very small, however, survived and are still in intensive care.
A GoFundme page was set up to help with expenses for her and her husband who serves in the military.
I checked the page this morning and so far over 1 million dollars has been raised!
What a blessing.
Xenia probably thinks Joseph Goebbels is a Northern California college professor – oh well – I will post the first one, then the rest can follow.
” A Jew is for me an object of disgust. I feel like vomiting when I see one. Christ could not possibly have been a Jew. It is not necessary to prove that scientifically – it is a fact. I do not need to prove this with science or scholarship. It is so!”
I was coming back to concede a part of my position, but saw that and realized the mentality I was up against.
Invisibilia – Flip the Script
This episode includes a story about young Muslim men disappearing in Denmark that has been popping into my head over the last day.
London at #68,
Hey, it’s just an inconvenience…we are told.
I am not sure what you mean, but that’s ok.
I still feel it whether it’s inconvenient or not.
I was agreeing with you via irony and sarcasm directed at comments made on this thread.
Wonder if any pastors will preach on The Good Samaritan tomorrow?
When I posted my #2, the conversation could have gone in one of two directions:
1) Amen Lord. Let’s discuss how to do that in a Christian manner, taking into account all of our respective vocations; or
2) Glad this Scripture doesn’t apply me. I’m good; it’s just an inconvenience. Be warm and well fed my friend.
Which way did you go?
Well Jean, in my respective vocation in the service business, I come into touch with a lot of strangers. I try to greet them with a smile, ask how their day is going etc.
I speak fairly fluent Spanish and always try and communicate in Spanish with those who do, especially in California.
I do fall short in these practices at times, but I do try.
Is that the kind of thing you’re talking about?
Jean, guess i failed your question.
This is a difficult time for everyone it seems
And people are comfused and scared of what is happening.
I, like many of you would be hiding people in my home . Aside from that i don’t know what to do.
I forgot to add that I try and give to charities I feel strongly about. I’m sure that and monies and material goods my wife and I give to goes mostly to strangers unaware.
I wish I did more though…
It is so difficult, we cannot resort to personal attacks and invectives. We have to form a theological approach. The past can help. Some may see rudeness as a form of argument. I do not. We’ve experienced enough of that. What is needed now is reflection… Just my current thinking.
For many years my family went to detroit to feed and give clothinig to the homeless. And pray over the sick. The only reason we dont still do that is we moved to the other side of the state for my husband’s job.
Part of this whole Christian living thing (and living together in harmony) is to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, at peace and with a clean conscience. The first four chapters of 1 Cor changed my life and led me to my current church.
It would be helpful if we could learn to stop judging ourselves and each other. Of course we fail. We fail daily. We will keep on failing. Imagine the implications if somehow we didn’t fail. I would rather be a sinner with Christ for my savior than not be a sinner and no longer have Christ as my savior.
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.” (1 Corinthians 4:2-4 ESV)
A Scottish veterinary student who attends the University of Glasgow was refused passage from her vacation in Costa Rica to Glasgow as her flight had a connection at JFK Airport. She’s a legal British resident, but an Iranian passport holder. She is stuck in Costa Rica.
As reported in The Herald newspaper.
Federal judge has stayed the order…
And see, the system works. As I said in my #31 above;
“That will work it’s way out shortly in the process. It’s an inefficiency within a broad law — what was that 4 hours ago?
I always tell people you think the president has more authority than he does. Nazi Germany was not like that.
Temporary relief was granted on only part of the executive order, because some people activated against the injustice, and I wonder where the conservative Christians were. Were they and are they on the side of the victims of this insanity?
Jean – are you breaking the 8th commandment? Are you speaking poorly about people (conservative Christians) in a way that you know nothing.
Michael already quoted Senator Sasse who is a conservative Christian.
I’m asking a question. There will be more opportunities for each of us to decide who we stand with. As Trump fills out the executive branch and judiciary with more like minded people and the press is more suppressed and his propaganda machine is more honed, it will be more and more difficult to get true facts and check him. Lord have mercy.
Jean, in my opinion you’re not asking questions, you’re making judgements.
I did make a judgment: the insanity of the executive order.
Look, running this country is not like running the Apprentice or Ms. Universe or the Trump Organization or your own fan club. Decisions have worldwide consequences for millions of people.
Tell me what existential threat arose that precipitated this rash executive order? This was Trumpian theater at the expense of the vulnerable to showcase his big hands. Is this the way you want our our country run, by the instincts and inner voice of a man with no national security experience? And before you tell me about the experts he has around him, tell me if you think a serious national security review of the refugee situation could be done in less than a week?
MLD is the dictionary definition of a political independent. I find his commentary fascinating as he has been here a long time and certainly knows everyone pretty well.
My one comment will be simple. I’ve made many comments over the last 8 years noting that there is a vocal, passionate, Christian left in this country – usually only when complaints appeared on the blog about the religious right and Christians expressing their visceral upset at Obama for what they feel has been an ungodly effort to promote abortion, perversion, diminish Christian influence around the world with little concern for Christian persecution, at least expressed. We also think his domestic agenda a disaster and he pitted Americans against each other in a variety of ways, especially racial.
Nope. Sure Sharpton and Jackson were out there but regular Christians honored Christ by speaking of other things than the President’s actions….when that guy was Obama.
(I’ve been around here about 8 years but solely under one President except the last 8 days.)
Made comments during Obama encouraging political involvement, at the least voting, Grassroots involvement like marches. Nope. Confusing kingdoms…not of this world. We should be seeking higher things, and ripping on those in the religious right in the linkathons and “things” column.
But after spitting on the primary process, and getting an unbeliever in office (again) by all sense of the word….we expect the Bible to rule the White House? NOW Christians have some sort of duty to oppose their President.
Hey, check out the blog archives if you doubt my historical take, but as the one often getting the return fire, my memory is pretty clear. But I think even MLD sees it.
“My one comment will be simple. I’ve made many comments over the last 8 years noting that there is a vocal, passionate, Christian left in this country”
Here in lies my complaint.
Why…does one have to be targeted as part of the left or right unless they choose that identification for themselves?
My deeply held beliefs about immigration reform developed after being knocked to my knees in repentance in the streets of Juarez.
I believe then and I believe now that it was an act of the Holy Spirit that has put me on this journey of many years.
I believe my position aligns most closely with biblical teaching.
I want all my beliefs to align likewise…so I oppose abortion as well.
One of those is now considered left wing, one right.
Why can’t we discuss these matters in terms of theology instead of political affiliation?
What I have consistently objected to is conflating conservative politics with Christianity…and I will continue to do so.
We have some very bright people here representing a broad spectrum of theological and political beliefs…if we can’t make this work,t hen no one can.
I’m not ready to give up the prospect yet.
What I find to be really sad is that this order (thankfully tossed out by a federal judge) would make our country LESS safe than if it hadn’t happened. I’ve never seen a president suck up and pander to his base like this guy. Not to this degree.
Let’s look at facts — assuming they still count for anything.
“But the president’s directive is unlikely to significantly reduce the terrorist threat in the United States, which has been a minuscule part of the overall toll of violence since 2001.
Many experts believe the order’s unintended consequences will make the threat worse.
since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, no one has been killed in the United States in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from or whose parents emigrated from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the seven countries targeted in the order’s 120-day visa ban, according to Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina.”
My friend, a grown woman CFO, just texted me with “evil is in charge, I am so scared”. This woman is not a Muslim, not an immigrant and not gay(top three perceived targets are this administration).
I could spend all day telling her “God is in control” but it seems pretty hollow and untrue to people right now. It makes God seem like he is just as chaotic, negative and vindictive as those on the right who are in charge now.
What are you all telling your friends who are afraid?
That is a great question…especially here where there is real concern about families being split up by deportation.
I will confess that I’m at a loss for comforting answers.
While I thought Trump would win, the shock hasn’t really worn off sufficiently to get my bearings.
I’ve told some that there are a lot of us here who will do all we can to stop what’s coming…but the reality is we may not be able to.
The effect on kids has been quite distressing as now they live with an axe over their lives 24/7.
I haven’t got any great answers right now.
todays visa event has not one thing to do with Christianity right left or middle…
hasn’t it occurred to anyone that the stranded incoming today were the victims of a bureaucratic snafu? maybe even an intentional one to undermine the new administration?
it disturbs me that such a large segment of our citizenry will gather and demonstrate at the drop of a hint … this popular mindset will result in one of two things as i see it,
1-it will get boring, becoming ineffectual when the need comes to really take to the streets or
2-we’ll descend into anarchy and chaos and we’ll all wring our hands giving Trump and Company the blame…
it should not have taken a court order to free those travelers – a common sense agent would have, and maybe did, call their headquarters and ask, “what do we do with these folk that were in the air when the order came through?” did that happen? dunno – but Washington being Washington, i do smell a rat somewhere in the mix…
this order is temporary for St. Peter’s sake… but it seems that the buck really does not stop until it is passed to the oval office (that’s a weird designation, brings to mind ‘awful’ or … ‘offal’…)
i feel better… so i’ll stop now
London’s friend is a smart woman to be afraid, but from where i sit, i don’t think we really see very clearly now…
i think everyone’s angst is the result of being played by irresponsible Henny Penny’s
the effect on the children is the responsibility of adults and it is a shame as i seriously doubt that families will be impacted to any great extent, if at all…
on the other hand, i was totally shocked when Trump won the election
of course, there is and should be concern when one is living on the edge of the laws – for whatever reason, but if you want something to keep you up at night, look at North Korea’s building war arsenal
“the effect on the children is the responsibility of adults and it is a shame as i seriously doubt that families will be impacted to any great extent, if at all…”
When a parent or grandparent faces deportation it has a huge effect on families…and I’m dealing with it every day.
One thing that we can say about this President…he’s kept his promises.
What’s interesting is that I know a lot of people who were genuinely afraid and upset the past 8 years by what they perceived to be an out of control bureaucracy being led by a man they ascertained to be a despot.
I could include a long list of why they felt that way, however, there’s no need to rehash it.
Millions of those people who voted for Trump did so on 2 major underpinnings, namely, national security and the economy.
The shift in immigration policy is at it’s core, reflected in those 2 things. Millions believe it’s the right thing to do and millions believe it’s not.
My sense is that these things will settle out. Probably not to the full approval of either side.
Sorry Michael, but the “discussion” has sunk into political diatribes despite your hopes of discourse. At least Jean has come out from behind the her Wizard of Oz veil of Christianese and exposed the truth of her political intentions…all with the intent to provoke such a discussion as we had here today.
I am sickened by it and the truth I may have to face is that this forum has lost its purpose and focus…certainly today it did. And with it, my interest.
There was nothing that could be edifying to come of this provocation. Shame on you Jean.
I think some of you should follow some of the folks on Twitter who are at the airports right now.
Some airports are defying the judges order to let people go, they are still detaining people without providing a list of names to the lawyers sent to represent them and in some instances, not to the congress or senate members who have shown up.
Of course families will be separated. They already have been. If you are in grad school and went over to visit your family last week. We can not return to
US even if you have a green card, even if you have a spouse and children here.
Jeff, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, but so is every other person who commented here today.
And Jean is a man.
Are you telling me that Jean came out and he turned out to be a she?
Jean is an outboard and not the Inboard as you suppose. 😉
Sorry London, I don’t come here for these type discourses despite the egalitarian right to share one’s opinion.
Sorry for the gender mistake.
“I am sickened by it and the truth I may have to face is that this forum has lost its purpose and focus…certainly today it did.”
I’m sorry to hear that as I thought it was a start on something better.
I get all sorts of negative reactions when I venture beyond writing about church abuse…but I think the conflation of church and partisan politics is as abusive as anything I’ve ever written about.
Jean’s motivations were not negative in any way…he’s discussing issues that are on his heart.
If we don’t have room for everyone, we’ll end up with room for no one.
Open blogging is just that…I’d discuss hockey on this thread,but no one would ever respond… 🙂
Check this story out.
I’ve got lots of things on my heart about Presidential actions. Let’s start with Obama ceding land and responsibility to the Iraqi’s, which resulted in ISIS taking Mosul. My son fought, boots on the ground, as an infantryman with the 3rd Brigade Strykers and lost six of his friends during the course of that campaign to retake Mosul, including Sgt. Darrell Griffin, who was killed by a sniper 200 yards from his FOB. He was the greatest Christian witness to my son…try reading the book his Dad wrote on his life. My son also suffered a concussion that affects him to this day. Obama should rot in hell for what he did to our serviceman there.
Just because my heart is pealing the bell to cry out does not justify my taking it into the public arena. I am to bring my members into subjugation.
First, God bless your boy.
Second, I believe that story needs to be told…I believe all our stories need to be told and I’ve endeavored to share as many as possible over the years here.
Our society depends on the free exchange of ideas…both those we affirm and those we find odious.
Thank you for hanging in with us over the years…we need you here.
I am sorry for your pain and the loss your son suffered. War, always, is horrible. I understand how you can blame Obama and how you wish that people would not complain about anything that is currently happenings in this administration.
I finally understand a bit more about why people opposed some of Obamas policies. One of the first times I’ve heard a reason that, to me, did not sound entirely based on race or party loyalty. So, sincerely, thank you for that.
I will not be silent here about matters that concern me as a Christian and as an American, but I do, in all honesty, appreciate and respect your explanation.
@95 YES …. LETS DO IT
We have to do communication without offense but with the intent of healing and reconciliation
You might find this book of interest: Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow : sermons of resistance in the Third Reich / edited by Dean G. Stroud (2013)
There is also a very good film you can get on Netflix about the White Rose Movement: Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days), Draws on interviews with survivors and transcripts that had remained hidden in East German archives until 1990, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in January 2006.
I’ll bet I have seen this 2 dozen times on my FB by liberal friends who I always respected from falling off the ledge. Now they eat this up like corn flakes.
• Step one for Hitler was to discredit the media.
• Step two was to silence scientists and government employees.
• Hate crimes against minorities grew to the highest in their country’s history. Clashes between parties became so extensive that Hitler ended civil liberties (Step three), giving “law and order” as the cause. Those who opposed Hitler were ridiculed and threatened.
• In Step Four wealthy supporters purchased media outlets, employing only those faithful to the ruling party.
• In his final step (Step Five) Hitler declared that the only way the country could be unified was to restore traditional values. Minorities including gays, the disabled, Jews, Roma, and people of color were considered “inferior” and sent to death camps for slaughter.
We’re between Step 2-4.
This is in case you were always confused by how so many people could go along with Hitler’s Final Solution, this is exactly how it happened. Cannot even believe that this shit is happening in this country, in our time.
Now I don’t know if this is the official list from say the Holocaust Museum or it is just made up – but think of those who goose step right behind the command to;
“(COPY AND PASTE IF YOU WANT TO REACH MORE PEOPLE, it only takes 2 more seconds.”
You wrote: “At least Jean has come out from behind the her Wizard of Oz veil of Christianese and exposed the truth of her political intentions…all with the intent to provoke such a discussion as we had here today.”
I will confess that I have a Christian worldview. Encompassed in this worldview is that objective truth exists and Christ embodies the truth. Moreover, the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, when I analyze cultural and political issues, I do so through my Christian worldview.
If I bring a topic to the blog, I often try to anchor my thoughts or questions to Scripture. The application of Scripture to a current event is sometimes inferential, so I could see how faithful Christians might disagree about the solution to certain ethical questions. But, by reading different points of view, my own view might be changed or strengthened. I learned a great deal yesterday from a variety of contributors.
One thing I am certain of is a Christian worldview is antithetical to the world’s worldview. That much the Bible makes clear. Therefore, I am deeply skeptical of the wisdom of the world when it comes to morality and ethics. One tactic I am seeing currently in the political arena is the desire to paint complex problems and solutions as simple to solve. This is done by creating scapegoats. I am opposed to scapegoating our country’s challenges.
I try not to proof text (i.e., use a text out of context), but if I am, someone is free to challenge my application. I readily admit that I am fallible. But as I said I seek truth in God’s Word and then seek to apply it.
Regarding the Iraq war, these are the latest numbers I could find via Wikipedia:
“As of June 29, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a part of Operation New Dawn, which was initiated on September 1, 2010, there were 73 total deaths (including KIA and non-hostile) and 295 WIA.”
I grieve for these losses, as well as the losses of our allies and Iraqi civilians. I pray that the survivors would receive grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I also pray that God would lead our nation and the world in the way of peace. I pray for our President that God would protect him and our other leaders, and give him the wisdom to keep our nation and her people safe.
“Look, running this country is not like running the Apprentice or Ms. Universe or the Trump Organization or your own fan club. Decisions have worldwide consequences for millions of people.
Tell me what existential threat arose that precipitated this rash executive order? This was Trumpian theater at the expense of the vulnerable to showcase his big hands. Is this the way you want our our country run, by the instincts and inner voice of a man with no national security experience? And before you tell me about the experts he has around him, tell me if you think a serious national security review of the refugee situation could be done in less than a week”
How is this statement reconciled to Scripture? In fact, it is a bald political statement, not anchored in scripture, but truly anchored the the flesh with a political objective in mind. It is a bald faced attack that has hyperbole and thinly veiled invective. Your hypocrisy is stunning, even if you do write on this blog.
Michael was correct in his analysis…it is from your heart, which is wicked and deceitful, just like mine.
Bringing up the topic is, in my mind, not provocative or disruptive. It is the opportunity for theological reflection. Our faith is rooted in the Incarnation – God among us in the real physical world with all of its attendant joys and sorrows. Our theology, in my opinion, must also be rooted in the Incarnation. That means dealing with the real life issues that are placed on our door step. Unless we want to take a page from gnostic spirituality and say “the physical doesn’t matter”, we cannot help but engage in the concerns and issues of our day and time.
My worldview and how I anchor my views of the refugee issue in scripture:
“Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Ps 146:3-9)
Let me posit to you that your friend’s motive was truly revealed at #93. It was not for theological reflection as you call it. I take no issue with the topic being raised and agree with your point, but no one can convince me otherwise that Jean’s purpose in raising had a singular purpose.
Thanks Duane. I agree with you.
…and as the theologians circle the wagons, I will exit stage right.
We don’t usually come to a political discussion without a position. I never hid my distaste for the executive order, either its content or its implementation. But what I tried to do was strike up a conversation about what God’s Word offers us on the topic. Why does it surprise you that I had a position? Many people here have given their views. I haven’t seen one person yet say: I have no opinion or I don’t know what I believe about the executive order.
What Duane is getting at is that Christ has a claim on our entire lives, not just our Sunday morning life, and that we should express our faith in all areas of our lives. Therefore, theological reflection is appropriate for the topic of refugees and immigration.
MLD, the Hitler to Trump comparison is nauseous.
Robert Reich, former Clinton administration member, is pushing this narrative about Trump using stick figure drawings on a white board.
One of the main differences between Germany in the 30’s and America now, is our forefathers had the wisdom to put into place the 2nd amendment. Those who embrace it are prepared to exercise it against a tyrant, whether he/she comes from the left or the right.
““Put not your trust in princes,” and yet I am sure that you were one who lobbied, even if silently, the Prince of the Federal court to take corrective action.
Here we see that the Constitution is the proper corrective application and not the Bible – which was my point at #19 & #31.
Some of us see more clearly when we avoid the hysterics of any one given issue.
Robert Reich, a Jew, should know better than to play the Hitler card at every point he disagrees with. I see him in my feed daily (I am not a friend but I probably have 50 friends who are) with his nonsense and I see it repeated here.
My purpose in looking at the position of the Church in the early 1930s as National Socialism rose, legally, in Germany was to examine the differing reactions of the time. It is not a line by line comparison with the US in 2017. There are, however, lessons to be learned. The “German Christians” sided with the rise of National Socialism. Why? The Confessing Church moved to resist the rise of National Socialism. Again, why? There were cogent theological arguments on both sides. What was the result as to the witness of the Church in Germany and Austria after the war. Why did the RC Church side with Franco in Spain? What were the results in terms of the Church when the Franco regime came to an end? Again, as a church historian, I believe there are lessons to be learned.
These are not “cards” to be used in arguments. They are points of reflection. To consider Augustine’s Just War doctrine is not to argue that we’re in the same situation as the fourth century. It is to say that his arguments provide us with some guideposts in our own time. There is no reason to fear the examination of the past – “past is prologue” – nor is there any reason to draw exact comparisons…
On the subject of immigration. Does a constitutional republic such as ours, have a right via it’s elected legislators, to establish border protections, laws with clearly defined consequences for those that break them?
Just take the temporary visa requirements for example. We allow a certain amount of foreigners to come into our country every year. Some are short term, others a little longer.
The terms of the visa are clearly stated, and the person receiving it understands there is an expiration period. When it’s done, you go back to where you came from.
Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have overstayed their visas in our country. They are breaking our laws.
Are these people law breakers? What does the bible have to say about that?
“One of the main differences between Germany in the 30’s and America now, is our forefathers had the wisdom to put into place the 2nd amendment. Those who embrace it are prepared to exercise it against a tyrant, whether he/she comes from the left or the right.”
I find this to be amusing every time someone posts something similar.
As if the local populace with their handguns and hunting rifles could contend with the military forces of the United States…
“Are these people law breakers? What does the bible have to say about that?”
Yes, they have broken the law and there are millions of them, not hundreds of thousands.
If what is most important to you is the rule of law, irregardless of circumstances and broken laws by natives, then this is a simple matter.
You round them up and deport them.
If you believe that the rule of law should be tempered by the law of love, then it becomes more complex.
I fall into the second category.
“Our faith is rooted in the Incarnation – God among us in the real physical world with all of its attendant joys and sorrows. Our theology, in my opinion, must also be rooted in the Incarnation. ”
Duane, I don’t think we have an understanding of this at all.
The faith that has been delivered is about “getting saved” and then “getting everyone else saved”.
Maybe what is needful is more teaching on this point…
I saw a statistic that in 2015 there were estimated to be around 416,500 people who were in the country overstaying their visas out of around 45,000,000 people whose visas expired in 2015. Out of those 416,500 people, I assume there are lawbreakers in that number.
The Bible specifically says: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
Jesus qualifies this elsewhere with insofar as governing authorities do not contradict the clear laws of God revealed in Scripture.
I do not see any reason why immigration visa law breakers should not be dealt with under the provisions of the law.
The issue yesterday was not whether people are here past their visas expiration. It was about a rushed order being implemented without proper instruction to those required to act on it.
It was about detaining, and in some instances turning back, those who had already been vetted and had green cards. Some who had worked/lived here for years.
It was about the way the countries were chosen for the ban, not by threat level to Americans, but by those without business ties to Trump.
It was about worldwide outrage at our targeting people, not by what they’ve done, but by where they were born.
“You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country’s about.”
Thank you, Jean. Mine was an honest sincere question. I appreciate your reply.
London, sometimes there are unintended consequences when rules are initially put in place. It can be an inconvenience, but as they are implemented, things work out.
Personal anecdotes aren’t always exact in comparison. However, in my industry we are required to have bi-annual physicals.
The FMCSA instituted a policy a couple of years ago whereby the longform medical certificate had to be submitted and registered with the DMV.
The DMV in all states were having a hard time keeping up with the documentation initially.
In the interim, thousands of CDL holders were being put out of service at weigh station checkpoints all over the country because of a snafu which showed their licenses were invalid.
Drivers were up in arms and freaked out. Reality is that it all worked out in the end and that cheap toilet paper was eventually delivered to Wally Mart 😉
Scooter – You were probably dealing only with inefficient Jerry Brown regulations which the left loves – but these are from Trump – the next Hitler.
I am seeing floating on FB the last 2 similar visa restrictions on travel naming specific countries, (each named 3 – 5 countries at a time like Somalia, Yemen etc.) and I began to wonder why had I not seen the Barman Declaration floating around at that time?
Why wasn’t it pulled out for Obama / Clinton?
It’s time to end my little experiment here again.
After looking at Facebook and how this discussion has gone, we won’t glean anything positive from this and we could end up in very bad places that I’m not willing to go to.
I have a hope that we can someday find our center in our common faith to address our differences, but now is not the time.
We are way too polarized and entrenched on different sides.
We want to be that way at this point.
I’m not willing to break relationships or fellowship at this point,so I’ll pull out of this and move on to regularly scheduled programming.
i expected to visit here this a.m. and find this thread closed, but since it isn’t…
all the comments and heart-felt declarations are good and pertinent, but i think we’re missing one thing…
we don’t really know what’s going on “out there”… for instance, i’ve heard questions as to why the particular countries were chosen for immigration ban when others are “more dangerous”… my understanding is that these countries were chosen because their security offices – if any – refuse to cooperate with ours as do most of the rest of the world’s nations, i guess…
i think that it is reasonable to sense that something sinister is coming to a head in the world and to try to look for what it is…
but the masses seem to be following the old saw of “shoot, ready, aim” … maybe our presence – premature IMV – in the streets will tone things down, but i’m afraid what we’re really doing is putting the bad guys on alert, forcing them to go behind that curtain where the public has no idea of what machinations are afoot…
right now i’m thinking that any Christian who hasn’t lifted their government – like it or hate it – to the Throne of God today in prayer has forgotten the first order of business for us
Jesus said: “So the last will be first, and the first last.”
What does Jesus’ saying mean to you?
(Note: This question is unrelated to the previous conversation, is unrelated to politics, immigrants and refugees. This is a new non-political question.)
for me it kind of falls into the same category as the question, “who by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature” (ref. escapes me)… my reaction to both is, ‘oh, well then, just take care of business one day at a time, playing the cards you’re dealt’… no theology there, tho 🙂
If what you’re saying is “I’m not going to rank myself and simply trust in the mercies of God,” I think that is a very wholesome application. If I read you wrong, no offense intended.Thanks.
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
(Matthew 19:28–30 ESV)
He seems to explain this in the parable that follows…I took this from the ESV Study Bible:
“So the last will be first, and the first last. A disciple of Jesus should not measure his or her worth by comparing it with the accomplishments and sacrifices of others, but should focus on serving from a heart of gratitude in response to God’s grace. Jesus is not denying degrees of reward in heaven (see note on 1 Cor. 3:14–15) but is affirming that God’s generosity is more abundant than anyone would expect: all the laborers except the very first got more than they deserved. It is probably correct also to see here a warning that Jesus’ early followers (such as the Twelve) should not despise those who would come later.”
#146-close enough, Jean 🙂
i do confess to still having some ground to gain in what Michael’s 147 is teaching… there’s too much Martha in me … Luke 10:40-42 sigh….
To me it means that the meek shall inherit the earth. If love is fulfillment of the law, doing harm to a neighbor, then those who show the greatest love, though maybe despised by the world, shall be greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
Good input Victor. Thanks.
“love” in itself is a study… for instance, do i love my neighbor at the expense of my child? … my example would be a long drawn out series of events … suffice it to say that IMX that had a bad ending for both my neighbor and my child
Another pastor caught in adultery, not stepping down from leadership: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/01/30/tallahassee-pastors-tryst-spotlight/97135232/
Simmons, who has led the independent church since 2005, said he won’t quit.
“What I want from God, I have already received – that’s his forgiveness, ” Simmons said in his address. “What I am asking of our members is your prayers and your forgiveness.”
In response, the congregation stood and applauded for several minutes.
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