This is the season for New Years resolutions. But, before your simply forward this blog to your irresponsible 20-something child, read it yourself and recall the foolish decisions you made in your 20’s. Then forward it and call your child and admit to them which of these poor decisions you made and how it affected your life. Trust me, you’ll have far more credibility if you have the courage to do that. The following thoughts are edited from a blog by Pastor Jonathan Pokluda of Porch Church in Dallas.
Immigration continues to be a polarizing issue in America, first because of the Paris, and now the San Bernardino attacks. The lines are being drawn around the world. In the last few weeks, many governors have said they want to examine the immigration policies and procedures in place, before any more Syrian refugees are let in. Others have said outright, “No Syrian refugees!” So what are Christians to think?
At this time of year, it’s helpful to remember that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were themselves refugees who fled to Egypt to escape violence. But, before I give you what God says in Scriptures about aliens, and you write me off as a bleeding heart liberal, I’d like to frame my position, as follows;
The issue of immigration reform is nuanced, and policies are often legislatively complex. But the wisdom of the Bible is both simple and timeless. Here are 12 passages that discuss how those who love God should treat immigrants, refugees and those in need of help. Please resist reading them like a legal document, looking for loopholes. Read them to hear the heart of God.
Then, Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., stood before 10,000 of his students, urging them to get a permit and begin carrying their guns on campus. “If more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed.”
And students cheered!
Later, after conservative Christians expressed shock at Falwell’s advice, he backed off a bit and said, “I just want students to be prepared.” But the damage was done. Christians ought to be prepared to shoot Muslims before they shoot us. Really?
And then Donald Trump proposes we begin torturing captured terrorists for information and “kill all their families,” and stop all Muslims from entering the country! I’ve heard high profile Christians either support these “get tough” ideas, or not speak out boldly against them, and I want to shout, STOP!
I don’t care what political party you’re affiliated with, or none at all. This blog isn’t about politics. It’s purpose is to remind us of this truth; Christians live in the kingdom of God and Jesus is not only our king, but our spokesperson on all things moral and ethical.
Do any serious Christians actually think Jesus would be in favor of these approaches to evil?
I wrote in The 10 Second Rule, that some words wear out. By that I meant, that over time certain words lose their true meaning. The term evangelical is just such a word. Today most Protestants consider themselves evangelicals unless they are theological liberals. To be an Evangelical has also become synonymous with “republicans right wing evangelical,” and therefore associated with a political party.
So what is an evangelical?
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and Life Way Research spent the last few years trying to find a common definition to clear up the confusion.
Rather than trying to define an evangelical by behavior, they choose to define one by what they believe – their theology. However, to my way of thinking, our behavior flows from whatever it is that we truly believe and I’ll illustrate how that works in real life as we work through these ideas.
In the end, the NAE simply restated what most true evangelicals have always believed, and here they are;