The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

“Christian values”

with 8 comments

Intriguing words from God’s Politics. Read the whole post here.

As an evangelical Christian, I look towards scripture for my guidance. In my study of scripture, I have yet to find a single passage which supports the right to bear arms. (I’m not arguing against the right to bear arms, I’m just saying I can’t find a biblical reference regarding the right to bear arms). I have, however, found numerous references (50+ and still counting) calling believers to care for the alien among them. Why is it then that I am more likely to find members of the NRA in a typical American evangelical church than I will find those who advocate for an immigration policy that shows compassion for the immigrant among us? How much of our view on immigration is driven by a political and social agenda rather than a biblical one?

Thought-provoking for those of us who are Christians, eh? There are some themes that the Bible shouts from beginning to end – and this is certainly one of them.

What if we of the Church were known as people who championed the same themes as the Bible?


Related Posts: We Are Citizens of Another Nation, Christ in the Migrant (video)
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Written by Monte

April 3, 2007 at 4:53 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Indeed, and you are certainly welcome here!

    Monte

    April 8, 2007 at 11:01 pm

  2. Forgive me, Mr. Asbury: my busyness has gotten the better of me. I shall get back to you soon.

    Happy Easter. We do not agree on everything, I know: but we agree about Christ’s resurrection. And anything beyond that is pretty much moot. :-)

    Paul N.

    April 8, 2007 at 10:53 pm

  3. Thanks, Tony – good additions!

    Monte

    April 6, 2007 at 3:02 pm

  4. In Britain, our issues are somewhat different, but they come from the same root, man centred thinking, trying to resolve what they perceive as problems by using human wisdom. This is to walk by sight.
    Whether it is Government policies, general political debate, discussion in the News media at large and by the general public, the problem is that they are looking at symptoms of a much larger problem. And in most cases, they are making things worse.
    Many churches suffer this problem, and in a microcosmic way, so do I when I live in my old identity. So it is not just someone else’s problem, it is mine too!
    The posting from God’s Politics Blog discussing the symptoms and I agree with the comments that Rev Dr. Rah made in that article, particularly the last sentence. The bottom is always that. Who are we serving, but also this; where is our identity? Is it in Christ or in the world we are currently living in? And what does God have to say about such issues?
    That I think is the right place to start. When He gives us His thoughts and we accept them, then they become our convictions and we are in a position to act, as He leads us.

    Tony Cooper

    April 6, 2007 at 11:30 am

  5. Paul N: Perhaps a simpler answer is this question: Who is Lord – Jesus or Caesar? If the second most important commandment is to love my neighbor as myself, can I allow a government to prohibit me from it?

    Monte

    April 5, 2007 at 8:19 am

  6. Thanks for good comments, Paul N and TimBob!
    Paul N, you ask an important question. I suggest Jesus’ example as a framework to work on an answer.
    1. In Jesus’ 1st century world, Romans were the ultimate in “illegal aliens”. Jesus lived in a country occupied by a foreign army, and he lived in submission to both its legitimate rulers (the Jewish ruling council) and its illegitimate ones (Pontius Pilate, et al).
    2. When national laws resulted in someone being disadvantaged (going hungry, or family uncared for, or people not healed because it was a Sabbath), Jesus disobeyed them and sternly rebuked those who obeyed them.
    3. And he urged care and kindness be shown to the Roman soldiers themselves, the aliens that held his nation under their thumbs.
    4. Further, he demonstrated care and kindness to those who broke Judean laws (the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the woman with the issue of blood – and many more) and to those who broke Roman laws: (I think of Simon the Zealot— Zealots being advocates of murder and violent overthrow of the Romans).
    5. Think of how his Spirit led Peter, later, to set aside a lifetime of legal conduct in order to enter the home of Cornelius, bringing the good news to people who might not have heard it otherwise.
    6. So, yes, Jesus’ example is of law-abiding behaviour whenever possible. But he never lets a government restrict him when it comes to caring for outcasts.
    7. Finally, recognize that part of the reason Mexico is poor today is that America has often been a predatory neighbor. Twice at war, the US seized half of Mexico’s land (now Texas to CA). US corporations forced subsistence farmers, in the early 1900s, off their lands and into huge farm-for-export businesses – then left them unemployed and penniless when markets fell, leading to the longest and bloodiest revolution of the 20th century. Millions died. Ironically, had Mexico enforced its borders against the encroachment of the US, it would be a far wealthier nation today. Some significant part of American wealth is a result of land and money taken illegally or immorally from Mexico.
    Since the US gov’t was the perpetrator of much of that, and since Americans generally are unaware of it, I doubt that immigration law will ever be fair. We think what we have is simply ours and gov’t’s job is to see that it stays that way. But I intend to do what little restitution I can by caring for the suffering travelers I meet, regardless whether this nation has the grace to care for them, knowing they have left their homes, in part, because of the injustice of the government that would now fence them out.
    How’s it look to you?

    Monte

    April 4, 2007 at 1:00 pm

  7. Greetings. I write as one who was for most of my life a neo-con in the way that I looked a things; even after being born again. (The practices of the Bush administration opened my eyes to a lot of things and I’m no longer a “robot republican”) As far as bearing arms is concened, it’s obvious that Peter carried a sword as he cut off the ear of the priests servant. The right to bear arms should remain as it only disarms law abiding citizens. When guns become “illegal,” I’ll know that a more sinister agenda is progressing along.
    As for immigration, controlling who comes into the country isn’t rocket science if there was a serious will to do so. There isn’t such a will. (How many immigrants come across the 38th parallel?) I look at this differently than I used to as indeed, my citizenship is in heaven. While I think the borders should be controlled, I also know that groups of folks migrating from one place to another has gone on for thousands of years. The Saxons replaced the Celts in England, the Normans moved in on the Saxons, and our forefathers replaced the Native Americans in this land.
    I think that the events currently taking place are prophetic in nature as the globalist agenda moves forward. The merging of the worlds nations into a mixture of iron and clay. A fouth beast diverse from the rest. These events supercede nationalistic agendas and almost everything that Americans hold dear in this life. In short, “scripture marches on.” We need to be close to the Lord Jesus as the road ahead is quite a ride.
    So while we’re in this physical realm, souls are in the balance. American souls, Mexican souls, Iraqi souls, Ababian souls, Native American souls, British souls; eternal souls that all must stand before God. This is the big picture. While they are here, more are on the way, and no serious effort to address the issue is forthcoming, we should reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ who gave his life that we could be with him for all of the eons to come in a city not made with hands.
    I dont know if you’re aware of this. (Most aren’t since Lou Dobbs is the only mainstream newsperson to tackle it.) In less than 2 months, Mexican truckers, through a pilot program which will be open to all of them next year, will be permitted to travel anywhere in the US to deliver their cargo. No more dropping off within 20 miles of the border for an American trucker to take to its final destination. There goes a lot of trucking jobs, along with more of our manufacturing base as it will now ne even less expensive to transport goods from Mexico. It’s a Bush plan that makes absolutely no sense unless you take a walk down the conspiracy road. Just think of how this complicates our supposed “war on terror” which is an illusion so long as the borders are left wide open. As mentioned brefore, these events are far beyond politics and rhetoric.
    Sorry to ramble. Thanks for a post that causes reflection. What to do about the border? It should be secured, but I dont expect it. I expect a lot of strange things to be taking place in the days ahead and we “must” be in close to the Lord Jesus as everything will be shaken. Well this comment sounds confusing at best (I just read through it) but I’ll post it anyways. These are complicated issues at best and few realize what’s driving the policies of this country.
    Have a blessed day in Christ.

    timbob

    timbob

    April 4, 2007 at 6:39 am

  8. Greetings, Mr. Asbury.

    I think this post fails to recognize the plain and simple fact that, by nature, illegal immigrants have broken our national laws. Yes, Christians are to “care for aliens,” but I hardly believe that ILLEGAL aliens can be reasonably included in this command.

    As Christians, do we not have a responsibility to support our government in wholesome pursuits? Are the protection of our border and the enforcement of the rule of law not wholesome actions? If not, where is the line drawn? How many U.S. laws are Christians permitted to break?

    And what of Romans 13:1-2? Citizens — and Christians much more so — are instructed to “be subject to the governing authorities.” How would aiding and abetting individuals who have entered this country illegally be a fulfillment of this verse?

    I would appreciate any elaboration you can offer.

    Paul N.

    April 3, 2007 at 7:42 pm


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