Author’s addition after writing this post.
I started writing this post a day or so ago. Generally, I get an idea and I flow out the first draft in one sitting. And the bulk of this post I DID write on that day. But sometimes I sit on a post, or take my time editing the larger ideas. Grammatical editing happens last. Today is I think the second day I’ve been sitting on this post. Interestingly, I’ve continued my normal flow of social media interactions, and am starting to be lambasted, mostly privately, for what appears to be my anti-refugee stance. For my thoroughly conservative friends, I get support. For my Christian friends, there is a sense of negativity in rejecting the poor and destitute. For my liberal friends, they’re either mature enough to chat politely and disagree, or they hid me a long time ago. 🙂
Unfortunately, many forget that we don’t represent ourselves wholly or in a balanced way, online. We tend to emphasize the issue de jour, and or just don’t communicate with balance. I for one, am not so anti-refugee as it appears. Yet, I share more memes and articles that make me look as though I am. I’m hoping this post will help clear some of that up. But the issues of the day are so very complicated and diverse. The ISIS crisis, Syrian “refugee” crisis, the current political race for our next US President are huge issues right now. And they overlap. I’ll leave this preface with the notion that we don’t have to be so polarized on these issues, and we can love the downtrodden, yet want to be protective and safe in our dealings with them.
Friends, I think I have failed to effectively communicate a balanced approach to the most pressing issue of the day; ISIS.
Listen, you know I am passionate about my worldview, my support for individual liberty, firearms, etc. Often, I get into flow of posting and sharing content that is a little out of balance. During this heightened political landscape, one can expect that we’ll all see and post a little more, supporting our candidates and parties. I’m ok with that. It’s the ebbing and flowing of what’s important right now.
The same is true for current issues surrounding Islamic Terrorists. ISIS. This somewhat headless organization is doing the most evil things to people all over the world. They’ve clearly taken advantage of the Syrian refugee crisis, flooding into Europe, by sneaking in along with real hurting people.
I wish I had the energy to collect all the videos and articles highlighting how they’re sneaking in. I know of a video from Germany where arriving “refugees” are rejecting the food they’re given FOR FREE, demanding other things to eat. There are videos of “refugees” demanding women to please them. And at some point we end up seeing them grab a woman for the purposes of gang raping her right there in the street.
These are not refugees. I pray for them. I pray for justice. Their deserved earthly consequences could contrast with their after death treatment, but that is God’s judgement and under His sovereignty.
As nations, we must be nations of laws. Those laws should be enforced. Sometimes, the consequences for ones violation of the laws of their country can be severe. That doesn’t mean that God won’t deal with differently. But again, that is under His sovereignty.
But more than that, evil must be contained and stopped. Often, the only way to stop that evil from advancing and continuing, is to do it RIGHT NOW! That’s where military powers. Law enforcement, and armed citizens (in free countries) come into the picture. This is what is meant when you see phrases like “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” This terrorism in Europe is already here in North America, and we cannot stop it. Look at what’s happened in Paris, France. Here’s a few links to even the non-terrorists and their rioting and ungratefulness.
- Muslim ‘migrants’ raping women and children in camps in Germany
- Germany in a state of SIEGE
- MUSLIM MIGRANTS RAPING WOMEN & CHILDREN AT GERMAN REFUGEE CAMP
I’ve laid it out. I’ve fanned the flames of fear and motivated us to understand we’re not safe and should get prepared. I’ve established that we are at a dramatic shift in our world. I actually believe that the bulk of Europe is in the midst of and already shifting, away from it’s historically Christian-ish worldview. I believe we will see great European cathedrals converted into Mosques in less than a decade. We may even see the Pope in Rome move his Holy See to a new location, outside of Europe. The landscape is shifting, and it’s too late to stop. I think we’ll see great efforts to make that change here in North America, but I believe that we will fend it off. I don’t think it’s politically and socially too late here. Could you imagine seeing American’s in the role of “refugee” fleeing elsewhere? I believe it’s one of the core characteristics of being an American. We don’t flee, we resist. I think we’ll have a massive refugee crisis of our own, as traditionally European people groups come here en masse like we’ve seen before. Canada will see it too. Spanish-speaking illegals will become the lease of our worries, as their jobs quickly get taken up by the influx of Europeans. Who knows, maybe the next Holy See will be in North or South America? Not a Catholic, so doesn’t matter to me.
Enough with the future.
Yet as a Christian, I’m compelled to not just head some out of context warnings, but to obey the various commands of my Lord. Look, I’m no works-based Christian. I don’t DO things to be saved or maintain a state of being saved. My salvation comes from the Lord. I respond to His salvation by seeking to become more like Christ. It’s a response to His having died on the cross to atone for my sin, all of it.
“O LORD, God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
repay to the proud what they deserve!
O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?
I do believe that God will separate the wheat from the chaff, and even use Western powers to earthly punish, opening the door for an eternal punishment for more than just the evil ISIS, jihadists, and terrorists. For all who live their life of sin, rejecting the pull of the Holy Spirit to be saved. I’m not seeking a theological debate surrounding punishment, earthly or eternally. Nor do I want to enter much of any debate with this post. I’m writing this to lay out what I hope to be an explanation of and show a balance towards my stances on these issues of the day.
Time to shift a little. If I see a vagrant, aka a homeless person, clearly in need, shall I not give them a buck to help them take a step forward? But what if they’ll just use it to get some more Everclear or another 40? Is that up to me? Shouldn’t I just obey the Lord and let they needy chose to sin with my handout? I don’t know the answer, but I lean towards, let them chose to sin or not. In my line of work, I’m pretty sure if we’re in Santa Barbara County, I already know them by name, and where they hide their can opener and their single pocket knife, having probably given them 10’s if not 100’s of putdown searches. But with that knowledge, there are steps I can take to help them out, and not set them up for failure. I can toss a handful of canned goods in my truck, and when faced with the opportunity to give them something of a blessing, why not just give them a couple of canned goods? They’ll be grateful, and I can obey God’s direction to be helpful to the needy. (Author’s addition: It’s interesting, a friend sent me a piece of Scripture, as a part of a public rebuke, and I only wish that he’d had know of this post, or I had finished it when I wrote it.)
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
But this “refugee” crisis is much more than the simple discussion about giving something to a single destitute person in your community. It’s SO MUCH bigger, and complex. First off I will state, there is no way I could support a blanket, “Accept them all without making a real effort to filter out those we know are bad guys and/or evil”. I do not believe that the Lord’s call the feed, clothe, and generally care for those in need includes opening yourself up to danger or evil. Today’s American Christians have the local collective funds and resources to be helpful and even collectively set up their own small scale refugee camps, and we could even reroute resources intended for other church projects, fulfilling God’s calling, without having to bring them into our homes. And yet, we could still set up locally managed programs that DO accept individuals and/or families into our homes. But I’m telling you, it would have to be done with great care into the management of who these people are, and they shall be vetted to a certain extent. That’s just good stewardship and prudent use of the resources the Lord has blessed us. Interestingly, some of us might actually have to set aside our obsessions and family addictions, in order for these things to happen. Maybe turn off the 30 sports channels we must subscribe to so that we never miss a game? My family doesn’t have a dish or cable, so we don’t have that. But we sure do play a lot of Xbox. Our coffee press is a lot cheaper than a plugged in coffee maker or even a daily Starbucks. These little things might actually go far if we stepped up with our local church and set up a Gratuitous Fund, whose purpose would be to pay for a temporary steel building in our church’s parking lot or on an unused grassy area, We could build it out for 3-4 families, with a communal kitchen. Then take in that many families from the incoming VETTED refugee community, and help them get on their feet. We could commit to house and feed them for a given period of time, as they move towards establishing themselves.
I am not against this. I am not against even trying to help a few families at a time, and later discovering that one or more of them gave into their evil and sinful desire to cause harm. If we had set up a program that placed the responsibility of the vetting on the government, the rest is up to God’s sovereignty. And I do believe in the sovereignty of the Lord! Even as far as I’ve stated accepting a bad outcome from an honorable effort to provide care.
Look, I love God. He has brought me through so very much. I trust Him. He has backed up His claims to provide care and comfort. He reigns over all. And one day, every created being will be unable to deny His existence and mastery over all of creation. I also believe that God calls me, as a godly man, husband, father, male leader within my local church body, and deacon, to be vigilant and wise.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Those who truly believe in the Doctrines of Grace, aka the Gospel, should be praying for all involved. Pray for the President. Pray for the leaders of the European countries, right now under siege. AND PRAY FOR THE REFUGEES! Pray for the ISIS terrorists! Pray for wisdom with the leaders. Pray for those in actual need, that they don’t become pawns in the mix. Pray for justice, repentance, and salvation of them all, including ISIS and the other terrorists. Pray for those who have lost loved ones and were injured. And pray for those who have yet to be injured or murdered.
I will continue to use the skills of my profession to be alert when I enter a restaurant or business establishment. Us sheepdogs tend to bob our heads left to right a few times, looking for potential threats. Does that mean I don’t trust God to protect me? Nope, He is protecting me, by having given me the training to be aware. I will continue to use the rights granted to me to remain armed when permitted and be prepared to defend myself and others if the need arises. I’ll also lock my front door, because I care to protect my wife and children from anyone with unauthorized access to our home.
Do I think the current efforts some states are making, to ban Syrian “refugees” from entering their states are wrong or right? I think, with the current system established by our President and the executive branch, committing to welcome such massive numbers with what is clearly a passive vetting, I say good for them. Those states are saying, “Woah! Let’s make sure that these arriving refugees are not ISIS and/or other sorts of terrorists.” The FBI is saying that the flow out paces their ability to vet them. So, Barry should take a step back and let the professionals dictate the speed of arrivals. That’s not going to happen, and terrorists will get in. It’s probably already happened. We’ll get attacked and murdered, but no one will hold him accountable. That’s our system right now. Barry does what he wants. We can’t avoid it for the next year. But the 10th Amendment dictates that states have the right to govern themselves as they see fit, unless the US Constitution gives the authority on said issue to the federal government. So, these states will try to stop the influx, but they won’t succeed because Barry doesn’t care about the Constitution. So be it.
That doesn’t change our calling. It doesn’t change my faith.
You should know, as I look back at my leukemia journey, and I’ve said this before, I would not have it any other way. I would gladly walk this path again, knowing it has been God’s will for me to carry this burden, and weather this storm. I am becoming a better man because of this journey.
I will stand firm, ready to protect and defend my home, my family, my community, and my freedoms. All the while knowing that God’s sovereignty is supreme, and every situation and outcome is dictated by Him.
For further reading that I believe supports my points, but does so in a much better way…
- IMMIGRATION POLICY MUST BE BASED ON MORE THAN AN APPEAL TO COMPASSION…by Kevin DeYoung
- Islam has declared war on the world…by Franklin Graham
- France: A Fabric Torn…by John Piper