Monday, September 16, 2019

CHRISTIAN AMERICA: What Happened to the Great Commission?

"Do not neglect to show
hospitality to strangers...
(Hebrews 13:2)
The so-called Immigration Issue has been a hot topic for quite awhile now and we're seeing it spotlighted more and more in the 2020 Presidential Debates! 

 I'm not one to quickly simplify complex matters like this one but I believe the candidates would learn a lot if they would turn to the Word of God! The Bible, I believe contains the solution to every problem we face in the world today.  Those who are  sticklers for upholding Christian values should be the first to do so!

Regarding my own views about the situation, I've started to reflect on biblical training I received both as a child and a seminary graduate.  I listen, I pray, I try to see the matter from all sides and these questions still resonate in my soul.  Why is this a problem? What happened to the Great Commission?  Matthew 28:19-20 has been a guiding force for Christian ministry for ages.  Of all the things that Christ could have said in His farewell message to the
disciples He chose this:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.   Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age." (NIV translation)  

It seems pretty straightforward to me.   Go wherever needed, Baptize whoever is willing, and Teach whoever will listen the principles of God's Word.  Monies and Missionaries are sent to Africa, China, India, the Middle East, all over the world to do this.  Yet, now that the mission field has come to our very own doorstep, we argue whether we should turn them away! 

I'm saddened that America continues to repeat itself when it comes to the humane treatment of  people we deem as  "OTHERS".  By that I mean those who do not look like not speak the English language...who have no native roots here...have no wealth to contribute...who aren't as some would imply CHOICE AMERICANS!   I know my history and I know that not too long ago politicians were arguing over the Negro Issue. After WWI and WWII it was the German and Japanese Issue now it's anyone we presume is a threat to our way of life (which by the way has its own issues!).  The similarities and tactics to address these are alarming!
  • During the Great Migration (1916-1940) six million Negroes left oppression, poverty, and unhealthy conditions in the south to come to the north for a better life. Northern newspapers of the time described it as an "invasion" threatening their homes and towns.  Although no walls were built to keep them within specific borders; they were segregated into ghettos and denied equal rights to contain them socially and economically.
  • During WWI (1914-1918)  and WW11 (1942-1945) Germans, Italians, and Japanese, some who were immigrants but many born here were placed in camps for up to two years.  There were incidences of Germans being lynched and others told to stop speaking their native language.  Japanese were rounded up, their property taken and plans made to ship them back to Japan after the war.
  • Fear mongers started and sustained unfounded rumors of treason, terrorism, crime, disease, vagrancy, and the possibility of economic burdens on the government.
  • In each case the appeal to patriotism and nationalism gave rise to violence, xenophobia, and racism. Slogans like America for Americans, America First rallied extremists into emotional protests. 
When will we learn that all people groups came from the same parent Adam and Eve.  All are valued and worthy of respect in God's eyes.  So God  created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them. God saw all  that he had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:27, 31)

That in Christ we are all one family. There is neither Jew, nor Gentile, slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

In Christ we have a common purpose and destiny to glorify God. After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that o one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9)

If we truly believe in the Great Commission and the promise of Jesus to be with us until the end of the age; we need not fear those who come to America!  Of course humane and reasonable precautions should be made.  But at the end of the day the only lasting security we have is in God (Psalm 46:1) God is my fortress and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.

God has already blessed America.   According to the inordinate number of millionaires and billionaires we boast, we have enough to take care of not only our own poor but charity to share with those truly in need.  But we must first repent of our greed, schemes of exploitation that cause economic disparities.

We must stop worshipping the idols of affluence and entitlement that have now been passed down from generation to generation.  The wealth of this nation belongs to God...all of it! (Psalm 24:1-2) The earth is the Lord's and everything in it; the world, and all who live in it. For He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.

The terrorists, drug lords, and violent criminals we fear are coming to America from other places are already here. They have been bred in the soil of our own apostasy. We've watered them with the blood of racial hatred and pride.  (2 Chronicles 7:14) If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their san and will heal their land.   

Here's a thought. Perhaps God has something else in mind concerning the immigration situation! Maybe He"s sending Evangelists from other countries to American shores to baptize and teach US the Gospel!


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