Last night, as I was trying to figure out what to write about, I came across a wonderful article by Peter Heck, a speaker, author, and teacher, who writes for The Christian Post. The title of the following article is “Would Jesus Scold Trump on the Refugees”?
If there is one thing that I am grateful to see coming from the Trump presidency, it has been the sudden renewed interest in applying Biblical principles to our country’s moral and ethical dilemmas amongst so many on the progressive left.
Whether politically motivated or not, it is refreshing to see Hollywood (of all places) express concern over debauchery and indecency. It’s encouraging to witness progressive voices that have long sought to keep discussions over Biblical morality confined within the church walls now asking society how Jesus would treat foreign refugees.
In my view, the more we are talking about pushing American society closer to the character of God, the better off we will all be.
That said, I think it is important to be wary of those who prefer selective application of Biblical principle when it comes to the great moral issues of our day. If God’s word should inform our people how we should think and act relative to the plight of the immigrant or refugee (it should), it should also inform our people how we should think and act relative to race relations, abortion, pornography, and sexuality.
Those who demand Scriptural fidelity to one, but not another, are likely far more interested in twisting and manipulating the Bible to promote personal political agendas than they are understanding and properly applying Biblical values.
For instance, notice the glaring paradox that unfolds when progressive faith leaders on the left like Al Sharpton remind everyone that, “Jesus was a refugee.” Obviously they are referencing the escape of Mary and Joseph to Egypt in the years shortly after the birth of Jesus. Making their case for an open door refugee policy where the United States government places no restrictions on access to the country and its resources from those fleeing persecution in foreign lands, these progressives correctly note that Mary and Joseph sought refuge in a foreign country to escape the mass infanticide decree of King Herod.
What is peculiar about that is that the very same political movement citing this account of Scripture is the same one that has been adamantly demanding for a generation that the teachings of Jesus be stricken from the law so as to allow the continued legalization of mass infanticide.
That is not to say that all Biblical arguments relative to refugees are as flimsy. Progressive faith leaders often point to the admonition of Hebrews 13:2: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” There’s no question that we are given a direct and unequivocal personal command to be hospitable to those in need. Coupled with the directives Jesus gives us personally in Luke 14 and in the parable of the Good Samaritan, living an inhospitable life lacking in personal compassion is simply irreconcilable with godly, Christian conduct.
It’s fair to assume that is why Christians, individually and collectively, remain the single greatest charitable giving force in the world by far. But when it comes to refugee policy we are contemplating more than just personal commands. We must endeavor to determine whether or not it is Biblically sound to apply such individual instructions to the work of civil government.
When famed evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham articulated one perspective on this question saying, “We have to realize that the president’s job is not the same as the job of the church,” progressive Christian activist Shane Claiborne immediately criticized him. Claiborne tweeted in response: “No. It is theological malpractice to say that the president is exempt from the Sermon on the Mount or not accountable to Christ’s commands.”
But that isn’t what Graham said. He accurately affirmed that while all Christians are held to the same standard of private, personal morality, the Biblical expectations for ministers are different than those for government leaders. Far from heretical, such an understanding is essential to any logical, consistent reading of Scripture.
Imagine the turmoil that would ensue, for instance, if we pretended the command of Jesus not to judge another (Matthew 7:1) applied to American courtrooms. Or consider the calamity if we assumed our instruction to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) was to be the national security policy of our civil government.
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Claiborne’s failure to grasp this fairly obvious reality was perplexing until just days later when he again lashed out at Graham on the issue, this time in a very personal way. After Graham had offered his opinion that we lock our doors at night, “Not because you hate the people on the outside, but because you love the people on the inside,” Claiborne compared him to the villains in Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan.
He chided, “As the religious folks turned a blind eye, the Samaritan was more concerned about the man in the ditch than himself.”
At this point I realized that Claiborne was far less concerned with understanding a Biblical approach to refugees than he was in grandstanding and attacking a fellow Christian publicly. After all, it takes an extraordinary amount of personal animus and tunnel vision to miss that Franklin Graham’s ministry literally does the work of the Good Samaritan all over the world, regardless of creed, nationality, or ethnicity.
Minds dedicated to Scriptural fidelity will ignore unserious voices such as Claiborne’s and instead work to contextually understand and apply God’s truth. We will ask whether it is responsible to extrapolate the teaching of Hebrews outward into a command on civil government.
To say that Christians have a duty to care for widows, orphans, the impoverished, and endangered is unquestioned (by anyone) Biblical truth. To say that such care can only be provided by enacting open-door refugee policies that may or may not compromise the security of citizens (including widows, orphans, and the impoverished here at home) is an entirely different proposition. It’s a proposition that, to this point, does not appear to be supported by Scripture.
On February 5th, 2015 after then-President Barack Hussein Obama’s incendiary and decidedly anti-Christian remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, Reverend Franklin Graham spoke truth to power:
Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition. Mr. President–Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Mohammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ—true followers of Mohammed emulate Mohammed.
As Rev. Graham said so eloquently, Islam and Christianity present two very different Deities, who may share some similarities, but who have different identities and ultimately different standards. To pretend they are the same is not only to be clueless of the faith of 76% of the citizens of this nation, but, to be ignorant of an integral part of our American Heritage, the legacy of Christian Faith, which our Founding Fathers bequeathed us.
During the Republican Presidential Primary, Republican Presidential Candidate Hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson, got a lot of attention from hang-wringing Liberals in the Main Stream Media, the Democratic Party, and among the Vichy Republicans, also, when he said that a Muslim should never be President of the United States of America., because Sharia Law in incompatible with The United States Constitution.
He was absolutely right.
The Center For Security Policy issued the following PDF, ” “Sharia Law Vs. The Constitution”,
Article VI: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land
- Constitution: Article VI: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby”
- Shariah: “The source of legal rulings for all acts of those who are morally responsible is Allah.” (a1.1, Umdat al-salik or The Reliance of the Traveller, commonly accepted work of Shariah jurisprudence); “There is only one law which ought to be followed, and that is the Sharia.” (Seyed Qutb); “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and program.” (Seyed Abul A’ala Maududi)
First Amendment: Freedom of religion
- Constitution: First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ”
- Shariah: “Those who reject Islam must be killed. If they turn back (from Islam), take hold of them and kill them wherever you find them.” Quran 4:89 ; “Whoever changed his [Islamic] religion, then kill him” Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:57. In historic and modern Shariah states, Shariah law enforces dhimmi status (second-class citizen, apartheid-type laws) on nonMuslims, prohibiting them from observing their religious practices publicly, building or repairing churches, raising their voices during prayer or ringing church bells; if dhimmi laws are violated in the Shariah State, penalties are those used for prisoners of war: death, slavery, release or ransom.(o9.14, o11.0-o11.11, Umdat al-salik).
First Amendment: Freedom of speech
- Constitution: First Amendment: Congress shall not abridge “the freedom of speech.”
- Shariah: Speech defaming Islam or Muhammad is considered “blasphemy” and is punishable by death or imprisonment.
First Amendment: Freedom to dissent
- Constitution: First Amendment: “Congress cannot take away the right of the people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
- Shariah: Non-Muslims are not to harbor any hostility toward the Islamic state or give comfort to those who disagree with Islamic government.
Second Amendment: Right to self-defense
- Constitution: Second Amendment: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
- Shariah: Under historic and modern dhimmi laws, non-Muslims cannot possess swords, firearms or weapons of any kind.
Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Amendments: Right to due process and fair trial
- Constitution: Fifth Amendment: “no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime… without due process of law.” Sixth Amendment: guarantees a “public trial by an impartial jury.” Seventh Amendment: “the right of trial by jury shall be preserved.”
- Shariah: Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari: Muhammad said, “No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir (infidel).” Non-Muslims are prohibited from testifying against Muslims. A woman’s testimony is equal to half of a man’s.
Eighth Amendment: No cruel and unusual punishment
- Constitution: Eighth Amendment: “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
- Shariah: Under Shariah punishments are barbaric: “Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done – a deterrent from Allah.” Quran 5:38; A raped woman is punished:”The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication – flog each of them with a hundred stripes” (Sura 24:2).
Fourteenth Amendment: Right to equal protection and due process
- Constitution: Fourteenth Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. “
- Shariah: Under dhimmi laws enforced in modern Shariah states, Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims before the law. Under Shariah law, women, girls, apostates, homosexuals and “blasphemers” are all denied equality under the law.
Given this incompatibility between Sharia Law and the Constitution of the United States of America, which our Freedom and our System of Laws are based upon, if given the choice, which would Muslim Refugees, being imported into the Land of the Free and the home of the Brave choose to be faithful to?
Back on June 23, 2015, the Center for Security Policy released the following findings for a poll they took of 600 Muslims, who were living in America…
The numbers of potential jihadists among the majority of Muslims who appear not to be sympathetic to such notions raise a number of public policy choices that warrant careful consideration and urgent debate, including: the necessity for enhanced surveillance of Muslim communities; refugee resettlement, asylum and other immigration programs that are swelling their numbers and density; and the viability of so-called “countering violent extremism” initiatives that are supposed to stymie radicalization within those communities.
Overall, the survey, which was conducted by The Polling Company for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), suggests that a substantial number of Muslims living in the United States see the country very differently than does the population overall. The sentiments of the latter were sampled in late May in another CSP-commissioned Polling Company nationwide survey.
According to the just-released survey of Muslims, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%).
More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts.
These notions were powerfully rejected by the broader population according to the Center’s earlier national survey. It found by a margin of 92%-2% that Muslims should be subject to the same courts as other citizens, rather than have their own courts and tribunals here in the U.S.
Even more troubling, is the fact that nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, “It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.”
By contrast, the broader survey found that a 63% majority of those sampled said that “the freedom to engage in expression that offends Muslims or anybody else is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be restricted.”
Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country.
To conclude, I am not saying that every Muslim is on a jihad against “the infidels”, and, wish to invade our Sovereign Nation and over-throw our Government.
However, there is a difference between being an average Christian American and a Muslim, living in America.
In Islam, the way to “walk with God and escape his judgment on that final day of judgment” is through ‘falah’, which means self-effort or positive achievement. The faithful must submit to God and follow all of his laws as found in the Koran. Judgment day in Islam involves some sort of measurement of what the believer has done wrong and what they have done right. And, even then, you might not be let into heaven if Allah decides you’re not good enough.
This is the direct opposite of Christianity.
According to the Bible, no man can ever be good enough to deserve God’s favor, to win God’s heaven, because from birth we have Free Will. This Free Will may cause us to reject God and live our lives our own way. That’s why it was necessary for Jesus Christ to die for our sins, covering us in His blood of the New Covenant.
God’s Word tells us that what we need is not ‘falah,’ but faith. To have faith in, to trust, to rely on Jesus and his death as as “the expiation for our sins”. Those who have been Saved by Jesus Christ can be sure that in the future God will welcome them into heaven with wide open arms, because they have been washed by His blood.
Islam and Christianity present two very different Deities, who may share some similarities, but who have different identities and ultimately different standards. To pretend they are the same is not only to be clueless of the faith of 76% of the citizens of this nation, but, to be ignorant of an integral part of our American Heritage, the legacy of Christian Faith, which our Founding Fathers bequeathed us.
Now, I am not saying that every Muslim is on a jihad against “the infidels”.
When Christians become “radicalized”, we want to share the testimony of what God has done for us through His love, with everyone we meet. We get involved in our local church and we become better fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and American Citizens.
When Muslims become “radicalized”, they want to “kill the Infidels” in the name of “Allah the Merciful”.
In the case of the Chechen Muslim brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon, their immersion into Radical Islam led them to “kill the infidels” that horrendous day.
In the case of the Radical Islamist Couple in San Bernadino, it let them to murder their neighbors and co-workers.
In the case of the barbarians of ISIS, it has turned them into doppelgangers of the Nazi Butchers of Dachau.
While we are told as Christians to “entertain strangers”, we are also told to
be wise as serpents and innocent as doves – Matthew 10:16
And, you can’t “be wise” if you lose your head.
Until He Comes,