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Christians and Immigration: Separating Fact from Fiction. Here’s an honest look at what the Bible says, what our faith dictates — and what strong governments must do.


Authored by Steffani Marie Jacobs | Updated 14 Mar 2017 at 8:54 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/faithzette/christians-immigration-fact-fiction/ 

Immigration has been a hot-button issue for nearly a decade and it’s even more controversial now, after the November presidential election. The issue has attracted such high-wattage political rhetoric as identity politics, minority rights, xenophobia, and racism — making immigration policies nothing short of just another way for politicians to gain or lose voters. Instead of adult conversations revolving around real solutions, too many people have resorted to name-calling, pointing the finger of blame and judgment, and, in essence, toddler tantrums and irrational fear from grown men and women who should know better.

Alas, such is our current political and societal climate. Consider this:

  • If you’re against illegal immigration and for building a wall, you’re a xenophobe and somehow a bigot.
  • If you think border security and protection is somehow being insensitive, un-Christian, and just downright mean-spirited, then you’ve associated with the hundreds of snowflakes melting all over our roadways and college campuses.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Moreover, can a Christian even support Trump’s immigration policies?

It’s amazing how many on the Left discard the teachings of the Bible and Christ as being outdated, anachronistic, and even tyrannical. Abortion? Gay marriage? Sex? The Bible is wrong, wrong, wrong! Helping the poor and least among us, including immigrants? We’re not doing enough to follow the Bible!

 

But what does the Bible actually say? The Bible is unclear on the stance of immigration as we know it, of course, yet throughout the Old Testament, the stranger — or alien — was to be treated kindly and with respect, even provided for. “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:34).

The church instructs us that political authorities have two duties in governing the people. The first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of respect for the human person. This follows the commandment of God to treat the sojourner with respect and to love this person as ourselves. This is especially true if the immigrant is fleeing a place that does not respect the human person. 

However, does this mean that nations have an obligation to the sojourner above that of their citizens? The answer is plainly no. Saint Paul tells us in Romans 13:1-7 we must obey the laws of the nation. Obeying the laws of a nation also includes obeying national sovereignty. A nation has the right and obligation to protect its own citizens first and foremost; this is the second duty of good government. If political authorities of a nation see fit to exercise caution with immigration for the sake of the common good, that is their right and obligation. Moreover, nations have a duty to secure their borders and enforce laws for the sake of the common good.

So Is There a Christian Obligation Toward Immigration?

The short answer to this is yes: Christians certainly do have an obligation to accept immigrants. However, they do not have an obligation to accept immigrants who do not respect the laws of their nation — and that includes laws that protect national sovereignty and security.

 

Good government has the first and foremost obligation to protect its citizens. Without securing the borders, this becomes almost impossible to do so. Good governments must balance the duty to protect their citizens and the national common good with that of the international community. The obligation of prosperous nations to accept immigrants only extends to accepting law-abiding immigrants who also respect the spiritual heritage of the country, as well as hold the same respect for human dignity.

Furthermore, a nation cannot guarantee the safety of its citizens by accepting certain immigrants who cannot be vetted, as in the case of many immigrants who cross the border illegally. By not guaranteeing the safety of its citizens, the government is not fulfilling its duty of providing for the common good. If a nation cannot give security and protection to its own citizens, how can it possibly guarantee security of the international community?

President Donald Trump’s policies are to secure the border and enforce already existing immigration laws. By providing security to American citizens through strong borders, his administration is providing for the welfare of the common good. This security and welfare can then be spread to the immigrant population that respects the laws of our nation, including our immigration laws. These laws are not only in place to protect the current citizens — but also future citizens, including immigrants.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Steffani Jacobs is a freelance writer based in the Twin Cities area. She has written about everything from military history and weaponry to theology and church doctrine. 

Haters Will Hate Those Who Speak the Truth


waving flag disclaimerAuthored By: Bryan Fischer | Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 10:40 AM

“Don’t let anybody shut you up.

– Bryan Fischer

The fundamental conflict in our culture and in our politics right

Truth The New Hate Speech

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

now is a simple one. It is conflict between those who love the truth and speak the truth and those who hate the truth and want it repressed. 

Things weren’t always this way in America. I remember hearing an expression in elementary school that we almost never hear any more: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” 

Those of us on the right still say it and believe it. We are for open and free discourse and open and free debate. We free-speechwant everybody to have the opportunity to say their piece in the dialogue over things that matter, whether the topic is religion, homosexuality, marriage, politics, evolution, or the climate. We are eager to have a vigorous and open exchange over these matters and let the best arguments win. 

The left isn’t. They are not interested in engaging in debate. They are interested in silencing debate, in stifling debate, in squelching debate. They are determined to muzzle anyone who would dare to question secular orthodoxy in any of these matters. 

Those who believe in a scientific view of origins that is consistent with the Scripture must be silenced. Their views must not be allowed in the classroom or in polite society. Those who believe in natural marriage must be silenced and gagged since same sex marriage is now “the law of the land.” free speech def

Those who believe in two genders or sexes instead of 58, as Facebook believes, must be silenced and hounded out of public life, business, and politics. Those who believe in sexual normalcy must be punished and driven from campuses, from bakeries, from floral shops, from the offices and boardrooms of major corporations, and made to feel unwelcome in dressing rooms, shower rooms, and bathrooms. 

This tyrannical repression of the free speech of those who represent the truth is a relatively new phenomenon in America, although it’s standard fare in repressive and totalitarian governments.  But we are far from the first generation of truth proclaimers to face this challenge. The prophet Amos discovered in his day, 2800 years ago, that those who declare the truth will not be tolerated by those who hate the truth. 

“They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth” (Amos 5:10). The “gate” was the place where the people met to discuss matters, and where city leaders met to establish public policy. It was the marketplace and the public square. What Amos discovered is that those who declare the truth are not welcome there. If you want to reprove some public policy in the quiet of your own home, or maybe even inside the four walls of your church, well, we’ll let you do that. But say the same thing in the public arena, the left says, and we will land on your like a falling safegaged-by-the-left

A lesbian activist once told me to my face, “I don’t care what you say or believe inside your own church. Your church belongs to you. But the public square,” she said ominously, “belongs to us.” 

So what are we, as the people of God and as people of the truth, to do in the face of such hostility? 

First, we are to keep praying. Amos discovered that God answers prayer and is willing to spare a nation which will not listen to us from his judgment just because believers plead with him to do it. When Amos received a vision of a coming invasion of locusts, he prayed, “O Lord God, please forgive! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” The response? “The LORD relented concerning this; ‘It shall not be,’ said the LORD” (Amos 7:2-3).

When he received another vision in which the land was consumed with fire, he interceded again for his nation. “O Lord GOD, please cease! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” The response? “The LORD relented concerning this; ‘This also shall not be,’ said the Lord GOD” (Amos 7:5-6). Our persistent prayer can be effective in staying the judgment of God over our land. 

Second, we are to keep speaking. Don’t let anybody shut you up. (I’m not talking about being rude or obnoxious; I’m talking about being silent when we don’t need to be.) Amaziah tried to silence Amos completely. “Never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary” (Amos 7:13). In other words, what you want to say is politically incorrect and so we’re not going to let you say it all. Picture1

Amos’ response? “The LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now therefore, hear the word of the LORD” (Amos 7:15-16). In other words, Amos said, “I don’t answer to you, I answer to God. And he has told me to speak, and so I’m gonna speak. I will not let you silence me.” 

When we are part of a conversation where others are advancing ideas that are contrary to what is good and right, it’s perfectly appropriate and perhaps even necessary for us to say something like, “Well, I hear what you are saying, but I look at it a little bit differently. Here’s the way I see it…” 

Third, we are to keep believing. Believing that God can and will overcome all spiritual and earthly opposition and bring spiritual awakening and renewal to our land. In his time, he will use our praying and our speaking to “raise up the booth of David that is fallen, and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11).

Amos’ final words are words of great promise and hope for a broken land. “I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them…I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted” (Amos 9:14-15).

Our part is to pray, speak, and believe. God’s part is to do. He will do his part. Will we do ours?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bryan Fischer Host of “Focal Point” Connect, Follow, More Articles

How We Can Live as God’s People in Troubled Times. The faithful can help the nation, as divided as it is


waving flagAuthored by Wendy Murray | Updated 17 Feb 2017 at 6:58 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/faithzette/how-we-live-as-gods-people-in-such-troubled-times/

Reflecting upon the current state of social discourse, I have come to believe that the greatest battle of our age is not, as one might suppose, the “war on terror,” meaning terrorists. I believe it is an invisible war inside human souls that carries its own element of terror.

This invisible war, as I am coming to see it, can be understood in the writings of Pascal (the Pensées), who describes the character of a person who has who set himself up as his own god: “He [or she] devotes all his attention to hiding his faults both from others and from himself. He conceives a mortal enmity against that truth which reproves him. He would annihilate it, but, unable to destroy it in its essence, he destroys it in so far as possible.”

This captures the essence of what is going off the boil in today’s public discourse generally, and particularly, as it shows itself by “progressives” on the Left and their repulsion of Donald J. Trump’s presidency. The shocking and exceedingly troubling incitement to violence and the raging intolerance is hardly progressive; it is rather quite regressive and, in some instances, barbaric.point-counterpoint


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There is no way to engage such disgorgement on intellectual or even logical grounds. These battles cannot be won on social media, nor arbitrated on late-night talk shows or (especially) cable news programs. In the best of all worlds, the battle might be met by each person, on all sides of the political spectrum, remembering God in a world that has forgotten him or deposed him.amen

The cynic responds: Good luck with that. Nevertheless, those of us who believe in God are not beholden to the cynics. We know God to be good, kind, generous, mysterious and — most vexing of all His attributes, unable to be fooled.

Related: Weaving Prayer into the Daily Grind

We live in a universe of players who live by cravings to be like God. “Each degree of good fortune that raises [them] in the world,” Pascal continues, “removes them farther from the truth, because they are afraid of wounding those whose affection is most useful and whose dislike is most dangerous.” The person or community that assumes the prerogatives of God or thinks to fool God encapsulates the greatest challenge of these times. This is especially true for those trying to navigate these difficult days as people of faith.men-love-darkness

God does not wag His finger, contrary to the popular belief of some — and we, as His emissaries, are wrong to wag ours. He is good at exhibiting patience and practicing persistence, organizing His movements in perfect synchrony that open us to act freely and at the same time draw us irresistibly away from self-deception. 

When I ask myself, What is the “truth” of our times that we, as God-bearers, are called to communicate — I come to see that the answer is quite simple: We must, like God, be good at exhibiting patience and practicing persistence. Beyond that, we (meaning humans) are well-served to remember that we are not God and it is best to leave His prerogatives to Him. (This includes determining who is or is not able to be used by God.) It is liberating if one can truly apprehend it.

Related: What Journalism Can Learn from Lady Justice

I draw consolation from the words of Saint Francis of Assisi: “Since you speak of peace, all the more so must you have it in your hearts. Let none be provoked to anger or scandal by you, but rather may they be drawn to peace and good will, to benignity and concord through your gentleness. We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”

Ultimately, the challenge of our time is to impart this truth in a way that appropriately echoes God’s loving, aching heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wendy Murray served as regional correspondent for TIME magazine in Honduras in the early 1990s, and later as associate editor and senior writer at Christianity Today. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books and a novel.

Being Christian Doesn’t Mean Being for Open Borders. ‘It’s not a biblical command for the country to let everyone in who wants to be here’


waving flagJanuary 31, 2017 | Authored by Katie Nations | Updated 31 Jan 2017 at 9:38 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/faithzette/christian-doesnt-mean-pro-refugees/
refugees

As the discussion over refugees being detained and immigrants being rejected continues to make headlines and evoke spirited debate, what is the responsibility of Christians when it comes to immigration and refugee programs?

Matthew 25: 35 is often quoted as a defense for immigration — legal or otherwise — among Christian groups. Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

However, is that the final answer when it comes to a decision that will potentially jeopardize the security and resources of our country? Must Christians give up their own well-being as an action of faith? Is the sanctuary of others, regardless of their motivation or origin, more important than our own safety?

Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday, Jan. 27, that temporarily suspends immigration from certain countries: Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. The order also temporarily pauses the admission of refugees into the United States until vetting processes have been bolstered to meet a stricter standard. Also, it is a temporary period of probation, not a permanent one.

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First of all, the facts must be clearly evaluated and not misrepresented. Media reported that airports were filled this weekend with travelers who were stranded as they tried to return to the United States. Celebrities attempted to stir emotions with moving speeches and claims of persecution. It is certainly accurate that lives were interrupted with the abrupt executive order. It is also imperative to understand that any definitive action will inevitably offer disadvantage to some while providing an advantage to others. This isn’t necessarily fair — but neither is life. It is what is believed to be the next step taken to protect our country and our citizens.

Related: Pro-Life Leaders: ‘An Exciting Time for the Movement’

It is easy to pick and choose verses or teaching from Scripture to make an argument. But a single verse does not provide an accurate response for all situations. The truth is that we as Christians are called to love one another, even our enemies. We are told to turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, show everyone we encounter the love of Jesus by how we treat them.

Yet we are also called to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with — we have a responsibility to honor God with what He has bestowed upon us. There is no need for selfishness, but it is necessary to be diligent in protecting what He has bestowed upon us. This includes not only our own property, but our families, our infrastructure, our finances. amen

We are instructed to obey authority, believing that God has placed individuals in the positions they retain. God is the one who first introduced the idea of law and order to mankind when He provided the Ten Commandments. This was an understanding of obedience and submission. God does not desire chaos, disorder, or anarchy. Instead, He provided an example of the need for structure, policies, and law when it comes to the creation and maintenance of a country.

“It’s not a biblical command for the country to let everyone in who wants to come, that’s not a Bible issue,” Franklin Graham, the evangelist, told The Huffington Post. “We want to love people, we want to be kind to people, we want to be considerate, but … there are laws that relate to immigration and I think we should follow those laws. Because of the dangers we see today in this world, we need to be very careful.”picture7

Christians are not called to be naive. We must observe boundaries in order to maintain the land we have been blessed to possess in America. We need to be careful to evaluate those who come into our country but do not desire to assimilate to our way of life. At the same time, we share the desire to help the helpless and aid those in danger, utilizing our resources. Just as God is a balance of both love and justice — so our country must be governed with law and mercy.amen

Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

POP QUIZ: Which Religion Is SPIKING In Britain And Which One Is PLUMMETING?


waving flagPublished on December 26, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://clashdaily.com/2016/12/pop-quiz-religion-spiking-britain-one-plummeting/

The percentage spike is SHOCKING… and so is the percentage drop-off. What will this mean for Britain?

A Government report released stunning numbers relating to religion. The changes in numbers of Christians and Muslims in the country was staggering. The Casey Report states:

Christians remain a majority, while a quarter of the population holds no religion. But the proportion of Christians fell from 70 per cent to 59 per cent…

Among faith groups the number of people identifying themselves as Muslim grew most significantly, by 1.2m people.

This 72 per cent increase is higher than for any other religious group and Muslims make up the largest non-Christian religious population in the UK at 2.8m in total, compared with 0.8m Hindus, 0.4m Sikhs, 0.3m Jews and 0.3m Buddhists.
Read more: Express UK

America are you paying attention

Europe is changing. England isn’t as Christian as it used to be.

The Brierley Consultancy conducted a separate study and says that Church membership in the UK has declined significantly. In 1930, membership levels were at 10.6 million which has dwindled to 5.5 million in 2010.

The Casey Report says that of those that those who identify as Christians has plummeted from 40.2 million to 36.1 million with further losses projected. We are facing an increase in a religious ideology that has a branch that stands against Western values of freedom, tolerance, integration and equality.

The Left will tout this as ‘Progressive’ and ‘inclusive’, failing to see the irony of their position.

Are you surprised at the findings of the report?

What do YOU think this means for Europe?

America are you paying attention

Young Belgian Muslim Sings for Annihilation of Christians


waving flagBy Bethany Blankley August 15, 2016

Thanks to MEMRI TV the world can witness yet another Muslim youth in a Western country who expresses what Islam teaches about Christianity: death and destruction.

The short video records and transcribes the song of a young Muslim walking the streets in Verviers, Belgium, praying for the destruction of Christians.

belgium2

The transcription from Arabic to English is as follows:

“oh allah, support Islam and the Muslims.

“oh allah, humiliate and destroy the polytheists.

“oh allah, annihilate the hateful Christians.

“oh allah, kill them all. Do not leave a single one of them.

“oh allah, make their weapons and ammunition booty for our brothers.

“oh allah, support Islam and the Muslims.

“oh allah, support the mujahideen everywhere.

“oh allah, support them against their enemies.

“oh allah, send against their enemies wind,

“oh allah, and like the one that destroyed the people of ‘Aad and like the one you sent in the Battle of the Confederates,

“oh allah, send against them wind that will destroy everything,

“as commanded by the lord.”against America

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

Never-Hillary-Egl-sm fight Picture1 true battle In God We Trust freedom combo 2

ISIS Kill List Names 15,000 American Christians Targeted for Death


waving flagBy Bethany Blankley August 4, 2016

According to a report recently made public, early this year, ISIS specifically identified 15,000 Christian Americans for death and instructed jihadists already in America to begin widespread murder.

The Kill List report comes in the wake of ISIS already publicly warning American and British Christians that “they were next.” British police last week publicly warned its 5.4 million Christians to be on alert and in some areas increased security.

But, Circa News reports that the FBI did not notify American Christians who are on the ISIS “Kill Lists.” On its website it states:

“The FBI did not alert numerous Americans that they were placed on secret Islamic State kill lists or notify their local police about the potential dangers, a lapse in the government’s efforts to combat the terrorist group’s evolving strategy to target everyday citizens.

“To date, the terror group that goes by the acronym ISIS has published on encrypted web sites several hit lists naming more than 15,000 people it would like to see killed by sleeper cells or lone wolves in New York, Texas, Florida and California.”Christian Persecution

Circa News was able to obtain copies of some of the lists and several individuals named on the lists. In Texas, for example, Circa News contacted 24 people marked for death. Of them, 22 had no idea that there was such a list or that they were on it.

It is believed that the list was purportedly created from an Internet search of church directories.

Michael Snyder of Charisma News remarked that the FBI did inform him that he and his wife are on the list. After further research, they discovered that his pastor and other members of his church were also on the ISIS Kill List.

Leaders of Christian organizations and Christian pastors should contact their local FBI and law enforcement to cp 11investigate if they are on the list and also request that security measures be taken to protect their congregation.

Despite the warning, good news does exist. Snyder pointed to a Detroit News article that describes how a 21 year-old Islamist from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Khalil abu-Rayyan, decided that because he couldn’t commit Jihad overseas—he would find a mega-church in Detroit.

He purchased a gun and identified his target—which seats up to 6,000 people. But the God of the Bible had other plans—an undercover FBI agent who had been in correspondence with him since last year was able to thwart abu-Rayyan’s plans.

The Detroit News reported that according to court records, abu-Rayyan said he didn’t know the name of the church but knew it was one of the largest churches in Detroit. He bragged:

“I had it planned out. I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced a lot with it. I practiced reloading and unloading. But my dad searched my car one day, and he found everything. He found the gun and the bullets and a mask I was going to wear.”

The Detroit News also mentions that abu-Rayyan “told an undercover FBI employee that attacking a church would be ‘easy’.” According to a court affidavit, abu-Rayyan claimed:

“A lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news. Everybody would’ve heard. Honestly I regret not doing it. (If I) can’t go do jihad at the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”

He also told the undercover FBI agent that he carried a “large knife or sword in his car” and if he got into a fight, said, “it is my dream to behead someone.”

His arraignment occurred around the same time that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump announced the need to ban Muslims from entering the country. Incredibly, Trump’s assertion continues to be criticized even though existing federal law already prohibits providing any aid, visa, Green Card, citizenship status, or rights to Islamists seeking entrance into the country—since 1952.CP 01

The Obama administration and previous administrations have intentionally and repeatedly chosen to break the law. In fact, the last TEN presidents chose not to secure the U.S. border.

The intentional ongoing failure to uphold the U.S. Constitution has obviously created the dire situation in which Americans, and especially Christians, find themselves.

But what the local church can teach ISIS and America’s failed government, is that the church is where people turn first in times of crisis. The refuge they seek is only found in the eternal God who promises to shield them in times of trouble with the shadow of his wings. The safest place for the church is the church itself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

Never-Hillary-Egl-sm fight Picture1 true battle In God We Trust freedom combo 2

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