My husband is known by his friends (AND ENEMIES--looking at you, Skeletor!) for willingly and ably wading into hot-button, murky topics that are politically polarizing, and having focused, rational dialogue about them. ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
174 comments. On ESTATE TAX REFORM. I just died of both boredom and rage all at once.
But God bless that Jesse Dukes, he hangs in there. He respectfully replies to all comments--notably even the butt-ass-crazy ones--with reason and an openness to legitimately have his own position changed.
This bizarre behavior is basically the digital equivalent of someone setting up High Tea on the beach of Normandy during the D-Day invasion, and then calmly inviting the combatants to sit and discuss their quarrels over cucumber sammies (no crust). "Bullets? Oh, are there bullets? Now, what were you saying about women should be required to burn their yoga pants on the altar?" He asks, while wiping a crumb from his mouth with an embroidered napkin.
I am guilty of being one of the soldiers who just wants to lob a logic grenade and then crawl to safety. I usually can hang for one or two replies, and then I lose my mind and just troll the comments with my awkward.
You know how I be.
HOWEVER. Today I really do want to hear from "the other side." Or at least the slice of them who follow Jesus (strangely it seems that the "most christian" people are the ones the most vocally against this). Because I can't get my brain there by myself:
If you are a Jesus follower AND you are against the U.S. offering refuge here to Middle Eastern citizens displaced by war, can you please help me through how you reconcile those?
I am uncertain how a candidate or citizen can hold Bible verses that don't seem to allow alternate interpretation in their heads and hearts while seeming to do and call for the opposite:
Matthew 25:41-43: I was homeless and you gave me no bed.
Leviticus 19:34. Love him [a foreigner] like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners
My thinking is really simple, and I am not sure I will be budging from these premises, at least:
1. Jesus is for the refugee. Jesus is for His own enemies. Literally.
Um. I feel like I dont even need to add backup explanations here. If we aren't capice about this, then we are talking about two different guys and can't go much further.
2. If you claim Christ's grace, you yourself are a refugee who has been welcomed.
Every person who has accepted the Grace of Christ has been adopted as a child of God Himself, and has eternal citizenship in heaven. And by definition that means each of us WAS ONCE A REFUGEE. Was ripped out of a perfect home as a consequence of the war between satan and God, and given our deserved fate of pain, suffering, hunger, disease as a result of our status as refugees untethered to our God and home.
3. I didn't have to pass a test to be welcomed: He died to have me even while I spit in His face.
Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Eph 2:12 // Rom 5:8)
Okay so there is my stance. BUT I know that it isn't just that simple, especially when national policy is involved.
Is it simply a matter of compartmentalizing your faith as separate from your politics? Saying, "I will obey those commands personally, but it might not be best for America to make policy in accordance with them."
Because I can get there mentally, even if I disagree on this.
I think it would be a disaster to try to legislate 100% by Christian principles. That would be A: against the constitution (the only document America bound itself to by definition), and B: making a Sharia Nation--just of a different religion. This idea will never ever work until Jesus comes back (And the gov-ern-ment shall be upon his sho-o-o-o-ulders!).
But if that's the basis for how we vote and legislate, then why would we try to stand in the way of gay marriage or abortion rights on the basis of biblical principles? Isn't that just cherry picking? Claiming "God's Way for America!" when lines up with what we want, but proclaiming "Separation of Church and State," when it doesn't?" (And I think I may be guilty of this too!)
I guess this one seems more cut-and-dry: Jesus is saying "DO THIS," and yet some people want to make a law that would prevent--as a country--obedience to this even as individuals (because we can't give them a bed in my house if they aren't allowed in America. Because, ya know, my house and beds? They're in America).
I seriously want to know and am not looking to whammy anyone or debate back. I want to learn (because I am really good at black and white thinking) more of the perspectives on this. I know many ultra-kind political conservatives who have the most giving, loving, non-judgmental hearts, and I want to hear how that works out in their lives.
So here we go.
To Christians against welcoming Arab Refugees to America:
1. How do you reconcile the closing of our border to these people with your faith and status as a citizen of heaven?
2. How do you think we could/should obey Jesus' commands individually while not legislating any kind of refugee acceptance?
3. Where/how do you draw a line between your politics and your faith?