By Dave Leach - How is it possible for a restrictionist (who wants further restrictions on legal immigration) to go to Heaven – even if he has “accepted Jesus into his heart”? How can that be possible when Jesus could not more clearly have said people who will not “take in” the “stranger” (immigrant) will go to Hell?
Matthew 25:41-46 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...for...I was a stranger, and ye took me not in....Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Yet here comes the Family Research Council's daily email yesterday (7/8/2014 5:13 pm) complaining that
a flood of migrant children are putting a face on the immigration crisis. Fifty-two thousand faces, to be exact....Today, those consequences are painfully clear, as tens of thousands of children sit in southern detention centers, living symbols of the administration's lax attitude on immigration. ... ignoring the problem is no longer an option.... this immigration catastrophe could have been avoided if the administration had simple (sic) upheld the law. [As restrictionist Republican senator Jeff Sessions put it,] "[Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson] is the top law enforcement officer with regard to immigration in America! And he could not say, 'Do not come to America unlawfully, it violates our laws, we cannot accept that, if you do so you will be deported, and if you bring children, you both are going to be deported.' Why couldn't he say that?” [Congress should not even appropriate funds to care for these children until we get them deported, as Rep. Bob Goodlatte put it,] “until we have some clarity that we're going to be taking action in this country that will keep this from happening in the future."
The Family Research Center is one of America's leading efforts to shine the light of the Gospel on American politics. How can they be resentful that these thousands of child refugees have made it more or less safely across our borders? It is a “problem” that they are here, still alive, instead of being slaughtered back home? Obama's “lax attitude” takes the blame for the children not already being dead?
FRC is reaching out to the same audience which marketers consider vulnerable to solicitations showing some of these same children in need of basic necessities. Except that FRC reaches out especially to the Christians among that audience. Are Christians so much more hard-hearted towards desperate children than the general TV audience?
The cultural counterpart in Bible times must have been the hand wringing when the poorly maintained drum heads broke that were beaten while children were thrown on the blazing red hot arms of the “god” Molech, to drown out the children's screams lest the parent's hearts hear them and their hearts soften. FRC's ideological ancestors must have said
A flood of juvenile screams are putting a voice on the child sacrifice crisis. They are living witness to the king's lax attitude on drum head maintenance. Ignoring the children is, tragically, no longer an option. This crisis could have been avoided if the king had simply maintained the drum heads. Why couldn't the king have just told the children, “Do not scream. It violates our laws. We can't accept that. If you do so we will beat our drums to drown you out.”
Not to be outdone, evangelist Brannon Howse's email the day before had this subject line: “Americans Lose while Immigrants Gain”. It is a repost of Phyllis Schlafley's article by the same title, which is a rehash of Steven Camarota's “study” alleging that most of the new jobs created in America were taken by immigrants.
Camarota's study is another study. But Schlafley? She has been a champion of conservative Christian causes for decades. How can she stand so doggedly on a road Jesus said lead to Hell? And Howse? An evangelist who purports to apply the Gospel to current political and theological events, called “Worldview Weekend”?
Not only can nothing deter them from the road directly to Hell, by employing all the influence God gave them to expel Jesus' “strangers/brethren”, but they are on the road directly to Hell by demanding fast tracking of Mark of the Beast government surveillance technology to keep those “illegals” from working.
(For Scriptures and review of economic facts, see The Stranger Project.)
So was Jesus stupid? Is that what Brannon Howse, Phyllis Schlafley, and FRC believe? Jesus said refusing to “take in” the Stranger is a sure ticket to Hell. Brannon Howse and FRC refuse to “take in” the Stranger, but they insist they are going to Heaven, because they “accepted Jesus into their hearts”, or some such words.
And now I read that my favorite Alaskan governor and soccer mom, Sarah Palin, piled on yesterday, writing for Breitbart. She has a plan for impeaching Obama precisely because he is soft on Jesus' “strangers/brethren”. Couldn't she pick an issue a little less alien to God? Is that, Biblically, really the worst thing Obama has done?
Here's what being soft on Jesus' brethren has cost us, in her mind:
The federal government is trillions of dollars in debt; many cities are on the verge of insolvency; our overrun healthcare system, police forces, social services, schools, and our unsustainably generous welfare-state programs are stretched to the max. It’s the American worker who is forced to deal with Obama’s latest crisis with our hard-earned tax dollars while middle class wages decrease, sustainable jobs get more scarce, and communities become unrecognizable and bankrupted due to Obama’s flood of illegal immigration.
Jesus must be a real loser. Really out of touch with reality, when He dictated Luke 6:38. According to Sarah.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Maybe Sarah just needs a hug. Either that, or the rules on her planet are very different than the rules on Jesus' planet.
Do you know the reaction I get from Bible believers like Sarah, FRC, Howse, Schlafley, etc when I get a chance to quote a verse or two? Eye rolling! Can you believe that, a Bible believer eye-rolling away a Bible verse?
And of all people to trudge towards Hell, Charlie Daniels??? He tweeted, “Obama could raise his numbers exponentially over night if he went to the border and said PRESIDENT NEITO, [President of Mexico] PUT UP THIS WALL!!!!”
That's one of those jokes where you have to imagine there is probably an association that you can't quite confirm. Mexico has a moral obligation now, as Gorbachev did to tear down the Berlin wall, to put UP a wall, and where? next to where we have already put up a wall which isn't keeping people out?
But we're talking Charlie Daniels. That's enough excuse for a news story, without any necessity that it entirely makes sense. As long as the headline includes “Charlie Daniels”, it doesn't matter what else it says. It will get hits. I need to do that. I think I'll use Marilyn Monroe. No, Elvis Presley. “Elvis Presley said yesterday that he will unveil a new immigration song.” Millions will say “I KNEW he was still alive!”
Glenn Beck isn't supposed to be eligible for Heaven, my friends tell me, because he is a Mormon. And yet here he is bringing truck loads of food and teddy bears for the children, and pointing out the obvious: “Politics is turning us ugly”, and “When America stops being good, we are no longer able to be great”.
I was asked, “do you think he is sincere or is he just seeking publicity?” What a great country America is, that a man can do good and be accused of seeking honor, and no one can tell the difference! In the article, Beck says the publicity he is getting isn't all that desirable, and I think everyone knows what kind it is before he described it:
Beck said that “everybody” told him not to talk about other controversial issues, like the caliphate, in the past, and that he is hearing the same thing about his stance that we must care for the children who have crossed into America illegally.“Everybody is telling me I’m seeing subscriptions down; I’m seeing Mercury One donations down,” Beck said, growing emotional. “I’m getting violent emails from people who say I’ve ‘betrayed the Republic.’ Whatever. I’ve never taken a position more deadly to my career than this — and I have never, ever taken a position that is more right than this.”
Or at least more innocent. More obviously just. As Jesus' driving out demons was as just as just gets, yet he was accused of serving Satan! Jesus said when hate is so strong it defies reality itself, that is getting into “unforgivable” territory. Matthew 12:22-32.
This is disorienting to me.
All my church life I have been taught that anyone who “accepts Jesus into his heart” will go to Heaven, and everyone who does not will go to Hell.
Therefore, all my Bible believing, religious conservative Republican friends will join me in Heaven, while members of my own family who decline to “accept Jesus into their heart” will go to Hell.
My faith in this simple formula is shaken. Can I believe members of my own family, who have not “accepted Jesus into their hearts”, but who are friends of Jesus' “strangers/brethren”, are going to Hell, while these enemies of Jesus' “strangers” are going to Heaven? What shall I tell my beloved family members? If God is able to save Bible-believing, Stranger-expelling Christians, is He not able to save my Jesus-denying but Stranger-welcoming family?
Yet how can I believe these quite sincere, if willfully ignorant Christian conservative restrictionists are not going to Heaven? Although their blind spot is serious enough to threaten America's survival, they have so many other things right. Is that nothing? They are surely above the majority of Christians who, by comparison, barely lift a finger to help these “strangers” whom Jesus called His “brethren”, or even to double check their prejudices by the Word of God.
Fortunately it is not terribly important for me to figure this out. When I reflect on the pervasiveness of sin, it seems impossible that God could save anybody from it. I am grateful for Jesus' answer:
Luke 18:25-27 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
1 Corinthians 4:5 tells us what we don't know yet, that makes it impossible for us, at this point, to judge who will go to Heaven.
But in the spirit of Ezekiel 3:18-20, I warn my fellow Christian conservatives who are full of reasons why Matthew 25 doesn't apply to them: don't be so smug. God doesn't put numerical limits on how many get in Heaven. What if millions of Jesus' “strangers” whom you have successfully excluded from the God-given rights you have enjoyed, are in Heaven.
What if you show up, only to see Jesus consoling tens of thousands of children for the troubles you made sure they remained in. Will you be able to stand living forever in their company? Will you self-deport?