Follow Up On The Children On The Border
For those who may be interested in informing themselves beyond the rhetoric.
Report on the migration by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops.
Study on why the children are coming…
Why one boy tried to come…he didn’t make it.
Some may remember the story I wrote a few years back on “El Pastor” the man in Juarez, Mexico who built an asylum with his own hands and cares for those who no one else will.
He is currently doing an online fundraiser for those who may want to help.
Legendary author and border expert Charles Bowden says this;
“I found El Pastor when I was looking for a raped beauty queen.
I expected him to be an evangelical fraud and that the asylum he kept in the desert outside Juarez was simply a ploy used in his fundraising.
I was wrong. He is an ex street addict, ex-convict and a full time healer in a city of pain.
He sells love in a city of death, Ciudad Juarez,demonstrably the most violent city on earth.
He expects to be murdered; he prays he will not be tortured first.
He built the asylum with his own hands and his care is the only safety net for the severely mentally ill in this place of poverty.”
Michael, the news cycle is so short, and these days it seems like there’s a new tragedy bubbling up every week. Last week’s news gets quickly pushed out and/or forgotten. Thank you for keeping this human tragedy and Pastor Saeed’s plight alive in our hearts and hopefully in our prayers.
I guess we should add the kidnapped Nigerian girls to the prayer list too.
I’ve come to the conclusion that most see these tragedies as todays interesting news story and there is is little emotional or spiritual investment made as they expect a new one tomorrow.
To be blunt, the crisis in our world have become little more than entertainment.
This topic has been my passion for the last few years and will be for the rest of my life.
These are real people, not just stories.
These are real people, not political pawns in a never ending chess match between elites.
These are people…that Christ died for.
Most will ignore this article with a mutter about me going off on my hobby horse again.
I have to do this for the sake of my conscience.
Thank you for reading and commenting with grace.
children always die when Satan is on the move – don’t know why as he can’t claim their souls, as I understand it
I do know that we can’t fix Latin America in either a secular or a Christian endeavor – no more than we could have sat on a seat in the Roman Colosseum and stopped the lions – I suspect there were a few Romans sitting there saying, “I can’t look. This isn’t right!”
So, we pray for our Lord’s return. We keep looking up (and down, so we don’t stumble). We need, perhaps, to pray for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit in God’s people refocusing our reality and therefore our efforts… and I don’t mean ecstatics and wart removal
praying that the concerns of the Phoenix Preacher spread out to God’s people wherever we are on the planet
quoting a regular here: “just sayin”
Thank you, Em…
How extremely sad….. what can we do, aside from prayer, which seems so weak at times. I would gladly welcome these children into my home. Why why why is it so hard to adopt or foster? Agree with Em above.
While I have only posted once or twice here, I feel compelled to answer your question.
Spiritually, it is hard to adopt or foster because of Satan and the sin of this world. satan is not going to make it easy, nor are sinful men with underhanded motives/schemes. From a secular perspective it is because just like everything else in life, man has turned adoption and foster care into just another commoditized financial instrument to be used to skim money from people. When you consider that it can cost upwards of five figures to adopt in some cases, that is a steep hurdle to get over, esp. in this economy.
When you think about the fact that so many kids in this country, even counting these kids, could use a good home, but people can’t afford the price or the hassles of adoption/foster care, it is no wonder that so many children go without.
As a corollary, I have argued that an alternative to abortion is for Christians to adopt and I know many do adopt possible aborted babies. However, if all Christians rose up to do this, what a difference that would make (Fingers pointed back at myself). Of course, there is no money for the money changers in that, let alone would-be adoption parents might be turned off or walk away because of the cost, esp. if it was to save a baby from abortion. Except, what is the value of said unborn’s life? Didn’t Christ go to the cross for us?
Sorry, for the moderate rant, but there are no easy answers with this issue.
This is a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing what God is doing through El Pastor.
Thank you for posting this Michael.
Why does it cost so much to adopt a child?
Adoption costs are all over the map, depending on what sort of adoption one is seeking. Actually, at least in our state, adopting an existing foster child costs very little (and at least in the past actually resulted in receiving income from the state in return)
An international adoption is very expensive, as is a private adoption, as there are a LOT of legalities involved.
I thank God I was adopted as an infant, along with 3 sisters. That was not the only time God saved me.
And as an aside, it would be impossible to adopt these Central American children legally (without major changes in international adoption law)
My wife and I were in the process of international adoption from Russia (which fell through due to no fault of our own) right when the tsunami hit Indonesia and the area around and as we were doing our mandatory classes in the early stage of the process all of us parents in the class were told right away don’t even think about whether you could adopt one of the thousands of new orphans after that disaster. It would seem simple to do, and here we all were getting approved to adopt an international orphan…but that’s just not how the process works.
And I have come to learn that there are good and legit reasons why the process is so complicated (and thus expensive).
Sadly most politicians could care less about the real problems that plague our world.Just look at Washington (District of Corruption).
Whenever I hear of these tragedies, I reflexively go to the Lord’s Prayer, and particularly, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I want desperately for my Lord’s kingdom to come on earth in all its fullness. Who doesn’t?
Then, this evening, as I was reading an article by Larry Hurtado, a trusted NT scholar who’s emphasis is Christology and early Christian worship of Christ, these word kicked me in the gut:
“I also noted the place of Jesus’ “parousia” (a Greek term used in the NT to refer to Jesus’ return) and the interval between his resurrection and parousia. This interval Paul regarded as the special time in which the gospel is preached and God accomplishes his purposes of forming a redeemed people, especially from among non-Jews.”
If Christ returns on my timeline, who will be excluded because of my impatience? Are we in a special time?
What is Jesus trying to teach me by His prayer?
just heart breaking
Michael, thanks for a very sobering post. I don’t enjoy getting this kind of a reminder about the suffering in the world, but I need such a reminder. It brings my own small problems into perspective, hones my prayers, and is an exhortation to do more (when I’m able) with my finances and abilities. Not a fun read but a needed read. Thanks again.
This is not an immigration situation, it is a refugee situation.
We are big enough to help these people…
If it is a refugee issue, why didn’t they go to Brazil or Argentina – both fine countries?
We all know that it is more than political asylum and Obama is making political hay out of it.
I said it earlier, bus the “refugees” to an more open minded country – bus them to Canada.
If it is a refugee issue, why didn’t they go to Brazil or Argentina – both fine countries?
The article I linked to last week stated that these children are fleeing anywhere they can, including the neighboring countries around their homeland.
The ones coming here mostly have family in America.
I listened to a report on the radio this morning. One of the children had been united with his mother in Los Angeles. He was released to his mother’s care. He will have to go to court later. No comment whether the mother was a legal immigrant or not.
They then reported on a Spanish language program to assist these children with their legal rights and attorneys are assisting. They said many would get to remain in the US, but most would be deported.
First is the human crisis here with inadequate facilities and overcrowded and overworked court systems. Then there are the tragedies in the home countries that these refuges are fleeing. Tragedy caused by the drug trade, poor government, and just plain POOR.
We don’t experience the large refugee problems in the middle east where people are fleeing violence and war, or in the Asia or Africa or many other parts of the world. This is OUR refugee crisis. How the US deals with this refugee crisis and the political hay that will be made from these situations will tell a lot about us as a people.
Folks talk about the 1% and politic driven by money. To these people, we are all the 1%. How will we respond? What will we share? What will be pay for? What will we demand be done with these refugees? That is the question(s).
I think many view this through their political and partisan lens. People on this blog do that too, but the viewpoint of Christ is shown here also. It is a complicated problem without any easy answers. I am always impressed by the heart shown by our web host. I don’t know what to do other than pray. Sorry, I’m out of answers.
Nothing I write generates anger in my inbox more than these articles.
I lose friends I care about and other relationships become very strained.
Every time I sit down to type one I have to count the cost.
I am not naive to the political and social ramifications of the migration.
Speaking only for myself… without casting any aspersion on others, I’m far more concerned about the biblical ramifications.
If these children fled to Christ seeking refuge, from violence, poverty, oppression and death I do not believe He would instruct them to wait seven years for the proper paperwork.
My conscience demands that I post these articles, that I offer the view from the other side of the border, and that I plead for mercy toward them.
That is what I’ve attempted to do and each must follow their own conscience.
Actually I half way agree with you. If refugees coming across our borders is of primary importance, perhaps we should give up our role of keeping the free world free … let others handle it so we can have the funds and facilities to handle this issue.
But the US has chosen to be generous and compassionate and show the love of Christ by protecting the world on a larger scale and our generous giving, even to the ludicrous monetary giving to our enemies should say something in the world.
Although I suggest it partially with tongue in cheek, what the hell are the Canadians doing to help the world? They depend on us to keep them free and other than that they just suck up air. This seems like a good redeeming project for them at this time.
Shouldn’t we give them the opportunity to show the grace and love of Jesus Christ also?
reading the thoughts here circling this quandary (I’m old and I have to use up all these good English words languishing words in my brain before I die), a question just hit me: why, if we insist that the United States of America is not a Christian nation, why do we expect it to meet His standards?
I only have that expectation of those who self identify as Christians.
Em and Michael, from what I’m learning (even from exchanges on this “Christian” blog) even among people who self identify as Christians, the veneer of Christianity is very thin. So thin, indeed, that I get the impression that self-identifying Christians would be hard pressed to come to any sort of consensus with a large body of others on what the faith actually means in terms that are translatable into corporate action.
In theory, if 50% (or whatever number the surveys suggest) of the nation is Christian, then one would think that Christians would be influential in shaping public policy to His standards (because in reality voter turnout is relatively low usually), but in reality people either can’t agree on what those standards are or don’t care because they are more considered about serving their other gods.
My prayer is that Michael’s constant reminders of the plight of the least of His and injustices will convict me (and hopefully others) to see reality through a more biblical worldview and spur me and others to greater responsibility and action.
Michael may lose some friends, but he’s gaining some too. Not everyone gets 5 talents; for those that do, don’t bury them in the ground.
Jean, I’ve met Christians over the years whose conscience before God keeps them from voting. I disagree with the premise but don’t deny their convictions.
A lot of folks here could not in good conscience vote for either Obama or Romney last time…..and it had nothing to do with not caring or serving other gods.
I do think you are right about not agreeing on the standards, and that usually shows itself in terms of a key issue (or two).
And there will always be the difference of opinion as to how much the church should do and how much the state should do…..in a nation like ours.
I was one of those who could not vote for either Obama or Romney, as I considered them both to be (small “a”) anti-christs. .
Steve, there are more than one or two societal issues that divide “Christians” and the only reason why some of them are “key” to certain people is because they are not learning or being taught biblical Christianity.
the only reason why some of them are “key” to certain people is because they are not learning or being taught biblical Christianity.
Well done, Jean. You managed to insult Michael and myself in one post (probably a lot of other folks too) – though he and I are pretty much political opposites.
I was one of those who could not vote for either Obama or Romney, as I considered them both to be (small “a”) anti-christs. .
Yes Xenia, I was thinking about you specifically. We had plenty of discussions on that and while I did not share the same conclusion as you, I certainly would never call you someone more interested in serving other gods…..
This is very difficult ground to maneuver through.
Speaking ill of the faith and motives of those who disagree with my view is a sure fire way to kill dialog…I have done so enough to know.
The best I can do is present alternative viewpoints and information and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to each person individually.
We are faced with such complex problems that choosing a side simply makes the problems worse…we desperately need to find ways to come together.
“the only reason why some of them are “key” to certain people is because they the only reason why some of them are “key” to certain people is because they are not learning or being taught biblical Christianity.
Arrogancw at it’s height.
I said earlier we are showing great Christian ethics and virtues by keeping the free world free, giving foreign aide even to our enemies and allowing the UN, the place of worldwide fellowship to meet on our land.
I say if you don’t support all of that, You “are not learning or being taught biblical Christianity.”
but in reality people either can’t agree on what those standards are or don’t care because they are more considered about serving their other gods.<<<
This is a little over-stated.
We and our friends had plenty of conversations over pirogis and pie after church trying to decide who to vote for and most of us (we are all conservatives) felt we couldn't vote for a Mormon bishop and Obama was totally out of the question. I myself wrote in someone's name; can't remember who. I was not following "another god," I was trying to be faithful to the One True God.
Steve, I didn’t insult anyone. The “them” in that clause is a reference to issues, not people.
So, unless you know which issues “them” refers to you don’t know whether they are “key” to either of you.
It’s probable that none of us has surrendered all our personally held social, ethical and moral positions to the Word of God (and/or may have misinterpreted Scripture on an issue). I certainly cannot make that claim for myself. Can you?
I hope we all view ourselves with humility as a work in process.
I know it’s not really election season yet, but does “felt we couldn’t vote for a Mormon bishop” mean that only a Christian can be president or be worthy of getting votes?
MLD, that is a good question.
Someone who is a nominal Christian or even a secularist, I might vote for such a person, depending on the issues. I would not vote for anyone who is anti Christianity and I felt Obama and Romney were in that category. Even a jack Mormon might do but Romney was a bishop.
I think the offense comes when you say “to certain people” – not the them.
There is too much concern about what other people are doing and thinking about what we are doing. Just do what we know is the right thing to do and quit worrying about those who dare to write FB posts and Tweets that disagrees with us. Who cares if people agree with us or not? We serve only One Master. Honestly, the best thing many of us could do would be to shut down our Twitter and FB accounts.
MLD, when I said “to certain people” I meant that not everyone holds the same issues as “key” and perhaps some people hold no issues as “key”. I didn’t introduce he word “key” into the discussion. But I understood by Steve’s use of “key” that a person might be a single issue voter or would make that key position a litmus test for joining a church or other group or voting for a candidate.
Jean, I am not talking about this issue per se, especially since the Latin American refugees is one of the area where Michael and I actually agree.
Your #25 seemed pretty clear. I read it to mean that there are enough Christians in this country that we should have a major political impact “in shaping public policy to His standards” – and then you were pretty specific as to the reasons why that is not happening, including the indictment that lots of professing Christians are chasing after other gods.
That is too simplistic.
Maybe we need to know what His standards would look like in the campaign platform of a Presidential, Senate, Governor, House of Rep. candidate….
Frankly, as far as human governments go, looking around the world today, in talking relative comparison terms rather than absolute terms, I would say America is far more Christian than anywhere else on the globe….despite a whole lot of room for improvement.
What nation would you suggest is more Christ-like?
When it comes to civil issues, I have absolutely no religious test. I don’t care if a single person on the city council is a Christian.
I still try to figure out the fight for prayer before a council meeting. “We are here to discuss putting a new sewer line down Main Street” – let’s pray first – how silly. Who prays? Is a Muslim less likely to want a good sewer system in town?
What can we do for the poor kids on the border?
1. We can help those who are already helping. That would appear to be the Roman Catholic Church.
2. We can pray. It helps if you have some specific children to pray for rather than a blanket prayer for the whole situation. Again, the RCC is probably the place to go for this kind of info.
3. Don’t participate in anything that keeps the violence going. (Don’t use drugs.)
4. No point wasting effort concerning oneself with those who disagree; just do what you know is right. God sees. Too much energy expended on those with another POV is energy that cannot be expended on the children.
But I understood by Steve’s use of “key” that a person might be a single issue voter
You understood correctly….and you said in response “the only reason why some of them are “key” to certain people is because they are not learning or being taught biblical Christianity.”
Calling someone Biblicaly ignorant for their political convictions is quite a charge – and may I add, something I don’t see taught in the Bible when I read it.
Thou shall not be a single issue voter.
… Unless that one issue is so serious that you cannot ignore it.
Unless that one issue is so serious that you cannot ignore it.
Xenia…we are in agreement. I would never call someone who has a strong conviction over one issue that it influences his/her vote to be someone who is not learning or being taught Biblical Christianity…
I always thought that Biblical Christianity was to be self sacrificing, giving up what you want for the good of your neighbor (who would naturally include those who think opposite you).
So wouldn’t the Biblical Christian political position be. well I want this, but I see that my brothers want this, therefore I will help them achieve their political goals even though I oppose them.
Or is that too biblical?
So wouldn’t the Biblical Christian political position be. well I want this, but I see that my brothers want this, therefore I will help them achieve their political goals even though I oppose them.<<<
I rolled this idea around in my head for a good long while and even considered voting for Obama for a short time. I don't need medical insurance but there are plenty of people who do so shouldn't I care about them? But in the long run, the cons out-weighted the pros for both candidates.
Last major election cycle, I asked my 3 kids – “who do you want me to vote for and how should I vote on the propositions?”
Not because I didn’t know or didn’t have concerns – but the world has passed me by, this is their time, they all have families and have to grind out the next 50 – 60 yrs – so I wanted to vote for what they wanted – because when it come to fruition, I will be 6 feet under.
In fact, this is when I began unfollowing (but not unfriending) a whole slew of FB people and began to ignore Twitter entirely.
Some (not all) Repubs: Obama is a Muslim! He’s not an American! He’s a sleeper agent for Al Qaeda! He smokes! He’s anorexic! He’s “the” Antichrist!
Some (not all) Dems: Everyone who doesn’t support Obama is a mean mean mean hater who is a homophobic misogynist who wants to take bread out of the mouths of poor children. They want all women to be barefoot and pregnant! Romney is an animal abuser!
Who needs this garbage? Why take any of it seriously? So I chose to ignore it all.
Great peace of mind ensured. I recommend it.
MLD, I think that is pretty darn admirable. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it because my dislike of both candidates was quite intense. Just couldn’t do it.
I don’t Twitter and I get to FB maybe 2 or 3 times a week … but I have very few political leaning folks on FB
Just so people are clear – my vote is for sale to the highest bidder in the next election.
Steve, #40, Yes you summarize my earlier my #25 well.
To your last question, I think on balance the U.S. has been and continues to exhibit love of neighbor on an international level, especially on a humanitarian level, better than any other country. I see great American generosity on display, and especially at the private level, whenever there are humanitarian disasters or crisis at home and abroad. So, there are deep rooted Christian ethics in America even in people who may not even be conscious of why they care. Those things make me very proud of my country.
At the same time I perceive that some Christian groups, having been courted by political parties (or maybe they did the courting), have surrendered their independence of thought. If a group closely aligns itself with a political party, it becomes very difficult for the group to say to the political party, we agree with you on these 3 issues, but we oppose you on these other 3 issues. I totally support voting. I wonder if Christians would be wiser if we identified as Independent (just a thought).
Then there’s the money associated with “big money Christianity.” If a church or group of churches has a $150 million annual budget and large mortgages and other debt, there’s a temptation to cater to the large donor base. That can create conflict between His standards and man’s.
Lastly there’s fear: fear of the stranger, fear for personal security, fear for financial security, fear of our institutions. Is it the 53% or the 47%? It is the 1% or the 99%? Can Christians win by winning? Fear can lead to idolatry.
I was probably simplistic. I tend to think that for most of us, if we could in good faith engage in a biblical discussion about a given issue, trying as hard as we can to surrender our presuppositions, that we could eventually reach consensus on many social issues that currently divide Christians, even key ones. That doesn’t mean that we will follow what the bible teaches, but at least we will understand what the Lord wants of us and perhaps pray for greater grace to follow and trust more closely
I appreciate all the feedback (it sure came quick). I’m only sorry that it was a result of a perceived attack or arrogance. One of these days I hope to say something that will generate widespread agreement.
“We are faced with such complex problems that choosing a side simply makes the problems worse…” that just about sums it up
there are no “sides” when things are falling apart, are there?
Random thoughts as I read the thread here…
I understand the main impetus on the part of the parents in these three Central American countries is to keep their children out of the gang worlds there… Under those circumstances we can’t send these children back to the status quo… would there be gangs if there were no drugs to deliver/turf to claim?
amen to Xenia’s #42
maybe, we should bring our armies home from Afghanistan etc. and invade Colombia, Honduras and Guatemala (are those the correct 3 countries?) marching like Sherman through Georgia – okay, I know that is too extreme… all we can do now is bind up the wounds and provide lodging… for how long?
What about our gangs here – where do we send our kids?
Chicago alone had 500 murders in 2012 and 488 in 2013
Again, where do we send our kids to keep them out of gangs and away from drug dealers???Anyone want to pony up an answer/
Jean, the issue though is the issue of church/state. And that is why I do not believe there can be any sort of consensus.
At the end of the day, we can study the Bible all we want, but it will not guide us to the level of control its teachings should have on the government.
The most obvious example – The Bible is pretty clear there is only one true God, one true faith. All other religions are lies, leading people to hell. And no matter how great your life is here, gaining even the whole world, to end up in hell is as bad as it gets.
Yet, who among us think our government has a responsibility to mandate Christianity on all its people?
And don’t think that many of these kids coming in haven’t already been in gangs and have the taste and smell to get into new gangs here … and perhaps attempt to take my grandkids with them.
Steve, I’ve tried to steer my comments to social, ethical and moral issues. I get your point about theological issues and agree that our government shouldn’t go there. When it comes to social, ethical and moral issues, however, something has to be the guiding light. The government must write and enforce laws that reflect social, ethical and moral values in order to maintain order and provide for the public welfare (as in shalom).
Jean, but the thing is, Christians of good faith can disagree on that too.
We see it here all the time. Plenty of the folks here are opposed to gay marriage having any connection to the church but at the same time support it being the law of the land.
And any other issue you want to discuss will come down to that same discussion between church/state – not just theological issues at all (though I did use that example at first)
Steve, I have to run out. I will be back in a couple hours and would like to get back to you on this topic then.
If we are going to follow the Bible for social needs then you must do it yourself.
If you see someone by the roadside in need, it is your obligation to take care of that person’s physical and medical needs – yourself.
The Bible has no government care system laid out. Again, like I asked in my #46 – too biblical?
MLD @ #54 and following… your observations are on target and chilled me to the bone reading them…
Steve, #59, as you know, in our system of government, it is a government of the people, by the people. Different voices and movements compete against one another in the public square for influence over our laws, regulations, enforcement, etc. Someone on this blog, maybe it was MLD, said we have the government we deserve (and he’s right).
So, although there is no biblical parallel to a democratic form of government, it seems reasonable that to the extent Christians have the opportunity to shape our society, we should. There are protections in the Constitution for minorities, but generally the majority rules. If we don’t organize, then we’re in danger of ceding the future of our society to the forces of world
I’m not an historian, but from what I’ve read, Christians organized effectively to end slavery in England and the US, to pass the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, and even for the law that the Supreme Court relied upon in its decision in favor of Hobby Lobby. The RCC, along with some Evangelicals, have been vocal against abortion and have actually been successful over the past 5 years in dialing back certain aspects of abortion, such as the number of clinics, its funding, and viability issues.
If you’re correct about the problem of church/state, and let’s assume for the purpose of argument that you are, then is Christianity going to become just a spiritual endeavor that is powerless to influence the societal issues of the next 20 years? Are Christians so fragmented and distrustful of different connections that we’re incapable of organizing around social justice, ethical and moral issues?
Who will hold the country together around a common core of value?
MLD was wrong when is said: “The Bible has no government care system laid out.” As you know in the OT the Mosaic law had rules over the treatment of the poor, slaves, foreigners and widows. These were ancient social welfare laws (perhaps the first on Earth). Yes, this was a theocracy, and no I’m not advocating for one, but I think we can take from the OT example that God has a heart for the vulnerable and expects people and governments to provide a certain level of charity for the most vulnerable in society.
and expects people and governments to provide a certain level of charity
There it is in a nutshell in your own words. My point about the degree of separation between church and state. Everyone recognizes a role for both, it is the degree.
Look, we are far afield of what started my engagement with you on this issue which was some of your comments about the lack of commitment or Bible knowledgeable some may have based solely on their political convictions I think that is an erroneous judgement
But if you are trying to convince me that Christians should be politically astute and active….I think the community here can vouch for me on that score. 🙂
Here is something we haven’t even mentioned yet. Not only is there disagreement on the role between church and state, BUT there is huge disagreement on which aspect of the government should have the bulk of the responsibility….federal, state, local.
Steve, in reference to this statement in #64,
“some of your comments about the lack of commitment or Bible knowledgeable some may have based solely on their political convictions I think that is an erroneous judgment”
I will go on record as I did in another thread that I believe that the vast majority of self-identifying Christians are biblically illiterate below a very shallow veneer. There you have it. If I’m wrong, then praise God. Me being wrong about that would actually be great news for the kingdom. However, it’s not what I witness with my own two eyes in print, my own two ears on radio and TV, or in church.
I’m not judging people’s salvation or good name, I’m simply saying that to the vast majority of people, the bible isn’t all that interesting or relevant to people’s lives (which is the opposite of what I think). I’m passionate about the power of scripture because it has been a living Word for me that has been a means of God’s amazing grace in my life. So people may notice, that I try to filter every discussion through the lens of scripture. I actually believe that it’s the manual for living, raising kids, voting, marriage, you name it. I came to this conclusion because I do believe that it communicates truth and God’s wisdom. Nothing else I’ve found comes close
I’m not a Biblicist. I don’t worship the bible. I’m probably closer to Peter Enns than Al Mohler on the question of inerrancy in the formulation of the Chicago Statement.
Articulating ideas in a short blog without creating ambiguity, misunderstanding and misperception is challenging to say the least. I need to work a lot on my articulation of ideas and sensitivity to others. Thanks for pointing out where I go astray and trust that I take your criticisms to heart.
We need to clone Jean…
Jean, I don’t disagree about the vast majority of self-identifying Christians and their Bible knowledge. But you said that in a context about political convictions and that is my whole point. You were wrong in what you said UP THERE, not in your #65
As far as the power and influence of the Bible…I’ve committed my life to its study and teaching…at not a little cost in terms of family, money and reputation.
So if we want to end this discussion on the same page…we are there now.
I suppose I should address your question about gangs.
The same thing fuels gang violence here and in Mexico and Central America.
That would be our enormous national consumption of drugs and the profits that ensue from them.
The reality is that if we address our own issues, we address their issues as well.
We might want to end the phony War on Drugs and quit paying cartels and governments to kill and oppress people on both continents…
” I’m passionate about the power of scripture because it has been a living Word for me that has been a means of God’s amazing grace in my life.”
What you are saying here is that if someone disagrees with you it’s because in their life “scripture has not been a living Word for them that has been a means of God’s amazing grace in their life.”
Michael, don’t bring up the macro issue of “War on Drugs” “National Cartels” etc.
I want to know why you have no problem at this time putting my grandkids at a higher risk by flooding our country with Central American gang members.
I listened to a thing on CBS radio (not a immigrant hating organization) talking about the kids coming over – speculating that all the kids over 13 have been in gangs in their home countries.
This is not good.
You seem to forget that I am raising a young boy.
I fear American rap culture and the gangs near his school far more than these kids.
The speculation about the kids all being in gangs is just that…speculation and I have seen no evidence that it’s true…and I have tons of stuff I’m reading from those involved.
If you don’t want to address the macro issues then you have just stated that you’re not interested in solutions here or there…
That”s naive – in gang areas of LA and all big cities you can almost count on the kids over 13 have been in gangs. If that is not so in Central America, perhaps we should have our kids flee there.
You cannot take the gang out of kids. Back in the late 70s early 80s 1,000s of families fled LA and moved to Moreno Valley to get their kids away from the influence of the Crips and Bloods. Within 2 yrs, the largest gangs associations were in Moreno Valley, where they form their own Crips and Bloods gangs.
I know, I was there. When I watch the people in Murrietta blocking the delivery busses, I see people doing their duty to their families and communities… you probably see haters.
“If you don’t want to address the macro issues then you have just stated that you’re not interested in solutions here or there…”
That is correct – today I do not care about solving the long term drug issue – I want to protect my grandkids from an immediate danger and invasion.
You have spoken truthfully. Have any of those buses shown up in Medford yet?
The gang issue and the drug issue are one and the same…so you want to pawn the solutions off on your grandkids?
We haven’t seen any of the buses here yet…if we do, I’ll be there with my son to help in any way we can.
MLD, #69, no that’s not what I’m saying. I’m perfectly happy to debate what scripture says and means and am open to learning from others who read it differently. God knows, I’m no authority. But what I’d like to do is focus on the scripture. Let’s agree on the source of truth and let the chips fall where they may. Then folks can decide for themselves: Is that the truth I’m to embrace?
I think you may be too far in to discuss this with.
So, police departments and gang task forces should just go on sabbatical until the drug issue is cleared up?
Those busloads of people are housed at a military base while US Vets live homeless and can’t get housing. The people coming in are getting immediate medical care = my daughter can’t get decent care for her 2 kids.
This is not good – and we are not noble by doing this.
We need to honestly confront all these issues.
What you say about the vets and others is true…and shameful as hell.
That doesn’t negate the humanitarian crisis at hand, nor the reasons behind it.
The fact that we have acted ignobly towards our own does not justify more ignoble actions.
Michael, how many homeless Medford residents are allowed in your home uninvited and how long are they allowed to stay?
“We need to honestly confront all these issues.”
I can only confront the one. I don’t do drugs and no one in my family does drugs. But I have plenty of grandkids and grand nieces and nephews that need protecting.
I don’t think that’s germane to the discussion.
All I will say is that I’ve spent most of my life with other peoples children in my home for both short and long times.
Today, I can barely afford to care for myself, so I have to find other ways to help.
The thing is, as we have said before, we are seeing the law in action. The law is to find family and connect the children with them until a hearing is arranged which most likely will result in deportation.
That’s what is taking place. They didn’t just randomly take the first 125 and say “You guys go to Murrieta” – there is a hope and expectation of them connecting with family in that area who will provide for them until they have their hearing.
We’ve seen this a 1,000 time. Come time for the hearing and they will have vanished.
Come time for the hearing and they will have vanished.
So the government should ignore its own law?
Isn’t that gets so many people already upset when it comes to immigration laws?
I don’t want to sound non compassionate, but what i am fighting from people with similar positions to yours is “too bad, accept it.” or “if you oppose this, you are a hater” or even worse “what would Jesus do?”
To the “what would Jesus do?” I reply that he himself would drive the busloads of kids back to Central America and kick the butts of their parents and all the trouble makers down there.
Most people don’t have the heart to hear that.
But you don’t disagree that they will be gone.
I have tried very hard to avoid those kind of recriminatory statements.
As to your opinion of what Jesus would do…I think you’re dead wrong, but it’s not worth arguing with you about.
Mexodus is a morally complex issue … I have no answers.
Not Jesus of Nazareth.
PP Vet = you are right, there are no answers there – but there are answers , right in front of us for protecting out grandkids. that is the option I want to explore right now, this very moment and not waith for the drug issue to be solved.
I don’t have an all or nothing approach.
My Jesus is a pretty tough dude
“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Over on the right hand border of the site under “Pages” there are a number of videos and links I’ve compiled over the years on immigration and drug violence.
You may find them interesting.
This is a borderline (forgive the pun) obsession of mine and I’m willing to share. 🙂
Michael, #91, thanks. I will check them out.
Jesus was a tough dude. It takes a lot of toughness to wash the feet of your betrayer, to stand silent before a kangaroo court, to take the journey to Calvary.
I’ll say it again, evil is not beaten by evil. That is Christ 101. Not evil deeds nor evil words.
I think that it is evil to encourage the next group of kids who will begin the life threatening journey because they see that the prize is beating our system. So they will risk their lives and enrich the very dangerous coyotes who will take advantage of them.
That my friend is an evil attitude.
What do you think, are there more Americans or less Americans sneaking into Mexico with their assault rifles since that one Marine got caught and thrown in jail with no hope of immediate release?
MLD’s #94 is along the lines of my take on the morality of the big picture.
Either we need to open the borders or secure them – let’s have the debate and work towards one of the two choices
but the status quo is as immoral as you can get.
Risk your life, be taken advantaged of and abused, in hopes of making it to America only then to live your life in the shadows and in fear, with the added guilt of the crime that brought you here in the first place.
That is not at all the “nation of immigrants” model that built this nation. This is not getting off the boat in Staten Island reading the Statue of Liberty’s message.
I put the full blame on our government, both parties, for continuing the status quo from which both sides (and their political contributors) benefit greatly.
And by full blame I mean full blame.
MLD, I’m central time and it’s getting late so I will disagree with you and and bid you good evening.
For the most part I couldn’t agree more.
Around the world, migration of poor and oppressed people to places with opportunity may be the biggest issue of all.
We can’t address these issues honestly here because too many people profit from the misery.
I’ve studied this endlessly…and I believe we could change things greatly for the better and have a relatively secure border at the same time.
We simply must have the will to do so.
What would Jesus do at the border today? I don’t think the answer to that question is synonymous with us doing God’s work today.
We don’t really know what He would have done 2,000 years ago, but probably nothing as job one for Him then was obedience to the will of the Father, a mission in a time and place.
What will He do on His return as King? Well, that is food for thought… what will He do next time? hmmm
Oh Lord Jesus, we need you – come soon!
I hope everyone understands that my reply to the question “what would Jesus do?” I say in jest to people to make a point.
My thought though is that when a person ever asks “What would Jesus do?” that is just a form of dropping guilt on people. I mean come on, the asker of the question has no idea what Jesus would do and they just throw it out in an attempt to gain the high ground in a debate.
If Christians really believed what they toss around in this discussion, then they themselves would become coyotes in trying to smuggle these Central American kids into the USA.
Over the last few years I’ve studied and taught through all 4 Gospels.
I finish up Mark on Sunday.
Jesus always blows me away…and blows away all the structures I want Him to fit in.
“What would Jesus do?” is a question I’m constantly asking …and I rarely like the answers.
The answers demand I do and think things that make me uncomfortable…that prioritize behaviors and attitudes that don’t come naturally to me.
Jesus touched and healed unclean people, demonized people, and foreigners, without regard for anything except compassion.
The religious powers and the political powers both hated Him for failing to fit either agenda.
I believe that Jesus would have accepted, loved, and healed the children on the border…and those who want to send them home.
My convictions demand that I try to do the same.
There is no more despicable criminal on the planet than the coyote.
To say that those of us advocating on behalf of the immigrant and the refugee because of our Christian convictions should become one is a shameful, irresponsible statement.
Your rhetoric will not stop the migration or solve the problem…nor will it shame me into silence.
We all have a pretty good idea what Jesus would do for one or two of these kids. We have no idea what He would do with the whole situation on the border (and hundreds of terrible situations all over the planet.). During His time on earth there were plenty of human abuses going on all over the earth and He knew about them all yet he worked with the people in his immediate area, one on one. We should be imitators of Christ.
If we really feel drawn towards this problem we could learn Spanish and move to the border and help with the relief efforts there. Since this is not possible for most of us we can continue to do what we can, long distance (prayer and money) and maybe in the meantime, learn some Spanish. Because you never know!
For painless language acquisition I recommend Duolingo.
If God grants me time after Trey is grown, I’ll probably end up on the border, at least part time.
I don’t know if I’ll make it, but we’ll see.
I think you probably will, Michael. Meanwhile, you can get going with language lessons!
For all I know, Michael is fluent in Spanish so I’ll just pass on something for everyone that we read in our devotions this morning concerning preparation. Preparing for something- be it a trip, a missionary endeavor, a class to teach, anything like that- is just a proposal to God. “Lord, I would like to do thus-and-so and here are the preparations I have made.” The Lord ultimately says yes or no. We prepare (like offering a proposal) but it of God, ultimately. Yet those preparations need to be made, even if God turns down the proposal.
As far as we know, Paul never made it to Spain, but in preparation he wrote his letter to the Romans, and we now have that. So, preparations have value and significance even where the proposal is turned down.
I’m not fluent at all and I signed up at the link you posted. 🙂
Good for you!
Xenia’s 109. Yes. When I was a new Christian, I began “dreaming” of being an overseas missionary. The “realistic” me thought it outrageous. My mother told me to never be afraid to dream, and to hope and to cast those all upon Jesus, entrusting them to Him.
Michael, bien por usted!
I had to google it. 😀
For those who are interested in this issue, one of the books that changed my perspective was “The Devils Highway” by Luis Urrea.
It is the story of 14 who died trying to get over the border.
It’s actually used in the Border Patrol Academy for training now.
For the sake of my sanity, I have to let the topic go for awhile…I get into this and have a difficult time getting out.
I know what that’s like.
A little language hint: the best way (IMO) to get going with a language is to read the Bible. You already know what it says so it gives you the feeling that you are really reading in the language, even if you are filling in the hard words with phrases from your memory of the verses in English. Meanwhile, you are picking up a lot of vocab and you really begin to get a feel for things. Plus, the reading can be so laborious (at first) that you really have to think about what the verse means, word by word and you get a fresh take. Good for one’s soul and good for one’s brain.
I had to Google the translation… 🙂
That’s a brilliant idea!
“¡Qué bien!” is how’d you’d probably say it.
Why do we limit “what would Jesus do” to this side of the border? Pretty short sighted. Since some claim a better handle on what Jesus would do – what would he do in Central America?
!.) Would he advise or condone the parents sending their kids on a 1,000 mile journey unaccompanied in 120 degree heat?
2.) Would he advise or condone parents placing their children at risk of predators and traffickers?
3.) If it were in his control, would he let the kids begin that journey?
4.) Would Jesus condone the children breaking sovereign laws in a country?
My comment about the Church becoming the coyotes was meant in the way that shouldn’t the church replace them in function. Shouldn’t the Church have a line of air conditioned buses waiting at the Honduras border waiting to pick up the kids, drive them up safely and sneak them into the US?
Thank you, Xenia! 😀
Michael, I just got The Devil’s Highway for Kindle. To tell you the truth, I am a little scared to read it because like you, I also get sucked into these stories. I feel like I am about to set foot in a swamp that will not let go.
Thankfully, as a parent I will not be faced with making a choice between the risk death with no hope and the risk of death with a glimmer of hope for my child.
These parents do not love their children any less than we do ours.
It will change you.
I got sucked in my first trip to Juarez…the rest has just made it impossible for me to leave.
I would love to hear your thoughts as you go through it, online or off.