Monday, July 16, 2018
Some would refer to them as “compassionate hearts.” One can appreciate their honest and sincere concerns for others and a desire to do what is right. Yet, the good they wish to do is misplaced and sometimes based upon poor interpretation of scripture.
One of the leading stories in the news is on illegal immigrants. Those who wish to allow them into the USA, void of all “vetting,” feel those who disagree are unchristian in their attitude. Some have gone as far as demanding that ICE be disbanded, and all illegals allowed in and their needs supplied. They believe “this is the Christian thing to do”! In their minds, to refuse this care reveals “an unchristian spirit.”
To justify this generosity, the fact that these immigrants are breaking the law, is dismissed. This law breaking is justified by some with scripture to prove that our generosity trumps the law!! Acts 5:29 is cited, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” The apostles were not defending illegal immigration, only their right to preach the gospel. This mass of illegals is not entering the USA to preach the gospel. Among them are gang members who are vicious in their actions. There are also terrorists who wish to murder the very individuals who wish to aid them. These terrorists consider their benefactors to be pagan heathen. A number of those illegals are demanding the same rights which legal immigrants worked hard to receive. In fact, some illegals are demanding much, much more. They believe they have a right to receive what our veterans and the poor cannot receive!
It is interesting that those Christians who dismiss the term “illegal” want the US government to provide the immigrants with free housing, medical services, schooling, transportation, food stamps, and other desires. They believe our government “owes” those illegals the care which cost the USA billions of dollars each year.
Excerpts of scripture are quoted to justify this invasion and expense that burdens the US government. Part of Luke 6:30 is quoted, “Give to everyone who asks of you.” Jesus speech in Matthew 25:35-36, 40, 45 is used to show Christians must supply the needs of all these illegal immigrants. We are told, “It is the Christian thing to do”!
The problem in using those and other passages is that the supplier being referred to is not the government, but the individual follower of Christ! This biblical fact is ignored! The ones being judged in Matthew 25 are individual believers, not the government. It is hypocritical to substitute the responsibilities given to individual Christians and place it on the government’s pocketbook! God does not hold the government accountable in these passages! Yet, some Christians who feel the government is being “unchristian” in refusing to shell out billions of dollars in care, are pointing an accusing finger in the wrong direction! At the judgment, Jesus will not ask the US government the questions of Matthew 25. The questions will be directed at those who mistakenly claim the responsibility of that passage is directed to the US government!
How many illegal immigrant families have you as a Christian taken into your home to feed, clothe, school, and supply them with medical care? None? If so, won’t you hear Jesus say, “Depart” rather than “Come” (Matthew 25:34, 41)? Isn’t it hypocritical to believe the US government is responsible for what Jesus puts on your shoulders, rather than in the government’s lap? After all, the slogan, “It is the Christian thing to do” puts the responsibility upon the individual Christian, not the US government! Again, this substitution of government paying the bill rather than the individual Christian, makes the disciple of Christ guilty of rewriting God’s word (Matthew 15:9)! Such individuals are producing another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). It keeps the Christian’s pocketbook intact while emptying Uncle Sam’s!
Misinterpretation can produce hypocrisy! If those saints desire to be consistent, who wish to open Uncle Sam’s pocket to do “the Christian thing,” they must be required to document their claim with scripture. Jesus fed 9,000 people, not Pilate or Rome! Isn’t that the Christian thing to do? Christians doing it? Reaching deep into the Christian’s purse will reveal who is or is not practicing what is being preached! Why should the protesting Christian expect others to do what he refuses to practice himself? Isn’t that hypocritical?
What if five, ten or fifty families show up on your doorstep? What is the Christian thing to do? What if it is a thousand families? If you turn away just one, wouldn’t that reveal an unchristian spirit? Did Jesus say the following or not?
“For I was hungry, and the government fed me. I was thirsty, and the government gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and the government invited me into government housing. I was naked, and the government gave me clothing. I was sick, and the government cared for me. I was in prison, and the government visited me.’ Then these government officials will reply, ‘Lord, when did we the government ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did the government ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when the government did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, the government was doing it to me!’” Book, chapter, and verse?
When the Christian takes himself out of Matthew 25:35-40 and substitutes the government, he takes that passage out of its context and steps on dangerous ground!
Who made government responsible for what Jesus commanded the Christian to do? God didn’t.