Posts Tagged ‘God’
After reading a number of posts on Facebook from Christians and non-Christians about how to deal with the refugees and illegal immigrates in the US using the Bible as a defense for or against the issues, I decided I needed to study my bible and write about it.
So what did I find the Bible supports?
First let’s identify the issues in both cases.
- What does God’s Word say about our government and its laws.
- What does God’s Word say about refugees, foreigners, or travelers.
- What does it say about war and our enemies?
What does God’s Word say about our government and its laws?
The first issue in the list mostly deals with the illegal immigration of people into our nation. As such you need to first be aware of what exactly our laws on immigration state and how or who can change the laws.
In a nutshell the law states that a person that immigrants into the US must apply for a Green Card under one of the many Visa statuses. A legal immigrate can have a Green card to simply be a seasonal farm worker under the E Visa program to the immigrant that wants to become a permanent resident. The Green Card is a way to verify that the person entering the country is who they say they are and what their intentions are.
After 5 years of continuous residence in the US the person may then apply for US citizenship. During the time they are in the US, if they have children under the current laws, the children are US citizens. This includes children born to parents of illegal immigrants. While you may not agree with this, and I will admit I do not agree with this current law where it includes illegal immigrants, it is the law and as a Christian you are to accept it (I will explain later in a few moments).
According to the US Immigration website:
A US citizen is a person that fits into two categories:
- A citizen at birth:
- Have been born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; OR
- had a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of your birth (if you were born abroad) and meet other requirements.
- US citizen after birth:
- Apply for “derived” or “acquired” citizenship through parents.
- Apply for naturalization.
So by law, a person that enters the US without a Green Card or does not abide by the rules and expiration of the Green Card are illegal immigrants to the nation.
Now let’s look at what God’s Word says about following the laws of man and the governments of the world.
In Acts 5:29 it says, “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.'” This means that God’s Law is above that of man’s law. So if the law goes against the Law of God then you as a Christian need to disobey them. This is what many German’s did will hiding Jews from the Nazi soldiers. However, in the case of illegal immigrants there is no Law of God that protects them from being deported or arrested. What it does say is that we must treat them as we would others, with love. I will cover that in the next section.
In Titus 3:1 it says, “Remind them to be submissive to the rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,” So what does this mean? Well simply put, it means unless the rulers and authorities make laws that go against the Laws of God you are to obey them. This in term means that when anyone breaks a law of man they are not abiding by God’s Law either.
In Romans 13:1-2 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Just like what Titus 3:1 stated about the laws of man, Romans 13:1-2 expands on by telling us that God placed the leaders and governments to rule over us and by breaking or resisting the laws created by those in authority we are sinning against God. That we will be judged by Him accordingly.
So what exactly does this mean about the illegal immigration of people to our country as a Christian at this point? That both the illegal immigrant and those that support illegal immigration are in violation of God’s Law.
What does God’s Word say about refugees, foreigners, or travelers?
The Bible verses Deuteronomy 10:19, Exodus 23:9, Leviticus 19:33-34, and Leviticus 24:22 covers this area very well. I will of course state them before commenting to allow you to read them yourself first.
Deuteronomy 10:19 “Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
Exodus 23:9 “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
Leviticus 19:33-34 ““When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 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.”
Leviticus 24:22 “You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.”
In each of these verses you have seen that they all state that we are to treat the refugee, foreigner, or traveler with the same love and laws that we hold others to. There is no exception to the laws between native or immigrant. But above all we are to treat them each with love and kindness. As a nation we have done this and I pray we will continue to do so. Even for those that have illegally entered the country, even if we deport them under the laws that are supposed to be enforced, we ensure they are checked by a doctor, represented by a lawyer, and processed under the same laws that a native would be.
What does it say about war and our enemies?
There are so many Bible verses about how we are to treat our enemies that I’m not really sure which ones to include. The fact is that in God’s Word He repeatedly instructs us to treat our enemies with love, kindness, and generosity above all.
In Romans 12:20 it says, “To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” I believe in general we as a nation tend to do this until we have no other options. I mean how many times have we came to the aid of our enemies when they have a natural disaster? I know I have seen it more times than I can count myself. I believe that in following verses like this one is to instruct us to avoid war by making our enemies friends and bringing them to Jesus. There are so many more verses that rely the same message throughout the Bible.
So now what about war if we are supposed to treat our enemies with love and turn the other cheek when we are attacked? It may surprise you but as much as we can try to avoid war, the Bible does cover it too.
Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” While we always pray for peace, God knows us better than we know ourselves. There will be wars that we cannot stop. We can’t stop them because they are about justice. Have we always as a nation been on the right side of war? Well that is something each of us must examine and compare to what the Word of God says. But I do know we have been on the right side more times than not.
Now what I truly believe is that even in war we as Christians must do what we can in following the Word of God. We must be on the side of righteousness and provide shelter to the innocent. Those of our enemies we are to take the injured and heal them as Romans 12:20 says, but also realize that as Ecclesiastes 3:8 stated, “a time for war” sometimes mean we must fight too.
After all is done and the fighting is over we must also remember the following Bible verse. Proverbs 24:17, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” In our history we have followed that. After WWII we could have easily left Germany and Japan in shambles and rot, but instead we rebuilt them and helped them back on their feet.
So what is the answer to the original question, “Where does the God’s Word stand on refugees, immigrants, and possible war?” It would be my belief that in each issue God has given us His message, at all cost we are to avoid war and only fight on the side of righteousness, treat every one of the world regardless of friend or enemy with the same love and kindness to avoid war, to follow man’s laws, but above all follow God’s Laws. This does not mean we should knowingly allow thousands of refugees into our country without somehow protecting our own citizens. In trying to avoid war we must weed out the enemy mixed in the refugees.
My solution would be to create camps overseas to prevent the enemy from uses the refugees. Once they have been vetted overseas we can then bring them to the US to live in refugee camps until the war in their countries are over or those we can truly verify are processed for a green card.
Now many will say that it is wrong and the same as what the US did to the Japanese-Americans. What we did to the Japanese-Americans was wrong because they all were US citizens that had jobs, businesses, and supported the US cause. They were robbed of the American Dream unjustly. The refugees on the other hand are not US or legal residence of the US but refugees escaping from a war zone in their country. They are not asking for citizenship or even residency in our country but safe harbor from the war. So in creating the refugee camps we can protect them from the wars they are escaping from and protect us from the enemy mixed within them.
Thoughout my life I have always believed in God and Jesus. I can’t say I have ever had the greatest of faith in the Lord or understood the miracles, power or love He has for us. I know until recently I never knew what was meant by God’s Grace. I could see babies being born and writing it off as nature and read about car crashes where people walk away with no injuries and I’d call it simple luck.
Well this was all true until December 2014 while I have increased my studying of the Bible, praying more and trying to live more Christ-like. I have started to see His Glory and Might in things that I used to just write off as luck, or whatever the term was. I started to see that my own sinning was becoming less and less of a burden in my life. But like all sinners I continue to see that I have much more room to grow in His Glory. I still need to learn how to love more easily, help those in need and to speak loudly of His Love, Glory, and Compassion to our fallen world.
This now brings me to the event I had on December 12th. There is no way for me not to see God’s Grace, Protection, and Love He has for us, and I am very humbled to know that I was given the glimpse of it that day. That day started out like most days for me. I got up looked outside and saw it was raining. I knew that I would have to leave a little early and to drive slower and more cautious. I left my house and noticed many spots in Bear Valley to have high water and wanted to make sure my daughter, Abby would be safe driving to school. I texted her using Siri to ensure I would remain safe. I told her to drive slowly and be aware of the high water running across the road. Only 30 minutes later I would find myself in the very unsafe situation I hoped to save my daughter from being in.
I was head east bound on Highway 58 just outside of town. I had been keeping my speed down to what I felt was safe for me and resisted the urge to turn on the cruise control. I had just pasted the Cameron Canyon exit and drove maybe another mile or two further when I felt the rear tires of my car start to slide out from under the car. I didn’t even see any standing water in this slight left curve. I counter turned my steering wheel and let off the gas immediately, but it was too late. My front wheel had left the roads surface and now was sliding on top of the water that had pooled under them. I knew at that moment my wife, Krissy’s nightmare had come true and there was nothing I would be able to do to prevent it… All I could do was hold on and brace myself for the unknown…
The next thing I remember was seeing the medium wall, then the side of the road coming closer, next a loud popping sound has my tires hit what I believe was a small curb. At that point I believe my car must have started to roll over but the speed of the roll was too fast for my mind to understand. The next thing I remember is seeing my cabin lights turn on and the roof on my car below me and coming closer. Next I felt the impact of the car, the roof, and my head all at once. The airbag blew and my hands were now knocked off the steering wheel. My seat belt tightened fast and hard against my shoulder and the sudden pain from the impact hit my neck and my head. At first I collected my thoughts and was hoping that I would hear a voice from a passerby yelling to see if I was ok or not. But to my horror I found that not a single person had witnessed my crash. All I could do was hear the cars and trucks driving across the wet asphalt.
Once I had collected my thoughts, realized I had no one I could count on to call for help, and that the pain in my neck and head were far too great to stay in the upside down position I was in. I unbuckled my seat belt and laid down on the roof of my upside down car. Knowing how close I was to Cashe Creek I worried that I could be in the creek bed and with the raining I had to watch for water coming into the car. I then thanked God for me being alive and it appeared I was not in a life or death situation.
I now knew I needed to find a way to call for help from the inside of my car but without moving too much. While I believed my neck pain was probably only whiplash, I also didn’t want it to be something worst and knew movement could be very bad. So I started to reach for where I knew my phone was before the crash. More than likely it would have been destroyed in the impact since I always keep it in a cradle on my dashboard, the same dashboard that now only had about 4 or 5 inches of space between the roof and the dash and the windshield just blew glass all over. I know that at this point I should have felt completely alone, but I felt completely at peace and was trusting in God to help me through this. I reached my hand up and found the phone’s charging cable and started to pull it. I felt the glass of the windshield above and below my hand as I pulled the cable. Then the cable became limp as it slipped out of the phone. Not be dishearten, I reached up again and found the audio cable and started pulling it. This time the phone stayed connected to it and because the cabin lights were all still lit I was able to see God’s Protection over me once again, the phone was only dirty and showed no damage (Much later I found the only damage to the phone was a small dent around the outside case.)
I now debated on calling Krissy or 9-11 first. I wanted to let her know that I was live and was going to call for help. But I knew that if I called her first that could make things worse for her and me. She would have no good information or even if I was out of the car yet, let alone, I didn’t know my true condition. So I called 9-11 and for the next 26 minutes a dispatcher asked me questions about my status and kept me encouraged that the rescue teams were on their way. I heard the sirens at one point in the distance but still saw no one. The dispatcher stayed on the phone with me and kept asking me if I could see anything, lights, people, cars, anything….
After a few more minutes I started to see the light of a spotlight flicker in my passenger side window. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to see the light. Then the dispatcher told me that have found me and wished me luck and I thanked her. I started hearing voices of the fire and CHP officers. Then I saw the first fireman on the driver side back window, he was trying to break the glass to talk to me. Once he was able to talk to me they started to pry open the back driver side door to get a better access to me. Then another group of firemen pried open my passenger side back door so they would be able to slide the back board under me and pull me out of the car. They then carried me up a slope that felt like it had to be steep and about 15 to 20 feet high. (After healing I went back to the accident location and saw that the slope was a very steep incline of 15 feet, I must have barrowed rolled my car in the air before crashing down on top of the highway fence.)
Once out and in the ambulance I noticed a voice I recognized, it was my brother in Christ Lenny Dehart, he was the CHP officer that found me and didn’t stop searching for me. The paramedic looked after me and asked my many questions to ensure I was ok. Lenny then asked if I want him to call my wife. I could have never been more thankful for God’s Love and Compassion to know that Krissy would be getting the nightmare of phone calls by someone that we knew and was a brother in Christ.
Since it didn’t appear I was in serious condition so the paramedic allowed me to choice to go to Tehachapi Hospital, Kern Medical Center, or Antelope Hospital. I choose Tehachapi Hospital in the hopes that my neck was only whiplash. During the ride I called Krissy and let her know that I was ok and that I will be ok. I told her that she can meet us at the hospital. Once at Tehachapi Hospital they took care of me, but found that my neck was more serious than I had hoping for. I had a hairline break of my C-1. Having been a Hospital Corpsmen in the past I knew how bad this could be… I knew that if it was in the wrong section of the vertebra I could died with the slightest of turn of my neck. Not wanting to panic Krissy or anyone else in my family I acted as if it wasn’t much. However, the hospital activated the trauma response and started the process to send me to Kern Medical Center for a full work up and for a neurologist to check me.
At Kern Medical Center they cut off all my clothes and placed an IV’s in me and monitored me carefully. I will have to say that I did make them a little concerned at first because of my calmness. They asked me if I was a regular to the trauma system or not. I explained that I had been a Navy Hospital Corpsman in the past and knew required workup they had to do, they were much more at peace with my reactions to their working on me. After a few hours the doctor released me and the nurse explained to Krissy just how serious the break was.
During these events I found so many things that showed me God’s Love, Compassion, Protection, and most of all His Grace. He protected me from death in the whole thing and from a more serious injury. His Protection was also evident in my phone being within reach and in perfect condition, and again when I saw my car and realized the phone should not have survived because it was under my car in a small pocket where the roof dented in. He showed me His Love and Compassion by sending a brother in Christ to be able to call Krissy and to then contact our church who sent many and many prayers. Lenny told me that night that the reason the siren were turned off was because they had to slow the traffic down from driving 70 mph pass the area. I found that was God’s Protection for others as He used my crash to allow the rescue teams to slow down and prevent others from crashing.
His Love and Compassion has been so great that 3 churches locally had been praying for me. That people I didn’t even know in any of these churches poured out their love and compassion to my family was greater than I have ever seen. I even had a church in China Lake praying for me.
What I found out the most of this whole event was the Grace of God was greater than I had ever understood before. Truly I don’t feel I ever really knew what His Grace was until December 12. But now I believe I truly understand it. There was no worldly reason or justification for me to be able to write this story. There is no worldly reason or justification that my injuries should be as they were. In truth, this last Christmas should not have been one of joy for my family. But due to God’s Grace I am here to spread to you the Love, Compassion, Protection, and Grace of the Lord. I know some will say that it was luck or simply not my time, but I will say that luck had nothing to do with my being alive today. Only God could provide the Grace of His Protection, Love, Compassion in such events.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colosians 2:6-8 (KJV)
Trust in the Lord your God and not that of the world. The world is full is sinful philosophies that remove you from the Lord and allow yourself to fall into the hands of the enemy. Learn the Word of the Lord and stop listening to the worldly views of those around you that justifiy sins as pleasure.