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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Christians & Illegal Aliens (VI)

In our last few issues, we have examined the papers/articles/speeches of Dr. J. Alan Thompson and Dr. David Moran, both of whom are members of the Presbyterian Church in America. In the course of those articles as well as comments on my blog site and various emails I’ve received, I’d like to end this discussion—for now—by directing our attention to some of the objections raised by Thompson, Moran, and others and providing answers to those objections.

The Difference between the Two Kingdoms
We understand that there is a difference between the manner in which we respond in the Church and in the State. I won’t mention the so-called “separation of church and state” clause that appears nowhere in our founding documents, but will simply make the observation that in the New Testament Church we no longer live in a theocracy as Israel did. That means that the State now has the power of the sword (cf. Rom. 13:1-7), the Church has the power of excommunication (Matt. 16:19; John 20:21-23; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:5-11), and that Christians are to obey to those God has placed in authority over them (1 Pet. 2:13-17).
This means that we have an obligation to live according to the laws of the land. We may not simply dismiss the “rule of law” in a cavalier manner. If we desire to change the laws, we must use lawful referenda to do so. I’ll discuss the question of our laws being immoral below. Suffice it to say here that while Christians may desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a very good thing, they cannot take matters into their own hands and encourage antinomianism based on a saccharine, trumped-up view of what the “loving” thing to do is. If a person is known to be in this country illegally, then they must be reported. All of Scripture must be brought to bear on making these ethical decisions and until our government requires us to violate on of God’s commands, we are to live a peaceful, obedient citizens.
A case in point is the abortion laws of this land. Are you in favor of them? I certainly am not. I think they’re detestable, horrible, and constitute murder. Should Roe v. Wade be repealed? Absolutely! The decision was made by an activist Supreme Court without a shred of Constitutional evidence for what they did. But does Roe v. Wade, as bad as it is, require women—Christian or otherwise—to get an abortion? No, it doesn’t. In the same way, our INS laws do not require us to violate the law of God. Therefore, until they are repealed Christians are obligated to obey them.

Political Parties Matter
I laughed when I read Jim Wallis’ book, God’s Politics. He started out by saying that he believed both Democrats and Republicans were both wrong and he was going to chart a course for us that would be, like FOX News, fair and balanced. Chapter after chapter revealed Wallis as the full-orbed liberal that he is.
We should understand that we are Christians first and foremost. I’ve always greatly appreciated the manner in which Olevianus and Ursinus worded Q/A 32 of the Heidelberg Catechism. After giving an explanation of Christ’s threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King in Q/A 31 they then ask this question: Why are you called a Christian? This is all the more interesting coming from a decidedly Reformed confessional statement. So we comprehend that we are Christians in the first place. Having said that, we are Christian placed within a particular country and social milieu. Within that context we are to live and to glorify God.
A proper understanding of the State reminds us that it is fallen and not neutral. Whatever the political party, they all strive for some kind of totalitarianism. Or, as one liberal professor of Ethics at the Free University of Amsterdam titled his book: Everything is Political but Politics isn’t Everything (Alles is politiek maar de politieke is niet alles.) It wasn’t much of a worthwhile read, but the title is nice—and contains a large element of truth.
Nevertheless, Christians choose a political party and often our choices have to do with pertinent, current ethical issues as well as our views of this country as a Republic. Therefore, I have chosen not to be a “Greenie,” Independent, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist, or Democrat. I am a Republican, but unless the border situation gets handled well and properly I will consider dropping my registration in the Republican Party and simply register as a Conservative.
When it comes to life issues, I am a Christian who is a Republican. I simply cannot and will not agree with the mainline, mainstream Democrat positions on abortion, stem-cell research, and the coming issue: euthanasia. I do not agree with the Democrat position on homosexual marriages/unions, gun laws and gun control, war in general, the war on terror, the war in Iraq/Afghanistan, torture, political correctness, their view towards our military and ROTC programs, taxes and tax cuts, the economy, multiculturalism, drilling for oil in ANWAR, in Colorado and Utah, in the Gulf of Mexico, or offshore drilling on both coasts, global warming, universal healthcare, welfare, the U.N., or illegal immigration. All of these—plus other—issues have made my choice a great deal easier.
No political party is perfect and any reader of my writings knows that I have been quite critical at times of the Republican Party as well as President Bush. That does not rule out, however, that when I look at the planks in other political party platforms I see a culture of death and living on someone else’s dime. I see a blatant, Neville Chamberlain-like naiveté about illegal and Third World immigration. Therefore, I have made my political choice for now.

Birth Rates & Family Values
A number of times people have correctly pointed out that the birth rate in the United States is dropping and will soon be below a zero growth rate margin. A number of European countries are already there. That is truly a cultural issue that demands to be addressed. Without a doubt, Americans must learn about how to raise children, suffer some hardships, and simply how to grow up and stop complaining that life isn’t always easy.
The solutions offered by Dr. Thompson, Dr. Moran in their papers/articles/speeches, and those who are like them is, however, in my estimation, worse than the disease. A number of very reliable statistics point clearly to the fact that by 2050—or sooner—the Muslims will be in the majority in Europe. That should be fun. The same is true of illegal Hispanics in the U.S. Both of the men cited above have praised the presence of illegals as a good thing; a blessing. I disagree.
First, I disagree because they are here illegally. You hate to have to keep on saying it, but when are we going to wake up and acknowledge that illegal means that they are criminals to be here that way?
Second, with a Social Security system that was a disaster from the outset, how do we expect to pay for all those illegal Hispanics and their children when they retire? Currently, the average American who retires has somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,200 in savings—total. Clearly, they will need everything Social Security can give them but with the drastic drop in the birth rate we will not replenish SS with the mere trickle of money that comes in from illegal immigrants and their children.
The Third World is another area where Thompson and Moran—and others like them—want the U.S. to do more. Here is a hard fact: If America took in 1 million immigrants from the Third World countries every year, it would not even begin to make a dent in the overwhelming birth rate problem that the Third World has. The solution is to send people there not bring more of them over here. Send missionaries; send entrepreneurs; send carpenters; and everyone else who can help, but do it right. I admit that I am not convinced that even these people can make a dent in the lifestyle of Third World people, but the missionary presence would be a good start. Mexico, for example, does not lack for natural resources. In fact, the country is quite rich in natural resources. They simply have not and will not develop what they have.
This is an enormous opportunity for us to train all kinds of men to go as missionaries to Third World countries, but if we are genuinely concerned about the lost, we might forego the luxuries of Laguna Beach for a Third World calling. Mission to North America and Mission to the World in the Presbyterian Church in America have some rather unique opportunities to send missionaries to those countries.
Surely MNA is aware that in the state of North Carolina the foreign-born and Hispanic populations grew over 390% and 540%, respectively, in the last 15 years. In Texas, the Hispanic population accounts for 34% of the total for that state. There is a task to go to them before they come to us illegally.

The Clinton Amnesty of 1996
As part of an attempt to get more Latino vote, on September 30, 1996, under the direction of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the INS swore in 1,045,000 new “Americans” as part of their amnesty program. Of that number, 80,000 had criminal records—6,300 for serious offenses. Since that time millions more have poured across our porous borders, some of whom are criminals, others of whom are drug traffickers, and still other of whom are members of the MS-13 gang.
One in ten babies born in the U.S. today is born into a family here illegally and automatically becomes an “anchor baby.” That is to say, they are instantly eligible for all the benefits of U.S. citizens and are made citizens by birth. Many—most—illegals know this and milk the system that way. They are here illegally therefore committing a crime; they have their children in an American hospital, and viola, perks for life.

Sending Illegals Back is Like Giving Jews to the Nazis
A couple of those who disagree with me liken sending an illegal Hispanic back to his or her country of origin as tantamount to turning a Jew over to the Nazis in the Second World War. This argument is so far a field that when I first saw it I didn’t take it seriously. Then I realized that it was meant to be serious. But when you stop, dissect it, and think about it (now there’s a novel idea!) you cannot help but realized that this is not a good analogy for some important reasons.
First, Hitler was involved in a pogrom to eradicate the Jews from the face of the earth. Today we call that ethnic cleansing. Jews were fleeing the attacks on their lives by the Third Reich. That is hardly the case with Vicente Fox. We are not talking ethnic cleansing here, although Buchanan makes a solid case for the fact that a large number of Mexicans believe that the entire Southwest is their and that America stole it from them (you know, like Bush stole the election from Gore and Frenchy Kerry) and would like to get rid of the gringo and take their land back. In fact, Fox is encouraging his people to come here and has even provided comic books of instructions on how to do it and how to find water.
Second, Fox will not kill the Mexicans returning to their homeland as Hitler was wanting to murder the Jews, handicapped, and non-Arians. Absurd. The only thing hiding Jews in the attic during WWII and hiding illegal aliens in our country is the hiding part. After that the analogies disappear.
What is latent in this argument, however, is disturbing to the nth degree. It is intimated that for America to deport these illegal aliens would be similar to the SS knocking on the doors of Corrie ten Boom’s home. This is sheer nonsense.

We Are a Melting Pot
One of the most egregious errors cited among those who disagree with me is the notion that America has always been a melting pot. That is simply not even close to being true. Samuel Huntington has clearly demonstrated that at the birth of our nation 80% of the population was of British origin. We might not like the statistics, but they give us an accurate reading. During the Potato Famine a large number of immigrants arrived from Ireland and the unrest in the country and the rise of the Know-Nothing Party is well chronicled by McPherson in Battle Cry for Freedom. From 1924-1960 immigration into America was almost at a standstill waiting for those who had immigrated here legally to become Americans.
Our current—seemingly kind-hearted—attitudes are bereft of historical backing. No nation—not even one as great as America—can continue to absorb large numbers of immigrants—legal or illegal—without dire consequences both immediately and down the road.
How will our PCA pastors integrate the legal Hispanic churches into mainstream PCA churches? The PCA has allowed the Korean PCA to be in existence for a number of years without requiring them to assimilate into the PCA proper. The net result is that many of these Korean churches still hold services exclusively in Korean and they tend to stay to themselves. They are in America, but are not yet of it. This is a sad undertaking. I served a Dutch immigrant congregation in Toronto for approximately ten years that struggled with something similar. The young people had Dutch last names, but rarely spoke much Dutch at all. They were Canadians. While their parents and grandparents tried desperately to hold on to the Dutch past, it simply was not to be.
What is needed is that both the Korean and Hispanic PCA members (and pastors) get assimilated into American PCA churches and culture as quickly as possible. It seems to me that to this point—and I really do hope that I am wrong here—there is little talk of assimilating either the Koreans or Hispanics into English-speaking PCA churches. To my way of thinking, this is simply wrong and wrongheaded. Is there a plan to do that? Does MNA see the value and necessity of getting these immigrants incorporated into the fabric of this country or is the intention simply to allow them to have their “own” congregations? If they do not assimilate themselves into American churches, we should also not expect them to integrate into our society. For them not to integrate into our established churches would be an egregious error with far reaching implications.

As much as I love my PCA brothers, Thompson and Moran, they are just wrong on this matter. Their papers are vague and poorly thought through. Nonetheless, I can imagine that those papers would appeal to a certain segment of the PCA today.
It would seem to me that in order to gain a more balanced approach to the topic of illegal immigration that we need more than trotting out some biblical texts that have little or nothing to do with the matter at hand.
In addition, I would suggest that every PCA pastor get a copy of Pat Buchanan’s State of Emergency. I’m not asking you to like the book or even agree with it. What I am asking is that you read it objectively and adjust your position as a citizen of this country accordingly.The Lord will provide many opportunities for us to witness his truth; the truth of the gospel. For our part, we must always encourage those in our country to be here legally and if they are not—even or especially if they are Christians—we must get them back to their country of origin. Why do I say especially Christians? Because of all people they should know better what the Lord demands of his people


Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

Hello 'Snake and all,

Why do religious leaders and followers so often participate in and support blatant evil?

History is replete with examples of religious leaders and followers advocating, supporting, and participating in blatant evil. Regardless of attempts to shift or deny blame, history clearly records the widespread crimes of Christianity. Whether we're talking about the abominations of the Inquisition, Crusades, the greed and genocide of colonizers, slavery in the Americas, or the Bush administration's recent deeds and results, Christianity has always spawned great evil. The deeds of many Muslims and the state of Israel are also prime examples.

The paradox of adherents who speak of peace and good deeds contrasted with leaders and willing cohorts knowingly using religion for evil keeps the cycle of violence spinning through time. Why does religion seem to represent good while always serving as a constant source of deception, conflict, and the chosen tool of great deceivers? The answer is simple. The combination of faith and religion is a strong delusion purposely designed to affect one's ability to reason clearly. Regardless of the current pope's duplicitous talk about reason, faith and religion are the opposite of truth, wisdom, and justice and completely incompatible with logic.

Religion, like politics and money, creates a spiritual, conceptual, and karmic endless loop. By their very nature, they always create opponents and losers which leads to a never ending cycle of losers striving to become winners again, ad infinitum. This purposeful logic trap always creates myriad sources of conflict and injustice, regardless of often-stated ideals, which are always diluted by ignorance and delusion. The only way to stop the cycle is to convert or kill off all opponents or to end the systems and concepts that drive it.

Think it through, would the Creator of all knowledge and wisdom insist that you remain ignorant by simply believing what you have been told by obviously duplicitous religious founders and leaders? Would a compassionate Creator want you to participate in a system that guarantees injustice and suffering to your fellow souls? Isn’t it far more likely that religion is a tool of greedy men seeking to profit from the ignorance of followers and the strife it constantly foments? When you mix religion with the equally destructive delusions of money and politics, injustice, chaos, and the profits they generate are guaranteed.



1:20 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Funny, I would say the same thing about atheism. Since the rise of Humanism the globe has been soaked with blood. In fact, the 20th century and its humanistic, relativistic mantras (is that anything like "karmic" or is that "komic?")was the bloodiest century in the history of the world.

5:24 PM  

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