Today, I found myself filled with thought, and melancholy as I considered the current state of affairs in the United States. I have heard so many say there is nothing to fear--and for me, as a Christian, there isn't. I know that God reigns. But, I certainly understand (and empathize with people who have) the fears and concerns of minorities like me, immigrants, and young people who have taken to protesting in the streets. And, if I read the Gospels correctly, and believe that Jesus meant exactly what He said, that leaves me in a conundrum as I consider how I could possibly vote with only what's best for "ME" in mind, or solely on one or two issues. So much of the rhetoric of this 2016 campaign has been about "me" and "us" and not about others, that frankly, I'm repulsed. It would seem that many of us went into it looking for a president to rescue us from our economic woes, and much more without consideration for "the widow, the orphan and the stranger among you". Throughout Scripture--including the Old Testament, God has always called on His children to be different in our care and concern for one another--and for the stranger(code word: immigrant) and others. Even the Ten Commandments teach us to guard our behavior not only to God, but six of the ten are in reference to others. The "New Commandment" (Matthew 22:37-40) really makes it plain. "Love your neighbor as yourself." We are all neighbors.
As a matter of fact, all of us are immigrants, and have been almost since time began--when Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden of Eden, they became immigrants somewhere east of there homeland. Abraham was a stranger (Gen. 12:1, 23), so were Jacob, Joseph and ALL of the Israelites. Will we treat today's "strangers" like the Amalekites did the Israelites? Or will we behave toward our brother as Cain did? By the way, if you aren't Native American, you are an immigrant, too, so stop with the ownership attitude. America doesn't belong to any one group of people.
Those are issues that I wrestle with as I make choices socially and politically. I am a firm proponent of separation of church and state (to protect my religious freedoms as much as to protect your right to worship as you choose); in all things, I am shaped by my relationship with Jesus Christ and must always be modeling my life after His. In attempting to be Christlike, it isn't my goal to seek political leaders who will attempt to legislate righteousness--not even to protect the unborn or to keep gay people from marrying. Jesus never went after the Roman government to change anything--in fact, He simply said, "Render unto Caesar, what belongs to Caesar...". He did however, go after the religious elites who looked down on others.
Every precious, unborn baby is in God's providential care--He knows them and He formed them, and just as I will be resurrected from dust (if I see the grave), so will He bring every part of their little bodies together--and we "will not prevent them which are asleep" (1 Thessalonians 4:15). Awful things happen to people, but there is purpose in it--even when we can't explain it or understand it. Reversing Roe V. Wade is not the answer, being a living witness is. A reversal of that decision will cause more death and devastation. Remember? And, how is it that we are so quick to deny the woman who can't see any way to care for a child the right to terminate her pregnancy, and vehemently oppose food stamps and government programs to feed the poor? We cannot have it both ways.
Now, as I consider further the harsh criticism of the protesters, I have to ask what right does anyone have to question their right or motive to protest peacefully? Their fears are justified, in my opinion. President-Elect Trump built a campaign on some pretty scary speech--not what the media told us he said--but what we heard him say, at rallies. And, then he chooses Breitbart co-founder Steve Bannon as his 2nd right hand man. That combination makes people extremely afraid--not necessarily because of President-Elect Trump, but the appearance of this cabinet has the potential to empower and unleash some very nasty hate acts (even the Bible says, "shun the very appearance of evil"). In fact, it already has--toward Latinos, and Muslim-Americans. It's a mob mentality thing--as more and more incidents spring up, it will become increasingly "okay" to do it. And, many who think such things are horrific today, won't bat an eyelash a year or two from now. God's Word declared it best: "It's the little foxes that spoil the vineyard". And there is something extremely offensive about telling people what they should and shouldn't be offended about. Offenders don't get to determine the offense, they just don't. Until you have been called "N_____" multiple times in your life simply because of your skin color, you can't tell me how I should feel about racism or understand when I am seeing "little foxes" that you may not recognize as easily. Because of past experiences, minorities are more acutely aware of certain pending dangers and threats. Please don't be dismissive.
Lastly, there are those who say, that those who didn't vote for President-Elect Trump are just "cry-babies" and "are just bitter". Really? I remember eight years ago, as most of us, were celebrating the election of the first African-American president, many of you were cursing him and his election--praying against him, for his demise and downfall. In fact, on the night of his inauguration, a group of men (including John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Frank Luntz (the organizer), Tom Coburn and others filled a room at a Washington steakhouse to strategize how they could oppose the new President. They decided that no matter what he brought before them--even if they supported it, they would block it. And, they did just that--even shutting down the government. And they called him a tyrant who wouldn't bend, while Democrats were angry with him for trying to please these men intent on destroying him. I call that evil. They were willing to sacrifice the American people to make a president they didn't like, look bad. Now, we have a new President-Elect not chosen by the majority of Americans, but by a largely Republican Electoral College, making decisions that are threatening to large groups of the population (by causing an empowerment in white nationalist groups and hate-mongers) and many of you think that's just sour grapes. Understand this, racism happens everyday, and we live with it--we have had to learn ways of adapting and coping with overt and the not-so-blatant forms. That's one thing, and that's bad, but a threat to civil rights is yet another.
Frankly, it doesn't look good. I'm just glad that I know Jesus..."Even so, come Lord Jesus!"
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
#sheeporgoatsyouchoose2016 #lovereallydoestrumphate #walkintheirshoes