[Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.

If you had an hour to spend, which do you think Jesus would be pleased with… (choose all that apply)

1. Helping immigrants learn how to shop at Wal-Mart and being ready to give an answer if asked of the hope that lies within
16
20%
2. Holding signs along the road that are obviously aimed at disagreeing with “Caesar’s” executive order and then posting pictures on Facebook and thereby “lobbying” against the King as Supreme.
4
5%
3. Writing a letter to Caesar appealing to him to be more thoughtful of others when he makes his decrees, and to show greater respect to his team, so that thousands of people do not need to stay up all night trying to deal with the consequences.
8
10%
4. Getting together with other Christians and praying about how to help some immigrants.
19
24%
5. Writing a letter to Caesar about the hope that lies within and explaining how those who have the love of Jesus have a peace inside that does not make them fear death like the world does and makes them glad to share their possessions and opportunities with the less fortunate.
8
10%
6. Other. Write in this thread.
9
11%
7. Encouraging other Christians to think about what a Christlike response should be.
16
20%
 
Total votes: 80

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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:45 pm

appleman2006 wrote:But can we expect a worldly Kingdom to act like Christ's Kingdom. Is not our real calling to win over citizens to God's Kingdom rather than expect a worldly system to become a theocracy? I appreciate the ambassador analogy. I am simply not sure the exact parallel can be made to a modern day ambassador. We are called to win over citizens as I see it. We are not called to try and change the laws of the country we are living in. Come to think of it that is not a modern day ambassador's job either.


The word is ambassador.

We cannot expect a worldly Kingdom to act like Christ's Kingdom. Neither can an American ambassador expect Syria to act like America. But he can try to persuade Syria to act in ways that promote stability and protect minorities. He may not always succeed, but he can try.

We can try to persuade Trump to act in ways that protect refugees and promote world peace. He cares a lot about his evangelical base. We need to clearly say that he is not doing this in our name. And to many, all over the world, the United States represents the Christian world. We need to let people know what we stand for.
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appleman2006
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby appleman2006 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:57 pm

Yes. Well something tells me that right now "Christians" of all political stripes are failing miserably on all counts in those regards as far as I am concerned.
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby PeterG » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:01 pm

appleman2006 wrote:So in all of this discussion I think I must be missing something. My comments here are not primarily directed at those of you that feel it is right and proper to be politically active. While I do not understand how a person can claim he is against war and all violence and still hold political office in a country where your president's chief role is chief commander of the troops I leave that dilemma to you and for another time.
My confusion and question has more to do with those of you that feel you are totally from a separate Kingdom. You do not see our country as Christian. You recognize it as a totally separate Kingdom.
And yet I have heard numerous ones of you as well as people in my real life take a vigorous position on border issues and decry your government's present stance on immigration as decidedly unchristian. Well duh. Since when did we start to demand that our government act in a Christian way? Why is it even our calling to do that? We cannot have it both ways. If it is not our Kingdom and we feel so strongly about that that we do not even vote why do we feel it is our calling to ask the government to suddenly work as a theocracy?
As I see it borders are simply a tool that governments use to attempt to keep a level of law and order. It is as much a tool as prisons, armies, guns, police officers, and the list goes on.
I am not saying it is a good tool or an effective tool but is that even for us to say?
Frankly if I believed it was my duty to tell the government to act in a Christian way or even if I believed that were possible I would be running for office tomorrow.
But I do not see it that way. I see my duty to use every opportunity that is given me to help my neighbours and I use that word in it's broadest sense. As a Christian we should not have borders necessarily. We should work within the laws of our country to help those around us and we should take every opportunity to help those outside of our country wherever we can. Perhaps in extreme cases there may even be times where we have to break the laws of a country to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our neighbours but we also then be ready to accept the consequences.
There. Thanks for letting me let off a bit of steam. I will be the first to admit that I can get my two kingdom theology mixed up a bit at times but some of the stuff I have been hearing the last few days just makes no sense to me.

Correct me if I'm wrong, appleman, but in this post you seem to acknowledge that the immigration/refugee policies under discussion are unchristian. I'm not sure if you were thinking of me when you wrote this (not that it matters either way), but that's all I've tried to say in my posts in this thread. I would not have found it necessary to post here in the way that I have if I hadn't felt that some people were saying that the policies in question—or, more importantly, the structures and attitudes that underlie them—are or could be compatible with the way of Jesus. I don't think I've advocated any political action. I've expressed my great discomfort with anything that could be associated with political protest, on this or any other issue.

We need to find ways of walking in the flesh without warring after the flesh (2 Cor. 10), which must include identifying and facing wrong/sin/evil without resorting to carnal weapons. This is obviously a great challenge, and I doubt that I meet it as successfully as I'd like to think that I do.
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby MaxPC » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:53 pm

appleman2006 wrote:Yes. Well something tells me that right now "Christians" of all political stripes are failing miserably on all counts in those regards as far as I am concerned.

Amen and amen. :hug:
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:05 pm

PeterG wrote:I would not have found it necessary to post here in the way that I have if I hadn't felt that some people were saying that the policies in question—or, more importantly, the structures and attitudes that underlie them—are or could be compatible with the way of Jesus. I don't think I've advocated any political action. I've expressed my great discomfort with anything that could be associated with political protest, on this or any other issue.

We need to find ways of walking in the flesh without warring after the flesh (2 Cor. 10), which must include identifying and facing wrong/sin/evil without resorting to carnal weapons. This is obviously a great challenge, and I doubt that I meet it as successfully as I'd like to think that I do.


I like the way you put that. What guidelines would you suggest?
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JimFoxvog
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby JimFoxvog » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:16 pm

I'd like to briefly address the broader question here, how can we who belong to another kingdom and know the worldly nations are evil address them?

I see the Biblical prophets doing this regularly. John the baptist spoke out against the king's sexual immorality. I believe there are basic principals of morality that we can expect most people to know are right, even if they don't follow them. God has a purpose for kings and such, and we can urge them to follow it.

While being a Christian isn't primarily about being good,
I hope our speaking words of truth draws people to Christ.
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby Wade » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:32 pm

JimFoxvog wrote:I'd like to briefly address the broader question here, how can we who belong to another kingdom and know the worldly nations are evil address them?

I see the Biblical prophets doing this regularly. John the baptist spoke out against the king's sexual immorality. I believe there are basic principals of morality that we can expect most people to know are right, even if they don't follow them. God has a purpose for kings and such, and we can urge them to follow it.

While being a Christian isn't primarily about being good,
I hope our speaking words of truth draws people to Christ.


I'm always a bit confused when people use Matthew 5:16 in reference to talking or preaching? Light doesn't talk. It shines. Or at least I think that would fit the context better with the reference to "good works"...
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:12 am

Wade wrote:I'm always a bit confused when people use Matthew 5:16 in reference to talking or preaching? Light doesn't talk. It shines. Or at least I think that would fit the context better with the reference to "good works"...


That's one reason I like to see churches actively engage in helping refugees face to face, showing love concretely instead of just talking about political issues.

I don't think Jesus spent much time preaching against the authorities, but he did intervene to keep an adulteress from being stoned to death, and he did witness to the authorities. We also see that in Acts, where Paul even invoked his Roman citizenship to continue his ministry.

Preaching to each other is another story. Christians have always cared about refugees, and we should. Can we all be in prayer for the sake of the refugees who have been denied entry? I think every Christian should stand before God in prayer and ask, "who am I called to serve"? It's so easy to spend our lives loving only ourselves and our families and friends - even the Pharisees do that.

I also think it's good to share facts about refugees, how they are screened, what their lives look like now, how many other countries are caring for, how few of them come to America, how they are screened, etc. If Christians are talking about these things, we should inform ourselves with accurate information.
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Wayne in Maine
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby Wayne in Maine » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:26 am

JimFoxvog wrote:I'd like to briefly address the broader question here, how can we who belong to another kingdom and know the worldly nations are evil address them?

I see the Biblical prophets doing this regularly. John the baptist spoke out against the king's sexual immorality. I believe there are basic principals of morality that we can expect most people to know are right, even if they don't follow them. God has a purpose for kings and such, and we can urge them to follow it.

While being a Christian isn't primarily about being good, I hope our speaking words of truth draws people to Christ.


I think this is an important issue, and one I have wrestled with over the years. Part of the issue is that the demands Jesus puts on us as members of His kingdom are totally impractical for a politically and territorially defined nation to put into practice. In a real sense, followers of Jesus form a community that is under a covenant with God who is our ruler, provider and our protector – while we continue in obedience and subjugation to Him. A territorial nation that will not subjugate themselves to Him do not have the benefit, or the obligations of the covenant.

On one level there are obvious and perhaps universal laws that benefit all people and nations to adhere to. Murder is the perfect example - if a government is indiscriminately murdering people it is appropriate to speak prophetically against it. If a ruler does not speak truthfully or steals from his people, then it’s not inappropriate for anyone to speak against it. This of course becomes more ambiguous with other matters like abortion, divorce or homosexuality. There are grey areas.

On the other hand, the “hard” commands of Christ, such as requiring His followers to give to whoever asks or even to love one's enemy, cannot really be expected of non-Christian citizens of a nation. We can call for those citizens to become part of God’s Kingdom which abides by those rules, but we cannot impose them on those who refuse to join us. This is especially true if imposing those commands requires the state to create laws, for by doing so we are expecting the state to use the sword to impose the ethics of the Kingdom of God on its citizens.

In the immigration and refugee debate, we cannot expect the American people to open their borders unconditionally to any and all who want to live in this country, not to open the treasury to support them, even if we, as Christians, are obliged to forgive seventy-times-seven or let people take advantage of us. Welcoming the foreigner and stranger is an obligation to God’s nation – America is not ancient Israel under the rule of the Law and the Prophets. I do not think it is the place of followers of Jesus to condemn a nation for making rules about whom it will allow into its territory. And I don’t think the prophetic voice that can condemn murder or decry destructive immorality can be applied to border controls or immigration limitations.
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Re: [Poll] A Christlike Response to Trump's Border Security Orders

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:02 am

Wayne in Maine wrote:On one level there are obvious and perhaps universal laws that benefit all people and nations to adhere to. Murder is the perfect example - if a government is indiscriminately murdering people it is appropriate to speak prophetically against it. If a ruler does not speak truthfully or steals from his people, then it’s not inappropriate for anyone to speak against it. This of course becomes more ambiguous with other matters like abortion, divorce or homosexuality. There are grey areas.


I agree with this general approach, and appreciate your thoughtful post.

The Bible gives some examples of things that other governments - not just Israel - are accountable for, and these are helpful guidelines. For instance, here is what Daniel prophesied to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:

Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”


And here is God telling us why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed in Ezekiel 16:

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.


I do think that kings and nations are accountable for how they treat the poor and oppressed. Not just Israel. I also agree that no nation is the Kingdom of God, and no nation will live like the Kingdom of God.

Wayne in Maine wrote:On the other hand, the “hard” commands of Christ, such as requiring His followers to give to whoever asks or even to love one's enemy, cannot really be expected of non-Christian citizens of a nation. We can call for those citizens to become part of God’s Kingdom which abides by those rules, but we cannot impose them on those who refuse to join us. This is especially true if imposing those commands requires the state to create laws, for by doing so we are expecting the state to use the sword to impose the ethics of the Kingdom of God on its citizens.


Yes, but when other nations put us to shame by their generosity, and consider caring for refugees a universal obligation, that's not an extraordinary thing that only radical disciples of Jesus would do. This is the kind of thing that good governments do everywhere. And even some not-so-good governments.

Wayne in Maine wrote:In the immigration and refugee debate, we cannot expect the American people to open their borders unconditionally to any and all who want to live in this country, not to open the treasury to support them, even if we, as Christians, are obliged to forgive seventy-times-seven or let people take advantage of us.


And nobody does expect that. We are talking about a program that admits a tiny fraction of refugees after careful vetting that takes years. We are asking the United States to continue supporting many, many fewer refugees than so many poorer nations do. Yes, these people start out on government assistance, but if we save babies from abortion, many of them will be on government assistance too.

Wayne in Maine wrote:Welcoming the foreigner and stranger is an obligation to God’s nation – America is not ancient Israel under the rule of the Law and the Prophets. I do not think it is the place of followers of Jesus to condemn a nation for making rules about whom it will allow into its territory. And I don’t think the prophetic voice that can condemn murder or decry destructive immorality can be applied to border controls or immigration limitations.


Most countries believe that they have some obligation to victims of war and catastrophes in other countries. Perhaps a nation with many Christians living in it can do as well as nations that do not have Christians. Perhaps Christians will be at least as willing to open our wallets, even if it involves paying taxes. We're willing to pay taxes to fight wars, and many of these people are victims of wars we started or fostered.

I don't think we are here to condemn nations, but to plead for the poor and oppressed and helpless. For the same reason that we want to protect unborn children from being murdered, we should also want to protect innocent victims of war and terror.
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