Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Different Take on Refugees

Picture by UNHCR

There’s a strange phenomenon taking place in our nation. Mention the word refugees and all of a sudden there are strong opinions from both sides of the argument. But that is oversimplifying the situation. It feels like we’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone where certain thoughts and ideas are coming from camps we thought we knew with many twists and illogical conclusions.

It’s no mystery where our president lands on his take over the refugees. He’s been expressing his views quite clearly over the years when it comes to the immigration debates. What does seem shocking is how extreme he allows his views to take him and how far he’s willing to sacrifice himself in the arena of public opinion to get there.

Where it gets bizarre is where some of the other opinions are coming from. It’s interesting to see how even in the political arena certain Democrats are siding with Republicans by saying that the President needs to do more to protect the country in vetting the refugees before allowing them to come into the country. Then there are Christians speaking out saying that it’s unchristian-like not to accept the refugees no matter the level of danger it places the country in.

But it’s not just the position certain people take on the issue that’s entirely surprising. It’s the explanations behind their views that seem to take on bizarre twists. For example, Donald Trump has apparently come out and said he would like to implement a database system for Muslims in this country. And Fox News host Shepard Smith labels people “political extremists” for objecting to Syrian refugees coming to this country. Then from unlikely sources, someone like Dianne Feinstein, an extreme liberal in her own right, cautions people about admitting Syrian refugees.

Those are only a few examples of some of the viewpoints coming from unlikely sources. There seems to be a lot of emotion tied into all sides of the debate. Some of it may be because there is a real fear of danger regarding terrorism that is gripping the world. Other feelings arise out of compassion for a people going through so much because of a civil war that has killed so many in the homeland of Syria.

But before we all act out of impulse or before we begin labeling people as either extreme, heartless, or radical, maybe we all should take a step back and breathe. There has to be a way to debate this issue without attacking each other and resulting to insults and name calling when people oppose their point of view.

In one of the more honest opinions that I’ve read regarding this subject, Matt Walsh takes an honest approach in just acknowledging there are valid opinions from all sides. Far from name calling, in a well-written and articulate article, Walsh debates the issue from the different points of view. He doesn’t pretend to be an expert in the subject and he says as much. But from my perspective, he has one of the more intelligent responses to this issue. It’s a good read for any who truly wants to open their mind and explore what others think about the refugees.

Although I agree with Walsh on much of what he says, I have to disagree on one point he makes. He argues that “the refugees probably aren’t terrorists”. Okay, I know he said “probably”. But he does go on to say that “over 850,000 refugees [have been] admitted into the United States in the last 15 years or so” and that “[none] of them have ever perpetrated attacks against this country”. He makes a valid point with a logical conclusion. However, in dealing with Muslims I personally do not believe we should be na├»ve in recognizing the potential danger of this population’s ideology. Logic, in a large degree, goes out the window when there is a religion that is steeped in violence and when that violence is masqueraded with lies and deception.

It is my opinion that there is more to the refugee problem than what meets the eye. In what appears to be a long-term strategy among the Muslim leaders is to overwhelm the enemy with numbers. It is irrelevant at this point that the Muslims are to some extent a fractured religion of different sects. There is an ultimate goal among them to follow a Caliphate that will unite all Muslims, “from all origins, nations, and ethnicities”. What is concerning about this idea is that certain pieces are falling in place for them to achieve this goal. If one were to look at how Muslims are populating the planet and are being strategically placed throughout the countries, it’s possible to see that if a Caliphate does occur the rest of the world is in grave danger.

But the danger of Muslim domination isn’t the real purpose of this post. The danger is, rather, a means to an end and a way for me to discuss what may actually be taking place in the world today. First let me say that I am by no means an expert in any of these matters. I am merely suggesting a hypothetical scenario that may have far-reaching implications. As another disclaimer, I am a Christian still trying to learn and understand Scripture as best as I can. I am not a pastor, elder, leader, or theologian. Many of these Christian leaders may have a different take on what I am suggesting.

In my opinion, it is possible that God is allowing the Muslims to immigrate to the United States for the purpose of disciplining us. And let’s be clear. When I’m referring to God, I’m speaking about God, the Author of life, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Savior of mankind that is of the Scriptures. The main distinction is who Christians believe Jesus was and is. Jesus died for the sins of the world and was raised again from the dead and ascended into heaven and given all authority in heaven and earth. He is the Son of God and He is God.

However, when I mention God it is not Allah that is often translated as God from the Arabic language. Make no mistake, Allah is a false god from a false religion. It is not my intent to be offensive but any other god that is not Jehovah God of the Judeo-Christian faith is not real and should be called out as such.

Now back to my main point. Could it be that God is allowing conditions to exist that ultimately bring about the disciplining of America? Could God be using President Obama to bring the refugees to the U.S. despite all the objections and opposition of many citizens? I believe there have been events, whether natural or man-made disasters, that were designed to be wake-up calls. What do I mean by this? Consider Israel.

First, let’s look at Israel as an example in the Bible. What caused God to be angry at Israel to send them into captivity to Babylon? Israel sinned against God and didn’t heed His warnings when He sent prophets to warn them of the impending disaster. God gave them ample opportunity to turn back to Him and they didn’t. Worse yet, they seemed to harden their hearts even further against God. Israel was the chosen nation that was to be God’s people and time and time again they rebelled and God would need to discipline them. Ultimately, enough was enough and God gave them over to captivity.

But what was Israel’s sin? What was the offense that made God angry? Were they involved in oppressing other nations? Were they accumulating wealth and ignoring the poor? The sin that was most offensive to God was turning their backs on Him and worshiping false gods and idols. God’s relationship with His people is so critical that the first 3 commandments deal directly with this idea. The first is that you shouldn’t have any other gods before Him. The second is that you shouldn’t make any graven image as an object of worship. And the third is to not take God’s name in vain. Israel’s sin was grievous to God and because they refused to repent and love Him with all of their hearts, He dealt with them the only way He could. He sent them into captivity.

The interesting part of the captivity is who God used as the means of His disciplining instrument. Of course that was Babylon. But who was Babylon back in those days? Babylon was a symbol of the evil in the world. And where was it located? It was a city located near current day Baghdad in Iraq. Isn’t it interesting Babylon’s beginnings involve the Islamic religion?

Fast forward to current day events. We have transitioned from the Old Testament days of the people of Israel to the New Testament days of the Christian Church. In Christianity, we see God’s chosen people as those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And now we see persecution of God’s people being ramped up in our culture just as they have endured consistently in the past.

What is different today is that there is a country called the United States. For years the people of this country have been blessed by God primarily because of their relationship to Him. The early founding fathers built this country on the basis of Judeo-Christian values. It was ingrained in the thinking of that day so much so that even non-Christians saw the value of Christian values as provided in Scripture. This is not to say the early settlers were all godly men and women and Christian principles were adhered to in every circumstance. Obviously that was not the case as the United States erred in many areas including slavery, suppression of women, and the slaughter of the Native Americans.

The one thing that made America unique and great, and perhaps blessed by God as a result, was a majority of people who would humble their hearts and acknowledge their dependency on Him. They recognized their need for Him in their lives. They worshipped Him, they made God a priority in their lives, and they spread the Gospel message for a world to come to know Him and be saved by Him. But again, this is not to suggest Americans didn’t make any mistakes. They made plenty. However, because people had a relationship with God and didn’t turn their backs on Him, God showed great grace and mercy despite the mistakes they made.

But the days of God’s forgiveness and mercy may be coming to an end for America. The Bible talks about how God is a patient God and how He is long-suffering. But for years and decades, the United States has been in a moral downward spiral. On a whole, the country has been turning its back on God and has declared themselves a people that want to be free of His presence and influence. In other words, they are hardening their hearts against God in much the same way Israel once did. And unfortunately, God may be on the verge of giving us exactly what we have been asking for.

Consider what we have been doing here in this country. We have been sacrificing unborn babies on the altar of self and convenience. We have ignored God’s prescription for marriage and redefined it according to our own depraved ways. We have kicked God out of school and in many areas of government. And more and more, non-Christians are finding new ways to make business and life difficult for Christians to live in in this country. Even on the altar of tolerance and political correctness, we find people opposing God and pushing out the mention of His Name in traditions that are intended to recognize and celebrate His Name. Christmas anyone?

Moral depravity is increasing in our culture. Life is becoming devalued. Good is now being called evil and evil is now being called good. As more and more people are turning their backs on God and refusing to surrender to Him and acknowledge their need for Him, the closer this nation is coming to the point of no return. Maybe God has already given our warnings. Maybe God has already sent his prophets to turn our hearts back to Him. Maybe God’s anger has already been kindled and maybe judgment is at hand.

We all have had moments of clarity when we recognized our need for God. Remember 9/11? What about Katrina? What about the several school shootings over the years? Is God allowing events to happen to get our attention? Is He trying to get us to turn back to Him, repent from our sins, and get us to ask for forgiveness so He can heal our land?

Like God did with Israel, maybe God is using the refugees and immigrants as a means to an end. It wouldn’t be surprising if one day the Muslims achieve their goal of a Caliphate and all Muslims from all sects band together. If Muslims have already been brought up with the teachings of the Koran and the influence of the Muslim culture, how much of a stretch is it to believe they could all come together as one to bring down America? Maybe the United States being defeated and taken over by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or some other terrorist group is exactly God’s way of disciplining America for turning their backs to Him.

What if?