*If you are pro-life, why aren’t you fostering/adopting or supporting government programs which take care of the women who are having babies?
*If you are pro-life, why don’t you support the government bringing in refugee children from Syria?
These two questions have permeated social media and my thoughts over the past couple of weeks. I know many Believers who have decided to forego being on social media altogether out of their frustration with the mean-spirited attitudes that are so prevalent.
It’s often said there is no reason to share opinions on Facebook, because they don’t do anything to change minds.
I am evidence that is not true.
Am I a Hypocrite?
I have been reading the posts about Syrian refugees and the wall going up to keep out illegal immigrants along the U.S./Mexico border. I have been reading the mainstream news and the news that fits my worldview.
I knew I could not ignore the fear I was (or am) hypocritical or unchristian in my thinking. I do not want to settle for a convenient or self-seeking truth. I do not want to shape God in my image or have an American god who does not line up with the God of the Bible.
Christian Friends Across the Aisle
The best thing that happened to me during the past eight years of the Obama administration was I met true, sold-out Believers from the other side of the political aisle. I came to discover we agree on clear Scriptural matters, but disagree regarding our passions and what issues we feel are most urgent for our nation to address.
One friend desires understanding among races to be a top priority. Another friend is concerned climate change could bring devastation to the planet if environmental concerns are not addressed with tough regulations. Still another thinks the government needs to crack down on gun control.
Two Ways to Fix the World
What I have come to realize is (in general) my Christian friends who are Democrats and my friends who are Republicans do not differ regarding tenets of the faith. The marked difference comes in the basic roles of the government and the Church.
Stay with me now… We’ll get back to how this relates to immigration and pro-life movement in just a minute. I promise!
In the most basic sense Republicans desire small government while Democrats desire programs and government spending to address perceived problems. Abroad, Republicans are more likely to send in troops to deal with a brutal foreign leader at the source of a problem. Democrats are more likely to choose negotiation. These are the two parties painted with a wide brushstroke, but they show a difference of philosophy that runs deep.
Even more to the point a Republican Believer would say it is the role of Christians (and not the state) to use their funds to care for social ills. A Democrat would say government spending on programs is necessary.
Both would agree the American Church has failed in its clear Biblical mandate to care for the poor, the foreigner in our land, the widow and the orphan.
Proverbs 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. (ESV)
Matthew 25:35 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (Message)
Psalm 146:9 “The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” (NIV)
The Immigration Crisis:
A Republican, myself included, would assert a nation’s purpose is to protect its sovereignty, care for its legal citizens within its borders and uphold its laws.
Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, and applying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations.
Any threat to a nation’s sovereignty requires it to use whatever measure necessary to keep outside threats from coming in… including foreigners who do not go through proper channels to become legal citizens or foreigners who by ideology/nation of origin compromise national security. It is of upmost importance that any person coming to a new nation obey the law of the land. If someone comes illegally into the country they start their journey into the country by breaking the law.
I have been reading The Middle East for Dummies. It has been eye-opening for me to more clearly understand where the divisions between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims came from, other perspectives on the return of Israeli’s (God’s Chosen People) to their Biblical homeland in 1968. Personally, I had an excellent experience living side by side with Bosnian Muslim refugees who came to live in Waterloo, Iowa when we were there in the 1990s. I have also seen the ongoing hatred spread by extremist Muslims and the chaos that can come to an area when refugees resettle. Terror attacks planned and orchestrated by Muslim extremists continue at an alarming frequency. America is as a sovereign nation wise to extensively vet and limit those from countries have extremist connections. Some in the international community (video below) are speaking in Trump’s favor, wishing they had spoken out against resettlement earlier.
There is a distinction between what is best for this sovereign country and what God’s people should do for current illegal immigrants and refugees within our borders. Scripture is clear the church needs to without hesitation be the first to love on and provide for the basic needs of those within our midst.
For example, several years ago we were members of a church with a Spanish ministry. I learned many Hispanic locals often avoided church because they were afraid they could get turned in to authorities. This saddened me because I thought of how the sanctuary of a church is just that… A sanctuary. It’s a safe place to hear of Christ’s offer of eternal hope without questions of origin, or legal status.
Rethinking Roe v. Wade
As the author and creator of life, God is pro-life by definition. In Genesis we read about how God created man in his own image. In the Psalms David reminds us we were known even before our birth. As a Christian I know being pro-life is Biblically consistent, but what is the role of a government? In other words, if the primary role of a government is to ensure the safety of its citizens should it spend its time and money on what happens inside a woman’s body?
No, it’s a wasteful use of a sovereign nation’s money to spend it on birth control or the abortions of its citizens. At the same time I am second guessing whether there should be any law on the books at all regarding the legality of abortion, for or against. Such spending of time and money in the court system seems wasteful and outside the role of government. I’m torn because it does seem there should be laws on the books to protect the life of all citizens (at the beginning or end of life.)
Personally, current social media discourse has encouraged me to believe it should be the role of the Church to spend time and money to encourage life.
Christians, Adoption and the U.S. Foster care System
70 Kids… Give or Take a Few
My husband Drew grew up with 70-100 brothers and sisters. As a child in Colorado his parents were their county’s last hope emergency foster care home. Most babies, children or teens would stay just a few days. There were pregnant teen girls, angry boys and even screaming “crack babies” who came through their home for love and care. Eventually Drew’s family adopted one of the children, Bill. Bill came from an abusive foster home where he was horribly malnourished to the point he was losing his hair. Once Bill was loved, cared for, fed and rehabilitated at Drew’s home the state tried to take him away because he was now “adoptable.” It cost Drew’s family great amounts of time, effort and money to adopt this boy they’d grown to love. Drew’s family is a great example of love without boundaries. His family is also the reason we are hoping to one day become foster parents… but not now. We will become foster parents at a point when our biological children are not in the home to be physically, emotionally or sexually endangered.
Social media encouraged us to have this conversation. I am grateful!
Orphan Care… We’ll Take Them!
Are we willing to take the babies? Yes! We are taking the babies. Orphan care is huge in our churches and has been for the last decade. Nationally-respected pastors Rick Warren and Francis Chan have brought the needs of the orphan to the national spotlight as have ministries such as Focus on the Family and Family Life. In fact, there are not enough babies for the demand.
“Domestically, there has been a squeeze as well. While in the days before abortion was legalized or single parenthood accepted, many women with unexpected pregnancies relinquished for adoption, today that number has dropped to around 1 percent in some demographics. But the demand for adoptable infants didn’t fall with it…” –The Problem The Christian Adoption Movement, Huffington Post
It’s a true God-thing we as Christians are broadly opening our doors to little ones without homes. Hard-to-place children and teens are the next frontier for the Church. We have personal friends in Raleigh (below) who have done just that.
Boiling it All Down
Christians agree there are problems that need to be solved. Republican and Democratic Christians can disagree with how the problems should be solved, without bitterness and name calling which only hurts the witness of Jesus. Because I am pro-life and Republican, I need to take more personal responsibility for those who are hurting around me. I believe the local church and the Church universal need to take more responsibility for the welfare of the orphan, single moms, and immigrants in our midst. This is going to require me personally getting out of my comfort zone because I cannot simply expect my taxes to fix everything… nor should they. I can give to organizations I love such as World Vision, Compassion International and Samaritan’s Purse. Right now learning to love and getting to know those outside my comfort zone is where I think Jesus has me.