Thursday, August 22, 2019

Lutherans Tape 9.5 Theses to Door of ICE Building

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

The namesake church of Martin Luther taped 9.5 theses to the door of the ICE building in Milwaukee this month, expressing their concerns for immigrants and refugees---much like Martin Luther expressed his to the Catholic Church.

Luther's position was clear---"The just shall live by faith."

The "concerns" of the ELCA are likely sincere, but some of them are confused.

Immigrant issues are complex and are dividing our country and our churches, but God is neither confused nor divided.

Be informed.

The Lutheran's response to illegal immigration.

More than 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Whittenberg, Germany, expressing his grievances with his Catholic Church.

Earlier this month, the mainline Protestant denomination bearing Luther's name---Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--- taped their 9.5 grievances regarding immigration to the door of the ICE building in Milwaukee.

The action was part of a prayer vigil for migrant children and their families.

It took place on the same day the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America declared itself a "sanctuary church body" signaling its support for immigrants.

Both of these actions came as a direct response to President Trump's policies at the southern border---and elsewhere.

Leaders and others expressed their frustrations, saying "it just keeps getting worse and worse."

The vigil was opened with a prayer by Bishop Paul Erickson, which began with, "To Jesus Christ, immigrant and savior."

About 570 of the church assembly signed up to march nearly a mile from the convention center to the ICE facility.

As they marched, they chanted, "This is what the Love of God looks like."

There is no question that God loves every person on this earth. And He loves immigrants. In fact, the abuse of immigrants is mentioned in II Chronicles where King Solomon focused on the "seven prayers for seven judgments."

I have been a guest speaker in several ELCA churches in recent years, and have a number of pastor friends in that denomination. There is a divide within the church over biblical marriage vs same-sex "marriage" that has caused churches to split over the issue.

The ELCA has more than 3.3 million members in the US and 9100 congregations.

I would suspect, not all ELCA churches agree with all that was said and done by the 927 voting members at their national assembly.

In biblical terms, marriage is very clear. It is only between a man and a woman.

Immigration issues are a bit more complex, but God is not divided nor is He confused on the matter.

God's position on immigration is clear.

Pastor Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastor's Network, addressed this issue recently---not in regard to the ELCA, but in a wider scope of all Protestant churches in America.

Rohrer says:
"Immigrants were once welcomed in America so they could know our God who is the Light, not used as political pawns; Yet caution is needed when immigrants are confused with 'strangers'."

Borders and immigration issues are sometimes complex issues for Christians, but we must be informed. Immigration will be a major issue in the 2020 presidential election and is always a critical issue in our accountability to God and His Word.

Some of the following are drawn from his comments. The balance is my own thoughts and convictions.

The abuse of immigrants is mentioned in II Chronicles, where King Solomon focuses on "seven prayers for seven judgments."

These are 7 warnings for nations that turn their backs on God. One of the signs of having turned one's back on God is the "abuse of immigrants."

From our nation's founding, we have welcomed the immigrant. In fact, the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty says in part,
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Our Founders spoke often of America as a shining city on a hill, a beacon of light, man's last best hope for freedom, etc., but today, immigration---particularly illegal immigration---has simply become a pawn in the political hands of the secular progressive Left.

Solomon saw the horrendous government injustice to the stranger and saw that it could tarnish the testimony of God.

Instead of pointing man to God, ungodly governments point man to a god of their own making. A false god. Government itself.

False moral and biblical arguments are many---abundant, from the pulpit---regarding the Christian view of immigration.

The moral component being cited by religious Left social justice leaders like Jim Wallis and his Sojourners organization, justify a nearly open-border policy, and they base that position on the biblical admonition to "welcome the stranger and sojourner." Then they couple this with the biblical command to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan, to turn the other cheek and to love your enemies.

We as Americans are known for our compassion for the poor and perhaps have set the highest standard in the history of civilization in giving to others from our abundance. That is the Christian way.

However, the Christian Left has twisted and bent Scripture to say what God has not said.

Wallis and others are misleading the Christian community. They are wrongly applying a command to the church and individuals to government public policy.

This is not only unbiblical and denies the clear teaching of Scripture, but it is also dangerous and threatens the very foundation of our system of civil government that permits the Church and individuals to freely fulfill what God has commanded.

Should the Church be concerned about helping the poor, the refugee? Absolutely.

But this command only applies to these two jurisdictions---Church and individuals, here in our nation, our own communities or our own neighbors. And yes, we are to reach out to the world in compassion, but the commandment is to believers---not the government.

Jehovah God,  the author of Moral Truth, and Jesus Christ, the Embodiment of Truth, never told any nation to open their arms unconditionally to the "stranger."

God never commanded any nation, including His own nation of Israel, to invite in the sworn enemies of God or those committed to the destruction of their system of moral and civil law.

God is not the author of confusion, nor is He the author lawlessness.

There is simply no moral obligation for government to do what is currently being done and advocated by the "sanctuary movement."

It is a violation of moral law to advocate or assist in bringing in those whose beliefs include a sworn commitment to kill us.

Open borders have created destructive chaos in our country. A spirit of lawlessness now prevails in many of our cities,

Sanctuary churches are undermining the rule of law, which is the cornerstone of a just society.

I have followed the "sanctuary" movement within the church for the past number of years. In every case, it leads to brazenly thumbing the nose at our national immigration laws.

Churches and church denominations that become "sanctuary," in nearly every case become a haven for some of the most dangerous criminals. I've followed the results from Portland and Seattle, to Tucson, Austin, Denver, Chicago, and the Catholic Church.

The "sanctuary movement" is an unholy alliance between church leaders, activists, and the open borders lobby that extends from the Vatican to the Rev. Jim Wallis to George Soros' tied Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). It's a web of nearly 100 interfaith committees, campus agitators, and churches all steeped in the tactics of Saul Alinsky and his community organizing.

If houses of worship become the front line of undermining law and order, our national sovereignty doesn't have a prayer.

I just wish the ELCA would not have chosen this path.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.