“For I Was a Stranger” debate: “lawbreakers”

By Dave Leach – Before we dismiss any rights due immigrants because “they’re lawbreakers”, we need to care if the laws they violate are valid, which God has a say in.

God’s opinion appears to matter, even to those who say it doesn’t. Suggest to Christians that Matthew 25:43-46’s warnings of Hell for those who won’t “receive” immigrants might have some application to Christians demanding further restrictions on legal immigration today, and apathetic Christians become nearly conscious, until they mutter “but they’re lawbreakers” and nod off again.

This is Part 2 of a series. Part 1, the introduction, explains how it all started.

After a New York pastor’s op-ed in Time Magazine that concluded with an appeal to “help” immigrants which sort of alluded to Matthew 25 but didn’t cite it or mention Hell, blogger Doug Giles went ballistic about the pastor’s supposed threat that anyone opposing “amnesty” will go to Hell.

Here’s a dialog with Sandra Lee Smith; there are several people with that name so these posts are still relatively anonymous. First I posted:

ME: This is so ironic because just last night I posted an article asking what this pastor “suggested”, except I didn’t just “suggest” that Matthew 25 is a warning for all of us, or that “stranger” translates “immigrant”. cafeconlecherepublicans.com, “Can a restrictionist go to Heaven?” What a surprise to learn I am not alone in raising this question. In my Bible study at StrangerProject.pdf I explain the significance of the plural of the “higher powers” in Romans 13:1, (raising the question which must we obey when they conflict), and how this generation has turned upside down the meaning of the phrase “rule of law” since our Founders used it, and since Rutherford coined it. I also compare the promise of Luke 6:38 with the claims of economists (the Center for Immigration Studies has no economist on staff) to show God is not stupid to say we will enjoy the same economic blessings, or deprivation of opportunity, that we extend to immigrants. I marvel that anyone could read Matthew 25:39-46 and consider himself exempt!

SANDRALEESMITH46: The DIFFERENCE is CRIMINALITY! God never, at any time or in any way sanctions CRIME (sin); nor does He advocate the rewarding thereof! These are NOT mere “travellers”; they are law-breaking invaders! Where no law exists, no crime is committed, but the border laws have LONG existed, and either the kids or those who sent/brought them KNOW that! You do not develop doctrine or dogma on a verse or passage OUT of the context of the WHOLE of the Word! In this instance, your focus is too narrow and your premise, therefore, incorrect! 7:49 p.m., Friday July 11

ME: One might argue that Matthew 25 need not concern us because the Bible isn’t the Word of God anyway. But for those of us who acknowledge that it is, don’t you think Jesus’ principle applies to everybody who must decide whether to welcome, or drive away, any outsider of any kind? Don’t you think “everybody” includes the people who enact our laws that define who is a criminal? In America, don’t you think the people who are ultimately responsible for our laws are “we the people” – America’s voters? So don’t you think the Judgment of which Jesus speaks awaits voters who enact laws which criminalize working hard when they do it but not when we do it, for no reason supported in the Bible? See www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/StrangerProject.pdf.

When these “laws” of ours violate our own Constitution, are they valid laws? Are people who violate unconstitutional laws “criminals”? See www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/Deportation-Brief.pdf.

When we insist on immigration laws which benefit nobody, which destroy our economy precisely as much as they destroy the economic opportunities of immigrants, which trash any control we have over our borders, which send our factories abroad, and which destroy our freedom at the root with a burst dam of government surveillance, are we smart? See www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/ImmigrationSolution.pdf.

God has shown us how to have a win-win solution, which will benefit citizens and immigrants equally – the kind of solution God would think of.

ME: Can “belief” in Jesus, said in many familiar verses to save, exist in the same heart that spurs actions which defy Jesus? James 2:14-26 says “no”. If you have an interpretation of “accepting Jesus” that conflicts with Matthew 25:39-46, you should adjust your interpretation. I have certainly been taught by churches, all my life, that “accepting Jesus into your heart” makes you judgment-proof, and I have been taught a very undemanding understanding of “accepting Jesus”. But there are costs. There are conditions. Several of those conditions are listed in Matthew 25. This is a serious warning, demanding more than seems possible, No one is exempt from its demands.\

SANDRALEESMITH46: You’re misapplying Matt 25! It doesn’t apply to criminals!

ME: One might argue that Matthew 25 need not concern us because the Bible isn’t the Word of God anyway. But for those of us who acknowledge that it is, don’t you think Jesus’ principle applies to everybody who must decide whether to welcome, or drive away, any outsider of any kind? Don’t you think “everybody” includes the people who enact our laws that define who is a criminal?

In America, don’t you think the people who are ultimately responsible for our laws are “we the people” – America’s voters? So don’t you think the Judgment of which Jesus speaks awaits voters who enact laws which criminalize working hard when they do it but not when we do it, for no reason supported in the Bible? See www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/StrangerProject.pdf.

When these “laws” of ours violate our own Constitution, are they valid laws? Are people who violate unconstitutional laws “criminals”? See www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/Deportation-Brief.pdf.

When we insist on immigration laws which benefit nobody, which destroy our economy precisely as much as they destroy the economic opportunities of immigrants, which trash any control we have over our borders, which send our factories abroad, and which destroy our freedom at the root with a burst dam of government surveillance, are we smart? See www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/ImmigrationSolution.pdf.

God has shown us how to have a win-win solution, which will benefit citizens and immigrants equally – the kind of solution God would think of.

SANDRALEESMITH46, responding to OnTheRightInTampa: Allegedly, yes, but the bulk of institutions currently wearing that label [church] are following/preaching/teaching a “different gospel and Jesus” , led by a “different spirit” (see Mt 24), than those presented in the Bible, and that’s where the dichotomy come in. Those who KNOW and FOLLOW God’s Word understand Justice must be satisfied by repentance of sins BEFORE the mercy of salvation by redemption through grace is extended to any, and that rewarding law-breaking does NOT fit that at all. Jesus was not so “warm-fuzzy” as most seek to portray Him these days. His response to a similar bunch, in character to our border-crashers, is demonstrated clearly. There were money changers in the Temple, whom He declared had made it a “den of thieves” (which is in fact the reason these illegals are all in the US: to STEAL from us), and He took up a scourge, a particularly nasty kind of multi-tailed whip, with which to drive the thieves out! That’s the Jesus of the Bible as much as the Forgiving Redeemer. Those money changers were as unrepentant as our invaders are! And therein lies the rub: no repentance, no forgiveness!

SANDRALEESMITH46: Jesus would more likely equate these UNREPENTANT LAWBREAKERS with the Pharisees. You really nee to STOP focusing on only that passage and see the Word as a WHOLE, so where that passage actually FITS into the whole! Rewarding lawbreakers is NOT how God operates! IF they repent, they can be saved but not escape the consequences of breaking the law; when they DON’T repent, as is the case with ALL these illegals demanding amnesty now, there IS no forgiveness/redemption/salvation! These are here to steal/destroy/kill only! Your duty is to the Body first, to your family and then your homeland and her citizens, even in God’s view! Did not David slay Goliath? Did not Israel bring down the walls of Jericho? Find out WHY God directed these things, and please STOP pushing this Sa tanic distortion/lie of God’s Word as if you know His mind! 6:22 p.m., Sunday July 13

ME: America’s founders were inspired by William Blackstone, who famously said “This law of nature, being co-equal with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original. )William Blackstone Commentaries 41. http://www.sullivan-county.com/deism/blackstone.htm Therefore when Matthew 25:43-46 conflicts with the absolutely dysfunctional laws which we uninformed Christian voters have tolerated through our apathy, Acts 5:29 calls us to decide whether “we ought to obey God rather than man.” As the ultimate authors of our own laws, we need to discuss how our laws might be made a blessing for citizens and immigrants alike, and stop foreclosing discussion by dismissing the victims of our “invalid” laws as “lawbreakers” ineligible for any “forgiveness/redemption/salvation” from God, much less any mercy from us, because “ALL these illegals…are here to steal/destroy/kill only!”

If you are curious about more Scriptures that guide me, check out www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/StrangerProject.pdf for an overview. Or http://saltshaker.us/HispanicHope/Stranger-Bible-Study.htm for a study of 190 verses about immigration. Or http://www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/StrangerInBibleDictionaries.pdffor a study of what Bible dictionaries and Hebrew and Greek lexicons say about God’s words for “immigrant”.

My confidence that you and I can, to some degree, “know His mind”, is based on my trust in God to be smart enough to write clearly. It is my lifelong experience that disagreement between Christians about the meaning of Scripture, except for the truly complicated issues, is caused by unwillingness to complete a dialog way before our actual capacity for dialog is exhausted. Then we have this astonishing promise:

1 Corinthians 2:12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words. 14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, and he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

SANDRALEESMITH46: You need to put Matthew on a shelf and grab Webster’s unabridged! Your premise is WRONG because you’re NOT GETTING these are NOT IMMIGRANTS or migrants, or refugees these are ILLEGAL INVADERS here to steal and kill and destroy YOUR HOME! Now, if you’re personally cool with that, have at it, but what about your kids or grandkids, or your neighbors’? Not only have these people no right here, they pose an existential threat to this entire nation fiscally, medically and culturally! Do you HONESTLY believe Jesus, or Justice Blackstone either one would aree with that?

ME: What words do you advise me to look up in Webster’s? If the Bible is not an authority accepted by you, what is? What is the source of your information that “ALL” undocumented immigrants come to steal, kill, and destroy, and that they are a threat to our nation “fiscally, medically and culturally”?

ME: (later) You told “on the right in Tampa” that churches are misrepresenting the Bible, and you quoted Matthew 24 to make your case. So it seems you do honor parts of the Bible. But why Matthew 24 and not Matthew 25? Why dust off Matthew 24 and put Matthew 25 “on the shelf”?

Restrictionists (who want to further restrict legal immigration) usually cite CIS and FAIR for their claims of the economic impact of immigration, but their pessimistic “research” is not produced by economists. Actual economists paint a positive picture. But even if their research were sound, Luke 6:38 and many like passages promise, or warn, that we will enjoy the same economic blessings, or deprivation of opportunity, that we extend to immigrants.

Who do you believe? If you don’t even believe God, who will you believe? These men who aren’t even economists? And yet not even CIS or FAIR insist that “ALL”, or even most, undocumented immigrants come here “only to kill, steal, and destroy”. So I really am curious where you have heard such ideas.

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Discuss: ““For I Was a Stranger” debate: “lawbreakers””

  1. July 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    You’re a very patient man, Dave.

    Posted by Bruce J. Martin

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  1. “For I Was a Stranger” debate #3: Proofobia | Cafe Con Leche Republicans - July 21, 2014

    […] is the rest of my interaction with Sandra Lee Smith. The first portion was #2 of this series, about the label “lawbreakers” applied to those for whom our laws have made obedience […]

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