Decision time, put up or shut up!

This election year has been anything but normal to say the least. But normal after all, is not what we’re really after anyway.  We have become strangely obsessed with the idea that making history is far more important than making good decisions. We make the assumption that all history is good history. Unfortunately history proves otherwise. We only have to look into our nations not so distant past to determine that we have as a nation, made at times very bad decisions. Slavery for instance has not fared well according to history, of course those people that were making it at the time could care less about how history judged them. What they failed to consider was how future generations would be effected by it. Still to this day our government is issuing apologies and attempting to make whatever reparations they can in order to re-write the history. Sadly no matter what reparations we make, and no matter how many apologies we extend: The history remains.

We are at another crucial point in history and future generations will grade us not on our intent but on the effects of the decisions we make today, those effects will not be felt or known for years. With the recent attacks in Orlando, Trump has again re-issued his calls to halt immigration from places that are producing high numbers of radical Islamic followers. Likewise the president as well as the Democratic nominee are hinting again at greater gun control measures. There are certainly decisions that must be made. The question is: Are we asking the right questions? Is Islamic radicalization at fault? Are Guns at Fault? Was what happened in Orlando a hate crime based on sexual preference?

I don’t have the answer to these questions, what I know is that opinions are strong and often times divided. Even within the Church, the one institution that should be of one mind is split. On the issue of Islamic Immigration, which as of lately has perhaps been the most divisive in the church, we hear those that make arguments in favor of offering a safe haven for those that are attempting to escape this evil. While at the same time we hear equally valid arguments, asking instead for a temporary halt in order to ensure that proper screening methods are in place before the ban is lifted. Each side supports their argument with scripture. The former has the opinion that this provides opportunity for us to be thy neighbor, as Jesus might well say. That by allowing them entrance we have unhindered opportunities to share the gospel, whereas if they had remained in their homelands this task might have been left for those brave missionaries that are willing to act on their words when they sing “wherever he leads I’ll go”.  The latter says that even Jerusalem had a wall and its purpose was to keep the bad guys out.

Both are right and both are wrong. Again we are judged not on the intent but the effect.  For those that view this as an opportunity for outreach, thinking that this may provide countless opportunities to share the love of God with our enemy, I must ask this question: How often do you share this Gospel with those that are not your enemy? If the answer is rarely if ever, than it stands to reason the same will be true of your enemy. The effects then will be too great to bear for future generations, as without the Gospel there is no change of heart and in the end radical Islamic teachings will infect our population to an even greater extent. This will be our error and we will be judged by future generations on that alone. For the latter, I would ask: Does the danger that radical Islamic teaching poses to our society mitigate our responsibility to share the gospel or help our neighbor? The answer is a resounding no. If we are not willing to assist in other ways in order to show the love of God to a people in desperate need of this love; than can it be said of us “that we had not love for our brother” and therefore the love of God was not in us after all. When future generations look back and realize the vast numbers of people that were slaughtered at the hands of Radical Islamic followers; when those same generations are left caring for the orphans that have been created as a result: What will they say about us?

The simple answer is that whatever the government decides to do, we as servants of God have a responsibility to abide by that decision, so long as it does not prevent us from obeying God. How then do we obey God? We make disciples of all nations and this includes our own.  For us to defend a liberty we do not exercise is foolishness. Too many Christians are quick to defend their rights to exercise their faith, yet many of these same Christians have never actually exercised their faith. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, and start with America, we may need it far more than the middle east at this point. Our Love of God is measured by our obedience to his word. Why do you say that you love me when you do not obey my commands?

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