Friday, July 18, 2014

¿Qué haría Jesús?

Because I'm easily baited, and never afraid to be an easy target...

IF thousands of homeless, destitute, unskilled, "un-Jesused" people were fleeing a country in which daily they were plagued by war, sub-sub-standard or no medical care, poverty, persecution, and a murder rate that makes a certain American city's Fourth of July weekend look pedestrian, what would Jesus do?

Jesus would help them. It's just that simple. Here's a lesson from history:

About 2000 years ago, the Jewish population was looking for a hero. They read the prophecies; they knew the timing was right. And they were desperate. Once again, they were not free to populate their own land and carry on with their own affairs as they saw fit. Though they were not slaves in the sense they had been in Israel, they paid taxes to a corrupt government, and were subject to laws beside the ones their God had given them. These were God's Chosen, and yet, they feared deadly persecution, harassment, corruption of their children by Roman ways, and a general disrespect and disregard for all they honored and believed. Though they were on their home turf, they were "the Visitors."

God sent a Rescuer, a Redeemer, a Savior. I think you know the rest of the story. They collaborated with the Romans and others, to murder Him. This Savior did not want to release them from the bondage they recognized; this Redeemer wanted to release them from the bondage of their own making, the bondage in which their hearts were captive. They didn't want to hear it. "Do what we want. Do things the way we want it done. We want it all, and we want it now!" They were too selfish to realize that, even through the cruel death with which they sentenced Him, Jesus was saving them.

So, would Jesus help them? Absolutely. Would He help them cross the border illegally? Nope. Would He help them steal from someone else to gain what they want? Nope. Would He release them from a life of poverty and corruption so they could be happy? Yes, and no. Just like the Jews circa AD30, He would release them from the grip of poverty and corruption, without necessarily releasing them from the scenario.

Christian proselytes sit in jail cells all across the world. Are they behind the bars of a cell, but still free? Absolutely. Christians suffer everyday with cancer, ALS, physical disabilities, poverty, and abuse. Captives? Nope. Free, in a difficult situation? Yep. It's a crappy, broken world. If Jesus had released the Jews from Rome, what would they have gained? In a crappy, broken world, they would have simply lived until their next struggle tormented them and threw them into despair -- or coerced them into illegally crossing a border. Jesus' redemption yields far more than that -- the ability to live victoriously in a crappy, broken world because He has proven our lives are not only eternal, but so much more than this!

I'm not evading. I'm getting to it. If you are asking me, "What would Jesus do about the thousands of children streaming across America's unprotected borders, and therefore, what example should we follow?' my answer is this: We should be as compassionate as possible. We should be as Christlike as possible. We should take them in. We should offer our homes. But we have already proven -- with our "own children" -- that we cannot. will not. They should be processed, and subjected to our laws, and made to learn English, and pledge their allegiance, and pay taxes, and do all the things we Americans must do, and gain all the rights we Americans have. But we have already proven -- with our own citizens -- that only certain people pay taxes, and must know our language, and are subject to our laws, and have rights.

Luke 6:42 says,

" How can you think of saying, 'Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

This doesn't mean we have to be perfect before we help others -- that would be the opposite of what Jesus is instructing. In our imperfection, He uses us to help others who are just like us. But we cannot help someone addicted to alcohol if we, too are addicted. We cannot pay someone's way out of debt, if we, too are strapped to the hilt. Likewise, we cannot help these people out of corruption until we clean up our own. We cannot help these people out of poverty until we feed our own children.

What would Jesus do? Jesus can and would do it all -- He was perfect. No sin. No debt. No disabilities. But we are not Jesus. Heck, I'm not even sure we're a "Christian nation" anymore. And we can't emulate someone we don't even recognize.

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