06
Feb
17

Nationalism and Rejecting Ripe Fruit.


Sometime in the early 1980s, I recall seeing an episode of a Jimmy Swaggert TV broadcast in which he spoke about the rise of antichrist and a one world government. The thing that MOST struck me at the time, and has remained in my memory, is that his main fear about antichrist and his government was that the US would lose its sovereignty as a nation.

That US-centric concern is clearly not an isolated opinion of a televangelist who was soon to be disgraced by the exposure of his sexual infidelities. And it is not a mindset now faded into the history of US evangelicalism.
The revering of nationhood and national sovereignty continues today among evangelicals, (not only in the USA), at the expense of the work of the gospel, and the risk of misrepresenting the heart of God.

And here is an example. I’m REALLY finding it difficult to find the slightest trace of the heart of God reflected in the following:

For the price of settling a thousand disgruntled Muslim refugees in the (despised) West, Trump knows that you could settle 120,000 Muslims in “safe places” in the Middle East, establishing comfortable homes and safe, temporary communities in places much closer and much more agreeable to the refugees, saving the West millions of dollars ,countless rapes and murderers of its own citizenship and the serious destabilization of our once blessed nations.

https://billrandles.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/it-is-amazing-what-you-can-do-when-you-are-not-owned-by-the-saudis/

It’s quite painful to even think of addressing this in detail, but here are a few objectionable points:

1) “Disgruntled Muslim refugees” –

I think having one’s who life ripped apart, family members killed, homes and livelihoods destroyed, would take a person far beyond “disgruntled. More like desperate. Devastated. Destitute.

2) Settle Muslims in “safe places” in the middle east, establishing comfortable homes…etc.

Didn’t they HAVE “safe places” “comfortable homes” in the Middle East – until the area was destabilised by Western military involvement?

3) “communities…much more agreeable to the refugees”

Much more agreeable in nations where access to the gospel is severely limited? Much more agreeable to keeping them separate from the gospel?

4)”saving the West millions of dollars”

Now THAT seems to be closer to the real heart of the issue.

5) “saving the West …countless rapes and murderers of its own citizenship and the serious destabilization of our once blessed nations.

What are the comparative figures between “home grown” rapes and murders and those alleged to have been carried out by refugees? That statement seems much more like fear-mongering than anything with the slightest relationship to truth. Trying to stir fear is NOT the work of Jesus who many times commanded his followers to “fear not”.
The latter part of the statement reflects the REAL agenda of those who see these views as valid. The real agenda relates to “our once blessed nations”. It does NOT relate to the Kingdom of God and God’s agenda – it does NOT relate to improving the chances of bringing more people (Muslim refugees) into the Kingdom of God, by welcoming them, loving them, and giving them an increased access to the gospel of Jesus Christ at a time when they have most reason to be disillusioned with their traditional religious background.

I am about half way through a book about the rapid growth of house churches in Iran – a growth due to an increasing number of Iranians leaving Islam to follow Jesus.
The author looks at the history of the past 40 years to show how successive corrupt Islamic regimes helped damage the religious foundations of many people’s lives. Through the teachings and actions of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and later President Ahmadinejad, both of whom claimed to have Allah’s approval to carry out his will in Iran, many had their eyes opened enough to question the kind of god at the heart of a religion represented by those men.

Already by 2005 many were rejecting Iran’s religion because of what had happened in Iran as a result of Khomeinism. Now a new generation was presented with its child, Ahmadinejadism. Again they were being asked to make a decision about their national religion. And again many decided that since Ahmadinejadism belonged to Islam, they were unable to equate this with God. The shadow between the rhetoric and the reality was too dark. Hence the impact of Ahmadinejadism on Iran was to widen the wound that already existed between her people and her religion”

(Too Many to Jail, Mark Bradley)

In this is a caution that Christians can heed – the dangers of aligning themselves to political movements and candidates, especially those displaying characteristics clearly divorced from any degree of Godliness.

The book later details how an increasing number of those disillusioned by Islam were drawn to recognise Jesus, becoming His followers despite the institutionalised threat of persecution, jail, or in extreme cases murder. This was made possible through an encounter with the real gospel and with committed Christians showing them the love of Christ.. willing to take risks to welcome the newcomers into their homes and lives – despite the risks of potential betrayal.

Now consider again the quote near the beginning of this article related to Muslim refugees. What kind of Christian witness is given in that quote and in its attitude to the refugees?

In an earlier post I asked whether [ Western] evangelicalism was so weak that it can’t cope with an influx of foreign refugees ripe for the gospel and suggested that the truth is that [Western] evangelicalism has NO gospel to preach to them. It has been replaced by a form of religious nationalism.

The quote above ends with a statement about Muslim refugees causing “serious destabilization of our once blessed nations”.

More than ever, I’m increasingly seeing that the assumed blessings Western nations have experienced (that the above writer clearly wants to maintain) are in fact the thorns and weeds that choke out the fruitful of the word of God in our lives.

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16 Responses to “Nationalism and Rejecting Ripe Fruit.”


  1. 1 Marleen
    February 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Trump voter’s family deported: https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=oX2J8E4MjJk

    I don’t generally tune in to this media outlet, and I didn’t advocate voting for Hillary. I think it’s important to discuss issues and outcomes and habits of thinking. This family has a Christian background.

  2. February 9, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Marleen, I tried to access that video on youtube but it didn’t work.

  3. 3 Marleen
    February 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Hmm. It works when I link to it from your site. I forgot I wanted to mention that the main speaker (besides audio from the woman who is upset about family member being deported back to Damascus) says early on in the video (about 1:50) that people thought Trump was “a wild card” who wouldn’t do the crazy things he said — but that he’s doing almost everything and is going to do more. Then, near the end (about 6:50), it is said that he doesn’t do the things you would think because he’s only exploiting middle-class concerns. These are both true-ish (but without careful full articulation). He’s doing outlandish things people said he probably wouldn’t do. But he’s not doing things like draining “the swamp” — but is doing so much that he complained about.

    In hope the video will start functioning for you. It’s interesting to hear the Syrian woman’s voice. Apparently she’s been living here for quite a while. And her family members who were sent away had visas. She says we want to be safe but that we have to care about people. But the host points out this is a guy who made it clear (with the exception of occasional diversions) that he doesn’t much care about people. So you’re the exception? That’s a question for a lot of people. If people don’t matter, what about you?

    I haven’t been able to access some items you’ve shared too. I really hope you’ll get access to this video; I don’t know what would be going wrong or being difficult. The host says what I’ve shared a little bit differently. And, like I said, the affected women* is recorded.

    * Not someone who had to go back but who’s family members were sent back.
    Who knows. Maybe, if she took a trip, she wouldn’t be allowed back in.

  4. 4 Marleen
    February 9, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I know some of the things you share require an app, and the app isn’t available for
    the device I’m using. But I’m not aware there’s ever an app or anything like that for YouTube.

  5. February 9, 2017 at 10:52 am

    It’s still not working for me. I’m being directed to youtube with some kind of catalogue of available videos (some of which are clearly videos I’ve viewed in the past, others seem to be “suggested” videos covering similar topics as those I’ve viewed).

    Is there a video title that I could use to do a search? Or the name of the youtube member who uploaded the video?

  6. 6 Marleen
    February 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Sorry about the typos I didn’t get out of my 10:34 (I have a plural in one spot messed up and a singular in another messed up, and “In” instead of “I” at the beginning of a sentence). Anyway…

    Here is what I can give you in hopes of finding the video.

    Trump Voter’s Family Deported
    The Young Turks
    509,612 views
    12K1K

  7. February 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I did a search with the words “Syria deport” and found about four different versions of what seem to be videos covering the same story.

    “Syrian Family who watched their relatives get Deported admit they voted for Donald Trump Great!”

    “Trump Voter’s Family Deported”

    “Trump supporter’s family gets deported”

    and

    “Syrian Family who voted for Trump gets deported!! “

  8. February 9, 2017 at 11:48 am

    How long before Trump rejects his own nominee for the Supreme court?

    Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has called the president’s attacks on the judiciary “disheartening” after Mr Trump went after the appeals court considering his travel ban.

    Neil Gorsuch has only just been nominated for the court, but defended the federal judges that have become targets of Mr Trump’s ire.

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-dismisses-travel-ban-135238690.html

  9. 10 Marleen
    February 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Trump seems to be a nonsensical person. I listened to the judges and attorneys (in the consideration of whether or not to lift the stay on the ban). The questions and discussion were interesting. I suppose he has a different definition of “political” — his something like that intelligent and thoughtful means political.

    (And, apparently, to him, that’s bad. I’ve met people who are angry when they have to think.)

  10. 11 Marleen
    February 10, 2017 at 5:06 am

    I noticed, when Donald put forward Gorsuch, in an event that was observed as more professional and clean than Trump usually shows himself capable of, something most people didn’t see.

    After Gorsuch gave his speech, he turned to shake the president’s hand. Trump took his hand, but then yanked Gorsuch’s hand and arm roughly toward himself in sudden, repeated non-cordial displays.

  11. 13 Marleen
    February 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I noticed, when Donald put forward Gorsuch — in an event that was observed as more professional and clean than Trump usually shows himself capable of — something most people didn’t see:

    After Gorsuch gave his speech, he turned to shake the president’s hand. Trump took his hand, but then yanked Gorsuch’s hand and arm roughly toward himself in sudden, repeated non-cordial displays.

    I’m returning to what I said earlier to add. The pulling of the arm (by Trump during what was supposed to be a polite handshake) went all the way through the judge’s shoulder. The judge’s body, then, was yanked into the situation — like I said, in non-rhythmic repetition. His whole body was twisted, including his head.

  12. February 14, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Donald Trump’s handshake: never has such a strong grip looked so weak.

    Why can’t Donald Trump just shake hands like a regular person? Instead of the simple clutch of palms that humans have used for ages to demonstrate friendship, Trump jerks and pulls hard on people’s arms, almost knocking them off balance.

    [Trump’s] clumsy leadership style seems oriented around the goal of convincing us that the United States is on the brink of every kind of collapse imaginable – except for climate change, which obviously is a “hoax”.

    Complete article here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/13/donald-trumps-handshake-strong-grip-weak


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