Empathy and Evangelism in Days of Crisis, by Dalton Thomas

Empathy and Evangelism in Days of Crisis // Dalton Thomas from FAI on Vimeo.


Instead of allowing refugees to be portrayed as a threat to national security – a VERY secular, nationalistic approach; look from the vantage point of the Kingdom of God and the opportunities that are being created:

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him


9 thoughts on “Empathy and Evangelism in Days of Crisis, by Dalton Thomas

  1. “Persecution produced displacement of people, Displacement of people meant the scattering of believers…This is flipped on its head from what we are seeing now.”

    “Nobody hears about Jesus without hearing about Jesus….The greatest injustices that vex us, emotionally and intellectually and theologically, can be the catalyst for the sending of Apostle Paul’s down the road.””

    I’m listening to this again. Dalton pulls out a perspective here in Acts that I don’t think most Christians have really picked up on, me included. When I have some time I plan to transcribe the entire message.

    Not to get off track here, but a couple of years ago, I decided to read through the entire book of Acts one morning, without stopping. In the original manuscripts there were no verse/chapter divisions. So when you just read through the entire book it really has a very powerful impact. The Holy Spirit speaks so loud and clear. I was particularly struck by the powerful preaching of Stephen, and his subsequent martyrdom, particularly the account of when his murderers, who had had enough of listening to this native born Sabra, “rushed at him with one accord”, so strong was their hatred of him. They were united in that hatred. We are again seeing this sort of uncontrollable, united raging against the Lord and His anointed one. Psalm 2 is being acted out.

    Regarding Paul’s 14-year “absence” in Arabia, one of the brothers in Ohio said at one of the convocations with Reggie Kelly a couple years ago, ” I don’t think he was just sitting on his hands. I think we will see people groups in heaven that we’ve never even heard of before.” We need to consider this as God is maneuvering nations and ethnic groups to accomplish His purposes for eternity.

    Thanks for posting this, Tim.

  2. Jeanne,

    Thank YOU for bringing my attention to Dalton Thomas (and reminding me of the foolishness of jumping to conclusions as I did when you originally shared a link to the video about FAI and Mosul).

    I was thrilled to hear that perspective being given about displaced people and the gospel.
    I’ve thought for some time that the refugees pouring into the west was a God-given opportunity for them to hear the gospel, but sadly I’ve seen more Christians expressing concern about the Muslim’s effect on the west than recognising the opportunity for the Muslims to be changed by the gospel in the west.

    I think that is an area where nationalism (and maintaining the “integrity” of our nations) seems to be taking precedence over taking opportunities to share the gospel with people who have previously been denied it.

    Those verse and chapter divisions can create a real distraction to bible reading. The events around Stephen’s martyrdom are one case where chapter divisions REALLY jars the flow of the narrative:

    (Last verse Chapter 7)
    Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

    Chapter 8
    And Saul approved of their killing him.

    I’d REALLY like to get a good translation without those divisions. The best I’ve found so far is a TNIV (not my favourite translation, but it’s not too bad) that removes all chapter and verse divisions and also prints each book or letter in a more logical order. The letters are ordered (mostly) according to the date they were written rather than their length (which is the case in the majority of Bibles). I find having the letters in chronological order makes a lot more sense, it deals with issues in the same order that the church were facing them.

  3. Having the letters in chronological order (if known) certainly is a sensible way to organize the books.

    As for chapter and verse, I just ignore those (except if I’m trying to help someone find a story or line). And I am grateful that my favorite Bible, given to me many years (decades) ago has no headings [as opposed to one “earned” a couple years prior by memorizing Bible passages in first grade… which, along with attitudes of the people in that place, not to mention that it’s a different version, holds a different feel]. It gives literal alternative words in footnotes too, as well as notifications that some segments are not in all manuscripts.

    Yes, it would be an odd break, Tim, if someone were having say a traditional Bible study, looking at one chapter at a time. You’d come back from having learned about Steven — and then start with Paul approving of what had happened to him. But he hadn’t consulted later, like having found out about it or having heard the story himself (like the studiers had “heard” about it… sort of [although someone hearing of it back then would also be different from reading a very old recounting]). He was standing right there and had some clout.

  4. Through the inclusion of chapter and verses (as convenient as they can be at times) there has a grown a tendency to pick verses out of their intended context, as if the verse divisions give that excerpt of scripture a distinct meaning and significance of its own.

    Jeanne mentioned she took time to read all of Acts in one sitting – not something we can do all of the time, but I’ve found it very helpful (when possible) to read Bible books in that way. Or sometimes when driving on a long journey I’ve listened to a whole book using an audio bible.

    With some books, reading them in one sitting isn’t necessary – for example the prophets (many of which are too long to read in one go anyway). The “major” prophets don’t tend to tell one continuous story but contain collated prophecies given over many years.

  5. “(Last verse Chapter 7)
    Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
    Chapter 8
    And Saul approved of their killing him.”

    That’s a perfect example of the disruption of chapter divisions. I recently made an observation when reading Luke 4, where Jesus begins His ministry. He went to the synagogue in Nazareth, and in vs. 16-17 we read:

    “16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,”

    Jesus unrolled the scroll and “found the place where it was written”. There were no chapters and verses. Jesus “found the place” in the text. Imagine having to look for passages of Scripture without the chapters and divisions.

    I’ve had never heard of the TNIV version and will have to look for that.

    “Through the inclusion of chapter and verses (as convenient as they can be at times) there has a grown a tendency to pick verses out of their intended context, as if the verse divisions give that excerpt of scripture a distinct meaning and significance of its own.”

    Marlene, you are right about the tendency to read a few verses and thus not getting the proper context. I think it was Greg Koukl who said, “Never read a Bible verse”.

    As for reading a book all the way through, I just realized one day that I was not very familiar with the book of Acts and felt compelled to just read it in its entirety. I have read the Bible through in a year, but I found that reading 2-3 chapters in the OT, then a bit of the Psalms and Proverbs, and then a couple chapters in the NT, I tended to forget what I had read the day before. It works for some people, I suppose, and you can say you’ve read the entire Bible. But you haven’t really studied. Studying requires a more concentrated effort.

  6. I want to bring some other considerations into this topic. Here is one (another thread).


    Two responses under that thread, in the comments:

    a) I hope we’re not going to put them in detention; like longer than a couple months.

    b) The video available at this link isn’t working for me visually, but the sound is. And there is the article.

    “If implemented, this expansion in immigration detention would be the fastest and largest in our country’s history,” says Andrew ….


    The plans for the expansion reflect the Trump administration’s planned overhaul of U.S. policy for dealing [with] women and children seeking asylum, thousands of whom continue to show up at the southern border fleeing violence, vengeance and sexual assault in Central America.

    Under the plan under consideration, DHS would break from the current policy keeping families together. Instead, it would separate women and children after they’ve been detained – leaving mothers to choose between returning to their country of origin with their children, or being separated from their children while staying in detention to pursue their asylum claim.


    According to the meeting notes, [Asylum Division Chief John …] also told staffers that the division has to commit more resources to border detention facilities, that officials plan to oversee facility expansion and the opening of new facilities, and that the division is currently working with Congress to get additional funding to pay for the expansion.

    The plan, along with other changes made to immigration policy in the early days of the Trump administration, has caused controversy inside the Asylum Division of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is [within] DHS. A source inside the division, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of losing their job, said, “It’s been one alarming thing after another.”




    It was precisely such a massive expansion of privately[-]managed[*] immigrant detention that Wall Street investors appeared to anticipate when, upon Trump’s election victory, they sent the stock price of several private prison companies[…] surging as high as 60%.

    [* In other words, the functioning is contracted out for profit, not directly managed by government.
    There is also use of this kind of system for domestic incarceration, and it has been found corrupt.]

  7. I think this conversation gives glimpses of some insight. I know it’s long.


    In watching last night`s Super Bowl…
    we`ll talk about that, next.



    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to a brew a beer.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to St. Louis, son.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A beer for my friend, please.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, but next time, this is the beer we drink.
    (inaudible) Anheuser (inaudible) Busch.


    REID: That not so subtle Budweiser ad that ran during the Super Bowl
    highlighting the immigrant story behind the founding of Anheuser-Busch was
    one of many ads carrying what sure felt like political messages. Another
    ad focusing on immigration last night is from the company 84 Lumber
    showing a mother and daughter on what appears to be an arduous journey to

    The first cut of that ad, which depicted a massive border wall standing in
    their way did not air last night. It was rejected by Fox for being too,
    quote, political. Well, here is the part of the ad that did air.


    REID: Sorry. The part that did not air is what you just saw. The ad, as
    you can see, ends with the family spotting a huge door in the wall and pushing
    it open. Then [the ad] cuts to a man driving with tools and lumber in the back of his
    truck with a tagline that reads, “the will to succeed is always welcome here.”

    And joining me now is Ali Velshi, chief business correspondent for NBC News
    and Maria Hinojosa, anchor and executive producer of NPR`s Latino USA.

    Thank you both for being here.

    Maria, I`ve got to ask you, because last night, as you started to see the
    anger sort of building up on Twitter again particularly […] ad and the
    Budweiser ad, when did these sort of basic American ideas of immigration
    and the plucky will to succeed become a political statement against the
    American president?

    MARIA HINOJOSA, NPR: Yeah, well, you know, when did we think this was going to
    happen […] because immigration is the story of America unless you were brought
    here as a slave {or were already here, native}. But I think that for me it felt very
    manipulative. I think that`s kind of what I`m coming away from.

    And especially if you put those two ads back to back.

    But particularly the ad about the journey of the young woman and her child.

    So I watched it during the Super – well, no, I didn`t – I taped it and
    watched but I happened to stop on that ad. I watched it, this part that
    you`re seeing here. And I was really taken by the love between the
    daughter and the mother. I found it beautiful, and I found the
    cinematography beautiful. And I was like, oh my god, there`s a humanizing
    here. What`s going to happen? And of course then it cut off. And I didn`t
    see the rest of it until this afternoon when I knew I was going to be coming here.

    REID: Right.

    HINOJOSA: And I was really upset and angry. I felt so manipulated by
    this, because it`s the normalization of a wall. So the wall exists. It`s
    already built. It`s normalized. And then to normalize something that is
    completely not true.
    The notion that there is a door, that there will ever
    be a door in that wall, that kind of hope. And I feel like it`s preying on people`s
    emotions, that it`s like, oh, you`ll feel for that mother and that child.

    REID: Right.

    HINOJOSA: But in the end, door didn`t open for you and so sorry. Open for
    them because I guess god made it open.

    ALI VELSHI, NBC NEWS: So ironically, the CEO – I`ve been in this business
    for 24 years. I`ve been covering business. I`ve never heard of 84 Lumber
    in my life. It`s probably now the best known lumber company in the world.

    REID: Sure.

    VELSHI: The CEO of that company was a Trump supporter. The story was
    about the door. So, Maria`s reaction is actually correct.

    HINOJOSA: That`s fascinating.

    VELSHI: All of those who were mad at it, the Trump supporters who didn`t
    like the Anheuser-Busch, there was boycott Busch hashtag and all of those
    who didn`t like the 84 Lumber ad, the 84 Lumber Ad was somebody who wanted
    to focus on Donald Trump saying, there`s going to be a big, beautiful, huge
    door in that wall.

    HINOJOSA: Oh, my goodness.

    VELSHI: That`s what that is about. That is a Trump supporter saying we
    need the wall, but we need the door.

    REID: That`s the first time that I`ve heard that, honestly, because all of
    the talk we`ve heard about this ad has been that it was…

    VELSHI: Overtly political and aimed at Trump.

    REID: Right, that it was a thumb in the eye of Donald Trump, but this is
    the first time I`m hearing the other side of the story.

    VELSHI: So, remember that Coca-Cola ad last night is an old ad, it`s from
    2014. And when it ran in 2014, virtually nobody thought it was political,
    some people did. But virtually nobody did.

    There were some people in 2014 angered by the idea of an American patriotic
    song being sung by different voices and different languages, but in my
    opinion those are the people who go home and kick their puppies.

    So that wasn`t political on that level. Coke probably said we don`t want
    to get crazy political this time, so we`re going to run an old ad. But
    even that has overtones of…

    HINOJOSA: It just – again, it begins to feel so manipulative. The ad
    with Anheuser-Busch of
    the immigrant who is coming from Germany and it`s just like he experiences
    one moment where somebody says, we don`t like your kind here.

    VELSHI: You don`t look like you`re from around here.

    HINOJOSA: OK, and then suddenly…

    VELSHI: Life is great. And he`s like – and they are like welcome, come
    through the door. And here`s a beer for you, by the way.

    VELSHI: But it`s not – you feel manipulated because we`ve probably seen a
    thousand ads like this in our history, right, this celebration of the
    immigrant culture that is America.

    REID: But here`s the question.

    HINOSA: The white guy makes it, the Latina woman and her child, the door
    opens because of god.

    REID: Yeah.

    But, you know, I have to ask you this question, because the thing that I
    saw a lot of people tweeting last night was this idea that the companies
    that advertised in the Super Bowl made this
    conscious decision to not advertise to red America, which is sort of the
    opposite of what you guys are talking about.

    But what do you make of that, that people are saying that seems like a
    business decision to advertise only to blue America.

    VELSHI: I`ve heard that a lot today. I don`t buy it. If you`re Bud, if
    you`re Anheuser-Busch, why would you do that? That`s just a bad political
    decision. If you`re AirBnB, I entirely understand that decision and I
    think that`s what they did.

    REID: But they are also apologizing for their own behavior.

    VELSHI: Right. Right.


    VELSHI: But they know where their audience sort of is. They`re also a
    tech company, they`re west coast-based. They know that`s where they have
    to go.


    In the case of 84 Lumber, it seems a lot of the motivation was that they`re
    in the lumber business where they`ve got a shortage of labor and they`re
    trying to get young, conscious people to say, hey, I like this company.
    It`s got a good image.

    HINOJOSA: I`ll take it one step further, if anybody in Latin America was
    watching that ad, they are thinking, I want to work for that company. I
    think I`ll go take that trek because they actually…

    VELSHI: We can get New York that`s restaurants and things like that….

    HINOJOSA: They depend on undocumented immigrant labor to make the lumber
    that we all – they are invisible. You never see them anywhere, because
    they are in the back woods working on lumber. I think this was a ploy to
    say, come over.
    We want your work.

    REID: And you what`s amazing? I think you might have had to have lived in
    some place like Florida to know just how dependent the building and
    construction industry is dependent on undocumented immigrant labor, low
    paid in many cases undocumented immigrant labor.

    Thank you very much for that. Ali Velshi and Maria Hinojosa, wow. Thank
    you very much for joining us. And that is All In for this evening.
    … Good evening … and
    happy Monday.


    {I haven’t included a link for video of the beer commercial and the German (Busch).}

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