HAVING been assailed by news in recent weeks concerning the plight of children and youth who are detained at the U.S. southern border, I have considered the right task of the church in the matter. The path that we take as a Christian church working across the globe, and specifically within these United States, carries great import for the future of all humanity.
Within the context of this modern world, we find it no recent news that Christianity is under severe attack. Headlines of atrocities committed in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, North Korea, China and elsewhere, give evidence that the church is now assailed by the minions of both Muslim terrorism, religious pantheism, and assorted atheistic powers. Amid this assault, the church finds itself with a gross lack of foresight. We certainly see that in this great nation, wherein the church is assailed by noxious powers that would slay our young (see my previous comments in http://motorsage.blogspot.com/2013/04/infant-mortality-for-gain.html), we have denominations that pay insurance claims for abortions amongst clergy families. We hear also from many persons how unborn children of select minorities are targeted by the sinful travesties of Planned Parenthood. We see headlines that such as the Presbyterian (PCUSA) recently voted to withhold medical assistance from those infants born alive though abortion was attempted. These trends caution me to thus believe with halted shudder, that we of the church forsake the righteousness of God. We embrace the progressive liberalities of murderous population control.
Surely we may glean scriptural record to find that our God did indeed slay sinful men, women and even children during the establishment and corrections of ancient Israel. And certainly we find yet such natural events as earthquake, famine and flood take the lives of many children or leave them as orphaned, while we question the power of God to divert disaster. We lamely, but rightly counter, that God being God… is yet laying righteous judgment upon a sinful world.
But, consider this! As part of a sinful world yet saved by grace through Christ, we of the church are called in scripture to work for the good of our neighbor. Out task is to assist in the preservation of life though proclamation of the Word, even unto eternity.
It is with this foundation that I call the church to assist the children that have immigrated into this great land. We need realize that “yes”, the government powers may contain persons who allowed their passing across the southern borders for ulterior motive. We may also hear the call of those who say publically that this land does not have inexhaustible resources. These claim that we have not the ability, nor responsibility… to care for the world’s destitute and endangered children. But as a churchman, I refer you to my Lord and his actions…
And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. (Mark 10:13–16)
Thus we find ourselves greatly disturbed by our inaction within the church. Are we not called to do as our Lord? Yes, our action may flow against the popular opinion of errant church and state! But did not the Lord who stated such warmth for little children stand firmly against the powers of the temple and the political forces of his earthly days? Yes, they crucified him, but he rose again.
If nothing else, consider the prophetic possibilities that we Christians in the U.S. shall need the veracity of these young ones. First, we set ourselves to raise these immigrant Latino children in the faith, thus working toward completing the commission which our Lord had already given (see Matthew 28:18). Second, we may find that we shall one day consider the children as a God-given resource. A future may unfold that they stand with us over against terror or war brought about by a radical Muslim caliphate now being sown in the Middle East. We need remember that the survival of the people and message of God has often depended upon a remnant. Those, such as I am of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), need to hear the foundational words of Luther against those who would neglect these young…
“Therefore, I beg all of you, my dear sirs and friends, for the sake of God and poor young people, not to treat this matter as lightly as many do, who fail to realize what the ruler of this world [John 14:30] is up to. For it is a grave and important matter, and one which is of vital concern both to Christ and the world at large, that we take steps to help the youth. By so doing we will be taking steps to help also ourselves and everybody else. Bear in mind that such insidious, subtle, and crafty attacks of the devil must be met with great Christian determination. My dear sirs, if we have to spend such large sums every year on guns, roads, bridges, dams, and countless similar items to insure the temporal peace and prosperity of a city, why should not much more be devoted to the poor neglected youth—at least enough to engage one or two competent men to teach school? (Luther, M. (2012). Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings. (W. R. Russell & T. F. Lull, Eds.) (Third Edition., p. 458). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.)
Thus it is so. I believe that the church need pay close attention to this activity and help those who have been brought across the borders, whether driven here by poverty, famine, or the earthquake of devil-ridden governments. Yes, we know that the children who have come from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras may be interlaced with those persons who would take financial and illicit advantage of our benevolence. Could it not be possible then, that this nation withhold foreign aid to these nations based upon the numbers of youth and children from each, and use the monetary resources gained to support them?
Know this Christians! Our Lord of Righteousness shall defend us in our efforts, and condemn us if we do not serve our neighbor. Remember! We of the church are called to first proclaim the gospel, and then do right acts of social justice. Unlike political powers of the day who hold to borders or break them, let us do these good tasks by the power of the Holy Spirit… and do so without reservation.