Pastor's Corner

6 Sep
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Mid-Week Challenge

Like him or hate him Donald Trump has made a huge impact on our country since he took office earlier this year.  It seems like controversy and controversial topics related to him find a way to lead the headlines each evening on major newscasts.  It took a class 4 hurricane slamming into Texas last week to finally bump Trump to second place in leading news stories since he took office.  The poor guy can’t catch a break.  If it is not the media criticizing the type of shoes his wife wears, his own political party can’t seem to get on his side and pass a major healthcare bill they have been talking about for seven years.  I do my best to remain openly neutral when it comes to how the media does its job and how congress does theirs, but when “evangelical leaders” make a public statement I feel I have the right to weigh in.              

You have no doubt seen the coverage of President Trump’s challenge to Congress to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) implemented by President Obama in 2012.  Back then, when Obama’s DREAM Act failed to pass both houses of Congress, he used executive order to create DACA, giving a 2-year deferment from deportation to children illegally brought to the US by their parents.  This action was considered by some to be a workaround of the established immigration laws, essentially providing amnesty to 800,000 illegals.   President Trump’s challenge calls on Congress to follow the law and draft a bill in the next six months that would close this loophole and provide a fair and legal immigration policy to all who wish to become citizens.  

Trump’s challenge has caused an outcry from his opponents claiming any action on his part would cause the displacement of family members and hurt the economy. Even Obama has offered his criticism by calling Trump’s challenge to congress “cruel.”  But the move that caught my attention was the action taken by some of our country’s most well-known evangelical leaders.  In a show of unity a large number of conservative pastors and denominational leaders sent a letter to Trump, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell asking them to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and urged Congress to pass legislation that will provide a long-term solution to protect “dreamers.” To this action I had to ask “why are these individuals involving themselves in this issue and to this degree”.  Folks like Russell Moore, Leith Anderson and Lynne Hybels.  It is clear that many of these individuals did not support Trump during the campaign but I am disappointed that most continue their open disapproval of him as President.  To take advantage of the negative media coverage by making illegal immigration an “evangelical” issue and then criticizing the President for his leadership style while tying it to his personal ethics is inappropriate. 

Let’s pause for a moment and take a serious look at what Trump has done.  In 2012 Congress did not act to the liking of then President Obama so he acted on his own, bypassing immigration law, and ordering DACA.  According to our Constitution, laws are passed in this country by the work of congress and the president.  If congress does not think the president’s ideas are correct they will not act.  If the president does not like what congress approves he has the power of veto.  Both acting together provides a balance of power in our country.  What Trump has done on this issue is to fulfill a campaign promise to provide order to an out of control illegal immigration system.  He is forcing congress to do what they have promised but failed to do for years.  Why fault Trump for doing the job of president and doing it the way the Constitution prescribes.  Yes, I understand that there are people involved, but what decision that our government makes does not involve people? Why now, on this issue, do evangelical leaders feel like they must weigh in on leadership style when our leaders are doing exactly what the electorate put them in office to do?  Illegal immigration must be treated as a legal issue if we are to get our hands back around it.  Religious leaders need to focus more on the ethics and religious liberty issues facing our nation and not so much on the politics.   

Pray for our president and political leaders.  Be thankful that you live in a country where you can freely criticize a leader when you disagree.  In addition, as a Christian, be mindful to offer your verbal support when our leaders do things in the correct way, regardless of how you personally feel about the issue.     

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  1 Timothy 2:1-4

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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