Ultra-conservatives for open borders
(Note: in this entry, VFR’s Dutch conservative reader Gilbert B. argues that the false, ultra-liberal, open-borders “Christanity” of today, such as that followed by sentimental “conservative” evangelicals, is the only true Christianity, and therefore that Christianity is simply an enemy of all existing nations. I reply.)
We’ve been here before, and here we go again:
Evangelicals call for immigration reform
WASHINGTON—An American evangelical Christian group is urging Congress to approve reforms to immigration laws.
The National Association of Evangelicals passed a resolution Thursday that recommends changes to the law that would help undocumented immigrants eventually gain legal status.
The resolution has been passed unanimously by the group’s board of directors. The board is calling on lawmakers to place a high priority on reuniting families.
Association president Leith Anderson says the process for legal immigration to the U.S. is antiquated, bureaucratic and needs to change.
The Washington-based National Association of Evangelicals has a 75-member board that represents the leaders of 40 evangelical denominations.
[End of article]
And, of course, evangelicals are generally considered the most politically and socially conservative group in America. It is evangelicals at whom most of the fear and rage and hatred of the left and the Darwinian New Atheists is directed. They see the evangelicals as a fascist force threatening to impose some medieval tyranny on America and Europe. When you point out to the leftists that evangelicals are mostly for open borders, because, as unthinking and sentimental liberal Christians, they see all potential immigrants as Jesus; when you point out that the evangelicals favor policies that must lead to the disappearance of white Western societies and thus are the farthest thing in the world from right-wingers or fascists, the left and the Darwinian New Atheists can’t take it in, because the truth doesn’t fit with their model of reality. And so they have—at Craig Bodeker dissects in his very worthwhile movie
about liberals’ views of race—a “disconnect.”
- end of initial entry -
Charles T. writes:
“as unthinking and sentimental liberal Christians, they see all potential immigrants as Jesus;”
The word “sentimental” is the best description of the modern evangelical. For as long as I have been around the evangelical world, sentiment—feelings—trump the doctrines of the faith. In fact, feelings “are doctrine” to this branch of Christianity.
One result of course is the notion that we must decrease in order for the third world to increase—even at the expense of our children and their descendants. Self-sacrifical feelings cannot be ignored. To do so would be to deny the faith. These people actually pat themselves on the back for their particular brand of rightousness.
An evangelical friend opposes the death penalty because the prisoner could potentiallly accept Jesus in the future—an act of faith that would be cut short by the death penalty. No mention of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of all men—including their own standing before The Lord. No mention of proper retribution. We must love our enemies and never put them to death. Just sentiment. There are no scriptures that support this type of thinking when someone is guilty of murder. In fact, the scriptures command that the murderer be eliminated.
And yet——Feelings trump scripture again.
The list goes on. It is sad to see Christians engage in this type of behavior. If you want a good argument, start asking for solid scriptural support for their positions. I guarantee—you will make a lot people very angry at you because you will be attacking their own self-rightousness. And that, I believe is the root of the problem, i.e., pride in their own feelings which is based on works and self-rightousness and not on scripture.
These open-borders people are trying to earn their salvation.
So, the Catholic hierarchy is mostly very liberal and committed to open borders. The mainstream Protestant denominations are very liberal and committed to open borders. And the “right-wing” evangelicals are very liberal and committed to open borders. Would someone please tell me what branches of organized Western Christianity (other than a little twig here and there) are not very liberal and committed to open borders?
Which makes me wonder: what about the hundreds of thousands of members of NumbersUSA who helped stop the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration bill? It would be interesting to know what their religious affiliation is.
Carl Simpson writes:
About the Evangelical idiots for open borders, I’m afraid that this is yet another example of what happens when Protestants take a single verse of scripture (Galatians 3:28) and elevate it to a dogma, which ultimately ends up replacing the gospel itself as the core belief of church, sort of like Rick Warren’s ideology. The “huggy-bear Christianity” attacked by those like Conservative Swede is well on its way to be becoming just another tentacle of the gigantic liberal Cthulhu monster (to borrow a term from H.P. Lovecraft).
Here is Galatians 3:28:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Terry Morris writes:
Would someone please tell me what branches of organized Western Christianity (other than a little twig here and there) are not very liberal and committed to open borders?
I think you’ve hit on an important distinction here. Namely the organized Christian denominations in America and the West. America itself was founded on the concept that there was to be a division of governmental powers amongst the various branches and spheres of government—a balance, if you will. Or, in terms of church government, that congregationalism was as legitimate and vital a feature (even more so) as having a larger governing presbytery of some sort under which the various local churches came into union, or organized.
These governing church bodies don’t speak for the opinions of the individual members of the individual (local) churches any more than our current Congress speaks for the opinions or wishes of their constituents. Yes, in both cases some sort of democratic election process was involved in creating these bodies and the members who comprise them. But I think the larger point is that the more organized a given religious denomination is, the less it tends to adhere to the whole of Christian doctrine, or biblical Christianity.
The fate of this country is in the hands of individual Christians and local church bodies, not in the various centralized church organizations. The former is where the strong resistance to “comprehensive immigration reform” came from, and still resides.
A. Zarkov writes:
I’d like to know to what extent the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) represents the opinions of their membership. But even before that I have ask Butch Cassidy style: “Who are those guys?” According to Wikipedia the NAE is part of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). Going to WEA’s website we find a largely Third World organization with a liberal agenda. For example, they have a position on Climate Change as presented in their Events section: Micah Network 4th Triennial Global Consultation on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change. As Climate Change policy is all about a transfer of wealth from the United States to the Third World, we should not be surprised to find this most secular topic appearing as part of the agenda of this particular international religious organization. Judging from this event and their other activities, I strongly suspect that the WEA is a thoroughly leftist body, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Has the WEA’s position on Climate Change leaked into the supposedly conservative NAE? The answer appears to to be “yes.” According to Wikipedia,
On January 17, 2007 Vice President for Governmental Affairs Richard Cizik announced that the NAE would join a group of prominent scientists in a statement calling for “urgent changes in values, lifestyles and public policies to avert disastrous changes in climate.” Cizik’s advocacy has been controversial among evangelicals, and demonstrates a widening gap between “old guard” evangelical leaders such as Dobson, Colson, and Franklin Graham, and new evangelical leadership that includes Rick Warren, Duane Litfin and David Neff that stands behind NAE’s climate change position.Cizik defended his position by reference to the scriptures, and in true leftist style accuses his critics of having ties to the oil and gas companies.
Cizik was supposedly a conservative for many years being against abortion, and gay marriage. He also lobbied in behalf of conservative causes. But it looks like in 2008 the crypto liberal came out of the conservative closet. He supported Obama, and announced his support for gay unions in a radio program interview. The NAE was not quite ready (yet) for such talk, and Cizik had to resign his position in the NAE. I don’t know if Cizik had a change of heart or was some kind of “sleeper agent” for the left ready to spring into action when the appropriate time came—the election of Obama. It seems to me that the NAE is an organization in transition, and we should not be surprised to find it taking non-conservative positions on other issues besides immigration and Climate Change. The left has thoroughly infiltrated academia, Hollywood, the press, the law, and many professional organizations—why not the conservative Christian movement as well?
Thanks for finding this out for us. I had no idea things had gone this far.
Many evangelicals, even those who are generally quite conservative, will quote selectively from Acts 17, in which Paul addresses the Athenians at Mars Hill, to show that God is opposed to “racism.” Specifically, they quote the first half of vs. 26:
“And He [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth …”
Granted, humanity is all of one blood, one essence, one common ancestral family, and for that reason there should be no cause for elevating the moral and spiritual worth of any one racial, ethnic or national group of people over another. Evangelicals want to get along with all men, for the sake of the gospel, which is universal. But it doesn’t follow that we should advocate policies that undermine national boundaries or distinctions. In fact, scripture is opposed to this, as evidenced by the very next words Paul quotes:
“… and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”
In other words, God not only favors national boundaries; He has, in some way, determined what they should be.
Recently I came across this quote by Matthew Henry, whose 1706 commentary on the Bible is still in print, and widely distributed among evangelicals:
“[God] has appointed to the children of men a distinction of habitations upon the earth, has instituted such a thing as property, to which he has set bounds to keep us from trespassing one upon another. The particular habitations in which our lot is cast, the place of our nativity and of our settlement, are of God’s determining and appointing, which is a reason why we should accommodate ourselves to the habitations we are in, and make the best of that which is.”
Of course, Henry would not have been opposed to “missionary” work among people of other lands—i.e., the so-called Great Commission of the gospels. But that involves exporting a very small and select group of one’s own people with the purpose of spreading a particular doctrine to others. In contrast, the official voices of modern evangelicalism propose to import, indiscriminately, large groups of people with their own doctrines into a society that will have to deal with the ensuing chaos.
Evangelicals have lost their way, and should get out of organized politics altogether. It’s better for everyone.
Palahalli S. writes:
On the subject, I found Shri Markus pointing to the crucial “conflict” that Christian evangelists in my country and Asia would have to deal with but he seems to dismiss the impact by saying :
“Of course, Henry would not have been opposed to “missionary” work among people of other lands—i.e., the so-called Great Commission of the gospels. But that involves exporting a very small and select group of one’s own people with the purpose of spreading a particular doctrine to others.”
I repeat what I said in my earlier post to you—
I think the main issue is that with the demise of classical colonialism, Western evangelism has lost its purpose. In the old days the doubtful (with regard to Hindustan’s Hindus at least) notion of the white man’s burden provided a ready-made moral differentiation that needed to be adhered to by the white man—and this without being guilt-tripped for it. However one would be indeed hard put to find a single evangelist who abides by that creed today. The reasons are various—growth of local non-white evangelists, Hindustan and Asia as new ground for fresh “harvests,” and anti-Christian liberal growth in the West.
In other words, a modern day Christian evangelist who also believes in the white west would fail in his mission in Asia.
This indeed is a huge challenge that Christianity in the West must tackle.
As a traditionalist Hindu I would hope that traditionalist whites would put their own preservation ahead of “saving the souls” of Hindus/Asians.
Palahalli S. wrote:
“As a traditionalist Hindu I would hope that traditionalist whites would put their own preservation ahead of “saving the souls” of Hindus/Asians.”
I take it Palahalli is suggesting Western evangelicals are sowing bad karma if they evangelize among non-Western peoples to win them to the faith of Jesus Christ. In other words, if we Westerners don’t want to be overrun by non-Western foreigners, we should stop overrunning foreign (and particularly eastern) countries with our values, messages, etc. Otherwise, tit for tat, we deserve the blowback we’re getting. [LA replies: I’m not sure that Palahalli was saying that.]
There’s much that could be said in response to this, but I’ll limit myself to the main point that Palahalli needs to understand: Christianity is not Western. You may argue that the West is Christian—although I would disagree (our culture is based on a blend of Judeo-Christian morality/ethics and a Greco-Roman legal/philosophical heritage; and many Westerners are entirely pagan in their outlook). But Christianity itself is not Western. The Gospel may be a particular message, but it’s also a universal one.
Palahalli is operating within a leftist mindset when he characterizes Christian missionary activity as being motivated by colonialism and “the white man’s burden.” Christianity has a history going back 2,000 years, and right from the outset, the Gospel message was to be taken to other lands. It’s right there in our “holy book,” the Bible (cf. Matthew 28:19-20). It starts locally, then goes outward—first “in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Christianity was an affront to Europeans when it was first introduced. It was a stench in their nostrils. They perceived it as Hindus perceive it today. Think of the uproar caused at Macedonia, where Christianity was perceived (correctly) as representing a threat to the livelihood of those who profited from paganism and idolatry (see Acts 19). Truth be told, it’s an affront to many Westerners today, because it clashes with their own personal (and even cultural) agendas. But to the extent that today’s Western world can be described at all as “Christian,” it’s because the first evangelists were not dissuaded by the traditions that then were at the foundation of the West.
In short, Palahalli is asking evangelical Christians to deny their own tradition—and effectively to stop being Christians.
Palahalli S. writes:
You said, “I’m not sure that Palahalli was saying that.”
Your right. I wasn’t.
But that’s me.
To be perfectly honest, there are plenty of Hindu traditionalists who see and listen to Christian evangelicals and say, “Let the white Christians go to hell! Let their nations and cultures go to hell!” In short they fully abide by Shri Markus’ karmic theory.
It’s easy for my Hindu friends to forget that there are traditional white Christians who want to preserve and nurture their own culture and people too without unduly worrying about the rest of the world.
Hindus in Hindusthan have never been quite like the pre-Christian western pagans. We have faced disastrous enemies/challenges and survived to this date. We know we will survive into the future too howsoever hopeless it may seem to some.
We are rightfully proud of what we are and what we have. We would like to better ourselves without losing what we have.
I think Hindus would gladly partner the white Christian West if only the evangelical West would learn to respect Hindu space.
PS—I had emailed you a clarificatory post prior to this one.
Here is Palahalli’s earlier e-mail:
I quote Shri Markus again :
“Evangelicals want to get along with all men, for the sake of the gospel, which is universal.”
I believe that without this sentiment in mind no missionary work in the non-West is possible. But he (Shri Markus)is also saying national boundaries and particular ways of life have also been scripturally sanctioned and therefore essentially the “two ends can be made to meet”.
Herein lies the conflict.
From what I have seen of missionary work and the message evangelicals take to potential converts:
“Come to Christ for he (teaching) is universal and Christians do not discriminate. Look at the West and its religious freedoms. Look at its progress. Therefore you too will progress with Christianity and will not be discriminated against.”
How does any white evangelical hold off on immigration after a sermon like that?
In colonial times the white missionary walked with the colonialist and so the natives were clear about the difference. Conversion to Christianity was for “their own” good. After the winding up of the colonial project the classical colonialist resigned but the missionary has remained. The enforcer of difference quit the scene but the universal message has remained. Add to this the growth and nurture of native missionaries with universal mind-sets backed by white moneybag Churches. So here we see white missionaries by proxy really, but again no colonialist to call out differences. Instead the missionary has as ally a liberal regime that wields such weapons as “religious freedom” monitors—in countries that do not take kindly to missionary works. This is essentially a colonial intervention but note the crucial difference—no similarity with the differentiating classical colonial.
The modern white colonial is speaking the same language as the missionary he walks with.
The way I view white traditionalism would make it incumbent upon it to withdraw all support to missionary works in the non-West. Concentrate energies within and thereby keep Western tradition alive.
I hope this clarifies.
Thanks for Palahalli for this interesting information. Obviously evangelizing is central to Christianity, so it’s out of the question to call on Christians not to evangelize. It seems to me then that there are two possible logical solutions to the problem described by Palahalli. Non-Christian countries such India could pass laws prohibiting Christians from evangelizing—not an attractive option for anyone. Or Christian evangelists could continue evangelizing while dropping the universalist non-discriminatory add-on. That is, they could invite non-Western people to embrace Jesus Christ, while also acknowledging that different peoples have different cultures and that the distinctions—and borders—between them need to be maintained, thus eschewing any colonialist implications in evangelism. There is nothing in the Gospels that requires that cultural and national distinctions be eliminated and that we be joined together in a single global polity. Indeed, in innumerable Christian tracts, novels, and movies based on the Book of Revelation, the attempt to construct such a global polity is associated with the Antichrist. If Christians would return to a traditionalist view which acknowledges the reality and importance of cultural, national, and racial differences, they could separate the Christian message, which is for all men, from the idea that cultural and civilizational distinctions must be erased.
The problem is not Christianity. The problem is ideological universalism.
Gilbert B. writes:
You wrote: “If Christians would return to a traditionalist view which acknowledges the reality and importance of cultural, national, and racial differences,…”
However, Paul wrote: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all … are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
Because of Jesus’ embrace of diverse peoples, in other words, Christians should not practice racial, socioeconomic, or gender discrimination, for all are one in Christ.
In your effort to discredit Christianity you display what can only be seen as willful ignorance of the subject. Since you believe that the statement, “there is no longer Jew or Greek,” means that all national identities and distinctions are wiped out for Christians, you must also believe that the statement, “there is no longer male and female,” means that all sexual distinctions are wiped out for Christians. But obviously that’s not the case, even for Paul. Paul elsewhere, in speaking of the Christian marital relationship and the respective roles each sex has in that relationship, makes very large and important (and very controversial to this day) distinctions between men and women and their respective social and religious roles. So obviously the statement, “there is no longer male or female,” does not mean the elimination of the categories male and female and of the distinctions between them. And therefore the statement, “there is no longer Jew or Greek,” also does not mean the elimination of nations and national identities and of the distinctions between them. Furthermore, in numerous other passages of the Jewish scriptures and the New Testament, ranging from the Tower of Babel account in Genesis to the descent of the New Jerusalem in Revelations, none of which Paul contradicts, God commands and recognizes the existence of distinct nations among men. Nothing is clearer from the Bible than that distinct nations are a part of God’s ordained order for mankind. I and other Christian conservatives have repeatedly pointed out these passages and also shown how Church teaching through the centuries recognized national distinctions. See the second half of my article, “How liberal Christianity promotes open borders and one-worldism,” an article I’ve repeatedly linked at VFR and which you as a regular reader of this site for years ought to have seen.
It is notable that you, a conservative, in your effort to discredit Christianity by showing that Christianity is identical to radical liberalism, adopt the most extreme possible radical-liberal interpretation of scripture yourself and ignore all contrary evidence. And in doing so, you display your bigotry against Christianity. If you want to show that you’re not a bigot against Christianity, you could start by acknowledging the evidence that contradicts your anti-Christian assertions.
In the brief entry linking this exchange, I referred to Gilbert as “an anti-Christian ‘conservative’ from the Netherlands,” and added: “I put the word ‘conservative’ in scare quotes, because no enemy of the founding and formative religion of our civilization can be a genuine conservative, any more than an enemy of the founding and formative race of our civilization can be a genuine conservative.”
Thanks to Palahalli for the clarification of his earlier statement, which I evidently misunderstood. And thanks also to Lawrence for his response, which perfectly articulates my own view.
As for Gilbert B, his citation of Galatians 3:28 is irrelevant to the discussion. The passage has absolutely nothing to do with undermining national boundaries and social cohesion by agitating against a properly-restrictive (and yes, discriminatory) immigration policy—which is the topic of this thread.
Lydia McGrew writes:
Your Indian correspondent cites what he views as the illicit use of religious freedom criticism as an example of something “traditionalists” in America should join him in condemning.
I regard myself as an American traditionalist, but I do not view concerns about religious freedom in India as something I should condemn. I myself consider the anti-conversion laws in India, which I have known about for some years, to be wrong. See here. Insofar as this is the kind of thing your correspondent is defending as an example of Indians’ desire to “preserve their culture” and oppose the supposedly illegitimate “universalist” claims of Christian evangelizers, I find myself on what he would apparently consider the “non-traditionalist” side. Laws making it a requirement to register with the government if one converts to Christianity, laws that involve government investigation of conversions to Christianity as possible crimes, are wrong. In one sense, I suppose I can see how Hindus in India would regard these as ways of preserving Indian culture, precisely insofar as they regard traditional Indian culture as non-Christian. But I believe that international groups have a right and a responsibility to criticize such laws. This is the wrong kind of traditionalism, and I will not back it in an attempt to try to make some sort of parallel to my own desire to preserve American culture against, for example, mass immigration.
Palahalli S. writes:
I note Smt/Ku Lydia McGrew exemplifies the conflict I speak about even more forcefully when she says :
In one sense, I suppose I can see how Hindus in India would regard these as ways of preserving Indian culture, precisely insofar as they regard traditional Indian culture as non-Christian. But I believe that international groups have a right and a responsibility to criticize such laws.
How do Hindus defend themselves? Sanatana Dharma is not a proselytising religion in the same sense that Christianity is. I can understand Christians must try and convert but Hindus must try and resist too. There are Hindus who do copy-cat re-conversions, however that’s not us. It would never work for us.
Although I wouldn’t like the State to get involved in issues of religion or society and would rather leave such matters to society to sort out, in this case I would want the State in Hindusthan to legislate against conversions and avoid rough and ready measures that Hindus take to remedy the situation.
I do hope it is appreciated that there cannot be a resolving dialogue or a win-win deal between a proselytising religion and a non-proselytising one.
My earlier email to you explains this position better.
Please explain. Are there currently laws in India which prohibit Christian evangelizing or make it harder for Hindus to become Christians? When I replied to you yesterday, I only referred to such laws as a possible measure which I then dismissed. I didn’t realize that such a law already existed.
Palahalli S. replies:
Yes. There are anti-conversion laws that make it difficult to convert. However, each state in this country may frame it’s own anti-conversion laws. There are states that don’t have such laws and states that do but do not enforce them.
I do not think I can speak against such laws in the name of a freedom that would destroy Hindusthan’s traditions.
Pallahali S. said:
“I do hope it is appreciated that there cannot be a resolving dialogue or a win-win deal between a proselytising religion and a non-proselytising one.”
Thanks for spelling it out so clearly, and consider it appreciated. Your Hindu traditionalism and our Christian traditionalism are not the same thing at all. And the only takers for the dialogue you are proposing will be from liberal Christian denominations—which share your revulsion at “conversion” (where people are free to make their own decisions in matters of religion and conscience) and prefer to be dispensers of Western humanitarian aid.
Gilbert sent a further comment on October 14 which is only being posted and replied now due to an LA oversight.
Gilbert B. replies to LA:
Jesus himself experienced ethnic prejudice on account of his perceived origins in Nazareth.—“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” John 1:46
We also detect a note of pride in Paul’s voice as he asserts his own Roman citizenship.—Acts 21:39 ; 22:28
Biblical law specifies that foreigners should have the same legal rights and be subject to the same legal prohibitions as natives. They are allowed to benefit from equal participation in the religious and political life of the nation and, they have equal rural land rights in addition to property in the walled cities.—[The aliens] “shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel; they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And in the tribe with which the alien stays, there you shall give him his inheritance, declares the Lord GOD.” Ezek. 47:22–23. [LA replies: Of course. The passage is referring to people (“strangers” in the King James Bible) who have joined and become part of the community of Israel. Obviously Ezekiel was not saying that non-Jews should be made part of the Jewish community. You are reading the passage without seeing the context. You see the word “stranger” or “alien,” and you think it means the ancient Near Eastern equivalent of a million unassimilable Mexicans or Africans whom Ezekiel is saying are now a part of Israel. You’re interpreting this passage as though it had been written by John McCain or some Dutch leftist politician.]
Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles exhorted them to “build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters … seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you.” Jer. 29:5–7 [LA replies: What’s objectionable about this passage from a conservative point of view?]
The idea of foreigners as equal citizens in Israel is spiritualized and universalized by the apostles. [LA replies: you’re building on a false premise based on your discussion of the Ezekiel passage. The “foreigners” are people who have become part of the Jewish community. Furthermore, they are not a mass migration.]—“Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” … “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.” Eph. 2:12,19. [LA replies: Of course. Fellow citizens with the saints. What a beautiful phrase. It means fellow citizens in the spiritual community of Christians. That didn’t mean that the respective Jewish and Greek nations came to an end. It meant that the Christian Jews and the Christian Greeks were now fellow members of the Christian church.]
You anti-Christian conservatives have just got to absorb this fact, that Christianity adds a higher dimension to human reality without taking away the ordinary dimension. In the highest dimension, the Christian Jews and Christian Greeks of Paul’s time were experiencing themselves as participants in a new, spiritual community in Christ. In the ordinary dimension, their life as members of their respective Jewish and Greek communities continued. Christianity makes human nature more complex, adds levels to human experience, articulates reality to a higher degree than any other religion or culture. People who insist that there is only one level to reality will always distort or hate Christianity.
Think back to what I said earlier about Paul’s “there is no longer male or female.” Since, obviously, male and female continued to exist, what did he mean by that? He meant that, among Christian believers, certain traditional ways of thinking that stood between men and women were gone, and that on a spiritual level men and women experienced a community of being with each other, as followers of Christ, that had not been possible before. It doesn’t literally mean that all social and biological distinctions between men and women had ended.
Your last paragraph is excellent. Lots of people—Christians and pagans alike—seem to think that once you become Christian, you stop being everything else you have been, and are nothing but a cell in Christ’s Body. On the contrary, when you become a Christian, you begin a spiritual journey that has the overall effect of making you more and more like the very best, most excellent version of your peculiar, idiosyncratic self. Christianity is the opposite of reductionism. It doesn’t say, “You thought you were Greek, but really you are nothing but an unindividuated cell in the Body of God.” It says, “Not only are you a Greek, you are a cell in the Body of God; and the more you realize God’s plan for your little volume of His Body, the more Greek you’ll be, because you’ll be a better Greek.
It is not really fair to blame non-Christians for making this mistake, because in Christian doctrine and spiritual practice, the way one gets to be the apotheosis of oneself is, precisely, to give up working on oneself, for oneself, and to love Christ.
Jeff W. writes:
Here are some comments for your “Ultra-Conservatives for Open Borders” thread:
There are two different manifestations of Jesus that Christians need to reconcile in their minds. One is gentle Jesus, meek and mild, who comes not to be served but to serve. The other is the Jesus of the Second Coming who is coming to rule. He is coming to separate the sheep from the goats.
I believe that it is permissible for Christians to identify with either Jesus. It is appropriate for a Mother Teresa to identify with the first, but it is also appropriate that a U.S. President identify more with the second. People make a big mistake when they think that Christianity is all about meekness. It is a religion that started from very humble beginnings, but its purpose is to rule and dominate. [LA replies: Well, that is true. What about the great image of the Virgin of Guadalupe trodding the dragon underfoot, showing her complete dominon over the forces of evil?]
Total domination over the evil in this world cannot be achieved until Christ returns. Until then we battle it the best we can. Americans do not help the cause by inviting enemies into our midst, or inviting people who do not share our agenda of actively fighting against evil.
Here would be a good test for immigration: Did your country help us in World War II? In the Cold War? In Vietnam? If so, then a reasonable number of your people can immigrate here and become citizens. But there should be absolutely no immigration of people who are not allies in our fight.
Harry Black writes:
Gilbert B. wrote:
“Biblical law specifies that foreigners should have the same legal rights and be subject to the same legal prohibitions as natives. (Ezek. 47:22-23)”
If you are saying foreigners need not adopt Israelite culture and obey Israelite law, you are plainly mistaken. “This land [of Israel]” establishes definite borders separate from non Israelite nations. The foreigners’ new status as “Israelite citizens” requires they have assimilated Israelite culture and obeyed Israelite law. Jesus himself regarded any foreigners who had not done so as “dogs.” (Mark 7:27, Matt. 15:26) It is a false notion that Christianity abolishes borders, or the rule of law, or individual or national distinctions, no matter who says so. I think Paul would agree. (Galatians 1:6 & 1:8 “though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.”)
Moreover, Isaiah declares that there are other foreigners, whom Israelites may rightfully enslave (male and female), whenever Israel is brought back from exile. (Isaiah 14:2 “For peoples shall take them and bring them to their homeland; and the House of Jacob shall possess them as slaves and handmaids on the soil of the LORD. They shall be captors of their captors and masters to their taskmasters.”) Such slaves do not get “equal rights.” (Lev. 24:44-48) In God’s justice system the oppressor gets enslaved by the oppressed. [LA replies: I don’t understand the commenter’s last sentence.]
Clark Coleman writes:
Gilbert B. quotes from Ezekiel to attempt to prove that aliens were not excluded from Israel. Then he quotes from Ephesians 2:12, in which Paul addresses Gentiles by reminding them that they “were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel.” Does he not see the contradiction between his peculiar interpretation of Ezekiel and what Paul is saying?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 10, 2009 07:20 PM | Send