I like blogging about accounting and business issues, but today it has become necessary for me to say something about the unfolding drama and chaos over Donald Trump’s policies, especially on immigration.
Obviously, these are perilous times and anybody who has something to contribute should do it now before it becomes too late. Donald Trump’s election has energized both the Left and the Right not only in the United States of America but in several other countries across the world. Christian Evangelicals in the US have given Donald Trump their full support and are goading him to carry on with his policies. The Social media are awash with fake news and, now, it appears even the words of God are being twisted to fit the Trump’s narrative.
While delivering Trump’s Inaugural Sermon, the Rev. Robert Jeffress said the following:
“When I think of you, President-elect Trump, I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel. The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah. And the first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall. God instructed Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem to protect its citizens from enemy attack. You see, God is NOT against building walls!”
Knowing fully well that the Trump Wall will attract fierce criticisms and backlashes from liberal-minded people in America and across the world, the Reverend Jeffress added:
“Why was Nehemiah so successful in building the wall and rebuilding the nation?
Nehemiah Refused To Allow His Critics To Distract Him:
Someone has said there are three guaranteed ways to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
Any true leader is going to face criticism.
President-elect Trump, you have had your share of critics from the day you announced you were running for President, but you’ve confounded them at every turn. First, they said you couldn’t win the nomination, but you ended up garnering the most votes of any Republican in history. Then they said that was a fluke, but you couldn’t win the election. And you handily defeated your opponent. And now your critics say you can’t possibly succeed in your agenda.
Nehemiah had his own share of critics. Two of his chief antagonists were named Sanballat and Tobiah. They were the mainstream media of their day. They continued to hound and heckle Nehemiah and spread false rumors while he and the Israelites were building the wall.
At one point, they said, “Nehemiah, you need to stop the project and come down from the wall and have a meeting with us.”
Nehemiah’s response was classic: “I’m doing a great work . . . why should I stop the work and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
President-elect Trump, you, Vice President-elect Pence, and your team have been called by God and elected by the people to do a great work. It is a work far too important to stop and answer your critics.”
O, my dear Reverend! Christianity is not Judaism. Judaism is all about the law and religion of the Jews, while Christianity is about redemption for all of the mankind through Jesus Christ. The theme of Christianity is Jesus Christ the Saviour and the Redeemer, the Grace and Love of God, Faith, Power and Authority through the Blood of Jesus. It is not my intention to discredit the Old Testament of the Bible, but we have to position the Old Testament within the context of Jewish history and their walk with God and being fully aware that under the New Covenant Jesus Christ is “the Author and the Finisher of our faith.”
When I read about Joshua commanding the Sun to stand still (Joshua 10:12-13), I could connect that to our Lord Jesus saying “For assuredly I say unto you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:23). But when the Rev. Robert Jeffress said we should build walls because God told Nehemiah to build a great wall, I ask myself, “What would Jesus have done?”
Jesus was a barrier breaker. Jesus broke religious barriers by working on the Sabbath and by setting the woman caught in adultery free; Jesus broke the racial barrier by ministering to the Samaritan woman by the pool and by entering Samaria; Jesus broke the class barrier by dining with Zacchaeus and Nicodemus, by touching and healing the lepers; Jesus broke the gender barrier by making friend with Mary, Martha and the prostitute who anointed his feet.
What would Jesus have done about the influx of refugees from other countries? Would he have turned them back? No. He would have fed them, clothed them and preached the Good News to them; he would have told them that the only way to the Father (and Heaven) is through the Son, for there is no other way. Through the Gospel and prayer, as many refugees as possible could have become Christians and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. How could the Evangelicals allow such a golden opportunity to slip away? How could they have allowed anger and hate to overwhelm them so easily to the extent that they lose sight of a great opportunity to win souls?
The colonialists came to Africa to plunder the land, but the missionaries saw that as an opportunity to spread the Gospel. These missionaries became the human face of colonialism as they built and ran schools and hospitals, alongside their churches, to cater for both the physical and spiritual needs of the people. Today, Christians in America have a unique privilege and opportunity: instead of sending people into dangerous and hostile territories to go and spread the gospel, the people who need the Gospel have been delivered freely to their shore. It is so sad that the land that prides itself as “God’s own country” can sink so abysmally to the level of forgetting the love of God and the christian mandate of Evangelism.
But is this the best way to deal with the problem of Islamic terrorists? The easiest and the quickest thing to do when your computer is infected with a virus is to format the disk. That will solve one problem, but do you know how many problems it will create, especially when carried out hastily? Trump’s policies will disrupt not only the economy of the US but also that of the entire world, as each country tries to either reciprocate or follow America’s example.
Mr. Trump should not allow himself to be carried away by prophecies and visions. Former president George Bush was partly misguided to invade Iraq in order to prevent Babylon from rising again (Jerimiah 51:64). That was a big mistake – a mistake for which the world is still paying the price. The world cannot afford another big mistake.
As this macabre dance of building walls and banning Muslims continue, and as the ultraconservatives and the far-right cheer Donald Trump, the words of Martin Luther King re-echo: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” And these words align with what Jesus would have done.