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November 13, 2012

Comments

Christiane

lest we forget . . .
Our Lord Himself was once an alien in the land of Egypt

David Rogers

Alan,

I agree totally. Tell them to go do a study of the book of Philemon. As I see it, we should, just as Paul did with Onesimus, be actively helping them to get their legal status.

Philip Hannam

If the concern was out of a genuine desire to defer to ordained governmental authority--I would listen to their case.

But I don't buy it for one second. There is barely a single citizen in this nation that does not want a sane and just system of immigration--that does not want the rule of law. And yet there are political interests that will literally sabotage our own government's effort to reform so we can govern. And the center of this corruption is located in the Republican Party. And there are forces in the Republican Party aimed, every day of the week, at hooking white conservative Christian voters and wedging them against marginalized populations.

It is as wrong as the night is dark. And it is wrong to defend one's place of 'power' that has been purchased by this kind of corrupt politics on the basis of principled deference to the state.

Tghaberkorn.wordpress.com

Having lived in Southwest Florida from the age of 4 to the age of 23, my first question is: where are all the alleged illegal immigrants in Alabama? Not in Montgomery, certainly. I haven't lived anywhere else in Alabama, but during my 10 years in Montgomery, I have seen less possible illegal immigrants than I would see in a single day in Florida.

Would you say the Bible also allows for civil disobedience towards poorly conceived and poorly written ones? ;-)

Clearly our State's immigration law fits into that category as well as being morally suspect.

It's cases like this that make me say I am a Republican living in Alabama and most certainly not an Alabama Republican.

Sad to hear the Alabama Baptists rejected this resolution. Might have to start taking the same stance as I mentioned above and start saying I am a Baptist who is living in Alabama and not an Alabama Baptist. ;-)

Alan Cross

My guess is that we find it very hard to be prophetic and much easier to support the status quo as long as it affirms our way of life. Instead of representing Christianity to the Republican Party on this issue, we end up representing Republican values to the Church.

The sad thing is that the Republican Party, for the sake of survival is about to flip on this issue and, instead of leading the way, the Church will once again be left dragging behind.

We have a much better story to tell.

Blake

Alan, why do we give so much leniency to conservatives who at least have their orthodoxy right if the orthodoxy isn't producing the fruit Scripture talks about? If there is no orthopraxy then how orthodox can it really be? We certainly aren't as lenient with "liberals". Why associate or fellowship with a denomination that exhibits so little concern for Biblical Christian accountability among its members?

I realized some months ago that when I would visit a church I considered too liberal I would not take the Lord's Supper because I am not in communion with these people, but hypocritically accepted communion in conservative churches despite not being in communion with the actual lived witness of the church. It's been awhile since partaking in the Lord's Supper because I do not find many Christians around me that seem to even be attempting to make the words of the Bible match the deeds in their own lives. Similarly, it seems like there are disappointing stories about the SBC or some entity from it where the same holds true. I think I'm out of rope to give and would be of better conscience to remove my membership from my SBC church. Alan, how do you navigate these concerns? I've read your blog for some years now and admire your faith and walk, but can't understand why you (or I) have put up with the SBC this long.

Tim Dahl

I wonder about the same thing here in Texas. You said it right when you commented:

"The sad thing is that the Republican Party, for the sake of survival is about to flip on this issue and, instead of leading the way, the Church will once again be left dragging behind."

This makes me sad. Southern Baptists could be such a leader on this issue, but we aren't.

Tim

Alan Cross

Blake,

Good questions. I recognize that none of us are perfect and we all get things wrong. While I think that our practice is wrong on some of these issues, I also recognize that I do not get to choose who my family is - not really. I would rather stay at the table and call for change than get up and leave and find a new group. At some point, I guess it could get so bad and they could become so unbiblical that I would have to leave. But, as long as we can keep speaking into the process and calling for a different way of doing things, then we should stick around and do so.

Blake

Alan,

Our Baptist forefathers chose their family when they separated from the Church of England. The Anabaptists separated from the Roman Catholics and magisterial reformers. Conservatives separate from liberal denominations all the time. The SBC conservatives managed to reclaim the denomination and create an environment uncomfortable and unwelcome enough to make the moderates leave. Don't we choose our family?

I've been trying to speak into the church for almost the entire span of my (short) adult life. I don't see anyone listening much less changing. I've spoken gently with patience and made noise as well and get the same reaction. I've always argued from scripture and don't even get the benefit of people willing to test what I say from scripture. My experience has always been one of a decided status quo when it comes to the SBC. I know you've been doing this much longer than I have and God bless you. I hope some day you see the changes you pray for and work towards, but I feel like, for me, it's time to take initiative and break with a dead church and start something new like my heroes of the faith did.

Bob Cleveland

Alan,

We chatted about this a couple times .. once over lunch and again today. But I'll spout off here, too.

Two issues. Do we minister to those in need, whether "documented" or not? Of course. Like I said, I've taught ESL to folks whose credentials I didn't check. I see no scriptural exception for that.

Do we report them to the authorities, if the law says to? Well, citizens, I guess you're going to have to make a decision about that.

It's real easy to sit in a class and and speak authoritatively about obeying man's law as long as it does not conflict with God's law, since the plain fact is we don't ever .. really .. face that. But, boy, let that possibility come up, like in this case, and the theology and the authoritativeness and the resolve goes out the window, and we want to fix the law so we don't have to face the problem.

THAT part of this, I find funny.

If someone has trouble deciding what they'd do under those circumstances, then I surmise their life is "compartmentalized" to the separation of their faith and their secular life.

Would I help undocumented but needy folks? Certainly.

Would I report them? I have no idea. I'd have to focus on my delight in the Lord, and see which desire He put in my heart.

You can't do much about this. I can't, either. Together (read cooperatively, as in SBC) we might. Except for the fact those who could, wouldn't.

Like CB said......

Bob Cleveland

Aside to Blake:

Alan has been involved in some things, as have I, that may have made some difference in the SBC. I think it's analogous to witnessing to the lost .. our victory is not in the results .. it's in the doing. I spoke many times with Dwight McKissic, and I figure Alan did, too, about continuing on in the SBC when his cause about (perhaps subconscious but nonetheless real) racism in the SBC didn't seem to be progressing, but we've just this year seen real fruit from those efforts. Same is true with some other things we see, and another plain fact is that God may tell you something that He doesn't tell anybody else, and expect you to follow through with it.

I'm SBC for convictional reasons, not for what's going on that I do or don't like. If I went by my preference, I'd go to the AoG for the worship, and the PCA for their church government. But my preferences don't count.

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