As the migrant caravan winds its way from Honduras/ Guatemala to the Mexico/US border, there has been much criticism of Trump by Mainline Churches. It is easy to talk but the mainline churches in the US would not be housing and feeding the many tens of thousands of asylum seekers. Neither will these loud spoken church be bearing the dire medical costs. These people are not criminals, neither are they mostly workers. Many are elderly, children, and very sick. Does Matt 25 applies to a Government whose duty is protect the borders and her citizens rather than the welfare of other nations.
Their plight is real yet well under reported as the Mainline churches and the Liberal West spends their time vilifying Israel at the United Nations. Their individual stories are not well-known nor published hence the chance of getting asylums. The images of women and children running away from tear gas is poignant but misleading for who would bring their children along to gather with the stone throwing mobs trying the breach the border and climb over the border fence.
The Mainline Churches loves to talk about the poor and the persecuted so much yet failed to love the Jewish people whom the bible referred to as the poor and forsaken seeking Jesus in the desert. The land of Judah, and Samaria belongs to the Jews in the bible, yet they are stolen by the Romans, Arabs, and the Ottomans, which the Christian Left are siding when they claimed the Jews are on occupied territories.
Matt 25: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Matt 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
The Christian Left likes to talk very much on Matt 25. But as many do not believe that the “Son of Man”, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour is coming back to judge and to divide, there is not much relevance to further talk about helping the sick and the least, hence becoming a sheep rather than a goat. It was in a religious context where Jesus was talking to the Jewish faith community where his heart ached for His brethren. The Jewish people are and were suffering. The Pharisees only cared about the moral laws but not about the suffering of the least. The Sadducees were powerful, and wealthy. The indifference of the people of faith who is Torah or Law based even the love commandments have very little love. They cared only for letter of the law, what sin has been committed. But Jesus heart was much bigger. He cared much more for the sufferings of His people especially the least. And the liberal left arising from rich white privilege parts of the States is not much better.
The Goats were obviously the religious pharisees who acted under the law showing no grace, mercy nor love. The setting of Matt 25 was within the brethren in a religious context of faith leaders caring for the flock. It is not a bible for the Government to take care of needy people knocking at the border doors. Despite the spin and generalization, Matt 25 has been grossly abused and true meaning lost.
Matt 25 is not about calling the US Government to let the people in, to take care of the economic migrants. It is rather a call, of not basing our lives on the love commandments where we only love those in our family or deserved to be love, but to give God’s grace, mercy and love, totally underserved under the law. The caravan people at the border has actually no right to enter into United States. The Government is obviously enforcing not only the law, but the borders of the nation. Once, the borders are breached, there is no nation. They know it.
Expecting the Trump Government for the refugees to enter en-mass like the early days and then criticising the Government for not taking care of them will not work because the US is no longer the country it was 50 years ago. The country is technically broke and living on a debt of 22 trillion. The infrastructure is old and crumbling with 4 trillion deferred in maintenance.If future entitlements are included, the debt could be beyond 70 trillion because of Social Security and Medicare. These are poor migrants, many in need of medical care and not workers.
The Mainline Churches left out a critical element of faith, that the countries that the migrants came from are essentially Christian/Catholic. The left called for a Christian response, but it is their Liberation Christianity working in the last 50 years in these countries resulting in greater poverty and hardships. It is like focussing on the tear gas of the women and children, but not reporting that is was because they went with the mob to try to breach the border. They had put themselves in a dangerous situation and exposed to harm. Few would their children along to participate in clashes to cross the border.
Mat 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
The images of the migrants coming to Jesus and the border separating them is bad theology. Even worst is Jesus washing the feet of the immigrants. Why? because the poor came to Jesus in the desert not to find food, nor jobs. There was nothing in the desert. They came to find healing for their diseases. Unlike all the others who came before, few claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, God Himself, and non had the power to heal the sick and raise people from the dead. The poor were the last, but at the desert they became the First because they saw the God in His glory healing the sake.
Jesus called them Blessed because they were healed of their sicknesses and although their lives on the earth would still be a life of suffering, their future abode will be in heaven. Before they left Jesus gave them a grand meal. They were being oppressed in their own country by the Romans (European Union), and by the religious leaders. These were not migrants going to another country to escape violence or poverty. They knew that they were sojourners in a land looking for a much better future.
They left the cities into the desert to seek Jesus whilst the migrant caravan were going to the greatest cities in the US. They left Christian/Catholic nations because the Christian Left has messed it up. The preference for the poor ended up in gang violence and utter lack. Why? because the love commandments is still the Mosaic Law, which we will fail terribly to follow because through Adam/Eve, we have an innate sin nature. The Christian left starts with the the concept that one is inherently good and an image of God, but left out the blibical truth that we are all fallen through Adam/Eve and because we are images of God, Satan tries to destroy all man kind. There is a demonic power at work, to bring down nations, to bring violence, disease and poverty.
Matt 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Jesus uses their poverty and hunger to exalt them to be poor in the spirit, to be humble themselves that they are sinners before a righteous God, and that they also might hunger thirst for righteousness ie right standing before God in Jesus Christ because they will be filled by the waters of life. There was an inter-play of words that Jesus used to make them see their present poverty as a spiritual poverty and their hunger as a hunger for righteousness. Only the righteousness can stand in front of God, and they were standing in front of Jesus. This is so contrary to Liberation Theology where it is the poor demanding their rights in a militant manner.
As the Caravan of migrants now trapped at the border, hungry and in need of medical aid, the answer lies not in blaming the Government, but for the charismatic Evangelicals to increase the effort to bring the Gospel and Food/Medical aid to Latin America. Liberation theology has failed but Charismatic Evangelical theology will also fail if it fails the great Commandment, the Great Commission to Latin America, both to preach of Gospel of Salvation, and also to save people from hunger and sufferings. America who has been so blessed by God’s grace cannot keep it but be a blessing to latin America. It’s a wake up called just as the barbarians knocked at the borders of the Roman Empire after Roman Catholism became the official religion, and finally overtook it when the borders were breached.