| Foreigners in your land|
A friend of mine forwarded me an e-mail and this is part of a response I wrote. Anyone have any thoughts?
At first I was just going to write a short e-mail, but this turned into a mini-sermon. Please forgive me if it comes off like I'm pouncing on you about this e-mail. That isn't my intention whatsoever. Most of the things I ended up writing are general comments and not directed toward you all. I just seen this and had been wanting to share these things with someone and decided to take the opportunity.
I don't know how much of this you agree with, but I had a few thoughts I would like to share. None of us have every really talked about it, so I don't know where you all stand. It's a topic that the more I think about the more passionate I become about it. Not from a political standpoint (I don't have lots of interest in that) but from a Christian standpoint.
[b](1) 'Press 1 for English' is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.[/b]
I found that comment very interesting. There are several reasons. The first thing that I think about is that English actually isn't the 'official language' of the United States. There isn't one. Certain states have an official language but the United States of America doesn't have one.
That link will take you to the USA.gov site and answers the question of what the official language is. Congress has never declared one. (that link is actually a redirect I made because the link I was going to give was REALLY long. That is why it looks a little strange.)
From a purely Christian prospective, this type of mentality doesn't make any sense to me. What if those who translated the bible throughout the centuries had this mindset? If they want to come and share what we have, let them learn Greek and Hebrew. You and I wouldnt have a Bible we could actually read. We might be able to hold one, but without someone crossing the language barrier and translating it we wouldnt be able to read it.
I understand the comment is more or less directed towards Hispanics, since Canadians arent typically waiting at the border to cross over. Ive studied Greek and Spanish for about equal amounts of time. I can tell you from experience Spanish is much easier to learn.
Something that is fascinating to me is that America used to send out probably more missionaries around the world that any other nation. Men and women would go all around the world to bring the Gospel to them. And in the process, to be most effective, they would learn the language of whatever people-group they were evangelizing. What I find interesting is that many Christians today would applaud the effort of someone going to a foreign land and learning their language, but would revolt if those same foreigners moved to their neighborhood. Some would even go to a foreign land, learn their language, and be a missionary. Yet if that same people-group moved in next door to them in the US, they would prefer they just move back to where they came from- or at least learn English. I wonder how many Christians in the US would cry out sent me yet when God might say No, you stay there. Ill send them to you. They would complain and gripe.
Those same people would spend hours and hours of training in a foreign land, yet if those foreigners came to them- they would do nothing. Its almost as if we would love the glory of going to a foreign land and receiving the accolades of their fellow Christians in the US, but God forbid if they have that same passion if they come to us. Its much less glorious in the eyes of man to stay at home and minister to a people-group that has come to you than it is to travel across the world- much less exciting too.
There were a few other things that came to mind when I read that comment too. What if Jesus said No, you cant come into the Glory Land until you learn my native tongue? (What I mean is the language he spoke while he walked this earth.) How many people would be standing outside of heaven? I am positive Jesus didnt speak English when he was here on this earth.
I guess why I feel so passionate about it is because this mentality just seems to spit in the face of the missionary spirit of the New Testament church. Its much easier to call people to change when we arent willing to change ourselves. That can be applied to spiritual things or something as earthly as our language. I honestly think that if someone is so concerned about them not knowing English, they should learn their language and teach them English.
Are we more concerned about preserving our pretty little culture or the Gospel going to every tribe, tongue (language), and nation? Its a commonly known thing that these foreigners send money back to their homeland. They also go back regularly to visit. What if they came here, got born again, and went back home to preach to their family? That would be great
but only if they learn English first.. right?
This may not make any sense whatsoever from a political standpoint. Thats ok with me. Im more concerned about what the Bible says.
Exo 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Lev 19:33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
Lev 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
I could probably go on and even give references to "illegals", and elaborate about what apparently happened between Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus, but I'll spare you. (It looks like Philemon was a run away slave. vs 15-16)
Just some thoughts,
| 2009/4/23 23:06||Profile|
North Pole, Alaska
| Re: Foreigners in your land|
Thanks for posting this, it is certainly thought provoking. Off the top of my head though, aren't the strangers in the listed verses those that converted to Judiasm? How would that relate to illegal aliens crossing our borders?
| 2009/4/23 23:28||Profile|
| Re: |
I'm not saying it would be right for someone to go to a nation illegally. It's breaking the laws. In most of what I wrote with the exception of the last part I was thinking about legal immigrants.
| 2009/4/23 23:38||Profile|
| Re: Foreigners in your land|
Just some thoughts, Josh
and well spoken thoughts indeed to which I say "amen". Preach it, make it plain!!!
| 2009/4/24 0:51|
| Re: Foreigners in your land|
| 2009/4/24 8:33|
Monroe, LA - USA
| Re: Foreigners in your land|
Thanks for posting, Brother, you have touched an area that is very dear to my heart.
Take a look at this Muslim website:
Latinos are emerging as the fastest growing population of New Muslims in the USA. With over 70,000 and growing daily they unite under the banner of Islam.
If they do not see the power of the love of Christ in Christians, they will certainly be reached by other groups. With the fact that most of them have big families, and many English speaking Americans have few children, and/or abort their children, the Spanish speaking population will most likely eventually dominate our society. Whether we like it or not, this is the reality of the change that is taking place in our society. This growing minority could one day be the majority in this country. Will a red-hot zeal for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ be planted in the hearts of this growing segment of our society, or will we stand by and do very little to affect them for Christ? Will they feel the love of Jesus coming from Christians, and know in their own consciences that Jesus is the Son of God and the Only One worthy of our devotion?
The city that I grew up in had very few Hispanics while I was growing up. We happened to live across the street from some of those few. Another family moved in when I was in high school. That family needed God in a very great way. I started learning Spanish in high school for the purpose of reaching them. They moved away when I was in 12th grade. I continued learning Spanish taking several courses in college. Now, our city has MANY Hispanics.
In April of 2006 I was translating in a church service and a young immigrant Honduran was converted to Christ. He was set free from cigarettes, alcohol, and adultery. In December of that year, he returned to his wife and three children and coffee farm in Honduras. Now he is pointing souls to Jesus in Honduras. Last year we started a mission so that Hispanics could hear the gospel in their language. We have seen several come to know the Lord for the first time. THANK GOD! Many of those that come here know very little of the gospel.
The sad reality that we often see is that they come here for the American dream of a better life, and many of them get entangled with the abundant vices of our society and are worse off than when they came. They often feel so oppressed by not knowing the language, and SO LONELY from not being with their families that they turn to alcohol and drugs.
Please include in your daily prayers the plight of immigrant Americans, and pray for God to send more laborers into this vast harvest. If you know any of them, YOU may very well be that laborer that God can use. Just a LITTLE kindness goes a long way with many of them. Just making a little effort to learn a few of their words makes them feel kindness from you. Most of us have never known the depths of suffering that many of these immigrant Americans have lived through. Just a little compassion can often speak more than a thousand sermons (in their native language).
| 2009/4/24 12:47||Profile|
| Re: |
"In April of 2006 I was translating in a church service and a young immigrant Honduran was converted to Christ. He was set free from cigarettes, alcohol, and adultery. In December of that year, he returned to his wife and three children and coffee farm in Honduras. Now he is pointing souls to Jesus in Honduras. Last year we started a mission so that Hispanics could hear the gospel in their language. We have seen several come to know the Lord for the first time. THANK GOD! Many of those that come here know very little of the gospel."
Amen to that brother. As an immigrant American I say amen......Frank
| 2009/4/24 16:53|