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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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World Relief and the Strange Video

Posted by admin in March 7th, 2018
Published in Uncategorized

Am I the only person who has been frustrated by the use of Matthew 25 by pro-DACA groups to bludgeon American Evangelicals over the head? Jenny Yang and her World Relief video “Welcome the Stranger” sent me over the edge. Watching it, my heart grieved as well-meaning, but ill-informed women leaders with condemnatory tones and moral superiority read the words of Jesus. As I watched women that I’ve admired such as Kay Warren and Joni Eareckson Tada, speak these words into the camera, I just kept thinking, “Do they know what they are doing? Have they been tricked? What bill of goods has Jenny Yang sold them?” Misguided at best; theologically off at worst, where are their accountability partners and wise counselors?

It is difficult for me to put into words how I feel when men and women, everyone from World Relief to Christianity Today, misuse Jesus’ words from this important passage in Matthew 25. It is an attempt by these left-leaning people to make a case for illegal, undocumented immigrants to stay in the US. It is their belief that we should coddle, protect, and defend (as followers of Jesus) all DACA and illegal border crossers. And if you disagree with them, well, you’re going to burn in hell. (One of the only times I have heard these 20 women mention hell as the majority of them are moving more and more to a universalist theology). So, hell is reserved for all of those who disagree with them. (BTW, World Relief stands to lose $256 million in federal funding if immigration reform goes through here in the US. So please note their campaign is a conflict of interest. Read this article, it is a real eye-opener: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/tag/world-relief/

This post is my attempt to help those who might be struggling, as I have, with this issue. It is my attempt to follow the principle found in 2 Timothy 2:15, (NIV), “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Correctly handle the Word. Would Jesus lobby for illegal immigrants? This post is one of three parts dealing with Jesus and Illegal Immigration. I want to begin with the mishandling of Matthew 25.

Take a look at Matthew 25:31-46, their passage of choice. Please read it if you have time. Interesting.

Commentaries. I went to eight commentaries to see what the experts had to say about this passage. Here’s what I found.

We need to see the entirety of chapter 25 as being “parabolic” or based on parables. Parables are used in Scripture to teach us a lesson or principle, but NOT for doctrine.

We also need to ask the question, “Is this really describing the Judgement Seat of God, the Last Days, the End of Time?” as our pro-DACA folks want us to believe. Without exception, the commentators say, “No. It is not.” The idea of a final judgement was believed by Jews, but not all Gentiles. But the concept was something Jesus’ listeners were familiar with. This is important: He is speaking to non-Christians; these are both Jews and Gentiles who do not believe He is the Messiah. In fact, they probably believe He is a heretic and a maniac. Keep that in mind. Context is important. His AUDIENCE is a significant part of this message.

Jesus says, “And before him shall be gathered all nations…” This means ethnic groups bound by language, customs, identity. In every commentary, based upon the Greek (the original written form of the New Testament) the expression, “all the nations” is understood to mean the heathen nations, or ALL EXCEPT BELIEVERS IN CHRIST. This is the exposition of OLSHAUSEN, STIER, KEIL, ALFORD, and HENRY—Christ is not speaking to His followers, but to unbelievers.

Jesus’ reference in this chapter is not to The Second Coming and The Final Judgement Seat. Why? Because of the “impossibility that any of those who follow the Lord Jesus would wonder, at the Judgment Day, if they had made it or not…” (Jamieson Fausset Brown).

Born-again believers know that salvation doesn’t come by works. We know that Jesus will not separate us by our works, but by our faith in Him and repentance of sin and the acceptance of the Cross. Christ alone is our salvation. This scene in Matthew 25:31-46 is Christ describing to the unbeliever, the non-Christian, what will happen to each of them as a result of HOW THEY TREATED Gospel-carrying, Jesus-following, God-honoring men and women on this earth. This is not a description of a personal, public, final judgment on the human race, but it is describing (parabolically) the consequences of rejecting Christ’s message and messengers. His reference is the treatment they have given to Christ—and consequently, men and women within the Christian pale. Here’s how it plays out:

I. He separates the Sheep from the goats. Sheep being those (always) who are in Christ Jesus. There are 13 specific verses in the NT where Jesus refers to His followers as Sheep – https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Christ-And-His-Sheep

II. Once separated, Jesus addresses the two groups. To the Sheep, He acknowledges their care for one another (Body of Christ – caring for each other is caring for Christ’s Body). Are we loving our brethren, helping them, ministering to them? Yes, because we are in Christ Jesus. All of the perils described in this passage, (hunger, prison, nakedness) were actually experienced by those who preached the Gospel. And the Body of Christ cared for one another in the midst of these perils.

III. Then He addresses the goats – these are they who have rejected the Gospel, refused to follow Christ, and are not part of His Body. The goats have mistreated Jesus and His followers. It is they who are sentenced to Hell with the devil and his angels (those who rejected the Sovereignty and Holiness of Christ Jesus in the first place).

In the context of Jesus’ teachings, especially in the context of Matthew, this parable is not addressing how we treat the poor, but (here’s the important part) RECEIVING THE GOSPEL’S MESSENGERS. Throughout the Book of Matthew, disciples are Jesus’ brothers (12:50; 28:10). They are called four other times in Matthew, “the least of these” (5:19; 11:11; 18:3-6, 10-14). The message is clear: we are to treat Jesus’ representatives (Gospel Messengers) well! Here, in Matthew 25:31-46, the King judges people groups based on how they have responded to the Gospel of the Kingdom preached to them before the time of His Kingdom. The passage also implies that true messengers of the Gospel will successfully evangelize the world only if they can also embrace poverty and suffering for Christ’s name (Matthey, 1980).

The horrifying conclusion is the damnation of people who did not actively embrace messengers of the Gospel and were oblivious to how they had offended God. The goats depart into eternal fire that tragically, God had not originally created for them, but had prepared for the devil and his angels.

Hell is reserved for those who reject Christ. The message in Matthew 25:31-46 is that rejecting Christ’s Gospel carriers—declarers of this Good News—is the same as rejecting Jesus. THIS is what the message is! THIS is what is being spoken here. This Scripture is not referencing good works, illegal immigration, or “welcoming the stranger” as the World Relief video would like to portray. The Scripture is specifically speaking to accepting Christ.

In our political atmosphere today, it is very difficult to navigate through all the voices, accusations, and heart-rending messages. My caution to anyone who took the time to read this post: handle the Word of God carefully and accurately.

Facts over feelings. Truth over emotion. Scripture over hyperbole.

This post is part one of a four-part piece I am working on regarding DACA, illegal immigration, and what the Bible says about caring for the marginalized.

In closing, I have to ask the question of these 20 women leaders (18 of whom I really question their theology and ability to speak God’s Word), “Where were their voices and their reading of Scripture into the camera when same-sex marriage was passed or in reference to the fight against abortion?” These elements of our government are clearly contrary to Scripture and the Bible speaks definitively on both issues – and yet – they were all silent.

It grieves me to think that the majority of these women, several of whom are not even US citizens, find a political cause they feel morally justified in defending and fighting for, and yet I wonder how many of them have welcomed illegal immigrants into their homes, financially backed an immigrant family to get US citizenship, and how many of these women live in gated communities? I do wonder. It is so inconsistent. It is easy to make the video and walk away feeling good about one’s self. But was Christ honored? Peace.

8 users Responded In This Post

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36028. admin said,
March 7th, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Here’s a comment SusieQT wrote me recently. She gave me permission to post here,”I am a native Southern Californian. The little semi-rural town I live in is overwhelmed with gangs—ms13, drugs, cartel influence, even trafficking. We cannot get a handle on it! So much for non-existent immigration control. This bleeding heart video is from women who live in wealth and privilege and likely gated/security. They have no idea what it’s like to live in crime riddled areas.I find the lack of care for the safety of legal and vulnerable citizens to be very telling of this false agenda. This is an organization that receives monies from George Soros. That’s enough to make one pause…..

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36029. admin said,
March 7th, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Another reader wrote to me, “Google my son Spencer Golvach. He was randomly gunned down at a red light by a 4 time deported illegal alien who had a 15 year rap sheet here and had done 5 years for attempted murder. These fake Christians are your enemy. No where in the Bible does it teach to reward mass lawlessness or to coddle people who thumb their noses at the immigration laws that are designed to protect us. These people are treasonous, traitorous snakes. Think that’s harsh? Try looking at your kid’s deflated head in a casket like I did.”

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36039. LE said,
March 8th, 2018 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for sharing these thoughts Teri. We need to be well-meaning, well-informed believers.

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36055. Sherry said,
March 9th, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Teri, I have wrestled with this issue and I am SO grateful that you have SCRIPTURALLY addressed it here. I can now defend my position with truth.
Thank you!

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36123. Ivaylo Syarov said,
March 12th, 2018 at 4:19 pm

One possibility is the lack of good biblical learning and learning.
Another possible explanation linking funding programs with a desire for volunteering using believing people.
Indeed, this also determines the motive.
Why do we do it? What is the lead in our hearts?

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36131. Susan said,
March 12th, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Can you cite your sources?

What 8 commentaries did you consult?

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36134. admin said,
March 13th, 2018 at 4:07 am

Susan, did you read the post? My sources are included in the text. In fact, I even include a link to one of the primary sources. Look under point I. He separates the sheep from the goats. Click on that hyperlink and you’ll go directly to my source. Also, I place in capital letters the names of the commentators I am using: OLSHAUSEN, STIER, KEIL, ALFORD, and HENRY. Jacques Matthey, 1980, is a parenthetical reference cited. Google him and you’ll hit pay dirt on his Matthew “Great Commission” commentary. And Jamieson Fausset Brown is listed in the text as well. I have most of the hard copies of these sources, but out there in cyberland you should be able to easily access these writings by simply putting in one of the names and adding Matthew 25. As an academic I am usually pretty good about citing sources and attribution of ideas. But interestingly, a comment on the World Relief FB timeline (under the above mentioned video) a reader gives an excellent link to a Christianity Today article http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/march-web-only/what-you-probably-dont-know-about-least-of-these.html – Andy Horvath dealt well with this issue back in 2015. I liked the article a lot. I hope you’ll read all four sections of my posts about this issue. I’m working on part III How do we respond to illegals in our nation? We don’t have to agree on these issues, but I do think it is important to speak truth and rightly interpret Scripture and rightly apply it. I have people writing me often telling me horrific stories about the underbelly of this issue and sadly their voices never get heard.

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36246. TamTam said,
March 17th, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Strange Indeed! I’ve noticed the FB site that the “Welcome” video is being promoted has removed several comments regarding the ill use of scripture and Soro’s funding…..hmmm….

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