Thursday, October 8, 2015

Discernment and Discrimination: A Case for Christian Love

How does the Christian respond to the question of bringing Muslim refugees into the West? Doesn’t love require that we do not discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving? No! Instead, Christian love must be discerning and discriminating. Even when it is applied within the Church, it is discriminating.

For one thing, the Church is mandated to discriminate between the repentant and the unrepentant.

  • It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife… you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
The unrepentant were to be excommunicated. Love is discerning. Paul argued that to do nothing would negatively impact the entire church along with the offender. What was the best thing that could be done for the unrepentant offender?  Cast him out in hope that he would repent of his sin!

What is the best thing that we can do for the Muslim refugee? It is certainly not to enable him to impose the oppressive shariah law on the infidel and to kill and rape those who do not go along with his program. Even now, as dependent and needy refugees, they are intimidating Christian refugees to the point where they are forced to flee for their lives. What then will happen once they are established and more confident!

At the very least, Western nations should demand that any Muslim refugees first denounce the various forms of violence and intolerancetaught by their faith. Otherwise, they ought to choose live in countries where shariah is already practiced.

Is it un-Christian to give to some and not to others? Certainly not! Certain people are to be punished, while the innocent protected. And what about those who believe in violence against the infidel?

Tony Blair now admits that even though only a small percentage of Muslims join ISIS, a great percentage of Muslims are supportive. If this is so, such subversives should not be given shelter in the West.

Instead, Christian giving and Christian love must be discriminate and discerning. The Church was not to give to every member. Instead, indiscriminate giving could breed sin:

  • As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. (1 Tim. 5:11-14)
Would giving Muslims shelter enable them to sin? Well just look at Western Europe with its many Islamic rape gangs. Certainly, it would bring disrepute upon the Church if we were at all instrumental of unleashing such horrors upon our neighbors! Instead, there is nothing wrong with exercising discernment in giving:

  • If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. (1 Tim. 5:16)
When we give indiscriminately, we violate Scripture:

  • For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
We also violate Scriptural priorities. Charity must begin with our families and the household of faith:

  • So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10) 
In The Compassionate Conservative, Marvin Olasky argues that discriminate giving has helped the needy to a far greater extent than our indiscriminate entitlement programs:

  • A century ago, before the federal government ever became involved, thousands of local, faith-based charitable agencies and churches around the country waged a war on poverty much more successful than our own... faith-based groups a century ago helped millions out of poverty and into homes. Local organizations had the detailed knowledge and flexibility necessary to administer the combination of loving compassion and rigorous discipline that was needed.
A discipline that requires moral responsibility in exchange for charity is loving. A giving that enables slough is unloving. For example, giving should never undermine our responsibility to care for our own families:

  • But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
Sadly, many Christians have backed away from these teachings, fearful that they will be accused of showing favoritism. However, favoritism is embedded in humanity, let alone in Scripture. We should show favoritism to our families, children, and spouses (Ephesians 5:22-31) and only very cautious giving to our neighbor’s spouse.  

Even Jesus showed favoritism. He elevated His brethren above the rest:

  • And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” (Matthew 13:10-14)
He identified so closely with His Brethren that when they suffered, He too suffered:

  • “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40)
In fact, according to Jesus, we must love one another is a special way, for one thing, because the world will not:

  • “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you… If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:12, 18-19)
  • I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you [Father] have given me, for they are yours. (John 17:9)
This certainly does not mean that we do not love the Muslim. However, we must love them in a way that will not promote violence and the abuse of our neighbors and brethren. We must also bear in mind that Muslims believe that they are called to rule the world, even violently. Ibn Khaldun, the 15th century Tunisian historian, states:

  • In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
Here’s the Koranic basis for this:

  • “Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion (Islam) reigns supreme, (Koran 8:37)
  • “When the Sacred Months are over, kill those who ascribe partners [like Jesus] to God wheresoever ye find them; seize them, encompass them, and ambush them; then if they repent and observe prayer and pay the alms, let them go their way’.” (Koran 4:5)
  • “…kill the disbelievers wherever we find them” (Koran 2:191) and “murder them and treat them harshly” (Koran 9:123), and “Strike off the heads of the disbelievers” (Koran 8:12, cp. 8:60).
Emigration is also a means of Jihad for the Muslim:

  • He who emigrates (from his home) in the Cause of Allah [Jihad], will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten your Salat (prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you, verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies. (Koran 4:100-101) 
In light of this, giving must be performed with great discretion and wisdom. It must be conducted in a way that doesn’t endanger the innocent. Bringing an extra tens of thousands of Muslims into the USA is a sure prescription for violence and antithetical to Christian love. Instead, our hearts must go out first of all to the Christian refugees - the ones who will make a positive adjustment to the West.

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