- March 10, 2011
Our culture has changed; Muslims want Christians to accept Mohammad as a prophet sent from God. Political opinions have fast approached the idea that our culture need not exercise Christian faith in public anymore, but rather exercise tolerance of all religions.
In the late 1980s, a missionary who had returned from Indonesia spoke at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Big Spring.
He told about Indonesia’s law concerning religion—everyone required to have a religion or find one. However, no one was allowed to share their religion with anyone unless specifically asked to do so. Could America be headed that direction?
In the late 1980s and the 1990s, Southern Baptist preachers stood in their pulpits, calling for believers to pray 2 Chronicles 7:14—“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray.” One sermon I remember had a question: “Do you not think God will allow another country to take over the United States?”
Only after 9/11 did I realize many American Christians do not pray for urgent requests from God. I was one of them. That’s when I turned to some old sermon notes where another pastor spoke of the coming war in the Middle East.
Will we soon hear preaching from 1 Peter 4:17—“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God”? Peter also asks in the next verse, “Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly, and sinner appear?” America needs revival.
God is not a citizen of the United States of America. He was not born here, nor has he passed a citizenship test.
If he is present at all, it is as a resident alien. He does not have a visa or a green card. He does not pay income tax, sales tax or property tax.
There are those in this country who would have him declared an illegal alien, have him arrested as a felon and want him deported.
There are others who, upon hearing God demand the rich to give up their land and wealth to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick and welcome the other resident aliens, would want God charged with treason and locked away at Guantanamo.
God, the Creator, is distant, different and difficult to understand for us creatures. The resident or nonresident alien—no matter what his/her race, religion or nationality—usually is distant, different and difficult to understand, just like God.
1 John 4:20 makes it clear that if we do not value the alien whom we can see, we do not value God whom we cannot see.
If you and I have eyes to see only what we want to see, we may be looking through myopic lenses or narcissistic lenses. Could it be that how we see the resident or nonresident alien determines whether we exclude ourselves from citizenship in the kingdom of God?