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We are not enemies, we are all Americans January 29, 2017

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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I am an American (in a wider sense),

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a European (even post Brexit),

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and a human.

 

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BBC Jan 28th 2017

Trump has united a lot of people against him, and against those in his country that support him.

I’m grateful to @antoniospadaro for retweeting @schwazenegger where Arnie (the former Governator) quotes Abe (the former President)

I’m not a US citizen. I’m not a fan of Trump. I’m not a fan of the UK PM’s initial failure to speak out against Trump’s ban.

…but I’m not an enemy.

The world is a complex place and there are few simple answers.

…even in scripture.

33When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:33-34 (NIV)

Within a few verses of Leviticus 19:34. is Leviticus 19:20-22 suggesting the sacrifice needed to atone for a man sleeping with a slave promised to someone else

and Leviticus 19:27 warning against trimming the sides of your beard. Perhaps this is why we’re mostly happy to quote quote v35-36 but sometime a little cautious of pointing to the whole passage.

35Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

37Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.

Levititicus 19:35-37

Christians, like many others, can be guilty of choosing the facts and quotes that support what we already believe, and surrounding ourselves with people who think the same. (see Ladder of Inference)

We often need to read deeper and  wider and listen longer to those with different perspectives.

(The need to help and love refugees and other neighbours is not confined to a few verses)

Sometimes we agree to differ.

Sometimes we need to air our differences in order to find where we can agree

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I started this blog on Jan 28th and was pleased to wakes to new headlines  on Jan 29th

and to understand where we have misunderstood, or where we need to rethink our position.

That there are lots of countries in the world (and we don’t all agree how many), and about 7000 languages (and they are very hard to count) is testimony to the fact that we don’t all agree. But, also that we can come together in a variety of uneasy alliances.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations are all pretty diverse and full of people disagreeing while trying to live together.

Given  all our different languages, different locations, different cultures, histories, hurts, hopes, experiences, expectations,personalities, and personal problems, it is amazing we ever agree on anything.

Amongst the many things said in the Bible are statements that say

“all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God”

Romans 3:23 (click for wider context) (NIV)

and that say,

For God so loved all the world…

that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16 (and more) (NIV)

We are not all friends, but we are called to be family.

There are evils to be conquered

Battle Against Evil

10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. 11Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 12For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. 13Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.
Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV)

…but the real evil is not refugees, not those that fear them.

and the real hope is not in barriers and walls, but in Christ.

 

 

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