Morecraft’s Great Delight

“I gave a couple messages on Racism a few years ago — condemning Racism as blasphemous and all kinds of terrible things. And I got this letter, and this letter was, I guess, 15-20 pages long. This guy had spent a great amount of time and effort writing me this letter rebuking me and it wasn’t … I mean it was intellectual, it wasn’t nice, it wasn’t sweet, it was very nasty and uh I read the 1st paragraph and I saw where it was going and I threw it in the trash. I took great delight that this guy had spent hours writing this letter and I read one paragraph. He wanted me to respond and I’m here to tell you today he wasn’t worth it.”

Rev. Joe Morecraft
Recent Sunday Sermon

1.) I’m glad Rev. Morecraft is against Racism. Once the definition of Racism is agreed upon every Christian minister should be opposed to Racism.

2.) He says that the person who wrote this letter is not worth answering and then proceeds to answer him in this anonymous type fashion.

3.) If he didn’t read the letter, save the first paragraph, as he insists, then how could he possibly know it was “Intellectual?”

4.) Likewise, if he didn’t read the letter, save the the first paragraph, as he insists, how could he know it wasn’t nice and was “nasty?”

That must have been some kind of opening paragraph.

5.) I know of one person who sent Rev. Morecraft a 5 page open letter that was substantive, intellectual and engaging. I guess that was a different letter than this 15-20 page letter. Rev. Morecraft didn’t answer that one either … unless he’s confused the two letters and is answering it here.

Sundry Thoughts On Trinity

INTRODUCTION

Trinity Sunday — Church Calendar

Skeptics abound regarding the idea of Trinity desiring a perfect understanding before believing but they forget or never knew the Augustinian dictum that we believe in order to understand and not we understand in order to believe. We are not shy to say that we do not fully understand the depth of the idea of God as Trinity. Ask yourself if any God would be worth worshiping that you or any human could perfectly circumscribe with our human understanding? Would God be God if the human mind could comprehend Him perfectly?

But, while we admit that man cannot comprehensively understand God, we do not suggest that God can not be rightly apprehended or understood with the measure of grace we have been given consistent with God’s Revelation in Scripture. We can be knowing God and so go from knowing unto greater knowing but we will never exhaustively know God since the finite cannot contain the infinite. As such we can know that God is one in three and three in one due to the Revelation of Scripture, and as we grow in the faith we can have ever fuller understanding of what that means but, as mortals, we will never comprehend the essence or mind of God.

SCRIPTURAL TEXT TEACHING THE REALITY OF THE TRINITY

(a) Deut.6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Eph.4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Isa.44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Isa.45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 1 Cor.8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 1 Cor.8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

(b) Isa.61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Gen.1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen.1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Ps.33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Isa.48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Ps.110:1 <> The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Matt.3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Matt.3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt.28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Isa.6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Isa.6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 2 Cor.13:13 All the saints salute you. Gal.4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Eph.2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit.3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

The Scripture thus clearly teaches that there is unity and plurality in the being of God.

TRINITY IN CHURCH HISTORY

The doctrine of the Trinity reached a swelling point in the fourth century, when Arius claimed that Christ was created by God the Father, and was not co-eternal with him. Eventually, the Council of Nicea was convened to address Arius’ claims. Led in part by St. Athanasius, who suffered terrible persecution for his advocacy for the Deity of Christ, found Arius’ claims heretical and formulated the Nicene Creed to discredit and correct them. For the next 100 years, Church Fathers would defend the doctrine of the Trinity from Arian challenges that still existed. Yet, by about the end of the fourth century, the doctrine of the Trinity took on, more or less, the form that we have today.

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made….

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

Athansian Creed

Athenasian Creed declares in part,

‘but this is the catholic faith, that we worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor diving the substance, for the person of the Father is one, of the Son, another, of the Holy Spirit, another. But the divinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is one, and the glory equal, the majesty equal, such as is the Father, such also is the Son, and such the Holy Spirit. The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, the Holy Spirit is uncreated. The Father is infinite, the Son is infinite, the Holy Ghost is infinite. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Ghost is eternal. And yet there are not three eternal beings but one eternal being. As also there are not three uncreated beings nor three infinite beings, but one uncreated and one infinite being.’

IMPORTANCE OF TRINITY

In this point I am going to try and convince you how important the Church through the ages viewed the doctrine of the Trinity.

Rushdoony, gives us a quote that encapsulates the view of the Church throughout History on the importance of the Trinity.

QUOTE

“The doctrine of the Trinity is that basic foundation for all of faith, for the whole universe…

“The Trinity is the cornerstone of our faith. No faith can survive its denial. No church can live long apart from this doctrine. And no church, no matter how much it preaches other important and necessary doctrines, will long prosper. That Church may blossom for a while, but it will fade if it, under stresses,neglects the doctrine of the Trinity. And churches that lose this faith do not reproduce themselves. A second generation Unitarian, according to the Unitarians themselves, is a great rarity. They are rarely to be found.” ENDQUOTE

That this doctrine was considered essential can be seen in all the ink that has been spilled over the centuries in order to defend it.

Against Praxeas by Tertullian (160-220) In this letter, Tertullian demonstrates through the use of Scripture that the Son and the Father are “distinct” but not “separate.”

Nicene Creed (325) The result of the First Council of Nicene, the Nicene Creed states that the Son is of “one substance” with the Father, and not of a “similar” substance of the Father.

Defense of the Nicene Definition by St. Athanasius (297-373) In this work, St. Athanasius provides an account of the Arians at the Council of Nicene* and defends the Nicene Creed from criticism of it being ‘unbiblical.’

The Third Theological Oration. On the Son. by St. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390) In this oration, St. Gregory of Nazianzus defends the traditional, Nicene understanding of the Trinity, claiming that the persons of the Trinity are “numerically distinct” without a “severance of essence.”

Dogmatic Treatises by St. Gregory of Nyssa (335-394) Although much controversy focused on the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity also posits the Holy Spirit as divine. In this treatise, St. Gregory of Nyssa defends the divinity of the Holy Spirit through Scripture.

Homilies on the Gospel of St. John by St. John Chrysostom (347-407) In a homily on John 1, St. John Chrysostom argues that Scripture clearly teaches that God the Father and Christ are distinct, but not of a compound substance.

On the Holy Trinity by St. Augustine (354-430) St. Augustine devoted an entire book to the topic of the Trinity. Among other things, he argues that the Trinity can be seen in Scripture, responds to objections to the Trinity, and demonstrates the equality of the Godhead.

The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods by St. Boethius (480-525) Using general philosophical principles, St. Boethius demonstrates that God is unified in substance, but differs in number of persons.*

Monologium by St. Anselm (1033-1109) St. Anselm seems to suggest that we lack any fitting language for describing the Trinity as “three,” because terms like “person” or “substance” seem to only apply to things of plurality, of which God is not.

Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity by St. Aquinas (1225-1274) In a long treatise on the Trinity, St. Aquinas addresses many features of the Trinity including: the Divine relations, the procession of the Trinity, and the relationship of the members of the Trinity to God’s essence.

Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1509-1564) Using both Scripture and philosophy, Calvin argues for the traditional understanding of the Trinity as “three persons in one God.”

Brief Declaration and Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity by John Owen (1616-1683) Using both Scripture and reason, John Owen defends the doctrine of the Trinity against “Socinianism”—the view that Christ did not pre-exist before being a man.

Systematic Theology, vol. 1 by Charles Hodge (1797-1878) In a rigorous fashion, Hodge examines the Scriptural evidence for the Trinity, the Nicene Creed, and philosophical formulations of the doctrine.

During the Reformation The Council of Geneva — the city where Calvin was the First among equals in terms of the Pastorate there, thought the doctrine of the Trinity so important that the Council handed down and implemented a death sentence upon a notorious heretic named Servetus who was actively seeking to overthrow the doctrine of the Trinity. This death sentence had already been pronounced in absentia by many of the countries of Europe, both Roman Catholic and Protestant.

These communities understood that if the doctrine of the Trinity was given up the whole basis of their civil social order would be overthrown. The death penalty for Servetus was done as a protection for the whole community.

The Church understood that reality was integrated. They understood that if one went from a Trinitarian to a Unitarian understanding of God the consequence would be that everything would change. This idea of a integrated reality is captured by a quote from Edmund Opus in a book entitled “Problems of Church and Society.”

“Communism is all of a piece. Adopt its metaphysics and in a technological age we get the ‘planned from the top down’ society. Start on the social level by putting any collectivist principle into operation, and it breeds more of the same until eventually the society becomes fully collectivized. The many part of society are delicately interrelated. Start by fixing the price of a quart of milk, and the glass industry will be told what it must charge for bottles. The wages of delivery men must be regulated, the diary industry controlled and so until the logical end result in time is the totally regimented economy or socialism.”

Now apply that realization to Trinitarian Christianity. Paralleling Opus we might say, “Trinitarian Christianity is all of a piece. Adopt its metaphysics and we get the unity in diversity society. Start on the social level by putting jurisdictionalism as a reflection of Trinitarian understandings of God into operation, and it breeds more and more of the idea of unity in diversity.”

All this to say that if a social order is Trinitarian it is going to resist the attempt by Unitarianism to overthrow understandings of the Trinity in order to protect itself. All this to say that historically the idea of Trinitarian Christianity was seen as foundational and worth dying for AND killing for (Consider Servetus) in order to protect.

As an aside … one thing that R2K does with its dualism is that it cuts off the influence of Trinitarianism on a social order. R2K insists that Trinitarianism’s organizing power is restricted to the Church while suggesting that Christians can be satisfied with Unitarianism in the public square.

The Current Church seems not to see the Trinity as Important

But this is not the opinion of much of the Evangelical Church today in the West. We have so insisted on the pragmatic “cash value” side of Christianity that we are increasingly putting the foundational doctrines aside.

Rob Bell seems to contend in one of his books that the doctrines of Christianity themselves are more useful than true. He specifically names the Trinity, likening the Trinity to the idea of one of the springs that serve to keep a Trampoline taut and by which a Trampoline gets its launching quality and saying something to the effect of, “People have been using this particular (Trinity) ‘spring’ to jump for years. But does that mean that it is essential? Couldn’t we change it for something else? I am not saying that we should – but certainly we could. If we did so, couldn’t we still love God, live moral lives, etc.?”

SUCCINCT EXPLANATION OF TRINITY

See handout

IMPLICATIONS OF THE TRINITY

Community

The reality of the Trinity gives us a basis for Christian community. Clearly, if God has community in Himself, then that community of the Godhead becomes the template for the community of the saints as they have communion with Him. The Church as covenant community is, or at least ought to be, the “live in technicolor” demonstration of God as community.

Miroslav Volf put it this way

“Because the Christian God is not a lonely God, but rather a communion of three persons, faith leads human beings into the divine communion. One cannot, however, have a self-enclosed communion with the Triune God- a “foursome,” as it were– for the Christian God is not a private deity. Communion with this God is at once also communion with those others who have entrusted themselves in faith to the same God. Hence one and the same act of faith places a person into a new relationship both with God and with all others who stand in communion with God.”

― Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

Our Fellowship with the Trinity brings us into Fellowship with one another. This seems to be part of what St. John is getting at when he writes,

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

————————-
UNITY IN DIVERSITY

The Eternal One and Many gives meaning to the temporal One and Many.

One & The Many

The reality of the Trinity suggests to us that as God’s unity and His diversity (plurality) are equally ultimate so that neither unity nor plurality is more equally ultimate then the other. What this means is that followers of this Triune God build family structures, church structures, and civil social structures where one finds unity in diversity. Both Unity and Diversity are both valued properly. As such the Christian faith values both the individual as individual while at the same time valuing the individual as part of one community. Both the individual and the community, like the persons of the Godhead and the unity of the Godhead, are equally ultimate.

This doctrine of the Trinity therefore wars against all arrangements where people become uniformed clones who lose all their distinctions in the great miasma of social order oneness. Similarly this doctrine of the Trinity wars against all arrangements of social anarchy where each man does what is right in his own eyes thus losing all basis for community. The doctrine of the Trinity suggests that what will we find are a plurality of Christian communities, one in their beliefs regarding our undoubted Catholic Christian Faith, but yet distinct according to families of man that God has sovereignly placed us in. By such an arrangement one finds the reason why Heaven is populated with men from every tribe, tongue, and Nation.

Chesterton was getting at this when he wrote,

“For the highest thing does not tend to union only; the highest thing, tends also to differentiation. You can often get men to fight for the union; but you can never prevent them from fighting also for the differentiation. This variety in the highest thing is the meaning of the fierce patriotism, the fierce nationalism of the great European civilization. It is also, incidentally, the meaning of the doctrine of the Trinity.”

― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

Conclusion

Re-cap

Revolutionary Christianity or Anti-Revolutionary Christianity?


“The movement within which Bavinck rose to prominence, neo-Calvinism, found much of its initial momentum as a rebellion against the influence of the French Revolution across Europe. This struggle to counter this impact of the Revolution exerts a defining influence upon much of Bavinck’s thought on Christianity and culture….

The Revolution was an attempt to cast aside all the old distinctions of class and power: liberty, equality, and fraternity were the new values. Gone were concepts like monarchy, social class, and theism. The new de facto deity, reason, was set in direct opposition to divine revelation. The change attempted in Revolutionary France was highly ambitious: it was a movement of re-creation, an upheaval instigated to change every aspect of French life. The nineteenth-century Revolutionary intellectual Edgar Quinet recognized that such a sudden break with an entire social system could only happen if the preexisting sense of social inter connectedness between citizens was broken: those who have, until now, existed primarily in relationship to each other within a common culture must suddenly think of themselves primarily as individuals. Quinet recognized this has central not just to the French Revolution, but to all evolutionary movements. Thus, in order to change an entire society, all the old social connections had to disappear, and the ‘individual’ had to take their place.

The great irony perceived by the likes of Bavinck and Kuyper was that although revolutionaries were told of their new found individuality, in reality they became far more homogeneous than in the pre-Revolutionary world. Revolutionary France was a place where all were pressured to dress and speak alike, where human worth did not exist beyond one’s social standing (hence the drive for a homogenized society), and where institutions like Christian theism, as pro-social diversity were see as obstacles to those goals.

Having seen these ideals taking hold in France, Bavinck was motivated to combat their influence in Dutch culture. That context sets the scene for his thoughts on the family as a united social entity. His argument was that the family is not an arbitrary collection of individuals, who may or may not have much in common by way of belief. Rather, he argues in favor of the family as an organism made up of distinct but complementary people who together form the building blocks of society.

Introduction — The Christian Family
James Eglinton — pp. XIV – XV

1.) The success of the French Revolution was not limited to the fall of the Bastille. The success of the French Revolution was the beginning of the end for Christendom in the West, for the anti-Christ principles of the Revolution lived on in the turmoil in Europe in 1815, and 1848. The anti-Christ principles of the Revolution came to the states with the work on the Jacobins between 1861-1877. The anti-Christ principles of the Revolution found a permanent home in Russia for 70 years in 1918. The ideals and principles of the French Revolution continue to form and shape the world that we occupy today. The “Liberty” of the French Revolution remains today the attempt of fallen man to find Liberty from God. In point of fact Revolutionary “Liberty,” is lawlessness. The “Equality” of the French Revolution remains today as the ongoing attempt to level all distinctions by insisting that all hierarchy arrangements are merely social constructs to be deconstructed. The “Fraternity” of French Revolution remains today as the bumper sticker meme to “Co-Exist,” and the ongoing recitation of the the Fatherhood of God of all men and the Brotherhood of all men.

2.) For Bavinck the Revolutionary Worldview had to be opposed by all right minded Christians because Revolutionary ideology is part of the disordered sin sick reality that nature was poisoned with. Revolutionary ideology creates sick reality because it identifies sin w/ nature, and creation w/ the fall, and so in order to attack sin and the fall they attack nature and thus seek to pull down God’s institutional created social order that includes family, state, and society, preferring instead a sinful social order where God’s diversity is blended into a humanistic Unitarian sameness. This creates the sick reality that neo-Calvinism has always opposed.

3.) What Eglinton teaches us about Bavinck and the neo-Calvinist school is that they opposed this Revolutionary model that attempted to overthrow God’s ordained social order that was antithetical to Revolutionary “Liberty,” “Equality,” and “Fraternity.” This anti-Revolutionary Calvinism of men like Groen van Prinsterer, Bavinck, and Kuyper found later Calvinist Theologians like Dabney in 19th Century America and Rushdoony in 20th century carrying the anti-Revolutionary torch of the Neo-Calvinist founders.

This reminds us that there remains a thread of anti-Revolutionary fervor that has been characteristic of Biblical Calvinism. In this anti-Revolutionary Calvinism we find the insistence that any Christianity that makes peace with the desideratum of the continuing Revolutionary vision is a Calvinism that is no Calvinism.

4.) The press towards individualism that Eglinton mentions as the consequence of Revolutionary ideology, ironically enough, ends up in a vicious collectivism. When all mediating institutions, as created by the Christian social order, with its model of jurisdictionalism, are destroyed by Revolutionary “Equality” the consequence is a bland sameness where individualism is completely lost.

5.) The lack of this kind of basic understanding of how Biblical Calvinism, as the essence of Biblical Christianity, results in the consequence that modern Christianity reinterprets itself through the grid of Revolutionary ideology. When “Calvinists,” and all other “Christians,” refuse to understand what has occurred, with the success of Revolutionary ideology, is that Christianity is interpreted through the lens of “Liberty,” “Equality,” and “Fraternity.” What this means is that modern Christianity is, in the majority report, Revolutionary Christianity. Instead of challenging the continued onslaught of the Revolution, what happens is that Christianity seeks to make peace with Revolution. A modern Church, that is not self-aware that it must be anti-Revolutionary, ends up discipling its people into being “sanctified” subscribers of the Revolution. Christians who are not epistemologically self-conscious regarding the ongoing Revolution are Christians who stand in the way of Reformation.

6.) Indeed, it is not going to far to say that Christianity that is interpreted in the grid of Revolutionary thought is a different Christianity that is interpreted through the grid of anti-Revolution.

7.) Anti-Revolutionary Calvinism finds in the death of Christ the healing of the Cosmos and a deliverance from personal and individual Revolution that results in the healing of social order Revolution.

8.) There is a neo-Calvinism that is claimed by Leftist Christians. They do agree that all things must be interpreted through a biblical gird but their biblical grid has already itself been reinterpreted through a Revolutionary grid. Neo-Calvinist who advocate for a social order that is consistent with Revolutionary goals is not neo-Calvinism.

Chesterton & McAtee on Courage

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die … The paradox is the whole principle of courage; even if of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and he will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.”

G. K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy; The Romance of Faith — pg. 136-137

God’s demand of Joshua to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1) reminds us that God’s worth is such that it is better to perish courageously fighting for God while defending His character than to quail before His and our enemies. The same is true of our professional lives today. It is better to value God’s name so highly that one is willing to take courage in hand and make shipwreck of their career at the threat of the enemies of God in order to defend God’s name from their insult and depredations.

To few are willing to risk all for the honor of the great name of the Lord Christ, preferring to play it safe so that they can continue to be part of the con.

Random Notes From Hoffmeier’s “The Immigration Crisis”

Were ancient territorial borders taken seriously and was national sovereignty recognized? The answer is emphatically “yes.” Not only were wars fought to establish and settle border disputes, borders were vigorously defended, and battles occurred when a neighboring state violated another’s territory. So, national boundaries were normally honored.

Numbers 20:16-21

Edom’s refusal to allow Israel to pass, even with Israel paying a Toll, was out of keeping w/ the socially accepted custom of offering hospitality to strangers in the ancient and modern Middle East. Still, it is worth noting that even a traveler — a foreigner — passing through the territory of another had to obtain permission to do so.

Judges 11:16-20

These episodes demonstrate clearly that nations could and did control their borders and determined who could pass through their land.

On the individual, family, and clan level, property was owned and boundaries established. Personal property and fields were delineated by landmarks — stone markers of some sort. For this reason, the Mosaic law prohibited the removal of landmarks. (Dt. 19:14, 27:17).

So the sense of National boundaries was merely an extension of the reality of property owned by individual, family and clan. During the period of the divided Kingdom (8th cent. BC) the prophet Hosea decried the leaders of Judah for seizing territory of her sister kingdom Israel by taking their boundary stones. (Job 24:2).

So we see that nation states, large and small in the Biblical world were clearly delineated by borders. These were often defended by large forts and military outposts. Countries since biblical times have had the right to clearly established borders that they controlled and were recognized by surrounding Governments.

The borders of countries were respected, and minor skirmishes and even wars followed when people and armies of one nation violated the territory of their neighbor.

All this meant that nations, including Israel had the right to clearly established secure borders and could determine who could and could not enter their land.

Cities and municipalities who offer sanctuary for illegal aliens do so without the support of Biblical law. Because Biblical sanctuary was only intended to allow the innocent party to get a fair hearing and trial, and not for the purpose of sheltering lawbreakers… Cities that provide a safe haven for illegal immigrants, while intending it to be a gesture of justice, are in fact misappropriating Biblical law.

James K. Hoffmeier
The Immigration Crisis — pg. 185

After finishing off one of my wife’s Christmas gifts to me — The Immigration Crisis by James Hoffmeier — I am confirmed in my intuition that the push for Amnesty as it is currently shaped is unbiblical and anti-Christian. Hoffmeier proves that a State is under no compulsion to have a generous immigration policy and does have a responsibility to protect its borders –just as States did even in the Old Testament. The texts used by leftist Christian organizations like Sojourners are ripped out of their context in order to guilt the laity into thinking being a good Christian means disinheriting one’s self and children.

The book of Joshua goes into great detail about the allocation of the territories of the Promised land to the tribes of Israel but the ger (resident Alien) did not receive their own allotment. The Ger (resident Alien — perhaps our equivalent of a perpetual Green card holder) could receive social benefits (i.e. — gleaning rights, a portion of the third year tithes) but they could never own land and so they forever would remain ger.

The resident alien (ger) in Israel was never so integrated and assimilated into the Israeli social order that the distinction between citizen born and alien evaporated. The resident alien (ger) was held to the same law, could become part of the worship cult BUT they were always known as distinct from Israeli born. Hence they are continuously referred to as ger (stranger).

So there was continuity between the native born Israeli and the ger but there was discontinuity as well.

In short the ger (stranger) would always be known as “other.”

In the Old Testament the alien (ger) was a person who entered Israel and followed legal procedures to obtain recognized standing as a resident alien. Hence ger (alien) is the term for legal immigrants. However, the ger (legal immigrants) in the OT were still distinct from those who were permanent residents (citizens). In the OT then there is a distinction between the alien (ger) the foreigner (nekhar or zar) and the permanent residents of the Israeli tribes.

One advocacy group for Amnesty, “Christians for Comprehensive immigration Reform, on the leftist Sojourners website quotes Leviticus 19:33,

“And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not oppress him.” But the stranger that dwelleth with you, shall be as one of yourselves …”

And then based on this Scripture they declare, ‘we are working together to revive comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible, because we share a set of common morals and theological principles, that compel us to love and care for strangers among us.’

This statement begs the question, does the word ‘ger’ (i.e., — alien, sojourner, stranger) aply to immigrants regardless of their legal standing? If people like the leftist Sojourners are going to cite Biblical passages to legitimatize their position, especially passages that deal with ger (aliens), it is imperative to know what the OT meant by the term ger. By misinterpreting (ger) much of the Christian church today as been lulled into a false position on Amnesty and immigration.