By Reverend David Whitney
January 17, 2016
The Stranger and Alien
I had the privilege this past weekend of speaking at the 2016 Turning the Tides Conference on the Persecution of Christians in America. A number of the other speakers at the Conference gave us some disturbing information regarding what could truly be called the immigration crises in our land. It got me to thinking about the essence of the problem confronting us as a country; it is that we believe and value a thing called pluralism.
Religious pluralism claims that all religions are equally valid and all are equally worthy, even equally true religions. You’ve seen the bumper sticker “coexist.” That driver holds to this belief that all are equally true, so lets just get along.
Video of the sermon
I’ve seen a better bumper sticker as of late, with all the same religious symbols as the first but they make up the word “Contradict.” It is true, all these belief systems contradict one another so logically they cannot all be true. “The reason that religious pluralism is on the rise is that it’s politically correct. To pronounce against any religion, it is often thought, to say that a religion is false, is deeply disrespectful. Religious exclusivists, those who believe that the various religions of the world contradict each other and so that only one of them, at most, can be true, are intolerant, and intolerance is to be condemned in all its forms.”
This is actually a lie, however. The very idea of tolerance is that you treat someone with respect with whom you have a significant disagreement. It is not tolerance then to say contradictions are all true, that is simply indifference to the truth. “In order to tolerate a person’s beliefs, therefore, one has to disagree with them. Tolerance does not involve agreeing with people; it involves disagreeing with them but treating them respectfully anyway.
Tolerance requires disagreement; one can only tolerate what one believes to be in error. Religious pluralism, which denies that any religion is in error, is therefore inconsistent with the virtue of tolerance. Religious pluralism, in committing itself to the view that no religion is false, condemns those religions that take the opposite view as false.”
current immigration policy is undergirded by this false belief that
all believe systems, what are commonly called religions, are of equal
validity, equally true, and are therefore of no great concern or consequence
regarding who we let into this country. Is this a wise decision? Turn
to Exodus 22:20.
The Problem of Pluralism - Exodus 22:20 “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.”
• No idolatry was permitted to be practiced in public - it would constitute a flagrant rebellion against the King - Lord God Almighty, Jehovah. Here is the essence of understanding this law. At first glance our modern sensibilities are affronted with this law. What, you won’t allow anyone to worship any religion which they choose to in your land? Well let’s consider this more closely.
• The acknowledgement of idols in open undermines the essential foundation of a good and righteous society. I think we have abundant examples where this is showing itself in the news of our day. Did you hear about what happened this past New Years Eve in Cologne Germany?
“80 women reported sexual assaults and muggings by men on New Year’s Eve.
The scale of the attacks on women at the city’s central train station has shocked Germany. About 1,000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved.
City police chief Wolfgang Albers called it “a completely new dimension of crime”. The men were of Arab or North African appearance, he said.
… At least one woman was raped, and many were groped. Most of the crimes reported to police were robberies. A volunteer policewoman was among those sexually molested.
What is particularly disturbing is that the attacks appear to have been organized. Around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
A policeman who was outside Cologne station during the New Year’s Eve trouble told the city’s Express news website that he had detained eight suspects. “They were all asylum seekers, carrying copies of their residence certificates,” he said.
The enemies of God are not to be given a platform to proselytize, to gather adherents to that belief system. Note that civil government is only given power to punish actions - the actions forbidden were to conduct a public sacrifice.
Can we allow any strangers in our midst? Those who are not of our culture and religion? Now this teaching could take us to a point where we mistreat the stranger in our midst. But that is not what scripture teaches. Exodus 22:21 teaches us that we shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him.