the Manna | November 2010
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the Manna | November 2010
Columns 07 | Signals 09 | On the Air 33 | Perspective
Features 12 | Human Trafficking
20 | Oh the Humanity!
Stay in Touch
Can God carry us through desperation?
22 | Transplant Tourism Opportunists prey upon those in need.
26 | Fear and Loathing in America â€“ The Ultimate Tool of Tyrants To do nothing is to be an accomplice.
Whatâ€™s the value of another person?
16 | Slavery Our chains can be gone.
19 | No Utopia Now We have all we need for the present.
wolc.org | readthemanna.org | November 2010
the Manna | A Publication of Maranatha, Inc. Editor-In-Chief: Debbie Byrd Contributing Editor: Randy Walter Creative Director: Joe Willey Contributing Writers: Josh Millwood, Brent Timmons, Karen Tull Media Client Liaisons: Janet Beckett, Jay Prouse
Frequently Asked Questions Who We Are The Manna is published by Maranatha, Inc., a Christcentered ministry called to proclaim the Good News of faith and life in Jesus Christ through various forms of media, as God directs, until He returns. “Maranatha” (mer-a-nath´-a) is an Aramaic word found in I Corinthians 16:22. It is translated, “Our Lord, come!” Joy! 102.5 WOLC is also part of Maranatha, Inc. Its call letters stand for “Watch, Our Lord Cometh.” Maranatha!
Disclaimer Non-ministry advertisers are not required to subscribe to the “Statement of Faith” printed at right; nor are their businesses and products necessarily endorsed by the Manna, Joy! 102.5 WOLC, or Maranatha, Inc., whose viewpoints are not necessarily represented by the opinions or statements of persons interviewed in this magazine; nor are the viewpoints of its advertisers.
Statement of Faith We Believe… that the Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative source of Christian doctrine and precept; that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that the only hope for man is to believe in Jesus Christ, the virgin-born Son of God, who died to take upon Himself the punishment for the sin of mankind, and who rose from the dead so that by receiving Him as Savior and Lord, man is redeemed by His blood; that Jesus Christ in person will return to Earth in power and glory; that the Holy Spirit indwells those who have received Christ, for the purpose of enabling them to live righteous and godly lives; and that the Church is the Body of Christ and is comprised of all those who, through belief in Christ, have been spiritually regenerated by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The twin mission of the Church is worldwide evangelization, and nurture and discipline of Christians.
Manna and Joy! 102.5 WOLC P. O. Box 130, Princess Anne, MD 21853 Voice: 410-543-9652 Fax: 410-651-9652 Manna e-mail: email@example.com Joy! 102.5 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ©2010 Maranatha, Inc. May not be reproduced without written consent of Maranatha, Inc. Photos: iStockphoto and Big Stock Photo
Maranatha Media | Home of Joy! 102.5 and the Manna
Signals Screaming Light into the Darkness There was a time when drivers would flick their lights at other drivers to let them know that a speed trap was ahead. I was into it. Of course, I was driving faster than I should have been and found it to be an expected courtesy on the road. Over time, the practice slowed and you don’t see it too much anymore. And I’m glad. While it was a hard habit to break, in these days of amber alerts, I’d fear that I would be giving a heads up to a speeding kidnapper, human trafficker, or terrorist – “Hey! Cops up ahead!” Without my help, maybe they’d do something stupid, get caught, and lives would be saved. Little actions in life can have that much significance. Imagine being locked in the hot, stale cargo area of a rental truck and able to hear the driver and passenger in the front seat. “Flashing lights,” one might say. “Slow down,” says the other. And they chuckle as they steer their payload – human beings – right under the noses of law enforcement. Maybe I watch too much television. I don’t know. On a recent crime show, two young women had been drugged and kidnapped from a night club. One died of a drug overdose; one was sold to a human trafficker. When law enforcement caught up with the man, just a kid, really, that had taken the girls, they asked him why he’d done it. “I dunno,” he said; some man paid me $5,000 each to bring him two young women.” He didn’t care why, other than the money. The life of those girls was unimportant. The value of human life was not part of the equation. He just wanted the cash. And that, unfortunately, is the world we live in. It’s real. Most of us are relatively protected from the harsh ugly truth, but human trafficking exists – not only around the world, but here in our country, in our towns, in our neighborhoods. We’re naive if we think it’s limited to coyotes (human smugglers) sneaking immigrants over our southern borders. Though that’s one huge area of the market. But countless others are
forced into farm labor, sweat shops and sex trafficking and there likely isn’t a state in our nation that is immune to this plague. But that doesn’t mean we turn our back in fear on a world that needs our help. Quite the contrary. As Americans, as Christians, we’re called to stand up against oppression. To speak out. While Scripture provides us with Christ’s message of love, salvation and gives us the assurance of eternal life, and while it sets forth clear directives as to how we are to live in Christ, it also provides us with courage to do something about the evils of this earth. Scripture doesn’t suggest that we merely look on and do nothing. We are encouraged in I John that there is no fear in love and that perfect love drives out fear. We are encouraged in Psalm 23 that even though we might walk through the shadows of death, we will fear no evil – for Christ is with us and comforts us. If any one of us were to hear our lone, small voice, crying out in the midst of the evil of it all, we might cower and fail to speak up. But Christ tells us “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I’m sure there was a time, during the slave trade days of yore, when individuals, even families and whole communities, were afraid to buck authority. The result of those actions were too harshly painful to consider. But little by little, the voice of one was paired with another until those voices could not be quieted. While it was a long and arduous journey, victory and freedom were at the end of that road. When we couple our voice with another – with many others – we prove to be an adversary that evil may not reckon with – and it is that loud and firm voice with which we must scream light into the darkness where human beings are crammed into rental trucks, bound to walls and to each other, awaiting the sound of our voice.
Debbie Byrd is General Manager of Maranatha, Inc., a ministry that includes Joy! 102.5 and the Manna.
wolc.org | readthemanna.org | November 2010
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On the Air Impact The Afters are a Dove Award-winning band founded by Joshua Havens (lead vocals/keys/guitars) and Matt Fuqua (vocals/ guitars). Joshua and Matt first worked together in a Starbucks coffee shop in Texas, where they played for customers before deciding to form a band. Also a part of the band are Dan Ostebo (bass) and Jordan Mohilowski (drums). The Afters have never been more grateful for the response they’re receiving to their new song “Light Up The Sky.” In fact, it’s the #1 song on the CHR charts. Joshua recently commented on what that means to the band: “We’re totally excited with how radio is receiving the song. Without you, this song wouldn’t be impacting as many people as it is! Thanks so much. We’re hearing incredible stories on the road on how “Light Up The Sky” is impacting our fans, but we know there are so many more out there. That’s why we need your help in collecting more stories.”
What’s the message behind the song? ‘“Light Up The Sky” is a song about God’s faithfulness. He is with us not only during
the good times, but also when we’re walking through life’s valleys. On our homepage, we’ve designed a place where listeners and fans can share the ways that God has shown you that He is with you. We’re hoping it will be an encouragement to others! When you post your story, a light will show up on the map. As more and more people share, the map will become brighter and brighter! We all have different stories, but the one thing we all have in common is that no matter what we go through in life, we’re not alone. God loves us and gives us signs to show us that He’s here.”
You can find that map and more about the group at www.theafters.com. This month, The Afters have teamed up with Leeland and Sanctus Real for the “Hungry For Love Tour.” Sponsored by Food for the Hungry, the tour will help raise awareness for the goal of bringing relief and aid to 26 of the most impoverished countries in the world. The “Hungry For Love Tour” will be making stops in 23 cities across the U.S. Listen to Joy! 102.5 for “Light Up the Sky” and more great music from The Afters! Rodney Baylous is Program Director of Joy! 102.5. Visit www.wolc.org.
Listen Now! Check out our Program Guide at wolc.org
wolc.org | readthemanna.org | November 2010
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Human Trafficking By Randy Walter
he concept of human trafficking once was confined to women who were tricked or forced into prostitution. Today, it has expanded to include the river of illegal immigrants entering this country. They arrive crammed in cargo holds of foreign ships. They are the suffocating freight in trucks. They make the dangerous journey on foot to cross the border at remote locations. Some refuse to leave after their visas expire. Many end up exploited as cheap labor for domestic, agricultural or industrial work. Approximately 11.5 million immigrants are in the United States illegally. Over half are from Mexico, followed by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines and India. Their impact on our economy is no longer primarily as migrant workers. One-third have jobs in service industries. Another third do construction, production, installation and repair. Others hold positions in sales, management or transportation. Only 3 percent work in agriculture. While some aliens steal into the U.S. to make money by selling contraband in our wealthy culture, North Americans typically believe illegals come to dwell in the land of opportunity and experience our high standard of living. We tend to associate the worst reason for human trafficking – sexual slavery – with other parts of the world, not here. Contrary to popular opinion, sexual slavery is a mushrooming problem in the United States. Highways which cross international borders are arteries for human trafficking. In Tijuana, children as young as 7 are bought on the streets to be used for prostitution and pornography in the U.S. San Diego has supplanted Southeast Asia as the world’s premier destination for sex tourism. Eleven hundred miles to the north on Interstate 5, Portland, Oregon, is second in the country for sex trafficking, where more than 50 percent of victims are children. Of the roughly 17,500 aliens trafficked into the U.S. each year, one-third are believed to be children targeted for sexual abuse. Overseas, exploited children are placed in illegal international adoption networks. Women are enticed to emigrate to the West on fiancée visas, only to find themselves held hostage and used as sex slaves. The U.N. reports that human trafficking is a thriving international business with an annual market value of $32 billion. The U.S. Department of State estimates that up to 27 million people worldwide are victims of this form of modern-day slavery, including the roughly 1 million children who are abducted or sold into prostitution.
Smuggling According to the FBI, organized crime now relies on human trafficking as much as narcotics smuggling for its largest source of income. Rescue organizations link child prostitution to the approximately 800,000 children reported missing each year in America. Shared Hope International was founded in 1998 to rescue and restore victims of sex trafficking in 14 countries. When representatives went undercover for 12 months to investigate the market for sex trafficking in America, Jamaica, the Netherlands and Japan, they concluded it is “just like a shopping mall.” After observing Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., the organization’s most shocking discovery was the number of American girls being sold for sex to American men. “The largest number of trafficked girls in America were the domestic minor. And the largest segment of buyers were pretty ordinary American men,” stated Shared Hope founder and former Congresswoman Linda Smith. “It is not the trafficker, even though he is a bad guy,” Smith told the Evangelical Press News Service. “It’s not the pimp, even though they’re doing something horrible, but the buyer who is driving the market. As long as they will buy sex by the picture, by the minute, by the video, by the hour or by the life, then there will be someone there to abduct and viciously violate these girls.” Each year, more than 100,000 underage girls in America are forced or lured into sexual slavery. In the vast majority of cases, these children don’t want to prostitute themselves; they are controlled and sold in order to profit their handlers. Some teens unintentionally invite exploitation by posting suggestive or explicit photos of themselves where Internet stalkers can contact and blackmail them into coerced sexual activity. A federal affidavit coined a term for this crime: “sextortion.” A former federal prosecutor blames the spike in child prostitution on easy availability of online pornography. “What you’re finding in today’s society is a greater interest in illicit sex than ever before,” said Alliance Defense Fund attorney Pat Trueman, who was chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. “The Internet has caused that because an individual can go on the Internet, see hardcore pornography, see child pornography, and have almost zero chance of being caught.” He described the resulting problem of prostitution as “booming in cities across America.”
wolc.org | readthemanna.org | November 2010
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Human Trafficking Continued from page 15
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When People Take Action Is there a solution? According to Morality in Media, “Repeated polling has made it clear that voters support enforcement of existing laws that prohibit the distribution of obscenity on the Internet and elsewhere.” The watchdog group cites “overwhelming evidence of a connection between addiction to hardcore adult pornography and sexual abuse of children, child pornography, psychological damage to children, sexual violence against women, sexual trafficking of women and children, and the ruin of many marriages.” Yet the investigation of pornographers usually has a low priority compared with higher profile crimes. Shared Hope’s Linda Smith believes this situation can be reversed by “shining light on it” – informing the public so they insist that legislators demand enforcement of laws against illegal hardcore pornography. “When we tell the American people, I believe a certain number will start taking action,” she said. For example, a driver noticed two distressed teenage girls at a truck stop and called 911. This resulted in the rescue of 14- and 15-year-old cousins who had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. It ultimately helped shut down a 13-state prostitution ring, leading to the conviction of 31 trafficking offenders. A rock band called Take No Glory, from Orange County, CA, found an innovative way to get involved. Featured on a music video about human trafficking and child prostitution, their composition “Beautiful Slave” was based on a true story of a young girl who was forced to work in a brothel in India. The song has been offered as a fundraising tool to the Indian Rescue Mission, an anti-trafficking and rescue organization. “It feels like prostitution is a huge problem, and that a single person maybe feels that they cannot do much to change any-
thing,” said the song’s composer. He asserts that God wants more people to actively seek justice in these situations and help victims find a better life. ‘At The End Of Slavery’ People are holding home gatherings to screen the 30-minute documentary “At the End of Slavery.” Distributed by the International Justice Mission, this film has drawn thousands of viewers to learn and disseminate information about the millions who are enslaved around the world, from the brothels of the Philippines to the brick kilns of India. It teaches people to discuss the issue with friends and encourage members of Congress to take action. Some church denominations budget funds to combat human trafficking, and numerous ministries and organizations have been started to liberate and bring healing to the exploited. An example is Doctors At War, which calls for the unmasking and eradication of the global sex trade, citing long-term healthcare ramifications like sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition, sterility, and such mental health issues as depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. In this economically and sexually overcharged culture, the problem of human trafficking can seem too big to combat. But we live in a nation where the voice of an individual citizen can be heard. Each person can make a difference as more voices cry out and the populace becomes better informed. Complacency is tacit participation in human trafficking and everything it promotes. This might be the best application of Edmund Burke’s statement, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Dr. Lynn Duffy, Psy.D., L.C.P.C., N.C.C. Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor (IBCC)
We offer services of Counseling, Forensic and Consultation and Mediation Celebrates 7 years of service to the community giving glory and thanks to the Lord! Major Health Insurances accepted, including Aetna, APS, Carefirst (BC/BS), Md. Medicaid, MDIPA, Optimum Choice, UBH, can accept VA Premiere, Wells Fargo, including approved to accept TRICARE, or ask about sliding fee scale.
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lavery is a word that captures attention. Slavery enflames powerful emotions of hate, fear and guilt. The idea of slavery goes back much further than the slave trade of the 14th-19th centuries, but that era is fresh in our history books. Western civilization farmed African communities for slaves. They set up one of the largest business enterprises in human history, only instead of a service or good, they transported, bought and sold millions of human beings. They divided families and tribes, spreading them to every corner of the globe. It is a tragic, disgusting thing that happened; yet God used it to grow His family. There is no redeeming quality of the slave trade, but Redemption did happen in its midst. Although slave owners thought forcing Christianity upon their slaves was a way of culturing barbarians and manipulating them into submission,
the message of Christ did what it always does. The message of Jesus brought freedom. God put something in the human heart that recognizes Truth, even when it is inconvenient or devastating. For millions of African slaves, the message of Christ opened their eyes to love, and gave them the strength to face overwhelming adversity. Historians are still discovering poetry, art, journals and tales of how faith shaped the lives of slaves. Jesus preached about the value of the downtrodden. His message isnâ€™t one of â€œjust wait, Heaven will be better.â€? His message is that the Kingdom of God is here and you can be a part of it, no matter what your station in life is. That is what the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) are all about! Suddenly an entire people group was experiencing a revival, even while going through physical enslavement.
Slavery by Josh Millwood
Now we live in a time when the institution of slavery has been outlawed in most of the world (though it still exists and thrives, especially in the Middle East and Asia) and yet we are enslaved in our hearts. Instead of experiencing revival in our spirits, we tie ourselves to the ideologies of this world and lose the power of the message of Christ. In many ways we are less free now and it is of our own choosing. Why would we choose to be enslaved to this world? The human condition is one of belonging. We can either belong to God or to this temporal world. God is great, but we cannot see Him. He isn’t on CNN giving a press conference on His policies. He doesn’t have a Twitter account (that I know of) that we can follow. It is easier for us to give ourselves over to the world, which seems richer and more real to our senses. It is our choice to be yoked to the temporary or the eternal and most
of us do not have an eternal mind-set. Perhaps we should more closely study the faith of slaves. It would have been far easier for slaves to give in to despair and anger. They could have chosen to ignore the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and many did). But millions of people robbed of their freedom found a new way of being free, through Jesus. They were completely aware of their enslavement, yet discovered freedom. Today, many of us are unaware of our enslavement, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t present. The book of Hebrews says “Let us shrug off the sin that so easily ensnares…” Freedom is not cheap. Jesus paid the cost, yet we still must submit ourselves to His will. The good news is that we are designed to follow Christ. We are fulfilled when we do so. We find freedom by becoming slaves to God.
wolc.org | readthemanna.org | November 2010
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By Tullian Tchividjian | Christian Post Contributor The Georgia House Restaurant
ontrary to what some have concluded, a transformational approach to culture does not assume an unrealistic optimism about what’s possible in our fallen world. Because the world will remain sinful until Christ returns, we know we can never achieve any utopia here and now. “Heaven on earth” will become a universal reality only when Christ comes back. In this regard, it’s been helpful for me to understand the distinction Abraham Kuyper made between “persuasion” and “coercion.” For Kuyper, persuasion is the Christian’s role and responsibility toward culture here and now-seeking to influence every sphere of society (such as the family, government, education) for Christ and bringing the standards of God’s Word to bear on every dimension of human culture. Coercion, on the other hand, is the role and responsibility of Christ, not Christians. Jesus alone possesses the right and power to “coerce,” or force, culture in a Godward direction, and this is a right he will fully exercise only when he returns to make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5). It’s helpful to remember that as far as our role is concerned, Christianity has historically spread best through fascination, not force. Understanding the difference between persuasion and coercion-between our role and Christ’s role-helps us serve God with realistic expectations. Of course there has always been considerable (and somewhat distracting) debate on whether, before Christ returns, things will get markedly worse, get markedly better, or just go on about the same. The answer to that is God’s business, not ours. We’re told to plant and water; God alone controls the results. Our task as faithful disciples is proclaimed by the Welsh poet Ethelwyn Wetherald: My orders are to fight; Then if I bleed, or fail, Or strongly win, what matters it? God only doth prevail. The servant craveth naught
Except to serve with might. I was not told to win or loseMy orders are to fight. Visa and What we do know is that many ChrisMastercard tians throughout the ages have sought Accepted cultural transformation, and in so doing they’ve had a huge impact on the world. SAM YODER’S CONCERT HALL et in 1905, this heartOne of them was the English politician warming musical 89 Hunting Quarter Road, Houston, DE William Wilberforce, whose conversion follows a touring muFor to Tickets Call Beracah Homes at 302-349-4561 Christianity impelled him to fight against sical 302-258-3525 family with no or after hours Call Brenda Collison the slave trade throughout the British place to go for Christmas. Empire. He did this for decades, paving They return to their grandparent’s farm in northern Ohio the way for the abolition of slavery and the where they are forced to deal reformation of morals in England. He was with longstanding conflicts. truly a man who changed his times. When In the process, they learn Christians take the cultural mandate serithe importance of following ously, real change for the better can and has God’s unique direction for happened. No Christian has ever “turned their lives. earth into heaven, or the world into the church,” says John Frame. “And sometimes December 1, 2, 3 (Wed - Fri) they have made tragic mistakes. But they $28 per ticket (includes meal) have also done a great deal of good.” 6:00 pm Buffet Dinner Opens The good news is that Christ not only 7:00 pm Show began the process but also will complete it. And by his Spirit, he now empowers us to Ticket Prices Include a Delicarry on his work. Led by Christ and emcious Catered Buffet by The powered by the Holy Spirit, we thus have Georgia House Restaurant all we need for our present task. In saving us, God has fully equipped us to carry out Visa and Mastercard Accepted the cultural mandate he originally entrusted to us.
William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is a Florida native, the new pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. Tullian is the author of Do I Know God? Finding Certainty in Life’s Most Important Relationship (Multnomah), Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different (Multnomah) and Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels (Crossway). Tullian is also a contributing editor to Leadership Journal. He speaks at conferences throughout the U.S. and his sermons are broadcast daily on the radio program Godward Living.
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n May 6, 1937, radio commentator Herbert Morrison sat at the Naval airbase in Lakehurst, New Jersey waiting for the arrival of the Zeppelin Hindenburg, the largest airship that had ever flown. It was twelve hours behind schedule and, doubtless, Morrison was glad to begin recording: “Toward us, like a great feather ... is the Hindenburg. The members of the crew are looking down on the field ahead of them getting their glimpses of the mooring mast...” But three hundred feet over its intended landing spot, the Hindenburg shockingly burst into flames. It was destroyed in precisely 32 seconds, all before the unbelieving eyes of 1,000 spectators. Morrison’s breathless account of the tragedy remains a famous piece of American journalism, particularly his cry “Oh the humanity!” which resonated with the impact of the disaster. This phrase is now synonymous with any expression of surprise or strong emotion, but it was originally uttered by Morrison as a lament for the human vulnerability so brazenly materializing before him. As burning wreckage came crashing onto the ground and the crowd underneath did not seem to have time to escape, humanity appeared small and susceptible. Here, the symbol of German grandeur, the aircraft deemed the largest and the safest, was suddenly an image of the fragility of human life. Often reclaimed in times of despair or calamity, the image of human life as vulnerable comes as a shock, even though we know it to be an accurate picture. We are not the towering pillars of strength we sometimes believe, but clay at best, which breaks and falls into pieces before our eyes. It is an image we receive with disbelief, if not indignation. Consequently, because we are so often reminded of human weakness in the midst of tragedy, it is easy—and often valid—to associate vulnerability with lament. Sitting beside a cancer patient who has fought the disease with everything she has and is still losing the battle, fragility is something to bemoan. Standing within a refugee camp in Uganda, where disease is rampant and the death rate is estimated at over 1000 lives a week, human frailty is not only lamentable, it is infuriating. We might even ask, is it justifiable to see the inherent weakness of humanity as anything other than something to bemoan? Not unlike the tragedies that jar us awake, the gospel and the cross within it remind us that human life is not invincible. Jesus spoke readily of his own death and wept at the grave of
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a friend. He crumbled in Gethsemane under the weight of the coming cross, sweating blood and praying in anguish. Indeed, at the very heart of Christianity is one who reminds us that humanity, like grass and flowers, withers and falls. The apostle Paul, too, racked with persecution, shipwrecks, and beatings, wrote of our bodies as clay jars, hastening back the image of David who lamented that he had become like “broken pottery.” Scripture clearly puts forth the story of a fleeting and afflicted humanity. And yet importantly, this image is not always put forth as a lament. Far from this, Christ calls to us within our weakness and within his own weakness, demonstrating that suffering is not unfamiliar to him and beckoning us to live as he lived. In the cruciform image of Jesus on the cross, we find that there is depth in tragedy, healing in brokenness, even the possibility of meaning in affliction. Further, where the human Christ is exemplar, there is great hope within human fragility. As Paul writes, “[W]e have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10). The gospel does not merely tell of the life to come, of resurrection and restoration, certainty and comfort; Christ is not an escape raft for the hard realities of this world. On the contrary, the gospel must figure into what we think about our humanity in the midst of it all. Jesus extends an example of what it means to be human here and now, through suffering, in tragedy, when vulnerability and helplessness lay us low. Here, lamentation is often befitting, but so is its counterpart. For quite thankfully, Jesus is not only familiar with the tragic sense of human frailty, he also embraced weakness with passion, that he could carry us through our own. Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. Oh the Humanity by Jill Carattini, A Slice of Infinity, No. 2297, orignally printed September 27, 2010 (www.rzim. org). Used by permission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.
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ecause demand far exceeds supply, thousands of people in the U.S. die each year while on the waiting list for an organ transplant. This has given rise to a grisly twist in human trafficking – transplant tourism. The poor in developing parts of the world are willing to sell a kidney to someone who will travel there for transplant surgery. Observers describe this underground trade as reaching epidemic proportions. The rise of diabetes and hypertension in the West has many people in need of kidneys. As they await a donor, they consider options outside conventional medicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 95,000 people in the U.S. need kidney transplants, and another 65,000 in Europe. Only 25,000 kidneys are available in the U.S. each year through legitimate means; 16,000 in Europe. As a result, WHO believes illicit organ trafficking accounts for as much as 10 percent of transplants worldwide. Charlotte Kuchinsky, writing for Health and Wellness, reports that reliable data on illegal organ dealing is scarce. While wealthy recipients may pay $100,000 to $200,000 for this procedure, donors typically receive as little as $1,000 and risk disease or the failure of their remaining kidney. “Current U.S. and European laws only allow for use or organs from recently deceased donors or live donors giving organs to save the life of a relative or friend,” Kuchinsky writes. “However, in Asia, South America and Africa, there is cultural resistance to the use of organs from dead bodies. Therefore, the majority of transplanted organs in those countries also come from live, often unrelated, donors.” National Geographic Ultimate Explorer reported that police in Brazil and South Africa broke up an international ring trafficking in kidneys. “Brazilian police reported that dozens of willing donors were flown from that nation’s destitute neighborhoods to South Africa, where kidney transplant surgery was performed,” the article said. This was just one instance of a growing worldwide trend of disadvantaged people being physically exploited. In India, one neighborhood is known locally as “kidney village,” because so many of its residents sold one of their kidneys, the article continued. They received about $800, the equivalent of a year’s earnings. This practice threatens to undermine the conventional organ donation process. Newsweek reported that in some American hospitals, physi-
cians transplant organs obtained from black market networks of people ranging from gangsters to clergymen. There is reluctance to regulate the market for illegally donated organs, stemming from concern that recognizing the practice would relegate body parts to a commodity, leading to greater abuse. That likelihood has already been realized in places where a more sinister aspect of this trade occurs, and people are killed in order to harvest their organs. In the meantime, pursuing means of organ donation outside the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network has met with little enthusiasm within the medical and bioethics communities. United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) spokesperson Anne Paschke says her organization does not oppose a pilot project to test financial incentives for postmortem organ donations. This would require amending U.S. law which prohibits any “valuable consideration” resulting from an organ donation. For now, UNOS remains focused on utilizing donated organs as efficiently as possibly by streamlining the process of getting them from a deceased donor to an appropriate recipient. “What kind of message motivates people to become donors?” Paschke commented. “Our latest research shows that people are inspired when they see a real person, the story of a person who’s been helped, so we’re trying to focus on individuals, on the real people who are on the list.” Watching a family member’s health deteriorate while awaiting an organ donation is painful for all involved. However, before resorting to transplant tourism, its clandestine nature should be considered. It is primarily a money-maker for its promoters, and offers little assurance of a healthy organ, skillful surgeons or hygienic operating conditions. Randy Walter is Contributing Editor to the Manna.
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What if the End Isn’t Near? By Tom Krattenmaker | Christian Post Guest Contributor
hen Tyler Wigg-Stevenson contemplates the times ahead - something this young Baptist preacher and Swarthmore College graduate tends to do a lot - he sees two futures. In one, the world has rid itself of nuclear weapons. In the other, the world has been destroyed by them. “Because of language, culture, and politics, the threat of nuclear weapons has been a difficult issue for evangelical Christians to engage,” says Wigg-Stevenson, founder and director of the Two Futures Project, a Christian campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. “It’s been my mission to carve out space for evangelicals to engage this issue on their own terms.” The 33-year-old Nashville resident has assembled a surprising corps of allies and endorsers more than twice his age and known for their hawkish ways of yore, including retired U.S. senator Sam Nunn and Reagan-era secretary of State George Shultz. Less encouraging is the shape of the initial resistance WiggStevenson often encounters as he travels around the country urging Christians to join the nuclear abolition cause - a mindset that coaxes many believers to accept, even welcome, the imminent end of the world. As signaled by the runaway success of the Left Behind books, end-time expectations hold undeniable sway in evangelical America, which makes long-term investments in a better future seem utterly beside the point. Thankfully, Wigg-Stevenson and many new-breed evangelicals like him are refusing the kind of end-times bait that lets believers off the hook - off the hook of inspired social action
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that can make their faith a powerful blessing to their society and their time. The Second Coming When some Christians look into the near future, they see a wondrous fate for themselves and fellow evangelical believers: a rapture in which God sweeps the true Christians up to heaven. According to this reading of the bible’s Book of Revelation, what awaits those on the wrong side of the ecclesiastical line is not so wondrous: seven years of unimaginable suffering, war and destruction that ends with the Second Coming of Jesus. Opinion surveys over the past decade show that more than half the American public believes that the end times are coming. A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that roughly four in 10 Americans believe the Second Coming will happen by 2050. Those enraptured by the rapture tend to view current events through the lens of biblical prophesy, reading everything from the Obama election to the oil disaster in the Gulf Coast as fulfillment of one or another cryptic passage from Revelation. You can imagine the implications this might have for someone’s approach to the here, the now and the times ahead. Work for a better future? What future? In this view, staving off wholesale destruction is viewed as a distraction from evangelism or, worse, as faithlessness, as getting in God’s way.
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At the extreme end of this thought train come figures such as Todd Strandberg, founder of the Rapture Ready website, who opposes environmental protection on fatalistic grounds. “The Bible predicts that during the tribulation hour, the world will come to near complete ruin,” Strandberg writes. “I am strongly against Christians embracing the environmental movement.” For liberal religionists or non-believers, this kind of stance is one of the least appealing aspect of evangelicals’ popular image. It’s as if one group is rowing the boat in the direction of species betterment (or, at least, survival), while another group sits idly as the vessel drifts closer to the precipice of the waterfall, convinced that the divine hand will pluck them and their religiously correct fellows from disaster. A Nuclear Nightmare When it comes to apocalyptic visions, Wigg-Stevenson has had his share. But as he began grappling with the nuclear weapons a decade ago as a newly minted college grad and a not-yet-Christian, his were visions of searing white atomic flashes burning up the surface of the planet and millions of people. His soon-to-follow Christian conversion didn’t free him from the nuclear nightmare but bound him to its prevention. Understanding that liberal and secular arguments have formed the main rhetorical front in the campaign against nukes - and that these can leave many Christians cold - Wigg-Stevenson has developed a Scripture-based case that lays it all out on an evangelical’s terms. “I tell evangelical audiences that if you care about the preciousness of life and creation, if you care about the poor, if you care about justice, please understand that the detonation of a nuclear weapon is about the worst thing that can happen,” he says. Wigg-Stevenson takes pains not to criticize those who read Revelation as a blueprint for rapture and apocalypse in our time. “There are people with integrity who think this way,” he says. “But it leads to an unbiblical focus on the mechanics of the end times.” Exclusive “Marlette by Schult” Retailer
Jesus himself warned against precise predictions about when and how the end will come, Wigg-Stevenson points out. His own faith and activism are powerfully motivated by his conviction in the coming kingdom of God, yet he stresses, “The prophesies shouldn’t lead us to be obsessed with the mechanics of end times, but to be obsessed with Jesus.” Twentysomething activist and writer Jonathan Merritt describes a kind of religious complacency that once dissuaded him from caring much about the condition of the planet. In his 2010 book, Green like God, Merritt remembers thinking, “Why worry about the future of an earth that has no future?” Since a college classroom experience turned him inside-out, Merritt has made caring for creation his life’s mission. “When those clouds peel back and my Savior returns,” Merritt says, “I want to be caught in the act of loving people, worshiping Christ, and obeying all of God’s commands, including his command to care for his creation.” Good News Committed young Christian action-takers such as WiggStevenson and Merritt represent a hopeful new current in evangelical America. What a refreshing counterpoint to those who eye an imminent cosmic endgame, one replete with mass death and destruction, and seem to say, “Bring it on!” If end-times acceptance is losing credibility among the new generation of Jesus followers - and many signs say it is - this is good news for us all. Taking Wigg-Stevenson’s two-futures paradigm a step further, Christians might see a choice concerning their approach to the future as well. They can bet on a supernatural rescue for themselves and their kind and wait for the cataclysm. Or they can dedicate themselves to compassionate action to alleviate suffering and injustice, to creating a better world. Which would their Savior have them do? Tom Krattenmaker is a writer based in Portland, Ore., specializing in religion in public life and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. His book, Onward Christian Athletes was published last fall.
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nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can
no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.â€? â€“ Cicero, Roman philosopher and statesman America is in the midst of an epidemic of historic proportions. The contagion being spread like wildfire is turning communities into battlegrounds and setting Americans one against the other. Normally mild-mannered individuals caught up in the throes of this disease have been transformed into belligerent zealots, while others inclined to pacifism have taken to stockpiling weapons and practicing defensive drills. This plague on our nation-one that has been carefully cultivated and spread by
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Loathing in America – mate Tool of Tyrants By John W. Whitehead | Christian Post Contributor
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the powers-that-be-is a potent mix of fear coupled with unhealthy doses of paranoia and intolerance, tragic hallmarks of the post-9/11 America in which we live. Everywhere you turn, those on both the left- and right-wing are fomenting distrust and division. You can’t escape it. We’re being fed a constant diet of fear: fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, fear of people who are too religious, fear of people who are not religious enough, fear of Muslims, fear of Christians, fear of the government, fear of those who fear the government. The list goes on and on. The strategy is simple yet brilliant: the best way to control a populace is through fear and discord. Confound them, distract them with mindless news chatter and
entertainment, pit them against one another by turning minor disagreements into major skirmishes, and tie them up in knots over matters lacking in national significance such as whether a Christian pastor should burn a Quran or if a mosque should be built two blocks away from Ground Zero. Most importantly, keep the people divided so that they see each other as the enemy and screaming at each other so that they drown out all other sounds. In this way, they will never reach consensus about anything or hear the corporate state as it closes in on them. This is how freedom-loving people enslave themselves and allow tyrants to prevail. This Machiavellian scheme has so ensnared the nation that few Americans even
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Fear and Loathing in America – The Ultimate Tool of Tyrants Continued from page 27 realize they are being manipulated into adopting an “us” against “them” mindset. Instead, fueled with fear and loathing for phantom opponents, they pour millions of dollars and resources into political elections, hoping for change that never comes. All the while, those in power-bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporationsmove their costly agendas forward, and “we the suckers” get saddled with the tax bills. We have been down this road before. A classic example is the fear and paranoia that gripped the country during the 1950s. Many huddled inside their homes and fallout shelters, awaiting a nuclear war. It was also the time of the Red Scare. The enemy this time was Communist infiltration of American society. Joseph McCarthy, a young Republican senator, grasped the opportunity to capitalize on the popular paranoia for personal national attention. In a speech in February 1950, McCarthy alleged having a list of over 200 members of the Communist Party “working and shaping the policy of the U.S. State Department.” The speech was picked up by the Associated Press, without substantiating the facts, and within a few days the hysteria began. McCarthy specialized in sensational and unsubstantiated accusations about Communist infiltration of the American govern-
ment, particularly the State Department. He also targeted well-known Hollywood actors and directors, trade unionists and teachers. Many others were brought before the inquisitional House Committee on UnAmerican Activities for questioning. Regarded as bad risks, the accused struggled to secure employment. The witch hunt ruined careers, resulting in suicides, and tightened immigration to exclude alleged subversives. “McCarthyism” eventually smeared all the accused with the same broad brush, whether the evidence was good, bad or nonexistent. McCarthy, like many do today, appealed to the low instincts of envy, paranoia and dislike for the intellectual establishment. “The real scoundrel in all this,” writes historian David Halberstam, “was the behavior of the members of the Washington press corps, who, more often than not, knew better. They were delighted to be a part of his traveling road show, chronicling each charge and then moving on to the next town, instead of bothering to stay behind and follow up. They had little interest in reporting how careless McCarthy was or how little it all meant to him.” Moreover, the anti-Communist crusade elicited the involvement and tacit support of various liberal groups and individuals, including the American Civil Liberties
Union. Incredibly, from 1953 to 1959, the ACLU refused to defend alleged Communists who were under attack or had lost their jobs. Little substantive commentary was coming from the news media. No one with any power was willing to take on the popular McCarthy-much like the lack of head-on commentary from today’s major network mouthpieces concerning possible government corruption in high places. However, on March 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow, the most-respected newsman on television at the time, broke the ice. He attacked McCarthy on his weekly show, See It Now. Murrow interspersed his own comments and clarifications into a damaging series of film clips from McCarthy’s speeches. Murrow ended the broadcast with one of the greatest news commentaries of all time, also a warning. “We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it-and rather successfully. Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in our-
selves.’ Good night, and good luck.” Of the 12,000 telephone calls received within 24 hours of the broadcast, CBS reported that positive responses to the program outnumbered negative ones 15 to 1. And McCarthy’s favorable rating in the Gallup Poll dropped from 50% to 46%, never to rise again. Before 1954 ended, McCarthy’s political career was finished. Murrow had guts-something lacking in most of today’s television commentators who are more adept at reading teleprompters than tackling issues-and he spoke truth to power. Indeed, Murrow’s hard-hitting approach to the news cost him, and cost him dearly. See It Now occasionally scored high ratings (usually when it concerned controversial subjects). However, in general, it did not score well on primetime television. When the quiz show phenomenon began, entertainment more and more became the focus of television. The conscious decision of executives to exchange knowledge for entertainment bewildered Murrow. As he remarked, the television industry “seems determined to destroy itself.” See It Now was cancelled in 1958. CBS founder William S. Paley complained that the program “gave me a stomachache.” From there, Murrow produced a series of occasional television special reports that defined documentary news coverage. But Murrow’s reporting brought him into repeated conflicts with CBS heads and Paley. And after his last documentary, “Harvest of Shame,” which was a report on the plight of migrant farm workers in the U.S., Murrow resigned from CBS. A heavy smoker all his life, Murrow developed lung cancer and died at his home in 1965. But his timely warnings still present a challenge to us today. As Murrow said to his staff before the historic March 9 broadcast: “No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.” Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at email@example.com. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.
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The Milestone By B. A. Timmons It was boys play, but significant enough that there could have been serious consequences. When confronted, my young son denied all responsibility. As time progressed, his involvement in the suspected foul play seemed more and more apparent. The level of my frustration increased as his firm but unconvincing denial continued. The degree of the offense paled in comparison to his apparent dishon-
esty. The lapse in judgment could easily be dealt with, but his attitude of denial was of great concern. So I made yet another attempt to explain to him the seriousness of the situation. Perhaps those first interrogations had planted an insurmountable level of fear into his young mind. I emphasized again it was most important that he be truthful, and the original issue would be dealt with fairly
CROPPER and calmly (this needed clarification, since calmness was not always the rule in my disciplining). So after this discussion, when questioned again, he responded with, “Yes, I did it.” “Why didn’t you just tell me that to begin with?” I asked. “Because I didn’t want to get in trouble,” was his response. The sense of relief was overwhelming. I was so thrilled to see my son take responsibility for his failure that the yet to be administered discipline seemed insignificant. The following day, he made the necessary apologies and began his two week restriction. These were necessary measures to fix in his memory the serious nature of his deed. But I took no pleasure in implementing them. However, I did take great pleasure in reflecting on what had transpired between my son and me. It was a milestone in my estimation. My son was learning to take responsibility, he was learning the value of truth, and he was beginning to be able to make a correct decision in the face of inevitable discomfort. Yet none of these things were the milestone. Instead, that lay in the idea that my son trusted his life into my hands. He stood before me, willing to admit what he had done, and he believed I would treat him fairly and do what was best for him and the situation. These are the makings of a healthy relationship. Without that level of trust, we can’t go forward as a father and son. Our dealings with each other are greatly hampered if either of us mistrusts the other. My son’s growth will be hindered without it. The initial incident was not of tremendous concern. It was a typical misstep of a boy his age. I treated it just as that. The focus instead was on my relationship to him. He is a boy. He will stumble. We will help him through that, and help him to mature. This is what relationship is all about. If his stumbling creates a chasm between him and me, then we have an issue. This is also a typical hurdle in the life of the believer. We stumble, repeatedly. Often from the very beginning of our walk, we focus on our behavior and how we perceive it to affect our relationship to God. Perhaps we begin to look at the Lord as the Person with whom we are always in trouble, and that defines our relationship: I fail – I view myself as being in trouble – I
break off honest conversation with God. I create a chasm between The Lord and me. If I can’t move beyond this, I am stuck. My son was initially viewing me as the person eager to uncover his deed so that the failure could be addressed. He did his best to avoid that. But he was missing the point altogether. He didn’t understand that I know all about being a boy. Boys will be boys. Those boyish behaviors will result in some difficult moments, but they are to be expected. They do not cause me to think any less of him. What I do expect is that he will engage with us at all times, even when he stumbles. He reached the milestone when he said to me, in essence, “I know I failed, will you help me through this?” At some point as a believer, I must realize that The Lord understands my propensity to fail while I walk in the flesh. But His remedy is not the same as mine. While I may think “If I can’t stop failing, I can’t have a great relationship with God”, He says “If you would just live in a relationship with Me, you will stop failing, and in the meantime, I’ve got you covered”. The Apostle John put it this way in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” I believe that John was saying “If you abide in Me and live in close relationship with Me, then out of that, you will do as I do.” He isn’t just talking about trying to live a godly life out of appreciation and love for what Christ has done for us, but rather living the way God intends out of a union between two that have become one. Our hope is that our son is beginning to grasp the importance of an open and honest relationship with us. He may do those boy things, yet our relationship does not revolve around his ability to behave perfectly. And while no good will come out of the denial of his failings, walking together through the good and the bad will bring his mother and me great pleasure. In time he will come to appreciate it as well. His growth will follow. Our missteps are no surprise to The Lord. I believe He takes great pleasure in walking with us through them. They draw us to this One who sees us as we are, yet loves us none the less. And the believer passes a milestone when he can say to Him “I trust my life into your hands. I believe you love me just as I am, and I will trust you to deal with my flesh in due time.”
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Work of Their Hands
My daughter-in-law is from Peru. Even before the 9/11 attacks, it was a long, complicated process to go through channels and bring her to this country, where she is now a citizen. Among her many friends in the Hispanic community, a few came here illegally. America has an ambivalent attitude toward immigration. We look the other way when undocumented aliens accept lower pay to work in this country, but we complain when jobs are exported to be done more cheaply in other nations. In the debate over amnesty, entitlements and the demographic shift in our culture, it is easy to overlook the deprivation and suffering which drive people to leave a kind of poverty North Americans only observe on foreign mission trips – people living in shanties that we wouldn’t use for doghouses, eking out a living without benefit of education or opportunities, supporting their families on the equivalent of a couple dollars a day. Is it surprising that some would risk everything to come to this country? One of my daughter-in-law’s friends walked from Central America through Mexico to enter this country without papers. During the ordeal, her group was abandoned in the desert by their “coyote.” It’s not uncommon for people to die on such journeys. Compared to the lure of money, the price of a life is inconsequential to their guides. People sell cherished possessions and mortgage their homes to pay the steep fee for a family member to be smuggled across the border. And once he arrives, there is no guarantee things will turn out well. In an article called “Where’s My Daddy? Families Broken by De-
portation,” Delaware publication El Tiempo Hispano portrayed the plight of Sussex County’s growing Hispanic population. The worst nightmare of those here illegally is a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The story described one young girl who, after watching her father being led away in handcuffs, was too scared to go back to school. Such traumatic experiences are common. Many immigrants come from countries where bribery settles legal disputes. The United States, they discover, possesses the means and the will to enforce its laws. So these newcomers keep to themselves as a subculture. Only their children or grandchildren become comfortable assimilating into the prevailing society. In 1991, Eva Avalos came illegally to the U.S. from Mexico with four of her six children. She wanted to join their father, who was working here. An article in Christian Leader magazine described how she sold all she owned to pay for the trip. She eventually went to Oregon, where she expected her family to be reunited. Instead, she found herself a single mother without employment, transportation or housing. Abandoned and speaking little English, she had no prospects. Members of a local church began visiting the family, bringing food and other necessities. One congregant helped Eva apply for federal assistance and provided a place for the family to live. Eva was introduced to Jesus, and the Bible became a comfort to her. She read that God would never leave her nor forsake her. He promised to defend the widow and fatherless, and love the alien. Those scriptures played out as
immigration authorities unexpectedly granted her legal residency, enabling her to apply for citizenship. Her children obtained work permits and remained in the country legally. Eva learned English, obtained a driver’s license, earned her G.E.D. and got off of federal assistance. “I’m grateful that we came here, because we found out who died for us, who to go to,” she told her interviewer. “He’ll never leave us.” Many prominent church leaders have taken a public stand on whether immigration can be reformed. While the debate continues, there are people like Eva Avalos in almost every community. The Bible is very specific about how we are to treat the foreigners in our midst. God told His people, “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself….” He instructed the Hebrews to leave part of their harvest to be gleaned by the aliens, widows and fatherless among them, “so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” God instructed them to pay their workers a fair wage each day, whether they be fellow Israelites or aliens. Because His people once were slaves in Egypt, He admonished that they must not take advantage of the less fortunate. Foreigners were to be treated fairly, instructed in His Law and welcomed at the Holy feasts. Immigrants remind us of the privilege of our prosperity and the importance and of our liberties, just as the aliens did the Hebrews of ancient times. Regardless of our government’s policies on immigration, we should treat immigrants humanely and compassionately.
wolc.org | readthemanna.org | November 2010
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