• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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What Would Teddy Roosevelt Do? The Border And Immigration

Former President, Theodore Roosevelt, was also a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate winner because of his leadership in the negotiations of the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.  He is considered a notable and heroic American leader.  He advised us to “Speak softly,” “carry a big stick,” “and you will go far.”  I think he portrayed much in his life of what was to become the model for the “American Character” – a kind of cross between George Washington and John Wayne that you use to see in movie heroes years ago.

If faced with our modern problems of border control and immigration, what would a leader like Teddy Roosevelt do?  What would be his attitude toward this problem?  The fact of the matter is that Teddy Roosevelt did have a lot to say on this subject.  So, let us look at what he did say:

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.

“If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.

“We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul [sic] loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.” (The Chicago Daily Tribune, January 6, 1919)

Teddy Roosevelt believed that immigrants should be assimilated into American society as quickly as possible.  He did not care for hyphenated national identities such as “Italian-American,” or “Irish-American.”  He believed that when you came here, your primary allegiance was to America.  He advocated measures to strengthen the loyalty of American immigrants.  He thought that learning the English language should be compulsory.  Roosevelt went on to say:

“Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it. Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back. He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here. He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend upon his knowing English and observing American standards. The employer cannot be permitted to regard him only as an industrial asset.

“We must in every way possible encourage the immigrant to rise, help him up, give him a chance to help himself. If we try to carry him he may well prove not well worth carrying. We must in turn insist upon his showing the same standard of fealty to this country and to join with us in raising the level of our common American citizenship.

“If I could I would have the kind of restriction which would not allow any immigrant to come here unless I was content that his grandchildren would be fellow-citizens of my grandchildren.” (The New York Times, February 2, 1916)

I guess Teddy would not be considered very “politically correct” in our day and time.  Are his ideas, however, rejected because they are outdated and irrelevant to our border and immigration problems or are they rejected because this is the correct solution – but our politicians, like Esau, have sold our birthright for a pot of stew? (Genesis 25, ESV)

Someone needs to stand up and say that the stew is rotten before our nation is poisoned and dies from divided loyalties.  I was born here.  I am an American, not a Scottish-American or Irish-American, even though they are a part of my family heritage.  My loyalty is to America, not Scotland or Ireland (even though I may be fascinated by the history of these countries and be proud of my ancestry).  If you choose to immigrate to America, your loyalty must be first to America.  If you cannot make that choice, then you should not choose to come here – because the very reasons you are coming here will be destroyed by your presence.  Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” (Matthew 12:25, ESV)

Right now, our nation needs heroes like Teddy Roosevelt.  We need politicians who desire for the United States to continue as a sovereign, free nation.  We do not need the secular progressive prophets of the left continuously crying out, “‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11, ESV)

Has Your Church Compromised The Gospel?

“Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized [strange] fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them.  And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” (Leviticus 10:1-2, ESV)

We live in an age of strange fire.  The clergy and leaders of the Christian church believe it is necessary to reshape and water down God’s Holy Word in order to appeal to the present generation.  The church is pandering to “worldly” needs rather than offering the Gospel of “spiritual” need.  Spiritual truth has been replaced by the desire to make the church more appealing, more attractive, and more in sync with our materialistic culture.  Charles Spurgeon wrote these lines to address similar problems in his day:

Brethren, let me ask you, do you imagine that the gospel is a nose of wax which can be shaped to suit the face of each succeeding age? Is the revelation once given by the Spirit of God to be interpreted according to the fashion of the period? Is “advanced thought” to be the cord with which the spirit of the Lord is to be straitened? Is the old truth that saved men hundreds of years ago to be banished because something fresh has been hatched in the nests of the wise? Think you that the witness of the Holy Ghost can be shaped and molded at our will? Is the divine Spirit to be rather the pupil than the teacher of the ages? “Is the spirit of the Lord straitened?” (OldTruth.com)

When the church’s goal is to be relevant by the world’s standards, you can be sure that it is on the road to irrelevance.  We do not come to church to be entertained and psychologically affirmed, but to become disciples.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4, ESV)  Christianity is not compatible with a “give the howling mob what they want” philosophy.  When the church compromises with popular thinking, the Gospel is lost.  The preaching of the Scripture must never be tailored to the world’s preferences.

“This is what the Lord has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.'” (Leviticus 10:3, ESV)

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