I have never seen anything like this in the sixty-one years of my life:

A United States president, acting like a monarch or dictator, thumbs his nose  at the American people he is supposed to lead and protect, granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens by executive fiat.

President Obama’s November 20 executive action is bad for the country, is a blatant abuse of Constitutional power and directly contradicts the expressed will of the American people.

I will focus on the latter point. He acts like a king with utter disdain for the people.

It’s time to stop tip-toeing around the presidential problem we face. We are being gamed by a narcissistic president who cares more for his agenda than those that he serves..

And here’s what we need to do about it.

Last night President Barack Obama did something that no American president has ever done. He symbolically displayed his middle finger to the American people he is supposed to listen to and represent–as well as the Congress who makes our laws–and acted like a king who creates law, interprets and enforces them.

We haven’t seen those brazen actions on our shores for nearly 240 years when King George III did the same with the American colonists–making laws without their consent–which precipitated the Revolutionary War and the birth of the USA.

When a humble George Washington became our first president, he rigorously resisted the easy temptation to be called “Your Majesty” and rule like a king. No–he said calling him “Mr. President” was enough, and that republican institutions were to make laws only through the peoples’ elected representatives.

George Washington was a humble leader with great character.

Barack Obama seems to be completely lacking in this most important quality of leadership.

In the past few decades we’ve seen other presidents–both Democrat and Republican–chastised by the voters in mid-tem elections–come out humbled and working for the good of the nation.

In 1986, Democrats took over both the House and the Senate during the Reagan years. A humbled Ronald Reagan accepted the verdict of the voters and began working with House Speaker Tip O’Neill for the good of the nation. Economic prosperity followed.

Twelve years later, Bill Clinton’s government was shellacked in the mid-term elections. He, too, humbled himself, listened to the people and committed to working with Capitol Hill on major achievements which included welfare reform and a balanced budget.

When good leaders are rebuked, they learn (even when they may have mixed motives for changing). When bad leaders are chastised, they react in pride and disdain.

Last evening, Barack Obama gave a smooth yet deceptive speech. He decided to go around Congress and allow certain unlawful residents with established roots to “come out of the shadows” because mass deportation of illegal immigrants “would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”

“I hear those concerns,” he added in a speech that quoted both Moses and George W. Bush, but “immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society.”

It all sounded good and almost reasonable at certain points. But the entire presentation was lawless in nature and deceptive to the core. 

Before we analyze his action, let’s look at what Barack Obama, acting like a king, did on November 20 to lead our immigration system into certain chaos.

Specifically, the president’s executive action will:

  • Create a new deferred deportation program for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident children if they have been in the country for more than five years. 
  • Grant work permits for three years if they pass background checks and pay back taxes and fees. In nearly all states, the people who are granted legal status will be entitled to driver’s licenses.
  • Expand protection from deportation to more “Dreamers,” or people who came to the U.S. illegally as children, and grant more work permits to high-skilled workers. 
  • Establish a new priority system for deporting illegal immigrants, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to focus on people serving jail time for criminal offenses. 
  • Add more immigration judges to the border region so illegal immigrants who are deemed low-priority can be released more quickly, and recent border crossers and those with serious criminal records can be deported. 

While the president portrayed his edict as necessary to address long-standing immigration problems, giddy Democrats who held immigration parties across the nation also believe President Obama’s action will buy them millions of Hispanic votes and provide progressive candidates with an electoral edge for years to come. 

And he enacted the ruling like a tin-pot dictator–against the wishes of the American people. Columnist John Hayward comments: 

“It’s still striking that not a single poll can be produced showing majority support for what Obama did last night, including some resistance from people who are generally in favor of all that “pathway to citizenship” stuff but oppose the way Obama is forcing it down their throats.  The most recent election could not have made it more clear that the American electorate doesn’t want this.  But Obama seized new powers to override the American peopleacting as the representative of foreign citizens.”

That’s an incredibly deaf abuse of power and wrong priorities.

The 2014 mid-term elections, which just rolled through the nation as a thunder storm, were a clear repudiation of two Obama policies: Obamacare (ACA) and amnesty for illegals. You can’t interpret the results any other way unless you live in a fantasy world.

Election 2014 was a refutation of Barack Obama’s policies and priorities. As he likes to say:

“Period.”

Let’s analyze the timing of the president’s announcement.

Barack Obama would like us to think that his executive order is based on what he knows is best for the American people and nation.

But that doesn’t square with reality. President Obama and his party controlled both the Congress and the presidency for the first two years of his term. If they really believed Americans wanted to legalize illegal entrants into the country en masse, then it would have been easy to pass comprehensive immigration reform without a fight. Write the bill. Pass it in both chambers and sign it into law.

Why didn’t they do it? Because they knew that the American people didn’t want illegal aliens being treated better than legal-in-the-process immigrants that America has always loved and championed.

We are a nation of immigrants—legal ones!—who believe in the rule of law and fairness.

The Democrats knew this and punted. Barack Obama also knew he couldn’t be re-elected in 2012 if he went against the wishes of the American people on such a major issue.

After he was re-elected, he pushed through the Senate another bill (with the help of a few Republicans) that the House refused to take up. Why did they table it? Because the People’s House knew that the folks didn’t support it.

Why did Barack Obama not push that bill prior to the 2014 elections? Because he knew if he did, then there might not be one Democrat left in either chamber of Congress. The shellacking would have been even worse than it was.

So after hearing the people speak in the 2014 election, he should have humbled himself like Reagan and Clinton and many other presidents, listened to the voice of the people, and gone to Congress after the lame-duck session to put together a good bill that will benefit the America people as well as take into account those who came to our nation unlawfully.

He refused to listen, and with no other elections to bind him, decided to act like a spoiled child or a self-absorbed dictator and rule by presidential fiat.

And why did he do that? Is it because he really wants to do “what’s best for America?”

I don’t think so. It’s a political move—plain and simple. Barack Obama believes that granting de facto amnesty to millions of Hispanics will help the Democrats win elections for years to come.

He did it for votes–nothing else.

So what should we do about this partisan and reckless act by a man who would be emperor?

1. Like the Committees of Correspondence of Revolutionary times, we need to make our voices heard that we want a secure border, a stream-lined legal process for legal immigration, and some penalties and process for those who broke our laws. That applies to adults only (kids are not responsible for their parents’ sins). Both the Heritage Foundation and Bill O’Reilly offer sensible plans for dealing with immigration.

2. We need to pray for the new Congress to wisely resist this president’s authoritarian tendencies in all area of his administration. May God give them specific wisdom to resist bad policies and enact righteous solutions that the nation truly wants and needs.

3. We must have a long memory—two years to be exact—and elect a humble and competent president in 2016 who will help reverse the bad decisions of the past few years and lead America once again into a time of moral, economic, and social renewal.

No more snubs by would-be monarchs should be tolerated in our nation.

To quote the early colonists, “We have no king but Jesus!”

 

 

 

 

Deception:  1. an act or statement intended to make people believe something that is not true (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

As I look around the world, I am amazed by the deceptions that dominate the media air waves and many of our classrooms. Here are a couple examples: 

  • Changing the definition of marriage to allow any consenting adults to believe they are “married”–something which can only take place between a man and woman as recognized by 5000 years of history. (You can watch a powerful short video here that shreds this deception into pieces.)
  • That man-made global warming is the great issue of the 21st century when there is no proof that it is taking place and temperatures have been constant for over fifteen years. 

I could list scores of others, from politics to medicine. But there are two that are currently in the news that really got my attention.

They both involve the tactic of compassion as a tool of deception.

It is clear from the Bible that the origin of lying and the spirit of deception so prevalent in our fallen world comes from the invisible satanic world. Jesus called Lucifer “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44) and Revelation 12:9 gives him the description “the deceiver of the whole world.”

As the dictionary definition states above, to deceive is to get someone to believe something that is not true–oftentimes mixing a partial truth out of context with a lie to create confusion.

Two stories in the news use the good character quality of compassion out of its proper context to distort our thinking.

I am talking about compassion as a tool of deception in the immigration crisis and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Immigration

The greatest illegal immigration blow-up of my lifetime is currently happening at the Mexican border. The ebb and flow of illegal immigrants has been a problem for decades, but almost overnight it has overwhelmed the border patrol, outraged the citizens of the nation, and caused a fractious debate as to what should be done.

And much of that debate is built on deception.

First of all, let’s lay our the simple facts on why scores of thousands of children are “suddenly” crossing the Rio Grande and overwhelming our border resources:

  • The Democratic Party (for potential votes)  and the US Chamber of Commerce (for cheap labor) have encouraged the practice for years. There are lots of things to blame Republicans for,  but the border crisis is not one of them. Most Republicans want the border secured (as do 70% of Americans). The Dems and crony capitalists do not.
  • President Obama used his pen to sign the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, memorandum on June 15, 2012, rolling out the welcome mat to those seeking to immigrate illegally. From 2011 to 2013, the number of minors crossing the border illegally increased from 8,000 to 25,000. Officials now expect that number  to be close to 90,000 in 2014.
  • The president also changed the rules on deportations and refused to obey the law when it came to other immigration statutes (which is why impeachment talk has been in the air).
  • The Democrats have changed the words “illegal alien” to “undocumented worker” to try to alter American public opinion about the crisis.
  • On the positive side, the United States has a history of loving and welcoming foreign immigrants–more than the rest of the world combined on an annual basis. The message of the Statue of liberty is a part of our DNA.
  • We have welcomed immigration to our country for most of our 238 years. Only from 1924 to 1965 did Congress curtail immigration quotas to allow the previous flood of new immigrants to assimilate fully into American culture and values. 

We Americans believe in immigration. For most of our history, it was regulated in a fairly orderly fashion. President Obama and his political and business allies have now turned it on its head.

And the rationale they are presenting to the American people is that we must approach the children and overall problem with “compassion.” 

This new argument is built on a series of lies.

First, we are told people are coming here because of gangs, wars, poverty etc. in Central America. They say we should consider most of them refugees or worthy of political asylum. But the last time I checked, there were democratic governments in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, no wars are taking place, and life is the same as it’s been for decades.

I can understand poor people wanting to emigrate seeking a better life (that’s why my poor German ancestors came to America in the late 1800s), but in the past, we’ve have an orderly process.

The difference now is that President Obama sent the signal that children could come without a good system or fear of being sent home. 

So the deluge started–and we have a mess on our hands.

Second, we are told that we must leave things this way because it’s the “compassionate” thing to do. We must care for them because we are a Christian nation that must take the higher moral road.

Interesting how this is the only circumstance today where our “Christian values” are being encouraged. On every other issue, they’re being shot down and removed from the public square.

Here is the heart of the deception: Governments are not supposed to be compassionate. Governments are meant to be just--to protect citizen’s property and rights. That is their God-ordained role (Romans 13:4). 

Families and churches are the God-given spheres where compassion should flourish. That’s why it’s wonderful for Glenn Beck to be bringing supplies to the churches near the border to help the needy children and many charitable groups are dispensing aid. 

Yes, God’s people must rise up and be charitable to those who have come because of our government’s stupidity.

But the government’s job is to seal the border–to protect its own citizens. They are failing miserably–and hiding behind the argument of compassion.

Third, this confusion of domains is akin to a father not putting doors, windows, locks, fences and walls on his property to protect his family–and inviting the neighborhood to move in. The mother might be “compassionate” toward the first guests, but it is an unworkable system if the father does not “protect” his family.

In God-ordained leadership spheres, civil government is the father (justice and protection) and the Church is the mother (compassion and nurture).

Maybe the destruction of fatherhood in America has something to do with the government breakdown. At any rate, our current political leaders are deceiving us. It is their job to provide sealed, orderly borders to protect our citizens, and also discourage the rape and abuse of children by the coyotes.

Government voices are using “compassion” as a tool of deception. 

Middle East Conflict

The same thing is happening in the Middle East where Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank are at war. Before we show how compassion is being used as a weapon here, let’s state the simple facts about the current strife:

  •  At just over eight million, Israel’s population is a drop in the bucket compared to 300 million people who surround them in hostile Muslim countries.
  •  Most of those nations, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, are committed to wiping the Jews off the face of the earth.
  • Israel is the only democratic nation in the region (Iraq is in turmoil) and thus America’s strongest ally. The other reason for our support for Israel is the American belief in the Bible, God’s purposes for the nation, and the messianic return of Jesus Christ.
  • The Palestinians voted Hamas into power–a group on America’s watch list of terrorist organizations. The Hamas charter is committed to exterminating the Jews.
  • The Palestinian Authority/Hamas started the current war by lobbing hundreds of missiles into Israel aimed at Israeli citizens. They are the aggressors who started the war.
  • Hamas built miles of secret tunnels under the Israeli border for the purpose of terrorism.
  • Israel has defensively invaded the West Bank for two reasons: To locate and destroy the missiles that are being fired at their people and to destroy the tunnels have hinder their security. The Israelis are fighting a totally defensive battle. 

However, due to two factors, the superiority of the Israeli missile defense (Iron Dome), and Hamas placing its citizens as human shields around their missile launchers and ammo, many more people have died on the Palestinian side than Israelis. 

This prompted the United Nations, liberal media outlets, and the bumbling John Kerry, US Seceratary of State, to press for an immediate cease fire in the name of compassion.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the one who has it right:

“If Arabs lay down their arms there will be no more war, but if Israel lays down its weapons, there would be no more Israel.”

It is absurd, even devilish, to ask Israel to stop fighting without utterly destroying Hamas with its arsenal and tunnels. The Jewish government, known for its extreme patience with terrorism, is doing its God-required duty–to do what’s necessary to protect its people.

Any argument about moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel is ludicrous. Hamas is a murderous rogue organization; The Jews simply want to live peacefully on their tiny piece of real estate on the Mediterranean.

Israel is not responsible for the Palestinian casualties. They didn’t start the war, but they must end it. They did not force Palestinians to be human shields–Hamas did.

Asking Israel to stop before victory–in the name of compassion for civilian casualties–is a lie of the highest order. It would reward terrorism and leave our democratic and biblical ally exposed to annihilation.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) is credited with saying that “Hell is full of good intentions or desires.”

Sadly true.

We must never allow godly compassion to be a tool of satanic deception.

The much debated Arizona immigration law signed by Governor Jan Brewer will take effect on July 29. It has created a fire storm of public debate, including the Justice Department’s choice to sue the state of Arizona. It will certainly be a hot issue in the fall mid-term elections.

On most moral and political issues, I’m normally a black or white kind of guy–rarely with shades of gray. My prophetic orientation contributes to this perspective, but also a high regard for God’s Word and His unshakable principles, which when practiced, bring great blessing to individuals and nations.

On the issue of immigration, I confess I have been torn between two opinions. I see two great principles in tension: On the one hand, God is gracious and compassionate to foreigners and strangers. On the other, he is the author of national boundaries and just societal laws.

So how can we be gracious AND just to the twelve to fifteen million currently illegal aliens living in the United States? Long-term, what should our national immigration policy be?

The compassionate portion of me has long been nurtured by Youth With A Mission and its commitment to the poor, needy, suffering, and displaced of the world. One of YWAM’s three prongs of global ministry is mercy ministries which came into its own in 1980 when Cambodian refugees flooded across the Thai border and were placed in large encampments. God used those circumstances to get our attention: He wanted us to minister to the needy and displaced all over the world. A good friend of mine–Steve Goode–is our international director for YWAM’s Mercy Ministries. We both joined the mission in 1974.

Another influence on the side of compassion has been serving on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals for the past few years. The NAE has emphasized the compassion side of the immigration debate for over fifteen years and produced numerous position papers on the subject. On May 7 the NAE published a fullpage advertisement in Roll Call calling for an immediate overhaul of our immigration system.

On June 9th we joined many leaders on Capitol Hill and at the White House to discuss the issue. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention spoke for the group when he said: “Amnesty is what Jimmy Carter gave the draft dodgers after the Vietnam War. Anyone who calls a pathway to earned legal status ‘amnesty’ needs a remedial course in the English language.” NAE president Leith Anderson went on to say: “Many Hispanic, African, and Asian immigrants are evangelical Christians who are in our denominations and churches by the millions. They are our fastest growing segment. This is another reason we care. They are us.”

The NAE frames the compassion side of the immigration debate in a 2009 Policy paper with this introduction:

“Discussion of immigration and government immigration policy must begin with the truth that every human being is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). Immigrants are made in the image of God and have supreme value with the potential to contribute greatly to society. Jesus exemplifies respect toward others who are different in his treatment of the Samaritans (Luke 10:30-37; John 4:1-42).”

“The Bible contains many accounts of God’s people who were forced to migrate due to hunger, war, or personal circumstances. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the families of his sons turned to Egypt in search of food. Joseph, Naomi, Ruth, Daniel and his friends, Ezekiel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther all lived in foreign lands. In the New Testament, Joseph and Mary fled with Jesus to escape Herod’s anger and became refugees in Egypt. Peter referred to the recipients of his first letter as ‘aliens’ and ‘strangers,’ perhaps suggesting that they were exiles within the Roman Empire. These examples from the Old and New Testaments reveal God’s hand in the movement of people and are illustrations of faith in God in difficult circumstances.”

“Migration was common in the ancient world. Outsiders were particularly vulnerable. They stood outside the kinship system that regulated the inheritance of property. They did not have extended family to care for them in case of need. The Law recognized their helplessness and stipulated measures that served as a safety net. The motivations behind this generous spirit were that the people of God were not to forget that they had been strangers in Egypt (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34) and that God loved the foreigner (Deuteronomy 10:18-19). The New Testament adds that all believers are spiritual sojourners on earth (Philippians. 3:20; 1 Peter 2:11). Christians should show compassion and hospitality to outsiders (Romans. 12:13; Hebrews. 13:2).”

“The Bible does not offer a blueprint for modern legislation, but it can serve as a moral compass and shape the attitudes of those who believe in God. An appreciation of the pervasiveness of migration in the Bible must temper the tendency to limit discussions on immigration to Romans 13 and a simplistic defense of ‘the rule of law.’ God has established the nations (Deuteronomy. 32:8; Acts 17:26), and their laws should be respected. Nevertheless, policies must be evaluated to reflect that immigrants are made in the image of God and demonstrate biblical grace to the foreigner.” 

I understand the compassion side of the debate. Many illegal aliens are brothers and sisters in the faith. They came here to escape poverty and seek a better life. Should they be punished for that choice?

On the other hand, I’m sympathetic to the justice issues involved. The genius of Western prosperity and stability, and especially of the United States of America, is a commitment to be governed by laws not  men. That rationale means that we the people form laws based on God-given rights and values for the good of the people, then adhere to those laws without acting emotionally of arbitrarily toward lawbreakers.

Hence I agree with the Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannitys, and Ann Coulters of the world that since we have just laws in this nation regarding immigration, we should protect our borders, hold people accountable who violate their visa requirements, and deport people who enter this country illegally. If we don’t believe in and enforce the laws that we enact, why should anybody obey any law?

Family Research Council in a 5-20-10 communique shares the justice side of the debate:

“Second only to Mexico City in the entire world for kidnappings, Phoenix has a responsibility to defend its citizens–not to adhere to some unwritten rule of political correctness. Americans understand that, which is why an overwhelming majority (73%) support the state’s new law. President Obama, on the other hand, believes our country is just another neighborhood in the global village. But a nation without borders is not a nation. And despite his arrogant objections, even Felipe Calderon knows it. He vilifies Arizona–yet his immigration laws are even more severe. In last night’s “Situation Room” with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the Mexican President said that Arizona’s law is an affront to “human rights”–to which Blitzer asked, “If people want to come…into Mexico, they can walk in?” “No,” Calderon said. “Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people they suspect are illegal?” Blitzer pressed. “Of course,” Calderon replied, exposing his own double standard.”

“Meanwhile, our President seemed all too eager to side against his own country…Rather than question Mexico’s interference in American policy, President Obama joins in its condemnation–even going so far as to say that the Justice Department will launch an official challenge of the law. What an incredible diplomatic turnabout. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of our nation’s closest allies, is denied even the most basic hospitalities during his visit–but a man like President Calderon, who is openly critical of the United States on the White House lawn, is treated to a lavish state dinner. Regardless of how other dignitaries may perceive it, immigration is a matter of national sovereignty. Yes, Scripture calls us to love and welcome strangers. But the Bible is quite clear that we “are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born” (Leviticus 24:22). And those laws are designed for the safety of U.S. citizens–not the satisfaction of global tolerance.”

I also resonate with the justice side of the immigration debate. The United States government has laws on the books making it illegal to enter this nation without permission (worker’s permit or visa). The federal government is not enforcing its own laws causing many people to disrespect  and abuse it. So the state government of Arizona decided to pass a law mirroring the federal statutes that would give them the authority to guard and defend their borders.  Arizona, like other border states, is being overrun by drug smugglers, illegal entrants, and the economic costs of law enforcement and social services associated with illegal immigration.

America’s two political parties haven’t helped matters. For years the Republicans have winked at illegal immigration because of the benefits of providing cheap labor for many industries. The Democrats, on the other hand, have seen immigration as an opportunity to provide social services for new arrivals as a means of securing their votes.

The Rs want cheap labor and the Ds want dependents. Their ambivalence has exasperated the situation.

Even Ronald Reagan, a president whom I admire, passed an “amnesty plan” in 1986 that was supposed to cure the illegal immigration problem. Instead, it opened the flood-gates for millions of foreigners to cross the border in search of their fortunes. It is now considered one of the failures of his presidency. So what is America to do in 2010?

I believe we need to live in the tension of both loving immigrants and treating them with respect while loving justice and believing in the rule of law. Both are essential to biblical obedience for us as individuals and as a nation. What does that mean in terms of practical policies? I would suggest the following three actions:

1. We need to secure our borders by every means possible.

I learned a long time ago if something doesn’t work at home it won’t work for a nation. Those who believe in open borders or sanctuary cities need to come back to reality. None of us in a fallen world leave our open at night. If we did, we’d be violated, abused, or maybe killed. There is evil in this world and we have an obligation to protect ourselves and loved ones from it. God is the author of human borders (Acts 17:26), and only Heaven won’t need them. 

I believe we need to commit the resources over two-to-five years to secure our southern border. This is our most vulnerable point. It means erecting hundreds of miles of fencing, using other aspects of technological surveillance, and also rotating in units of the National Guard from all fifty states to deter lawbreakers. This would be a practical on-the-job training assignment for the US National Guard.

2. We must strive to be the most immigrant-friendly nation in the world.

Somewhat lost in the US immigration debate is the reality that the United States has always been an immigrant-friendly nation, and currently one-fifth of all the world’s immigrants come to the United States. Glenn Beck rightly points out that the Statute of Liberty is not about immigration–it is about freedom–which has brought more people to the US in that past two hundred years than any nation on earth.

My maternal grandparents and paternal great-grandparents were immigrants. This is the American story. We need to increase our number of worker permits, family visas, student visas, and religious visas to continue to allow America to remain the most hospitable nation on earth.

3. We should allow current illegals to stay in the United States, but drop all privileges of citizenship and go to the back of the immigration line.

We don’t want to deport millions of people and we don’t want to separate families and cause unnecessary upheaval in their lives. On the other hand, we don’t want to reward disregard for good laws and encourage more lawbreakers. I believe this is the healthy balance between compassion and justice.

My plan boils down to this: Fence! Come! Back of the line!

This is a balanced approach to loving immigrants and the rule of law.

Got any better ideas?