To the Editor,
While scrolling on social media one evening, I stumbled across an article posted in the Daily Light titled “Under God.” Being a Christian minister, I decided to read the article as it seemed to be a religious piece. As I read, however, I became mortified by what I was reading as an American, but especially as a Christian.
Dr. Lewis, with respect, I firmly believe that your article, more specifically your views on those who are not “Under God,” go entirely against the history of our nation and worse yet, are the opposite of Jesus’ teachings.
First, I would like to address the points in your article in relation to the country of the United States and our history. In your article, there was one line that I believe summarizes your views best: “I would have prevented those from entering in who were not ‘Under God.’” This is a strong opinion that most definitely goes against the entire premise that our country was built upon. Historically, our forefathers were fleeing the very thing that you are advocating, religious persecution and an inability to worship God in the way that they believed was right.
Regardless of religion, our nation was founded with the idea that those fleeing religious persecution would find a safe harbor here. What you are insinuating our country do in response to the growing movement away from Christianity is unconstitutional and unamerican.
I do believe strongly that Jesus is Lord and Savior and the only way to heaven, but I will not advocate the expulsion of those who disagree with me because the laws of our nation dictate that they have just as much right to worship here as I do.
More importantly, however, I wish to come against your article from the perspective of the Bible itself. I believe that your words were motivated not by love, but fear and hatred. What else would allow you to say something as substantial as this, “If they desire to have freedom ‘from God,’ then I would have sent them on down the river to another country where there is no structure, no equality, no tolerance, no Bible, and no constitution.”
No Bible? Wait, you are advocating that those outside of the Kingdom of God, those who have not seen the truth that Jesus is the risen Lord who LOVES them and desires them to know and worship Him actually be sent away without any hope of finding the truth?
This idea is absolutely contrary to the Gospel itself. God, in His great mercy, came and “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Christ did not come to die for us after we realized that we actually did not worship or love God and needed him. Christ did not come to die for us only after we stopped being evil. Christ came while we were still evil.
If you, as a pastor, advocate that those that do not know Christ should be removed from any opportunity to hear of Him you are completely missing the point of the Gospel. I love that in the United States there are people that do not worship the God of Bible. Why?
Because that God has placed them here, next to hundreds of thousands of Christians, who can show them the truth of Jesus (Acts 17:26-27)! Biblically, we are also called to love the foreigner and help those who are considered outcasts or worship other gods.
For example, Leviticus 19:33-34 says “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Now you might say, “This is an Old Testament passage.” However, is not the story of the Good Samaritan the same truth? The religious leader was commanded by Jesus to love his neighbor. The leader, trying to justify himself, asked who was his neighbor. During this time period, the Jewish people were incredibly ethnocentric and absolutely hated the Samaritans.
So who does Jesus use as an example of who your neighbor is? A Samaritan who stumbled upon a Jewish man beaten and robbed. Jesus commands you to love your neighbor, including the ones living in your town who do not worship the same God you do.
I believe many Christians have forgotten the last command that Jesus gave us. Matthew 28 tells us that Jesus said to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.”
Dr. Lewis, what you are advocating the United States do to those outside of Christ’s Kingdom directly contradicts Jesus’ command for us to go and make disciples. This means, instead of “sending them down the river with no Bible,” you welcome them into your home.
You eat with them, just as Jesus ate with those outside of His Kingdom, and you in love share with them the grace of God that you yourself received and that Jesus offers them. This is our command from our King. May we Christians all, including me, repent of our hard hearts and welcome in those who do not yet know the greatness of our God.
Lastly, to those who are not Christians who are reading this article, may you know that Jesus loves you. He desires to radically change your life, but only when we surrender ours to Him. May you find hope in His love and grace!
Chase Woodhouse, 2008 Waxahachie graduate