'Merica is not the New Jerusalem
I’m a “white” male who lives in the United States of America AKA European-American [the latter is what I identify as]. I don't know where I come from. We have a few hodgepodge of origins within Eurasia, which means that I am a mutt. With this in mind, here are some thoughts I have about immigration, culture, and racism.
All white people should go home, if they had one.
More often than not white people in the USA do not have a country of origin to go back to because a DNA test would show that they are a bunch of different “whites.” This is why I have a problem with people who tell * insert non-white group here* to go back to where they came from, but if I raise the fact that “white” people aren't from the Americas it just does not compute. Even if someone had a major place of origin, that place would not want to take them because the ethnicity between the two groups would be different. There truly is a difference in culture between a European-American and a European. In fact the diversity just within the USA can be split down into many sub-cultures that are made into stereotypes of the typical “American.” “White” entitlement has been around way before people decided that millennials were entitled. They think they belong here but no one else does. Wake up Call: Indigenous Americans belong here not you. I shouldn't even have to call them Indigenous. They ARE the real Americans. Stop trying to build pipelines through land that “whites” “gave” to them.
I read about cultural appropriation and I have to admit I am a little confused. As a person who feels he has NO [earthly] culture of his own, the only thing I can do is have the melting pot culture of the United States, which then causes accusations of cultural appropriation. What is my culture suppose to be? From someone without a culture it is difficult to understand what I am allowed to do.
Another thing that I am confused about is why people are so against letting other people come into “our” country. Well, I guess that I’m not confused, I know that some of it is related to fear. We all immigrated here in one way or another but now that we are here we don't want to offer the same hope that our ancestors came here for. I suppose we should have thought of that before we aided to the globalization of the world. I asked a first grader if we should let little girls move here to get away from scary people and she said yes because she has someone in her class who moved here. It was pretty simple. Yet, we use fear to say that certain people groups should not come here.
Up until this point I have spoken solely in worldly terms, but I have neglected the perspective that I should have.
My Identity should be in Christ.
My culture, my ethnicity, my identity should be found in God. I am not a culture-less white male, but have been adopted by God. My actions should come from a place of love and that of royalty. Love in that God loved me enough to adopt me and royalty because I have been adopted by the King of Kings. "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"" - Romans 8:15 I must live in such a way that shows my gratefulness for this love and adoption and in a way that shows that I wish others to share in this with me.
As a Christian I feel as if I should resist being drawn into fear [perfect love casts out fear] and that I should reject discrimination. As a Christian I have nothing to fear. I say this with some irony because I personally live with the most fear and anxiety out of the majority of people that I know. Neither as a Christian can I discriminate:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” - Galatians 3:28
Christianity is totally inclusive and totally exclusive. The Bible makes it clear that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Everyone. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16 The whole world has a chance. Anyone and Everyone can be included IF and that if is the killer.
The United States of America does not save you.
It’s not “if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that America is #1 you will be free.”
We act as if patriotism is our salvation. We act as if being in the USA is our salvation. We act as if the USA is the New Jerusalem. It’s not. The Americas were not and are not “the promised land.” We are not saved for being in the USA and grandma having been devout.
Christians should be like immigrants where ever they are. Why? Because we accept and adhere to a culture that is not like the culture in which we live. Yet, this does not seem to be the case here in the USA. Christianity seams as if it is an afterthought or simply taken for granted. It was not so long ago that “everyone” was a Christian and finally we are getting to a point where we are starting to be honest. We aren't Christians because Grandma was. Christianity is not inherited but an adoption in which we receive an inheritance.
People who call themselves Christians for the first time in a while have started to feel to shift in thinking. The United States of America is not salvation and it seems as if much of the backlash against changes in the USA comes from the belief that USA is the salvation of Christians.
Christians must realize that they are called to be not of this world. That they are strangers in a foreign land. The land in which they live is a temporary home. It is imperative for Christians to stop holding onto this land as if this is all there is.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are examples of people living in another land and not forgetting their faith or culture. They did not let glory go to anyone but God and stood up for what they believed in. Christians should take the opportunity to tell those in the land of how glorious God is but who will believe them if they are no different than those in the land that they occupy. How could the glory go to God for the 4 of them being superior to the other candidates if they had not had a different lifestyle than the rest? Christians as well must live differently, even in ways that seem to be inconveniencing, so that the glory of God might be shown within their lives.
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.