Sadly, it seems sometimes the biggest enemy of Christianity can sometimes be Christian churches, or at least churches that purport to be Christian. The United Methodist Church, in recent years, has become more and more political, focusing much of its messaging on social and political issues rather than theology and sound doctrine, most often abandoning the latter for the sake of the former
Now, one California United Methodist church has decided to make a mockery of the Lord Jesus Christ and His life by reducing it down to nothing more than the plight of some immigrants for the sake of making a virtue-signaling statement in favor of open borders
The Mercury News reports:
A California church is displaying a nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages to draw attention to the conditions faced by migrants seeking asylum in the United States.
The Claremont United Methodist Church, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, posted the photo on its website showing the three held in separate cages topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in a silver foil blanket.
Lead Pastor Karen Clark Ristine spoke with CNN affiliate KABC about the scene outside of the church. “We thought about the most famous refugee family in the world, the family of Jesus,” Ristine said.
In a Facebook post, Ristine said the display came from the idea of “What if this family sought refuge in our country today?”
The biblical story of Mary and Joseph fleeing from Israel to Egypt to escape King Herod’s decree that all baby boys be killed is symbolic of the plight of thousands of refugees seeking asylum in America, she said.
“In the Claremont United Methodist Church nativity scene this Christmas, the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our borders,” Ristine said in the post. “Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”
“If this sparks conversation, that would be one good goal,” Ristine told KABC.
Folks, we are talking about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ; the most miraculous event to ever occur on planet Earth. God became man and was born of a virgin for the sole purpose of saving wretches like you and me, dying a sinner’s death, blotting out our sins with His own innocent blood, and giving us an eternal home in Heaven (to those who believe). Christmas is a holiday to recognize this beautiful and amazing miracle and to reflect on how great God’s love for us truly is!
This is not some trivial story about a family who fled persecution. The one detail Ristine leaves out of her entire narrative about Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fleeing to Egypt is that they were led by the very hand of God. Their actions were ordained by the Creator of the universe. Their path was leading Jesus Christ to the cross. Their story is unlike any immigration story past, present or future.
Comparing this to immigrants illegally entering the United States and then living here illegally is like saying their journeys and their choices are ordained of God. I can assure you, God is not leading people to break laws (Romans 13:1) in order to seek a better life. If anything, God would have people trust in HIM right where they are, regardless of their circumstances.
Adults and children are separated at the border for the safety and well-being of the children involved. It is much less humane to leave children with adults who could be trafficking and abusing them. Yet, this United Methodist church would have us feel shame for believing that children ought to be protected. They are wrong.
This “nativity” depiction is blasphemous and wrong. The life of Jesus Christ should never be used as some kind of political statement. Shame on Claremont United Methodist Church and Karen Clark Ristine.
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