There is a spirit of discontent in the average person’s life today. They are walking around with haunting questions in their lives. These questions are floating beneath the surface of their everyday life routines. The questions are not deep theological questions or typical “churchy” questions. They are, however, questions that are affecting people’s everyday lives.
- Are you liking your current life?
- Is the path you are on in your life boring, fixed, forced on you by others or by the circumstances you have lived in?
- If you were to live your life the way you are right now until the day you die, would you be able to look back and be happy with the results?
- Do you feel you are living inside of a box created by someone else?
- Are you regretting where you are going?
- Do you feel stuck, a victim of your own demise?
- Do you feel powerless to change?
- Do you hate, despise or even mildly dislike what you are doing?
What do these questions have to do with the church? Aha, that’s where we come in. The Bible has answers and I am going to equip you to give to the people you meet real answers to the questions they are really asking. For too long the church has been answering questions that few people are asking.
Jesus always spoke to the issues of the day. We are posting a series of questions throughout the next days and weeks. We want you to jump online with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to interact and talk with people. We want to equip you to get hold of biblical answers – Jesus answers. Your ability to do this will enable you to be prepared to share these views in person as well.
An open letter to the President of the United States:
January 9, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to share with you some ideas that could help you achieve your agenda on immigration with an approach that addresses the problems and gives solutions that are good for America and would help to Make America Great Again! I am the senior Pastor of Miami Baptist Church and will be celebrating my fifteenth year with the Church next month. Our church is an amazing melting pot of over 32 countries. It is the most thoroughly integrated church that I have ever had the privilege to pastor. We are a pro-life, politically active church made up chiefly of conservative people. You are always welcome here!
Over the years I have had to deal on multiple occasions with our “really, really broken” immigration system. I have worked on many occasions with folks from our congregation who are having to go through the process of immigration. Whenever I encounter an illegal alien in the congregation, I do my best to help them become legal. I have seen in Miami, people get into our country legally who should not be here, and I have seen people who were good get turned away with little to no logic.
What I am presenting to you here is an outline of “jump off starting points” for creating a better immigration system. By the way, I sent this to Senator John McCain in 2006, and he sent me a form letter back (he is all talk). This is not in any shape or form a finished document, but has ideas that deal with DACA; the wall, and who pays for it. It takes the burden of immigration cost away from the tax payers and places it where it belongs, which is on the immigrant. It has provisions for benevolent workarounds for the poor through nonprofit organizations. It could be developed to have bipartisan accountability and it could even help recruit the generally conservative Latin community.
These ideas can take millions and millions of dollars out of the welfare system which is being currently abused by immigrants. This bill will also provide a paid-for path for those who are here on temporary emergency relief status. Those on this status who have been here and paid taxes over ten years, and shown good merit could begin to be processed immediately without the alien tax. Those who have not paid taxes would have to go through the whole process. This idea will help reduce the deficit and begin to deal with one of the greatest entitlement abuses by separating the immigrant from the entitlement feeding trough. Build a virtual and a physical wall (where needed around the whole country and let this program pay for it! I know for a fact that there are millions more illegal aliens in this country that the Government has accounted for. There is no feasible way to deport them all. On the other hand, if they are invited to the open, they can pay for the wall and their impact. If they are truly worth their salt, they will gladly stay and become great participants in the American dream!
I watched your meeting with the Congressional leaders on Fox News today, and I think that these ideas could start the ball rolling.
I know that both Baptists and Catholics are eager to bring solid people into the country who will help make us great again. I am a Texan, like Robert Jeffress. My Father was on staff with W.A. Criswell at First Baptist Dallas when I was born. Mom figures that Robert and I were in the church nursery there at the same time! I would love to talk with you at any time about these ideas!
May the Lord, Bless and Keep You,
The Good for America Act
I always ask myself this question, “What’s good for America as it applies to immigration?” Here are several answers:
- The American immigration system must be kept simple.
- The American immigration system must be open to receiving good people from around the world who desire to contribute to our communities.
- These same people must possess good ethics…
- Have strong moral values…
- Hold a strong desire to work hard for a living, to the point of being self-supporting, not relying on welfare programs.
- The addition and inclusion of any immigrant to our country should always, and in fact be…
Good for America.
First, these problems that we have with the current situation must be overcome:
They include, but are not limited to:
- Non papered workers, not paying taxes.
- Non papered worker’s employers not paying taxes.
- Non papered workers competing for certain American jobs.
- Non papered aliens burdening the school systems without tax input.
- Non papered aliens sending money outside the U.S.
- Lack of car, health, and Home Insurance (car insurance is driven up by non-insured aliens).
- Criminal types entering the U.S.
- Non-efficient tracking or accountability of aliens.
- No standardized National Driver’s license system which cannot be used as voter ID
- Lack of security verification of aliens from countries that export terrorism.
- Religions or Secular beliefs which have totalitarian or anti-constitutional goals. (Just one historical point to remember: the militaristic religion of Shintoism of Imperial Japan was outlawed at Japan’s unconditional surrender). We must not accept people into our country who desire and strive for America’s destruction
- Immigrants not speaking or learning to speak English. (Common language assures assimilation).
- A Federal bureaucracy that is full of red tape and claims to be overburdened and under financed; is slow to respond; is not decentralized, and is not paperless.
- Americanized Children of immigrants in immigration “limbo” because of parent’s immigration issues.
- Porous borders on land and sea.
- Migrant workers and minimum wage.
- Immigrants are burdening the welfare system while not paying in.
- Chain migration should not be a consideration.
- Geographic placement of immigrants has no logic to it, concerning jobs.
- Effective enforcement of Federal law over sanctuary cities and states, is not taking place. Immigration must be uniform
- Immigrants who are not citizens voting in any form of local, state and Federal elections or governments. Only lawful citizens should be afforded this right.
What we must have is a bill that is self-funded, measurable, feasible, and accountable, and brings the best moral, and hardworking people (not the richest) that the world has to offer to the land of opportunity, who truly desire to join with us to…
Make America Great Again!
Here is the proposal starting point:
- Upon these criteria the alien will receive residency for 10 years of merit-based probation with citizenship to be the ultimate goal.
- All aliens will pay an initial application entry fee by single family. This is a one-time, non-refundable fee, and will cover the cost of data entry and research verification, as well as court fees.
- Nonprofit tax exempt foundations can be set up to help scholarship these expenses.
- An electronic file will be started and follow the person through the process.
- Background reports, checks (electronic fingerprints and picture), testimonials and forms will be filled out electronically at certified locations under Homeland Security supervision.
Report needs to include.
- A certified letter from local municipality of non-criminal behavior (with provision for asylum issues).
- A certified letter of health stating current health standing
- Recommendations from employers, friends, clubs and religious or civic organizations.
- Recommendations from friends.
- Tax records in good standing from home country.
- Proof of current Insurance: car, health, and home.
- Type of Work & Desired area to live in.
- This could contain an invitation to an area by a company
- The goal here is non-prejudicial strategic placement of aliens to the benefit of local communities and businesses as well as the alien family.
- To change locations the move would need to be approved in the same manner.
- The Alien or Alien family will receive an Immigration field worker (Assigned to Region) to be accountable to and to meet with once a year to check on status to help make sure the alien succeeds and to help with any problems.
- The Alien Number will attach to a provisional Alien social security number, so indicating this status.
- It must be reflected on all legal documents including any driver’s licenses or student I.D.’s.
- All Federal, State, and local taxes will utilize this number.
- Social Security deductions are not retrievable until retirement age and if conditions of citizenship are not met in 10 years, these monies are forfeited to the immigration court system and scholarship fund for students left behind or adult children remaining in the process.
- An Alien tax will be developed and assessed during the ten years to cover the cost of administration of the program audits and courts and to help build and maintain the border securities.
- For full-time military service, they are exempted from paying the tax while serving. They are to be eligible for full citizenship after an enlistment period of six (6) years.
- All income tax documents will be audited every year during this ten year probation time.
- Failures to remedy problems, file or pay will lead to forfeiture of status and deportation.
- The Alien will have no felonious criminal record accrued during the ten years.
- The Alien will be allowed no welfare benefits during the 10 years.
- The Alien must not default on debts.
- The System will grandfather in the maturing children into their process.
- The children will age into their own ten-year probation if they are over 18 when parents leave the system.
- For example if the parents start the program when a child is 14 and forfeit the goal when he is 19 and in school, he or she would be able to continue in the system for the remaining five (5) years, and become naturalized, if they meet all the criteria.
- They would need to remain in school full time or be gainfully employed paying into the tax system.
- The Alien will maintain current records of Driver’s License with the system.
- The Alien will maintain current records of Insurances (health, car, and home) with the system.
- The Health system could assess a fair tax and add to a mandatory group policy bid out to local businesses.
- The Alien will enroll in E.S.L. classes and pass an English barrier examination before the tenth year.
- Classes will be taken from the beginning of the 10 years until a basic fluency is achieved.
- The Alien will attend classes in American Civics from a local High
- School or continuing education center and pass a test on the subject electronically in English.
- The ten-year term can be shortened by military or public education service.
- The Alien will recant and not be involved in any Religious or Secular beliefs which have totalitarian, terrorist or anti-constitutional goals.
- The Alien will not affiliate with or support any terrorist organizations, nations or individuals.
- The Alien will voluntarily and proactively, cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security in matters of National Security.
- ICE will have a right to know where the alien is at times – i.e. an online travel log.
- Homeland Security will monitor the alien’s internet activity at will.
- The Alien is here to become a citizen and will not send money back to other countries unless approved by the system’s agents.
- Exceptions are would be for emergency medical family relief on a limited basis and must be subject to an application process and documented.
- The Alien must open and keep a bank account that is electronically accountable to the system.
- Cash “under the table” activity is grounds for deportation.
- The Alien’s Children, under the age of 18 can and may work part-time and must go to school.
- The Alien’s Children over 18 will be separated in the system, with the parents earned time being applied to them as described earlier.
- The Alien’s Children will be eligible for in-state tuition or other higher education benefits if the parents meet that states residency requirements for in-state fees.
- If the aliens move to the United States with adult children in higher education, they will have to pay the out of state fees according to that state’s policies until the residency period is satisfied.
- Student loans can be obtained but federal grants are limited to citizens.
- The Alien is protected as a guest under our Constitution.
- The Aliens rights are limited, yet they are subject to all our laws and well defined limited guest freedoms.
- In the 10th year Each Alien or Alien family will be given a hearing or final interview.
- Their electronic documentation will be presented.
- Documentary discrepancies will be resolved before the hearing date is set.
- Five (5) certified witnesses will speak for the Alien/family.
Guidelines need to be developed to protect the immigrant from frivolous legal claims designed to scare the families into submission.
- They will be questioned by a “System Agent” or local counsel.
- Bipartisan panels under the control of the House of Representatives, will Question and Rule on the merits of having this person as a fellow U.S. citizen.
- They will swear in the family, or send the family to their country of origin.
- The panel should not have much to rule on because the system should have eliminated any problematic Aliens before the hearing.
- All minor obstacles should be overcome prior to hearing.
- Appeal criteria needs to be set so that appeals are not automatically granted.
Migrant workers need their own Bill
The issues of the migrant worker and the worker desiring citizenship are like apples and oranges.
The issues of the migrant worker and the worker desiring citizenship are like apples and oranges.
The problems with the migrant worker are that they:
- Send most of their money home
- Many are already working for less than minimum wage and are not taking out taxes
- Now they are not able to be insured with health or car
- The problem with the migrant worker-employer is that they are using these people to compete with a market that is deluged with cheap labor products from across our borders.
- They are not taking jobs from Americans for the most part, and the majority of Americans would rather have cheaper prices and look the other way.
The determining factor for them is in the question: What do they want?
- Do they want to be Americans and stay here? If yes then they need to apply for the above status
- Do they want to work and send money home? If yes, then we need a guest status classification with some regulation, so as not to create a “new slave labor.” If a guest, then they need to be limited in receiving benefits.
- They are not to bring their children with them
- Employers must pay for their benefits including health and car insurance.
- Employers should be regulated and subject to spot inspections and questioning.
- They must have a health plan through a cooperative of alien workers.
- Employers must cover their car insurance if asked to drive.
- Employers are responsible to maintain clean safe living quarters, segregating men from women.
- Duration of guest status should be rotational, seasonal basis, and tracked.
God chose Noah, to save a remnant of people and animals from a world that was under judgment. God chose Noah because he was a preacher of righteousness, and Noah lived by faith that God had a plan. Abraham was chosen by God to bring out from the world a group of people who would be God’s people, preserving the lineage of the Messiah to come.
God loved Abraham because he was a man of faith, and he believed God would accomplish what God had promised him no matter what! Jacob was chosen by God, over Esau, even though he was younger than his brother. Because in Jacob, God saw a man who desired to be a leader of God even if he had to wrestle God for it. Jacob was a man who put his faith into action. Joseph was chosen by God, to work his way up from being a slave, a human discard, to becoming a leader of the most powerful nation in the world; saving his own people in the process. Joseph not only lived by faith, he stayed alive by faith. Moses was chosen by God to become one of the greatest leaders that the world has ever known. He was chosen to lead a stiff-necked and rebellious people from slavery in the world to personal holiness into a holy land.
When the Israelites left Egypt, they were neither holy nor was the land that they were going into holy. Moses had the daunting task of transforming a nation into a people of God. He did so by faith! David, the shepherd boy was chosen by God to become the King of Israel, because, in David, God saw a man of fearless faith. David was called a man after God’s own heart and to this day is still the hero of Israel’s history. David had faith woven into his Character. Daniel was chosen by God to position a punished Israel to eventually return to the Promised Land. Due to his leadership and faith, the Israelites learned to put their faith back in God and to never take on idolatry again. Daniel’s faith was so strong, that several times he bet his life on God… literally.
It is fair to say that the last great leader before Christ appearance was chosen from the courts that Daniel had influenced in Babylon. Almost 1000 years after the time of Moses and approximately 400 years before the birth of Christ, the Jewish people, who had been held in captivity for 70 years, were able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple during the time of Ezra. Of the approximate 3.5 million Jews that were taken into captivity group of less than 2% returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple. The last great man of faith that God would elevate to leadership prior to the service of Christ was the king’s wine taster, Nehemiah.
The book of Nehemiah begins almost 100 years after the first captives came back to the Promised Land, and approximately 150 years after the destruction of Israel. The story of Nehemiah began some 15 years after the book of Ezra ends. In Ezra 4:6-23, we see that the Israelites had tried to build the walls back up around Jerusalem 75 years earlier, but they were stopped by their enemies. They develop defeatist attitudes, and as a result the walls would lay in ruin and the people lived in fear of their enemies. Satan had triumphed in their lives by contaminating every aspect of their life with anxiety. It literally froze out God’s will for over 75 years. That anxiety level was so contagious, that it permeated the Jewish people all the way back to Babylon. 98% of the population was too anxious to return to their promised land.
In the book of Nehemiah, we can see via the lens of God’s telescope into the life of Nehemiah as to how he created a leader out of Nehemiah, who would become God’s man for this hour in Israel’s history. Peter Steinke suggest that “the way in which the leader functions, arises out of who the leader is.” They believe that, “the leaders “being” and “functioning” are twins to each other.” Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What (Steinke, Kindle, Loc. 97-98) If we take this thought and adjust it to the Biblical context of Nehemiah, I would say it like this: The way in which the leader functions, emerges out of whether the man or woman will draw themselves up by their “bootstraps” and choose to operate on the capacity of grace that God has given them. And I would also say that, who you are – (the leaders being,) and how or whether or not you “function,” is relative to your submissiveness to the Holy Spirit.
What I’ve described in this little adaptation is what we see in the life of Nehemiah. Let me explain it this way, I do not believe that you can take the life of Nehemiah and strip out the leadership principles and place them into a secular context. I think we see in Nehemiah’s life is the pattern of how God chooses to raise up a man of true leadership.