Friday, July 13, 2007

Does Colorado Council of Churches represent you?

I didn't ask for it. It just came to me. Landed in my hands. There it was...a letter from the Colorado Council of Churches. The letter lays out the Council's position on the immigration issue. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the letter lays out the position of the church denominations that approved the letter.

Interested in what the letter says? I've posted a scanned copy on my web site at so you can read it for yourself. Click on the "Religion" page on the site and you'll see it.

So what do you think? Does this letter represent your views? (Please let me know by posting a comment here on the blog. Just click on "comments" at the end of this post.)

Now, to ask a different question: Does this letter represent you?

Whether the Colorado Council of Churches letter represents your views or not, it may represent you.

Did you notice the list of church denominations listed on the letterhead? These mainline Christian denominations are also listed at the bottom of the letter with the note that they all agreed with the letter. If your denomination is listed, this letter represents you. At least it represents you to the rest of the people--the people of Colorado, other states, the nation...whoever reads the letter. What do you think about that?

If you are a member of or attend the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), this letter represents you. If you are a Baptist, this letter represents you. (Perhaps you're not an American Baptist. Maybe your a member of another Baptist denomination. But would people who may read this letter really know the distinction?) If you're a member of the Methodist, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, or Presbyterian Church (USA)--as I am--this letter represents you. Including your denomination in this letter implies you (and I) agree with the letter and these views on immigration. After all, if someone knows I'm a Presbyterian and they read this letter, they see my church denomination listed and therefore think this letter represents me and my views.

What do you think of that? Any comments? I'd like to know how this strikes you. I'll save my comments for my next post.

(Do you know someone who might be interested in this letter, this discussion, or this topic? If yes, would you please send them an e-mail suggesting this blog? This is another way you can speak out and voice your views. Help get other people involved and engaged.)


dianne in colorado said...

I think this leter sounds like what you would expect from the council of churches - love one another, but otherwise don't get dirty dealing with the tough questions. Of course we are called to love on another, but how does that translate into legislation? Those who oppose Christian values aren't afraid to stand up and make a loud noise to get their views heard. Why are our church leaders issuing a letter (and who did it go to) that won't make a lasting impact? If we are to claim this country for Christ, we need to get our teeth out, form an opinion and hold on for the ride. Our church leaders have spent too many years trying to make all of the people happy (which is impossible) rather than taking a stand for what makes God happy. As Christians we need to get off the fence and stop taking the middle road on issues like immigration and get into the politics of our country before the non-Christians have a political hold we can't break, and I am concerned that day is approaching faster than we may realize.

Thanks for getting this blog going, Dianne! It is much needed!

~Crystal A Murray said...

Hi Dianne,

I agree with your post and views. This letter does make the church look weak. My particular denomination is not here, and I am not from Colorado, but when non-Christians read these things, they don't even see those differences. It becomes, "This is what Christians think."

In these times, it seems we have been duped into thinking that love means shutting our eyes to truth. Yes, our country was populated by immigrants, but there was a pattern used to become a citizen, to get land, etc. We seem to forget the difference between immigration and "illegal immigration."

There is a pastor from your stomping grounds (Colorado) who makes the point that Jesus called us to be "Peace Makers" not "Peace Keepers." Jesus said He brought a sword but also said He brought more abundant life. So, apparently making peace sometimes requires a sword.

The letter says, "true justice" should be supported. Justice does not mean justification! True justice is not about making excuses for wrong doing. It does not mean falsely calling a person innocent by giving them the label "Not guilty by reason of ..." Mercy does not mean calling wrong as right, it means dealing with the wrong in a way that can help fix it.

I think Christians need to think of themselves as surgeons. If we see a cancer that needs to be removed, we do it. We know it might hurt, but in the end it will heal. However, we also don't just cut it off and walk away to leave our patient to bleed to death. We have to tend to the healing like the "Good Samaritan" did when he made sure the injured was cared for and when he promised to come back to check on him.

In real terms and on the subject of immigration, this means letting the immigrants know what it takes to earn citizenship. We can create opportunities for them, but if they choose not to use them, that does not mean we have not shown the right spirit.

I guess we also have to remember that Jesus told us how in the last days people would call good evil and evil good. He said that, because of iniquity, (agape) love (that is Godly love) would grow cold. That's the church, not the world. In the church, it seems we have replaced the strong love of God with the watered down "love" of humans who would rather "excuse their faults one to another" than confess them. But if we confess and forsake sinful ways, we open the door to mercy and grace by a God who is faithful and just to forgive us. We just need to remember that confess and forsake means exactly that.

Dianne, thank you so much for opening the door and setting up the soapbox. I hope I didn't stand on it for too long ;-) I still look forward to seeing what you have to contribute to the Good Morning Christian Writer project.


Bug58_2020 said...

No Diane, It doesn't represent MY views as a Christian either. But then my Church Body affliation was not listed either.

My opinion is quite different, why not instead of allowing them to continue to come here illegally, if we REALLY want to help them, lets go to their countries and start Labor Unions as were started here years ago.

Though Labor Unions here in America have grossly changed over the generations, they were started for the right reasons. To help those who labor, giving them more rights, giving them more money, helping them to have a better life.

That is, after all why so many companies go to other countries and open businesses, because they don't have to pay employees as much money to do the same work as they do here in America, and because there are no Labor laws in those countries they can get away with it.

They can pay them a dollar a day and think they are doing them a great favor, but when they see they can come to America and make more money by the hour...why not want to come to America??

So if those governments began making the companies pay their employees by the hour as opposed to by the day, people would begin to stay there and their own economies would begin to grow.

But it is not the churches responsibility to take care of these people, it is the Churches responsibility to train them to in the gospel, to be disciples for Christ, not a drain on society.

Teaching them to be productive members of their OWN societies!!