I have previously blogged about getting our thoughts straight on indiscriminate immigration policy. In that post, I observed that church and state have two separate roles. The role of the state is to execute justice. The role of the church is to provide charity and compassion. Only when these two functions work in tandem can we provide true compassion.
Certainly it is appropriate to have compassion and seek to aid those in danger. This reaction is a credit to this nation. It is a Christian reaction. We have always been a compassionate nation, providing our resources, our physical effort, even our lives for those less fortunate and under threat of tyranny. However, we must provide compassion wisely. Irresponsible compassion typically creates a bigger problem than the problem it intends to resolve.
What are the principles that should guide a principled compassion? First, we must understand our abilities and the proper functioning of a just and compassionate society. In this, we must understand we are finite as individuals and as a society. Jesus observed that we will always have the poor and needy with us. Even he accepted certain limitations on the fallen order to respond to and remedy all misery. We, as individuals and as a nation, are unable to alleviate all ills.
Then we must also recognize that there is a serious threat in the way the Federal task master is executing this proposal. We have seen the threat played out in Paris. There is a danger in bringing even a few violent terrorists into this nation.
God has made each of us unique. Each of us has different gifts and abilities. Some of us are strong and some of us are weak. God has called me to minister in a certain way. I have a right and an obligation to minister to society as God has called me to minister. However, I do not have a right to dictate how anyone else ministers to society. I can put myself in harm’s way in the service of God. I cannot put anyone else in harm’s way in God’s service. Compassion works here as well. Be compassionate to those who are unable to bear the threat. If someone is unable to bear a threat, they should be protected from that threat.
This is government’s role. Government exists to defend the weak and innocent citizen. Romans 13. It does not exist to correct all ills beyond its boarder. Government has a legitimate God given duty, a national interest, in protecting its citizens first and foremost. It must punish the evildoer and protect the innocent.
And here is the solution. If government executes justice, the individual and the church can extend compassion. The evildoer must be neutralized. Only then can true compassion be provided. Compassion, in its best designs, can only be provided on a foundation of justice. Compassion provide to an unjust government goes to the corrupt leaders. Before we can provide compassion, the government must first execute justice.
The Syrian concern, as it presently stands, is not founded on justice. No one is attempting to ferret out the wicked from the innocent. When that happens we can seek to extend compassion in an effective way.
A father’s key role is to protect and defend his children. Providing compassion beyond the home is also within his responsibility. However, he violates his first calling when he provides compassion to others in such a way as to terrorize his children. That is what our President is doing now. He is terrorizing the children for the sake of his own agenda. When he executes justice, we can provide compassion, but not until.