Wednesday, November 19, 2008


About 6 weeks ago I received a forward from a friend. It was an e-mail from an organization that sends out warnings about looming crises in our nation. I don’t remember the name of the organization.

This e-mail was warning us about a program soon to be broadcast on PBS attacking the Bible and attempting to shake our faith. We the readers were urged to write or petition our congressmen to remove this danger by pulling the plug on PBS funding.

My first reaction was anger! I wanted to write back to all concerned and express my views: PBS is the only TV network that has consistently decent programming. It is the only network that provides good entertainment AND balanced news. If PBS were removed I’d be stuck watching all the sex and violence or the sensationalist news coverage on the networks. Yes, PBS programming expresses many of the current scientific views that clash with my Christian beliefs. But God gave us brains to discern.

Well my conscience and my wife restrained me from doing anything rash. I merely decided to watch the TV guide for the appearance of this “blasphemous” program. Trouble was I deleted the e-mail and forgot both the name and the date for this program.

At last it appeared! Tuesday evening there it was: “The Bible’s Buried Secrets.” It was touted as showing archaeological sites and inscriptions that would shed light on the origins of monotheism. This must be it, I thought and settled in to watch.

Well, it was a disappointment. Though it was slickly produced and narrated as if it were some unsolved mystery, it really gave little, if any new information. Its basic thesis seemed to be that man had created God somewhere around the 10th century BC.

Most of the information given was not new, but was arranged so as to raise doubts in the minds of believers. I don’t know if this was deliberate on the part of its producers or not. I suspect not.

Some of the information given:
-- There is evidence from archaeology and contemporary history that verifies the overall biblical story as far back as 1000 BC, the time of David. True!
-- There is little inconclusive data from farther back than 1000 BC that verifies the Bible. Well … ?
-- There is no archaeological evidence of the exodus. True, as far as we know.
-- The archaeological evidence for the conquest of Canaan is still being debated. True!
-- The Israelite people continued to worship idols and multiple deities long after the establishment of the Temple of the One God in Jerusalem. True! Anyone who reads the books of Kings knows this. Archaeology merely verifies it.

Beyond this it gets a bit weird, with the experts using words like “perhaps” and “probably” quite a bit. Hypotheses are presented as though they were facts. The implication was that if we can’t verify a story in the Bible then we can dogmatically assert that it didn’t happen. This allows us to dismiss all biblical history up to 1000 BC, and better yet, to make up our own.

And so we have an alternative history which itself is unverified and unverifiable:
-- There was no mass exodus from Egypt. There were only a few slaves who escaped Egypt and headed for Canaan.
-- There was no covenant with Yahweh made at Mount Sinai. The escaped slaves picked up the name of Yahweh from a Midianite deity on their way to Canaan.
-- The “so-called” conquest of Canaan was really a peasant revolt apparently instigated by the escaped Egyptian slaves.
-- The Torah (the five books of Moses) was not written by Moses because he probably didn’t exist. It was really a composite of four different strands of tradition and these strands were composed at various times during the kingdom period. They were finally pasted together into a whole during the Babylonian captivity. When Ezra read the Torah to the returned exiles (Nehemiah 8:1-8), he was reading from a “hot-off-the-press” new edition – the final draft of the freshly composed work. [For a good and biting rebuttal of the 200 year-old “documentary theory” of the composition of the Torah, read the note on chapter 14 of Herman Wouk’s This Is My God, pages 272-280 in the paperback edition.]

So what are we to make of all this? I think it all comes down to this: if one begins one’s studies with the presupposition that the God of the Bible does not exist, then one will probably come to a conclusion that agrees the presupposition (apart from a work of the Spirit of God). And of course, then there must be a “scientific” explanation to account for the Bible and its claims for the existence of one God who created the universe.

“And even if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden in those who are perishing, in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the Image of God should not shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

By the way, I’ll keep watching PBS.

Bill Ball

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Many of my evangelical Christian friends are concerned about what is termed “gay marriage.” They feel that one of the requirements of a person running for office is his or her stand on this issue. It is seen by them as one of the two defining issues of our day. While I am sympathetic with their views I am not in total agreement.

California recently voted for an amendment denying gay marriage. I’m not sure just how this was worded on their ballot, but I am reasonably certain that it was not, as the media reported a “ban on gay marriage.” How can something be banned which does not exist? That would be like banning unicorns or space aliens.

Webster’s 10th Collegiate Dictionary defines marriage as 1. a: the state of being married; b: the mutual relation of husband and wife: wedlock; c: the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.

There are other definitions, some of which give marriage metaphorical implications. But nowhere do we find any hint that it could be the union of two persons of the same sex.

For most of us our definition of marriage, while in agreement with Mr. Webster, actually goes back to the first book of the Bible.

“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; quoted by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7, 8).

So how can the marriage of two persons of the same sex be “banned”? It does not exist.

When I lived in Texas this issue came up as an amendment defining (if I recall correctly) marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

When I voted for this amendment I voted not out of a fear of or hatred of homosexuals. I voted for it because I oppose redefining marriage as something it is not. To me it was and is an issue of Truth. We cannot make words mean whatever we desire them to mean, like some character out of Lewis Carroll:

“’When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less’” (Through the Looking-Glass}.

“What I tell you three times is true” (The Hunting of the Snark).

The Bible throughout condemns homosexual behavior as sin (see THE CHURCH AND HOMOSEXUALITY). But I don’t share the fears and concerns of many of my fellow evangelicals. I do not believe that today’s promotion of homosexuality is, as many claim, a threat to the family. I believe it is symptomatic of a sexual revolution that has permeated our culture.

Today we are totally saturated with sex. All we need to do is turn on our television sets. Illicit sex is the norm (and I’m not talking about what is called pornography). And we Christians – and our families – soak it up.

As for the destruction of our families that the so-called gay agenda will bring about, perhaps we have not noticed that our families are already being destroyed – and usually by heterosexual misbehavior.

All we need to do is look at the statistics: the divorce rate, the number of spouses cheating, the teenage pregnancy rate, the number of children conceived and born out of wedlock. I won’t bother to look up the figures. Most of us have seen some of them and besides they’re always changing anyway.

And the really sad fact is that these statistics are nearly the same for Christians as for the population in general.

Is a political solution even possible? Perhaps as a sort of holding action, but only temporarily. There are, however, “solutions” to the problem.

We need to recognize the false thinking of our culture and resist it. “ ... stop being conformed to this age” (Romans 12:2).

We need to be “ ... renewing our mind” (Romans 12:2). This involves biblical thinking. It means that we must make a major shift in both how we think and what we think about.

And this should lead to our being “transformed,” brought more into conformity with Christ.

We cannot expect those around us to behave. That’s not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to live sexually pure lives ourselves and to offer the grace of God in Christ to those who do not.
Revised (7/1/2015):  While I still believe that a biblical marriage is between one man and one woman (See:  MARRIAGE, AN EVER CHANGING UNION?), I recognize that current thinking accepts gay marriage.  Webster's 11th adds it to its definition.  I would not today vote against it.  I accept that there are certain rights and responsibilities associated with marriage and would not seek to deny them to any.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Since the WWJD fad – “What would Jesus do?” – similar questions have been asked. What would Jesus eat? What would Jesus drive? How would Jesus vote? (Would Jesus wear a Rolex on His television show? – Ray Stevens).

I think I can give a reasonably accurate answer as to what Jesus would eat. He was Jewish. He would eat foods that were “Kosher” according to biblical (not Pharisaical) standards. Of course, there is the problem that He was reputed to be “a glutton and a wine-guzzler” (Luke 7:34)!

But the other questions cannot be answered because they are nonsense questions. Jesus was the only human being who actually chose the time and place of His birth. And, of course, we all know that He chose to be born in a time and place where there were neither automobiles nor voting booths.

I say this because I fear that it’s possible to be so convinced of the rightness of our cause that we believe that Jesus would vote the way we do. We may feel that anyone who votes differently is not walking with Jesus.

As I said on my previous post, I was pleasantly surprised at most of the responses to my post IS GOD STILL ON THE THRONE? I have since received a few more, which I chose not to publish. A couple of them expressed some deep pain that I apparently opened up. They were too personal to publish. I also received a seven-page Word document rebutting me and telling me to share this new information with all on my e-mail list. I deleted it.

I don’t really care to defend myself, but I do feel I need to make clear both what I said and what I did not say:

-- I did not tell anyone how they should have voted. I didn’t even tell how I had voted. I was not attacking anyone for voting against Barack Obama.
-- I WAS rejoicing over America’s choice of an African-American for president. I have long been convinced that racism is one of the great evils of America and of the American church and has been since before we were a nation. I feel that this singular event was a milestone in a movement away from this evil.
-- I felt that the evangelical white church had dropped the ball on this one, just as we had done many times in the past. I was genuinely grieved by what I perceived as at best a “wet blanket” reaction. I confess that I was at least partially mistaken on this, as so many of the responses demonstrated.
-- I do believe that abortion and homosexual behavior are sins that are on the increase, though they’ve been with us all along. I also believe that my vote has little, if anything to do with this practice.
-- Political action cannot eliminate sin. We live in a fallen world. Because I believe very firmly in the depravity of man, I refuse to put my trust in any political party or position.

Bill Ball

Monday, November 10, 2008


I wrote my previous post with great passion. Knowing that very few people read my blog, I felt I needed to e-mail these thoughts to many of my friends and acquaintances.

It was with some reservations that I did this, feeling that I belonged to a small minority within my circle and that I might lose many of my friends and have to clean off my address book.

I was pleasantly surprised at the responses that I received. Many expressed agreement, most at least gave qualified agreement. Most were civil. Only a small percentage, however, actually responded.

Below are the replies I received. Because these were sent to me via e-mail and contained personal references, I have edited them. I have removed the senders’ names and any material that I felt might indicate who they were. I have also edited for length.

I apparently accidentally deleted at least one. I hope the sender will forgive me.

ball you're going to burn in HELL!!!!!

Love you much :-)


Well done!


I certainly agree with your closing reminder: God is still sovereign. And he sets up rulers and takes them down. 'Course, that includes a lot of rogues (the Hitlers, Stalins, and Amins of this world), and certainly doesn't mean God "approves" of such rulers. God raises up some rulers to bring His wrath on those who deserve it. I believe America deserves God's wrath (decades of increasing immorality, forgetting God, denying His creation, flaunting His commands): God may be setting up Obama to bring this

I long ago committed that I would never cast a vote for someone who advocated the killing of babies. This limits my allegiance in our progressively ungodly culture, but I believe reflects the heart of God.

We'll all see what happens in the months ahead. Time alone will tell if what some who warned against an Obama presidency (who are not all "intolerant" -- I think this was a bit of an unfair and certainly not irenic indictment of many who are truly concerned about the direction of our country) comes true. I hope not.

Finally...I think you overstepped a bit when you dubbed those who made accusations or expressed fears about Obama as having a "strange mixture of fear, eschatological zeal, far-right politics, and I believe, down-right racism." You included me in that assessment, and that hurts. I won't argue the point, but obviously, I believe it is untrue. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Opposition to a political candidate may be misguided, just as support for a candidate can be. But we should all try to avoid slipping from the arena of dialogue about a person's positions on critical issues into a broad-brushed impugning of their character.

(My reply: Please reread my e-mail. I did not accuse all those who opposed Obama. I did not (and still do not ) believe you are among those of whom I spoke. I don't think you are one who passed on some of the slander and fear that I was speaking of. Bill )

Thanks, bro.


Like Governor Palin and Senator McCain, I too feel good about the fact that the USA would elect a black man—even though I was torn because of Obama’s record on abortion and gay marriage and several other issues that I disagree with him on. I agree with some of the more sober conservative pundits who advocate support for our new president and hope that he will rise to the level of his rhetoric—bringing unity to the politics in Washington.


Amen! We voted for McCain, but rejoiced in Obama's election for the same reasons you did! And our God IS still on His throne.

And, the same day, in California, the majority voted AGAINST gay marriage! AGAINST! CALIFORNIA!!!!! Wow!

My prayer for our new president-elect is that he doesn't meet with the same fate that Kennedy did. Of that I am very afraid because of some of the action of some of the people that are opposed to him. We will support him how ever we can.

Yes, He is still in control and I have to believe that: Dan. 2:21 and Isa. 45:7.

Bill: You are and will continue to be in my prayers. We are so polarized as a Nation that believers who have come to see their Christianity as a "Republican", "American" and "pro wealth - free enterprise" world view, seem to lack tolerance for other views. The culture views states as "Blue" or "Red" in a black or white sense, when the truth is that the conservative state of Texas is actually something like 47% Blue and 53% Red, and liberal Minnisota is something like 53% Blue and 47% Red. Even in evangelical Churches, surveys tell us that about 65% of evangelicals are politically conservative Republicans, and about 35% are politically centrist or liberal Democrats. This truth seems to be eclipsed by a surface appearance of black and white "Religious Right" contrast. I think this is because the 65% are vocal and the 35% are silent out of a desire to keep peace, or a fear of being shunned for their political viewsThanks for having the courage to be a voice of reason in the current wave of Christian polarization over non-faith issues. I sure do miss you.


Thank you so much for your e-mail. I thought I was the only Christian that felt the way you do. The election of America’s first black president is a great historic time in history.

I wouldn't be as brave as you. I am so glad that you were. It heartens me to know others feel as I do. The only person I felt comfortable forwarding your message to was my sister who is for Obama, but not a Christian.

Actually Bill, I agree pretty strongly with this post, but i won't be sending it to my friends ;-)

I think Obama has a pretty good idea what people are thinking, but he will face some very difficult decisions in the days ahead, as did JFK. May God give him grace, not just politically, but theologically and personally.

My wife told me that God is certainly pleased that so many bibles are being opened to see what His word says. The dividing correctly part, well..................

But Bill, He really is going to take my guns away, I just know it, the dirty socialist. We miss you guys terribly. (Kennedy was a socialist too.) I think its absolutely fantastic that we have a black president. It is beautiful, I just wish it would of been Condoleezza Rice. It doesn't matter, God still holds the heart of the king in His hand.

Besides, Obama's chief of staff will be Emanuel, God with us.

Hope he does great things!

God is still on the very sturdy throne and I suspect He was smiling Tuesday night. He has two desires for us, unity and love...He saw both that night. Hopefully, prayerfully, this is a new direction for our country.

Amen. I deleted many of the negative messages we got about Obama during the pre-election months. He wasn't our choice, but I am commanded by Scripture to pray for him and I will. I too was thankful to see blacks and whites embracing and to see "the world" celebrating over our choice. And YES, God DEFINITELY is still on the throne and always will be!! Love in Jesus,

Thank you, Bill. As always, you help me see the big picture better. You can't even guess how many times I've wanted to talk with you about this election. I get a lot out reading your blogs.

Give Uni hugs from me.
With love,

Uni, share this with Bill for me…I am so glad he sent his letter about his view of the election of Obama. I have long thought that Christianity was too influenced by the “fear factor” and not by intellect and reason. I find his views very uplifting. They give me hope that there are other thoughtful Christians out there. I think Pres. Bush will possibly go down as the worst President in US history. He’s a real piece of work and I’ve been saying this to whomever will listen for the last several years. I have always admired and respected John McCain but find I am very relieved he was not elected. There is no way I could support him with his views on the war in Iraq and his choice of Sarah Palin. What a horribly bad choice!

Obama will, I believe, bring a new kind of President to the White House. One that is very much needed in these discouraging times with the war and our economic crisis. I believe he will surround himself with intelligent, experienced, thoughtful people and I love the fact that his wife is such a great role model and intelligent thinker.


I agree wholeheartedly with you that God is still on the throne. However, believing that God is still on the throne does not mean that one has to celebrate the election of a person that they believe will support legislation that undermines their values. These are two different issues.

I too was moved by Obama’s election and its impact on racial issues in our nation.

I have no problem with a black man being president. Even one with the middle name “Hussein.” I’m just not that excited about this particular black man. I find it difficult to celebrate the fact that we now have the most pro-abortion President we have ever had. I’m deeply grieved by that. Yes, God is still on the throne, but that doesn’t mean I have to be excited about policy issues that are contrary to God’s Word.

I don’t know who your email was specifically aimed at. But I have to honest, to me it has a condescending, angry tone.

I have prayed for president-elect Obama every day since the election. And I have done so with sincerity, not just out of some sense of duty. I hope he has a very successful, safe term in office. However, I will continue to disagree with his pro-abortion stand and some other key policy issues, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe God is in control.

Bill, I don't share your enthusiasm for our next president and it has nothing to do with skin color, it’s about values. As a Christian I am grieved that our next president is not opposed to abortion ("Determining when life begins is above my pay grade") and in fact will probably get to appoint another pro-abortion supreme court justice which will ruin any chances that we might have to get Roe vs Wade overturned. He has also stated that he will support equal rights for same sex marriages which of course is in direct conflict with Scripture.

We agree on God's sovereignty. He has certainly allowed Obama to prevail in the election. But, we must remember that He also allowed pagan foreign kings to rule over his people in order that their hearts might be turned back to Him.

It is my Christian responsibility to pray for my leaders and I will be doing that, but I will be no happier that he is president that the people were when Nebuchadnezzar over ran Judah.

Hi Bill, Thank you for your e-mail on "Is God still on the throne". I would say absolutely! Do we support President Obama, he was not our choice, but absolutely, God is solidly in control. I wouldn't presume to guess what my other Christian friends think who have their own opinions on this subject. I'm a conservative thinker politically which has little to do with my Christian belief. But I Do still have questions about President Obama, which are not just rumors, that will hopefully be answered in the future. What that will show hopefully will be good, not bad, for our country. Incidentally the color of a person's skin has nothing to do with a person's qualification for office.

Bill, I write letters to the editor from time to time in answer to people who have been very hateful toward the Bush administration for the last eight years. I have tried hard to maintain my Christian testimony throughout. And believe me it has been a real challenge. They talk a lot about how we should be more tolerant towards others but their rhetoric oozes with intolerance against those of us who think differently than they do. I find that hypocritical to say the least. In this mornings paper these same people, now that they haven't got Bush to bash anymore are starting on the Republicans. I guess that will keep me in material to write about. I just wish people would just start being civilized.

I know none of us have all the answers and are not ever going to be perfect until we get to heaven so we just have to keep our eyes on Jesus and pray that God will guide our leaders in everything they do.

In Christ love,

Bill Bsll

Friday, November 7, 2008


Back in 1960, I was a fairly young believer and attending what I regarded then as a Bible-preaching church. It was an election year, my first in which I’d get to vote for president. The Democrat candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic was running against Richard M. Nixon, a Quaker and well-known Communist hunter.

Meetings were held at various churches, fundamentalist and others, including the one I attended, denouncing the evils of Catholicism and foretelling the horrible dangers that would befall our Protestant nation if Kennedy were elected. Not only was He Catholic, but also a liberal!

Rumors were circulated by mail and tract (I wonder what would have happened if we’d had the Internet).

Well, of course, all of us true believers voted against this horrible evil, but to no avail. Kennedy won! Fear struck our hearts! America was doomed! But few, if any, of our fears were realized.

When Barack Obama was campaigning for election, rumors were spread, only now we have the Internet.
-- He’s a secret Muslim.
-- He’s an Arab.
-- He “pals around with terrorists.”
-- He’s not even an American.
-- He’s going to promote gay marriage.
-- He’s going to take our guns away.
-- And, of course, he’s the anti-Christ!

And a few truths:
-- He’s a liberal (so were the signers of our Declaration of Independence).
-- He’s black (actually, he’s mixed-race)!
-- His middle name is Hussein.

The evening that Obama gave his acceptance speech huge crowds gathered in cities across the nation. Uni and I were moved to tears when we saw the images on our TV screen. Blacks and whites embracing; tears rolling down the cheeks of older black people.

A half-century after the Civil Rights Movement, after the demise of Jim Crow (our American version of apartheid), an African-American was elected President of the USA. We felt it was a great moment in the history of our nation, a demonstration that “all men (really) are created equal.” It was truly historical. Here was a moment all Americans, whether Democrat or Republican, whether black or white, no matter whom they’d voted for, could celebrate.

But such was not the case. Instead, we were told by our Christian friends (and others) that the reactions we witnessed were the same sort of reactions that the anti-Christ will get when he appears; that America may no longer be a “Christian nation” (whatever that is!). A friend of mine was told that the second coming must be near because of this.

This strange mixture of fear, eschatological zeal, far-right politics, and I believe, down-right racism is unbecoming to those who name the name of Christ.

And even those who claim that they are not afraid say something like, “Well, we have to remember, God is still on the throne.” Apparently though in their thinking, the throne is wobbling and God is barely hanging on!

Our God is Sovereign! He reigns! He sets up rulers and takes them down. He has a purpose in setting up Barack Obama. Perhaps the church through this will learn a little more tolerance, as some of us did 48 years ago.

Bill Ball

Monday, November 3, 2008


Uni and I frequently receive e-mails from friends which contain tirades usually attributed to some well-known person: Jay Leno, Paul Harvey, Andy Rooney, George Carlin, Billy Graham. They often have a recent date, or have some time marker such as “just last week, ___________ said.”

Yet a quick check at one of the following sites shows that the alleged source is false, except sometimes for some small fragments. Often they are a “string of pearls,” various portions by various persons:

These tirades are generally aimed at some group for which the sender has a disdain: blacks, aliens (legal or illegal), people who don’t speak English, liberals, homosexuals, people who pierce various areas of their bodies … and the list goes on.

The folks who send us this trash are usually “nice people.” They wouldn’t say things like these themselves, but feel that they’re OK as long as someone famous said them – even if the “famous” person didn’t say it!

When we say something in reply, we’re often given some excuse like “I didn’t realize __________ didn’t say that,” or “You don’t think I agree with this, do you?” (Of course we assume you agree with it; why else would you forward it?) Or we are accused of being harsh or judgmental. Or worst of all, “I’m sorry I offended YOU.” Over the years, only one friend asked forgiveness for sending on such an e-mail and he apologized to everyone to whom he had forwarded the e-mail.

This stuff is not just an offense to us. We believe it’s an offense against God and our neighbor. When we attribute hate speech to someone who didn’t use it we are lying and slandering them.

“And he who spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 20:19).

But worst of all is the hate that is spread in this way.
“He who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15).

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor,’ and ‘You shall hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, Love your enemies …” (Matthew 5:43, 44).

If you are one of those persons who simply clicks “send to all” whenever you receive such e-mails, we beg you to hit “delete” instead. If you are not, simply ignore this post.

Bill Ball


Now back to XLT’s questions in his comment on my post, WHAT ABOUT ROMANS 13? “I think I understand what you are saying here...but is there a distinction to be drawn then? If we can't hold them accountable for obeying the laws of the land as it pertains to immigration, how are we to hold them to the laws of the same land in regards to other crimes? I think I understand what you are saying here...but is there a distinction to be drawn then? If we can't hold them accountable for obeying the laws of the land as it pertains to immigration, how are we to hold them to the laws of the same land in regards to other crimes?”

These questions seem to point to an ethical dilemma. There are no easy answers to them, but I’ll try. First, I believe we need to distinguish our responsibilities as citizens of the Kingdom of God from our responsibilities as citizens of the Kingdom of Man. (See THE TWO KINGDOMS.)

As citizens of the Kingdom of Man (the USA), we are to support government laws as they apply to immigrants. However, we do have a say in regard to these laws. We should seek legislation that is just and compassionate. I don’t think that we should regard the undocumented immigrant as a criminal such as a thief or murderer. These are people in need, most of whom came here because of that need. Just what forms though, that just laws may take, we Christians may have differences.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God (in this age, the church), our responsibility toward undocumented immigrants (or any other kind) is to love them as ourselves (Leviticus 19:34), to seek to win them to Christ (see STRANGERS AND ALIENS), to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

Apparently, God sees immigrants, not as criminals, but as people in need. Notice how He names them along with other needy groups as especially in need of Israel’s care:

“Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:9, 10).

“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied” (Deuteronomy 26:12).

I don’t believe that God’s care for the “stranger” has changed from Old Testament times to today.

Also, we can’t always tell which immigrants are documented or which aren’t. Do we have the right to ask them?

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). Nothing said here about which strangers we are to be hospitable to.

It troubles me that so many Christians don’t see the difference between our dual responsibilities. Often I hear them speaking with fear and hatred toward those needy people all the while believing that they are speaking as Christians.

Bill Ball