A church outside of Los Angeles (because, of course it’s California) is taking a bit of a different approach with their nativity scene this year, placing Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in cages to somehow compare them to “refugees”.
The church in question is Claremont United Methodist Church, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s one of those “being gay is okay in the eyes of the Lord” churches… One of the “abortion is bad, but we shouldn’t make it illegal” churches… So, not really a church. At the very least, their God is different from the one you read about in the Bible.
To further demonstrate how lost they are, and perhaps a bit ignorant of biblical history, the church’s “pastor”, Karen Clark Ristine, told CNN “we thought about the most famous refugee family in the world, the family of Jesus.”
“Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant,” she said in a statement posted to Facebook. “They feared persecution and death.”
“What if this family sought refuge in our country today?”
While it is true that Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt following Jesus’ birth, Egypt had just become a part of the Roman empire. They were essentially another state. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph weren’t Jesus, Maria, and Jose. They were a family moving to another state. They were within their rights to travel to Egypt and take up residence.
The pastor continues by saying, “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.”
Again, they didn’t break the law. They moved from Judea to the newly conquered Egypt, and were allowed to do so. The notion that they would be turned away is an indication that someone doesn’t really know their history, and probably shouldn’t be leading a church.
“Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people,” she says. “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.”
Again, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph did not enter a country unlawfully. If anything, this shows the divine power of God. The Roman Empire conquered Egypt a few years prior to Mary and Joseph fleeing. The move would not have been made possible had Rome not opened a legal way for the Holy Family to flee. That’s incredibly powerful testimony to the will of God, but the church’s leaders clearly aren’t aware of that fact.
This is what happens when a church attempts to use God to push an agenda. They demonstrate a lack of biblical knowledge that leads other believers to say “that’s not really a church you should go to”…
We aren’t called to correct every non-believer of their sins, but we are called to correct our fellow “believers”. This church’s lack of biblical history in regards to Christ is a clear indication that it is a lost church more concerned with pushing an agenda than following Christ’s teachings.