A city of refuge worked with law enforcement; a sanctuary city works against it. A city of refuge served to guarantee a man his day in court; a sanctuary city works to prevent the accused from ever facing a day in court. A city of refuge existed to ensure that every man received a fair trial; a sanctuary city exists to enable a man to avoid a fair trial altogether. So, no, sanctuary cities are not a modern embodiment of biblical cities of refuge, and only Christians with a shallow understanding of Scripture could believe they are. As James Hoffmeier of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School puts it, such Christians "are twisting biblical statutes to political ends and subverting federal law." -- Bryan Fischer
No Mr. Fischer. A City of refuge did not "work with law enforcement." Do you know why? Because there was no law enforcement in the theocracy of Israel. There was no militia. No police. No ICE. No jail or prisons. As for Sanctuary Cities, there is no "day in court" and Mr. Fischer is well aware of it. There is no "fair trial." Notice the shift here in what he is claiming? The title simply deals with whether these two types of cities are "alike." Halfway through it shifts to whether Sanctuary Cities are a modern day expression of Cities of Refuge. Now he is trying to shift the debate as to whether they are the modern embodiment of Cities of Refuge. This entire faux-Christian article is just a thinly disguised political hack piece designed to support a political stance. No one in their right mind would say these two concepts are identical. There are thousands of years between them. That would be absurd. No one of course is making that argument. It is a strawman argument made by Fischer to veil his intent. Only Christians with a shallow understanding of Scripture would believe that these two concepts are related? Seriously? Did you count how many Scriptures Mr. Fischer used to defend his political position in this article? Zero. Because he has none.
Christians however have the key verse for starters which reminds us about what true and pure religion means to the Father. The concept of visiting orphans and widows is simply taking care of the least of these in society. It is by far the number one topic in the Bible after salvation. As important as this is let us not lose sight of the second half of this verse. We are to keep ourselves unstained from this world. Bryan Fischer appears to worship this world or at the very least this country. Because of this, he has lost sight that his primary concern should be for people. It should be about the Gospel. Cities of Refuge only dealt with one specific issue -- accidental manslaughter. If you really want to see the heart of God read the same Old Testament and how God says Israel is to deal with the outsider or the stranger. Read how God wants Israel to treat the poor. When Jesus gave the Parable of the Good Samaritan He used the Samaritan as the hero because He knew His listeners despised them. They reviled them. They felt about the Samaritan the way Bryan Fischer apparently feels about the immigrant. Yet in that Parable we see religion pass on the other side of the wounded man on purpose. They may have had very sound and even Scriptural reasons in their own heads.
If they came in contact they would be unclean!
The mere presence of an illegal alien on American soil is an illegal, criminal act which is the proper subject of law enforcement!
Actually when you put these next to each other you can see that Bryan Fischer does not even pretend this is a Scriptural issue for him. We see him try pitifully in his closing to draw them together:
Finally, with regard to this network of sanctuary churches, should not the role of the church of Jesus Christ be to help its members become law-abiding disciples rather than law-breaking ones? -- Bryan Fischer
Yes Mr. Fischer but to strain out the gnat you have swallowed a camel. Your political myopia does not allow you to see that there might be multiple solutions to this problem. In the world of Bryan Fischer the Church of Jesus Christ's first obligation to its members is to ensure that if they immigrated to this country illegally that they be deported. Not to protect them and their families. He must own a different Bible than me. In his Bible I assume Jesus ends up stoning to death the woman caught in adultery because after all, that was the law.
Listen beloved, I understand this is a very difficult issue for some Christians because the church has done such a poor job of explaining that we are not citizens of this country first. We are citizens of heaven. Then the Bryan Fischers of the world come along and write articles like this that are clearly designed with one purpose. To make xenophobic, hateful, or just frightened Christians OK with their xenophobia, hate or fear. Are Sanctuary Cities similar conceptually to Cities of Refuge? Of course they are. You have to have a real shallow agenda to not admit that. Are they exactly the same? Of course not. But was this conceptual debate really what this article was about? No. Beloved, if you can read the Gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus Christ and think He would be pro-deportation I kindly suggest that you read them again. Jesus sat with sinners. He ate with tax collectors. He touched the lepers no one else would dare to touch. He rebuked those in religious authority who used religion for their own means instead of what God intends. Yes, those sinners were lawbreakers. Those tax collectors were lawbreakers who routinely stole money from their own people. Yes, He wanted them to stop sinning and to turn from their evil ways. But seeing this through a true Biblical lens one must conclude that the people come first. The primacy of the Gospel must be adhered to. Are we to encourage and foster the breaking of laws? Of course not. But where is loving mercy? What happened to doing justly? But for the grace of God go
Bryan Fischer does not represent Jesus Christ or His Gospel. He is akin to the Westboro Baptist nuts. He once claimed that God did not stop the mass shooting of children in Connecticut because He is "a gentleman who doesn't go where he is not wanted." He has claimed that Jesus would be in favor of restricting immigration because after all heaven must have extreme vetting with those pearly gates. Ugh. Bryan Fischer is who gives Christianity such a repugnant name in this world. He is a political shill disguising himself as a Christian. We would be wise to stay away and rely on Scripture, not rhetoric.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- April 1, 2017