Only One List Matters: Why Christians Must Decry the Muslim Registry
David once grievously displeased the Lord by doing a census. The Bible recounts the events in in two different books.
“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?” The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah. But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1-7).
“David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’” So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.” (2 Samuel 24:10-15).
In Biblical times, a man could only count what was his. David was way out of line because Israel belonged to God, not David and so David had no right to count the people. And the result of David’s sin is that thousands of innocent people over whom he had charge died.
As Christians, we must weigh heavily the proposed Muslim registry against the Bible and what we know of God. First of all, whether they are from Syria, Africa, Iran or Iraq, the same God that made everyone else living in America made them as well. They may believe otherwise, but that doesn’t negate the truth that we were all fashioned by the hand of Jehovah Almighty God. So what right does America really have to “count” them based solely on self-professed religious affiliation?
And what will it really accomplish? How can you prove someone’s religion? What we believe does play out in how we live but people can act too. The truth of what we truly believe is in the heart, a place only God Almighty can go into and inventory.
What it will accomplish is ill-feelings between Muslims and the rest of America. Instead of thwarting terror attacks, such a registry may incite people to act aggressively as they feel they are being discriminated against. Just as David’s actions brought destruction unto Israel, such a registry may open America up to unrest and violence.
Let’s not forget the government enforced relocation and incarceration of people of Japanese descent during WWII, many of whom were born in the USA. It left an indelible mark on the history of this country. Our government’s resources would be better utilized focusing on specific threats instead of using methods of mass discrimination.
Christians should be concerned because we were commanded to evangelize the world. We should not see Muslims in America as threats but instead as potential converts that need to be ministered to with kindness and patience so they can recognize the love of Christ in us and in the fiber of this country.
So the Church should pray very seriously and consistently about the proposed registry and we need to step up our game and evangelize our nation. People don’t need their names written in a registry but rather we need to work to get their names written in the Book of Life. Be blessed!
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