ARE YOU AN ALIEN?
Hello! Since this is my first submission, let me introduce myself. First, a bit of trivia: I am a pre-baby boomer, by just 288 days. I was born in 1945 and the first baby boomer was born January 1, 1946.
I am a 1976 graduate of Atlanta Christian College with a BA and a BTh, both in Christian Ministries and both with honors, cum laude. I also am a 1981graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in Biblical Studies, at what would be a magna cum laude level – except that the seminary does not award honors. Despite my majors, I took more theology classes than I did anything else.
I am blessed with three sons, one daughter, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren galore. My wife and I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
I have worked since April of 2010 as the Chaplain at an ICE detention center ministering to the religious and spiritual needs of men from as many as eighty-plus countries on almost any given day. Without leaving my home state, I became the foreign missionary that so many missionary presentations in my childhood called upon me to be.
Immigrants are where I wish to focus your thinking today. An immigrant is someone who has moved from their native land into a land that is not their own by birth. They are also known as aliens and strangers. Their habits are strange to the natives. Their language is strange to the natives, Even their food may be strange to the aliens. Their mannerisms, their customs, their cultural practices, their style of dress, even their hair style or methods of group affiliation may be strange to the natives.
Have you ever seen an African with tribal scars that mark their tribal affiliation? Have you ever seen a gang member with a gang tattoo that declares his loyalty to a particular gang? It is hard to make scars disappear, almost as hard as it is to make tattoos disappear.
Many native-born Americans (my wife among them) believe that immigrant aliens should just go back where they came from. They don’t belong here. They broke the law by coming here and should be sent back at once.
Suffice it to say that my wife and I do not agree on this. But this space is not for discussing immigration policy and practice. I will not undertake to instruct the President, the Congress or the Immigration Court. Instead, I am here as the ambassador of Heaven.
How would it feel to be an alien? To be the citizen of another land other than the one where you are living?
That might not be so hard to imagine as you might think. If you are a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, you are an alien, living in a strange land that is not your own. Your life may be in this world, but your citizenship is in Heaven. Your customs and your language should reflect your citizenship in that land, not this one.
Lest you misunderstand, I am a citizen of the United States of America, and I thank God for that privilege. But I have a dual citizenship. I am also a citizen of that land where the Lord God is king and the law of love is the law of the land. I am a pilgrim and a stranger here. But I am both a citizen of a higher land and an ambassador with an unusual authority. As an ambassador of Heaven I have the authority to offer you that same citizenship. I hope that my life makes you want to know more about that citizenship. But, dear reader, I am not alone. Every Christian has that same ambassadorship and that same authority. Want to know more? Ask the nearest Christian!