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Are you the Romeikes?

April 29, 2013

A friend of mine, S, has a way of making me think. She posts things to her FB page that make me stop and go, “Hmmmm.” She shares things on her blog that are soul-deep. Do you have friends like that? Who challenge you? Encourage you? Stretch your thinking? 

Sometimes the challenge can come from a source a bit more removed than that. Not your friends, but your friends’ friends post things that challenge your thinking. Get under your skin?! Do these things, ideas, stick there and prick you, becoming a splinter in your brain? Ouch! Oh, it’s so bothersome!!  Are you forced to focus on this irritation and figure out how to process it or address it?

Yes?

Me too.

A couple of S’s recent FB posts, caught my attention and have been making me think. One, about the Romeikes, the German homeschooling family who the Justice Department is trying to deport, is near to my heart. We have quite a bit in common. Having lived in Germany. Having more than the average 0.9 children per family. Home schooling. Living in a foreign country whose government has treated us in not an especially welcoming way. We can relate to their plight. Even if it’s in a very small way, we are the Romeikes. 

So here’s my friend S’s post which provoked some thoughts…..

“an interesting news item (The Romeike family’s deportation)….what do you think…should this family be allowed to stay?”

My response? The Romeikes? I’m sure you could guess at what I think, especially considering the situation we’ve found ourselves in here. Yes, of course they should be allowed to stay. Or maybe we should change the plaque at the Statue of Liberty to say, “Give me your tired, your poor,your

huddled masses yearning to breathe free…..all, except for your homeschoolers? 

 

Sign the Romeike petition!

No?! That would be ridiculous!

How is it that this hearing ever happened? How did we get to the place where people are proposing giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, but those seeking asylum because of religious persecution are being threatened, harassed by our government and possibly deported? 

I, for one, think that this case is only the beginning of something much, much bigger. The case against this family is a test; I think they are being used. They are easy prey. They are not Americans, so what does it matter? There won’t be any public outcry. The Justice Department is wondering, “How much “liberty confiscation” will the American people stand for?” Let’s not be fooled. This is an experiment in removing individual’s liberties. Educational and religious. This family, an easy target, is being used to establish a legal precedent.

You might say that that is ludicrous. You might say, “This is a German family and this has to do with German laws, right? We can’t dictate to other countries, right? We can’t foist our understanding of religious liberty on other cultures. Laws are laws and we can’t interpret another countries’ laws through our own. Besides, we are Americans! We have the Constitution.”

But wait, if the Justice Department, under Eric Holder (and the current administration) thinks that Germany can ban home schooling (as long as the ban is broad and equal), how about the individual rights of American homeschoolers? Any American’s individual rights? As long as the ban is broad and equal, a.k.a. all of our Constitutional Rights have been impinged upon equally, then the government is within its right to abridge freedom. Correct?

Have you noticed? This is being played out in many areas of our society.  TSA patdowns. Conscience Rights. HHS mandates. Common Core Curriculum. Guns. Speech. Our liberties are being eroded. Some may call it wise or needed safeguards. Necessary protections.  Freedom and equality. But I call it bondage. We are becoming less and less free.

How did we get here? I believe that the answer is simple. Rebellion. We have been excluding God from our national life and now the foundations are crumbling. Freedom, liberty and safety were given to our beloved country by God. Those wonderful gifts are granted by the PERFECT lawgiver and found in the life of nations that humbly acknowledge their need for His forgiveness, provision and protection.

I think that Psalm 127 clearly illustrates this point.

Psalm 127 (NASB)

127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

We have been building our house in vain. We have rejected God’s guarding protection by telling Him that we do not desire to follow His ways. There are natural consequences to rebelling against the laws of nature and nature’s God. There are spiritual consequences too. God is merciful and longsuffering, but He won’t withhold His loving judgement forever.

I pray that we would turn to Him. We need Him to rescue us. Without our repentance and His merciful intervention we are lost. If there is not a real turning to God soon, we, like the Romiekes, will be viewed by our own government as unwelcome religious zealots.

Maybe it is happening already. Are you “the Romeikes?” Do you live in a parallel culture? Do you believe in Truth? Do you think the Bible is the inerrant Word of God?  Do you think that God has given you the responsibility of raising your children in His ways? If so, you ARE like the Romeikes.

Have you noticed? Very little truth is being tolerated in our culture. Anywhere. Mainstream media coverage of the Kermit Gosnell trial anyone? Compromise and tolerance are elevated. Inclusion is paramount. Everything is relative. Conform. Conform. Conform.

Sometimes I think that it seems as if some already view us as the Romeikes are viewed. Unwelcome. Trouble makers. Unloving. Extremists. Maybe even dangerous. That’s okay. If that’s so, we’re in the best company possible. Jesus was viewed as an unwelcome religious troublemaker by his countrymen too. He loved them anyway. And that’s what we need to do too, come what may.

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