Debating Our Cities “Sanctuary” Status (Santa Clarita)

A strain on Facebook’s “Santa Clarita Community” page is keeping people (myself included) up late at night. What got this party started was the below graphic and comment (click to enlarge):

FIRST-and-FOREMOST — many mentioned that Joshua chapter 29 is non-existent — like how the Left views clearly enumerated powers in the Constitution. Non-existent. But discussion of the statement in the Original Post (OP) also riled people us, including myself.

It reads:

  • After seeing all these so called “christians” protesting the sanctuary laws, i feel ashamed to be part of this community. People aren’t thinking of the consequences of getting rid of said laws. #sanctuarysantaclarita

Here is my response to this:

Hmm, what makes me embarrassed is that Christians do not use a proper hermeneutic, and apply 21st century understanding/context to Biblical and Ancient Near East laws, history, and culture. Here is a primer on these cities (4-partial excerpts from the many commentaries available for those seeking context – since it is king – rather than straw-men, red-herrings, and non-sequiturs):

CITIES OF REFUGE

This had been described already in Exodus 21:12–14, as well as Numbers 35 and Deuteronomy 4 and 19. Exodus 21 places the law of asylum at the head of its discussion of capital offences. It describes how God will designate a place for the unintentional killer to flee for safety. Numbers 35:9–15 defines six places as towns of asylum, three east of the Jordan and three to the west. Verses 22–28 go on to state that the town must guarantee protection for the person who is found not guilty of murder, but if the person wanders from the town he may be killed by the avenger of blood. Deuteronomy 4:41–43 describes the three towns of asylum east of the Jordan which Moses designated in that area.

Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 305.

1. The Lord spake unto Joshua … Appoint out for you cities of refuge—(See Nu 35:9–28; De 19:1–13). The command here recorded was given on their going to occupy their allotted settlements. The sanctuaries were not temples or altars, as in other countries, but inhabited cities; and the design was not to screen criminals, but only to afford the homicide protection from the vengeance of the deceased’s relatives until it should have been ascertained whether the death had resulted from accident and momentary passion, or from premeditated malice. The institution of the cities of refuge, together with the rules prescribed for the guidance of those who sought an asylum within their walls, was an important provision, tending to secure the ends of justice as well as of mercy.

4. he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city—It was the place of public resort, and on arriving there he related his tale of distress to the elders, who were bound to give him shelter and the means of support, until the local authorities (Jos 20:6), having carefully investigated the case, should have pronounced the decision. If found guilty, the manslayer was surrendered to the blood-avenger; if extenuating circumstances appeared, he was to remain in the city of refuge, where he would be safe from the vindictive feelings of his pursuers; but he forfeited the privilege of immunity the moment he ventured beyond the walls.

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 155–156.

One of the first ordinances after the announcement of the Ten Commandments provided for the future establishment of cities of refuge (Ex. 21:12–13). These cities, providing havens for unintentional manslayers, are discussed in detail in Numbers 35:6–34 and Deuteronomy 19:1–14. The present chapter discusses their appointment after the Conquest (see their locations on the map “Canaan in the Conquest” near Josh. 3).

The fact that these cities are discussed in four books of the Old Testament marks them as being of great importance. It is apparent that God wished to impress on Israel the sanctity of human life. To put an end to a person’s life, even if done unintentionally, is a serious thing, and the cities of refuge underscored this emphatically.

In the ancient world blood revenge was widely practiced. The moment a person was killed, his nearest relative took responsibility for vengeance. This ancient rite of vendetta was often handed down from one generation to another so that increasingly larger numbers of innocent people died violently. The need in ancient Israel for the refuge that these special cities provided is evident.

Donald K. Campbell, “Joshua,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 362–363.

The need for these cities grew out of the fact that in the ancient world, and to some extent in the Near East even today, there was a custom according to which, if a member of a family or clan was killed by someone, either intentionally or accidentally, the family would gather together and appoint one of its members to be an “avenger of blood” for his relative. This was a world in which the basic legal maxim was “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” So if a member of the family was killed, it became the duty of the avenger of blood to track down and kill the murderer. Clearly, there was a certain primitive justice in this system. But a person could be killed by accident, and if that were the situation, it would be an injustice if the avenger were allowed to proceed.

[….]

Once in the city, the frightened man was to appear before the elders, as the text in Joshua shows. He was to state his case, explaining why the death was accidental. Then, if the elders of the city judged that there was no malice aforethought and the death was indeed accidental, they were to admit him to the city, where he was to live in safety. It was necessary for him to remain there until the death of the high priest serving at that time. After that, he could return home in safety.

James Montgomery Boice, Joshua (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 108–109.

After I posted the above, JESSIE responds with this:

I respond:

I was responding to the OP* [posted by ALEX], but thanks. And I would bet your understanding of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists and the first time it was invoked as something supporting a separations of church and state is lacking. But hey, thanks.

[Here is] the context in which my response was written:

“…what makes me embarrassed is that Christians do not use a proper hermeneutic…”

Which was a response to:

* “After seeing all these so called ‘christians’ protesting the sanctuary laws, i feel ashamed to be part of this community. 

Now, the assumption could be that ALEX is ashamed to be part of this community (the SCV) because Christians who live in the SCV do not rip Joshua out of it’s cultural and historical context — in which case my comment is somewhat null… but still making a salient point.

But if ALEX is saying that he is a “true Christian” because he takes Joshua out of context, and then applies it to sanctuary cities regarding immigration (modern legal dilemmas), then, my comment has weight.

DIMITRI was nice enough to share his support…

PAQUITA joined the convo in a way that caused a few responses. (BTW, BILL Q’s responses were great.) Here is her opening salvo:

  • Church is a festering ground of sinners. That’s why people go to church. Deep down inside we all know how rotten humans can be to each other. Therefore, I’m not surprised that a few Christians are at the forefront of such demonstrations. They are not the voice for an entire congregation . Everyone has their own version of Christianity. In many churches they are divided , over, on going issues. Yet, the irony of some churches is to go the world over in the name of their God & put a nice face in prayer to basically sucker people to become members. However, their agenda isn’t about inclusion or bettering anyone or love for their fellow man, but their numbers. It’s the oddest thing how people feel so much hate when most church pastors spend hours spreading compassion. However, there’s a lot of hateful preachers too & haters share a strong bond psychologically.

(As an aside, the church IS filled with sinners, she is correct. The human condition is awful. Thank GOD for Jesus [Romans 7:25a is a response to the human condition enumerated from verse 14]. But by stating such in no way supports her jump to the issue at hand or how she encapsulates it.)

I said,

So to be against sanctuary cities is hateful? And then this lawful, secular position is applied to what it is to be a true believer?

......

wow.

PAQUITA responds to me specifically:

  • Sean G sure it’s hateful, against your follow man. God creates all & didn’t put those little lines on the maps. The world is ever changing. People screw it up with the violence, anger, competitive , complaining, bad ideas, and festering selfish ideas of this belongs to me, me, me. This earth belongs to everyone. No one is taking Mother Earth to the grave. The future generations will proceed. Each one of us is here for a short time & to get greedy & not share the earth is really backward thinking. After all China & India surpass the USA in populations. Do you realize those two countries each have over a billion population? This here mass of land of the USA from east to west can support the 316,000,000 million we have.

I respond:

POINT ONE >> To quote you PAQUITA, “…sure it’s hateful, against your follow man…”

May I share what I think is foolish and brings harm to the many women who decide to make the trek from South and Central America? And mind you, I wish to show you that the more hurtful position to women is yours, and not my own, or even Trump’s – so bear with me.

I asked all my Left leaning family members and friends to name one or two things that come to mind regarding why they think Donald Trump is a bigot or racist. I wrote on three of the most popular examples given by these 40+ people who responded.

Number one was Trump’s statement that “Mexico was sending its rapists and drug dealers.” (I do have the full quote on my site if you wish to view it.)

The issue is, is this statement true in its essence. OBVIOUSLY most immigrants aren’t necessarily coming from Mexico, but, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (a Left leaning org) had previous numbers of 60% of the women making the trek from the lower Americas being raped. This has been revised to 80-percent.

You read that right.

80%

…Now, this doesn’t mean all the men coming across our borders are rapists. Many may be (more on this in a second), but I suspect some of the rapes occur by residents of wherever these women are passing through, or by the Coyotajes (which I show a news footage piece about “rape trees” by these traffickers on my site).

But, a good number of these rapes are happening by the criminal element traveling to and across our border as well. So by not controlling the border and giving haven to these criminal elements, not only are the women from these areas at risk, but the women of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds here in America are also being put at risk.

Which explains these criminal record percentages committed by illegal aliens as VERY high (comparing their percentage of the general population).

So, back to my point. Your position on immigration and our border seems to be protecting crimes against women. Which I would assume to the women having been or being raped would seem pretty hateful an act — especially at the time.

POINT TWO >> To quote you PAQUITA, “…God creates all & didn’t put those little lines on the maps…”

I will assume you have not read much of your Bible. God created different cultures and languages at the Tower of Babel. Not only that, but I suggest you read up on YHWH’s dealings with the Israelite’s and giving the differing tribes boundaries to live withing the boundaries of other nations.

One example of the GENIUS of GOD is that these boundaries, cultures, and languages, stopped (and has and will stop) mad men from taking over the world. For instance, WWII.

If we had no boundaries and all had a similar culture, a Hitler could have easily swayed many more than he did. And may have eventually taken over most of the world with his Socialism. 

But as the Nazis advanced across the map, they were crossing borders and entering into self-selected cultures (via Free Will — which God created) which rebuffed this advancement. And finally, the various cultures that did joined forces as Allies and defeated Nazi Germany. 

So you can see — I would hope — the benefits of nation states and the importance of protecting our varied cultures and histories.

In responding to BILL Q, PAQUITA noted that she “was raised a southern baptist & than we became seventh Day Adventist.” (All misspellings in the original.)

POINT THREE >> PAQUITA, No Seventh Day Adventists speaks of “Mother Earth.” Dumb. Most “Seven Dayers” I meet are young earth creationists. And there are healthy 7-day churches that rebuke much of Ellen G. White’s teachings, and others that embrace her teachings.

But even they are not New Agers, which is what you are sounding like.

CHRIS summed up the discussion between PAQUITA and BILL and myself (TL/DR means: too long, didn’t read):

PAQUITA then responded to a comment by CHRISTOPHER M

  • “…quote those bible versus: facts please. Borders didn’t exist when the Bible was written…”

I respond to the border issue:

FIRST Here is a map of the ANCIENT NEAR EAST IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES. These empires were ruled by differing peoples and cultures and many writings in stone speak [jump to historical example from the Sumerians] of these kings and rulers going into other lands and defeating the people who considered this their land and enslaving them:

SECOND Here is a map of the Tribes of Israel in OLD TESTAMENT TIMES — the borders you see were instituted by God through the priests in their theocratic faith (or, guided at times by YHWH through the priests, through judges, or through a king, etc):

And this THIRD example (not during Biblical times) is about the warfare over natural resources here in America BEFORE and after the Settlers arrived (short video):

FOURTH… and most important: 

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