Back when America was a great country (circa the Republican Party before Donald Trump), “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) was the most malicious thing you could ever be called by a fellow Republican. A “RINO” can be generically defined as a conservative who finds common-ground with liberals on certain issues, i.e. immigration reform, protecting the environment, criminal justice reform, etc.
These days, you’re more likely to hear Trump Republicans calling #NeverTrump Conservatives “Globalists” in addition to other pathetically coined adjectives such as “RINOs” and “Cuckservatives” (yes, really). Unfortunately, the Republican Party of 2016 is split into two main factions (among many others) – the “nativists” and the “globalists”.
Simply put, the “nativists” claim that outside cultural influences erode America’s greatness. They believe that non-European immigrants bring in a completely different set of cultural values and norms that threaten our way of life in the United States. These same Republicans also express higher levels of outrage and vitriol against illegal immigrants (and darker skinned legal immigrants) under the guise of “upholding the law” and “protecting our borders”. These are typically the same people who oppose a Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial that has immigrant children singing “America the Beautiful” in Spanish and Arabic.
This assessment of “nativists” is by no means an indictment against all Republicans who oppose illegal immigration or promote more rigorous legal immigration. I know many non-nativist Republicans who genuinely oppose illegal immigration out of concern for our national security. The measure of one’s nativism lies in the degree of their vitriolic rhetoric towards the immigrants themselves.
On the other hand, the “globalists” in the Republican Party relish in the 21st Century American Melting Pot. They celebrate various immigrant cultures in addition to deeming immigrants as people who help strengthen America as a nation and society. They advocate for more free trade as they value the free exchange of ideas, goods and services across the globe to strengthen America’s place in it while also empowering the underprivileged in lesser affluent nations.
But more importantly, ask any Bible-believing Christian about Christ’s final commandment on earth and they’ll tell you about the Great Commission. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”(Matthew 28:19)
In Acts 1:8, Jesus is also recorded to have said, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
If the Apostle Thomas had never heeded this “globalist” Great Commission, I probably wouldn’t be a Christian today. The Apostle Thomas obeyed the Great Commission by taking the gospel to India and bringing a few unreached higher caste Hindu families to the faith. My spiritual ancestry can be traced back to this small group of zealous Indian Christians.
If American Christians choose to build walls around themselves today, who will take the gospel to the 6,688 unreached people groups (around 3.1 Billion people) in the world? If American Christians join the nativist voices that wish to turn away the Muslim family trying to flee a war-torn Middle-Eastern / Northern African nation, how will these refugees ever encounter the love of Christ?
While God doesn’t need the American Church to go to the nations, he still wants us. Recent studies indicate that the United States still tops the list of countries that send out the most missionaries on an annual basis. I spent this past year overseas myself with an American Christian organization that rescues men, women and children from modern-day slavery. All of this could drastically change if we were to only prioritize our own country and tribe while neglecting the “ends of the earth.”
I hope and pray for the sake of our heavenly kingdom that my American brothers and sisters in Christ reject the earthly appeal for nativism from a Presidential candidate and accept this greater calling from our Lord and Savior.