I commented thus:
The Holy Family were never refugees. They did not move to Egypt illegally. They moved from Roman-controlled Judea to Roman-controlled Egypt. It was literally like if you moved from Tennessee to Kentucky.Why did the Holy Family need to move to Egypt in a hurry? The answer is one word: government. Yet to my friend and others of his leanings, government is always the solution, never the problem.
But the facts don't matter when political hit jobs can be done even on pretense.
Update: In response to another minister's query (who is a friend and not just on FB), I wrote this:
Both Judea and Egypt were occupied and governed by Rome; of course you know this. Just as the Romans changed the name of the formerly independent country of Judah to Judea, they changed the name of Egypt to Aegyptus. But the key point is not really that they changed the name, but that they had the power (by force of arms, to be sure) to do so.
To say that Egypt and Judea were "countries" under Roman rule is about as accurate as saying that Kazakhstan was a country under Stalin. Maybe it was once, and wanted to be again, but in 1948 it was not. It was a Soviet province and nothing more.
Likewise Judea and Aegyptus. The Holy Family changed province of residence but it did not change who governed them.
Now, whether the Holy Family were refugees. Yes, Matthew is clear that they made the trek to Aegyptus because of Herod's lethal plans. But again, while they changed provincial government, there was no political difference, just as if someone moved from Virginia to North Carolina.
Which are states I use on purpose because, as I am sure you know, Virginia's Gov. Northam has publicly stated that he will call out the National Guard to enforce the state's new, draconian gun laws - laws that have caused 90 percent of the state's county commissions to declare that they will prohibit any local law officers to enforce or assist state authorities in enforcing.
Which is to say, Gov. Northam is in fact directly threatening to use actual soldiers to kill people who have committed no offense against the peace or safety of anyone at all or even can be remotely considered such a threat.
Think that cannot happen? In November of last year, Maryland police shot to death a 61-year-old man in his own home who had committed no crime but for whom a court had issued a "red flag" order.
IMO, Gov. Northam is today's Herod. So when (not if, btw) some Virginia 2nd Amendment advocates decide to leave potentially-fatal Virginia to live in North Carolina, will they be refugees? If not, why would the Holy Family have that status?
Tomorrow in my sermon I will quote the Rev. Joy Carol Wallis thus,
Herod represents the dark side of the gospel. He reminds us that Jesus didn't enter a world of sparkly Christmas cards or warm spiritual sentiment. Jesus enters a world of real pain, of serious dysfunction, a world of brokenness and political oppression.So far, so good. Agree 100 percent. But then:
Jesus was born an outcast, a homeless person, a refugee, and finally he becomes a victim to the powers that be. Jesus is the perfect savior for outcasts, refugees, and nobodies.I will omit the italicized part because it is simply incorrect.
- Jesus was not, in fact, born “born an outcast." He was born a Jew in a nearly-totally Jewish land to a solidly ordinary and righteous family.
- He was not "a homeless person" because his parents owned a home in Nazareth. If a Nashville woman gave birth to a child in Knoxville, would that make the baby homeless?
- And as I have said, he was never "a refugee” at all, much less born one in his father’s ancestral town.
- That “Jesus is the perfect savior for outcasts, refugees, and nobodies” is true, but then, he is also the perfect savior for absolutely everyone else.