The CROSS & Culture Report (9/18/2021)

The CROSS & Culture Report (9/18/2021)

Discussing Current Events as Reported by Mainstream News Sources, through a Christian Perspective


Grace and Peace to the Brethren,

This week has been an intense past week. We have watched as the border crisis continues to worsen with seemingly no accountability or discussion of it in polite circles of America. Furthermore, there seems to be an obsession with a man who is no longer the United States of America president. Let us dive a little deeper, but very briefly. Remember, this report is for Christians, by Christians; however, your mileage may vary.

The Border Crisis

FOX News has reported that the DHS will be ramping up deportation flights to Haiti amid the Del Rio migrant surge (Shaw 2021). This article states that more than 14,000 migrants have moved to the border to enter the United States. It has been more than evident that the problem at the border has been generally quieted throughout the media. The issue of illegal entry vs. legal entry in the United States has been a hot topic for years and even more as of late.

However, I do not want to talk about that issue. What I want to address is a biblical stance on transparency from leaders. Is this a topic that should be discussed with the American people openly, or is there an appropriate time when it is just to keep this information behind the scenes?

Multiple news outlets and prominent political servants have reported that several thousand immigrants are approaching the United States border. Pew Research has reported that U.S. CBP tallied 199,777 encounters with people seeking to enter the United States as of July 2021 (for the 2021 year). Even if you dismiss 2020, which saw a sharp decline due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the illness caused by the CCP Virus, that 199,777 represents an astronomical number of encounters.

For a country like the United States, which seems to be amidst an identity crisis, transparency is critical. While it should be understood that a Government cannot reveal all of its secrets, even to its citizens, items that directly affect the safety, health, financial situation of a people should at least be discussed openly. When a Nation’s leaders lack transparency, in situations where it is reasonable, it is either because they lack self-awareness or distrust the popular response to whom they portray themselves to be. In other words, they either do not see themselves correctly, or they know the people by in large, will reject the exposition of their ethical selves (Johnson 2007, 439).

In many cases, it is the prerogative of authority to keep certain information to themselves; after all, they are an authority granted power by God (Rom 13:1, NASB). However, the Scripture also dictates that the governing authorities are “not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil” (Rom 13:3, NASB). The word translated behavior in the NASB is the Greek word ἔργῳ. This noun appears in its dative form as an indirect object, reminding us that the powers put in place by God are overseers of the works of man. If those works are good, there should be no need for fear, for good is expected. If works are evil, fear is necessary, for they are the earthly avengers of evil. The expectation is that earthly rulers agree with God about what is good and evil.

If the ethics of our leaders are good, i.e., they believe it is right to allow so many people in against their own rules (remember, this is not a discussion about whether immigration is good or bad), then why hide the truth? If your deeds are virtuous, there is no need for fear. However, if you believe your deeds to be evil, then transparency is problematic. I will not make a determination for you here and now, but I want to give you enough to consider to help make up your own mind.

Donald Trump in the News

As of the writing of this article (9/18/21), CNN’s top six news articles revolve around Donald Trump, a man who is no longer the President of the United States. Former President Trump has not been in the position of service for eight whole months, yet there continues to be a focus on him. Is this standard procedure, or how should we view this? I believe it is reasonable to continue considering the lasting effects of someone who was so recently in the position of President. Undoubtedly, there will be things occurring today that have a definitive relationship with his time in office. However, the question we have to ask is, “Is this a healthy reflection or unhealthy obsession?” Also, how should those who supported Former President Trump move forward? Is it wise to hitch your wagon to such a controversial man or not?

It is no secret that the United States has been in open cold war over the last four and a half years. The election of Donald J. Trump to the office of the President of the United States was controversial, to say the least. However, Donald Trump was voted out of office in November of 2020, and Joseph R. Biden succeeded him in the Oval Office, being sworn in on January 20th, 2021. Since that time, however, there seems to be a need to continue to cover former President Trump as if he were still in office. CNN has reported record lows in viewership since Mr. Trump left office, and the infatuation with him, during the time of a current administration that has so many notable controversies seems odd.

It seems there is an obsession with Mr. Trump on both sides of the aisle in many ways. Both are somewhat understandable. On the left, you have a President that was openly combative and often spoke before he thought. He came off as unprofessional and petty many times. He governed on the right side of the aisle for conservatives as pro-religion, pro-life, pro-America, pro-freedom, and small government. He was very straightforward about topics on both sides of the aisle that politicians usually dance around not to upset anyone too much. Mr. Trump was, in many ways, a roaring lion in an age of hissing kittens.

Nevertheless, is the obsession healthy? Should conservatives and religious people hitch their wagon to him going forward? An unhealthy obsession with anything can be dangerous. The cult of personality is a common occurrence in America, and Christians can fall for this too. Many might argue that this is not a conversation obsession but a justified appreciation of a man who stood his ground. After years of phony politicians doing just enough to keep their support, Mr. Trump stood firmly (and loudly) for what his voters wanted. The left was not used to this kind of pushback. Former President Obama was a professional, smooth-talking intellectual who represented his side well; there is no denying how polished he was.

However, Christians: Do you want to tie yourself to a man so controversial that he drove out voter numbers the likes of which has never been seen in America? OR is it just the qualities of Presidency you want to see again? Are there other options out there for you to consider that might be more polished but just as principled?

Obsession is never pretty, no matter what side of the aisle it appears on, but we must be wiser than the world when we exercise the freedom given to us in America to vote. I implore you, think clearly and obsess over quality rather than name.


Works Cited

Johnson, Eric L. 2007. Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

Shaw, Adam. 2021. “DHS to Ramp up Deportation Flights to Haiti as Officials Scramble to Contain Del Rio Migrant Surge.” Fox News, September.


Keywords: Border Crisis, Donald Trump, Fox News reports, CNN reports, Christian Thought, Christian Thinking, Christian Ethics, Moral Theology, Public Philosophy