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Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
November 7, 2022 9:00 am


Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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November 7, 2022 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah tells us about his experience immigrating to the USA and why he loves our country.

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!


Today is Monday, November the 7th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah, anything you'd like to write in and suggest that we talk about, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at

You can follow Dr. Shah on his website,, and you can support us financially at Just a reminder, every donation that you make goes not only to supporting this show, but countless other ministries for building up the kingdom of God. I'm very thankful, thankful for your partnership, thankful for your support.

Absolutely. Before we start today's show, we want to remind you that Election Day is tomorrow, November the 8th. If you didn't have that marked on your calendars, this is your opportunity.

It is tomorrow. We've been talking about this nonstop because we want to make sure that you guys understand how important the election is. And you can help us keep this conversation in the airways by supporting this podcast, just like we said, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, and just keeping the discussion alive. Today's verse of the day comes from Ephesians 1, verse 18, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. You know, I love that idea of just starting our discussion off with a verse with God's Word. I love that.

Absolutely. John, how are you doing today? You're... My legs are so sore. I saw you kind of limping on the way in.

Yeah. I have been... I've always worked out my legs.

You know what I mean? I've always... I never skipped leg day. Never, ever? It's not something that I believe in.

I believe if you're going to do something, you do it all the stinking way or you stay home and don't do it. False. False. Wait a minute. David from off camera is calling you out. Who turned his mic off? I did. Oh, shoot.

I forgot if we gave him that control. So for those who don't know, David is like kind of the resident gym spotter, extraordinaire, like gym help. David called your bluff on that one. David, what's going on? It's just...

It's not true. I mean, especially yesterday. We went yesterday and I hit my legs hard.

He went in and he was like, all right, let's start. I'm going to do legs today. Today is the day. Today is the day. Today is the day. Today is the day for legs today. He gets like, he grabs a bar to start doing Romanian deadlifts.

He picks up the bar and then instantly puts it down. He's like, yeah, not today. Not that. Like, it wasn't like, that's not even a joke. Like, I'm not exaggerating. I wasn't feeling it and then so I wasn't feeling it.

Today is the day until it was not. Yeah. I didn't want to do the Romanian deadlifts. So I said, I'll do another exercise.

I'll go. He went and did another exercise. Yes.

That is true. And he was like, look, I'm doing four sets. Yeah. I was like, to make up for not doing the deadlifts, I'll do four sets of leg extensions instead of three. I'm doing four sets of leg extension, four sets of leg curls, and I'm going to do four sets of leg press.

That's 12 working sets. That's very good. Okay. But you did baby, baby weight.

I hate that song. You did. I'm so sorry that you've been called out on air like this. The weight was so minimal. Like I have a, like this week for me is a D-load week, which means I'm supposed to be doing lighter weight and it was still heavier than the weight you did. Yeah. I did a D-load week too.

You have a D-load week every week. Ouch. Ouch. But I mean, I hit my legs. I don't know what else to say.

I'm still walking funny. That you did. You did work your legs.

I mean, no one can say that. He also didn't mention, he also didn't mention that I did the four. I did four sets of leg extensions, four sets of leg curls, four leg presses. He mentioned those four sets of leg presses, but then I also did three sets of also I didn't do four. I did three sets of the, of the press.

So that was even then he was, it was wrong. And then I did, I also did, um, what is it? The calf raises.

I did three sets of calf raises and then I was going to do the hanging ab raises, but I went home instead. Okay. So it's all, I feel like, yeah, I feel like it's all good. So I don't know. Well, you know what?

You're in the gym. That's the, that's the important thing. That's the important thing. That's right.

Well, in just a few minutes, we're going to bring Dr. Sean in the studio today. We're talking about, uh, we're talking about immigration today, kind of a touchy subject. I know. But it's something that I feel like we need to talk about. It's something that's important for us to talk about. Um, and we want to make sure that we approach this, approach this issue. Right. Right.

You know, uh, for those of you guys who don't, who don't know, maybe you've never even heard the show before. Dr. Shah is actually from India. Um, he immigrated to this country when he was like 17 years old. So we thought it would be better rather than us who have, you know, kind of been here forever. And we've heard different sides of this debate or this discussion or whatever, but we thought it would be really helpful and really important to have someone who actually has been through the process to kind of weigh in on it.

You know, there's nothing better or there's nothing more real than someone's lived experience. Yeah. So being able to talk about immigration with someone who is actually an immigrant who came to this country and at a relatively young age, we thought that would be pretty helpful. Absolutely.

So if you have any questions or suggestions for topics related to immigration or topics you'd like for us to discuss on the show, send us that text at two five two five eight two five zero two eight, or again, you can visit us online at clearview today We're going to grab Dr. Shah and we'll be right back. What will people say about you when the crisis is over? Will they say that you lived out what you proclaimed all your life? Will they say that your actions matched your confession?

Ultimately, what will God say about you? Not only that, but as a Christian, are you being a lighthouse for others during the storm? Dr. Abedan Shah and his wife Nicole have composed a book of 30 daily devotions to help you navigate your faith through whatever crisis you may be facing. The book is called 30 days through a crisis, daily devotions to navigate your faith. Our prayer is that as you read this book, God will guide and strengthen you through his word into the image of his son by the Holy Spirit.

That's 30 days through a crisis and you can pick up your copy on Amazon right now. Let us know how it's helped you by emailing us at info at and don't forget, you can also support what we're doing at Clearview by visiting us at forward slash give. Thanks for listening. We'll be right back to the show. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abedan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at or you can send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah is with us in the studio today. Dr. Shah, how are you this Monday morning? Wonderful.

Doing very well and really excited because we have our new, our new set. We didn't talk about it in the outro. We didn't even talk about it.

We didn't talk about it. It's a radio desk that was built right here by one of our own. We're so grateful to him because he's done an amazing job. It is so versatile. It's so beautiful. And it really makes you feel, makes you feel like I came in here this morning just to do some work.

I was like, I'm going to just sit at the desk, sit at the nice table. It feels official. It's very exciting.

It does. Well, if you're joining us for the first time, Dr. Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina university, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. I stole your line. Did you, did you, I'm white hot right now.

I've never been so filled with rage in my entire life. You always get to say that one though. So I thought I would take that. All right. Go for it, man. That's fine.

It was enjoyable, but it is your thing. I'll let you say it in the future. Well, let's go ahead and dive into today's topic. We're talking about immigration today, and this has been a touchstone of the political debate for decades.

Things, there are things circulating around this debate, things like economic concerns, issues with security, you know, even humanitarian issues. And Dr. Shah, as someone who came to this country from somewhere else, we wanted to let our listeners and viewers get your thoughts and opinions and your, even your experience through the immigration process. So can you kind of like just, just explain to our audience, what was that like for you ? It was tough. Um, I remember going with my dad to the immigration office.

In fact, let me back up a little bit. This was, um, I was in 11th grade and my dad came and talked to me and he said, you know, I want you to go study the Bible. I want you to go to a Bible college for two years. And then after that point, you can do anything you want to do. You can go into med school or engineering school. And at the time I was working towards taking my premed exam and all that. So anyways, um, so I said, oh, okay, then, then what, but then you can do whatever.

Go to this Bible college. And so where is it? It's in America. Wow. Okay. Yeah.

So, so he had the one in mind that he wanted to say, yes, yes, this is, this is the one in Toccoa, Georgia. Got it. Right. And, and so I had to go through the immigration process. I didn't plan on that. I was planning on taking an exam, working very hard towards taking this exam had all, I even went to these tutorial classes, uh, that, that students do and they, they spend the entire summer in some other part of the country or some big city and stay in some college campus and take classes just to take this exam. And I was doing that.

So all of a sudden goals are shifted. Now I'm working towards coming here for immigration. Was it a, was it like a temporary immigration or was it like cities, full citizenship to go?

No, no, this was just to come and study. Okay. That's all I was coming for is, is be a student, student visa, I guess.

Okay. And so then began the long lengthy process. It started out with, I got to get a passport. And so that, you know, there's a long line of people and you have to go through all kinds of, oh my goodness, you know, somersaults trying to get a passport.

Wow. Really finally got the passport. And then now we have to apply to the embassy and there is a long list of people waiting in line. And then if you're going as a student, then you need to have TOEFL, you know, you need to be able to know English as a, you know, as a second language, but you need to know it really well. Now that was not a problem for me because I went to a English speaking school and so that was not a problem. That was a private school. I started studying classics and all that.

But then having to go to Bombay, which is Mumbai now, but at the time Bombay and this isn't going back in time to 1990. And I remember distinctly getting ready, you know, clothes and shoes and tie and all the documents from birth certificates to shots, to all this, and then taking all this and going to, and we stayed at the YMCA members of the YMCA. So we stayed at the Y, you know, here it's kind of funny that there are no places to stay here. I actually sleep. Yeah, there's a place to sleep.

But anyways, so the YMCA is there, have overnight places you can stay. So we did. And I remember getting up, I believe it was like three 30 in the morning.

Wow. My dad got me up, had to get a shower, get ready, put on my, you know, my best clothes and then leave the Y at about, I want to say four, four 30 max and get to the embassy to get in line at five o'clock in the morning for the doors to be open probably about nine o'clock. And you were in line at five.

Oh yeah. Why so early? Because the line is about a mile long.

I'm exaggerating at least at least three fourths of a mile long. Really? Yes. People are lined up. Wow. Waiting for their appointment. So that's crazy because when people, because like I was, we were talking in the intro, like Ryan and I, we've been here all our lives, but when people say that it's a long complicated process, like they're not kidding.

It really is. Oh, it's a very complicated process. Yes.

And so I remember getting in there, getting there and thank goodness, since we got there before five o'clock, we were probably the 20th or the 30th person in line outside the gates. I'm saying, you know, you're not inside anywhere, right? You're standing on the sidewalk of the embassy. Okay. And, and this is four o'clock in the morning. So taxis, you know, people are going to the airport and this and that, they're flying through there and you're standing there, dust everywhere, you know, and then finally about eight, nine o'clock, um, the gates open and heavily armed guards and you know, all that stuff. Yeah.

But India is not known for any kind of violence anyway, so it was, it was pretty safe in that sense. But again, it's very official. Dad cannot go back there with me. I have to do it all on my own. So intimidating. And then finally, I think it was like 11, 11 30 that I finally got to the window. Wow.

After standing in line at five o'clock, five o'clock, six, six and a half hours. Yeah. Finally get there and, and had the interview and it was, it was no fun games here. You cannot joke around or anything.

I mean, I'm like very serious. I'm, I'm anxious like never before long story short, I get the visa and then I make my way back out and there's my dad standing there and he has his hand raised like, did you get it? And I was like, yes.

And I remember my dad shouting praise the Lord or something like that. Wow. So it was, it was, it was unbelievable. I was so tired. I can imagine. So that's a day long process. Goodness.

So you come to America, you study for two years. When do you decide now? Okay. I want to be a citizen of the United States. Well, I didn't.

Never did. Okay. No, I did not decide that I was, I was fine with, I can go back to India. I can work here. I can do this.

I can do that. I never quite in my mind until, um, this is all after nine 11, you know, uh, I got married to Nicole in 1996. I didn't change my citizenship. I kept my citizenship. Okay. So you were still here on the student visa.

Well, now I had a, um, uh, work with visa. Okay. So I was able to work and provide for my family, but it was never like, Hey, I'm going to do this. So I'm going to marry Nicole so I can have citizens. Right.

It was not done with that intent. Gotcha. So on nine 11, when I felt like, okay, it's time to choose. It's time to say, this is my country and if my country ever needed me to fight for it, will I go? Yeah. And, and that's when I made that decision in 2002, I believe Nicole and I sat together and said, you know, yeah, I want to do this.

He said, no, I'm not going to make you. This is what you want to do. I said, yes. Okay. Because I believe I feel this is my country.

I believe in the ideals. I understand the history. I know the history. And I need the history before I even came to America.

But I want to, I want this to be my country. That's funny. After 10 years of knowing you, I didn't know that I didn't know that that crisis is what sparked that. Yes. That decision. That's right. That's, that's insane. Right.

And, and what a, what a crossroads moment. I mean, for you, for you to say like, this is my country and if my country needed me, would I go fight for my country? No, absolutely. Yeah. I want to be here.

I want to be considered, you know, I want to be one of the masses. It was not based on like, Oh, I want to have the life and you know, how do I, how do I not pay my taxes? Yeah. It was more based on, based on who I am and what I believe, can I call the founding fathers of this nation, my, my ancestors? Can I say that? Right.

And I felt in full, good, clean, clear conscience that yes, they were. Wow. So what did that process look like? Becoming a citizen?

Who? It was tough. Then we had to begin the whole process apply, but then you didn't just get the citizenship. You have to go through so many interviews. And then there are tests that you have to take about American history and all of that. They're not difficult. Right.

I overstudied. Can I keep in mind, I already knew about American history before I came to America. Then I read American history and been to many of the historical sites.

And then this immigration exam that required a citizenship test. So I was like, oh, I'm going to study this. And over top of that, I was already taking PhD level courses in American history, only because there were no courses in my own field of textual criticism.

So I asked my professor, what do I do? He said, whatever you want to take, take, take something because there's nothing else in your field. So I'm like, you know what? American history sounds good. I've studied tons of American history. And so it was kind of funny as I sat in the interview and the guy asked me questions about American history. And I'm like, that's it. You have no idea what you put me through.

Like 1942 Columbus seal, the ocean blue, let me tell you about X, Y, and Z. And he's like, that's not on that. That's not on that. Yeah, exactly. Wow. It's encouraging, I think, for me to hear that story because a lot of times you do tend to fall into that trap when you don't have to go through that process of, you know, everyone should just come here legally. It's easy. It's simple. But it also is good to see that reality of it's not simple.

It's very complex. And yet it's still worth doing. Right. It's still worth doing legally. Right.

Yeah. It is tough. The process is tough. And but it is the right thing to do, you know, and in our country right now, the big debate over the borders, you know, and it's tough. I understand that there are people who are struggling elsewhere and they want to be here. And you know, there's so much. My heart goes out to those people, right? Because really, they're in big trouble. But at the same time, as a nation, we cannot just say, well, just open the borders, just do whatever. Yeah. I believe two things are wrong with that.

Number one, a country cannot be a country unless it has boundaries, right? And secondly, you know, it's not fair on those people like myself who spent, I would venture to say my dad spent at least four to five, six thousand dollars just for that initial process. In the immigration process, we had to spend, again, at the time, I can't remember, but again, three, four thousand dollars at least for all those years of work permit and this and that and then begin the process. And then to make those trips to Charlotte, because that was the closest place for us to do that. Oh, wow.

I know most of our day would be gone leaving Rebecca and Abigail with somebody else so we can go do this. It was tough. Mm hmm. So but we felt like it had to be done. So I think it's it's right that we should go through the process and not just have no borders. Yeah. Yeah.

So I guess talking about immigration and its effects on a nation, its effects on a country, when would it be helpful versus when would it be harmful for a country for people to immigrate into that country? Well, I mean, right now in America, as many as what, 12 million people are living unlawfully within our borders. Yeah. And I know there are many who are just struggling. They want to just have a life.

They just want to have their children here and, you know, have education and the basic needs of life. But then there are many who are here for wrong reasons. Yeah. I mean, terrible violence, drugs, kidnapping, and the people who say, like, that's not true. They are lying. Yeah, it is true. It is true. And so we cannot ignore that fact. We cannot be a country with just open borders for people to come in who have ill intent. Right.

Yeah. There's such a, I don't know if I say movement, but there's such an idea out there that we could just erase country borders, let people live where they want to live. And I mean, it sounds great.

It sounds like it's a great idea, but number one, the reality of that is unattainable. It's unfeasible. And number two, it's dangerous. Right.

It's so dangerous. We have different countries in different cultures and different jurisdictions, but even that's not the right word, but we have all of these differences and we live in different places for reasons. Right. Exactly.

No, I think it's great that people want to come here. Tony Blair, I believe, is the one who said this. He said, for all their faults and all nations have them, the U.S. are a force for good.

And then he goes on to say, sometimes thinks it is a good rule of thumb to ask of a country are people trying to get into it or out of it? That is a good marker. That's very true.

That's a good test. That's very true. I remember like a big thing in the Cold War, like when Berlin just wanted to keep all his people. Right. And I think I can't remember if it was Kennedy or I think it was Kennedy was like, you know, we don't have to keep our people in, you know, everybody's wanting to come here. That is a good point.

It's not a bad guide. He goes on to say to what sort of country it is. So yeah, it's a wonderful thought that people want to come here. But at the same time, there should be some steps that they have to take.

There are parameters that they have to, you know, to go through or follow. Right. So how real was that like American dream ideal as someone who grew up in another country? Like how real is that?

Because we hear that all the time, like to outsiders, America is the is like the promised land. Is that was there that sense? Oh, yes, absolutely.

Really? I would say the majority of the people are that way, you know, just forget about what the media says to you. Majority of the people, even in some of those places that are, you know, what you see in the media is that they just hate America. But even there, there are people who actually love this country want to be here. So it blows my mind when there are people who come here for the wrong reason, right? You know, there are people who come here and I'm not talking about side of the border.

They're coming from other parts of the world with the intent of hurting our nation. I'm like, why? Yeah. What is wrong with you?

Why would you do that? You know? Um, so the American dream is, is what draws a lot of people and it didn't draw me initially, but eventually it was like, yeah, this is, this is what I want for myself. When you moved from student visa to work visa to full citizenship, what was your parents' reaction? See, my dad, my mom, you know, being Christians, they, we grew up with a different mindset. So we grew up with the mindset of ultimately we follow the living true God.

Right? So yes, we were patriotic in India, but at the same time, having faced the persecutions we had to face at times, yes, we loved India. We, and I still do in a way, I do love India. So there's nothing like I hate my, you know, birth country, but at the same time, there was something about America being founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

There was something about it that was distinct. That was when we saw the red, white, and blue, uh, growing up. I mean, I had a sticker on my backpack with an American flag sticker on my back and it's not just me.

A lot of kids in India. I was going to ask if that was common. Oh yeah. It's the hearts of American flags. Wow. I find it funny that here people fuss about the American flag over there.

They're wearing it. Were there a lot of Western culture finding its way in India? When I was growing up, yes. I got you. And I think in some ways still is okay. Right. Uh, if we stop believing half what the world tells us or media tells us and politicians tell us America is loved throughout the world. America is loved even in places that, you know, I'm putting quotation marks here that hate America. Right.

Because most of the majority of the people, if you ask them, would you really want to go to America? They'll say, yeah. Wow. Huh.

They would love to come here. It's amazing because you just don't hear that. Right. You really just do not hear that. That's very true.

Yeah. It's one of those things where I wonder a lot of times like how America is being perceived by the rest of the world. And then there's so much negativity aimed at us or so much negativity, like why are people busting down the doors to get here?

Why are they, why are they? I mean, even breaking the law to come to this place, there must be something good about this place that's drawing all of these people. Right. Yeah. And I totally agree. There need to be laws. Uh, there need to be proper borders. But having said that, yeah, there is something about America that draws the world here. Yeah. And then no, this is a wonderful place.

This is a great life. Were you starting to see those Christian values decline in India? Did your family see that as well? In India, you mean? Yes. Like you're saying that we're seeing, we're seeing that America is founded on these values. It's literally in the core of who they are. In India, was it, was it something where I'm seeing Christianity decline more and more? So I want to send you there.

No, I don't. Yeah. In some ways there was, there was, uh, also there in my parents' heart. I got you. Because they saw what was coming at a distance.

Uh, they saw the nationalistic, the Hindu nationalism coming and they, they knew that one day this would not be the best place for their children to grow up. That was in the eighties that they saw it in the eighties that my parents saw that, but it's happening right now. Oh yes. Full force. I got you. Yeah. No, I'm not saying in every part of India is happening to the same extent, but it is. Okay.

There's persecution against Christians and other religions. I got you. And so, um, I, I, I, for one, I'm glad I'm in America. Amen. You know, I, I'm, I'm grateful. And my encouragement to other immigrants who are here, love, love your culture, nothing wrong with that. Love the food, love the food, love the music, whatever. But if you're in America, be an American, you know, be an American. There's something beautiful about this country that get to know it. And I think sometimes I would say the burden is also on Americans. When you see somebody from, from another part of the world, don't assume quickly that they hate America.

They probably love America, but they haven't had anybody reach out and shake their hand. Right. Right. Just like people did for me. They were, they were hateful people, but then there were also some of the most loving people who welcomed me into their homes. And I saw them, you know, in Georgia, I saw them in North Carolina, I saw them in Henderson and they changed my mindset completely. Yeah.

Wow. You know, already I loved America, but now it's like when somebody talks bad about this country or says about our values, not good enough. I argue back and I remind them, Hey, look, I've lived on the other side of the world. Don't tell me that our values in America are bad compared to them because here we do it in the open. They're, they do it in secret. Yeah. That's true. So don't tell me about morality.

That's very true of immorality out there. They just cover it up real well. Right. We keep it out in the open. Yeah.

For everyone to see it. There's plenty of. Celebrate it. There's a lot of corruption and then it blows up into some, some Watergate stand scandal over there.

Corruption is day and night, 24 seven. Wow. So yeah, you know, sometimes when people talk about America, they, they always bring out the negative and yes, I know the negatives and yes, there are a lot of work to be done. There's a lot of work to be done, but still, uh, we need to be proud of this nation, um, as a language.

I love it. I know several languages. I know my own language that I grew up with Hindi, but I take pride in the fact that English is my language. Yeah.

So if you're in America, learn English. Yeah, absolutely. That's awesome.

What a great discussion. If you enjoyed today's topic, or if you have suggestions for future topics, let us know by texting us at 252-582-5028, or you can also visit us online at And don't forget on that same website, you can support us financially. You can partner with us as we seek to impact the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ and we're so thankful for your partnership. We're thankful for those gifts. We've already received, again, that website is

Dr. Shah, do you have any last minute advice for us today? As much as God protected his people, the people of Israel and brought them to the promised land, drove away those tribes and nations and peoples who were very advanced and yet they were ungodly. There's one thing God kept telling them and one of those verses is Deuteronomy 10, 19. God said, therefore, love the stranger for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Amen. That's true. That really gets me to the core because here he's telling them drive out these nations before you deal with them. But if there is a stranger in your land, a good person who's trying to make a living, he's not from here.

She's not from here. Hey, listen, love them. Love them. Not just tolerate them. Love them.

Because you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I mean, what an amazing and awesome and gracious God we have. That's right. Amen. So good. We love you guys. We look forward to hearing from you and clearing you today.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-07 12:28:42 / 2022-11-07 12:36:55 / 8

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