It seems today more than ever, opinions of mankind are absolutely everywhere we turn. Now, I could begin to set out on a discourse to rationalize our personal beliefs and then shine the spotlight of the Scriptures onto every single opinion being thrown around, especially regarding the current refugee crisis. But I am NOT going to do this.
Instead, I want to simply ask a few personal questions to every single reader, this of course to myself first, and these directed at those who profess to be Christians:
What is our true motives, as these stand bare before God, regarding our “need” and/or “compulsion” to share our opinions? Are we claiming a bold stance, either for or against, and in doing so disprove our “loving” stance as we slam other professing Christ-followers? Is the love, grace, patience that we boast about for person or people “XYZ” equally strong regarding person or people of “ABC” to whom we are so quick to “spout” out our opinions? Really, are we a people seeking our every word, deed and thought to glorify our God and to edify, sometimes ever so gently so as not to “break the bruised reed“?
Below I have included a brief article is a from a dear brother in Christ, Matthew Horne, who, with his family, has worked in Uganda for a few years and is now a pastor in Casper, WY. I have also included my reply to him below and I believe that professing Christians indeed do fall into one of the categories that I have suggested and I believe many may benefit from my response. I also know, ALL of us must keep in mind where others are at in life before we spout of at the mouth. Here is my brother’s article.
“Christians, we must be thinking the right thing here. Don’t you remember, the Jesus Christ we proclaim and worship, He is everything. When he was approached by the man who thought of himself as righteous, he asked Jesus who his neighbor was after Jesus told him to love God and love his neighbor. This man likely anticipated a category based upon his cultural norms. Perhaps his neighbor was someone who he might do business with, or someone who lived in his neighborhood. That would make sense, right? But instead, Jesus said that the neighbor was actually a cultural enemy, which blew this man’s mind.
“Christians, we have been trained in religious syncretism. In America, to be christian is to follow the political right. Christianity knows no political party. The refugee situation is complex and difficult, but we cannot side with conservative thinking on this one. It must be biblical. If we were truly a “christian nation” (no such thing on this earth), any and all refugees would be welcome no questions asked. It’s funny that many voices that are fighting to bring christianity back to america are the same ones fighting to keep refugees out. Does anyone else see the blatant irony?
“America is not our home people. We proclaim a better hope in the kingdom of God, and better way that is the way of Jesus Christ, who showed love by laying down his life for his enemies (that would be us, by the way). If we were truly a “christian nation”(we never were or could be), any and all refugees would be welcomed and cared for.
“I’ll admit, I do not understand why these refugees cannot find refuge in other countries, especially wealthy middle eastern countries (i.e. UAE, Saudi Arabia). Why the US? But we have sort of done it to ourselves. America has a dangerous savior complex. We are a great country, but America is no savior.
“If I were a member of congress or political decision maker, this would be no good decision because it is just not politically correct. But if America provides safety and shelter for people fleeing oppression and war, Christians lets be Christians.”
Well said my brother! It would be good for you to do a follow up post to this, maybe something breaking down three categories of why and where people stand regarding this issue and keeping in mind sanctification. I believe the three categories regarding this, I believe, are these: 1.) Welcome all refugees no questions asked. 2.) Those who say I do not yet know because of a genuine concern for their loved ones. These are those trying to sort it out in their mind and in regards to their faith 3.) Those who say no, with no thought about this at all, and either a.) living in a human fear, thus needing repentance, or b.) those who are simply unregenerate.
Regarding these categories of the refugee crisis, they are to be held in the light of the professing believer and sanctification. Remember, it is Satan who is the master deceiver and the one who desires us to be divided. So, those then who are more mature in Christ ought to remember, the Spirit brings about the conviction and we ourselves must be led by the Spirit, with love, compassion, patience towards those whose convictions regarding this are different and maybe a bit weaker in the faith.
Love your article as it is edifying for the church – now, I say, take it to another level of understanding and propelling people to rest fully in Christ alone, with eyes single upon Him, whose peace and joy rest only in Him. Compel and propel the church unto a full resting and looking unto Christ, Him who “for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame.”
Blessings my brother!
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” Hebrews 12:14-15