Over the past few months I can’t help but notice how hateful American Christians can be. The propaganda and hatred we are fed by the far right media and so-called ministers, such as Franklin Graham, Jerry Fallwell Jr., and the like, towards Muslims has grown exponentially along with fear of the Syrian refugees who are entering America. As disappointing as it is, mass hysteria is alive and well and growing rapidly as American Christians buy into the ridiculousness of it all.
Logically speaking our country has an excellent military that can and will protect us. Not to mention only a small percentage of refugees have committed violence of any sorts in any other country they are residing. And while a good many of the refugees are Muslims, some are Christian as well. Of those that are Muslims, they are fleeing ISIS just as the Christians are, and are, in fact, statistically targeted and killed by ISIS more-so when compared to Christians.
Some of the comments I have seen and heard American Christians make about the refugees are disturbing and hateful, and it makes me sick that these people actually call themselves Christians. These comments range from verbal attacks against those who want to help the refugees (with petty and immature rationalizations, such as, “why don’t you let them live with you?”), to actually threatening to abuse, mistreat, or harm refugees if they come into one’s city or state. And this threat has been playing out across the US recently, not with violence as of yet, but vandalism and hate propaganda targeted at Muslim temples, homes, etc.
The thing is, no where in the Bible can we read any words from Christ telling us it is okay to allow fear to rule our lives and allow it to control how we view others. Nor do we read anything about turning away those who are in need just because they are foreigners. Nor do we read anything about turning away heathens. Instead, we are told to evangelize to them, to show them love and compassion, and to not fear man:
For the LORD your God, he [is] God of gods, and Lord of lords, the [God great and strong and fearful] who does not marvel [over a] person, nor should take a bribe; the one executing judgment for a foreigner, and orphan, and widow; and he loves the foreigner [so as] to give to him bread and a garment. And you shall love the foreigner; [ foreigners for you were] in [the] land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19; ABP)
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28; NKJV)
Our leaders would have us believe that God favors America, He has blessed it, and in doing so we have the God given right to protect it. I agree that our soldiers should protect our country, however, God loves people in America just as much as people in other nations. This includes those who haven’t come to Him yet through faith in Jesus, such as the case with Muslims. Think about John 3:16, one of the most popular verses among American Christians: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus was sent for all of mankind, not just American Christians. And it is God “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Again, it is God’s will that all men are saved and come to Him. To deny these refugees that ability is to deny the Great Commission.
On top of that, Christians in America should recall that our ancestors were once refugees fleeing from the Inquisitions, from the oppression of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as fear of the Church of England becoming the same as Rome. God reminded Israel in the Bible that they were not to turn their backs on foreigners but were to keep in mind that they were once strangers in a foreign land as well:
And a foreigner you shall not maltreat, nor in any way afflict. For you know the soul of the foreigner, for you yourselves were foreigners in [the] land of Egypt. (Exodus 23:9; ABP)
And if any [should come forward to you foreigner in your land], you shall not afflict him. [as the native born among you shall be The foreigner approaching to you]. And you shall love him as yourself, for [foreigners you became] in [the] land of Egypt. I [am] [the] LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34; ABP)
The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you (Exodus 12:49; NIV)
Don’t oppress the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the poor; don’t plan evil against each other! (Zechariah 7:10 CEB)
As hard as it may be for the American Christian to swallow, the Bible calls for you to not plan evil against the refugees if they come to our country. Not to go out of your way spending countless dollars arming yourselves with weapons, but to care for those who come into our country who are in need.
[The] LORD guards the foreigners; orphan and widow he takes up; and [the] way of sinners he obliterates. (Psalm 146:9; ABP)
And I will come forward to you in judgment; and I will be [witness a quick] against the administers of potions, and against the adulterers, and against the ones swearing by an oath in my name for a lie, and against the ones depriving a wage of a hireling, and tyrannizing over [the] widow, and the ones smiting orphans, and the ones turning aside a [right] judgment of a foreigner, even [they are] the ones not fearing me, says [the] LORD almighty. (Malachi 3:5; ABP)
For if in setting right, you should set right your ways, and your practices, and in doing you should execute equity between a man and between his neighbor, and [ [the] foreigner and orphan and widow you should not tyrannize over]; and [blood innocent you should not pour out] in this place; and [after strange gods you should not go] for your hurt; then I will settle you in your place, in [the] land which I gave [to] your fathers from [the] eon, and unto [the] eon. (Jeremiah 7:5-7; ABP)
Thus says [the] LORD, Execute equity and righteousness, and rescue the one being plundered from out of [the] hand of the one wronging him! And [the] foreigner, and orphan, and widow, do not tyrannize! And do not be impious! And [blood innocent you should not pour out] in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3; ABP)
And if you should reap your harvest in your field, and you should forget a sheaf in your field, you shall not turn back to take it; [for] to the poor, and to the foreigner, and to the orphan, and to the widow it will be; that [should bless you [the] LORD your God] in every work of your hands. And if one should pick olives, you shall not turn back to glean after you; [to the foreigner and to the orphan and to the widow it shall be]. And whenever you should gather the vintage of your vineyard, you shall not glean the [things] after you; [for the foreigner and the orphan and the widow it will be]. And you shall remember that you were a servant in [the] land of Egypt. On account of this I give charge to you to do this thing. (Deuteronomy 24:19-22; ABP)
And whenever you should complete to tithe all the tenth part of the produce of your land in the [year third], the second tenth part you shall give to the Levite, and to the foreigner, and to the orphan, and to the widow; and they shall eat in your cities, and they shall be satisfied. (Deuteronomy 26:12; ABP)
‘For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40; NKJV)
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:2; NKJV)
Another major point that Christians need to understand is that we are, in fact, foreigners to this world if we truly follow Jesus:
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11; NKJV)
When we put our faith in Christ, Heaven becomes our home. It is our eternal kingdom that we strive to enter. This land becomes foreign to us. We are to abstain from the worldly passions this earth tries to lead us to follow. This is only a temporary dwelling place in a temporary body. To place this land above our eternal home is to give precedence to the Devil, as he is the “ruler of this world.”
I can understand fearing ISIS, however, that does not mean we should allow it to take control of our worldview and our concern and aide to others. As true believers in Christ, we should not allow that fear to rule how we view and treat a people. This fear of ISIS has crossed the line into fanatical gun-toting, Muslim hating, Great Commission denying racism at its finest.
As a Christian I must say I find the so-called Christians who pump out and spread hate to be completely un-Christian and disgusting. They disguise their reasoning, words, and belief as being instituted by God. God has blessed, or once did bless America, and so it is our God given constitutional right to shut out these masquerading terrorists and turn our backs on those who are in need.
The reality, however, is that God has given us a chance to reach out to others in need and to possibly convert large numbers of people over to Christ. And the great thing about it is they are coming here. We no longer have to send missionaries to the Middle-East, endangering their lives, costing large amounts of money, or whatever else, but we can now do it in America. And we can instead use those funds to help those coming here to seek refuge or to help those in the Middle-East who are trying to do the same but don’t have the financial ability to do so.
Fellow Christians, I pray that you will not turn your back on such a wonderful opportunity to change and save the souls of many people. Remember our Lord’s words when He told us to “make disciples of all the nations.” Don’t let fear prevent you from doing what God has called us to do.