I would encourage my brothers and sisters who in their haste to be compassionate to alleged refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks (in part carried out by said refugees) have decided to quote verses about loving one’s neighbor and being kind to sojourners, to answer a few basic questions. I do not doubt your heart or your sincerity, but your understanding I do. I have humbly listened to your arguments and pleas for compassion and will continue to, but I would like you to think through some things yourself- some things I wonder whether you’ve thought of as deeply as you need to in order to address this issue. Please accept the humble questions of a sinner far worse than you, but one who worships the same God. These are not meant to provoke but to prod you to come to your own, hopefully more informed conclusion.
Have you examined the full council of God when it comes to immigration?
I would start by meditating on Exodus 12:48 and asking yourself how this would fit in to your stance on immigration.
But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.
Apparently, God does have a standard of at least some kind of assimilation, i.e. being a “native.” While I do have my own idea as to how this applies in our modern American context I’ll leave you to figure out what you believe. Many Christians have been touting Lev 19:33-34 which talks about the way Israel is supposed to treat the “sojourner.” I would ask those quoting this verse what they think the term “sojourner” (“a stranger with you sojourns”) means and if it has in mind a group of people almost 7,000 miles away imported by the U.S. in order to become U.S. citizens? Also, is this passage prescribing a policy of unlimited immigration or simply instructing the people of God in how to treat “sojourners” regardless of the circumstance? Again, I have my own idea, but I’ll let you form yours. Please meditate on Josh 23:7-13 and see if God’s prohibitions against Israel marrying, worshiping, or “mixing” with the nations around them have any bearing on your immigration stance. Does God allow the stranger, the member of a false religion to have the same privileges as Israelites and/or to live among them in all circumstances?
Do the government and the church have the same responsibility?
If a Christian believes as Romans 13 suggests that governments are instituted for protecting citizens, including from possible terrorists in a group of people impossible to fully vet, but that the church is required to assist and support immigrants no matter what the circumstance, why call them out for hypocrisy? Perhaps they have a more biblically informed understanding of the spheres of responsibility God gives to different institutions. This is no different than a Christian who believes providing for his own children is required, but doesn’t believe the pastor of his church should be required to do so. Just because we as a church are required to feed and provide for all we can doesn’t mean those responsible for protecting us have the same responsibility does it? Perhaps their concerns are in a different department, and protecting U.S. citizens is what God requires of them, instead of taking from U.S. citizens in order to feed and protect those who could pose a threat to the ones they actually are accountable for.
Do you know who the alleged Syrian refugees are?
I ask this because it would seem to me that many jumping on the “compassionate bandwagon” have not been paying attention to the socio-political situation until now based on their remarks. If we are going to be compassionate, let’s be compassionate towards kids bullied and girl’s raped in Germany, the victims of the Paris attacks, and our own American troops who seem more willing to spill their blood for Syria than the 4 million so far who have evacuated instead of fighting. If you would, watch the video in the link below and ask yourself if you still feel the same about allowing alleged refugees in to this country.
Is it compassionate to put the lives of U.S. citizens in danger in order to make the lives of immigrants better?
If we are to take the logic being promoted by many evangelicals right now, we’d have to conclude that importing as many people as possible is the right thing to do even if we don’t know who they are. Since it would seem a great portion of the 2nd and 3rd world would love to come to America, why not let them all in? Let me ask it another way. If you were a family in debt over 137,000 dollars, is it compassionate for you to invite 20 people without jobs you don’t know from the ghetto mostly comprised of young adult males to live in the room next to your daughters? Now, they may all be safe- but how do you know?
If your heart is drawn to help Syrians, why not become a missionary yourself?
Why not invite them into your own home to live with you. If it meant seriously changing your life-style I wonder if you would still harbor the same compassion. If you feel called to go into all the world and preach the Gospel you have my full support no matter where it is! But seriously consider this question. Is your compassion a real compassion—-the kind Jesus has? I would make this final plea with you if you are serious about compassion. There are a group of people in harm’s way, and they are fully vetted. They aren’t possible terrorists. They aren’t being allowed asylum in the U.S. Many are from Syria. The group I’m talking about are Christians. 1 John 3:17 is clear about our responsibility to them. “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” They’ve been in need for a long time. I’d like to ask you a final question—Did you give anything to them before you lectured the rest of us on how we should care about the alleged Sryian refugees? Our country won’t take them in, but others will. Will you consider putting your money where your mouth is and in the name of true Christian compassion, give to the Nazarene fund or to whatever group you believe will help your own brothers and sisters being persecuted. Thank you for caring enough to read this.