Today more news has appeared about the new president’s plan to ban refugees from entering the United States. His supporters cheer. Keep our borders safe! America First! Those jobs are for US! Let me remind you that those supporters included 81% of white evangelical voters. I’m appalled. I’m angry. I’m heartsick.
So, today I ask for those 81% to please show me in scripture where there is evidence that Jesus kept refugees far from himself. I ask you to point out where we are to stand by and just let injustice happen. I ask you to direct me to those verses where we are to find our safety and security in politicians.
Or, let’s try a different approach. How about point to evidence where Jesus just prayed for someone and did absolutely nothing to tangibly help.
If you call yourself a Christian, can sit idly by while seeing dust covered children fleeing from their bombed out homes, and STILL give a thumbs up to an anti refugee policy—I’m at a loss. The Bible is full of references to the command of helping the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, the prisoner. Why are Americans exempt? Why is the American church opposing the least among us?
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Don’t like that one? How about–“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (Isaiah 10:1-2)
Or maybe this–“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” (1 Samuel 2:8) Now why should we think we are to help?! Silly.
Maybe you like Proverbs. How about–“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31) I didn’t use the word contempt. Take it up with God.
Well, maybe you’d like to be heard when you cry out for help. Too bad. “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13)
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:17) Oops. Maybe James was mistaken.
But wait! The Bible doesn’t say anything about refugees! Um–“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9) or maybe–“When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
And one final damning passage to the protectionists among us–“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18) It doesn’t get much clearer than that.
Wake up Church! Your calling is in front of you every time you turn on the news. It’s there every time you hear someone make a blanket judgement of refugees, or Muslims, or the poor of this country. Why are the “liberals” you so despise doing this instead of you? Why are other countries helping refugees while the one “built on Christian principles” (that’s a debate for another day) is turning them away?
We are to pray for our nation, for our leaders, for those in power over us. But we are to answer to a much higher power. If we stand by and give our tacit approval of shutting our doors to those in desperate need, how can we still claim the name of Christ?