Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Question I'm Struggling With: Refugees

I want my country and community to be safe. I want the elected officials of our land to secure our boarders and do everything that is reasonable and moral to protect the US from attacks by terrorists and jihadists. 

If I were a refugee trying to flee ISIS and almost certain death, I'd want to go to the best and safest place possible. In other words, If I were a Syrian refugee trying to rescue my family from doom, I'd want to bring them to America.

I know terrorists will exploit any and every avenue possible to attack their enemies (us). I know that opening our boarders to Syrian refugees exposes us to the potential of danger. But if we ship refugees back, aren't we exposing them to an even greater danger?

Is my life and the lives of my family more valuable than a Syrian child, woman, or man?

As a Christian, I'm called to care for the alien, the oppressed, and the refugee. I'm called to be a neighbor. 

And as I think about the fear gripping the US and our leaders I cannot help but think of Exodus 1.

In Exodus 1, a great nation felt threatened by foreigners living within their boarders. Egypt feared the Hebrews would rise up against them and join with Egypt's enemies to destroy the nation from within.

Egypt's solution to this perceived problem was to enslave the Hebrew people and oppress them. They implemented means to control the population (killing babies). They tried to save and protect their nation by any means necessary. Ultimately they failed.

I want my family to be safe. I don't want terrorists infiltrating America. But I don't want to be like an Egyptian either. I want to love my Syrian "neighbors." 

In the end, my opinion of this issue won't matter much. I'm not an elected official. I'm not in congress or the president. Even if I called my Senators, Representative, or the President, some intern would likely file away my message and the powers that be would never read it, nor would they care.

But my attitude does matter. And I want to be Christian in the way I think and behave. 

So, here is my question: How should I as a Christian, a husband, a father, a citizen of the USA, respond and react to the Syrian refugee crisis?

Whatever the answer is, I know it must include love because Christ calls me to love my neighbor and love my enemies. 

Lord, help me to think and respond with Christ-like love to the world around me.