Thursday, September 17, 2015

Strangers here: identifying with the refugee.

"I was a stranger and you took me in."  Jesus

Watching the news over the past weeks and reading the American responses among even Christians has brought me down. It seems to me that too many have dehumanized people created in the image of God because they believe differently from certain Americans about who is God. 

This is unconscionable. 

I hear fear where there should be love, arrogance where there should be humility, entitlement where there is already a ridiculous amount of privilege. Personally, our family has been going through a rotten time with home repairs and water damage and car troubles yet we have a place to live that is relatively safe and secure. 

We American Christians are rich compared to most of the world and can even defend ourselves if necessary. In comparison to what other people in the world are facing daily, no one is bombing us, enslaving us, or threatening us with arrest for not doing our military service for a corrupt government. Beyond that, if we expect earthly governments to safeguard Christian values, we are delusional.  We are in the world and not of it, and our hope and confidence is in the God of the universe. 

People caught between Assad and IS are being looked at with contempt because of their possible religion. Though caution and wisdom is needed in how to safeguard our freedom in the West while helping refugees of war, it is evil and wrong to callously dismiss human beings on the basis of their culture. Added to that, the fact is there is more than one sect or belief system in Syria.  Stereotyping people fleeing war, whatever their gender or financial situation, is heartless. 

Frankly I'm tired of it. I expected more from fellow Christians; I thought we were to love our neighbors and even our enemies, and be good Samaritans.  I'm not saying we have to check our brains at the door, but I am wondering where our hearts have gone. Too many professing Christians seem to prefer rigid control, regardless of who they hurt, to Christlike love whatever the cost. 

In this context, the following conversation struck me as relevant:
    From Fully Human: An Introduction 

It is high time for the church in America to  grieve, mourn, and wail while making the most of every opportunity to love as God.

Further thoughts:
Apologies for the swearing but this is perspective:

 "Out of Egypt I have called My Son."    

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Be kind- we are in this together.