(photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/Getty)
For nearly a year we have watched the horrific persecution of Christians by the Muslim terrorist organization known as Isis. The Christians of Syria and Iraq have been burned alive, shot in the streets, and beheaded simply because they refuse to convert to Islam. Now the barbarism has forced millions of refugees from Syria to flee into the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, & Jordan. Yet these countries seem unable or unwilling to provide refuge for all 12 million refugees.
This has led to a mass migration from the Middle East to western nations. Countries like Spain, Portugal, England, and France have seen over 700,000 people enter their borders. Many of these refugees find themselves in a “Christian” country for the first time in their lives.
The American Christian is torn between two conflicting ideas. First, we are told to care for the hurting and believe that the power of the gospel can change lives. Second, we are told to walk in wisdom and think shrewdly in a dangerous world.
After Paris was attacked by Isis the American people are wondering if accepting refugees is really a wise idea. Many others are moved with compassion on these multitudes and believe it to be Christ-like to welcome them into our boarders.
So, what should we do?
- The Job of the Church
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Christians must do what Jesus would do, live as Jesus would live, and act as Jesus would act. Granted, we who call ourselves Christians are not very good at living up to this standard. Therefore, Jesus has left us two things that help us on our journey – The Scriptures and The Spirit. A thorough study of the Bible and a close walk with the Holy Spirit will show the Christian what is right and what is wrong. According to the Scripture we are to seek out those who don’t know of the love and grace of Jesus and offer salvation to the lost. This is called evangelism.
- Go There & Evangelize
Select Christians will be compelled to go to these Muslim nations for the sole purpose of bringing the love of Jesus to a deceived and dangerous people. What will compel these heroes of the faith we call missionaries? It will be the love of Christ.
- Reach those who come here
Christopher met me after church a few months ago. He explained that he had just arrived from Lebanon 2 weeks earlier and was looking for a church in which he could worship Jesus and fellowship with other believers. He was from a small Christian village in southern Lebanon that was typically left alone by the reigning Hezbollah. But when Christopher left his village and entered University his problems really began. He chose not to hide his Christian faith and even spoke publically about the love of Jesus, the dangers of Islam, and the right of Israel to exist. One evening on the street outside of the University, he was approached by a Hezbollah and beat to a bloody pulp. They nearly killed him. Perhaps they thought they had. I asked him naively if he went to the police. This young man in his early twenties smiled at me and said, “they too are Hezbollah.” Christopher had to flee! He sought for political asylum in several European countries but denied at every turn. Then he sought for political asylum in the United States. They granted him access based on his story, background, and faith. Since coming to our church Christopher’s faith has been deepened and has been baptized. Last Sunday night after a missionary presentation Christopher approached me about God working in his heart “to become more for Jesus and be a missionary.”
The greatest way to change the world is by giving the gospel to every human on the planet. The Middle East would be transformed entirely if they were to understand the love of God, the gift of Jesus, and the power of forgiveness. Just ask terrorist formerly known as Saul:
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.
The Solution is Evangelism!
So, is the Christian answer to throw open the boarders and arbitrarily welcome any refugee from the Middle East?
- The Job of the State
Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Western Christians have a very difficult time distinguishing between church and state. This is likely due to our states being led by professing Christians for so many years. However, the church is NOT the state and the state is NOT the church. They are both to have distinct roles in society.
The church should feed the poor. The state should focus on other matters. The church should open our homes and show hospitality. The state should protect the homeland from potentially dangerous invaders. The church should seek and save the lost. The state should seek and destroy the enemy.
This may seem contradictory to someone unassociated with Christian Scriptures. But the Biblical Christian ought see no internal conflict here at all.
In Romans 13, the Apostle Paul clearly outlines the role of the government as Christians ought see it. They are the servants of God. They are to bring fear into the hearts of those who would do evil. They carry weapons for a reason. That reason is to protect the innocent and execute judgment.
ISIS ought wake up every morning in a cold sweat having dreamt of American forces knocking on their front door. A terrorist who attempts to infiltrate our boarder ought tremble in fear as our boarder agents interrogate him about his intentions, his gods, his loyalties, and his religion. Our government ought adopt Israel’s anti-terror strategies.
Look, it is the job of the state to protect its people! The president, the senate, the congress, our Governors, and our mayors have a responsibility to protect YOUR people. The problem is they have been asking the wrong questions. Stop asking, how you will be perceived by the voters! Stop asking, what is the politically correct thing to do! Stop asking, what would Jesus do! You aren’t Jesus. You aren’t supposed to be Jesus. You are supposed to be the state and you have been given a sword by God for a reason. Use it!
To the State:
Temporarily close our boarders to Muslim immigrants. Interview the refugees individually to see if they are willing to denounce the prophet Muhammad and renounce Isis, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations. If our very capable boarder agents feel they are being less than truthful, deny them access. Remember, your number one responsibility is to protect the homeland. If you are a Christian who is working for the state, honor God by doing your job!
To the Church:
Permanently open your hearts to the hurting. Pray for your Christian brethren who are under persecution and are attempting to flee. Send missionaries who are willing to go to these needy foreign fields. Reach out to your Muslim neighbors and show them the love of Jesus. Give them access to your home, your life, and your heart. Remember, your number one responsibility is to represent Jesus by loving the lost.
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Are my words contradictory? Do I have it right? Where did I go wrong? Let me know by leaving a comment below:
 Matthew 9:36-27
 Romans 1:16
 Ephesians 5:15
 Matthew 10:16
 2 Corinthians 5:14