Love for the refugee

refugeeI have been avoiding writing on the new hot topic of refugees, but as I came across a few verses in my Bible reading today, I felt the urge to share my heart.

For one as a Christian the Bible says, “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him (Exodus 22:21).” Again in verse 9 of chapter 23 it says it again, “Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.”

Now, building a wall to keep the illegal out (whether you agree or don’t agree with this) I don’t think violates this law, neither does doing a background check on those coming into the country to keep the country safe.

However, what does violate this law is mistreating and oppressing the refugee. And is seen in the discrimination and ill-treatment towards certain people. I get it really, there is a fear I see in the eyes of many today toward the Muslim. But we must understand that the stories we read online and see in the news represent only a few of these people. But certainly not all.

Today more than in any other time, the Muslim in areas of the world before unaccessible to the Gospel, have become accessible. And today these people who for years have been hardened towards the Gospel, are open.

We can not live in fear of the refugee. We must go to them, reach out to them, and include them in our lives. As we do I believe the Lord can and will draw them to Himself. See, we are not the only victims. They are victims too, loosing their homes, their businesses, their loved ones, their very lives at the hands of extremist, who are contrary to who they are.

I’m not saying we must let any and all refugees in. I’m not even saying that it is wrong to keep some out (those who are a sincere threat). But what I am saying is the time is now for us to reach out to the ones who are in our cities, our towns, and our country. The time is now for many of us to go to these once closed places and take the Gospel to those who are now open to hearing of Christ.

Living abroad has taught me much about what it is like to be the alien. What it is like to live as a foreigner. I’ve learned how badly one longs for the comforts of their home. I’ve learned that living in a place where you don’t fully understand the language is beyond difficult. I’ve also learned how lonely it can be at times, and how you desire good friends.

As Christians, we can not close our eyes to those the Lord has allowed into our cities, town, and countries.  When in seminary, a professor once made the statement that because so many have refused to go to “them”, He was bringing “them” to us. And this was well over 10 years ago. It is safe to say He has indeed done just that.

The oppressed, the alien, the refugee, they need the love that only we can give to them. The love found only in Christ. The One who left everything and came to us, so that we might have life eternal.

How can we not do the same?

So what is the answer to all the debatable issues in the news? I don’t know all the answers. Yet, I do know that as Christians we are called to love, to serve, to pray for, and to tell His marvelous story to all peoples.

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