Recent attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have once again brought terrorism and Islamic extremism to the forefront of international relations. According to newly released data that the Pew Research Center collected in 11 countries with significant Muslim populations, people from Nigeria to Jordan to Indonesia overwhelmingly expressed negative views of ISIS.
Here is what I want for Christians and refugees.
That faith will overcome fear. That if refugees come to your community (your world), that you will go among them to make disciples. It will be scary and might prove to be dangerous. And it will be what Jesus called you to do.
That actions will match rhetoric. That we will not just worry about what a government should or should not do, but that we will have an opportunity to put our faith into action. Making friends, serving in the name of Jesus, witness by our lives, testifying by teaching.
In his inimitable style, Stephen Colbert neatly summarizes the issue. He refers to Jeb Bush’s preference that we only welcome Christian refugees from Syria, though Jeb! wasn’t sure how refugees would prove their religion. Colbert provided the answer on The Late Show by saying:
“If you want to know if somebody is Christian, just ask them to complete this sentence: Jesus said, ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you. . . . And if they don’t say ‘welcomed me in,’ they are either a terrorist, or they are running for president.”
A look back into the opinion-polling archives (courtesy of Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research) shows that American opposition to admitting large numbers of foreigners fleeing war and oppression has been pretty consistent, regardless of official government policy. We examined instances over the past eight decades where large groups of refugees from specific countries or regions were seeking admission, typically above and beyond the immigration rules in place at the time, and for which there was reliable polling data. Here’s what we found
More Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here since the end of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from both countries. The same data sources also show the overall flow of Mexican immigrants between the two countries is at its smallest since the 1990s, mostly due to a drop in the number of Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S.
I don’t want to make a political statement here. I realize that the refugee situation is complicated and not easy to solve. However, I do want to make a Christian statement.
When our love of safety gets in the way of obeying God, we are wrong.
When our love of safety gets in the way of loving people, we are wrong.
When we see the dysfunctional neighbor, the unruly child, the refugee, the Muslim, we should see the face of Jesus. When we see the low-income neighborhood, the Arab country, the dilapidated house down the street, we should see places to which Jesus would have run.
Yes, we should be safe when we can be. But as Christians, for the sake of love, we should err on the side of risk.
If you’re getting pats on the back for “telling the truth” to sinners or standing up to them because of your values, be careful. You might be aligning yourself against Jesus.
When evil occurs Christians need to respond with love, prayer, kindness, and hope. Doing so could result in the salvation of many evil people and at the end of the day that’s the Christian mission.
The Bible presents a real and present foe of our faith. His name is Satan. Some call him the devil. Others call him Beelzebub, Belial, the obstructor, the tempter, the evil one, the accuser, the prince of demons, the ruler of this world, or the prince of the power of the air. Whatever name you choose, he is the enemy, and he is real.
If I were the devil, I’d blame terrorism on a broken political system. A disenchanted people group. The Wicked Witch of the West. I’d want you to feel attacked by an indefinable, nebulous force. After all, if you can’t diagnose the source of your ills, how can you treat them? If I were the devil, I’d keep my name out of it.
Some of us have the hearts for adoption but do not have the money. Some of us have the money, and a heart for giving, but do not know where to give. Let’s find these people, and through prayer, connect them with each other to glorify Christ Jesus by being the active movement we were called to be.
This is the Pure Religion Commission. Want people to see Christ in you? Get active, get out from behind your keyboards complaining about what is wrong with those “crazy Christians” (guilty) and show the world what is pure and right about Christ and his church. It’s time pure religion speaks louder than those who represent what it is not.
Two men dropped a boy off at school Wednesday morning after finding him inside a car they stole.
Joseph Griffin was recently visiting Las Vegas and borrowed his son’s GoPro camera to capture some special memories.
Unfortunately for his plan (but fortunately for the Internet), he mistakenly pointed the camera the wrong way throughout the entire trip.
The result is a hilarious four-minute video titled “An Irishman in Vegas,” which was posted by his son, Evan Griffin.