It has been interesting to follow the national debate regarding immigration. Prior to the recent events in Paris, France most of the debate centered on our southern border and illegal immigration from countries to our south. Now the debate has broadened to include refugees from various Middle Eastern countries. It has become another wedge issue dividing our country.
Not only has the issue of Middle Eastern immigrants divided our country, it is dividing the church. There are Christians on every side of this issue.
For Christians the looming question is not, How should I view this issue as an American?, but How should I view this issue as a follower of Christ?
If we are to follow in the footsteps of Abraham and the great pioneers of our faith, we will confess with them that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth; that we are seeking a homeland that is not of this world. That our desire is for something greater and better than even the greatest nation that has ever existed. Our desire is for something eternal (Hebrews 11:13f).
Yes, we are Americans and we are concerned about the problems that our country faces. But we are first of all Christians. And it is that reality that shapes our character as the church of Jesus Christ and determines the positions we take on the issues. Character says it all.
For the Christian, character leads us to ask questions like:
How can we use this opportunity to show the love of Christ?
What is our responsibility to the weak and helpless?
Is there ever a time when we sacrifice our security for the sake of the gospel?
Is the protection of our way of life our ultimate priority?
What does the Bible say about our treatment of aliens and refugees?
What is the Right (IE Godly) thing to do?
If we are Christ-centered in our world view and Bible-centered in our living these questions have to be answered out of a Christian perspective, not an American perspective. Our character must be shaped by the teaching of God’s Word, not by talk radio or political movements.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Stay in the Word