Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Refugees, God and Our Story

Jesus was a refugee. That's Bible.

That may be why this whole refugee crisis strikes such a deep chord with me.  God has a soft spot for refugees and I think He's grown one in me too.

I'm grateful that I am not alone.  As the days have unfolded, many Christian groups and leaders have spoken up about the plight of refugees, pleading with President Trump to change his executive order that banned them, for at least 120 days, from completing the process they started 18 months to 2 years ago. I'm thankful that the national directors of the Vineyard, Phil & Jan Strout, have issued a statement in favor of refugees.  I'm grateful that the NAE has issued a statement and for World Vision, World Relief and others that have spoken up. 

My heart breaks for them and I hope there is more that we can do, as followers of Jesus, for those displaced by war and famine.  I have very low expectations on nations or governments but I have high expectations on those who follow Jesus, believe in the Resurrection and have experienced God's perfect love that we've been told (and told others) drives out fear.

I know I have some Christian friends who think this is all much ado about nothing. Some who think we're not giving the new President a chance. But honestly, if the new President banned the birth of baby boys or just wrote an executive order to raise our taxes by 10%, I don't think we'd feel inclined to give him a chance. Maybe you would. I just don't think followers of Jesus are called to spectate while the world is on fire. And you can be sure of this, for some of these refugees, the world has already burned down.

People turned back had already been vetted for 18 months or more, already sold their homes, businesses, and came with only what they could fit on the plane. And we've sent them back to places of conflict with less than they had before. Some people we turned back or refused a flight to were on their way for life-saving medical procedures, one of whom has already died (currently, this report appears to be false and the woman in question died just before the ban - join with me in praying that the 4 month old needing heart surgery will survive and get treatment, let's be pro-life). These are people I'm called to love, even if the United States government is not.  I can't ignore this.

Let me share a simple principle: when governments make laws or rules or orders that contradict what Jesus has already told us, government loses every time. Every. Time. That's what following Jesus means. That's why there have been so many martyrs over the last 2000 years. Christians weren't put to death for being good citizens, they've been put to death for disrupting the Order.

Recently, on a Fox morning show, the exchange in this video occurred:

I promise you, Jesus and Mary & Joseph were, in fact, refugees in Egypt despite what the fair and balanced folks at Fox News might think. God has a soft spot for refugees and it would be wise for us to act accordingly.

As followers of Jesus, our interests can never be "America first." We are bound to "Jesus first" thinking and as Vineyard pastor, Rich Nathan recently remarked, "We NEVER read "Jesus, moved by fear..." or "Jesus moved by a desire for security.." It's ALWAYS "Jesus moved by compassion."

If you'd like a quick run down on the order itself and what it actually means, give this a watch:
These are days for followers of Jesus to speak up, open our homes and hearts, let perfect love cast out our fears and live and die like Jesus so that we may all live again like Jesus.

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