Scrolling through my social media newsfeed lately has been such a disappointment. It may be fun to post cynical memes and witty slogans backing one’s own personal opinion, but while you’re posting (*insert witty comparison to poisoned grapes or locking your doors at night,) children are searching for their parents in a pile of rubble. Hatred toward recent decisions regarding Syrian refugees is being spewed in such bitter and rhetorical ways, yet we (as proclaiming Christians) claim to posses a love like Jesus did. I know, I know, risking our safety as a nation is not our moral duty, but let’s look at this issue in two lights: fact and faith.
Fact. Over three quarters of the 10,000 refugees being vetted into the US are children and people over 60. Only 2 percent are considered military aged males. Even then, the entrance process is lengthy. Going through both international and local routes, refugees are then interviewed and background checked by at least 4 agencies. Shall I mention that nearly 2,000 Syrian refugees have already been admitted into the US over the past few years and there hasn’t been an upheaval? It’s just pumpkin-spice-latte-trendy to be mad about it now because everyone is tired of talking about Starbucks cups.
Now, I know the next fact will seem to dismantle my argument, and that’s the fact that one of the attackers in Paris was supposedly a Syrian refugee. This is how I segue to faith.
Jesus never said following Him would be easy. We bear a cross every day. It would be too easy to wear our mantle of righteousness and weep over how we are persecuted in our own country. I’m not denying that Christians face oppression today— we do. And I’m not being tolerant of everyone else except those of my own faith— as is the war cry of many conservative Christians today. I’m simply stepping out on faith as I was asked to do.
Remember the man on the side of the road Jesus talked about? Sure, I bet the Samaritan had some second thoughts before he approached the man on the roadside. He probably allowed a moment of judgment rule his mind. What if this foreigner is deceiving me and jumps up to steal my things? He probably allowed fear to make him hesitate. What if I go out on a limb to help this foreigner and he hurts me?
His doubt was justifiable as is our doubt in welcoming Syrian refugees. Even so, we are told to forgive and give people chances. Is faith worth nothing anymore? Or is it easier to stand piously at the borders of our state and say, “if my rights aren’t afforded me, I don’t care to allow you sanctuary.” Where is our compassion?
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”