refugees

Columnist: 'Christians Can Not Support Trump's Travel Ban'

Jul 10, 2017 by Rik Bokelman

The significant majority of white evangelicals support president Trump's travel ban which blocks travel from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

Matthew Sorens on RelevantMagazine.com explains why Christians, according to him, shouldn't support president Trump's travel ban.

"As a Christian who believes that “salvation is found in no one else” but Jesus (Acts 4:12), I want for Muslims to have the opportunity to experience the transformational hope I have found in Christ. As teams from local churches partnering with World Relief welcome refugee families from non-Christian backgrounds, they often are asked why they extend such kindness and welcome, and they have the opportunity to “give an answer … for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15); many refugees in turn have made the decision to follow Jesus," he writes.

"When our response to Muslims is fear instead of love, we miss a divinely orchestrated opportunity to share the love of Christ."

A final barrier that keeps many evangelicals from welcoming refugees is that many American Christians insist that we should merely 'look out for our own.' Not the poor and persecuted of the rest of the globe.

"From a Christian perspective, the biblical command to love our neighbors is broad: Jesus offers a Samaritan who shows compassion to a traveler of a different ethnicity and religion as the model of neighborly love, emphasizing that the neighbor whom God commands us to love cannot be narrowly defined to include only those who share our citizenship."

"Jesus insisted that God’s concern was greater than just for one’s own nation—and it got Him into trouble. According to Luke’s Gospel, the crowds in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth were amazed by His preaching, but if you read just a few verses later, they had kicked Him out of the synagogue and were trying to throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:22-29)."

"What had He said that so upset the people of Nazareth? He dared to suggest that God’s love was bigger than just for them and their kind: that God had sent the prophet Elijah not to an Israelite widow but to a foreigner, and that God could have had Elisha heal the sick of Israel, but He instead sent him to heal a Syrian. “Nazareth First” might have won Jesus a local election, but it would not have been faithful to the universality of God’s love, which He makes clear we are to emulate."

"When American evangelicals actually meet refugees, they rebut many of their stereotypes and misconceptions and remind them of the biblical truth that each of them, like each of us, are people made in the image of God with inherent dignity and potential."

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