This article has been co-authored by my husband, Travis, and I.
A Christian can be defined as a follower or disciple of Jesus; someone who believes Jesus is the Christ or Messiah.
“Only God is able to judge righteously therefore His yardstick, the Bible kept in context, is the measure we use to judge with righteous judgement (John 7:24). The same is true when mature Christians point out false teachings in the church; it isn’t the Christian who’s passing judgement, but God’s Word which exposes false doctrine. The mature Christian is really just the messenger who unfortunately often gets an ear bashing from immature Christians who haven’t studied God’s Word sufficiently to understand right from wrong doctrine.” -‘From Fiery Trials to Freedom’ by Marisa De More
Over the past few months, we have seen all different kinds of Christians (including pastors) doing something that deeply grieves Jesus Christ. If you are really a Christian and believe and follow Jesus out of love for Him, then you need to walk as He did (1 John 2:6). Nowhere does the Bible say that it is ok to hate a group of people, or stir up hatred towards them, because they are different. That phenomena is called “xenophobia” (fear of strangers/foreigners), and Jesus never said that kind of behavior was acceptable. In fact, He taught the opposite. He said that we would be hated, but that we were not to hate.
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant about his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the mast of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” -Matthew 10:22-28
Do you see? You shouldn’t fear people, you should fear God. What does God tell us to do regarding those that are lost? Should we expel them, exclude them, and hate them? Absolutely not!
Love Not Hatred
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” -Matthew 28:16-20
I want to emphasize two parts of this verse. The first is that we are to “make disciples of all the nations”. Not the nations we think deserve Jesus Christ. That is pure blasphemy and we see that God dealt with Jonah harshly when he refused to share God’s word in Ninevah. The second part that needs to be emphasized is that we are to teach them to observe all things that Jesus has commanded. That means we ought to be observing the commands of Jesus ourselves. But what did Jesus command?
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love another; as I have loved you, that you love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:34-35
You may be thinking, “but this verse is in regards to other Christians.” However, if we look at the other teachings of Jesus, we will see that it simply isn’t that exclusive. In several other places we see that Jesus calls us to love our enemies, and not just love them, but care for them.
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” -Luke 6:35
Whatever justifications you have been giving for spreading hate, you need to stop now. First of all, you are grieving your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit by doing so.
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth [Keyboard], but that which is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:29-32
Second you are misrepresenting God to everyone around you!
If you are a gentile (non-jew) then you are a foreigner who God has graciously extended the good news of Jesus Christ to.
“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” -Isaiah 49:6
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” -Ephesians 2:13
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” -Romans 10:12
Paul – Former Terrorist
Another common fear is that some of these refugees are actually terrorists. Fortunately for us, God loves terrorists. Paul the Apostle literally terrorized the church. He beat up and dragged people in chains because he thought that he was doing God’s will. He stood by and held the coats of his fellow terrorists as they murdered Stephen (Acts 7:58, 8:3). “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against disciples of the Lord…” -Acts 9:1
When you read the Bible, the change in Paul is apparent, and God wants to work that same transformation in others as well.
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” -Jeremiah 32:27 (see also Gen. 18:14).
Single, Young Men
Does the Bible say anywhere that God only wants to save women and children? No, God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (John 3:16). By deciding who we should hate or love based on gender or age, we are going against this verse. “…who is the Savior of all men, especially to those who believe.” -1 Timothy 4:10
We are playing god, determining for ourselves whom we should reach out to. It is idolatry, and it is wrong. We must follow Jesus and God’s Word if we are going to identify ourselves as Christians. Of course, there is also the issue of reunification rights, which many people don’t understand.
No More of a Miracle
Do you realize that it is a miracle that God forgave your sins? “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
According to the principles of justice and holiness there is no reason God should have allowed that to happen, but in His infinite grace and mercy He provided a way through the Sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. He created a way for us to be reconciled to Him and spend eternity in heaven. It is no more a miracle that God could forgive the sins of a terrorist than it is for God to forgive us of our sins. Every person on this planet is God’s creation and God wills for them to be reached with His gospel. When you declare that certain groups of people are not worthy of being helped, you are saying that God’s creation is not worth your time. Do you really want to go against God?
This testimony from Naghmeh Abedini (whose husband, Saeed Abedini a Christian pastor, is in prison in Iran due to his Christian faith) should be enough to encourage us to love Muslims in order to win them to Jesus Christ:
“I remembered coming to the United States 30 years ago with my family in order to escape the war between Iran and Iraq. We were Muslim. But here in the United States we were given the opportunity to hear about Jesus and to accept Him as our Lord and Savior. May we be the Hands and Feet of Jesus to these precious Muslims. That they would know that their Maker LOVES THEM and HE gave His life for them on the cross so that they can be reconciled with God. Oh how I pray for the Muslim nations. I know that Saeed is praying for them as well. May we embrace them instead of rejecting them. May we act in love instead of fear.”
Please stop. Stop sharing hate inducing misinformation on social media. Stop participating in hateful discussions about refugees and Muslims. You are wrong. You are in sin, and you need to repent.
Please use the internet to research and verify facts from reputable outlets, not fascist and racist blogs or Social Media posts. Use Tineye to search images to see where they came from originally. Above all we should be using God’s Word to determine our world view.
Travis and Kristin
For more edifying information on this crisis, please read this article by an involved Hungarian pastor. Also, this article or information on the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. Chinese-Canadian perspective on migrant issue.