A couple of my “Christian” friends are in favor of welcoming in Syrian refugees, because “the Bible says we have to be nice”. Does the Bible really support their view? Let’s take a look.
Wisdom requires us to avoid risks and threats
First, from Erick Erickson at Red State.
Imagine a scenario where a Christian watches arsonists burn down a neighbor’s home, then demands that you house the neighbor as their house is in smoldering rubble.
That is basically why we have a Syrian refugee crisis. A group of Christians and secularists demanded we do nothing while ISIS sacked, raped, and pillages across the Middle East, displacing millions of Syrians. Now, we are supposed to take them all in.
[…][I]n addition to doing nothing as the situation worsened in the Middle East, the President has consistently refused to provide arms to Christian militias in the Middle East — Christians eager to protect and defend their homeland.
[…][I]t does little good for Christians to quote scripture to claim their Christianity is better than ours and that we should go along with them to house and feed Syrian refugees. Christ did command us to be charitable and open our doors. But he did not command us to do so foolishly.
In Judges 12:5-6 we find this:
And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell.
In the early Christian church the Christians used an ichthus as a secret symbol so Christians knew friend from foe. Both were bits of discernment to ensure the faithful were not slaughtered by their enemies.
If we can find a shibboleth or ichthus to separate friend from foe, bring in the friendly refugees. But if not, we ask to much of our fellow citizens in a time of war and subterfuge where evil masquerades as good.
Christians and secularists using this issue to claim they are better, more sincere, more devout, or less racist than those who object should more readily be considered fools. Christ said to pick up our cross, not rush on out to the lions in the Coliseum.
Frankly, whenever “Christians” on the left talk to me about politics, I usually find that their compassionate approach (e.g. – retreating from Iraq, etc. ) causes the very problems (e.g. – refugee crisis) that they now want to solve with more compassion. Guess what? A better way to fix problems in the world is by 1) naming and destroying evil and 2) encouraging people to adopt Western values, like capitalism and freedom. If you look at history (e.g. – World War 2), what you find is that it is always the weak, pacifist left that emboldens aggression from tyrants. Let him who desires peace prepare for war – because preparedness for war is a deterrent against aggression.
The difference between micro and macro
And the second article comes from legal rock star and moderate conservative David French, writing in National Review. (I don’t link to National Review any more, because the site is so cluttered it )
As a general matter, advocates of open borders often refer to Mosaic law requiring the Israelites to treat the “foreigner residing with you” as if foreigners were “native-born,” and to “Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” The laws of Israel, they point out, applied equally to the “foreigner” and the “native-born.”
Putting aside that Mosaic Law would prohibit refugees from worshiping Allah, demand the death penalty for many of the core activities of the sexual revolution, and impose dietary restrictions that the latté Left might find a bit onerous, we can see that these critics are making a basic error: interpreting commands directed at individuals as mandates for national policy. Jesus commanded his followers to “not resist an evil person” — to turn the other cheek when struck and to hand over your coat when they demand your shirt. He did not mandate that we surrender New Mexico if an invader demands Texas, or capitulate to Japan when it bombs Pearl Harbor.
It’s very important to ask people who quote the Bible for one issue whether they consider the Bible an authority on other issues. In my view, Obama is an atheist, and does not respect the Bible on issues from definition of marriage, to flat taxes, to self-defense, to abortion. When a secular leftist quotes the Bible, always ask them if the Bible is an authority first, so yu can spot the hypocrisy.
Indeed, Scripture draws a clear line between the responsibility of the individual and the role of the state. Individuals are to forswear vengeance, leaving justice to earthly rulers as God’s “agents of wrath” who bring “punishment on the wrongdoer.” The state has an affirmative responsibility to protect its citizens, even to the point of bringing a sense of “terror” to those “who do wrong.” There is no contradiction between personally welcoming the “strangers” among us while our leaders endeavor to protect us from a genocidal terrorist force that uses refugee status as a shield and disguise to perpetrate brutal attacks against innocent civilians.
This is not to say that Scripture creates a paradigm of compassionate individuals and heartless governments. Throughout the Bible, entire nations — not just individuals — are condemned for injustice, including unjust treatment of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. But to say that the only way to meet that standard is to open our doors to migrants when we know our enemy intends to plant terrorists within their ranks is once again to read far too much into Scripture.
Christianity is not a worldview that just advocates for doing whatever makes us feel good, whatever makes us look nice to others. We have to think about actually DOING good – achieving good results. We don’t have enough money to solve poverty if all we do is encourage people to be poor. We don’t have to stop evil if we let it grow from a regional annoyance into a world-class threat. We should be acting to punish and deter evil, and we should only be giving to the poor only when it helps them to rise up out of poverty. If we condone evil and encourage people to make decisions that lead to poverty, it just makes the situation worse for everyone. Sometimes, Christians need to set moral boundaries on others, and vote for the state to punish evil, so that we don’t have to deal with expensive and painful consequences later on.
The costs of pacificism and compassion
By the way,the estimate for the cost of taking in 10,000 refugees is $6.5 billion. Did you know that money doesn’t grow on trees? We already have doubled our national debt under these Democrats to $20 trillion. The spending has to stop somewhere – and that doesn’t mean that individual Christians and charities cannot give to solve the problem. But government is run off of taxpayer money, and right now, WE DON’T HAVE ANY. Interesting that many of the people who want to spend more on these refugees live off of taxpayer money themselves.
And here are a couple of stories just from this morning about Christians suffering because of our military pullout:
- Syrian mother whipped and burned with hot coals by ISIS fighters’ wives revealed the names of two women married to Syrian rebels under torture… and was then forced to watch them being beheaded
- Pregnant Yazidi sex slaves were forced to undergo barbaric abortions which left them unable to walk or talk, reveals freed ISIS captive who was told: ‘Once ten of us rape you, you become Muslim’
I think it’s important to ask the Christian left how they feel about their anti-war views now that we know the costs and also the results of their pacifism for Christians abroad. When we go into battle, we should stay the course until the battlefield stabilizes. That’s what we did in Japan, South Korea and so many other places with cultures that were hostile to Western values. Western values do “take”, but it takes patience and time.