A common idea that I have seen this week is that supporting the executive order temporarily banning refugees from seven Muslim countries and living out a Christian faith cannot coexist. I would like to address this here. A disclaimer first. While the idea behind the order of reviewing, and fixing the immigration system from Muslim countries is extremely necessary, the actual implementation of this order was very poor. However, some of the more common overreactions need to be addressed.
The most common verse that I have seen used is Matthew 25: 34-46, which says that what you do not do for the least of these you also do not do for God. This verse is being used to insinuate that the temporary ban on seven Muslim countries is equal to banning God. Here is the problem with this train of thought. This assumes that the ban is permanent, and that it bans all refugees that are in distress. Neither of these cases are true. This also oversimplifies the issue to either you let them in now, or you do not let them in at all. By giving the immigration system a makeover, President Trump can install more appropriate vetting systems that will allow for greater number of refugees to enter the U.S over time, and to protect the American lives that he has sworn to protect. The order calls for a plan that uses more in-person interviews, international databases, and fingerprint technology that will help identify if someone has been affiliated with groups wishing harm to Americans. This is not a binary argument between choosing to strengthen the border or denying our Christian faith as many like to make it out to be.
Secondly, the fact that American policy should be dictated solely by Christian faith is flawed. America is a republican democracy, not a theocracy such as Israel. The very same people who cry racism when Christian refugees are given preferential treatment over Muslims are asking our President to ignore his mandate to protect all Americans, and give preferential treatment to the teachings of the Christian faith as they interpret it. This comes down to what you see the role of government being. The government’s only job is the make sure that its citizens are safe and free to live their lives as they wish. I absolutely believe that as a Christian I need to be supporting organizations that are currently helping refugees oversees. President Trump’s policy does not hinder that in the slightest, nor does it hinder my ability to feed those in need here in America.
Moving forward let’s not rely on government policy to take care of those in the world around us. Support organizations like Global Samaritan Ministry, or even consider taking a trip oversees to feed and clothe those in need. The portion of refugees who are interested in coming to America are microscopic compared to the number of impoverished people around the world. Historically, the greatest help impoverished people have received is technology. Let’s keep working to innovate technology that will feed more, clothe more, and give needed health care to more all over the globe. Finally, continue to pray for leaders to rise up in their own communities. What people really need more than a ticket to America is smart, dedicated, faithful people from their own communities who will innovate, care for, and lead their people to prosperity. Be the hands and feet of Christ where you are today.