Terrorist or Refugee?

In the past few weeks the media, the hype, the propaganda, the everyone and their grandma has jumped into the Syrian refugee debate. After the attack on France people are going nuts. Chaos, murder… violence… These unchecked and uncontrolled behaviors stir within us our desires for security and protection.

Obviously since this is a highly “political” thing now this blog will push buttons. It may anger you. If you cannot handle it I ask you politely put down your device and walk away, why do you need to be angered?
Do you want to know why? Because you need to be challenged to grow. Therefore let us dive in.

We live in a world torn by war, poverty, and evil. It can honestly be overbearing if we try to take it on by ourselves. The funny thing is we aren’t alone. We don’t have to fight this battle on our own.

If you live in the United States of America you’ve been sheltered during your time there. Unless you’ve been outside the country you have NO idea what the world is truly like. NO idea. When was the last time you had to flee for your life? When was the last time you were inconvenienced? Think about it. What do you complain about? Is it possible that most of the world wishes they had it as easy as you?

Now lets shift focus. Terrorists, no one likes people that hurt the innocent. No one likes the crazy dude who is willing to kill to further a cause that is not supported by the majority. Though their thoughts and ways are twisted are they any less human?
Let me have you pause at this moment and ask yourself this, Paris was attacked by Terrorists. America was attacked by Terrorists fourteen years ago. How did you feel? Angry? Did you want to end their lives and kill them? to destroy evil?
This might make you angry so please I mean no disrespect, but how are your emotions and thoughts much different than these people who did such crimes?

Am I saying these guys aren’t evil? No. Am I saying that I think they can be justified? No. I’m asking you to question your emotions to make sure that while you stand on your “high ground” you don’t overlook that fact that fire for fire only burns.

Whenever you deal with the Middle East you have a lot of complications that arise. First and foremost let me straight to the point that I don’t there will ever be full peace in the Middle East till Jesus has conquered the world for the final time. With that being said here is the beginning reason why I don’t think peace in the Middle East will last: Genesis 16:11-12

I’m not going to write it all out so please read over it. In short, Ishmael, Abraham’s first son was cursed and I believe a lot of the violence is stemmed from that. If the curse was passed on imagine the issue it would cause. In the land of Canaan you’d have a people group destined for violence. Then if that was the case Joshua should have wiped them out. God commanded them to destroy everyone who did not move out. Why? Maybe because He knew the pain and suffering that they would cause. Anyways if you’ve versed in the the Old Testament you find out that multiple times the Children of Israel did not destroy their enemies and many of them came back with a vengeance later on. Talk about hindsight being 20/20. But lets not dwell on that. So what if they left those people who were cursed to always be violent and against each other and those people then sat in that territory till Israel became a nation in 1948, and now with explosives, the internet and our meddling these people also want their hand against us.

Now I hope you’ve caught on that that is a lot of IFs, a lot of speculation, and a LOT of oversimplified statements. Its supposed to be. Even though something may be correct, doesn’t mean its simple, clear cut, and easily explained in all entirety. Obviously any side of an argument can use such methods to belittle the other side or play to their argument.

So then what about all people saying that Muslims are terrorists? Are ALL Muslims Terrorists? Are ALL Muslims bent on violence?
I don’t believe so. Not all Baptists are like Westboro Baptist. Not all church goers are true believers, and not everyone who follows a religion actually believes all of it.
If you think they do then we need about one million versions of “Christians” based on the differing views from just Americans.
Not all Muslims are angry, violent people. Some people who use religion as a weapon, hold onto radical teaching, and hold to teachings like “kill the infidel” a little too strongly. But to encompass all Muslims that way shows you haven’t thought things through very far.
Its like saying that because McDonald’s is an American business, and the Average American is overweight, then McDonald’s vision is to make people all around the world fat. Who knows maybe its true. How would you know? if you found one McDonald’s store who held to that as truth would you throw that perspective on the whole company?
Or were all white people KKK members in America? No. They weren’t. If you think they were then you’re vision of the world is short sided and I’m sorry for the hate you have in your heart.

Once you can see that not all Muslims are the extremists you can move to the next step in this blog.

Refugees. What are refugees? They are people who are fleeing an area for their life. Sometimes its because of War, Famine, Poverty…
If you’re an American, living in America, take a look at yourself in the mirror. Who left their countries to come to this country to make a life that eventually begat yours?
European, African, Chinese, Asian, ? who? Were there not dangers when bringing those people into the country then?
Unless you’re a Native American, you should not be using words like “my land”, “My country”, or any possessive things without thinking about America’s foundation. It was based on what? Immigration. Not all Immigration was brought on by people who wanted to move from their homes, their countries, sometimes it was forced on them by their circumstances.
People who are being hurt by these extremists are fleeing. People who want out. People who need basic humans needs: Food, shelter, and security.
They aren’t much different from you and me.

Now that you’re riled up STOP.
You’re right there are dangers. There are evil people who will try to sneak into other countries with these people. We need people who have a different opinion to keep Americans safe. To keep our families safe.
But we also need people to remind those people that sometimes you have to take the risk to make the difference in someone’s life.

Here is the challenge though. A few years ago I was angry at Muslims too. I was not thinking in depth about situations like this. But there is this guy I know who changed my thinking. He challenged me to go beyond all that I thought I could. To dive deeper into truth. To think from a perspective that is so different that it causes people to raise controversies when they hear it. I was challenged to look deeper into my faith to see if I TRULY believed it. This friend lead me to several books that rocked my thinking. I’m glad he did.

I profess to be a Bible believing, Christian. Grown up in the Baptist culture, but I spent enough time overseas to understand that different denominations can have different views yet as followers of Jesus we can worship and serve together.
If you’re a person who professes to follow Jesus, can you please endure with me the till the end of this blog so that I can challenge you to make sure you are not reacting in your flesh but in the power and love of Christ?

On the sermon on the mount of Jesus what did Jesus say?
What does he say about loving others? Loving your enemies?
What about how in the bible it talks about loving more than your loved ones because tax collectors and “sinners” do that too?
Don’t know? Then open up Bible Gateway .com and search these passages:

  1. Being a light in the world: Matthew 5:14-16
  2. Anger: Matthew 5:21-23
  3. Retaliation and Loving your enemies: Matthew 5:38-48
  4. Anxiety and worry: Matthew 6:25-34

So we are told by Jesus, in His most famous sermon to not retaliate in anger and hate. To love our enemies, to shine His light and love in the world, and told not to worry cause He has things under control.

Go into the 25th chapter of Matthew when Jesus says “34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’”

If we truly believe this man who calls us to radically love people so that they see Him in us, how can we turn our eyes away from those in pain? those starving? needing shelter? needing protection?

I’ll tell you how. The same way we ignore poverty in our cities. The same way we ignore many issues we have. We can’t handle every issue. We can’t know everything. More often than not though we ignore and deny issues because it hasn’t hit home yet. We aren’t in those people’s shoes and so we have no idea what they are going through… but we instantly putting our ideas on how to handle the situation and blame people for not doing what we would do. … But what are we doing? Oooh so you think you’re so tough, take on an extremist group that has no problem killing people. Who do you think you are? Superman? Wonder Woman? Are you convinced you are invincible? If you think you are and you have a solution for a problem step up and take the responsibility to fix it.

We can argue all day about anything. It won’t change anything. One person in their own power can’t change the world. A collective group supporting and delivering a cause that they are firm about changes things, for good or bad.

I’m just as guilty as the next guy with all this. I’m not here to accuse you to be the only person with the problem. All I want to do is challenge you to stop posting these hateful things about people. These are human beings. They grew up differently than you. But they are still human. God still loves them. Jesus can change them.

Can we fix anything? No. Not in our own power.
But we know Jesus. Jesus, the prince of PEACE. The King of Glory. The one who was, is, and is to come. And somehow we are scared. We don’t think He can change lives.
I laugh at how silly our human logic is. We will condemn someone else for something they have done. Or even what “group” they are associated with (even if they aren’t but we think they are) does…. We won’t take the risk to live a radical life of love on the line, risking our lives to gain eternity so that even one person comes to His salvation because the Biblical response would change their world.

No… we would rather fight. Put a bullet in a human being and condemn them to hell because we somehow think we are better than them.
Yet what does the Bible say? That all sins are equal in God’s eyes. That He loves Everyone. That He can changes lives. That we were dead in our sins. That we HATED Him. That we were His enemies… Yet He risked everything for us. He died for us. To give us a chance.

Its funny Jesus taught Christians to serve others, to go in confidence that everything works for His glory. But we don’t act like we believe it.

Don’t get me wrong, if you disagree with me that is okay. I appreciate people wanting to protect me. I respect those who serve this country. People in this country have the freedom to voice their opinions and that is amazing.
But facebook is filled with so much anger and aggression from people who mean well… I think they are just blinded by the flesh and are responding to the situation without consulting God’s word or Holy spirit.

Hopefully what you can get from this is this:
People are going through so much that you don’t know. But are you responding in the Spirit or the Flesh?

 

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