A friend of mine recently shared this video from Samaritan’s Purse on social media. It’s a video showing – among other things – the arrival of refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. Check it out.
This is courageous.
I don’t know much about Samaritan’s Purse. I know they’re a nondenominational evangelical organization that’s dedicated to helping people in crisis. They’re helping refugees land in Greece. They’re helping families flee ISIS in northern Iraq. I hope they’re doing these amazing things without proselytizing. I hope they’re letting this profound Christian love speak for itself. To me, this is the way to be a Christian. And it’s courageous.
I’m tired of hearing people react to refugees out of fear. The Jesus that I know worried less about fear and more about love. The Jesus I know insisted that we break free of our fear and our cultural prejudices and live our faith out loud. The Jesus I know commanded that we show courageous love, and that it is this love that identifies who we are and whose we are.
And I don’t understand this backlash. I don’t understand how people of faith can turn their backs on people in need.
As a culture, we lift up those who are victims of violence here in the U.S. when they’re Christian. So many people affirm a person who won’t denounce their Christian faith when a gunman threatens their life.
So why are we afraid of helping these refugees?
Is there a risk? Yes. Surely. We would be foolish not to acknowledge that there’s a risk. Someone could hide in the masses who wishes to do harm. Someone could smuggle any number of things into any number of places. Perhaps people already have.
But let’s not be ruled by the rhetoric of fear. Let’s get the facts. Let’s understand who it is that seeks safety and peace. (Note: It’s not all “military age men!”) Let’s not categorize an entire faith community when an overwhelming majority of our Muslim sisters and brothers are loving, caring, peaceful people.
And even if there is still some risk, I believe it’s worth it. I believe Christ calls us to live an outward faith so bold that we put ourselves at risk. Just like he did.
So let the refugees come. Let us be bold. Let us be unshakably Christian.