My heart sank as I read through my Facebook feed. There, in bold and harmful rhetoric, stood a beloved family member of mine tearing down another culture, another human being, and all in the name of the Christian God. Her basic argument, through this whole comment was, that we, as the United States should be tougher on refugees and those who are trying to get into the country because they do not share our views and beliefs (meaning that they do not share our Christian values). The immigrants and refugees were coming over to take advantage of our liberties and our systems and bend them to their will, “look at what is happening to Germany and France?”
If this particular family member would stop for a moment and separate the fear and anxiety that has been breeding like rabbits across our country, then she would see how ridiculous this argument is. But, for her sake, and for my own sanity, I am going to tackle some misconceptions about the world today and how they reflect the Christian God. My God.
It is true that Germany and France are having problems with refugees. There are more of them then they can rationally handle, but because France and Germany feel a responsibility to help their fellow human beings, they do so. The United States also shares the same sentiment, but it has a catch. The U.S.A won’t allow to many refugees in because of the threat of terrorism entering the country. First of all, you cannot stop terrorism from spreading into the country by just stopping people from entering the country. Terrorism is not a person or a group of people. It is an idea and it can spread without the use of someone physically coming into a country. In fact, terrorism is already in the United States, but I am getting off topic.
If my family member was to look at the foundation of Christianity, which according to John 15:12 is “Love each other as I have loved you,” then she would come across some major conflicts in her argument. The refugees’ values and beliefs has nothing to do with why the United States is not helping more. If anything, it should be pushing us, (if that is what we believe) to be reaching out to them and welcoming them in. Jesus came for those who had different ideas, who were lost, and who were hurting because he genuinely cared about human beings. He sent his followers out to do the same. And if our actions are to represent this, then we need to re-evaluate how we are treating the refugees. We shouldn’t keep them out, we should let them in. Not only is this taking a step in the right direction and enabling some of the pressure to be taken on of Germany and France, it is also showing terrorists groups that we are not afraid. That idea in of itself is how to fight against terrorism. Fight the idea, not the people. If we are looking out for only ourselves then we are missing the foundation of Christianity. It is kind of dumb to save a man who is in a life boat already and ignore the man that is drowning, don’t you think?
I feel like part of the problem the Christian society is having today is that we are trying to put God into the center of too many things. God is in control. God allowed this to happen so it must be good. God will take care of us.
Well, yes, God is in control (technically), but he also gave us human beings something known as free will, meaning, we think for ourselves. All of our decisions are based on our own understanding, emotions, and circumstances. We decide where we head in our own individual lives. Of course, God could step in at any point and force us to go a different path, but he won’t. Why? Because that would be going against the gift he gave us and that would be wrong.
God didn’t make Donald Trump our president elect. If he did, we would then have to accept the fact that God put all people into office, regardless of how they acted when they got there. This includes Hitler, who did some unforgivable things. Knowing this fact though, means that God could not have done this because then we are ignoring the fact that God is good. He couldn’t do something like that because it would destroy his nature. So, no, God did not put Donald Trump into office. The United States people did that. Whether the consequences are good or bad, we have to take responsibility for. God will help us overcome them but he won’t do the work for us. That is our job.
The same thing with, God allowed this to happen so it must be good. This is also an incorrect assumption, and here is why. Some things just happen. My mom’s best friend got cancer a couple of years ago. Cancer, in of itself isn’t good or bad, because it is not a living, it cannot make that choice, now the effects of it are bad. God does not allow someone to have cancer but he does take that situation and mold it into something beautiful. Pulling the family together, helping us realize how precious life is, and reminding us that every moment counts. If God is all good, then we have to assume that everything He does on his own is good. Cancer’s effect, death, the outrageous stress that comes from it, and the pain of watching a love one suffer is not good. It’s bad but God’s response to those hardships by reaching out to support us is good. That is an action he does, but he isn’t passive.
God will take care us. I mean it, he will, but if and only if we listen to him. You don’t expect to go to a doctor and become instantly better because you see him. You have to listen to the instructions that he gives. If you are not listening, then you won’t get better, if anything, things will get worse. God works the same way. He will help you with your finance problem but he isn’t going to solve it for you. You have to be the one to decide to change and only when that decision is made, then can things start to get better. But until then, asking God to take care of your problems for you? He is just going to sit and shake his head. He won’t. Again, that would take away your free will.
The point I am trying to make, is that Christianity as a culture, needs to stop being so passive and assuming that God is going to make everything sunshine rainbows. He will provide the sun and the rain, but we have to be the ones to see it.