Hope, Faith, Security & Refugees

The issue of what to do with refugees is all over social media and is the talk of politicians.  What is a Christian to do?  I want to suggest a very easy answer to this question:
Don’t think there is a simple solution to this situation.
Quick note, I (Pastor Dave) have read the articles listed in this blog and tried my best to think through and communicate Biblical thoughts about this topic.  If you have any questions please email or comment below.
Some people say “Jesus was a refugee” so let everyone in.
Others say one of the government's roles is to protect its citizens and borders.   So don’t let anyone in.
These two positions, don’t promote conversation about the concerns around the issue.  As a matter of fact, they stop any further conversation.  Think about what these statements communicate.
– You would have let Jesus die at the hand of Herod.  How can you call yourself a Christ follower?
– You don’t care about the United States of America and her citizens.  How can you call yourself an American?
Both questions take the focus off God and put it on people.
I want to provide some resources to help you think Biblically and theologically about the refugee crisis.
Some articles, a quote from the Gospel Primer, a passage of scripture with some closing thoughts.  Please read through the whole post for a complete picture.
Online Articles to read and think about.
Some quotes from the “Heart for the Poor” section of The Gospel Primer
Like nothing else could ever do, the gospel instills in me a heart for the downcast, the poverty-stricken, and those in need of physical mercies, especially when such persons are of the household of faith.
When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ.
The gospel reminds me daily of the spiritual poverty into which I was born and also of the staggering generosity of Christ towards me.

A passage from the Bible:
Ephesians 2:11 – 22 talks about the relationship between the Gentiles and the Jews.  The passage communicates that while the Gentiles were “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” they had no hope.  “BUT now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
There are questions and concerns about the border that politicians need to decide and work out.  Without a doubt, these verses in Ephesians remind us of what the church’s job is.  We need to proclaim that true peace and reconciliation comes from Christ.

Closing Thoughts
I know this post and the links in it don’t contain the specific answers you might want.
I do know these….
As a Christian, I am not to be motivated and focused on fear.
As a Christian, I am to place my hope in the Lord, who is sovereign over all creation.
As a Christian, I know that things I completely understand and things I don’t understand need to drive me to the cross in prayer and Bible meditation.
If you notice I have tried not to refer to a “refugee crisis” or “refugee problem.”
God in His sovereignty is using this “refugee situation”/”refugee opportunity” to help His church glorify His Name.
Are you using social media, your conversations, your prayer, and your thoughts about refugees and our government to bring glory to God?


Do vs. Did: The International Progressive Dinner 11/21

Last night (11.21.15), I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with 30 + international students and visiting scholars from China, Germany, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and some other countries I may have forgotten.

The basic principle of the message was "Christianity is not DO but rather DID/DONE."
The Christian faith is not about what we do.  It is about what Jesus DID on the cross.
Here is the story read at the Progressive Dinner:  www.radical.net/resources/language

There are messages here in Amharic, Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Indonesian, Hindi, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Click HERE to read the story I read about the pastor and the two other religious men.

Below are a couple of pictures from the evening.

Pastor Paul gave some instructions to the group at the first house.

What a great opportunity to share the Gospel with
students and visiting scholars from 8 different countries.

Here is a multilingual worship song written and performed by a friend of mine, Josh Davis.