The Call, July-September 2016
With millions of people in the Middle East fleeing war and poverty, a humanitarian emergency has engulfed the globe and sparked intense controversy. We join with many other voices in affirming God’s love of refugees and immigrants and His concern for their physical and spiritual well-being.
We believe unequivocally that Christians are called to reach out to all people with God’s love. We also understand the fear that causes some to question how to—or even if we should—help people whose religion and cultural practices seem in complete conflict with our own. We encourage Christians to remove lenses of fear and anger from their eyes, and, instead, put on the lenses of Christ’s example of perfect love.
The Scriptures are filled with stories of men and women who were refugees and immigrants. (Jesus Himself was a refugee with His parents.) We are told clearly how to treat foreigners living among us. We are told clearly to be hospitable and to love our neighbors. We do not pretend to have all the answers for this complicated crisis. There is much that simply must be left to God. But we know that we must speak truth—the truth that God loves all people, regardless of nationality or religion. We know that we must love our neighbor with a love that endures and persists beyond hatred and fear. We know that we must take action, for faith without action does nothing.
We encourage Christians and churches to partner with nonprofit organizations that are involved in resettling refugees and immigrants, helping to supply homes, furnishings, language helps, employment, and education for children. Although media attention is focused on the current migration movement from Syria and the Middle East, we believe these principles apply to immigrants of all nationalities and religions.
We do all this as we seek to model the example that our Lord Jesus Christ gave: to live sacrificially and to reach out to the most vulnerable with compassion.