Another Syrian Refugee Blog…

Carol DunfeeCurrent Events, Faith0 Comments

I had planned to write about the refugee crisis this week. All week, I have been mulling the matter in my mind, reading different articles from various perspectives and searching in the Bible for answers. I started to write, but it got too political. Nope. Not going there. We don’t need any more political articles. Time to start over.
As I mulled the arguments on all sides, questions crashed into my brain like waves. One led to another and another and another.
  • Are we responsible to help refugees?
  • Where is the balance between protection and compassion?
  • What does the Bible say about a nation’s response to a threat?
  • How does the above answer apply to an individual’s responsibility?
  • What does Jesus expect of ME?
If you ask 100 people these questions, you will likely receive 100 different answers. People on each extreme of the issue are passionately convinced that THEIR answer is the only right one.
I’m not going to tell you what to think. I’m going to lay out five principles I found while studying and pondering this. You decide how they apply. YOU do the thinking!

Jesus expects us to care for orphans, widows, strangers, the hungry, the suffering, and the captive.

James 1:27: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (ESV)

Matthew 25:44-46: “Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (ESV)

God instructs us to protect life, using force if necessary.

Psalm 82:4: “Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (NIV)

Psalm 144:1 “Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” (NLT)

God authorized the nation of Israel to go to war.

Deuteronomy 20: Here, God lays out rules of engagement for Israel’s army. For enemies outside their borders, God instructed them to kill all males. Don’t believe me? Read if for yourself here. It’s a bit harsh by today’s standards, but it does set a precedent for national defense.

1 Samuel 11: Saul’s first act as king was to annihilate an invading army that had besieged one of Israel’s cities. Notice that Saul did this under the filling of the Holy Spirit!! Read it here.

Jesus wants us to be aware and on guard against the enemy who wants to destroy us.

1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (ESV)

Ephesians 6:10-11: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. (ESV)

The Holy Spirit will give us direction when we ask for it.

James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (ESV)

John 16:13: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (ESV)

Maybe this raised even more questions. Maybe it answered some. The Bible verses listed here only touch the surface of these issues. I hope they will give you a starting place. 
In troubled times, we cannot go wrong when we dig into God’s Word and seek His guidance with an open mind and an open heart. 
–Carol

About Carol Dunfee

Carol is a wife, mom, piano teacher, and blogger for Alaska Christian Women's Ministry. Having grown up in church, life made her dissatisfied with empty religious traditions and trite answers. She discovered that Jesus alone is the way to real life and true contentment. Ever stumbling and learning herself, she invites her readers to experience God's love and forgiveness like never before. Read more at CarolDunfee.com.

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