The refugee debate has been steadily gaining traction over the past ten years, but in light of Trump’s wall (is there anything else to call it?), this debate may be reaching its pinnacle. The strange thing about debates and politics (and pretty much any issue) is that you will always find Christians on both sides of the argument. And we’re both quoting scripture and Jesus. How can that be?
Now listen, there are a lot of reasons and logic behind the desire to keep our refugees. And we know that Trump’s wall (no disrespect, but really what else do you call it?) is not intended to keep out refugees; its intention is to keep out immigrants. You know, those people who are leaving their impoverished and wartorn countries in search for better living conditions and opportunity in America. Tomato-tomato, right? But with all of the logic and reasoning for building the wall, there seems to lack empathy.
What is empathy? It’s that emotion that connects you to humanity. Empathy sees the plight and struggle of other humans and moves you into action to help. It’s the heartbeat of society. And it seems to be lost in about half of the Christians debating this issue.
We’re not here to take sides
But we’re not here to make friends, either. We’re here to share a biblical truth wrapped in as much grace as we can muster, and to pray that the holy spirit guides you in how you receive it.
Here’s the one piece of information we encourage you to remember in the midst of this debate: Jesus was a refugee.
Now, we’re not talking about the fact that Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem for the census. That was temporary, and there was no danger involved. We’re talking about the fact that Jesus spent a year or more of his early childhood in Egypt fleeing King Herod and his order to kill every Jewish male baby under the age of two. Mary and Joseph escaped in the middle of the night, undoubtedly crossed some borders under the cover of darkness, and ran for their lives to a neighboring country to seek asylum until the danger had passed. Thank God, Herod’s border patrol wasn’t there to stop Mary and Joseph and – oh yeah – the Messiah of the world.
Now, we’re not saying that there are no dangers associated with letting mass amounts of people into the country unchecked. And frankly, we’d never advocate that. There is a middle ground to be sought. All we are saying is that in order to approach this debate from a Christian perspective, you have to remember your empathy and the fact that Jesus himself was a refugee.