Pew news 01st July 2018

“… God… determined the times set for all nations of people and determined the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26).  What is a Christian approach to immigration?   Whatever else we think of immigration, this verse forces us to see God’s hand in today’s global movement of people. 

The Bible holds together what the media divides.  The media divides compassion from wisdom.  The left wing media claims a monopoly on compassion and makes out that a person with questions about immigration is uncaring.  The right wing media claims a monopoly on wisdom, and hints that people who want to welcome migrants are out of touch with real life. 

As Christians we must not be shaped by either the right or the left.  Let God’s Word teach us, not the Guardian; let mission set the agenda, not the Mail!   

The Bible commands us to be hospitable (e.g. Rom 12:13) and to treat foreigners well (e.g. Ex 23:9).  Christians should eagerly reach out to those different from themselves with kindness.  At the same time the Bible assumes that God blesses and judges nations as nations (e.g. Gen 12:3).  In other words, our national life and culture matters, as do the lives of those nations millions are leaving.  Our personal responsibility is to love and welcome those from other lands.  The state has a different responsibility, to act wisely for the sake of the nation.  The Bible teaches us to hold aspects of the left and the right wing positions while insisting that we don’t share their blind spots. 

The Bible gives us an additional perspective.  Jesus told the church to make disciples of all nations.  Right now he is bringing many nations to us.  It’s a chance to share Jesus with people we’d struggle to reach in their countries of origin.  Don’t fret about the headlines.  Instead, pray that the people behind the headlines will meet Christians who can share Jesus with them.  It’s happening!  If God was running the media, that would be the top story.        

 


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