Refuge.

While I really don’t want to be writing this blog (mostly because of all the flack I’m going to get from people who say I’m being un-American) I feel like I have a responsibility to write it. After all, my views on the refugee crisis have changed greatly in the past couple months and looking back, I’m pretty embarrassed.

Most of my disagreement with Trump and his immigration policies stem from the idea that we should always keep the American public first. While this sounds like a nice plan, it’s simply not biblical, at least from the passages I have read.

My first thought goes to Philippians 2:3 in which Paul tells the people to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself.” To me it is pretty clear from this verse that an “America first mindset” simply doesn’t match up with the Bible.

Let’s be clear. Those that are seeking refuge in the hands of the United States do not want to come to our country, they want to live safely in their own. They do not want to come take our jobs, they want to help their kids live long enough to have jobs. They do not want to be generalized and seen as terrorists, the want to be seen as humans.

We can all relate. 

Paul goes on to say that the mindset of Jesus was one of a humility and love and He emptied Himself and took on the form of servant. Jesus saw us as people who needed refuge and He knew that He had to suffer (and even die) to make that possible.

The Christian has to align ourselves with this humble mindset and realize that we are called to look like Jesus in this situation. 

We have all needed rest at some point in our life and Jesus has come through for us. It’s time that we repay the favor and offer rest to others; even if they aren’t of the same religion as us.

Yes, allowing refugees into our country could get messy. But love is always messy at some point or another. For Jesus love meant getting so messy that He was hung naked on a cross so that you and I could have life. Our allegiance to Jesus , not America, must drive our actions every day, in every situation. “Love your neighbors as yourself.” Even the ones from a country that is not your own.

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  1. While I agree with you on most parts, I think that some measures should be taken when necessary for the safety of the country. For example, if there is an attack on a public airport, the airport is immediately shut down. No flights in, no flights out. Action must be taken.

    The idea is to take action before there is another terrorist attack on American soil. The ban is only placed on 7 African (and are dominated by Muslims) countries that are seen as a threat to our national security. There are still 46 other Muslim countries that have free access to America.

    My point is this: we can get disgusted at Trump for a lot of reasons, I get that. But sometimes, a leader of a country must take certain steps to ensure safety. This ban is not even close to being a completely thorough ban. Trump has chosen the worst of the worst. He saw what happened in Germany, and he is taking appropriate action.

    1. Thanks for replying Collin! I do agree with you that what Trump is doing to him, and many others, seems like he is protecting us.

      I guess I am just weary of any type of ban that would seem to single out a particular race, religion, or nationality.

      It is way too often that Christians forget that we are citizens of Jesus’ kingdom and our citizenship to America is only temporary.

      Thanks again!

      1. No, you are completely right. Too often, Christians try to seclude themselves when we need to be open and loving of everyone, even if they could be against us or God.

        Thanks for the reply, I’ve started following you because I’m very interested in your posts. You have a way with words that is amazing, my friend.

        God bless you!

    2. I am sorry, I am not trying to be argumentative disregard your opinion but as an American citizen living in Germany, I want to reply to this.

      The Christmas attack in Germany was not carried out by a refugee.

      The attack in Germany was carried out by a man acting alone, with a history of domestic violence, who was radicalized in Europe. It is so frustrating to me that the news constantly conflates refugees, Muslims, Islam, and Isis.

      To date, there has only been one attack carried out by a refugee in Germany (and I believe in Europe, but I would need to double check). That was an 18-year-old boy with an axe who was known to authorities for years and had very serious mental health issues.

      I will respect people’s right to have their own opinion on correct safety measures, but when that opinion has been based on manufactured fear and hate, that is when I feel like I need to speak up. The USA has the strictest vetting procedures in the world, it would be easier for an attacker to get in on a holiday visa than as a refugee.

      To date, the vast majority of people killed by Isis have been Muslims. Of the non-muslims killed, most are Syrians, such as the Yazidi people (who’s religion is a bit like a mixture of Christianity and Judaism).

      I have actually visited refugee camps, and see refugees often around our city (I lived next to a refugee house in Berlin in my first months here before finding a permanent home).

      I have one extremely strong memory of watching a couple walk out of the house, the woman had just been fitted with a prosthetic leg and her husband (they looked in their 50’s) was supporting her as she took each difficult step and the love between them and the hardship they faced together was clear to see.

      The kids who arrived in the first wave already speak German and are starting to learn English at school as well. I hear them on the subway singing cartoon songs and giggling as the try to pronounce the English words.

      These are people, regular flawed people in a confusing, sometimes heartbreaking, flawed world trying their best to survive. They left because they turned away from violence.

      Again, I don’t want to be rude or disregard your feelings. I just want to share my experience from on the ground here in Germany.

      1. Thanks for the read and your insight on this! It seems that you would have a much better perspective on this than us living in the US.

        I totally agree with you that refugees are no where near as “dangerous” as many people would like us to think!

  2. That particular reply was to Collin because he has said ‘look what happened in Germany’ so I felt I could add some local knowledge. I hope it didn’t come off too aggressive! It just hurts when someone is misinformed about a local tragedy, that attack was about 200 feet away from my fiancee’s office. It was a scary time and I don’t want to see it used as a tool to further hurt a community that has already been hurt so much.

    I am enjoying reading your blog, and the way you relate minimalism to Christianity, keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Erin!

      I hope you followed the blog to keep up with posts!

      For some reason your profile links back to a broken site but I feel like I saw your posts when scrolling through the reader and followed your blog!

      I also tweet quite a bit about minimalism and Christianity so I’d love to connect there if you have one also!

      Have a good day!