I’m Sorry, Christian, But You Don’t Get to Make That Move

I have a bone to pick with Christians this morning. Not all Christians. Not even the majority of Christians in my (limited) circles. Not by a long shot. No, my concern is with a smaller subset of Christians that tend to make a disproportionate amount of noise. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of conversations with Christian people about the Syrian refugee crisis. I’ve observed a lot of reaction and response from Christian people online. And I’ve noticed some of these Christian brothers and sisters buying into the fear and the hysteria that attempts to convince us that we need to keep our nation’s doors resolutely closed to refugees from this part of the world.

A few examples. I’ve noticed Christian brothers and sisters posting cartoons of a Trojan horse outside the gates of Europe with a sign saying “refugees” on the front and “ISIS” on the back. I’ve seen Christian brothers and sisters gravely posting articles about ISIS flags in Germany and about Muslim refugees throwing Christians off boats in the Mediterranean. I’ve had Christian brothers and sisters say things to me like, “Well, don’t you know that those refugees make more than our own senior citizens get on pension?!” Or, “I’ve seen pictures of refugees with mobile phones. [Insert knowing, condescending eyebrow raise] How desperate can they really be?” Or, “What about all those rich Arab Gulf States?! Why aren’t they taking in all these refugees? Why do they have to come to our country where we have such different values?” Or, “You know that this is all part of Islam’s plan to take over the world, right?” Or, “You Mennonites can get the hell out of our country and take that Muslim trash with you.”

(I’m not joking. How I wish I were).

Now, some of these specific comments are laughably absurd and are unworthy of response. But the general trend of fearful, reactionary bashing of refugees and, more particularly, Muslims by Christians is what concerns me, and it concerns me for a very specific reason. It’s not because I think that welcoming refugees from a hotspot of global violence will be gloriously trouble-free. It’s not because I am naïve about geopolitical global realities. It’s not even because I think that it’s impossible that “terrorists” might find ways to use the present refugee crisis for more nefarious ends.

No, my concern is very precise, and it is very specifically directed to Christians. If you’re a mostly secular person who couldn’t care much less what a dusty Jewish rabbi taught on a Palestinian hillside once upon a time, I’m not particularly concerned with what you post or say. If your worldview is unencumbered by any particular convictions about God or duty to neighbour, I’m not talking to you here. If self-interest is the main consideration that informs your views about life, then, fine, you can throw around whatever reactionary, fear-based propaganda you can find to prop up your cause. I don’t agree with you, but I can, I suppose, understand the protective logic that undergirds your desire to speak and share in these ways.

In sum, if you have no interest in Jesus or his teachings, then you can splash around the hysteria, the fear, and, all the anti-[insert threatening people group/category here] rhetoric you want.

But if you name Jesus as king? Well, then I’m sorry, Christian, but you don’t get to make that move.

And this is true no matter how many “yes, but’s” or “what if’s?” we can think of.

Even if all of the wildest and most imaginative prognostications that we encounter in conversation or online are true—even if the Syrian refugees at our door are actually a smokescreen for a frothing horde of Muslim terrorists hell-bent on the destruction of all that is good and true in the world, even if opening our doors will hasten the demise of Western civilization, even if there are only a few short steps from granting asylum to Syrian refugees to the widespread implementation of Sharia law, even if the welcome of desperate war-torn refugees somehow (inexplicably) means that we are ushering in certain death of all that we love and hold dear…

Even if all of this is (unimaginably) true, as Christians—as followers of Jesus—we live by a different script when it comes to what we’re supposed to do with the threat of bad people doing bad things. Jesus said a lot of weird things that are sometimes hard to make heads or tails of. But one thing Jesus wasn’t at all ambiguous about was how those who followed him were supposed to think about and treat their enemies. On this matter, he was painfully, uncomfortably, crystal clear.

Love them. Pray for them.

So, as Christians, there are certain things that we just don’t get to do.

We don’t get to hunt around for excuses for why we don’t need to include “those people” in the category of “neighbour.”

We don’t get to look for justifications for why it’s better to build a wall than open a door.

We don’t get to label people in convenient and self-serving ways in order to convince ourselves that we don’t have to care for them.

We don’t get to speak and act as if fear is a more pragmatic and useful response than love.

We don’t get to complain that other people aren’t doing the things that we don’t want to do.

We don’t get to reduce the gospel of peace and life and hope to a business-as-usual kind of political pragmatism with a bit of individual salvation on top.

We don’t get to ask, as our default question, “How can I protect myself and my way of life?” but “How does the love of Christ constrain and liberate me in this particular situation?”

And all of this is, of course, for the simple reason that as Christians, we are convinced that ultimately evil is not overcome by greater force or mightier weapons or higher walls or more entrenched divisions between “good people” and “bad people,” but by costly, self-sacrificial love. The kind of love that God displayed for his friends and his enemies on a Roman cross.

So please understand, Christian, that how you speak about people and the things that you share online matters. It matters a great deal.  Please understand that you’re on a team that is supposed to play the game by different rules.  And please understand that Jesus of Nazareth will be no ally of yours when you attempt to make arguments about how the (real or imagined) badness of other people means that we have no obligation to them.  As followers of this king, as citizens of this kingdom, we don’t get to make that move.


UPDATE: The amount of interest/feedback/affirmation/anger that this post has received has been rather remarkable to me. Many of the more negative comments seem to traverse rather well-worn paths on this comment thread. So, before commenting, I warmly invite you to read the follow up post that I wrote in an attempt to clear up a few misconceptions that have appeared with some regularity below. Thanks.

Join the Conversation


    1. After reading this post, I think that Christians ought to have to register as Christians, and when they make posts like the ones you are referring to, they should have their Christianity card revoked, and can no longer call themselves Christians.

      1. The nature of Christianity is that it recognizes that no-one can be perfect; This is simply the way forward and the most obvious step to Ryan to becoming closer to God, and therefore happiness.

      2. Good idea Michael Blaustein, maybe they can all wear badges to mark them as such. Like a Star of David or something?

      3. Christians aren’t perfect, they are sinners, so please don’t forget that. We all make mistakes and sometimes the world takes over and we forget for a while who we are in Christ.

      4. So all the sudden Christians have to be perfect or lose their place in Heaven which Jesus promised when we accept him as our personal Savior. All of the sudden Forgiveness is removed from the text of the Bible. Ridiculous. Yes we are very flawed. Many of us are seriously struggling with this issue. It is my duty as the father of my children and husband to my wife to protect my family. Yes I want to help these true refugees. God gave me a brain and my brain says something is not right here.

      5. For the record, please note that Christians are forgiven
        BY the grace of God and the blood that Jesus shed on the cross! Once saved, always saved. There is NO revocation, not by God and certainly NOT the gov’t!!!!

      6. Hello: To this person who wrote this post!
        I am a Christian and I am proud of it… you
        use scriptures to say”to us as Christians we have no right to not want to help these refugees” and we have no right to say”we
        shouldn’t help Muslims and others because maybe they’ll
        take over neighbourhoods and we will have sharia
        law” and were fear mongering on these issues
        you are basically judging certain Christians
        because of there stand on some issues and your basically saying we have a hard heart to to
        the refugees plight and that Jesus would love them
        and help them and you quoted the beatitudes we do remember blessed are the peace makers…
        I definatley believe in helping people who are
        hurting and broken I have no problem helping them and I feel there’s a lot of Christians who would help them, the issue I have now a days is that
        some people feel we should just embrace all things..,But we can never at any time adopt the ideologies of some of these groups if you look at the Old Testament God told the Israelites not to adopt the Gods of foreigners he warned them
        that if they did certain things this would happen to there society’s you can see this in society’s in the past how certain ideologies literally brought down empires ex: Rome and others.. Now I realize Rome was not the most tolerant society either..
        Israel and its leaders were told by God through his prophets if you don’t do this this is what will happen if you don’t do that that this is what will happen..
        The whole idea was to not adopt foreign Gods..,

        Now can we introduce foreigners to Christ who come here absolutely! Yes this could be a great
        opportunity for us as Christians..

        But if we embrace every thing then we as free Countries could stand to loose every thing!

        I don’t feel there’s any thing wrong with being discerning in this day an age!
        Jesus loved! But he also spoke to those who were abusing there power and hurting people for example the religious of that day!
        We are to be as harmless as doves and wise as a serpent..

        So basically in your analogy of what Christ wants, is that we let every person into our countries and have no checks and balances in whom we should let in..are you really ready to say that? Especially if something happens to your loved ones”? I’m sorry I don’t agree with you!
        Jesus loved the sinner yes but absolutely would preach against the ideologies of these groups if he was here. He was the salt and light of the world and so are we..Now you know governments lie about issues and don’t always tell the truth..

        Because of our hearts to help people I’m concerned we will throw all caution to the wind
        and it will be the demise of every thing we hold dear.. Jesus used the gifts of the spirit and was
        wise he knew when to go to a certain place and knew when not to…and when it was his time to be crucified he knew when that would happen. If we all had your idea about the bible we would not be discerning which is one of the gifts of the spirit!

        Even Paul didn’t go to certain places because the Holy Spirit warned him not to! Now did he suffer in his life for the gospel and was he persecuted yes! But he also knew what people groups he needed to embrace,he also spoke to leaders of that day strong words which were inspired by the Holy Spirit and many leaders and people did not like what he said.,

        Did he embrace the woman who had a divining spirit he cast the spirit out and she was delivered was she set free yes.,
        He didn’t embrace the spirit that was cast out of her…
        Jesus also is the Lion of Judah as well as the Lamb.. You may disagree with me on some issues but that’s ok.. I know they God has called me to speak up I believe you are wrong.. Just because your a Christian the way your saying we have to be wimpy and just embrace every thing.. Now I agree if God calls me or you to do something or be in a place where we could be persecuted or be uncomfortable then I know that’s what I need to do.., but I also know he wants me to be bold in certain situations and speak up.. These refugees are most likely being abused and need help and yes we should help, but what is it God wants to discern here? He may not want certain groups here, to protect people.. that’s why he puts leaders in place to protect the sheep from the wolves that’s the job of leaders in politics in churches to protect the sheep not just say to the wolves I love you now come into our country and have ader to my sheep.. Gods going to also hold leaders accountable to how they took care of the citizens… As well as leaders of churches how they protected the sheep now should we look for the lost sheep and leave the 99 to reach the lost yes! But they were to leave them with other shepherds to protect them..
        As a parent i wouldn’t say oh I love my kids but I love others so much and because I love others so much I’m goiing let my kids be a sacrifice to who ever comes in my house just to help the lost..but hey I’m not responsible for my kids because God has asked me to love to lost one.. That is out of order he holds us responsible to protect our family..

        God has order he is not a God of disorder..

        God bless you!

      7. Christians are not perfect n believe in living life as Jesus did but those who do not believe do not have a say so

    2. Thanks, Ryan, well considered. But I wonder if you can see the log in your own eye as well. You insult agnostics, atheists, whatever, by judging that they have no basis for morals, that they are only self-interested, and hence not worthy of your wisdom, and not expected to act according to our deepest shared beliefs.

      Are you not aware that we have the same moral basis for loving our neighbor as you? The Golden Rule was not originated by Jesus, and neither did he claim it to be. It was first found in 3,200 BC in Sanskrit, then restated by Confuses, then Buddha, then again in the Old Testament but worded slightly differently (Love your neighbor as yourself), and then by Jesus.

      Biologists call it “social cooperation” and “altruism” within species across human and non-human animals. It’s based on our instinctive need for EMPATHY. You’re welcome to call it a gift from God if that helps you frame the immediate situation. Whatever we call it, all humans (except psychopaths and sociopaths) have the same empathy and hunger to care for, and help each other. Each of us (regardless of religious beliefs or non beliefs), exercises this human capacity for the same outcome and effect — to love, to advance the cause of our brothers and sisters, to insure the prosperity of neighbors, community, culture, and world.

      Evolutionists say this Empathy is hard wired into the evolutionary process as a means of making sure we work as a team for mutual survival and a chance to live another day. Even Bonobos, Dolphins, Elephants, and other highly evolved non-human animals exhibit the same empathy, and hence these animals grieve with each other, comfort each other, and help each other when in trouble. Were you not aware of this?

      So whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or Atheist, we all share the same inner calling to care for one another with respect, honor and love. You write that some Christians are not managing this gift very well at times like this, and instead showing signs of selfishness and meanness. This failure is also found in all people at times. So you’re wise to remind Christians that such attitudes produce poor behaviors, and exhibit a tragic breakdown in our understanding of the global call to compassion. Hope this helps you achieve a larger personal perspective as well.
      Take care.

      1. By the way, Ryan, as an Agnostic, I’ve been blessed to found non-profit philanthropies to educate, house, and empower refugees and immigrants to this country. One of our centers outside NYC has 4,000 non-literate friends who fled the civil wars of Guatemala, another in Connecticut has 1,800 non-literate children and adults from Haiti, and another in New Jersey houses a school for Ecuadorians. These require the devotion and labor of nearly 700 volunteers, as well as full time staff to oversee the operations, assist with temporary housing and meet critical education needs, etc. Our budgets total over 3.2M annual, provided by the generosity of Jews, Christians and nonbelievers alike. Real love does not build walls, or judge categories or religious belief systems; We live and work in the same trenches together. It’s a beautiful world.

      2. No walls, no judging, no categories. Thousands of illiterate children. And you are happy. I guess so. It looks like you are getting a grant form the federal government for this. Very depressing. and legitimate American children get less of an education than ever. But this is a rotting country that elects and re-elects Bill Clinton and Obama.

      3. We all have a “moral law.” Where it comes from is the question. I agree, Ryan is wrong in saying that there is no moral law apart from Christianity (I believe that God put that moral law into all of us, whether or not we believe in Him). What also bothers me about your post, Ryan, is that you are taking the term “Christianity” to mean “perfection,” and using it to do some serious Christian bashing/controlling (of the ones who don’t live exactly to your standards, e.g. “You’re not allowed to do THAT if you’re a ‘Christian!'”). Christians suffer from the same predispositions as everyone else. We all have paranoia, anger, fear, etc. Don’t just bash that out of people by saying it’s not allowed – that won’t help anyone! Hopefully I’m not being hypocritical here, but give people some grace, and try to help them see your perspective instead of alienating them.

      4. I was about to vent about Ryan’s stance that if you are secular you probably don’t care, don’t have morals and splash about in hysterical rhetoric but nomoses put it so much better than I can.

        Suffice to say Ryan needs to open his own eyes and drop this outdated stereotype that if you don’t follow Jesus you are automatically immoral. I am a Pagan, I worship the Mother Goddess, I believe firmly in love, tolerance, forgiveness and always helping my fellow man, but I have no time or space for the Christian church as a misogynistic, paternalistic institution with a long history of corruption. I hear the mission statement of love, I don’t like the board of directors. I also have a lot of agnostic and atheist friends who also live their lives by a high moral code and work in jobs helping people and community.

        So, yes, the message to Christians to actually follow the teachings of Jesus is right. There will be such a backlash now to refugees who are running away from the same terrorists. They are living with this same, evil violence every day and it doesn’t get widely reported. We should not be surprised at their desperation to escape. But Christians don’t have the monopoly on helping their fellow human beings, anybody with an ounce of compassion in their hearts, religious, atheist, agnostic, or following an alternative spiritual path, has a duty to step up.

      5. He is not “insulting” anyone or claiming that Christians have a “monopoly” on anything. He is simply saying that he cannot speak for those who do not claim to love Jesus. That’s all. You read WAY too much into what was said here.

      6. I think you missed the point a little. Also agnostic and not even slightly offended. It’s a very ego-centric view to think that just because he’s speaking of Christians in particular, to assume he thinks a loving and peaceful attitude doesn’t carry through to other religious and spiritual beliefs. I loved pretty much every word of this article and agree that people need to stop and think about what they’re actually saying before posting to social media.

      7. Very well thought out answer to the post it was referencing…thank you for your insight….I am always happy to look at other ideals and information as I feel it lends to a more thoughtful approach to thinking through quagmires that I may be facing…Thank you

      8. Actually humans are born and hard wired to be selfish… Survival of the fittest… We have always needed someone to remind us of the golden rule… And my reminder is Jesus Christ

      9. You totally miss the point which Ryan was making… Which is simply if you believe in Jesus and claim to be a Christian – you are called to live by a different standard, period. If you are not a Christian, love your neighbor or not, you are not bound by Christ’s call to love… Luke 10 or John 15, has no claim on your life, but if you are a Christian it does and so we are called to live by Him and no other. He wasn’t bashing atheist or agnostics, in fact this article wasn’t even meant for you, but it was meant for Christians who are not acting in a Christ like manner.

      10. nomoses,
        Great reminders, sometimes I too am guilty in not remembering I may be read by someone who does not share my assumptions, values, and presuppositions. As a fussy teacher of World Religions (biased, I must admit I profess to be a follower of Jesus) I’d like to offer one thought.
        You are mostly correct when you write Jesus was in a long line of people who offer the “Golden Rule” but I’d say I have not found anyone before Jesus who made it a positive statement. Before Jesus many said, “do NOT do to others…” but Jesus was the first to say “DO….” In the situation at hand, the others would tell me to NOT harm the refugees, Jesus tells me I need to do to them what I would want others to do for me were I in the same situation.

      11. THANK YOU NOM I found his article interesting until he interjected ‘secular’ which was condescending. The biggest fallacy believed by most Christians is that they cannot believe that you can be a good, caring, loving, great, productive person if you don’t believe in God. Total nonsense.

    3. You are telling lies about Christians that apparently are based on your Uninformed Bigotted Opinionated Sterio typing of Hypocritics who you May Believe to Be Christians but are Most likely Pagans…If you want ot Know what Christians are about Read The Bible and find out.

      1. I did read the Bible. That is why I am not a Christian.

        Thanks again for reminding me why I ran screaming from your hateful and abusive relationship of a belief system.

  1. Ryan
    -THANKS, for this wisdom in a time such as this!
    – I’ve seen already the postings that you spoke about shared/posted on Facebook
    – sad, disturbing & disheartening that we as “Christians” would repost these links
    – but then in hindsight, it’s not that surprising that it’s happening from these people to act out/respond in such a manner
    – stress/anxiety/fear @ times will challenge/bend the “true inner self” of a person away from that which they profess
    – appreciate how you have challenged us “Christians” to again grasp & live out a worldview that is biblically based & has hope as the foundation, not fear controlling our lives

    – keeping on writing your posts they all great & I read each one
    – as Christians we need to regain a understanding of a biblical worldview to put world events into a perspective that is consistent with what we believe or say we believe

    1. Tell the terrorist who is about to behead you and your children how much you love him. We do not have to place ourselves in danger, God gave us minds to reason with, it is called cause and effect and I am not going to be stupid enough to let a raving lunatic out of his cell when I know he is capable of killing people.

      1. Apparently many are doing just that, Jim. And the fruit is amazing!
        Guess what .. “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death”. Rev 12
        … all done in the Spirit of their Master who screamed out in agony, not religious piety, “Father FORGIVE (not destroy) them, for they have no idea what they’re doing!”

      2. Agreed! Had the citizens of Europe during the middle agea been so cavalier in their attitudes regarding this same issue,they would all be speaking Arabic now and the Great Reformation would never had happened because the entire continent would be enslaved under Shariah law!

      3. What words did Jesus pray as he was being crucified? Luke 23:34 he said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
        If you seek to be like Jesus than yes, you are expected to speak love over your enemy.
        We should not reject the cries of the needy out of fear of the ones who caused their need.

      4. I wonder what Ryan would do if a Muslim had one of his family members held hostage and was fixing to kill them because they were a Christian which is what is happening all over the world! Yes we need to pray for them to be saved, but we also have the right to protect our family. Just as all the brave soldiers gave their life so we have the freedom’s we enjoy like our freedom of worship. They are some things we have to fight for!!

      5. I am capable of killing people. I am not in prison. I have never killed before, but I may know you and even where you live. This infectious paranoia about a culture that is already hard to reach is not helpful.

      6. You are right. I for one will not expect my children to understand I am being a follower of Christ when I allow a terrorist to kill them. It is already proven there are members of ISIS among the refugees.

      7. jimboatjr,
        I pray that I would be able to do that. I don’t know if I could, but if the Christians who were being killed in the Central African Republic had done just that last year, instead of retaliating more and worse, they might have won their Muslim brothers and sisters, and the civil war that destroyed the country could have been prevented. This is still happening. The Christians there are doing just as horrible things and it is NOT pleasing to Christ. I can’t say that I would be better, but I can pray it, and I can know that that is how Christ would have acted.

      8. Exactly! Not radical Muslims to rape and kill our daughters! Christ instructed his disciples to buy a sword. Why do you think? For protection, because He knows there are people out there who are evil and will kill you. He is fine with us having wisdom and to defend ourselves. In the OT, God told the Israelites to wipe out whole nations who worshiped other Gods. We are in the age of grace, but I still think we need to be wise!

      9. Thanks for reminding me why I ran screaming from Christianity over 20 years ago. I do appreciate it. May Odin bless you–and quickly.

      10. Please consider the man Paul was before he followed Christ. Saul of Tarsus was among the worst of enemies of the gospel. He dedicated his life to the persecution of Christians. Paul was a tax collector, and he was no stranger to labeling Christians as criminals, submitting them to torture and death. He was known well for the persecution he brought down on the Christian community. I imagine his notoriety generated quite an insurmountable level of fear among Christians. And upon his salvation, while these Christians were hesitant, they welcomed him in. They chose love above everything. He is now known as guy who wrote a massive portion of the New Testament. He is known for the establishment of many churches and his passionate, radical choice to follow Christ. But he was first known well for his commitment to the destruction of Christianity.

        God had mercy on Paul, and interrupted his passionate hatred and brokenness. God had mercy on me and interrupted my passionate selfishness and brokenness. I am no better or more deserving than any single person on this earth. Even the men who wouldn’t hesitate to kill or rape me for the sake of his religion. Jesus leveled the ground for the pious and for the broken.

      11. I will not endanger my family by complying to such a notion, that we’re not to use wisdom and protect ourselves. As I recall, Jesus hid Himself from His enemies, at one point, when His life was in danger. It’s obvious that the radicals have infiltrated the refugees and even brag about it and threaten. No, I’m not afraid, because I trust the Lord always. But I refuse to forsake godly wisdom and across the board, accept without government intervention, the many that are causing riots in Greece, where they’ve taken over and close my eyes to the real danger we’re threatened with here.

      12. Er, if I remember correctly Jesus said to those who were not simply about to behead him but had actually nailed him to a cross to die that he asked forgiveness for them. It’s OK if you can’t live up to the standards of the Son of God, but please don’t pretend your failings are something to be proud of.

      13. You either failed to appreciate several important words in his comment, of you appreciated it and ignored it. It’s true that he asked about someone threatening oneself, and your comment would be relevant to that. HOWEVER, he also asked about someone threatening one’s children. Feel free to cite a specific statement by Jesus that speaks to that directly, but I certainly don’t remember him saying, “If someone strikes your child on the cheek, turn your child’s other cheek.” Not only did he not say anything to that effect, as far as I know (though you can correct me if I’m wrong); but the clear message of the Bible is that those who are capable of defending those who can’t defend themselves have an OBLIGATION to defend the defenseless. So, though you’re correct TO THE EXTENT THAT HIS COMMENT IS ABOUT PROTECTING HIMSELF, you’re frankly wrong beyond that; and, therefore, your general thesis — that what a terrorist will do (in the example, beheading people) doesn’t justify his criticism of the blog post — is false. But, I have been wrong before; so, if you find that Jesus said I should let a killer cut off my kid’s head, please pass along the chapter and verse. Thanks.

  2. “Please understand that you’re on a team that is supposed to play the game by different rules.” Amen. In th upside-down, already-but-not-yet kingdom we live in.

  3. Reblogged this on Called within the Storm and commented:
    These are critically important words from Ryan Dueck. Unfortunately, I have seen too many posts like the ones Ryan refers to. And the challenge that Ryan offers in return must be heard: “if you have no interest in Jesus or his teachings, then you can splash around the hysteria, the fear, and, all the anti-[insert threatening people group/category here] rhetoric you want.

    But if you name Jesus as king? Well, then I’m sorry, Christian, but you don’t get to make that move.”

  4. awesome! Well done. I can’t imagine how the Lord must feel when people who bear the name “Christian” can justify hatred–of anyone! Thanks for this

  5. Hi Ryan,
    I have also been following your posts, and have thought how amazing your community is for what they are doing. I guess the critics are more vocal (why is that, I wonder, that we don’t vocally encourage others as much as we are quick to criticize?!?). So- high five, thumbs up, way to go to show love in this hate-filled world! And good on you for not being afraid to take us to task (I may not be at all opposed to opening our country to Syrian refugees, but am I withholding love in other areas of my life? Why yes, yes I am.) So thank you. And well done!

  6. Said No One Ever….whose wife, daughter,son, extended family had been repeatedly raped, sold into slavery….you can talk it and write it….but can you live in these people’s shoes….I couldn’t

    1. Lawrence, since when are Christians supposed to hate people because they raped someone? Show me a verse in the Bible. YOU are the type of person he is addressing in this article. As a Christian you are not to hate ANYONE. I don’t care what your (or anyone’s) excuse is. If you call yourself a Christian, you are called to love EVERYONE regardless of the sins they’ve committed. What if Jesus decided not to die for us because we were rapists, murderers, thieves, liars, and adulterers? What if God was like, “I’m not going to love them, look at all the bad things they’ve done!” So for you to do that flies in the very face of the teachings of the God you claim to worship.

      1. Fascinating response.
        I’ve looked a couple of times and I don’t see hate being mentioned or promoted by Lawrence.

      2. There is a big difference between ‘hate’ and ‘wisdom’. We can love inmates in prison, and indeed should, but that doesn’t mean letting them out of jail.

        It is interesting, though, how you quickly branded someone who disagrees with you as hating someone else.

        You set up a false dichotomy – loving someone means giving them what they want, and hating them means denying that want. “for you to do that flies in the very face of the teachings of the God you claim to worship”.

      3. Would you invite an unrepentant rapist into your home to live with your wife and children? My only obligation as a Christian to an unrepentant rapist is to make sure he hears the gospel and has an opportunity to repent and to do what I can to protect OTHERS from him!
        Jesus told his followers, “when they persecute you in one city flee to another”, He did not say we must invite our persecutor to come live with us.
        As a Christian who is also called to love my neighbor who also lives NEXT DOOR, I support immigration carefully monitored by the governmental authority ordained by God, so that we are not inviting terrorists into Canada.

      4. Where did he say we should hate Muslims? Jesus avoided trouble when it would have distracted from His mission. Where did Jesus teach that Christians should invite evil people who are committed to killing every person that does not covert to Islam into our country and homes?

        Granted, not all Muslims are working for ISIS; however, these military aged males are refuges by design. They are Islamic invaders for whom SA will build a mosque for every 100 who can establish a foothold. By the time they take four of our daughters as wives who produce five+ children there will be a mosque or church converted into a mosque in every neighborhood.

        How many of you who support this posts line of thought are willing to become a missionary or would encourage your sons and daughters to serve a missionaries within these invaded communities?

        Please send me your contact information because I support a Muslim outreach ministry that is successfully reaching out to Muslims who are seeking truth. I will put you in touch with this ministry. The fields are ripe ready for harvest you to can be a worker; however, Jesus admonished his followers “to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

      5. Difference being, of those who have genuinely repented of heinous crimes and those who have not, those who then have accepted a new and reborn life in Christ. There is a distinct difference made multiple times throughout scripture about those repentant in Christ and those who are not. We have choices es to make and with Satan’s sneaky and subtle influence over all of our lives until he is defeated and we are made perfect, we must fight daily to stay in God’s Word. This is a difficult task sometimes if we are not mindful of His direction. God alone knows all of our hearts, no matter what one writes, blogs , or posts, He knows! He tells us in end times many will fall away. The church has too many inner battles and divisions currently and as believing Christians struggling in a fallen world to live as He wants us too, we would be better serves to pray earnestly for all of mankind and before each and every post we make. He loves us all, how we respond to that love by accepting His grace or not, by repenting or not, by loving others through witness and forgiveness or not is our mission. We only love because He first loved us.

    2. I’m a Christian and I don’t condone hating anyone. I also love people so much that I do not want to see one person hurt by tyranny. If the views expressed by Ryan in the above article are carried to the outmost – which any view needs to be thought through to the outmost not just in one area. Truth is truth and should be able to carry the weight of that truth in every circumstance. If the above views are the truth then we should get rid of all of our border crossings, they would be useless. Why would we be worried about keeping anyone dangerous out of our country? – we just need to trust in Jesus. We need to get rid of our police, again why would we worry? – we have Jesus. For that matter we should not lock any of our doors ever, on our homes or vehicles – we have Jesus.

      1. This is a classic slippery slope fallacy. To say (along with Jesus, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and I’m sure a few other biblical writers, btw) that we need to eschew fear and instead love, welcome, and care for the “alien in our midst” does not then mean we are for open borders, a policeless society, and anarchy.

        And Actually the Bible itself hints at what might happen if Ryan’s views are carried to the outmost… see Deut. 24 🙂

      2. I had a friend ask me why I locked my car door at a shopping center, and then asked if I trust God. I said I trust God, but I don’t give place to the devil.

      3. good point indeed. I am a Christian and I care for and love everyone (no matter the struggle at times). It is my job to love the many people I live amongst not to pick and choose. I love the people but I abhor some of their actions. There are dangerous people in many different ways. However, I by no means have to let them into my home if I feel there is a dangerous situation. I do not have to remain in their presence if it is not going to be constructive to his calling and probably most likely destructive. We are not to give place to the devil. I pray that the lord will not allow the enemy to enter into my home. It is my sanctuary that God has provided for me. Our Country is our home. It is certainly not a simple task that our government is bestowing upon us. It is okay that there are concerns about whether this is a good idea or not. . It is also okay if others are cool with it. We just have to be more gracious about it all. Cause hey, this IS happening. The government has made the decision. Now we pray for the means by which to handle it………firmly and graciously.

    3. You mean like when your god commanded the Israelites to slaughter nonbelievers and rape any virgins they found? Just curious.

  7. Sorry but this kind of self righteous condemnation doesn’t sit well with me. Matt.10:6 tells me to be as wise as a serpent while being as innocent as a dove. I agree that some of the fear-mongering going on around this issue right now is ludicrous but that does not negate the reality of the threat. I agree that we need to be reaching out a helping hand to those truly in need but I think it’s ridiculous to just blindly accept refugees that can so easily be infiltrated by a group of people that think they have a mandate from their god to destroy any and all that differ from themselves. The writer needs to take a break from patting himself on the back for his “sold out to god” self-righteousness and use the mind that God gave him to realize that a little caution does not equal cold unfeeling self-interest. God called me to help the needy but he has also given me a responsibility to protect my loved ones from harm.

    1. I agree with you Lawrence. I have 2 daughters that I would gladly give my life to protect from harm. But should I invite those that show a tendency to violation into my home? I think not and that is why there is a lock on my door.

    2. I see you know more than what jesus taught. That is ecellent keep up the hate campaign. You missed his point. Now you alread a new follower and she is another hater like you… now I know why i dont get Christians…I seen the post and though it was great and read you spewing your excuse to hate….hope it works well for you

      1. Show me anywhere in what I wrote that I was advocating hate? I agreed that we have a duty to help those that truly need help. I agreed that some of the fear-mongering currently going on around this issue is ludicrous. I called for caution instead of cavalierly opening our doors to some who mean us harm. Please explain how that equates to hate in your mind?

      2. The writer is very naive. typical .I cant believe you dont notice the changes that are already happening in some parts of Europe eg Denmark and France. How are you defending christianity when you allow those that hate Christianity to grow and multiply. keep it up and you wont have christianity soon. Same argument was used to accept gay marriage. Christians were told not to judge. to love blah blah blah. where did that leave us? More homosexuality , more gay marriages, more states and countries allowing gay lifestyle. Same argument was used to accept immigrants in Canada. Where did that leave us? unoffordable housing in toronto and BC. Canadians turned into renters and the Chinese into landlords. Temporary foreign workers having jobs and Aboriginals having an unemployment rate of 40 percent. Lets be real people. lets refrain from people using our faith as a weakness.
        who is behind this refugee crisis, who is pushing for it. Who is pointing fingers at those that dont agree with accepting everything. If you look closely you will find the Media and other lobysts behind every campaign.

      3. As in the case above, I don’t see mention of hate by Lawrence Locke. Just to follow Jesus very words about being gentle AND wise.
        It is one thing when our actions result in suffering to ourselves, how loving is it to promote situations where others will suffer?
        This is not a hate issue, but rather a wisdom issue – and NO i so not condone many of the silly and genuinely hateful posts that have been put up.
        The answer is neither to shut people out indiscriminately , nor to let any/everyone in indiscriminately.
        But rather to embark on a compassionate AND wise course of action.
        That is not made easier by twitter-depth responses from either side.

    3. Matthew 25:35-45

      For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      I don’t see anywhere in there where it says “You gave me something to eat, drink, clothes, shelter, care and company, but first made sure I wasn’t a terrorist. Good job.”

      1. Yep, and eating and drinking are a far, far cry from giving out western passports. My issue is Ryan is conflating the two. Let’s give to the aid organizations and charities working with the refugees right now and for years, and years to come AND let’s vote for what is best for Canada politically manageable in all this. Giving a poor person a Canadian immigrant document leaves 100 other poor people wondering why they got left behind. Giving everyone food, tents, clothing and medical assistance is a much more fair and equitable way to help all refugees. The solution is not for every developing nation to pack up and go to a rich nation. But, curious, how much had you given to the Syrian crisis BEFORE the Alan Kurdi photo became viral?

      2. This will encourage refugees from every part of the world to just pack their stuff and move to the west. watch and see. The amnesty of illegal immigrants in the USA did not stop illegal immigration. It actually encouraged more illegal immigrants to move. giving people welfare encourages more welfare. JUST FACTS FOLKS. LOOK IT UP.

      3. The only way I could take Ryan seriously if he showed proof that he leaves his house unlocked for anyone to enter.. after all, isn’t that what he is asking countries to do?? let the poor into your house to feed in the fridge and dress themselves, take a tv, threaten your children.. but it would be hypocritical to keep the door closed…….. well, Ryan, do you?

      4. So your saying lets let terroists into the country… i feel for a lot of the people and genuine refugees however we need to come up with a system that filters out the danger… thats not hate thats comon sense.

    4. Similarily, It’s fine to quote scripture but I recommend reading the entire chapter, if not the whole book. The Lord does mention to “be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves,” but before that says that He is “sending you out like sheep among wolves”, but to “not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

      There is no wiggle room here; there are no grey areas when Jesus speaks.

      1. Self righteousness? Isn’t it more self righteous to expect that because of where we live we deserve more than others.. more than even the Son of God? God not only gave this writer his mind but He also gave him somebody to follow after.. somebody for us to follow.. somebody that lived a sacrificial life.. “for while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
        Putting a lock on our door as a deterrent is a far cry from presenting ourselves as uncaring, uncompassionate, unwilling to help, fearful, unsacrificial and… unTRUSTING in the Word of God. No wonder believers are called hypocrites.
        We must remember that this place is not our home.. our citizenship is in Heaven and how we live must look differently than how the world lives.. a lot different.. after all we are ALL aliens of this world.
        Just because somebody’s sins differently than you does not make you’re sin any better than theirs and their sin does not make them out of reach of salvation. The best way to lose an enemy is to make them your friend.

        Thank you so much to the writer of this article. You’ve gained new followers as you follow Christ. The only thing that blessed me as much as reading the article, was reading through the comments and some of their responses to the negative ones. We had our doubts that many were willing to follow. Thank you for changing that 🙂

      2. In Mathew 10:16- the shrewd part indicates to me that, while not fearing the wolf (ISIS) we should avoid its jaws while accomplishing that for which we are charged, which is to spread the Gospel to all the world. That is the mission. Accepting, rescuing, tolerating and all such acts are for the purpose of fulfilling the mission. As such these acts must be implemented with wisdom and shrewdness in the face of a threat. I have zero confidence in our secular government’s ability to separate the wolves from the sheep, and I do not see the wisdom of bringing the refugees here, wolves among them, and placing them in established and stable Muslim communities. Would it be an act of love? Yes, but a short sighted one. The wolves would consume the refugees, the community, and anyone else that they could reach. While it may be an act of love, it does nothing to accomplish the mission and may in fact impede it.

    5. Lawrence – I was pondering this exact point after reading the article, but wasn’t quite sure how to articulate it. Thanks for sharing!

    6. Unfortunately your comment loses all ground with the name calling in the first line, it’s too defensive. I don’t find the article self righteous at all. It makes me uncomfortable to think of possible danger, but the writer has a very good point.

    7. I agree with you. As Christians we can still welcome refugees with open arms but in a way that is responsible and protects the well-being of everyone. It is not un-christian to establish a process and parameters from which to accept refugees. The writer of this article, though earnest and sincere no doubt, is writing from a place of privilege and safety.

      1. Are you thinking these refugees are going back home? Do you think that ISIS might slip a few
        terrorists in with these refugees? Do you think these muslims will make good Germans, Austrians, Danes, Frenchmen, Hungarians, etc.? Over the next 200 years.

    8. “They overcame by the Blood of the Lamb,
      and the word of their testimony,

      And they loved not their lives unto death.”

      When you follow Christ, there may be a cross involved.

      1. Does my obligation (privilege) to carry a cross grant me the authority to assign my child that same cross? Another citizen?

    9. I think we need to separate how we as Christians are to respond and how the government is to respond. They have a job and we have a “job”.

    10. Thank you, for your response. God, gave us all free will. I am proud to have been raised, by ten commandments…#5..thou shalt not kill…is a very strong. I have never asked anyone to refuse help to the people who seek a home, where there will be peace, without war and we can live side by side. Unfortunitly, this issue may be far beyond, the ideology I have been raised to live by. I will not apologize, for my comments made in regard to my fear. I do believe and trust in God, but God did not bring about all this horror we see in this world today. This is a man made war, due to greed and power. We are to protect ourselves and those we love from all harm, who would find fault with that. When others wish to kill and destroy, for their own selfish wants should I invite him to my home, among my children, to put all I hold blessed and holy to prove my devotion to God. I will never knowingly, take the chance that I would put myself or family at risk. I sent some of those messages, not to ruin the chance of the innocent refugees finding a place to call home. I wrote them because there are so many news worthy issues that we need to pay attention. As, I see many comments about what these wars have and still continue, to destroy their own countries, and even those who has opened their doors and welcomed them, are being insulted by the very people who let them in. How many people did it take to destroy the towers in New York? How many innocent hardworking citizens lost their lives that day. When, you open your door to providing a home for a refugee family, you just may relieve my fear. Fear, is an emotion, as is love, but lets not condemn one over the other. To be fearful, is not a curse…it allows you to be more cautious about issues that could materialize…it isn’t irrational to be fearful, because in this case, many lives have already been destroyed by the acts of these terrorists. If there is even one ISIS terrorist among these refugees, that is one too many.

      1. I agree with your comment totally. There are so many scriptures that come to mind regarding this. One being, “Don’t throw your pearls before swine!” Matt. 7: 6. Yes, Jesus said that because he knew that some people did not deserve our precious truths which are as valuable as pearls. Muslims hold their Quran as sacred, yet it tells them to kill all infidels…that means all who are not Muslims. That is their stated purpose in life. Just reading the Quran is all I needed to hear. Here is just one of many verses regarding all those who do not worship Allah:

        Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

        Other scriptures in the Quran talk about cutting off heads and limbs…which they do. I certainly believe in helping all those in need, no matter what their religious beliefs. I feel that helping those who are brothers and sisters in Christ are the first priority, then others. Let’s get our veterans cared for first and then widen out from there. Dose that mean that we have to let Muslims into our country and our home? CERTAINLY NOT!!! We can send food, clothing, and provide shelter in their own countries. That would be the WISE course of action.

      2. Even if you influence people to spare themselves from the conquering sword of Islam, I would contend you are pointing them to a different Jesus altogether, one whose death value has been denigrated to a mere potentiality conditioned on the work of man (free will decision). I believe in a death that actually accomplished something that is atone for the sins for which it was intended. Consider the implications of your system, it supposes Jesus died for people but is unable to save them? How can this be!

        Furthermore, is God not sovereign over and decrees all things? Yes, even the evil of men for his purposes even in our present circustance? Did God not intend for Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery?

    11. Well said! Thank You for a response clarifying that you can love God, Hold to Christianity and the teachings of ” A Jewish rabbi,” Love others, pray for and help those genuinely in need, yet NOT being ignorant to satans devices! God never said in The word that we had no right to protect or defend! I believe we have been given an accountability to stand for and righteousness! If and, or when, they come to chop my head off, then so be it! But until it has been turned completely over to the demise of the enemy, I will stand up for the moral hedge that was once around this nation that was intrusted to us by God! In agreement with you brother!

      1. If your enemy smites you on the cheek, turn to him your other, also. If your enemy takes your cloak, give him your coat, also.

    12. Well, first, you don’t protect your loved ones from harm by locking out everyone else. Second, we don’t get to do the choosing. In the Bible, the only test that Jesus noted in regards to caring for others was that they had a need. Nothing else. No worthiness requirements. In fact, Jesus’ helping of others is a big part of what got him in trouble…so yes, helping others can result in that, but it is what the Savior did. The result of turning our backs on these people could be significant. Let us not forget what Jesus said the actual sin of Sodom and Jerusalem was, and that didn’t end too well for them.

    13. One of the misconceptions is that these refugees will be “accepted blindly”. If they’re allowed in you can bet that there will still be an extensive vetting process. Anything less would be silly. The call is just to increase the number accepted, not to stop screening them. The toddler who drowned had a relative in Canada that applied to sponsor him and was rejected. How is that justified as protecting the country? It’s just one example of a system set up not to screen for terrorists, but to be functional only as a PR tool, not as actual help to those in need.

    14. You are, perhaps accidentally, setting up a straw figure. There is no call to ‘blindly accept refugees’ as much as there is to desist from the wilful demonisation of all refugees by a diverse set of ‘guilt by association’ ruses. Some of those are suggested fraudulence but the more common ones are assumed forms of threat. ISIS and Assad are responsible for appalling actions but it is at least foolish, possibly delusional, at worst deliberately misleading, to turn from a potential threat into a mandate for minimal acceptance of refugees and asylum seekers. It is a similar case to take the easy option of generalising from the actions of specific Muslims and Muslim groups to encourage an automatic suspicion of all Muslims. The same action is less likely to be taken as a generalisation from the actions of specific Christians such as Tony Blair or Anders Brievik. Helping the needy and protecting ones loved ones are far from mutually exclusive. In fact, my Christian perspective would suggest that the needy are among my loved ones.

      It is also ironic that one of the commentators pulls a text out of the Quran as a proof text for the nature of Muslims. Surely, we are all sufficiently familiar with the Christian Scripture to be able to do an equally unflattering exercise, particularly with the law books or with Revelation?

      1. Anders Brevik was quite strict in distinguishing between religious Christianity, and cultural Christianity and only identified with the latter, in the same way that Richard Dawkins does.

        Tony Blair acted as the leader of a nation. Go look through history at the decisions political leaders have had to make, Christian or non-Christian, and you’ll see that his personal faith had nothing to do with his decision to go into Iraq.

        To compare the legal texts for the Jews in the Old Testament, or apocalyptic visions in Revelation, with the mandated war of Islam against all unbelievers, is clutching at straws. The Hebrews had to make war on the Canaanites, the Revelation speaks of the judgement of God, not actions by men, the war of Islam is against all unbelievers until all the world is for Islam.

        If certain groups, like ISIS, like Al Queda, like Hamas, claim to correctly represent Islam, and who can cite both Koran and Hadith to show they are in the true tradition of Islam (and they can) then you should at least be open to the possibility that they are in fact correct.

        From the number of so-called British nationals going to fight alongside ISIS in the the Middle East, it is apparent that radicalizing young Muslim men is depressingly easy. What happens when they decide that it’s ridiculous to fight over there when they could be fighting unbelievers over here?

        Christians who use Jesus’s admonition to “turn the other cheek” forgetting that it was an honourable response to a degrading action, not the response to someone trying to kill you, demonstrate how much biblical ignorance there is in the world today, especially in the church.

      1. Perhaps you think this is a temporary arrangement. They are not going back. The Europeans will make them very comfortable. Any free stuff will be 10 times better than
        life back home. There is precious little evidence of Christianity in Europe. The churches
        are empty. Homosexuality is just fine. Everything is fine. Europeans will help build mosques,
        and the mosques will be FULL. More will come to “complete ” the muslim families. Laws will
        be changed to accommodate the muslims. Christianity is not involved. Europeans are just
        cowards and have no will to fight.

    15. I am writing this under the assumption that this was a response directly to the original post.

      Lawrence I believe there is a misunderstanding occurring. The author is speaking out against ignorant and sometimes hateful comments his fellow believers have made out of fear. After reading your comment, I read the original post again and I don’t believe he is advocating an abandonment of wisdom. Nobody is questioning that we are also to love our country and our families and try to protect those things, but that does not conflict with the idea of empathizing and loving these strangers who as of yet have done us no harm. I think you have both judged the author unfairly, and mocked him without any call for it.

    16. Putting yourself/loved ones in danger and allocating resources to a struggling people are two different actions; whether they are simply a suffering people or involved in a conspiracy to overturn the world, from where we stand we still have the same responsibility.

      Not only is the infectious hysteria of terrorists not helpful and counter-productive, it is no excuse to ignore other peoples needs and our response as HUMAN BEINGS. By the way as CHRISTIANS, we do have the responsibility to make ourselves vulnerable, to reach out to these people and give them an opportunity at the joy we are blessed with.

      Even if we were just too callous to be called human, it would make economic reasonable sense to generally make it a policy to provide struggling people with at least the basics, if only so they could be productive.

    17. Shalom, Lawrence
      I totally agree with you. We need Godly wisdom. We need to love people with wise agape love, not with love of people out of Gods kingdom. They want you all with flesh and bonnes. Do you guess what really shark wants from you? Are you gonna give it to one ? It will be 0ne moment love.And no glory. Because it’s silly.The time is come for new law about refugees. High professionals in theology, psyhology and first of all baptized with he Holy Spirit christians could try to help in gentle respectfull way to investigate the refugees in a asylem place. It is important to filter a danger, but the same way to use an opportunity to give everybody a message on Haven kigdom values. It is possible only if this responcible and heavy task could be given by gavernment to Christians We can convert hesitating ones. For this task we all need a supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and His gifts. It’s not too late, i hope, for authorities to realize that we can not win with intellegens, flesh and blood, army, security, law, etc. The first deed of love is a prayer and doing good to one who is in need. That’s true that not all of refugees are true. Church should take its leading mission in the ime of Trial.

      Revelation 3:10 New International Version (NIV)
      10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

    18. Lawrence, of course the condemnation doesn’t sit well with you – your the one being condemned. It’s the whole “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” adage. Question: Where does Jesus say anything about protecting oneself? Where does Paul, Peter or John write about protecting oneself? On the contrary Jesus says that if we believe in him and follow him we will be hated by all, we will be handed over and tortured and even killed… Jesus says stuff like we are to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow… that he who saves his life loses it but he who loses his life for me and the sake of my gospel shall save it. Jesus doesn’t call us to be safe and secure – he calls us to be disciples… to follow… to pray “Father forgive them…” even as they drive the nails into are hands and feet, deriding us in humility and horror. So yeah, if “cheep grace” is what you want, you will feel uncomfortable when some one reminds us that we are called to a “costly grace” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

  8. You’re assuming these are refugees. Feet on the ground tell us something else. I question your basic assumption. We’re supposed to protect the weak, but maybe these are the people we’re protecting them from. Jumping to conclusions is not actual exercise. And ditto to Lawrence Locke in his 5-16-15 post

      1. Allan, you equate caution as hating. There is no hate in Lawrence or Doug’s posts. They are just commenting that in this day and age, with the multitude of violent acts that are being performed against Christians and the western world in general, caution is not necessarily a bad thing. They are not saying to turn everyone away. However, opening the doors to absolutely everyone who knocks without at least having an idea of who is there is not always wise either. Where you find anything “hating” about that is beyond me. Also, God deserves a capitol.

    1. Given that the men shove the women and children aside and take all the spaces on the buses and trains, I don’t think this is what was meant by charity to the weak. Even CBC is commenting on how the women and kids are getting stuck when transportation is offered, but the kids need it most. Sorry, barging through 10 countries and stepping on others is not a weak person looking for help, rather a pushy person looking for opportunity. Even those on the boats have said fellow refugees pushed people off when the boats began sinking. I don’t think boarder jumpers are the ones Jesus had in mind in these parables. If you really want to save the weak – go the the Jordanian camps and sponsor some widow families there. Their kids are being kidnapped to fight in the various armies and their teen daughters are being kidnapped and sold to ISIS fighters. They aren’t barging through Europe because Jordan doesn’t have open boarders, the people are needy. A little education on who is who would be very helpful here.

  9. Hey my old Defense Partner from 1994/5 at CBC!
    Sorry, I don’t usually have my caps lock on when I speak online but I couldn’t help it.
    I Just read this very interesting fact on immigration this morning:
    June 1919- Doukhobors, Mennonites and Hutterites were prohibited entry because of their “peculiar habits, modes of life and methods of holding property”.

    So almost 100 years later are we saying the same thing?

    On Monday I helped a Muslim Refugee/Immigrant from Western Pakistan buy a small SUV so that he and his wife and children have a good safe vehicle to drive this winter.
    He did almost all of the leg work, and all I did was give him a bit of advice.
    As we parted he gave me a big hug and said, “I am so thankful that you are my first Christian Friend!”
    Have you ever wondered why it seems that God doesn’t seem to hear your prayers? Have you ever thought that maybe your not praying what is at the heart of the gospel?
    I am TOTALLY in favor of Muslim’s immigrating to Canada because then I can show them the Love of Christ out my back door.

    1. You are a good person… we dont have to hate them..they are not all bad…not even close to what the haters are out there posting. Jesus told what to do…no excuses aloud…we have to follow his teachings…great story sir

    2. Canada has NEVER had an open immigration policy. Ever. All groups that immigrated had to fit certain criteria from the early Quebec settlers to now. When it was politically helpful to Canada, Canada opened the doors wide to Mennonites (not sure about Hutterites and Dukabors). You can’t compare immigration with refugees anyways, they arrive under different clauses and criteria. Since WWII (long after 1919), Canada signed the UN convention and we have different refugee policies than we did then, actually we now have refugee policies period. Not a comparable issue.

    3. Interested to know more about the history of Hutterites in Canada. My Hutterite grandfather lived in Canada for a while during WWII.

      1. Can’t help but notice that anyone who disagrees with you is judged as being a hater. Why is that? Just a new catchphrase you like?

      2. I’m sorry but like Ian, I find it a little frustrating that you label anyone with a different opinion as a “hater” like that is supposed to put a stamp of finality on someone’s comment like your voiding their opinions or points of view or something. Who are you again? Very judgmental and assuming. If you want people to listen to you tone down the “hater” labelling. I tend to side with Lawrence and I found his response not hateful at all. I appreciate the article and it is thought provoking but beyond that, it shouldn’t be shoved down someone’s throat and lets be honest, this article was fueled with many accusations and assumptions and finger pointing… Everyone is trying to sort this out, what it means to them, what it means for their family and their kids futures, I am sure no matter what side you right now agree or disagree with or if you are still approaching the matter, contemplating it … I am sure we are going to the Lord with it. Give people a break, say your opinions, back them up, start dialogue but why does everything have to come off as self righteous, and pointing down and condemning and stepping on people you don’t know and calling them names. No one spoke in anger to you or had hateful speech…

      3. Remember Ian and DRobo, hater is the new “edgy” thing to label anyone SJWs are incapable of engaging with rationally. Since SJWs are incapable of reason they call everyone “haters”.

  10. Dear Fred The Arabs are stuck on a tribal thing. they can’t allow anyone to live in their countries who are not of the same tribe. in Egypt if a woman marries a non-Egyptian, he cannot become an Egyptian. Their children are not permitted to become Egyptians. A girl can marry an Egyptian citizen and thus become Egyptian. But boys cannot, They must hope their father’s country will accept them as citizens. So in all Arab countries. thus saudi-arabia cannot accept any refugees because they can’t see how to get them out when the fighting stops in Syria.

    1. I think you need back and do your homework.. Saudia Arabia hates the Syrians and they are considered Enemies… These people are tying to survive and not get killed by ISIS. …you missed the whole point is making

  11. To compare this massive Muslim migration to the Mennonites, Doukobors, and Hutterites is what is ludicrous. Obviously most people havent taken any time to read or find out what the Quoran actually teaches. Muslims whole idealogy is rooted on destrying the infidel and anyone else who will not bow to Allah. It is not a religion of peace. Mennonites and others who came to our country as refuges came from a different culture but did not come with an idealogy that supports beheading anyone who does not agree with your view of relgion.

      1. “Yes, have you?” drips with pride. What do you think it says then? Sounds like you’ve picked up some attitude from it.

      2. It contains a lot of things. A garbled record of the history of the Jews, a garbled record of the history of the Christians, various admonitions concerning conduct as a Muslim.

        For a book purporting to have been dictated by Allah, including an account of Jesus making clay birds fly which comes from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, a known work of pious fiction, is a definite red flag.

  12. BUT – and this may fall under your excuses category – shouldn’t there be BALANCE? Are we not responsible for/to others as well as these refugees?
    Should we bend over backwards to give these people a Christian hand without trying ALSO to protect others from harm that may result from our actions? My first priority would be the children, ALL the children and trying to ensure that they are protected from violence of any kind. I could not give carte blanche to ALL refugees simply to enable me to feel virtuous as a Christian, while some of my religious posturing paved the way for harm to come to others. Our Christian duty is to ALL and there must be balance and we must have a country that provides for the care and protection of ALL children. I accept that I have a Christian duty to provide genuine refugees a safe place for their families, but do I not also have a responsibility that the safe place remains so? If violent people are also permitted access then we would be failing to provide a safe place, and they would be right back where they started and they, and maybe even we, would have to flee to another country.

  13. The Christians I know in my circles started supporting those Syrian refugees (and many others throughout history) long BEFORE ISIS started beheading their children in front of them. We don’t make a big deal about it, because Christ told us to “give in secret” in order that we don’t get a big “reward” from other people, rather than from God.

    But you can look at Samaritan’s Purse, and Mercury One, and the Salvation Army to see how much we’ve given corporately, just for a STARTER. This is not at all to mention the individual, church-based relief that is sent NOT to some wastrel Government Bureaucrat, or waylaid by some Tyrannical Thief. And this NOT EVEN to get a tax credit! We’ve given to “boots on the ground in the culture”, a lot of us ourselves doing without “niceties” that our friends and neighbours have come to expect in order to help others. Do some due diligence, please.

    And please, all of you, accept my blanket apology for all of us “little Christs” who are in various stages of maturity, faith, and refinement. I know sometimes we can look and sound ugly as Hell, but really, we’ve got your Eternal well-being in mind at the core. Forgive us if you can find it in your heart. And may God richly bless you and give you peace.

  14. Thank you for the article. Listen to me, if you will allow yourself to. As a past Christian who followed the beliefs of the church my entire life you may want to hear this; I studied the gospel inside and out. I had some questions that bothered me as I got to know Jesus the Prophet, internally…I got to know his spirit. His love. His compassion. His absolute unconditional love for everyone. I felt him, if you get me. But, how can I separate my own knowing of that kind of love, with whatever crap I was hearing at church every day about him? Lies! Nothing to do with Jesus; not the guy I know from the bible, and the lost documents (lost, or conveniently taken out).

    First of all, Jesus would have HATED anyone to call him God. His message had nothing to do with him being the “Christ” and all to do with ATTITUDE. He repeatedly taught beautiful, amazing lifeskill messages, said in poetic form, like a very spiritual man who really KNOWS GOD. His purpose was to teach us how to live as a new civilization beyond Moses and the 10 commandments. His constant pure loving lessons never wavered:


    All of the above are but a snippet of what that good man, spiritual being, taught us. He amazed the masses with his love.

    They made him God and the Christian religion was born.

    Wrong. All wrong. First, Jesus would be HORRIFIED to take God’s place. That’s the first big sin to believe — your own good soul knows better than this fantasy of a man-made God.

    Second, to imagine and allow yourself to believe that a virgin gave birth to this man is mental illness at it’s finest. In the eyes of the founders of Christianity (and it is all man-made) they wanted to make Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, so that they would have someone better than a spirit to relate to. They didn’t get it! At the time (and likely still with our utter disrespect for women beings) Is the idea of a woman who engaged in sex actually giving birth to a man so great was not tolerable in those times. She had to be a virgin! We all know the age old belief that women are weak, property of men because of their physical weakness, and the cause of all man’s problem.

    IT IS ALL MAN MAD BULLSHIT designed to keep women in their ideal place (for them) and make it so important that Jesus was not attached to a woman who ever had sex…she had to be a virgin.

    Virgins are popular in the big religions. The Islamic belief is that if the good men kill in the name of Allah, 72 virgins will be waiting for them upon their own suicide death.

    Which one of those ideas is better? A virgin mother of a human Christ figure, or a reward of virgins for murder? Both stupid as shit. Now that I look beyond the teaching of the Christian church, and an investigation and research of beyond the brainwashing of someone else’s beliefs, I am informed, and, I am with Jesus. I am a true spiritual being who believes we all belong under one universe, and we are but a speck in our real journey which is, eternity.

    Most of Jesus’s real teachings and lessons were manipulated, omitted completely, or downright lied about depending on the pleasure of the leader of the times. Constantine completely removed and forbade anyone to believe in Jesus’s real message, we are all eternal, we are all resurrected. Constantine believed that if the masses believed in reincarnation that they would not be concerned about dying. He wanted them to have fear of dying to keep the control.

    Now that you have that little bit of real data to chew on a bit, realize that the Christian church has little to do with the true meaning of Jesus’s messages. Chanting out bumper sticker messages to instill hate and fear in the ‘name of Jesus’ just about makes me sick every time I hear it or see it. We cannot afford to believe in nonsense and ridiculous lead we will all be burning in hell if we don’t say a certain number of hail mary’s…or pray in a certain direction to gain favor with God! Now that you think about it, it is crazy stuff to believe, isn’t it?

    I left the church when my pastor was comforting me in the death of my 25 year old son. My only child was in a car accident and I was sick with grief beyond anything you can imagine. I went to my church, bleeding…crawling up the temple steps to find the peace I needed. Instead I hear,

    “Cherylann, you know the Christ…and Trevor refused him, your son left the church at 13. You know he has a tough road in his eternity” (implication, he is burning in hell)..after crushing my heart she poured some salt on the gaping wound, “I feel like you are putting me in a really bad position here, because you already know where he is.”

    Thank God she did that to me. It caused me to get pissed off! Big time. I suffered for a while, a long long while. Then, when I was ready to allow myself to live in peace I began my search for the truth. Long story, too long already, but I know far more than any Christian you know, and I will debate any BS with ease and confidence. the church is the farthest thing from Jesus, the profit and his true messages. I pity any blind follower who allows themselves to believe in a hateful, spiteful, judgmental, conditional, leader. They are fooling themselves.

    The Christian church made a mockery of Jesus, and God. If you really know Jesus, you know I am not lying here.

    Point: Stop using Jesus as your anchor for hate. You may just go to hell in mind for that lying stance.

    Again, thanks for your insights. I hope some of what I say is taken with the intention it is given. My heart is good. I mean no harm, only to share my personal, very real, experience with Christianity and my life after Christianity. Today I am empowered. Today I really do have free will. Today I am at peace with who and what I really am. I am not who you imagine me to be, I am who I imagine me to be. God bless.

    1. Just a few clarifications I would like to make: 1. Jesus would not have hated people calling him God- he clearly states in John 10:30 that “I and the Father are one”. If Jesus were not God, his death on the cross would be meaningless. While it is true that Christ humbled himself below God (John 14:28- “for the Father is greater than I am), for Him to deny being God would be a lie, which contradicts His sinless nature. The reality is that His message was about Him being the Messaiah, humanity’s only hope of eternity with God.
      2. Jesus was born of a virgin- in the original Greek text of Luke 1:27, the word παρθένος is used, which unambiguously means virgin. Him being born of a virgin was not to somehow prove the weakness of women, it was to avoid receiving a sinful nature from the sperm of a human father. Christ was fully man and fully God.
      I hope this has helped 🙂

      1. I wasn’t looking for help, thanks. In response, you do not know the bible or the Gospel other than the brainwashing interpretations you have successfully adapted as your own thought. Jesus was right, but his message about he and his father were one, meant you too. We are ALL children of God. Believe it, or not.

    2. Sorry, I hope I didn’t come across as if I was trying to rebuke you or something along though lines, I was just putting forth the biblical truth about Jesus’ deity and His virgin birth 🙂

      1. Nike04, it’s all good. But the way you say, “I was just putting forth the biblical truth about Jesus’ deity and his virgin birth” I did not see the truth you speak of in that? I do not see your proof of statement. Am I missing something 🙂

    3. 2 Timothy 3:16- “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. As a Christian I believe the Bible is the internally-consistent, inerrant word of God. While I agree with the fact that the original scripture can be translated incorrectly, I don’t see this happening in any of the modern translations I have experienced (NIV, for example) which are consistent with the original Greek or Hebrew 🙂

    4. First , The mind Lady: You missed royally the point. When you understand God’s plan from Genesis to Revelation , there was s purpose: Redeemed men, to give them back what was supposed to his from the beginning : all the privileges that Christ exercise while on Ea. But then again this is by spiritual revelation we understand His purpose.
      Second to Allan you use the word hate very easily when caution is use, judge with one set of colored glasses is dangerous and will create more ostracize activities.
      Thirdly: The Lord has all called us to look after the weakest. He did say: Here I send you like sheeps among the wolve, to be prudent as snakes and gentle as doves (Matt 10:16 (yeah for concordance). And And a history teacher I always questions what was done in the past, what are the dangers attached to certain activities ( Like Hitler I was real happy that he did not pay to his history classes, he would have known not to go to Russia in October.
      Relating to History`When the Allies when to war they went in to protect the weak ones, the other countries took some of the refugees, offer them asylum and encouraged them to go back in their country to rebuilt. Why can this option being suggested to take them for awhile and encourage them to go back to rebuilt after the threat is gone.
      Remember Sodome and Gomorrha were destroyed not only for their many sexual sins, bt also they did not care for the weak ones.( Ezechiel: 16 : 49).
      Fiftly, when it is said thou shall not kill it is about killing with premeditation, mot about killing to protect one self.in Hebrew original it is clear. We have all the right to protect our loved ones, otherwise how did Israel would see protecting their ones without using their weapons.
      6, if we look at history again, Jordania use to be a peaceful and Christian country attending and protecting Israel, now a flag similar to it (Jordanian illegal immigrants in Israel) is used to represent PLO. In fact, it became a muslim country in a matter of one century… simply because imans in the country encourage their families to have babies. Should we not be concerned yes we should. I see what is happening in England in Germany with their number increasing and their desire is to implement their sharia laws by which law, they want every one to abide. They do feel that the law of the land worthy to be observed and respected.
      As for Win T, you are right. cautious so we do not put at harm length my loved ones, and the weak ones of my countries, like the widows, the old folks loosing more and more of their pension, the fatherless child, our native people who don’t get good water, and so on. I DO NOT ADVOCATE TO REFUSE, I DO NOT NOT. But to be cautious is paramount, so we can still help the weak ones, and not choose on tribal choices or religions. Yes we are called to help, be prudent. I have seen to many immigrant living of welfare, living in a third million dollars homes while our social welfare for the children is cut. Prudence is important. Watch the behaviors and from their make tour assessment.

    5. I am sorry you had such a negative experience with the church. Sadly, it happens all too often. Just remember, the church is not God. God would not do some of the things the church does. The church is filled with humans who make mistakes and do not always reflect God’s true character. Even if you give up on the church, don’t give up on God.

  15. “We don’t get to hunt around for excuses for why we don’t need to include “those people” in the category of “neighbour.” We don’t get to look for justifications for why it’s better to build a wall than open a door.”

    I asume this means if 14 random strangers arrive at your door, requesting a play date with your children: They get in, in fact you may as well Just take the door off the hinges, because “What Would Jesus Do”. Hey, a door is a wall, if you have one you give into fear propaganda. The Gospel is salvation from sin: Not a one size fits all policy for home Land security, or lack there of: The same God who directed Israel to treat the stranger with kindness, also directed Israel to rebuild the WALL after the captivity, as hostile nations surrounded them. What we “dont get do” is use guilt riddeled , make shift theology to win politicle arguments and put words in God’s mouth: When, in fact, he has left liberty for one man to lay Down his life before an enemy, while another may close a door out of love for those who are protected behind it.As always with these issues: We see people whippied into a emotional frenzy…and balance us post somewhere along the way.

      1. If only it was just 14 and it was the year 380 AD…..before islam.

        But it is 2015, the hate and beheading habits of islam are now involved. Islam changes everything, and we are talking about thousands and thousands. if only that was the end.
        But the rest of the families will follow and Europe will not have an answer for that, either.
        There will be millions of muslims. Europe deserted Christianity decades ago, so the only
        religion in Europe will be islam. Mosques will be everywhere and they will be full.
        The only answer is military action against ISIS, Taliban, etc. But, Europe has no stomach for battle.and does not care if Christianity disappears.

  16. Here’s a funny thought I just had. What if the refugees really are terrorists. BUT, Christians show them so much love and acceptance that they are converted and abandon their plans!

      1. Der Min girl, go where there are tragedies and they are right there, first in line, ignorance is not a bliss. And remember, Christians are just like you. You wish to see perfection… sadly, perfection like Christ is not here yet… living as a Christian is a process of getting carved like a sculpture in the creation He had called u to be! Be patitent. ANd I agre, to many people live it as a religion not a a faith and listening to Him. YOu are the type who would say CHristians are hypocrite.. I agre, because the world is! SO many are hurt and do not know where to go to receive hekp from rape mental abuses… And there are plenty of Christian places to attend theses needy people in the church. Measure your word Mind girl

  17. Ryan, Thank you for stretching my theology. I will consider it repayment for stretching your dehydrated calves so many years ago! Drew

  18. Reblogged this on yakk and commented:
    For those of you with questions and concerns regarding the current migrant/refugee headlines have a read of this from Ryan Dueck, a rather smart guy that I use to play football with back in the homeland…before I became a migrant! 🙂

  19. …”please understand that Jesus of Nazareth will be no friend or ally of yours when you attempt to make arguments about how the (real or imagined) badness of other people means that we have no obligation to them.”

    …that right there is the beat argument, yet, for throwing out decernment, well done.

    This whole article smacks of social gospel, liberation theology…and the authors of it (social justice that is) are currently talking about how individual rights are out-dated, how they need to be yealded for the common good (state), get ready for Francises’ indoctrination. Its super-awsome-popular.

    I swear, these theologens would argue that the human body needs to be liberated from all of that blood weighing it Down, because Jesus came to set the captives free. Time for a holy ghost blood letting!

  20. Thank you Ryan! So good! We had another 40.000 refugees arriving in Germany last week. I see people treating them very well here. Maybe we are just more propaganda sensitive… As I see it, if there is a will there is a way for any terrorist to enter regardless. I am more worried about our youth joining ISIS in Syria.

      1. You are ill-informed. Germany is not bearing “the bulk of this burden”. Jordan and Turkey (to a lesser degree) are.

  21. I agree with the content of this blog – I even found myself having a very similar conversation with an older man in our church not two days ago – but I’m also aware that it is far easier to pontificate than to participate. For example, I’m always a little wary of Christians who express outrage over abortion but have never adopted or fostered a child. Pontification is cheap and makes you look good. Participation is expensive and exhausting. I am ALL FOR welcoming in the refugee and the alien but I am also aware that it will be expensive, dangerous and exhausting. Before we all click like and join in our condemnation of the ever ubiquitous “other Christian” let’s just make sure we are ready for the higher taxes, potential fall out from the inevitable social difficulties and the higher demand upon social services from the government AND from the church. As I said, COUNT ME IN but to be clear, I’m counting YOU IN and everyone else who is making this public call. My experiences working with single moms and abandoned children have made me a little suspicious of cheap public stances. I don’t know you so please don’t take that as an accusation – you may already be “all in”. I’m just saying to all the folks who will click “like” and who will join in the chorus calling for more refugees and condemning those slow to come around on this: Show me the money. Show me the ministry. Show me the participation along with the pontification. This is a good ministry and a good call – now let’s do more than like it, let’s LIVE IT. If that’s the outcome, then praise the Lord.

      1. The church has been “putting up” for centuries. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Perfect, no. Involved, oh yeah!

  22. Jesus was talking about what the individual believer should do when confronted with individual need. His answer is clear: give help. And may God bless anybody who gives charity to people in need.

    The present problem is not about the individual level but the political level, however – it is about national populations. The part of the Bible to consult about that is the Old Testament, where God was running a nation, namely ancient Israel. People were welcome to come provided that they shared the same belief system (Yahwism) and were willing to obey the laws. The great majority of the present would-be migrants are Muslims, who are neither Christian nor secularist – Europe’s two main belief systems. 40% of Muslims want Sharia law enacted here according to polls, and the Quran commands conversion at swordpoint of persons who reject Islam. The problem is that the sons and grandsons of entrants will retain Islam and have equal legal rights with the sons and grandsons of the indigenous European populations whose sweat made Europe what it is today. So it is not unbiblical to have grave reservations about the present situation.

  23. In a perfect world we could probably ‘afford’ to take this line but we also have other concerns and responsibilities.
    Not being an eloquent, flowery writer, I went elsewhere for advice. Thanks to one of the best writers this country will know, here’s Bill Muehlenberg’s thoughts on this: “Baloney” 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/bmuehlenberg/posts/10207420392568749?comment_id=10207421089066161&ref=notif&notif_t=share_comment
    Read his commentary on this subject here:
    Subscribe to his Culture Watch blog, be informed

  24. Reblogged this on Shelter in the Midst of a Storm and commented:
    Critically important read. I could not have said it better myself. As I watch the reactions of my Romanian friends on FB to the Syrian crisis, my heart breaks. We are called to love…. to be on the side of the oppressed. For that is where Jesus is found.

    1. They’ve been oppressed. They don’t want to be fooled again. Step on to their side of the issue and see what they see. I’ve been there. They could use much grace as they sort out walking with God. Oppression and victimization in their past. Then the wall came down, and with much great ministry came much great debauchery. Internal problems with mafia and crooked politicians compounded by a huge orphan crisis left to them by a corrupt and Communist government. And you want them to take in refugees? Where is your grace for them? Who decides who the oppressed and “poor” are?

  25. Thank you, Ryan, for a powerful reminder of how Jesus taught us to live! You have written it very well. I am very interested to keep connected to your blogs and communications. I also grew up on a farm (northern Saskatchewan) in a Mennonite family. I work in international development in Asia and Africa, as well as Canada, so I interact with many people who are directly affected by the current crises in several countries and I also know that we are all part of God’s Family around the world. This is important to all of us (whether we realize it or not). I would like to be connected via blogs, etc.

  26. You may not feel the need to respond to non-christians who spread this sort of hate and hysteria, but it is equally reprehensible among secular people, just for different reasons. I understand you not wanting to address that, but as a secular person myself, I just want to state that it’s not okay to be a bigot just because you don’t have Jesus or God telling you not to be.

    I think this is excellently said, but I do take some affront to you saying that secular people’s main way of forming views and opinions is self interest. That’s disingenuous and frankly, kind of rude. Religion is a large factor in human morality, yes, but it is NOT a precursor to being a good person who is empathetic to the plight of others.

    I appreciate this post and your point of view, I just do not appreciate the implication that non-christians or non-religious people are allowed to be cruel or hateful because there’s no institution stopping them. There IS an institution telling them to stop, namely, the rest of society, secular or otherwise, that think hating people because of where they were born or other people from their country is completely reprehensible. Fear of divine consequences is not the only thing that can make someone a good person.

    1. Agreed. I was speaking directly to my own tribe here, but I wasn’t suggesting that non-Christians have a free pass. Not in any way. I didn’t say that all secular people are governed primarily by self-interest. I just said that if you are, then I’m not speaking to you here.

      I’m well aware that people’s views and ethics are formed and informed in many ways; my concern here was with those of us who claim to follow Jesus.

  27. It is one thing to be loving, it is altogether another to be naive in the name of love. I have no doubt a few of those refugees even some of the men of fighting age are truly refugees. However to ignore other facts also in the news such as the incident in Germany 2 mornings ago casts a light on the need for a balanced and careful approach to opening our doors to all who claim they are refugees.

    Within 24 hours of arriving in Germany, a group of Syrian refugees clashed with police and up flew ISIL flags. Call it fear mongering if you like. But facts are facts. *85% of the swarms consist of fighting aged men most of whom seem to have bad attitudes and are very confrontational with authorities wherever they go. It’s pretty obvious what they are doing. Great care and very careful screening must occur with every one of those refugees or the incursion in Germany will just be the first of many examples of the trojan horse cartoon being a difficult truth to swallow but true none the less. Be Blessed

    1. I agree Terry Mingus and John Wilson. To insinuate that the Christians who want to be careful who we allow to come into our country are somehow not as Christian as others is extremely insulting. Jesus loves the Muslims also. I know this. I sponsor 2 children from countries that have been devastated by this cult of death. I am a partner with 3 ministries with “boots on the ground” in these war ravaged places. I have a heart for these poor ones who have been so mistreated.
      Shame on you for saying that somehow you’re are a “better” Christian than me because I choose to believe that we must do our due diligence to ensure the people we are allowing into our country are genuine and not simply coming to bring the war here. That has nothing to do with fear, that has to do with wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.” Proverbs 6:17 & 18 “These six things the Lord hates,…Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans…”

      1. he never said he was better than you and i think what you do is great. This guy is not speaking down to us…speaking at us and the only haters will be the ones who get really mad….you are not one of the haters. I think you maybe took this the wrong way…. he seems to direct at the Christians who promote the hate and false lies being posted… my thoughts….. keep up that good work 🙂

      2. I agree with Terry Mingus and Laurence. And I also feel like the person who writes this article is trying to be “holier than thou”. I guess he is a much better Christian than I am.
        Because too man Christians did not make the move, that’s why Hiler could do what he did in Germany.

      1. I want to stop the notifications of this and I cannot see how to do this? It seems the whole church has shown up to tell how much Jesus hates Muslims, and I’m sick to death of reading the hate and delusions. Thanks for removing me from further notifications.

  28. Not sure I agree with the premise and the supporting conclusions. We are to Love our Neighbor. Granted, got it. We are to do as much for him as we can, but not do everything. Jesus commands us to Love our Neighbor as we Love ourselves. Here is the corollary; we are to love ourselves as much as we love our neighbor. Not selfish love, but love as God loves us. And it is really hard!

    But love is not conditional on ourselves being destroyed either. Culture is not love and love is not culture. Culture is humans living in groups as they deem fit. If a culture is destructive, do we love by allowing that culture to destroy ours? No. When the disciples were spreading the word from town to town, Jesus said if they do not accept you, wipe the dust from your feet and move on. He did not say stop loving them. He said if they do not accept you… move on. There is a two way street here that must be met.

    The refugees are people. We must love them. They are from a destructive culture. We must love them. If they do not accept our cultural ways, we must love them… and move on.

  29. Ordinarily, I try to respond to comments on an individual level, but this post has kind of taken off and I can’t really keep up. Instead, I’ll offer a general response to some of the themes that have been popping up consistently, whether in the comments section here or on Facebook.

    1. First, I want to thank everyone for responding and engaging with this piece. Thanks to those who spoke affirming and encouraging words. Thanks to those who took the time to offer measured and reasoned critiques. And thanks to those whose comments, in tone and content, quite nicely illustrated the main point of the post. ☺

    2. Many seem to think that I am advocating “blindly accepting refugees.” This is not the case. The Canadian government (painfully slowly) screens all refugees before they arrive in our country. This is good, appropriate, and necessary. I am not saying, “Fling open the doors, no questions asked.” My critique in this piece was targeted very specifically at Christians and how they speak and engage with this issue.

    3. A number of people are critical of this piece for its “self-righteous” tone or think that I am setting up myself as “more Christian” than others. This was not my intent, and I sincerely regret it if I came across that way. What I was trying to do was to hold up observable and quite prominent Christian speech and online behaviour on this issue of Syrian refugees to the teaching of Jesus. I am asking the question, “How ought we to speak about and act toward our enemies given what the one we claim to follow taught?”

    4. Many said something to the effect of, “Oh yeah, well can you practice what you preach? Could you love someone who was trying to hurt you or those you loved?” The honest answer is, I don’t know. I pray that I could, but I know that I betray Jesus in countless ways every day. But no matter how poorly I represent Jesus, the fact that I (or anyone else) can’t implement what Jesus teaches consistently or perfectly doesn’t mean that we stop holding it up as the standard.

    5. Some were critical of the abstract nature of the article (words are easy, but what are you doing about it?!). I realize that many people who commented are first time readers of this blog, so it is perhaps worth pointing out that I am part of an initiative in my city to bring a number of Syrian families here. This is not a self-congratulatory note; it is simply to say that I’m not just writing about this stuff. It’s part of my daily life and work.

    6. It’s worth noting how rarely those critical of the piece actually engaged the words of Jesus about how his followers are to relate to enemies. A few suggested that Jesus was talking only about “personal” enemies and that we should look to the OT for advice about how to deal with political enemies (a horrifying prospect, if ever there was one). But mostly, people just left Jesus’ words alone. Mostly, people just effectively said, “Yeah, well Jesus said that, but it’s not very practical so we don’t have to try.” Or, “Yes, Jesus said love your enemies, but not the really awful and violent ones.” And yet, there have been Christians from the early church down to the present who have sacrificed their lives precisely out of a conviction that Jesus meant exactly what he said and he meant it to apply to actual awful, violent enemies.

    7. I’m left wondering about what some of the critics think our attitude toward enemies, as followers of Jesus should be. Do you read a cautiously pragmatic approach in stories like the Good Samaritan? What do we do with this Saviour who commanded such hard things and then went out and died for his conviction to live them out?

    8. Finally, I was hesitant to even include a reference to ISIS in connection with the refugees in the initial post because it grieves me that people so easily and regularly conflate those two groups, and it grieves me that people would use the word “enemy” for a desperate family looking for a home. But it’s probably worth a reminder that the vast majority of the people we’re talking about here are women, children, and men who are fleeing a truly desperate situation. I’ve spoken to people on the ground. I’ve heard their stories. They are heartbreaking. These are not our enemies. These are our neighbours, and potentially our friends. It’s time to love them.

    That’s all I have time for today. Again, many thanks for the response to this post. It’s been pretty overwhelming. Mostly in a good way. 🙂

    1. I don’t agree with you on a few levels, but I appreciate your heart and for risking it out here in the blogosphere. A new command I give to you, love one another. How we go about doing that is the best part of the debate here. Obviously, it doesn’t look the same to all of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Grace and peace.

    2. In my little circle of FB friends, this article has provoked a lot of discussion. I expressed the view that I disagreed with it and was challenged by the gal who posted it (a dear sister in Christ) and answer why, biblically. I’d been thinking hard ever since she asked and this was the interim response I provided, more or less as a starter to further discussion (which it certainly provoked. Before posting it below, though, Ryan, I’d like to thank you for starting off on this conversation ~ you have believers across Canada and perhaps around the world seriously engaging the implications of our faith. Here was my initial response (lightly edited).

      “I don’t think Ryan Dueck and I have much of a biblical disagreement on this issue so far as I can see at the moment (I am sure that we have many theological issues that would separate us, but not this so much).

      If Ryan were asking me to care for people in distress, to help them feed and clothe their families, to extend protection to them, to ensure their medical emergencies found a response, I wouldn’t have much of an issue provided the people with whom we are dealing were well-vetted. Jesus commended the good Samaritan for such caring ~ how can I object?

      But that is not what Ryan is asking us to do. What Ryan is asking extends far beyond that. It would be like the Samaritan bringing the man who fell among thieves into his home and saying, “now, friend, you have a voice equal to mine in how we will use the fruit our household produces, you have an equal say with me in how my children shall be raised, what we shall teach them in regard to right and wrong, how my wife will dress and interact with others, what books I shall read in the future, what the household rules shall be. Your voice is like mine, and your values are of equal validity in the conduct of my household affairs as my own. And if you choose to bring others whom I don’t know into my household, feel free. Do so, and their voice and opinion about how we conduct our affairs, about right and wrong, what is proper and what is not, will be just like yours and mine. What my children deem right and respect and honour and what they should oppose will be as much the concern of you and those you bring into my household as it is of my own self”

      I don’t see any warrant anywhere in Scripture, in the Old Testament or the New, to cede freely such power over ourselves and our children into the hands of people who reject Christ and indeed who have persecuted Him. Why would anyone think it a good thing to give people who have openly expressed hatred for us and our values and our God, power over how we define ourselves and the laws we enact? Especially when we can see clearly what kind of nations the values they cherish have built? It is one thing to love your enemies, it is a different thing to surrender to them or deliver yourself into their hands.”

      I expect characterizing those hostile to the gospel as enemies will engender significant opposition and that what I have said will open me to accusations from some brothers and sisters that I am hateful, or unchristian, or unloving or worse and that causes me sorrow, but I am speaking what is in my heart, What else can I do?

      1. Check Romans 12:20 which quotes, almost directly, Proverbs 25:21-22.

        Considering that most of Romans 12 describes what the transformed life of Romans 12:1-2 points to, this radical love of enemy seems to be evidential of that transformed life as well. So, while I agree that the story of the good Samaritan doesn’t seem to work to well in this, we can look to Proverbs and Romans for some good text on it… but then we look at Jesus actually taking the “shortcut” to go through enemy territory (Samaria) to get back home and actually having a conversation with a scandalous Samaritan woman and THEN having the audacity to actually stay two days with them, to spend time among them… and by staying two days, he didn’t stay in a nice Jewish hotel with room service… no, he probably stayed in the home of one of these mortal enemies of proper Jews.

        So, I think I’ll have to disagree… there is certainly warrant in Scripture, both OT and NT, both in the writings of Paul and in the teachings and examples of Jesus, for those of us who are Jesus’ followers to take that risk and welcome our enemies into our homes. Because, common sense speaking here, what better way to show them that you’re not like everyone else, out to kill them and destroy them, than to open your home and show them that you care for them?

    3. “A number of people are critical of this piece for its “self-righteous” tone…” Constant use of the pronoun “I” will do that.

  30. The apostles were afraid of Saul but Barnabas was not. (Acts 9:26-27) I wonder what was going through his mind and how he prayed before he reached out to Saul.

    1. How did you get that people opposed to allowing refugees into our country without first ensuring that they are indeed refugees are anti-immigration? And apparently I don’t follow Jesus because I disagree? Hmmm. The term self-righteous comes to mind.

  31. These thoughts have been swirling through my mind. I teach children’s Sunday School. All those lessons I teach and that I learned in Sunday School when I was growing up seem to NOT be relevant in the vocal Christian circles…like loving my enemies, everything that I have really belongs to God, investing in the eternal kingdom, etc. Selfishly I want to protect what I have for myself and my children and grandchildren. But I don’t think this is what the Bible teaches.

  32. Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
    Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
    Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
    Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
    Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
    Confucians living with Baha’is = No Problem
    Baha’is living with Jews = No Problem
    Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
    Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
    Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
    Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
    Hindus living with Baha’is = No Problem
    Baha’is living with Christians = No Problem
    Christians living with Jews = No Problem
    Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
    Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
    Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
    Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
    Confucians living with Hindus = No Problem
    Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
    Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
    Muslims living with Christians = Problem
    Muslims living with Jews = Problem
    Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
    Muslims living with Baha’is = Problem
    Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
    Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
    Muslims living with Muslims = BIG PROBLEM
    **********SO THIS LEADS TO; *****************
    They’re not happy in Gaza
    They’re not happy in Egypt
    They’re not happy in Libya
    They’re not happy in Morocco
    They’re not happy in Iran
    They’re not happy in Iraq
    They’re not happy in Yemen
    They’re not happy in Afghanistan
    They’re not happy in Pakistan
    They’re not happy in Syria
    They’re not happy in Lebanon
    They’re not happy in Nigeria
    They’re not happy in Kenya
    They’re not happy in Sudan
    ******** So, where are they happy? **********
    They’re happy in Australia
    They’re happy in England
    They’re happy in Belgium
    They’re happy in France
    They’re happy in Italy
    They’re happy in Germany
    They’re happy in Sweden
    They’re happy in the USA

    They’re happy in Canada
    They’re happy in Norway

    They’re happy in India
    They’re happy in almost every country that is not
    Islamic! And who do they blame? Not Islam…
    Not their leadership… Not themselves… THEY BLAME
    to change the countries they’re happy in,
    to be like the countries they came from where
    they were unhappy!

    Palestine Liberation Front: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
    And many more.

    Muslim Terrorists list;
    The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
    The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
    The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
    The underwear Bomber was a Muslim
    The U.S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
    The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
    The Bafi Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
    The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
    The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims
    The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
    The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
    The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
    The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
    The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims
    The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Musiims
    The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
    The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
    The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
    The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
    The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims
    The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
    The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
    The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims
    The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
    The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims
    Just sayin’.

    1. all the crime committed in northamerica or the world for that matters….. all the crimes in America…70 percent were done by Christians that is what the percentage of Christians are there….the mass shooting done by christians…burning churches…done by christians…. therre just as many eveil crimes committed by christians as by muslims… it just not reported their faith in every criminal act or shootings…go promote your hate to the KKK

      1. Yet Christians don’t want to go and live in the Middle East.

        Let’s see your statistical analysis to show that Christians commit 70% of crime in America, and if that should matter given 80-90% of the general population so identify, making Christians less likely than non-Christians to commit crime.

        Mass shootings done by Christians? Name one. Not Anders Brevik who only identified as a cultural Christian (like Richard Dawkins), not the Columbine killers who believed they were enacting natural selection… who then?

        Burning churches done by Christians? Maybe. But no evidence.

        As many evil crimes done by Christians? In the US, over a period of 50 years, about 8 people have been killed by anti-abortionists perhaps acting in the name of Christ. At Charlie Hebdo 12 people were killed in one afternoon by people definitely acting in the name of Islam.

        You’re obviously a product of the modern education system that teaches you to label people “haters” and pull random claims out of thin air, than actually engage in rational thought and argument. You have my condolences.

      2. Allen Diggle comment: Blaming US crime on Christianity? I know of just about no crime done in the US that was done in the name of Christianity. The fact that some criminal once went to Sunday School age 8 does not make that person a Christian or that there is any Christian connection.

      3. I can tell from your deadly incorrect evidence that you are desperate to nail Christians and Christianity….blaming school shootings on Christians! I am hard pressed to recall a criminal in the US who had any Christian connection. On the other hand, muslims are notorious for evoking Allah at the time of the crime, letting all know it is all about Allah. Islam encourages
        and rewards murder. But you have no criticism for islam. If you do not want to be a Christian…do that. But what is the point of mocking and ridiculing Christians?

      4. Allan Diggle you are showing your ignorance. Are you saying that being an “American” means one is a “Christian?” Laughable.

      5. to Allen Diggle. Well, by your own words, there is nothing Christian about you. Your ridiculous statistics on crime in the US done by Christians.— What a set of lies. There are ZERO Christian crimes in the US. Nobody commits a crime for Jesus and then all other Christians join in and praise the Christian crime. Never happened. The fact that criminals once went to Sunday School or sat in a church several times—-does NOT make them Christian
        criminals. BUT—islam is different. The muslims do commit murders in the name of allah and then other muslims praise this murder—-because killing for allah is part of islam.

        There is muslim crime.—sanctioned by islam.
        There is no Christian crime —sanctioned by Christianity

        You are deliberately trying to equate islam and Christianity by stating that both are pretty much the same. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME in any way. No real Christian would ever say what you are proposing.

  33. So how many Syrian refugees are you housing? When will you be giving a Syrian refugee your job? Oh… and did you know that over 70% of these “refugees” are men? Hmmm. And by the way, There are more commands in the Bible that do not line up with a simplistic “open door immigration” policy you recommend.

    But I wouldn’t want to confuse you with the facts. How many refugees are you housing again?

      1. Ryan, your answer is also what is meant with your “self righteousness” I assume. There is something about your attitude which puts lots of very loving Pastors in a bad light – which I personally find very sad. I have written a little bit more about myself further down. Post like yours concern me as they don’t spread love but just the opposite as you can read for yourself if you take time to read the comments.

  34. Love. That is the same argument made by homosexuals to gain a foothold onto Christian church leadership positions. “We are can love our ‘spouse'”(sic) same gender or nor opposite gender. We should accept gay marriage, because after all Jesus great command is to love one another.

    This is a foolish argument and is not Christian.
    Jesus said that we are to be wise, that means not foolish.
    To allow our enemies to occupy our land is a fools game.

    I believe this author of this post might be Christian and he may well be politically motivated through his socialist ideology.

    1. You are right Molly and her family are involved deep in Christianity and proud to count them all as friends and brothers ans sisters. This family believe that God is God and we, the followers are servant of this mighty God. They keep the word above our choices, it should guide each of us our path, because it serves as a light to our path (Ps 119). Remember also we are call to love our neighbour, but the Lord also supplied different gifts and ministry to hoover over the works of the church. He choose to give wisdom to some, others jumping blindly into adventures and full of love. It is like an army where everyone has a place… But above all, lets keep it in prayers where all the big fights tale place, where victories are gained. The Lord has a purpose to claimed His own that are still behind the spiritual enemies lines. It is a tough lines to take, but before making a decision ask God where do you fit in it, instead of arguing over if or not, You ask, He shall answer, such a great God He is. Pray and read and the answer to be revealed. It is clear! And to accused of our numbness, we are all at different stage in our life and we need to encourage one and other to grow in lov not in expertise at throwing spears at each other, (some would have olympian skill in the art of throwing stones and spears.) Saddly enough. Where each of is our own heart. Where each in his her town fit in this crisis? This where we need to attend. Also Christ said if we don’t take care of our own we are not worthy as well. We have our poor too. So keep a balance mind, wise and prudent.

  35. The refugees *are* mostly Muslim.
    Islam *does* have a history of convert-or-die proslyting.
    There are almost *certainly* terrorists among them.

    None of that is relevant to whether the one who follows Christ shelters and feeds them.

    To ignore His instruction, and disregard His clear words,
    is to turn Him away, Himself:

    “Love your enemies.”

    “I was hungry, and you fed me.
    Thirsty, and you gave me drink.
    I was naked, and you clothed me…
    When you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.”

    When you do not love them, you do not love Him.

    If you follow the One who gave his life tovsve others,
    you either hold your own life in your hand loosely, and give to those in need…
    …or you follow Him to that spit, and no further.

    Love does not seek its own,
    Love loves.

    And His disciples are known by their love.

    Not their wisdom.
    Not their discretion.

    They know we follow Him by our love.

    The one who does not love, doesn’t know God,
    for God is love.

    Love love to death.

    If you gave Him your life, He can spend it as He pleases, can’t He?

    Little children, love one another.

  36. YES! When we had the opportunity to help a young couple from Iran come to Canada I confess I had some of those troubling thoughts and misgivings but Love won out and I came to understand more of who Jesus is and who he wants me to be in the process.

  37. I agree with this to a point. There is such a thing as testing and judging spirits. As a matter of fact, 1 John 4:1-3 says:

    “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

    There is a very fine line between “respecting” someone’s religion and harboring it. What if I told you my “religion” was to skin and eat all the American children that I possibly could? Would you respect that? Would you let me in your house? In your neighborhood? In your schools? Heck, in your country?

    Also, for physical nourishment (food and drink) and physical care (lack of clothes and sickness) care and food can always be sent by way of transportation, what do you think Christian missionaries do? Open doors, Compassion Radio, Voice of the Martyrs and may other actual “boots on the ground” Christ honoring organizations are doing just that, they are going to where the trouble is, doing all of what Christ said in that passage you quoted in Revelation.

    If you feel so strongly, I recommend getting involved with one of these ministries and putting action to your words.

    As Christians, we are to be wise. We are not supposed to just let ANYONE into our lives or even across our boarders, especially if they mean us harm, if that was so, 1 John 4:1-3 (from before) and 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 wouldn’t make sense:

    “14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?”

    So, while I do agree with you that we cannot permanently judge others (that is God’s job/call), the bible gives us clear instruction that we need to be wise and weary because not all people that come into our lives, or even across our boarders mean to help us.

    Sin is alive in this world, and many, many people are still under its influence. The only real way to be sure is to watch the actions of those individuals and pray both of which take time.

    The biggest problem is that when speaking of boarder control America needs to be on the correct page first, we need to have the correct foundation to either allow or revoke access the U.S.A. That foundation is the bible, but, we all know how that is going in the public eye.

    Without the correct foundation, we cannot, nor can the government, ever properly understand, or initiate and maintain a proper boarder control situation.

  38. First off, it is a very good reply for how to be a good Christian, but you are actually mixing up the west as an extension of your Christianity. In Canada, we can privately sponsor refugees, and many Christians have been doing this for years now. Have you? That said, it is ultimately up to Canada and Canada’s interests how many and whom they choose. Helping refugees is no way the same thing as letting them all into a specific country or region. Political policy isn’t made by asking what Jesus would do. Political policy isn’t an extension of Christian charity either, unless you are a citizen of the Vatican. Fear and loathing is wrong, but it is OK to not want numerous refugees in when you work in institutions that are on the front lines of receiving them in Canada and are already terribly underfunded and having trouble coping with the kids (some refugees) already in the schools. We could cope by implementing huge policy changes and money infusions, but Provincial governments don’t do that just because the Feds make one decision, nor do Provincial governments dole funds out directly to the institutions tasked with taking the refugees in (education, healthcare and social services). Right now, no matter how well meaning people are, they will not be tasked with funding the very broken social institutions that will bear the brunt of it. Christians seem to also feel fine using non-Christian’s money for their evangelizing efforts (I say this as a Christian) and that is ridiculous. If Canada says they can’t afford more than X number of refugees, calling the Government anti-Christian is equally ridiculous, the government, many members who are Christian, are tasked with much more than just being a charity to a media-darling group of people (who were largely ignored until Alan Kurdi’s photo went viral).

    So, although I won’t post silly fear and loathing posts about the migrants flooding Europe, nor do I think the solution to being Christlike is to having everyone immigrate to a few generous countries (Western Europe isn’t particularly Christian these days). Your article seems to equate not agreeing with western governments taking in all the refugees flooding across boarders in search of better benefits as akin to not being Christlike. I think better systems need to be in place for accepting refugees than simply physically showing up in a country. I think each country (including the Gulf States) taking set quotas is a great idea, not an evil or unchristian one, the Gulf states can most certainly afford it. I think if Christians really wanted to reach the Syrians, they could go work in one of the numerous refugee camps in Turkey or Lebanon (I have Christian relatives working there right now with them). But I do think a stricter, not open-er policy is politically wise right now. Certain cities in Canada are at capacity for taking in refugees, but the Feds don’t have any controls on where the refugees settle. The Feds also don’t fund Provincial social service budgets, provincial health or education budgets. If they do give transfer payments, they can’t ensure that money goes directly to refugees (it isn’t their jurisdiction).

    It isn’t the fear of ISIS, it is a quick summation of our capacity to host low income earning refugees that leads to my decision. If Christians were really doing their jobs, there wouldn’t be any kids in foster care either, they’d be truly adopted into forever homes. But my special needs adopted son is on a four -year long waitlist for supports for his special needs. What about all the kids already here? Or are media focused groups more appealing? By the way, I have never feared any recently arrived refugee group in Canada. But what do you know of second generation refugee children? Look at Europe, especially the countries that took in huge numbers: Netherlands, Belgium and France. Their terror threats are not from refugees, but the kids of earlier refugees. Why? too many, too quickly. Results: ghettoization, poverty, refusal to integrate, nor a need to, they live surrounded by their own culture, no need to integrate with the nationals.

    I do feel for the refugees, but the solution isn’t for all of them to have a Western Standard of living. It is to getting services in the camps. Even if Europe accepts all the migrants right now, millions upon millions more are still in camps *inside* Syria, and about 4 million are in neighbouring countries. They could all use help right now, not just the few who are crossing boarders to claim refugee status. With time, countries can sponsor some. Canada has been doing this for years in camps all over the world. Why should refugees from Sudan or Somalia or Burma be put on hold because Syrians are in the news and they are not?

    If you want to truly be Christlike, try not to get caught up in hype instead ask what it is God would have you do right now. I doubt it is to tell other Christians, some of whom know more than you about this entire situation, and don’t come to your exact conclusions that they aren’t being Christlike. Again, how many Syrians did you sponsor BEFORE the photo of Alan Kurdi circulated in the media? How much did you donate BEFORE his photo gained worldwide attention? God knew of Alan’s plight long before his story hit the media. Did you listen to God then?

    Remember, Jesus was a refugee too, never did he teach people to go on a wealth and benefit search. Being effective at bringing Christ to the nations is about bring the Spirit’s transformative power, not social welfare donations. Christ had no place to lay his head. Do you realize Christ isn’t to the left or right of the political spectrum? For 180,000 years humans were nomadic wanderers with no permanent dwellings. They lived off the land and hunted and gathered. Why is it suddenly a Christian imperative that everyone needs a western residency when we offer charity?

  39. It’s hard how to take this post, there are so many ppl who follow Christianity as a religion, who do not have a relationship with Christ, who can miss quote a few or even a dozen pieces of scripture incorrectly, who went to Sunday school and whose parents where Christians so they thought they inherited the religeon, I can’t see anyone living in Christ saying this stuff or doing anything but wanting to pray for these desperate ppl who need somewhere to go, the immigration vs refugee debate has been so polarised by the press in both directions that it’s no surprise that the same thing has happened in social media

    1. The refugees and other migrants in the daily press were fine and safe in Turkey and Lebanon. It is a sad situation and people are looking for more, but the global required response is to make sure they are safe, provided for and secure in their camps (all UN camps, world wide). All western countries will likely do more for certain refugees, but those can be based on policy, overall national capacity and needs before committing to one group of refugees amongst thousands all over the world.

  40. Hmph. Typical “Christian” responses. You don’t agree with my doctrine – You must be wrong because me and my denomination are the only ones on the right track. That’s why I don’t go to church any more. Too many factions. Makes me feel ill.

  41. Someone I know posted the blog on facebook. This was my reply and I would add to Mr Duecks rebuttal to someone who called him self-righteous that the pronoun ‘I’, which is the most common pronoun in the piece will do that…

    A lot of confused thinking by Mr Dueck. It’s often not clear whether he is talking about Christians or governments, two obviously distinct and different entities. While Christians are obligated out of obedience and love to always open the door to whoever God sends their way, governments are not. Now if Christians want to lobby their governments to do God’s work that’s another matter and all the more power to them. But governments are brutal and unwieldy when attempting to do things they were not designed to do. Mr Dueck may believe that governments should be compassionate and concerned for the welfare of others but that is the real ‘pie in the sky’ because they operate with all kinds of other concerns, not least of which is money. He’s right that Jesus did say a lot of ‘weird’ things and he said “beware the leaven of the Pharisees” (hypocrisy). There are a lot of unscrupulous actors in this drama (politicians and others).

    Mr Dueck also is coming across as rather fashionable, topical and bloggable. Where has he been for the last four years? The persecution of Christians,Yazidis and Kurds in Syria and Northern Iraq has been going on since at least 2011 and the refugees have been massing in the large camps in Northern Jordan (Zaatari) and Eastern Turkey. The migrants showing up in Europe are not from any of these groups. The real refugees are not getting out and there are a lot of women and children. Up to 4 million of them by recent estimates. But speaking of women and children it’s not difficult to notice that the bulk of ‘refugees’ (they are mostly migrants) are men. Like the real men on the Titanic shouldn’t it be women and children first? Who leaves the women and children behind to fight it out?

    And Mr Dueck also displays muddled thinking on enemies. Whose enemies? The governments or Christians? Jesus pretty much promised that Christians would have enemies but in every case he indicates that they would be people we know not who the government of the day says our enemies are. It’s certainly not clear who he thinks we think our enemies are. That is a straw man argument anyway. I don’t know one and have never met a Christian who said or thinks that Muslims/Arabs or _________(fill in demo group here) are their enemies.

    On the business of money and giving Mr Dueck seems to be saying let’s pull out all the stops. Again who should be doing this? Should Christians or churches just be handing out their pin numbers to whoever comes along asking for help? No one or no church I have ever belonged to has ever operated that way.
    Our premier recently said she would pony up $10.5 million for 10,000 additional refugees. Uh, do the math. That’s a tad over $1000 per person, just about a month or two of financial aid. What about month three, four… (see comment above about leaven…)?

    This is a very serious matter. And many are in a blood-pressure-elevating state of being about it but the real refugees are not getting help. Another thing Mr Dueck alludes to (very unkindly I might add) is this 20th and 21st century phenomenon called a ‘worldview’. We have not been designed by God to digest all the horrors of this world and comprehend it. That is way above our pay grade. But Jesus did always refer to those people immediately around us.

    1. Thank you, Paul, for your outstanding comment. I think, that the topic is misguided in so many ways by the author. Even in his other comments in this section he doesn’t even seem to find any fault.

  42. In general Christians are not paranoid. We simply accept reality. The reality is that the Muslim world wants us dead. As a Christian how exactly are we suppose to respond to this? Turn the other cheek? I think not. When a group of people have loudly and continually proclaimed that they will kill me and all that I love my response is simple. Kill or be Killed!

    1. You’ve basically just declared Christianity to be a militaristic political faction whose integrity is maintained by using weapons to fight for it. And that’s fine, but please don’t confuse this right-wing, white-man, capitalist construct for Biblical Christianity. They are worlds apart.

      Remember that Paul said, “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 the heavenly places.” I’m not sure how exactly can you reconcile Paul’s words with your call to arms, which is based on nothing more than a presumption (which is in turn based on ethnic and religious prejudice) that these people are indeed infiltrated terrorists and murderers of Christians? I suppose Jesus should have pulled an AK-47 on the Roman soldiers when they came to crucify Him? Or maybe the apostles should have gone and killed all those plotting against them and putting them in jail? You know, to preserve “their way of life”?

  43. This is an outstanding article! When we choose to name ourselves as Christians, we take upon ourselves an enhanced obligation to welcome the strangers of our world, to return good for evil, and in so doing to make ourselves vulnerable, trusting in God’s protection rather than our own strength and wisdom. We commit ourselves to stop trying to win, and begin seeking to serve, without counting the cost. Yet those themes are almost entirely absent from the rhetoric that presents itself as representing Christianity, particularly in North America… and we can’t just blame the mainstream/traditional media, when individual Christians are perpetuating the same rhetoric in their personal social media use. Thank you for an uncomfortable and profoundly important article.

  44. As Christians we were taught to welcome the stranger, the lepers, ….. So Europe, specifically Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, etc. has literally millions of displaced people knocking on the gates. Within the memory of many all these countries have had internal difficulties with minorities. Canada, and the US though belligerent in this story have so far been dragging their feet. , What we are conveniently doing is sowing the seeds of future conflict. If every possible effort fails to rehome 4.5 million people…. they will (like Thomas More’s sheep) eat up our civilization.

  45. Wonder why the same sanctuary is not afforded to those Syrian Christians who are getting beheaded? Why is it only Muslims we’re feeling pangs of sympathy for? Also, why aren’t any of the oil rich Muslim countries being forced to take refugees? But, I guess I shouldn’t be asking questions. I should just go along.

  46. Self-righteous Christian chastising self-righteous Christians…hahahahahahaha!!!!!…I’m not sure if that’s the ultimate in irony, hypocracy…or both! If young Ryan was showing some proof of his plan to (a) take in and care for his share of illegal immigrants and (b) outline the “fair go” explanation he was going to give to the many, MANY thousands of genuine refugees who will have to continue on waiting lists and in camps following the rules in fairness for their turn at asylum, (as opposed to the agressive, illegal, cheating, fight-is-right hoardes who walk over the top of them), then I could perhaps have some time for his “hide behind Jesus” solution to reality. Suggesting religious solutions to problems created out of religious bigotry is akin to promoting world peace at an arms convention.

  47. “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.” (1 Tim 4:14-15)

    “6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.” (2 Thes 1:6-7)

  48. The only way I could take Ryan seriously if he showed proof that he leaves his house unlocked for anyone to enter.. after all, isn’t that what he is asking countries to do?? let the poor into your house to feed in the fridge and dress themselves, take a tv, threaten your children.. but it would be hypocritical to keep the door closed…….. well, Ryan, do you?

  49. Are you kidding me? Since when is “love your neighbor” a good reason to totally stop using your brain. We can love these people without endangering our loved ones. Don’t act like Jesus is a pushover just because he chose to be submissive. We’re talking about the guy who formed a whip and drove a bunch of chumps out of the temple to protect his Father’s house… Not to say that America is equivalent to the Lord’s temple, but the point is that those men were destroying something that Jesus thought to be important. Jesus had a backbone and chose to act, even if it meant becoming aggressive. Again, don’t compare my zeal for America to that of Jesus’ for his father’s house, but I myself find America and my loved ones quite important.
    You seem to think you understand the Bible pretty well, so you must realize that Jesus ended up dying for the same men who were selling animals in temple. Just because he drove them out and didn’t let them stay doesn’t mean he LOVED them any less.

  50. It is a very complicated issue on many levels, and I fear not as cut and dry as the author is making it… It’s not fair, and seems quite judgemental, to say that those who have a different opinion are “hating…”

  51. I don’t believe that being cautious is a form of hate. Like a previous reader said, are you gonna invite someone into your home who poses a potential threat to your family? We can not ignore what is going on around us in the world n just blindly believe that God will protect us without using our common sense… How many christian people are being murdered daily in townships, on our farms n within our communities without any devine intervention to save them from these threats that already live among us… I guarantee every one who is acting all righteous now will be the first to point fingers if anything happens to their families due to these terrorist acts. I say rather be safe than sorry later…

  52. I’m noticing the same. Where I expected compassion and understanding I am finding nothing but xenophobia and rabble-rousing from my Christian acquaintances. I loved how you articulated the Way of Christ at this time in history. Just a tiny niggle… The Syrians are not our enemy. There are plenty of instances of Christ’s loving example to the ‘other’ without the need to preface your scriptural examples with how we should treat our ‘enemies’.

  53. If I was ISIS, I would send as many of my most deadly gunmen as possible, disguised as refugees to freely hop across into western countries claiming fear, where they could lay in wait for a world changing huge co-ordinated attack. This is not fear or hate mongering, it may not even be the case, but if I was ISIS, that is what I would do. – Just sayin’

      1. They’re not, Jennifer. Islamists coming/returning to Europe typically come by train and plane, and are not among the thousands of innocents who die in boats on the mediterrean. (Why Kibil wants to call this ‘freely hopping into Europe’ stupifies me.) They’d be stupid to choose that form of transport..

  54. It really is straight forward. It only becomes difficult when our fears get in the way, even though they are unjustified or exaggerated. I didn’t want to accept “boat people” for a long time until the gospel became clear to me. Read and pray over scripture and quiet your fears and see if you see the situation any differently.

  55. A colleague of mine posted this on Facebook. Your thoughts? Mine are posted below:

    As I have said numerous times on Facebook, “The Syrian refugees must be helped and ISIS must be stopped.” That being said, the author said the following:

    “Even if all of the wildest and most imaginative prognostications that we encounter in conversation or online are true—even if the Syrian refugees at our door are actually a smokescreen for a frothing horde of Muslim terrorists hell-bent on the destruction of all that is good and true in the world, even if opening our doors will hasten the demise of Western civilization, even if there are only a few short steps from granting asylum to Syrian refugees to the widespread implementation of Sharia law, even if the welcome of desperate war-torn refugees somehow (inexplicably) means that we are ushering in certain death of all that we love and hold dear…”

    So the question becomes: “Where does the Christ-like responsibility begin, to lovingly help (with their permission) all self-identified Syrian Refugees begin, without equally surrendering our Christ-like responsibility (without their permission) to our families, loved ones and civil society?” The continued preservation of which, helps to ensure future benevolence etc., for still other refugees in the future? Exactly where is the appropriate balance in the both biblically and principly in the author’s argument? Because, if we are to take him at his word, then there really isn’t one person, after having read this article, that shouldn’t literally prepare themselves to surrender right now, every bit of food, all material possessions, every red cent, and the physical health and well-being related to their spouse, children, family, friends and country… just because these Syrians have the tragic status of being refugees. That status, according to the author, trump’s ALL other things… Why be supremely responsible to the first, but not the latter? And with it, we risk mightily, all that we love and are responsible for, to make into “refugees” as well…

    This is what not only makes his argument biblically incomplete, but also absurd. Because we are not called by Christ to “love our enemies” in such a way, that necessarily means in action, despising others in our lives, that we are also called to love, provide for and protect…

    By extension, given the author’s logic, and his all-or nothing argument:

    God should be willing to surrender Heaven, just because Satan desires to extend his Hell.

    Can we do better helping others? Absolutely! But for the sake of the world, let us all hope that the praxis of our Christian benevolence, is better than the efficacy of his argument here…

    I’m sorry, but a wholistic and balanced (less naive, and self-righteous) biblical hermeneutic demands that” we make this move” of sorts… There is nothing biblical about damning those whom we love in our life, because others have tried to damn, still others in their lives. This does not mean we don’t live and exmplyfy grace and sacrifice, we do, but not by wantonly causing still more, like those we are attempting to rescue…

    1. “Meta noia” is a compund Greek word translated into English everywhere it appears in the NT as “repent”.
      Its meaning has noting to do with behavior, but every thing to do with how ridiculous helping àll who ask appears in the context of this situation.

      ” Meta” means “outside of” or “greater than”.
      “Noeo” of which”noia” is a form, means “mind”.

      If the proposition that we are to give to all who ask, *including our brothers and sisters fleeing Isis persecution* even if it means hazard from Isis sounds like something you’d have to be out of your mind to do…
      …that’s entirely appropriate.

      Things are different in the reign of heaven than under the rascal who reigned from Adam til Christ, and who through deceit ruled most of us until we came to Christ.

      It’s better to go out of your mind by changing your thinking and actually *doing* what Christ said to do, than to rationalize what someone else said about food/shelter /clothing as an excuse not to.

      Paul is not the one we give the our lives to, Christ is.

      And he says love, even your enemies, not to resist beating but offer the unbeaten side to attackers, to give more oppressors more than they would take.

      And he warned us we’d face persecution, and even death.

      What power does physical death hold over those wih eternal life?

      Here you s where the road and the rubber meet, and we are confronted with the question, is it really his life or is it mine?

  56. Why would anyone wanna be a Christian? I don’t love my enemies, I hate them, and want them crushed. The basic sentiment I find among those countless countless post, of jihadi refugees. I don’t want my life and liberty threatened for helping the poor. They’re not my family, I’m not their keeper. Let them suffer.

    Why do we lie to ourselves, when this is the gospel we truly want? The Gospels that one can see, and feel the spirit of in those posts, and in your voices.

  57. I just wonder how many of these people who call themselves true Christians will actually open their own homes to any of the refugees. Although there might be a few, I know the majority of people commenting here are just waiting for someone else to do it as they never will, despite what they preach in these comments… So carry on with u’r support for these refugees if u wish but don’t try n force others to do something about it if u do nothing…

    1. To those of you who asked Ryan Dueck how many families is he supporting… he has answered:

      2 families.

      So, let’s stop with the cries of hypocrisy.

      As for me, I don’t have any space in my house to bring in a family… but I know people who do and I’m committed that, if a family needs space, I can find it. But the love of enemies thing still applies to me… and I aim to live that way in ALL my life (check my blog about “cat crap” for a real, practical, current example). For that matter, if I cancel my TV subscription, I can pay monthly for the groceries for someone who needs them.

      The question still remains: what does Jesus mean “love your neighbor” and “love your enemy”. If you are a Jesus follower, practicality set aside, we don’t have many options available to us. Jesus loved people who were risky… centurions, samaritans, tax collectors, prostitutes, and lepers (“Dude, be wise… don’t go touching a leper, you could catch the disease, or even worse, be unable to enter the temple for time.”). He didn’t really worry about the consequences (He went to Jerusalem, after all, knowing it meant his death), he did what he needed to do out of love.

      Love your neighbor, love your enemy, do it riskily, do it sacrificially. This is the model of Christ. We have no excuse.

  58. I am not a Christian so I cannot argue with you on that score. What I can argue with is this extract: “a dusty Jewish rabbi taught on a Palestinian hillside once upon a time”. This statement is so inaccurate that it belies everything you must’ve read in your bible. Jesus lived in the land of the bible: Israel. Palestine was a name given to it by the Romans based on the Philistines, a race of people who once lived there, and aimed to belittle the traditional owners of the land – the Jews. The bible was written in the time that the land was called Israel, and the people Israelites. I wish you’d get your facts straight when you’re in a position of power with followers who read your blog. You owe it to them to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    1. if your not a christian dont bother commenting…you people are the worst at promoting hate and killing thousands using the bible as your excuse saying you are the chosen ones. you are the root of all these issues in the middle east…go lie to some others you dont believe in the gospel of Jesus your comments mean nothing

      1. She’s right and you are hateful and ignorant. Go read a book, possibly start with your Bible. Maybe stay off the internet until you can act like a grown up.

  59. Well, this has been… interesting. Against my better judgment, I’ll take one more stab at clearing up a few misconceptions that have reared their heads on more than one occasion on this thread.

    1. He doesn’t signify when he’s talking about Christians and when he’s talking about the government That’s easy. I’m never talking about the government. I quite clearly said that I was speaking to those who called themselves Christians. This is not a policy recommendation for what governments ought to do about refugees or anything like that. It is a plea for Christians to think, act, and speak like Christians when they are thinking, acting, and speaking about people they fear or that that they (rightly or wrongly) see in some sense as “enemies.” Nothing more. I thought I signalled this quite clearly in the post. Evidently not.

    2. Where were you before Alan Kurdi’s photo showed up? How many refugees are you taking in? That’s also easy. Before Alan Kurdi’s photo showed up the church group that I am a part of were months into our present efforts at bringing two Syrian families to our city. Before that, our church has sponsored other refugees and given generously to organizations like Mennonite Central Committee and the Canadians Foodgrains Bank, organizations that have been providing material relief in Syria and other desperate parts of the world for many long decades, often long before and long after the cameras and microphones are gone (interestingly, I was on a video press conference call today with some folks on the ground in Syria who singled out both of these organizations as being the two that are there long after everyone else leaves… on the off chance that anyone’s looking for a way to help).

    3.Nice idealistic “hide behind Jesus” approach. Try living in the real world! Well, guilty as charged, I suppose. There are worse places to hide. Realism’s been a pretty bloody game for most of history, after all. Maybe a little idealism wouldn’t be the worst approach. At any rate, as I stated in the post, as followers of Jesus we are called to live by a different script. My primary concern isn’t “what will work” but, as I said in the post, “How does the love of Christ constrain and liberate me in this particular circumstance?”

    4.You don’t know anything/you’re self-righteous/you think you’re better than everyone else/why don’t you learn some facts/you’re a confused/liberal/muddled/socialist/you hate Christians (?!)… Um… Well, again, I guess I could thank you for so ably demonstrating the main point of the post.

    Finally, at the risk of a super naïve and idealistic question for all the Christians out there who have so little use for this post, and at the risk of being irritatingly repetitive… When Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven,” what does he mean? You’re reasonably certain that I have no clue what Jesus means by this and that it can’t possibly apply to Syrian refugees. So, help me out. Where can I apply this?

    I won’t be commenting further on this thread. I simply cannot keep up and, in many cases, don’t really want to. The internet needs to be angry, I suppose. At any rate, I have a sermon to write, volleyball matches to attend, and a handful of other things to do that will undoubtedly be better for my soul than trying to keep up with (and, in many cases, understand) the comments on this thread.

  60. Perhaps it might be useful to further conversation to make certain distinctions. Are migrants and refugees one and the same? Can love of neighbour allow for different responses to someone fleeing for her life and another for one under no immediate threat who simply chooses to migrate/immigrate without following legal protocols? Are all American/Western political ambitions consistent with Christian ambitions? I hardly think so. Do you? It is my experience that inevitably we will be forced to choose between identities. Prioritize, if you will. Once you begin to subordinate your national/ cultural identity to your best most honest understanding of Christ, ( Is their any choice in the matter for a Christian? ) everything changes. In simple terms, often leading to complex understandings, love takes priority over politics. Again, in simple terms, the interests of others becomes our priority over self interest. Our interest is protected by Jesus, not Ottawa, not Washington D.C….If we are not willing to sacrifice for the well being of those in need, can we still honestly say we are Christian?…Thank you for a thoughtful, well explained and provocative post, Ryan. Among those who profess Jesus as Lord, our responses must always be grounded in love. What that “love” looks like, is open to fraternal, loving dialogue. May the Holy Spirit lead us and may the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with us always.

  61. It appears that you offer only two responses; either Christians who want to bar the doors or Christians who want to let them all come. What about letting in the true refugees but not the radical muslims? There needs to be some sort of screening. There is a difference between refugees and migrants. What if we as Christians sponsor some refugees?

      1. Do you have your own Christian country somewhere where you can live out your values, including loving ISIS terrorists if you want? Because I don’t want them in my country just because your belief system tells you to love them. Are Christians called to love their enemies to the detriment of their neighbours?

      2. Sure do, nikki… it’s called the Kingdom of God and it exists anywhere there are Christians… heck, it exists EVERYWHERE, just only really acknowledged where Christians are.

        We are to love EVERYONE, including our neighbors… I’m assuming you wouldn’t want me to turn you away if you needed food or water simply because you aren’t like me, would you? I would welcome you in as quickly as I’d welcome anyone in need.

        What the country does though, as the USA, is beside the point… it’s not God’s Kingdom so it will do whatever it wants to (see, Anabaptists like me see earthly Kingdoms as secondary to God’s because they are, for the most part, rebelling against God… but, that’s a different topic). So, the USA will do whatever it wants… but as a Christians, it would be completely counter to what I believe for me to say, “Keep them the HELL away from me”… because Jesus didn’t teach that. To stay true to my beliefs, if they came to me, I’d welcome them in, no matter what….

      3. You are welcome to invite into your own home whoever you choose. You are not welcome to invite people into my home. I’m saying that if Christians are publicly advocating for government policies that will bring in more refugees/migrants into our countries (I’m a Canadian), well that is my home too. What are your religious obligations to me as your (hypothetical) neighbour and my safety and wellbeing vs the migrants?

  62. Good, timely post. I was just reading through Matthew 5:38-48 yesterday. It’s tough reading, especially when you realize you’re supposed to do these things for those you consider your enemy… in other words, not just the innocent refugees who we feel are entitled to protection, but ISIS members themselves who have only our destruction in mind. It’s more than a little terrifying, but I guess it comes down to trusting and obeying Christ.

    1. The words below are not mine, but taken from the link below. It’s some very good reading.


      “The mistaken idea that tolerance is always a virtue and intolerance always a vice is corrupting the very heart of our society. In the name of tolerance every evil is exalted and proudly defended, while all those who resist and condemn evil are smeared and demonized as hate mongers and bigots. Yet what are such smear tactics other than intolerance and bigotry on the part of those who claim to be tolerant? Like all who are self-righteous, the dogmatic zealots of tolerance often reveal themselves to be extremely intolerant of anything they disapprove of, yet they refuse to see any fault in themselves.

      In their blindness, they fail to see that neither tolerance nor intolerance are intrinsically evil, yet both can be used for evil. A tolerance that allows sin to prosper (because it refuses to condemn and punish evil) is just as evil as an intolerance that condemns people for the color of their skin, or because they speak out against evil. The Bible tells us that God not only condemned Sodom and Gomorra for tolerating evil, but also condemned Babylon, Gibeah, Egypt, and other nations for the same reason (Judges 19:15-30, Genesis 19). Therefore, tolerating evil is not a virtue, no matter how hard Satan wants you to believe that it is. The same God that condemned Eli, because he was tolerant of the vile behavior of his sons, still condemns those who are tolerant of evil. We are not to tolerate it, nor are we to be intolerant of those who condemn it (1Samuel 3:12-13, Jeremiah 23:14, Ezekiel 3:18 and 33:8, Isaiah 5:20).

      Since we are to tolerate all that is good (Amos 5:15) and to detest all that is evil (Romans 12:9), our contempt for evil must never be twisted into an excuse to do evil. Therefore, while we should be intolerant of abortion in the sense that we want to see it made illegal, a man who shoots an abortion doctor is guilty of (and therefore tolerant of) the very crime that he condemns. While God wants us to condemn sin, He does not want us to be nasty to those who are guilty, as if we were more righteous than they, and He certainly does not want us to commit crimes.”

      1. ^^^ this… @ lornemclean thank you for that link and those comments from it. You have added to this discussion in a respectful and meaningful way and they sum up how I tend to lean in this matter as well.

  63. Perhaps you need to look at the history of the Mennonites. When they fled Russia the train they were on went through Turkey. The women slathered themselves is pork fat so they wouldn’t be raped by the Muslims.to them you are to beheaded is an infidel. If you don’t believe this then take a walk of faith to Syria. The Canadian government has decided to let in the Christian minority along with other minorities into Canada being thoroughly vetted. The Muslims should be trained to fight ISIS and given air support so they can take their homeland back. This is their home which they didn’t want to leave. By your words you should be the first to take in a refugee family.

  64. I’m sorry Ryan, but “you don’t get to make that move”, (writing this blog), until you’ve spent significant time with family members of the deceased from the 9/11 attack, or any other murderous terrorist acts. How easy to invoke God’s unconditional love, while not giving equal weight to God’s substantial teachings on using wisdom! I don’t think the majority of Christians that you’re referring to are completely against allowing refugees, what we are saying is that there needs to be prudence and caution, and protocols need to be properly followed. I take offense that you would infer that the safety and welfare of my family, or any other Canadian’s family, takes second place to the safety and welfare of anyone else in this world by unconditionally flinging wide open our doors and shouting, “Come On In!” You talk about obligation, my obligation is first and foremost to my family, then to my community, and then to my nation, and our collective well-being should take precedence before any obligation is offered to anyone else! I believe that Jesus’ teachings, while making the point to love thy neighbor, also makes lots of space for common sense to be applied. Where then is the line drawn? Where do we apply common sense? Or do we just remove that altogether and preach that unconditional love forfeits all wisdom and prudence? Let’s not forget, unconditional love also applies to those we are trying to protect! All it takes is one person, who is expedited through the process, without proper vetting, who has evil intent, to carry out such an act…Heaven forbid it were to happen!! I can hear the cries going up now from Canadians if such an evil were to occur, “God! Why did you allow this to happen?!” His response, “I didn’t, you did!”

    1. Thank you, J. Doell for this comment. I feel the same and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I have read the other day “Common sense is not so common” – French writer Voltaire 1694-1778.

    2. J. Doell. Well written. God gave us a sound mind and we need to use it. Purposefully or knowingly inviting evil into our lives, homes or country would be foolish and God would ask us why we did that.

      Our Canadian government is trying to properly screen the Syrian refugees but they are taking a lot of flack from those people who want to skip that process. It is pure foolishness to not do due diligence and to skip the screening process.

      If our government’s do not properly screen for terrorists then we will regret the consequences. Even with proper screening terrorists can easily slip into any country but even more so without proper screening.

      A lot of christian’s also believe that we as christians should just tolerate every type of evil. But before you make up your mind here is a good read. “The Sin of Tolerating Evil”

      Ryan Dueck – “I’m sorry christian but you don’t get to make that move”

      I have a real problem with self righteous and accusatory posts like Ryans. Ryan Dueck likes to accuse christians for not blindly throwing open their doors to everyone, evil or not, and seeing everything exactly as he sees it. I don’t think Ryan has walked a mile in the shoes of someone who has lost a loved one in 911.

      It would be foolish and ungodly to not use our minds, pray for wisdom and carefully and prudently seek God’s will. ISIS, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups have nothing but evil intent.

      I’m not suggesting we don’t pray for our enemies, but just throwing our countries doors wide open with little thought as to the consequences to our safety and the safety of our families is something even God would call foolish.

    I will assume we are familiar with the place of opinion, doctrine and dogma within the church. As Christians do we not find our unity and fellowship in the central dogmas of Christianity, in particular salvation in Jesus Christ? Do we not then begin to differ in areas of doctrine and finally find our greatest differences are expressed in our opinions on a range of subjects? So Dueck has expressed an opinion and properly it will remain just that, his opinion. It is an opinion based on his narrow personal experience (sample size), limited research and personal theological disposition.

    So then, given our liberty in Christ, we don’t have to share Dueck’s opinion and actually WE DO GET TO MAKE THAT MOVE as we use our God given discretion in our particular personal contexts.

    I find it unfortunate that Ryan, who pastors people who hold a variety of opinions on a variety of issues, considers dissenting voices on this topic, as NOISE. Geesh Ryan, are none of their noisy concerns legitimate or worthy of your consideration? Do you have an internet news filter that none of us have, that allows you determine what is accurate and what is not accurate?

    Further while we know nothing of Ryan’s conduct in his interaction with the noisy voices regarding the issue of Syrian refugees, he has discovered there are plenty of opposing opinions. If it is true Ryan has encountered some very unkind opposition, that is unfortunate but again we know nothing of Ryan’s conduct in these interactions.

    Do we not see many political leaders and other voices in our society striving to define themselves as the most compassionate and empathetic regarding the plights of others? Unfortunately this has become a tactical ruse in many circles, strategically used to increase support and ultimately achieve or centralize power. Further, all too frequently, when those voices posing as paragons of compassion and empathy, are challenged with legitimate general concerns like budget/cost, improper fix to a long term problem, setting up future entitlements and other concerns specific to the context, dissenting/opposing voices are disparaged.

  66. You can love and pray for a serial killer… doesn’t mean you need to let him live in your house.
    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be aware of the issues with this and try to anticipate ways around them (which some might call fear-mongering, since saying anything negative seems to be some kind of “phobic” thing nowadays). Some people’s idea of love means you throw the doors open and give them everything you have, but that’s not always wise. I don’t think it’s wrong or not loving to try to weed out the people who would abuse our generosity while still trying to help those who actually need it as best as we can. Jesus said we should love each other and pray for our enemies, not to be doormats that roll over every time someone wants something from us.

    On a side note, if we do that, we should have less concern for negative cultural change, as the people who would come through are likely people who actually would want to be there and would have enough respect for us that they wouldn’t behead cops in the street or protest that they have to follow the country’s laws… loving people and heading off potential trouble are not mutually exclusive.

  67. Ryan,

    I have not made any of the types of comments you’re referring to. Yes, I’m aware that the would-be caliphate has specifically injected a few (?) of it’s people into the mix. Yes, I’m aware that we are still supposed to love & pray for them.

    But that does not change the fact that you are also in the wrong. You said, “But one thing Jesus wasn’t at all [your emphasis] ambiguous about was how those who followed him were supposed to think about and treat their enemies. On this matter, he was painfully, uncomfortably, crystal clear.” He created humans to think for themselves – and his words and actions ARE [my emphasis] ambiguous for that very reason. Because the same Jesus that said forgive your brother 70X7 times, and, forgive your enemies, and everyone, friend or enemy, is your neighbor you are to love, is the same Jesus that called his brother Jews dirty names [if you don’t understand how ‘whited sepulchre,’ pretty on the outside and death on the inside, or ‘dog’ then learn a bit about Jewish culture so you can understand our Lord better]. He said if someone harmed ‘one of these little ones,’ he should be tied to a heavy stone & dumped in the sea.

    If you don’t think those things sound loving, then study the whole Bible a little more thoroughly. But don’t say, ‘my Christianity card needs to be revoked’ or ‘Jesus of Nazareth must be no friend of mine.’ You may or may not be a Christian, a friend of Jesus, the righteous Judge of the universe. But not understanding everything isn’t what decides that.

    I referred to some verses in Matthew 18. Later in the chapter we have the passage used to excommunicate people (in my church it was called ‘disowning’ them). It says that if they won’t listen to you, nor the elders, nor the church, then to treat them as heathen. Too many want to treat the heathen the way you fussed about. But how did Jesus treat the heathen? As unsaved, in need of salvation [I’m intentionally using more Baptist terminology here, even though neither you nor I is a Baptist]. So your end result fits this passage very well. But you notice I prefaced this paragraph with how some others understand this passage? Jesus WAS ‘ambiguous’ because we are all different. So Paul’s words in I Cor 11:19 (plus and minus for the context) are about the need for [“there must be”] differences among us — ‘that the truth may be’ made visible. [Another spot where people misinterpret his words, thinking he’s condemning those differences when he says plainly that they are necessary.]

    And yet you to some degree (probably for emphasis), and several of the commenters, sound EXACTLY like what you’re fussing about. “If you say these things you can’t be a real Christian” sounds to me the same as some of the quotes you gave.

    Remember, Jesus WAS willing to be blunt and say negative things about people, BECAUSE he loved them! If he didn’t call a spade a spade, he would’ve been unloving. There is room for disagreement. [Look at how many people think that Jesus said never to judge, when he told us to judge everything. Paul at the end of I Cor 5 & beginning of 6 said it is our duty to judge, both those within the church (5:12-13) & the people of the world (6:2) & angels (6:3). But all they can do is partially quote or misquote Mat 7:1 (don’t judge where you’re not willing to be judged)].

    Overall, I agree with the basics of your post, but long before I saw the comments I knew what a lot of them would be – doing just what you were fussing about, but on the other side.

  68. Ryan,

    I disagree with your premise. Fear and Wisdom are not interchangeable. You seem to be confusing the two. Please watch this video.

    Islam is a faith with a hatred for the west and western (chrisitan) values. God has given people a mind to use wisely and it would be foolish to allow an ideology into our country that is intent on destroying the christian values our forefathers and soldiers have grievously fought and died for.

    Muslims have already been successful in bringing Sharia Law to America. Google Sharia Law and tell me if this is something you want to live under. I agree not all Muslims are terrorists, but it would be foolish to throw open our doors to a faith with an ideology of hatred and a belief in killing anyone who does not convert to Islam.

    1. Turn the other cheek was a statement Jesus made in an environment when his listeners were frequently beaten and abused by people who were looking for excuses to kill them. Love your enemy was spoken into a world where the enemy was the occupying forces. Pray for the persecutor was said by the one who died on the cross.

      So, yes, there are some Muslims who want to kill us… that should not stop us from feeding them if they are hungry or giving them water if they are thirsty… ref Proverbs 25:21-22 which is quoted in Romans 12:20… which goes right along with the whole “love your neighbor/enemy” vibe of Jesus.

      Again, I don’t see any compelling argument against what Ryan has said: That we, who claim to follow Jesus and obey his teachings, have no excuse.

      1. Robert, and when the enemy murders our neighbours by the thousands and forces millions more into exile what does a loving response look like then? Is defending the defenceless forbidden? Is love of neighbour limited in some way by a command of non violence. If someone was to attempt to murder a child and your only option was the use of lethal force to stop the murder, would you? I would. In that kind of context it is the most loving response I could imagine. Both with regard to the child that was saved and the “enemy” who was stopped from murdering. This is the real question here. Migrant/ refugee issues are reactionary responses that do not deal with root causes. If Putin and the Russian military turn out to be the difference makers who are able to stop the bloodshed then I say, “May God be with them”. Sometimes, the sad reality is, the only choice is between the number of innocent casualties we are willing to tolerate. Either way people are going to die.

      2. Again, I point to Jesus as the example. That leaves us plenty of space to get creative, but Jesus definitely has a lot to say about what happens if you don’t care for those who need it… Matt 25

      3. Dirk Willems, Michael and Margharite Statler, and many others would agree with a statement my pastor said today.

        That if I am to be condemned for my actions, I would prefer it to be because I was too compassionate

    2. A friend wrote this: “Tonight I have Christians say, read your Bible, don’t you know we are supposed to take everyone in that are in need.. here is my answer, yes I read my Bible, but do you… here is what the Bible says about it..

      Yahweh told the Israelites to not make a league with the nations around them.. We are not to make covenant with the heathen nations..

      Judges 2:2-3 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?

      3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

      Deuteronomy 7:2-3 And when Yahweh thy Elohim shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

      3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

      Psalms 106:34-35 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom Yahweh commanded them:

      35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.”

  69. As a Christian, of course, I agree with most of what you have written. However, I also feel the need to differentiate which I feel is missing from all those who are writing “great post!” I have been living in Berlin/Germany for many years and I’m involved in refugee work. Let me ask you: Have you ever worked with refugees that you can state such a “profound opinion”?

    First, not all of the refugees are really refugees, they are just seeking a better life (while pretending to be refugees) and most of them don’t have much desire to work. All they care about is to enjoy that “better life” on cost of the tax payers.
    Second, almost all of them are Muslims. They don’t understand the concept of love or caring. When people come to us for help it goes something like this: “I’m pregnant – you give me money!” – That’s it. No discussion allowed.
    Third, because most of them are Muslims we can’t even give out our real names to them because we are in fear of how they could endanger our own families and communities. If a Christian worker tries to communicate something with them, that worker gets bullied by the so-called refugees and sometimes hit until the police comes.
    Fourth, Muslim are always planning their jihads in Europe and the US. Don’t get blindsided by some who really need our help and love and they will get it … but the others … I’m not so sure.

    In our refugee home we have not one of the Muslims who show specific gratitude for everything what has been done for them, not only by us but also by the German government.

    Some of the very naive statements I have read here, I can only shake my head in disbelieve. I guess, none of them have ever worked with Muslims. Never got yelled at, bullied, spat at, got the car set on fire, etc. If you have never worked with Muslims, yes, you can talk about love but how do you do that in a practical way? Have you ever tried that? Try that first and then write another blog about it. I find your post very self-righteous and not practical at all, just shouting out what everybody else should do!

    If you really mean it, why are so many quarrels in our own churches? Why is there divorce in your own family? And I could go on and on and on. Please think about it first before you post and sent your complaints my way. If I differ from your opinion, ok, it’s not “hatred” it’s just different. Try to accept other opinions too.

    1. I agree, just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a sense of self-preservation. There are Muslim gangs who are gang raping European girls because they dress “slutty”. It is happening all over Europe. Sweeden is now the number 1 rape capital of the world. In 2050 Europe will be a Muslim Continent. Excuse me from trying to protect my daughters.
      If you want to help send help to the real refugees, not the young, healthy males who are flooding Europe. Don’t get the government envolved.

      1. Yes, I believe it is Sweden and Norway. How horrible! I still believe if the author wants to invite all these people into his home, ok, he can do what he wants. But to tell other Christians what they are supposed to do is just ridiculous. I can only take comfort in the knowledge that he isn’t my own pastor. Currently Germany has been flooded by refugees (some aren’t but they are trying to get in). Most of the refugees don’t show any respect regarding authorities nor do they follow orders. When on the train they just pull the emergency cord, stop the train and walk off – in hundreds. And we are talking about the “young healthy males” …

    2. Jennifer Martin — I have worked with Muslims and refugees. In Europe. (Austria and UK). My experience was very, very different than yours. Very positive. Some became Christians. Many didn’t but still respect me and my church and ministry team. Some just took what they could and didn’t say “thank you”. Did it hurt? Yes. But Jesus had similar responses, and so I reckon I shouldn’t expect a better deal than He got. Some were fakes/fraudulent immigrants — I loved it when they became Christians and would come to me to confess. One or two were even criminals — but very, very few. Most were just trying to find a way to live hard-working, quiet lives. I know many who started their own businesses, and now most are working, paying taxes, etc. Some are volunteering to help others. I’ve had a lot of exposure to refugee work in several countries for over 30 years. Your experience doesn’t ring true with anything I’ve seen.

  70. Yes, there is some real truth in what you say. But also remember that all such things done for the refugee’s are not being done under biblical guidelines or even by Christians. This is something that the Obama administration is implementing which has no Christian ties or message to such an effort.

    Now if this were a mission sponsored by a established Christian organization and thus it would have a full and proper way of doing what is of Christ, then OK.

    But to open up our borders to let unchecked throngs of people, some of which may be using this as a way of infiltrating America or bring with it a religious belief system that goes directly against God and is of the Devil, then we need to be prudent. Hence, if you look in the Old testament you see God told His people not to have associations with others who would bring in to their life, a religion that would infiltrate and thus pollute God’s Holiness amongst His people.

    Love you enemy yes, but don’t open the door to throngs of people who you can’t properly minister to once you’ve open that door. Hence, my neighbor, as in the parable Jesus spoke of was a man able and yes, willing to do what he could do for the one he was willing and able to properly minister too.

    The same applies to loving your enemy. Love them yes, but in a way that is viable and can be understood and appreciated for the reason Christ wanted us to love them in the first place. Hence, not in a way in which can not be effective in showing forth the love of Christ in a viable thus tangible way.

  71. In 1930-s Christians all over the world, by and large, didn’t think that the Nazis were such bad people. After all, Christians are supposed to love everyone and everything, including concentration camps. The Christians in Germany endorsed Nazism as a healthy ideology. As a result of this blindness over 50 millions lives were lost.

    1. Wait – what? You are blaming Christians for World War II? Wow – you must really hate yourself and Christians. What kind of book have you read? Did you ever read any history book at all?

  72. Many people today don’t even know that during the Middle Ages many countries in the Middle East (including Syria) were Christian or had huge Christian population. Today they are almost non-existent because they were ruthlessly slaughtered by Muslims. Jesus warned about ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  73. Loving our enemies, sounds simple. Jesus made a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple. Abraham slaughtered several kings and their armies to rescue his nephew and was blessed by Melchizedek after the battle. It is not our actions, it is our motivation that compels us to act/not act that God will judge. Sometimes the only way to help or protect others is to intervene with violence.

  74. Does the author remember when Jesus brought all those Roman auxiliaries into the Synagogue? Neither do we. The author forgets that the teachings are “we are one in Christ” not one in the world because it’s fashionable on Facebook.

    A border on your nation is no different than closing and locking your door at night. Am I to believe this guy let’s anyone wander into his home at all hours? I am sorry but these self appointed “disciples” don’t get to make that move.

    BTW, why do these politics first Christians not feel the need to ask where all the Christian refugees from these nations are? Any pastor worth his salt has been talking about Syrian Christians, Egyptian Christians etc… They are murdered and driven from their homes. How come they aren’t on the boats when they hit Europe?

    Because they are murdered en-route:

    or even in Maine:

  75. I trust general rick hillier and mcc can connect. There r 10 ontario congregations ready to receive some of his 50,000 by Xmas

    Sent from my iPhone


  76. Thank you for your words dear brother. Living the way Jesus laid out for us was never meant to be easy, but you are right the way was clear – Love at all costs even if it drives you to the cross. Oh how we have lost sight of the sacrificial love we called to. Thank you for the reminder.

  77. I have to agree with some of the other replies that this article comes across as self-righteious, and I would add, dangerously dogmatic. It’s shockingly lacking in good logic, and balance, not to mention filled with straw man arguments.

    As followers of Christ we understand that God is love, and we are to emulate that love in every aspect of our lives. But love is not careless or lacking in wisdom, and there is nothing virtuous in allowing unchecked and uncontrolled immigration into ones country. In fact it shows a thoughtless disregard for protecting and loving those immediately around us (our neighbors). Loving your enemy does not mean you give them unfettered access to your back yard. That’s just foolishness, and has nothing to do with love.

  78. What happened to wise as serpents and gentle as doves? We don’t have to respond with force, but we shouldn’t be fools about it either. If it means performing due diligence on those that want asylum, I’m not sure how that conflicts with God’s instruction. Love them and ensure they’re motives don’t put innocent people at risk. We are also called to be a voice and care for the downtrodden… allowing a wolf in their midst isn’t very caring.

  79. This is ridiculous! God calls us to love others, but also use wisdom and discrepancy. By your reasoning, I should invite a stranger into my house to rob me because heaven forbid I confront him and protect my family. If you say you are a Christian, you are admitting we are sinful beings, and that evil exists. We need to love whenever and wherever we can, but fight evil, just as God and his followers did.

  80. A don’t believe Jesus is God, but rather is the Son of God, as the Bible teaches, but that said, I agree with everything else. It is summed up in the wristbands etc that say WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? Turning away people in need would not be it.

  81. I think Robert n all his naive friends will only see the real world when they experience it first hand… The same God that said love thy neighbour will let his so called children burn in a pit of fire for eternity if they do not except him in their hearts… Anyone who has children will see what my problem is with that…
    There are plenty people homeless n suffering in our own home towns which no one cares about but now that the refugees makes big media its a problem… Stop seeking attention with your moral outcries n go to Syria if u wish to make a difference to root cause of the problem… See how they’ll treat u as Christians when u get there…

  82. As a Christian I am obligated to obey HIS Word All of IT!!! We have NO room to make a personal opinion and create our own view, like the one YOU are offering. The Bible tells us to make righteous judgment. The Bible states. “Lord lead me not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. The Bible, states that a house divided cannot stand.” Also, Jesus very clearly spoke against those who were using HIS HOUSE like a den of robbers. The Bible also states, “we are not to be unequally yoked with those who oppose HIS teachings.” The Bible states, “Do Not cast pearls to swine.” I could go on and on with similar quotes and teachings that directly oppose your Opinion. Like many others you have taken a specific scenario and pasted it into what you wish to promote…I not only believe, but the facts surrounding our Country at the present time, suggest that we have More than Enough to deal with. We should take care of our House before we can really, truly lend a helping hand to others. If we focus on what is wrong with our Home/Country it should occupy all the time we have, currently..” We cannot give away what we Do Not Have.” Thank you and God Bless!!!

  83. While I share the author’s frustration about lukewarm and agnostic people who suddenly became very vocal about defending Christianity from migrants, I also think there is a serious flaw in his argument. Namely, that he seems to reduce Christianity to individual persons’ degree of enthusiasms for Jesus’ teaching or a Christian way of life. He would be “interested” in their comments and not in others’. That is more like a purist approach. (I guess the implication is that the former groups’ concerns would be worth listening to.) I think however, that there is much more to Christianity than just how committed certain people feel at certain times. Because we live in a secular world, we do not appreciate how much Christianity determines our life in every area. I think it is legitimate to raise concerns over how our public life would be changed is other religions would be present or if secularism would continue to affect our public life at the present rate and speed. I would not discredit anyone from that debate.
    On a more down-to-earth note, living in country (Hungary) that is on the front line of the crisis I can say the issue here right now is not about shutting the door or not, but much rather that we should have a door at all. Hysteria does not help, but refusing to face the issue actually feeds that hysteria.

  84. The only line I’d take issue with is this, near the end: “And please understand that Jesus of Nazareth will be no friend or ally of yours when you attempt to make arguments about how the (real or imagined) badness of other people means that we have no obligation to them”. As I understand the gospel (in the Passion narratives), He will EVEN be a “friend an ally” of those who in their badness slay him. Otherwise, he’d precisely be taking sides in the manner that Ryan says we don’t have as a gospel option – that’s precisely the radicalism to which Ryan points. But that’s a quibble and doesn’t detract from his main thrust that Christianity offers no option for conditional love. It’s a great piece and I wish I’d written it. GP

  85. For some reason I appear to be posting under my daughter Eddie’s WordPress account – she must have been on my PC. Anyway, these may not be her views – I’m her dad, George!

  86. The problem with the sentiments expressed in this entry is that it only deals with half the issue.

    Germany has made it clear that they are happy to accept the 800K or so migrants simply because their economy is suffering because of its growing population of over 60s and its reduced birth rate. They want these migrants in order to fill the spaces in their workforce and will not be happy if, when Syria and other Middle Eastern nations finally recover, the newcomers decide to ‘go home’. On the other hand, the bulk of refugees from Syria have not tried to reach Northern Europe but are living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. These are folk who can’t afford to pay extortionate fees to people smugglers. Are we, as Christians, paying enough attention to these folk?

    The thousands of people who have paid millions of dollars to people smugglers over the last year are the elite, who Syria and other nations will need to help in their rebuilding processes. Will they be going back when that occurs?

  87. Having grown up in the church, I think the obsession with The End Times is to blame for a HUGE amount of Christian fear and hate and the multitude of ways Christians are almost “trying” to destroy everything. So many evangelicals are terribly callous to the way their habits are destroying the future for their descendants and for other things living on this planet, and a lot of it seems to be because they can tell themselves it will all be gone in 20 years. Nope. You’re just enjoying yourself on the bones of the future. Stop it.

    Oh, and I’m an atheist nowadays and me and a lot of my “evil liberal” friends are quite anxious to have a chance to welcome refugees. In church cultures there was so much disdain for worldly people and it’s weird, but out here in the less religious atmospheres I’ve found a lot more love and less shallowness and deep thought than I experienced in church. I don’t want to deconvert anyone, but before you jump in about how I must have not had a real relationship with God/I should go to YOUR church where they really follow God, etc., please just instead focus on your own camp. Instead of constant debates about doctrinal purity and lecturing each other, try listening and attempting to understand other people. That’s it.

    1. Anon: Let me guess….you left the church because of all those hypocrites. This is what I have discovered about spotting hypocrites in a church. The person who has identified all those hypocrites…..is a hypocrite and never could accept Christianity and could not turn his life over to Jesus. And therefore believes….”If I could not do it, then nobody can. They just say they do, but they did not. Everybody is a hypocrite…just like me.” There is a lot of hostility in your emails toward Christians.

      1. Nope. I left the church because I was so enthusiastic about apologetics that I wanted to study and get better… and what I found was that the history of how the Bible was put together was fascinating, but very different than what I was told. I did more research and realized eventually that I could not find any solid evidence for there being any sort of a God. Worst experience of my life, losing my faith, but hey, the truth shall set you free.

      2. Your story is the one I hear most often. You set out to prove God exists and you were happy to prove to yourself that you could not find the evidence you wanted. Well, it is not up to us to figure out God….that God should explain Himself to us in such a way that He can prove that He exists. God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is a matter of FAITH, not logic and reasoning and empirical proof.
        Your parents took you to church. You did not accept it. But why do you try to drag others away from Christianity….by trying to poke holes in events or actions?

        The incredible creation of the world, animals, plants, humans….millions of miracles….none of which could create themselves or evolve themselves. How could a fish evolve itself, but humans are incapable of evolving themselves? Creation is just one evidence of God. All the Disciples died from persecution(except John)…spreading the Gospel. Who does that, unless
        the resurrection was true? You are looking in all the wrong places…..the places that will be guaranteed to cast doubt on God…due to a human rubric.

    2. so hey …if the government increases your taxes to say 75% so we can take care of all these refugees and takes $700 a month more out of your paycheck each month to help take care of their subsidized rent, food and medical are you OK with that…or are you just so charitable when you think someone else is going to pay for. I’d love to actually see you put your money where your mouth is.`Its easy to be a bleeding heart with someone else’s money isn’t it

      1. You’re speaking out of fear here. And yes, I do do charity work, volunteering as well as giving food to homeless people regularly. But seriously, look at what percentage of the national budget is taken up with expensive and unnecessary military stuff and what percent goes to social programs and think about what it could look like with more sensible priorities.

      2. Anon: Fear. Sometimes fear is exactly the correct initial reaction. We should fear the Russians, Chinese, and muslims. None of these leaders are good for America or the world. From that fear we create defenses to keep our enemies subdued.
        These enemies are hoping we will be slothful fools who will not be fearful, but will give in to wishful thinking….that giving enemies money and other concessions….they will be grateful and play nice. Then they attack us, using the money we gave them to procure weapons.

      3. Anon: You made your choice to turn your back on Jesus some time ago. But, like all atheisst, you just cannot go away alone. You want other Christians to go with you. That tells me you know you are wrong and believe that you can defeat God on Judgment Day….due to safety in numbers….God won’t condemn us all…if there are a lot of us. Enjoy your atheism. You picked it.

  88. That Jewish rabbi on a Palestinian hillside also said, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16) There’s a balance to be sought.

      1. The original analogy made no sense. Jesus sending out missionaries to bring the Gospel being compared to thousands of muslims pouring into Christian countries.
        The Disciples were NO threat, at all These muslims will never go home and are NOT bringing the Gospel…but the poison of islam, which is no good for any country. There is nothing good in having muslims in your misdst.

  89. So according to this guy we should basically have no borders and let everyone just flood into America because we are ” Christians” and if it turns out bad, oh well, maybe its God’s will that Western Civilization is annihilated. Jesus commanded ” Go into all the world and spread the Gospel”. He did not say bring all the world into your country. He also said be wise as serpents and gentle as lambs. I guess this writer also thinks Israel should take down their walls/barricades and let the Palestinians take over Israel.

  90. Thanks for these words of wisdom! Here in the Netherlands this discussion is a very tangible one, with many refugees on our doorstep. I do understands the words of concern from some of my fellow Christians, but like you say; as a follower of Christ, it should be our fistmost priority to help those in need.

  91. Ridiculous article. I suspect the author has no real job and has warped understanding of APPLIED Christianity. I would like to see his Christian theology credentials. I do notice that he does NOT volunteer his Christian background, nor his career. It is totally irresponsible to bring the enemy of your culture and Christianity into your midst. it is a wolf in the sheep pen.

    Christianity is on a steep decline in Europe, and there are few to stand up to a horde of muslims who will never assimilate. In a couple of decades or less, 2015 will be noted as the
    turning point….the ruin of Europe. Islam is the death of any culture. The only cure to this mess is to defeat ISIS, Taliban, and all other muslim organizations of hate and death. But,
    there are no leaders in Europe or the US at the present time who have the spine or belief
    in Jesus Christ to take on islam. If the leaders were real Christians, they would know the danger of islam. But, their Christianity is so weak, they just don’t care.

  92. I’m not saying we should ignore the worriesome part, but really, as a Chrsitian, what sholud be our first concern; – to accindentally let someone in who tuns out to NOT be a warzone-refugee. Or – to accindetally tunr someone away who is a warzone-refugee.

  93. while you make some very valid points, one must ask the question: “Where do you draw the line?”. After all, we could’ve simply prayed for Hitler and all the other genocidal maniacs.

    1. I saw NO valid points in the original article. I saw the opinions of somebody who has no theological training, no career, owns nothing, and sees himself as an intellectual because he finds fault with Christians and Christianity….but he has NO criticism of islam…a religion of hate, and death. Those refugees are the result of the hatred and killing by muslims. Where is that
      criticism of REAL hate that results in death?

    1. It is amazing how you can see faults in Christians….but you have no criticism of islam….the hatred and killing that is the cause of the refugees. This is false intellectualism….finding fault with good and ignoring evil.

  94. My only comment about the refugee crisis is that countries get to say how many refugees they can financially handle. These people need housing, medical attention (some of them) , education, food. If you can’t afford to handle all that are coming to your borders (I hear Germany was overwhelmed), it should be your right to say we have no place for you but you could try this other country who maybe has not been overwhelmed. Putting refugees in a new place where there is no job, no housing, no education, no food does not help them. We have taken in homeless people before, but we cannot take in families of 5 or 6 because we would not be able to afford it. Same goes for countries.

    1. These are not “just refugees”. These are muslims…and islam is never any good for any country. A real Christian knows this. It can kill a Christian country with Christian culture.
      They never assimilate. Other muslims will kill muslims who assimilate….especially if they
      want to convert to Christianty.
      All the stories in the New and Old Testament were before islam….a religion of hate and killing.

  95. The real issue here is that while I agree with this on a *personal* level and support organizations who are providing relief and assistance, we are not a Christian nation, at least according to our President. We do have individual responsibilities as the people of the book but that does not obligate our country to do anything. There are two perspectives to consider. Would I host a refugee family? Yes. Would I tell you to? No.

    1. 80% of these ” refugees” are men between the ages of 18-30 and they have no women and children with them, as a matter of fact you see very few photos of these masses of “refugees” with women and children among them. These men are all of fighting /soldier age and many of them are shown in videos yelling ” Allah Akbar” and ” F” Europe as they get off trains…would you host 3 or 4 of these male “refugees” in your home ? If not, why ? Isn’t this writer calling you to love them too ? Or are you going to use wisdom and discriminate…..

    1. “A bone to pick with Christians…” You are worried about what Christians SAY….but you have no worry about how muslims KILL. I am not fooled by all the critics of Christians…you don’t want the personal responsibility, Judgment Day, submitting to Jesus. You want to be your own god and take as many people with you as possible..so you feel better….safety in numbers.

    1. It never ends. Misguided Christians ripping Christians….ambushing them, actually.
      Finding fault with the insufficient generosity of Christians but finding NO fault with islam–
      the cause of the refugees pouring into Europe—and no criticism of muslim countries failing to accept any muslim refugees
      Muslims kill. Christians not generous enough. Muslims good. Christians bad.
      OK, that makes sense. Self-loathing.

  96. I get the sentiment, but didn’t understand all of the argument. It did seem to contain definitive absolutes. Yes, “love thy neighbour” is all incompassing, unconditional and non negotiable and we need to fight for justice, or shut up, right? However, where there is grace there’s still wisdom and discernment . I’m also going to disagree with the last bit because I’m convinced that Jesus will be support us when we aren’t on the ball, make poor judgments and even wilful mistakes.

    1. I have a bone to pick with the ISIS and Taliban murders in Syria.
      I have a bone to pick with the cowardly leaders of European countries.
      I have a bone to pick with Obama, who has no interest in the US being the military leader in
      the middle east, pulled US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has now enriched and
      empowered Iran to wreak havoc. And 100 other actions meant to destroy the US.

      But Ryan(with no last name), the author of the original article has a bone to pick with Christians! Real Christians just do not make that error.

    2. I have a bone to pick with the ISIS and Taliban murderers in Syria.
      I have a bone to pick with the cowardly leaders of European countries.
      I have a bone to pick with Obama, who has no interest in the US being the military leader in
      the middle east, pulled US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has now enriched and
      empowered Iran to wreak havoc. And 100 other actions meant to destroy the US.

      But Ryan(with no last name), the author of the original article has a bone to pick with Christians! Real Christians just do not make that error.

      1. What are you responding to? Lutheran. And I don’t like to sit back and watch islam take over the world. Evidently, it does not matter to you. Just hug them before they stab you and cut your head off— for practice.

  97. Once happened since 9/11. Christians, yes real Christians like Franklin Graham, start hate Muslims. And many Muslims turn to Christ. I want be part as many more Muslims turn to Christ. Remember the first line of John 3:16 “God loved the world” without any exception. We hear all the refugees in Europe right now. But do you “Christians” know that Istanbul/Turkey hosts MORE refugees than all of Europe together?

  98. I think your rant is a little out of line. Brow beating Christians for some people’s behavior is a little arrogant and puts you on a soap box. People for centuries have behaved fearfully toward change and immigrant populations. Rather than bash the Church and continue to push propaganda against believers creating a negative red neck perception toward “ignorant”, “closed minded”, “unintelligent” believers, you should simply confront the ideas that cause people to walk in fear and give reasons that they can ponder to help them process their fears. You are demonstrating just as much demagoguery throufh this article as you say these “Christians” are pushing. Look who is calling the kettle black my friend. Please be careful how you portray your brothers and sister in Christ to the world. Your blog is not the place the divide the brethren and engage in name calling based on your opinions and perceptions of who these people are. After all, isn’t this what you are accusing them of doing to the Syrian refugees. Keep your dirty laundry in house.

  99. “Do unto others…” (Luke 6:39) and “Love thy neighbor…” (Mark 12:31) have a limit: “as yourself”, which for a righteous man would be quite strict. It is not unconditional love, which is what we owe God by the first commandment, otherwise it is idolatry. We need only send aid to refugee camps and maintain pressure on the region to address the cause.
    The reference to “Jesus of Nazareth” and lack of bible references make it clear we have a secular writer or Muslim, if the latter, spend more time on Koranic inerrancy given new scholarship that paints it a forgery; if the former, spare us the absurd Christians-are-hypocrites if they don’t offer their daughters to needy men.
    Christian refugees are widely reported by refugee advocates as long-standing victims of Muslim violence in the region while themselves leaving peaceably, in their case a Christian-only refugee p[policy is sensible given that no matter when the region stabilizes, Christian minority will suffer persecution. Repatriation is is less likely.

  100. Our leaders also have the moral responsibility to insure the safety of the citizens they govern. To have an open border policy that allows anyone at all to come into our country is reckless and completely irresponsible.

    Yes, we are to love our enemies as scripture commands, but that’s not the only passage of scripture that deals with this topic. The author of this article conveniently left out Romans 13.

    ”For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” – Romans 13: 3-4

    This article presents a lopsided view and does not present the totality of scripture when facing terrorist threats. Our nation was founded and exist today because we exercised Romans 13 against a tyrannical king. And the way things are going, we may have to bear arms once again to protect our nation.

  101. As a Christian I WILL NOT BE JUDGED. The book of judgement is gor the non believer. When God sees me he will see hos son for Jesus in fact died for my sins. You are a fool if you see Christians having the ability to be sin free. If any one Christian jad that ability than there would have been no reason for Jesus.
    Now we are taught to love to forgive and to offer the other cheek. However it doss not say we are to encourage our own percecution in the hands of Islam. We can help islam in other ways than openning our borders. That does not fix the problem of ISIS.

  102. well in todays world we cant even say god or salute our flag because it upsets muslims because in the usa and saluting the flag we say god,so because they dont belive in god we arent allowed to say it anymore,thats a big slap in the face to every american and american that has served this county for the freedoms we used to have.people have the right to belive in any religon they so wish to belive in as long as they arent forcing it on others

    1. people supportin and sayin bluh bluha are either muslims or tryin to do away with the christians,people cant be so blind in todays world not to see whats going on and just keep sittin like ducks in a row waitin for and lettin big brother and others to take away what the usa has fought for

  103. Pro life are you my fellow Christians? Only when the babies are in the womb or the right color or religion.

    1. Agreed. The posts from supposed Christians on this beautiful article are appalling. Stop living your life in fear. Are there radical Muslims? Of course there are. Are there radical Christians? Of course there are. These are human beings fleeing a completely intolerable situation. Put yourselves in their shoes. You’ve lost EVERYTHING. Your home, your job, your clothing, and the ONLY thing you have are the small number of items you could squeeze into a backpack, including your cell phone. Because maybe, just maybe, you may need it to see if any other members of your family are alive. Most of you have swallowed the Fox News diatribes on these people and a less Christ like organization doesn’t exist. You should be ashamed.

      1. Maggie: The “intolerable situation” you mentioned was caused by ……….
        ……..muslims killing muslims !!!! What is new? it is the muslim way.
        That was Muhammad’s “missionary” work and it has continued. But you have managed to find fault with Christians.

        Your assessment of Christianity is way off. You say that Christians and muslims are equal. They are not. I suspect you are not even a Christian. A real Christian would never debate the way you are doing. A radical muslim is the real muslim. A radical Christian follows the Bible. A mediocre Chr istian follows his own ideas of what is right. Weak Christians do NOT like real Christians….they make the weak Christians look bad. A real Christian would not rip Fox News–it is the only TV source that supports Christianity.
        Let me guess….you are a Democrat. You want a lot of “separation of church and state.” abortion is good, and you are shocked that anybody thinks that Hillary Clinton has told 1000 lies because you cannot think of even one lie she has told. You think Obama is a Christian and he does not favor muslim countries. And he supports Israel. I suspect you get your news from John Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

      2. Maggie: Fear of islam is a healthy reaction that a real Christian feels immediately. There is a good reason to fear it…..it is the worst enemy of Christianity. Phony Christians don’t understand the fear. They are not
        easily offended by attempts to weaken and destroy Christianity, and are not even aware of the attempts.
        After islam, the worst enemy of Christianity is mediocre Christians who want to silence real Christians and ex-Christians who left the church and like to rail against Christians, hoping to prove that Christianity is no good….and it was wise to get out of such hypocrisy.

    2. These are innocent babes coming over the border dear, they are 80% males between the ages of 18-30. Are you so clueless to the tactic of Islam and stated so by Mohammad himself that away to defeat an enemy and over take their land is to mass immigrate into it ?

  104. I don’t have a problem with refugees/migrants religious beliefs, as long as they don’t try to impose those beliefs on anyone else (and do they?). What I have a problem with is their saying they need to live in Europe for “a better life”. You don’t get to have a better life at the expense of other people. It is obvious they want to live in Europe for the socialist benefits. Many other non-socialist countries would take them in, but they want to live in Europe – or more specifically, the wealthiest European countries, such as Germany. They show no gratitude towards the countries who have taken them in; instead, they complain about everything they are given. The food and shelter provided for them are not good enough. They want more and more. You won’t hear any news reports about how the migrants have raped and pillaged along their way into Europe. You won’t hear about how they riot in the streets when they don’t like their housing accommodations. You won’t hear it because it isn’t politically correct to report it. The only politically correct way to portray migrants is to portray them as victims.

      1. …and you are a naive tool….she’s a ” horrible person” for speaking the truth ? Can the IRS deduct $500 a month from your pay check each month to help pay for the ” refugees” America takes in ? If not, why not ?
        “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

      2. Maggie, how many of these migrants have you taken into your home? Also, what do you have of any real value to offer to this discussion other than “you are a horrible person”. Apparently, nothing at all.

  105. Pastor Dueck is saying that Christians don’t have the option of refusing to love somebody who’s made in God’s image and needs God’s grace. Or we couldn’t love ourselves.

    There are people working in the refugee camps, and there are people working to help some settle in North America. Both are appropriate and historic Christian responses.

    1. And if one of these refugees is just an ISIS thug who ends up killing some European Christians, so what? The muslims are replacing those who are killed. Hopefully, many of these refugees will have many family members back in Syria that can also make it to Europe. This is good for Europe. Most of these muslims will be eager to become Christians.

  106. It very idealistic for this author to think that simple religion solves all problems. My family is from Hungary, the country that has taken the brunt of this refugee march across Europe. As of this point 180000 refugees (85% healthy men, I know this first hand) have crossed the border into Hungary. These people won’t accept food, water, help unless it’s on their religious terms, really?!?! Ever heard the term “beggars can’t be choosers”, the Hungarian people are generous, those that don’t have money pick their own fruits and vegetables and deliver them to the needy, yet they turn it down. The “refugees have ATM cards and access funds at banking machines, once again, witnessed them standing in line at machine. They destroy their papers as they enter a host country, of course nobody trusts them, in the modern world, unless they are crazy, call for the death of another religion. On the other hand, Muslims have called for the death of Jews, Christians and any other religion that’s not Islam, hmmmmm. I’m sorry, you only have to threaten me once before you can’t come into my house. So tell me if I threaten you or your family, are you gonna let me sleep on your couch? The great thing about this country is I get to have my opinion and you yours.

  107. Hey ricklamascus, you seem quick to judge and not ‘slow to anger’. But no, we don’t take government grants for our schools or programs. “Non profit philanthropy” means we do our own private funding. And no to your 2nd accusation: American children are not impacted in any way, except they do better in school when our immigrant kids are ready to succeed alongside them. Our kids get mainstreamed into public schools as soon as they can keep up with their classmates. That way nobody loses and everybody wins. Last year one of our kids who could not write his name 8 years ago graduated first in his class at Tufts, with a major in Quantum Mechanics. He walked here alone (57 days across Guatemala, Mexico and the US). So it’s a win/win for our country. Rejoice!! It didn’t cost you a penny and he’s got a great job in International Research for IBM. Immigrants are hard workers and they always succeed if you give them a chance. Best of all, they carry a spirit of strength and graciousness that “Americans” could learn from. Be well.

    1. Is the Tufts student an illegal alien? How does your school get funded? Explain that private funding. What is the name of your school? In my area, the children of American citizens are greatly shortchanged on education. The classrooms are overflowing with illegals who pay zero in school taxes. If your students are illegal aliens,.they are getting food stamps, free medical, etc., and not paying taxes.

      Nobody loses. Mainstreaming into schools is not connected to “nobody loses.” Somebody is paying for this….somebody is losing. Again….explain the source of your funding. Then we
      will know if nobody loses.

      There is no anger. The fact that you made that up makes me suspicious that something is not right about your claim.

      1. Sorry, I’ve never followed this blog before so not familiar with the system. I don’t know where to find your questions. If you can summarize them in one comment, and send, I’ll look for it and gladly respond as best I can. thanks.

      2. Hey Rick, I found your questions, and just spent over 2 hours writing a detail description of our organization, as well as describing what ‘private funding’ means (it means NON government funding. It means Family Foundations and corporate foundations, and individual donors giving, in some cases 100K annually to our work, others giving 50 bucks annually. It means hiring a paid staff of highly trained and well educated staff executives. It means electing a Board of Directors who are business people, some immigrants, some are professional educators, etc.) Anyway, at the end of explaining our specific programs, schools, outcomes, my post WOULD NOT publish when I clicked the button. I’m guessing it was too long, or maybe had a curse word, or something, but at any rate I’m really frustrated that I can’t retrieve the post. And I am too worn down to write it again.

        Ryan, if you can find my comment somewhere in the “trash” of your system, feel free to publish it for Rick, or for the group. If not, can I make a small complaint about the system and say that if it tells a reader that his post “cannot be published,” it should 1) explain why; 2) preserve the post so the reader can remedy the problem. In this case, your system wiped out my comment with no chance of redeeming it.
        Maybe that could be changed to respect other writers who spend time on a quality comment, only to have it destroyed. This is by no means personal bc I realize you didn’t design the system.

      3. nomoses, I checked all of my comment folders including spam catchers, and there is no record of your comment. I honestly have no idea what happened to it. I can assure you that it was nothing deliberate on my end, and I’m very sorry that it got lost somehow.

  108. 1. Where is Ryan’s last name? A legitimate author would volunteer that. And his theological
    2. Ryan is not a Christian and has a poor understanding if Christianity. His article is a
    mockery of Christianity….twisting verses, etc.
    3. Any real Christianity can see immediately that an invasion of Europe by muslims will be the
    death of Christianity and European culture.
    4. This article is intended to rip Christians and promote the greatest enemy of Christianity,
    democracy, law and order, the economy, and good sense——islam. The presence of
    islam is death to any country.

    1. Ryan

      In my view this poster should be banned and his posted deleted.
      I believe he fits the definition of Troll

      The posts by this person don’t appear to actually engage what you are saying.

      Enough is enough, Ryan Please deal with this

  109. Perhaps all of this fear is unfounded. Perhaps its like the words of the spirit through Matthew, and to gain life, first we have to lose it (and be okay with that). Perhaps the gospel message is one of sacrifice, not victory (at least not yet). Sacrifice. Perhaps Jesus’ message was not “close ranks,” but rather “open yourself up”…take care of the widow and the orphan. Love them. Die for them, die for your enemies, die to yourself, die to your identity, die to the trappings of the world, and the government, and the capitalistic rat race we find ourselves running in. Die to your preconceived notions on the LBGT community. DIE! Pour it all out. Then…when you are empty….live! Live with a sacrificial and loving heart that aches for it’s neighbor, flowing from your creator. Love with the true Love of God. Maybe then and only then will “they know we are christians by our love.”

    *shrugs* just a thought…..

    1. Good point! Many Christians of that era also refused to speak out about the evils of Nazism. I don’t know if they used the same excuses or not, but this is what concerns me with the type of prevalent mentality reflected in this article. Do we confront evil or fane loving our enemies by tolerating their evil tendencies? By not speaking out will the war and suffering that ensues be partially on our hands?

      1. Wait, seriously? We’ve come so far as to put people seeking to get AWAY from folks like Hitler and his regime in the same category as the Nazi’s?

        If it wasn’t for Godwin’s law, I’d comment further, but I think that law supercedes…

        Good job! Conversation ended…

      2. Can you say, “Straw man argument”? It’s not difficult to see the difference between the legitimate need for political amnesty and what is going on in Europe right now. There is plenty of legitimate need out there, as in the many Christians and other non-muslims, or not muslim enough, groups who are being persecuted under Isis. Yet we seem more concerned about offending emigrants made up mostly of men 18 to 30. Let’s get real here.

    2. Mr. Martin, here is the pertinent quote from the article: “….even if the Syrian refugees at our door are actually a smokescreen for a frothing horde of Muslim terrorists hell-bent on the destruction of all that is good and true in the world […] Even if all of this is (unimaginably) true, as Christians—as followers of Jesus—we live by a different script when it comes to what we’re supposed to do with the threat of bad people doing bad things. […] Love them. Pray for them.”

      The author does not limit the discussion to innocent refugees; he includes threatening people as well. In turn, I am equating the threat of Nazism with the threat of Muslim extremism (terrorism). While some number of these emigrants are indeed harmless, there is also reasonable evidence that some number of them may be a significant future threat, in the same way that Hitler was a future threat before he became an real threat. That’s why I stated, “in the run up to WWII.” People, even Christians, are sometimes wise and discerning and prophetic about future threats. Sometimes it’s wise to listen. But according to this author, for any Christian who believes they may have discerned a threat here… criticism is not an option. Or at least posting it on FB is not.

    1. WWJD. How about What Did Jesus Do? That would always be the same answer.
      I wish WWJD would go away. Nobody knows what Jesus WOULD do. It assumes
      the person is a partner with Jesus. And 10 people would have 10 different answers. Please
      let WWJD go away

    2. fundzvision: The main reason people do not engage with mission in their own community is
      that they have never read the Bible in a Bible Study setting. They are afraid that some atheist will throw a verse or two at them and they won’t know what to do….because most Christians know just enough to be dangerous and cannot use the Bible to debate…they only know.just their own opinion.

      1. This. And I weep inwardly, because corporately we’re not built on the rock of Jesus’ words but on the shifting sands of worldly thinking. Be sure the storm’s coming to try and tear down whatever we’ve built.

  110. God also teaches us to use wisdom, He does not say invite the enemy into our camp, He says pray for your enemies, for when we do He will heap hot coals upon their backs. Your argument does not hold water in my Christian life. We must love everyone as Christ loves us we do not have to trust them or turn our country over to them in order for us to be good Christians.

    1. Paula: Great analysis. Makes perfect sense. Very responsible.
      But we have opponents who think Christians should just be fools and walk right into the fire
      or over a cliff. Or keep cobras for pets….loose in the house. Or let thousands of muslims
      invade your country…..intending to destroy the culture of the host country.

  111. Great post, Ryan. The cross of Jesus is not only a place we go to find forgiveness, but also presents us with the posture we are also called to embrace. As Brian Zahnd has often said, “If we make the cross entirely something Christ does for us instead of a pattern to follow, we will end up with a distorted Christianity.” I couldn’t agree more.

    1. So, Jeff. How will Europe be better off with 2-4 million muslims living there? What do you think will become of the Christian culture that is already on life support? Christians are being killed in the middle east and Africa in mass murders. Oh well. That’s islam for you. Muslims will be

  112. I have watched many interviews with these refugees that are already in Europe. They are by their own words: 80% male. They outnumber the ISIS oppressors by at least 20 to 1. They are young, healthy, educated, and affluent. Many have combat training. Yet they chose to flee and demand the charity of the western world. Leaving behind their women, children, and elderly to suffer the consequences of their cowardice.
    I am a CHRISTIAN!

  113. Hey Ryan, after reading about 250 comments, I apologize for calling you out about your comment against agnostics, atheists, etc. I see now that you need our support in dealing with a sometimes ugly crowd. Seems your post raises truths about our common humanity, but your readers feel too afraid/ angry to understand your meanings. The low-information group needs education but I don’t think they can hear you b/c they’re not interested in reality beyond themselves. It seems they’re not only judgmental and self-centered, but unconscionably inhuman. Please don’t be discouraged, but instead keep speaking up for your faith, and for the inner calling of your God. May you go from strength to strength, and grace to grace.

    1. Whenever liberals have no facts for the argument, they turn to name-calling and, of course,
      the other side is angry. I am surprised some kind of phobia was not called into play. The
      problem, NOMOSES, with the original article was…..no balance. Christians are stingy and not generous enough. I have never heard any comments concerning the lack of generosity of muslims. But muslims have no faults. There was no mention of WHY the refugees were leaving Syria—.muslims killing each other—a common habit “wherever two or three are gathere,.” and no discussion of the severe, permanent damage to Christian culture in Europe. The absence of that was irritating some Christians who like to see all the info…and the truth. We are weary of liberal Christians ripping Christianity.

      1. Ok, Rick, I think I’m going to call “time” on these kinds of contributions. The irony of you calling someone else out for “name calling” is breathtaking, to put it mildly. Throughout this thread, you’ve demonstrated very little interest in engaging with the things that I (or anyone else) actually says (for example, Christoph’s recent comment), and seem mostly interested in repeating your diatribes against Muslims in louder and more insulting language. We get it. You’re very angry at and very afraid of Muslims. You think they’re all evil and that they’re going to take over the world. You’re annoyed that I (and others) am not condemning them like you think we should (this despite the fact that I have repeatedly indicated that I am speaking only to those who claim to follow Jesus in this post).

        Fine. You’ve made your point. Move on. If you insist on continuing in this vein, I’m going to start blocking your comments.

      2. Wow! This is amazing! Rick mentions, “Why the refugees are leaving Syria”. Maybe he should check the facts on what was happening in Syria during 2011. He mentions, “the permanent damage to Christian culture in Europe”. That’s an incredible statement. I have Muslim friends who are Afghan refugees. They are now settled in Britain. They haven’t damaged my ‘Christian culture’, they have enriched my life enormously, in so many ways. They have enriched me in every way, including spiritually. They are the most precious people, such a blessing, an enormous gift from God, a gift from God that is so huge we cannot imagine it. They may have a different faith to me but I love them so much and I am so grateful to God for making them a part of my life.

  114. The author is very judgemental and uses improper arguments. Considering his lecturing tone, he must be very frustrated that there are other Christians that do not fit into “his” Christian world. Does that mean that they are bad Christians – as he asserted? He is not the person to judge others. I’m Sorry, Ryan, But You Don’t Get to Make That Move. Regards,

    1. That’s right! Ryan does not get to make this move to judge other Christian and make himself so holier-than-thou.

    1. DanutM: Why would it be reasonable and rational to NOT be fearful of a new situation when
      you know from past experience that Christians will lose and islam will prevail? I am fearful of a cobra, but a 4-year-old might walk to it and touch it. I am fearful of both situations for good reason. You act like is insane to be fearful. Please tell me where there has been mass conversions to Chrlstianity in the midst of islam. Please explain how this invasion of muslims will be good for Christianity in Europe. Are you aware that Saudi Arabia has offered countries in Europe massive millions of dollars to build mosques? I have been condemned by several who think I am just so hateful—-but I have yet to see an explanation of how this will be a good thing for Europe?

    2. Of course there is fear, because our government doesn’t protect our borders any more, because the islamic influence in our country is growing a lot, because at least some IS-fighters come into our country without any security check on the border. If all refugees, immigrants, guests would behave like the the three angels who visited Abraham and Sarah… they don’t, for sure. Did you know, that under the label of “political correctness” they don’t tell you nationality of criminals any more? Of course, criminal rate rises. Since when is fear unchristian? There is a lot help to refugees in Germany. WWJD? Maybe talk to american drone pilots or CIA-officers, who … have their dirty fingers everywhere?

    3. WWJD. How about What Did Jesus Do? That would always be the same answer.
      I wish WWJD would go away. Nobody knows what Jesus WOULD do. It assumes
      the person is a partner with Jesus. And 10 people would have 10 different answers. Please
      let WWJD go away

    4. DanutM: What is un-Christian is to create a lie….accusing rational, reasonable Christians of hating Syrian musllm refugees when you know for a fact they are only concerned about the effect all this will have on Europe. I have yet to see an email where hate toward the refugees was the issue—-it is always islam that is the problem. Real Christians naturally fear islam, because they know it is the foremost enemy of Christianity. Weak Christians or Christian imposters cannot figure out why islam is a problem. And think real Christians are just mean.

  115. The main question is: does Jesus talk to you and me as a single person or does he talk generally about ‘being good’, giving advices to governments? Can I delegate my charity to a government? Or did I elect them to fulfill the laws? Does a government can be mercifully and billing the costs in terms of higher taxes, lower wages and higher rents for cheap (more competition on the market for labour as well for housing) flats to its people?

    The European Union, esp. Germany has always hosted many refugees, boat people from Vietnam, many of Afghanistan, in the early 90’s from Kosovo, about 5% of its population as economic refugees from Turkey, now from around the whole mediterranean sea: should a canadian pastor talk to european readers or rather to his own congregation? As we have those liberal laws: wants Jesus governments to break laws and rules? Or should you rather hold a penitential sermon to your neighbour “America, the beautiful”, who is responsible for most of those refugees, at least Vietnam, Afghanistan, Irak, Syria?

    Which other country gives at least 3% of its federal budget for refugees like Germany does this year?

  116. “As followers of this king, as citizens of this kingdom, we don’t get to make that move.”

    Thank you for your words. They are helping re-define and re-shape the church today, and in doing so, they are bringing the Kingdom close. They are hard words to speak, which is probably why they’re so needed. 🙂

    Thank you.

  117. Jesus aked us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

    His disciples were very cautious of Paul and had to thoroughly test his motives before welcoming him in their midst. Should we do the same?

    What many of us see through the TV screen is multitutes of military aged men posing as refugees. We experience before our eyes the redefinition of “refugee.” Defenceless women and children are the extreme minority. Why? Are they left behind to fight ISIS?

    Christians should be concerned, be loving and compassionate, but also wise and discerning.

  118. It’s getting tiring reading Leftists using Christianity as a tool to justify their policies. Yes, we are in the Love business. To love those in our own country Christians must choose to keep dangerous refugees out. Yes, that’s what love does. It protects the innocent from danger.

    Pretending that Christianity only means a leftist Pollyanna world view doesn’t make it so.

  119. I know it matters what I post on line, even if only small number of people are going to read it. I feel it my duty to warn as I have felt persecution on my skin, in my own family and in the murder of my innocent, elderly father. Wherever the followers of Muhhamad go the death and the destruction follow, wherever they take hold; slovenly, immoral, cheating attitude takes over. West is naive when treating all humans, wherever they come from, by abiding traditional Christian moral values as it turns out that most other parts of world have no problem with lying and cheating their way into a better standard of personal life (however low it is) at the expense of their fellow human being. Our governments have duty to protect our traditional way of life, but they are failing. Sending Cruise ship to those who arrived to Europe to bring them further West, the message is: please come. Failing to provide for those left behind, to stabilize the region. Do they think that we love our sons less, that our sons should go and fight and die for their battles, whiles sending over their sons to fight our police? Charity and mercy start from home and it is our primary duty to secure our own children’s future first. There are no Christians left in Raka (Siria), for the first time in 2000 years, and THEY are not walking towards Europe.

    1. Thank you for the heartfelt email, written from the heart of someone who lives
      in the real world. i was pretty much warning of the same thing—-but you said it
      so much better. And I was labeled a hater. And not allowed to have an opinion.
      By people who have strong opinions but cannot defend those strong opinions.

  120. In spite of your rant against atheists I don’t think that atheist/humanist Persons are a significant factor in the xenophobic hysteria. All I hear from in this regard are xtians.

  121. worth mentioning that there are also people who don’t call themselves Christians, who are being compassionate, that Christian bigots need to catch up to. and in case anyone’s confused, i’m not calling all Christians bigots–i am a Christian myself–but many Christians have proven themselves to be. very sad.

  122. I’m not trying to be flippant, but are you saying that the only way we can “love them” and “pray for them” is if we let them into our country?

  123. Yes, well I’m sorry too, but I don’t totally agree with your post. I’m a Christian and, yes, we are supposed to be charitable and help those less fortunate than ourselves. If these “refugees” were all refugees and needed help then I’d be all for it, but a great many of them are migrants just taking advantage of the situation to go to a new country. There was an article in February in which ISIS said that they would use a flood of 500,000 migrants as a weapon.


    Being a Christian doesn’t mean we should be stupid and not use the intelligence that God gave us, opening ourselves up to attack. When the enemy himself is telling us what he will do and we totally ignore it, it is just foolishness. Obama is being just as stupid with Iran. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    The Crusades had people doing many things wrong on both sides, but if it were for the Crusades, we’d all be Muslim now.

    1. “Funny” isn’t the word that I would use. “False” would be more appropriate. The group that our church is a part of is in the process of sponsoring two Syrian Christian refugee families right now.

  124. Ideally, if every Christian family “adopted” a refugee family and showed them unconditional love, the Church Universal would grow exponentially in much the same way the first century church did. Would every Syrian who was offered Christian refuge gladly convert? No. The first century church also endured tribulation and martyrdom as they showed the love of Christ to Rome. We would have to expect the same.

  125. Ordinarily, in the life of this little blog, I try to respond as best I can to individual comments. On this post, that has obviously not been possible. But I wanted to offer a more general thank you to all of those who took the time to encourage or affirm the sentiments expressed in this post. The negative comments tend be the loudest and to demand the most attention, but I truly appreciate all those who took the time to offer a kind word in this space. I also want to thank those who offered constructive criticism. I apologize that I have not been able to address your concerns here. I hope that my silence will not be interpreted as apathy or disdain. I simply have not had the time or the energy to offer a response worthy of your very fair questions and concerns.

    Again, many thanks to all who took the time to engage this very important issue.

    1. From your comment – it’s easy to bless those who bless you – didn’t Jesus say something about that?

  126. I am very upset by some of the right wing conservative Christians who seem to buy into campaign of “be very afraid of muslims, they are going to kill you” They are trying to dehumanize muslims in general and we know where that leads. How did we get to this point on abortion…we convinced society that fetus’ aren’t really human, how did Hitler kill all those jews? We convinced the germans that they weren’t really human and deserve life. So what happens when conservative American media and politicians convince us that the muslims are so scary and so menacing that they are barely even human…

  127. My husband and I are ready to host a refugee family in our home in the name of Christ. That said, I am confused by your self-opposing words. Are you aware of global realities, or do you find it unimaginable that some refugees are playing the Trojan horse? Your answer has to do with whether or not you will also fulfill a duty to love your neighbors who don’t happen to be mass murderers.

    You are correct that we are not to seek only our own benefit and see only our own individual salvation. Partly that means we must acknowledge what God ordains government to do: put the wicked to the sword. Romans 13. We who have any say in government must make sure it does this, to protect the innocent. Otherwise, we don’t love by God’s definition.

    Maybe in your next post, you could make some practical suggestions to reach out to the tremendously needy … with wisdom and love for ALL our neighbors.

    This will, of course, be more difficult and far less popular than Christian bashing. Nevertheless, to do so would be a gift to those who would offer and receive a lifeline.

  128. I wonder if the author is conscious of the fact that, while we are not to be fearful, we are not to be blind. Jesus challenged His disciples not just to love their enemies, but also to take a sword with them as they traveled. I didn’t make that up. When He knows He’s going to die, Jesus tells them to buy a couple of swords while they’re traveling. Why do you suppose Jesus did that? So that they could love the thieves and destroyers along the way? Hmmm. Something to think about.

    I’m not going to run to the hills as the Muslims come, but neither am I going to pretend it’s something other than what it is. You see, Jesus also told us to be aware of the signs of the times, and if you don’t think that the worst-case scenario here is portentous, then you’re not paying attention.

  129. Ryan, your article is very timely and I wholeheartedly agree with your summation of what some christians are saying in the name of the one they claim to follow. I am a christian. That said, I am appalled at the hatred spouted by some and it does the gospel much harm. Christ commanded us to love, it was not just wishful thinking or a maybe or I might, but a command to love one another, to love the stranger, the widow, the orphan, the poor, the refugee. I teach migrants english and many are Syrian or Iraqi and they are so overwhelmed by the gratitude shown to them for now being safe. In the majority their sole goal in life is safety and even Joseph, Jesus’ father, sought to keep his family safe and fled to Egypt. My prayer is that we can show that kind of love to people who are fleeing war. People, their homelands are being bombed and they have to flee. As so called christians we ought to be extending our arms and as Ryan said, praying for them and doing what we can. Thank you Ryan for this awe inspiring, challenging critique and you should be congratulated for thinking seriously about the state of christianity in the world today. Thank you.

  130. The truth is we Christians should not be afraid of this kind of things. but embrace it like how god embraced us when we repented. But the main thing is we should not be happy or be scared about the Syrian refugee crisis but embrace and love them because the bible says love your neighbours as you love Christ and yourself because it the right thing for us Christians to do because if we don’t do this then we should not call are self Christian because you just broke one of the main rule in the bible and also the Ten Commandments which love your neighbours as yourself. What am trying to say is we should not criticize people because of what state they are in because if it were you in that position, in Syrian as refugee would u be saying rubbish about the crisis in Syrian, well the answer is no because you are not their. You will be in Australia or American, England, Japan, or even China well I don’t know because were you are right now is safer then were they are. So think before you say or od any thing stupid that might as well do harm to the people in Syrian.

  131. You lost me at palestinian hillside. And frankly Christians, as human beings get to do whatever their little hearts desire. God is the judge of right and wrong. It is between God and that horrible, paranoid person whether they are wrong or not. Yes, ideally, every Christian opens their arms to every person and loves everyone unto death. But that is the ideal. Reality is a little different. Telling any person to stop doing something innate, such as fear for their children and future, or fear for the future of their country, is kind of useless whether they are Christian or not.

    You don’t get to tell Christians what they can and can’t do. You need to take care of yourself. Passing judgement on your fellow Christians is a no-no. These Christians you claim are not acting right will deal just fine. When you try to point out what other people are doing wrong, it just highlights the huge plank in your own eye. You know that verse right? Stop telling people they are wrong. Make sure YOU are not wrong. God will take care of everything else.

  132. While I acknowledge that there is almost nothing that can be said on this matter including this very response that will not be considered offensive by someone, I want to say that God loves each of us affected by or concerned with this issue whether we are atheists or Christians or Moslems. He can relate with how everyone feels. I am glad there is no need or concern regarding immigration, refugee, terrorism, border protection, wisdom, kindness and every other need and concern each of us may have that he will dismiss as invalid. While we may disagree with each other and sometimes attack each other, the Christ at the center of this whole debate loves each one of us equally including those we disagree with. He invites His followers to follow suit and that is not exactly easy to do especially when there is a risk of us or our loved ones getting hurt in the process. He has the answer to all the questions raised by this post and the comments. And those answers come in an atmosphere of peace and love not arguments and strife.

  133. I’m sorry Ryan, but you don’t get to determine who’s following Jesus. 🙂
    My point, there is middle ground and wisdom. Do we not believe there should be some separation between civil and spiritual law Ryan? Since we’re all in on the Scriptures, do we buy off on the authority of the government to “wield the sword” (no I don’t like our violent interventionist policies and actions all over the world, but that’s a different blog/comment).

    I refuse to go for the black or white, in or out, all left or all right paradigm the media likes to use to keep us divided. I believe there is middle ground. Useful tension, discussion, debate and even an occasional disagreement can be helpful and beneficial, particularly in government -engaged, informed, reasonable dialog.

    Differentiating between “majors and minors” and sticking with majors would serve the visible church well. Particularly if we want to see Jesus dream and prayer for a loving united church demonstrated in the world.

    Just like Egypt in Joseph’s day, it takes all kinds to see the purposes of God fulfilled in times of crisis. Keep pointing all of us to Jesus. Let Jesus point us to our vacations and our political dialog.

    Ours is a unique experiment in the history of nations and government. It requires informed participation. Thanks for you thoughts, but I cannot fully agree.

  134. I am wondering where the “Christian compassion” is for the Europeans whose countries have been invaded, because I certainly haven’t seen any here. The economies of these European countries will crumble and collapse within a few years, because they will go broke before they can absorb even ten percent of these migrants. There are more coming and no end to it. Most of you have no clue about the magnitude of what is going on here. Also, most of these migrants are not even from war torn countries. They are just looking for better opportunities, which doesn’t mean they are victims or refugees.

  135. I am a Christian.

    I think we have a duty to help where we see a need or we reduce our own humanity. BUT we must be open eyed about this. This is not a question of warm and fuzzy feelings. This relates to real people with real, long term, ongoing needs.

    Are we prepared to put our hands in our pockets to help? Yes! Of course the / we / i should! We cannot leave this to the powers that already have problems caring for our own needy who are losing out because of reduced governmental support.

    My heart is grieving over the fact that if and when money runs short – it is, and always will be the poor who miss out.

    I have just been listening to a lady who is a full time carer for her daughter. The daughter has Austism spectrum related problems but has been refused PIP. The mother, not surprisingly is desperate and I have been trying to find help for her. I am trying to find help for someone with a lousy landlord who refuses to take housing benefit unless it is done illegally – meaning that this family is permanently short of money. I am not a professional. I do this because these are my friends and they are hurting and it makes me angry

    Does my concern about the practicalities mean I am a lousy Christian? Maybe!

    Yes we must help people in need but please don’t do at the cost of those who are also suffering and in need

  136. As a former Christian, I appreciate how you point out to your fellow believers their responsibility to care for fellow humans. As a human being, I am sorry that you include in this responsibility only people of your faith, and seem to believe that non-believers do NOT (even have to??) share in this responsibility since it is in their nature to be self-centered? Please tell me I read wrong. Thanks.

  137. This is a well-written article, but not all of us who are non-Christians, or are avowed Atheists, as I am, are selfish, right wing, and reactionary. I do care about my neighbors including migrants and refugees, and I welcome them. Marjorie

  138. OK. But the thing I find interesting is that this brand of brave, assertive Christianity primarily is preached when it comes to crises and refugees. Not forcefully in the day-to-day lives of Christians, extolling and helping them to make a huge difference among the struggling in their communities, supporting the work of other people and groups who tirelessly and thanklessly combat poverty, homelessness, joblessness, illness. And by support, I mean with their time and effort, not just check-writing.

    I’m just one person and I try to do these things in my daily life. I was attached to a church but I got tired of trying to organize more commitment to the poor with no or maybe a one-person response from a large group. Oh, there are sermons. Lots of sermons. Isn’t it easy to sermonize when the crisis is finite or far away?

    But it isn’t. Need exists, all of the time, everywhere. If we were to truly heed Jesus’ words — all of them — and call, then the world would be transformed, His Kingdom of Love brought into being. There wouldn’t be wars. Or refugee crises.

    Help refugees? Yes. But quit the self-righteous harangues and finger-pointing. Live the Gospel as best you can every day where you are. Focus on transforming yourself. I know those two things keep me rather busy.

    1. What an interesting combination and variety of assumptions at work in this comment. How do you know that I (or others) are not doing precisely the work that you champion here in addition to speaking about the refugee issue?

      And might not this comment itself fall into the category of “self righteous harangues and finger pointing” that you decry? By your own logic, would not your time have been better spent “focusing on transforming yourself” and “living the gospel as best you can every day where you are” rather than composing this comment?

      1. In response to your reply to txteatime’s comment…”What an interesting combination and variety of assumptions at work in this comment. How do you know that I (or others) are not doing precisely the work that you champion here in addition to speaking about the refugee issue?” And here we have the problem of moral narcissism which is endemic amongst SJWs – the use of the word I. Your original harangue against Christians who didn’t measure up was filled with ‘I’s so one cannot be mistaken about where the bar is set. But my guess is that many of those who you think don’t measure up may see the real bar, where it is set and attempt to reach it in other ways.

      2. Claiming to be concerned about and active in more than one issue is moral narcissism?

        As I’ve said more times than I can count on this thread and others, the post was not a “harangue against Christians who didn’t measure up.” It was a call to examine observable Christian behaviours alongside the explicit teachings of Jesus. That’s it. Yet again, this should not be a very radical thing to do.

        (Just to anticipate a potential response. I am not in any way exempting myself from this critique. Anybody who is a Christian has an obligation to measure the nature of their discourse, with respect to friends or enemies, according to the words of Christ. This is the bar.)

      3. Don’t you notice how much you talk about yourself? Moral narcissism is a real modern malady (not my invention) which basically says everyone else has to care as much as ‘me and in the same way I do’ or they don’t care.

      4. It seems that you’re not reading my responses. To repeat: “It was a call to examine observable Christian behaviours alongside the explicit teachings of Jesus.”

        Do you disagree that this is a legitimate exercise?

      5. Who elected you to make that call, what qualifies you, and why should anyone care what you say? (These questions are rhetorical.) I’m Sorry, Ryan, But You Have No Standing For Most People. See how that works? Shrug.

    2. Nobody has to care what I say. Nobody has to read. Nobody has to comment. Not you. Not anyone.

      And yet here you are, apparently caring, reading, and commenting.

      1. Clearly, you DO believe that people should read and care about what you have to say; otherwise, you wouldn’t have an online presence with pieces like this one. And you don’t limit your remarks to your own sect but address the broad Christian community, which gets a metatag. That’s the point. When you set yourself up as some sort of judge of Christian practice, applying your litmus test to that very fluid and sacred space between Christians and their relationship with and understanding of God, you will get emotive responses.

        You address “Christians” in general but write as if your understanding of Jesus and Scripture is the only one — and the only CORRECT view — in Christendom. It isn’t. You cherrypick Scripture to promote YOUR view and then use it to belittle Christians as “less than” for not meeting your standard. That’s not just. Many people here pointed out NT passages in which Jesus basically warned His followers to “be careful out there” and to move on from places where they weren’t accepted. This view is just as valid as yours.

        Why am I commenting? Because I’m tired of religious people using their positions and personal views, their power, to drill into people that they’re not good enough. They’re never good enough. To raise the bar higher and higher and higher that people give up, lose heart, feel unlovable, and distant from God.

        The Jesus I’ve come to know wasn’t like that. In fact, he castigated the religious authorities in his day for just that thing, for making the laws a burden that broke the people’s backs and kept them from God. He chose deeply flawed disciples to follow him — people who he knew persecuted others and who would betray him, run away when he needed them most. He kept them from harm, he loved them. One of his final prayers before his arrest was that he hadn’t lost one of them. Even when they said they would die with him, he said nothing. He knew they wouldn’t.

        Jesus knew and knows human nature. He wants us to try. But he also knows we aren’t perfect and he gets that. So what makes you a demi-god that you believe you can judge all Christians and prescribe what they should do to be real followers of Jesus? A Lebanese Catholic Christian here detailed his/her suffering, reality, with the refugee situation in his/her country, yet you didn’t even offer a word of comfort and compassion, let alone sympathy. Just an “I can’t imagine” and reiteration of your prescription for being a Christian. That person could have used a reminder of God’s love and care but got your view, instead. So only the refugees matter to you?

  139. Thank you for a thoughtful and spot-on commentary.
    I’d like to point out that there are many in the secular and humanist community, yea verily, even atheists, who have a more “Christian” view of the refugee crisis and most human rights issues than many who call themselves Christian.
    We are called to love our neighbor – yes, the refugee neighbor, the gay neighbor, the transgender neighbor, the Republican neighbor, the Democrat neighbor – and even the atheist neighbor. I can’t believe I’m sticking up for atheists here, but it is possible to infer from your paragraph about your specific concern that you think secular people are reactionary, self-interested, and unconcerned with ethics. It stands to reason that some are. In my experience, give me an ethical secular humanist any day of the week, over a bible-thumping super-christian.
    I’m a Quaker.

    1. To DIVAMOVER and other similar comments: I could not help but notice that you are discussing individual, one-on-one Christian charity, not unlike the Good Samaritan. Caring for a stranger cannot be compared to being overrun with 10,000 muslim refugees, descending on a city. Deciding to extend charity to an individual or a small family is a Christian act. But, your own government forcing thousands of muslims into Christian communities? That is not a Christian circumstance. There is no voluntary choice for a Christian to make. Just misery now and more misery later.

  140. Thank you very much, I am going to enjoy my time with you Mennonites in heaven. I couldn’t have said it better by myself, so that’s why I thank you again. We are facing the very same situation here in Finland and we can not do nothing else, but what our lord and king expects from us. He who personally gave all he could, his life. I’ve said to my friends that we have to start paying the price of our name. If we are Christians, we should expect persecutions and struggles. Our brothers and sisters suffer around the world, because of their name. what have we done, kept worrying about our own comfort and “happiness”. We surely are in the middle of war, but in this war against unrighteousness, love is our only weapon. Pentecostal brother.

  141. “In sum, if you have no interest in Jesus or his teachings, then you can splash around the hysteria, the fear, and, all the anti-[insert threatening people group/category here] rhetoric you want.”

    This is an article calling Christians to stop making fear-based, bigoted assumptions about others and start acting like Christians. In the process you gave a paragraph or two of revealing assumptions about those who are not Christians. I am not sure you mean members of other religious faiths and atheists or just atheists. I guess this is what you assume is the natural state of people who don’t have your faith; life without the grace afforded by salvation. From what I can gather you made these comments in the assumption that you are preaching to the choir.

    I would recommend thinking this through a bit more and avoid making the same sorts of assumptions about the other and their nature that those who are anti-immigrant and often, from what I can see, bigots, make. If you laugh off my comments perhaps you will one day, when you have a bit of time for reflection, or when you meet someone who is not a Christian yet is undeniably a good person with obviously deep rooted morals.

  142. Wow, this is something I have been thinking about for a few weeks now but you just put it all perfectly into words in a way that I never could. Thank you Ryan for having the courage to say all of that. So so awesome.

  143. Reblogged this on Joy on a Shoestring and commented:
    This exactly enccapsulates my fellings on the matter. Not just the Syrian refugee crisis, either. Simply: the judgment that seems to be heaped so liberally onto every conversation. Where does it come from? Why is it here? And most of all: how can we get rid of it?

  144. To the author:

    I am a Catholic Christian from Lebanon. Before idealizing about such issues, I urge to come and visit Lebanon, currently hosting over 1.5 million Syrian refugees.

    They thank us by associating themselves to ISIS, car bombings or suicidal missions that killed nearly 50 persons in Beirut a few days ago.

    This is not to mention kidnapping for ransom, drug and weapon traficking, etc, etc…

    I wish we had the means to close our borders indefinetly at this point in time, bearing in mind that you want to eventually consider YOURSELF as a refugee in your own country!

    1. Thank you for your comment. I can’t imagine what the situation is like in Lebanon right now. Truly, I can’t. I read the news and I try to put myself in your situation. But I can’t.

      Having said that, I can only say that if I am “idealizing” about this issue, I am aiming to do it after the pattern of Jesus Christ and his teachings about how we are to respond to enemies.

  145. Great post. Very passionate and well stated. Certainly the anger we feel is not misdirected, but I did think you were a little harsh toward those who don’t claim Jesus as king. Indeed, some of my frustration with many Christians’ reactions recently is due to the many good, thoughtful reactions of my friends who don’t know Jesus.

    Also, and I think this is important as a motivating factor for obeying Jesus’ commands to love so sacrificially, Jesus was clear we are to love our enemies and to stand firm in our faith through any persecution and terror from which we are surely not protected, and so receive the crown of life.

  146. Jesus did once order whole nations, including women, children, even animals, to be annihilated by the Israelites. The rise of ISIS helps me understand why that had to happen. The nations concerned were so evil they probably make ISIS look like boy scouts. However I have always understood that these peoples were exterminated to save civilization. If they had been allowed to live the whole world would have been in peril. Don’t you think we’re in the same situation now?

  147. You go to fight for there freedom and have the shake you hand calling you friend during the day and try to blow you up at night. Or find out that 12 year Olds are calling themselves the sons of Iraq and plant bombs and shoot at your base sorry but I have a hard time allowing the same region that attempted to kill me for 8 months move into my city. If they need some much help then why aren’t they moving to another Muslim country?

  148. I guess you don’t think Franklin Graham is as good a Christian as you then. Or maybe he isn’t a Christian at all. Here is a post from his Facebook page:

    “I’ve said this before, and many people criticized me for saying it. We must reform our immigration policies in the United States. We cannot allow Muslim immigrants to come across our borders unchecked while we are fighting this war on terror. If we continue to allow Muslim immigration, we’ll see much more of what happened in Paris—it’s on our doorstep. France and Europe are being overrun by young Muslim men from the Middle East, and they do not know their backgrounds or their motives and intentions. Islam is not a peaceful religion as George W. Bush told us and as President Barack Obama has said—that is just not true. Our president and our politicians in Washington need to wake up before it’s too late. This is not the time to be politically correct. Our nation’s security is at stake. The future of our children and grandchildren is at stake. We should not allow any political or religious group who want to destroy us and our way of life to immigrate to this country. Right now let us continue to pray for the victims and family members of the ‪#‎parisattacks‬.”

    1. I totally agree with Rev. Graham and I’m so glad that he’s speaking out about this. Christians should not be silent.
      Perhaps, refugees should be sent to where the author lives.

  149. Despite the immense evil of war, Jesus said it is inevitable that wars will continue until He returns (Mark 13:7-8), and He did not oppose earthly governments or their right to maintain armies (Matthew 8:5-10). Other New Testament passages accept the necessity of maintaining armies and the worthiness of military occupations (Luke 3:14, Acts 10:1-6)

  150. It seems forgotten in all of this is the Old Testament example of God commanding His people not to marry foreign wives and bring their idolatry into the camp, thus polluting His people with their sinful ways. And you may recall that is exactly what happened when they disobeyed Him. And every time, His people suffered persecution because of disobedience. Already we are told of over 1,000 Americans who have jumped ship and gone to sign up to fight for Isis. Of course, as Christians we are to love and pray for our enemies, but we are not to become one of them. Our involvement should be to take care of them monetarily, and seeing to their personal needs hoping to show them Christianity in action in the hopes of changing them to the Lord’s way. This could still be done without inviting them into our way of life in order to destroy us. We cannot dance with evil and not expect it to rub off. How many “Christians” would convert to Islam if their life was on the line? It is a far, far too dangerous to take this lightly. It’s intense prayer time for America as we see her slipping away.

    1. Exactly! The bleeding hearts should weigh the consequences of bringing in other religions in. Especially this one! Hope they like Sharia law! Because that is the agenda our president is after. People are not seeing thru him. Infiltrate and take over.
      When I wonder if something is legit to get worked up over, I look to our leaders. Franklin Graham has said to make safe camps in their own countries. Help them there and then help them rebuild when the tensions are over. Jay Sekulow is a man of God and he is trying to put a hold on the immigration process til we can iron things out with the screening process, etc…. Are these and other men of God so wrong? Doubtful!

  151. You have absolutely and unequivocally summed up EVERYTHING that has been SO wrong with the “Christian” response to the current Syrian refugee crisis, as well as the response to all kinds of “otherness” so well that you have nearly convinced me — a rationalist and a humanist — to find a church and to join up. Sadly, most “Christian” leaders are just as bad — some even worse — than their congregations. And don’t even get me started on “Christian” politicians. I am going to share your words with as many people as I can, as often as I can. Finally, a sensible and well thought out response from a “Christian”. I applaud you!

  152. A lot of Communists pretend to be Christian and promote this idea of Christian pacifism to encourage Christians to roll over and play dead so they can take over the world. They also replace the Gospel of salvation with the gospel of social welfare. Just as they historically abuse Romans 13, they now try to sell Christians on the idea that it is more godly to watch their wives and daughters be raped than to defend them. Satan was a master at perverting the Scriptures too, but Jesus threw his cherry picked verses back in his ugly face. These people will take the mark of the Beast, because in doing so, they will claim that they are obeying the government just like the Bible says, disrega