When I get upset about something, I write. It has to come out of me on paper or it just sits in my spirit and festers. So while I am not sure if the urge to write this is from the Holy Spirit or just out of pure emotion, I pray that my words will bring peace to the Church of Jesus Christ. I pray that I will overlook my opinion and I will write simply to heal rifts.
Syria. The country that we all have our eyes fixed on these days. Millions of people have been displaced from their homes and are running in terror from killers.
But these aren’t just any killer, these are demonic killers. These terrorists that call themselves “ISIS”, they don’t play by anyone’s rules. They behead children. They hang bodies in the public square. They teach children to kill and commit suicide. They target people based on their beliefs. They are evil incarnate.
So what are we as Christians to do, to think, and to communicate about this crisis? THAT is what is being hashed out in front of the world all over social media. One side has the corner market on compassion and the other has the corner market on wisdom. Two drastically different viewpoints from people who believe in the same Jesus whom no one can see over the shouting and the finger pointing and the high horses and the anger and the pure ugliness between Christian brothers and sisters.
And the devil laughs because now…not only can he kill, steal, and destroy…but he can divide the only people with the Power to unite to stop him.
Shame on us. All of us. Our anger at each other only works to assist the enemy, it does not accomplish God’s righteousness.
Yesterday on Facebook, I went from reading statuses from Christians who absolutely refuse Syrian refugees for any reason to statuses accusing anyone who did not accept all refugees with open arms of being heretics. Of course these statuses were worded in different ways and some were sneaky implication, but the jest was the same. And I saw Christ in neither viewpoint…
I don’t care how many Scriptures you throw out there to back up your point…if your tone is anger, condescension, or plain out pride…it just reads as noise to anyone at whom you are supposedly speaking. I made comments yesterday from my perspective and was pummeled with not only Scripture, but accusations about my state of mind, and even comments about my own children…from people who don’t know me or my life or my children.
Jesus doesn’t speak to me like that. I didn’t hear His voice in these sharp words. And yes, I stand on the wrong side of issues sometimes, but His voice opens my heart to His call…it doesn’t shut me down into a defensive posture where I find myself wondering how I made enemies of what is supposed to be the family of God.
Shame on us for showing our underwear to the world…for forgetting that by our love for each other we will be known as children of the Most High. For running over each other with the bus from the high road. For speaking of the hurting and helpless in vile ways that lump them in with the perpetrators.
Shame on us for not taking a very real opportunity to show the unity of Christ and His Church.
After being on Facebook yesterday, I got a glimpse of why ISIS is a draw to the lost. They are unified in their purpose and even though it is hate and murder, they have become a band of brothers and sisters with the same purpose. This makes them so powerful and it makes them attractive to those who feel that they don’t belong anywhere or have a purpose.
I can’t say that I saw much that attracted me to Christianity yesterday…
I can tell you this. Every true Christian wants to see these Syrian refugees out of harm’s way. I don’t believe you can love Jesus and not love people. Every true Christian has compassion for these people. We agree that Jesus told His Church that these people ARE our responsibility. They aren’t the governments responsibility, they are the Church’s responsibility. Whether the government allows them here or not, there is much we can do to help. There are organizations like Voice of the Martyrs, Samaritans Purse, Christian Aid, World Vision, and Open Doors USA have feet on the ground in Syria. They have connections and access to these people…some of which who will never see the first form to fill out to apply for refugee status.
You have an opinion? Tell me, have you given?
This morning, I thought to myself. Where would Jesus be right now? If He was still walking the earth, where would He be…what would He be doing? I think He would be in Syria…right in the center of those refugee camps. I think that He would be praying to the Father on behalf of those people. I think that He would sharing eternal life with them. I can guarantee that He wouldn’t be on Facebook lumping innocent people in with terrorists or using His Word to shame His followers into agreeing with a political position.
We should speak out. For sure, we should speak out. We should bring truth into every conversation, but saints, let’s be so careful that we are doing it with love. The moment that we start making sweeping accusations of each other, of the people coming here, of the people already here, we show ourselves to be very unlike Christ.
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35
We don’t have to agree on the political side of this conversation, but let’s unite in doing what ONLY the CHURCH can do for these people and for the world. We have a weapon sanctioned by Almighty God. We can agree in prayer asking that the Lord would work disunity and division in the enemy’s camp. That they would become completely disorganized and chaotic. That every plan they attempt will be foiled and every circumstance will work against them. Pray that their followers will lose heart and give up, that hopelessness will take over in their ranks, and that their eyes will be opened to the deception of Satan who uses them to kill, steal, and destroy. Pray that their dark plans will come to light, that they will make mistakes in their execution, and that the mercy of God will hold back the evil that seeks to rule in this world. Pray that the people who are running from ISIS will find shelter and hope and most of all Jesus. Pray that we will find a way to open our doors while refraining from allowing the enemy more territory to kill, steal, and destroy. Pray that each one of us will unite our time, resources, and talents where they are of greatest use to the Kingdom in this matter. Pray that we will find peace with God and with each other.
May God have mercy on all of our souls and bring His peace and light back to the conversation. Only then will Christlikeness be recognizable in this matter.