Thinking About The Syrian Refugee Crisis

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123 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    We still have all the refugees from Israel’s repossession of the land and we have refugees from nation after nation. A refugee is a faceless nameless problem with no options. What shall we do deport them all? No we have to find a way

  2. Phil Metzger says:

    I find the American response to Syrian refugees strange right now. BTW this isn’t an assumption of your position Michael. What I find strange is don’t we realize that refugees coming into America are vetted? It’s part of the refugee process. As opposed to what happened here in Europe recently where no vetting occurred (at least not where I’m located.)

  3. Michael says:

    Phil,

    There is some question about how well they are vetted.
    Because immigration is such a political football here, if we are to have a discussion that leads to better choices we have to hear and acknowledge all the concerns presented.

    I’ve read this morning that the process is stringent…then seen commenters who believe such reports are a lie.

    We’ve made migrants and refugees the national scapegoat…it will be difficult to reverse that.

  4. Michael says:

    BD,

    People are going to think I’m holding you hostage… 🙂

  5. Phil Metzger says:

    After my experiences here in Hungary during the refugee crisis I’m convinced that all media outlets lie- I mean only lie. So I can imagine that vetting isn’t what everyone is hoping it could be. I get that. On the other hand it would still seem like a very difficult way to get into the country. Still seems like the miles and miles of open border would be easier, no?

    Beyond that though we (Christians) should at the very least acknowledge that this might be the greatest opportunity in history for the gospel. Again in saying that, I’m not suggesting we let everyone in and have no vetting process. What I am saying is that the government is gonna do what they are gonna do and they aren’t going to ask any of us. So why not use this as a chance to do some real kingdom damage?

    Why not look at refugees as a mission field? Who knows if maybe Christians who are willing to love could help refugees from ever radicalising? Or better than that- maybe some will get saved. Let’s take 1 Corinthians 9 to our generation- I have become all things to all men that I might save some. Maybe it’s our time to reach the Muslim.

    We don’t have to like the policies in America but from a kingdom perspective this is golden.

  6. Michael says:

    Phil,

    One of those lies is that it’s easier to cross the desert than be flown here by our government.
    The 200+ migrants who die in that desert every year would beg to differ.

    If we have borders with international commerce, those borders are open…a fact that no one bothers to mention.

    This could be a phenomenal Gospel opportunity but, to be blunt, much of the church sends missionaries to foreign countries so they will do that work…over there.

  7. Phil Metzger says:

    I’ll take your word for it on matters of immigration and such there in America. But don’t believe for a second that the church has sent very many missionaries to Syria in the last several decades. It just wasn’t possible. But let me take the cynical approach- our opinions won’t change what the government is going to do so we might as well use it for our purposes.
    Blessings.

  8. Michael says:

    Phil,

    Thank you for commenting…your perspective is extremely valuable.

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    Just remember you are a citizen not a government. Lend a hand and raise a voice. Your voice may cry out for stronger borders while your hand reaches out for stronger assistance. We are contradictions unto ourselves. But the refugee I see and hear and know is my brother. So I cannot think only one way about this.

  10. Papias says:

    Michael – thanks for the reasoned discourse.

    There’s lots of issues here: immigration, homelessness, terrorism, and the biggest one – fear.

    Fear would want me to say that its someone else’s problem to deal with. The Gospel tells me that its my problem to deal with.

    More light Lord… more light.

  11. EricL says:

    I come from a large family that spans the ideological spectrum. I have a gay nephew in DC whose husband is ICE’s illegal alien advocate. He’s the top honcho for that program, though his title was changed to deputy-assistant-something-or-other to prevent Congress from defunding the program. I don’t agree with everything he advocates for (transgender women allowed into female housing? Really?), but I also think the position is needed.

  12. Xenia says:

    Syria already has one of the most ancient Christian populations in the world, which still exists today in America and elsewhere in exile. The didn’t need western missionaries, they needed western protection. They got the exact opposite.

  13. Xenia says:

    But don’t believe for a second that the church has sent very many missionaries to Syria <<<

    The Church already existed in Syria.

  14. EricL says:

    Well said, Xenia @13. Sad truth about our country’s actions doing more to endanger Christians in the Middle East.

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    Assuming the numbers I see are correct, 6% of Syria is Christian, which would leave 94% needing missionaries. That 6% is also heavily persecuted, which one might assume would stop if the 94% converted to Christianity.

  16. Em says:

    driving out of the wintry wet and snowy mountains this morning i had a moment of clarity – i think: what one person as a Christian is, today, expected to do with the needy stranger at one’s own door is entirely different than what a nation does with [another] nation or even of a portion of another nation at its door … Michael’s post here is Christian common sense IMHO

  17. Michael says:

    To Xenia’s point, American Protestants don’t count Orthodox as Christians in foreign lands and barely do so here.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia wrote what I was thinking as I read the comments before hers.

    Well said, sister.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    (What I wrote yesterday on facebook which has echoes of both Michael and Xenia’s comments here)

    The reason there is not a religious test to immigration is because throughout history one came to America to become an American and embrace the American dream which exists because of freedoms protected by the US military and our government under the authority of our Constitution – meaning respecting our laws and our Constitutional freedoms of speech, expression, and religion. (That means someone can mock Mohammed and all you can do is get angry or mock them back – not get the knife). If any politician is going to preach our national “values” to us, they should start there, and demanding any and all “refugees” to affirm the same before entry is not “a religious test”. Not our fault if only 1 in a 1000 of these particular refugees could do so honestly.

    And no, it is not our Christian duty to bring people who despise America into our towns and schools, among our children, in order to “share Jesus with them” – there are plenty of Christians in their nations carrying the gospel… and they are slaughtering them. Hearing the message on American soil does not magically equate to instant salvation. Jesus explained clearly why people don’t come to the light. And it has nothing to do with the country in which you are standing.

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh come on, that 6% definitely includes Orthodox (it is far and away mostly Orthodox.)

  21. Surfer51 says:

    I have some Islamic neighbors who are still acting as though they are in their own culture. They keep to themselves and wear their traditional clothing and such.

    In Americas past immigrants would join our culture and become “Americanized.”

  22. Scott says:

    It doesn’t really matter what we say at this point about this matter. President Obama knows what’s best and he’s going to do it. Submit and accept it whether you like it or not.

  23. Michael says:

    Every major American city has ethnic enclaves within it and has for decades.

  24. Michael says:

    President Obama will not always be president, but these mass migrations will continue.
    We need to have these discussions.

  25. Surfer51 says:

    180 Cities will be hosting the influx of refugees with no vetting…

    Alaska: Anchorage
    Alabama: Mobile
    Arizona: Glendale, Phoenix, Springdale, Tucson
    California: Anaheim, Garden Grove, Glendale, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Modesto, Oakland, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Turlock, Walnut Creek
    Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver, Greeley
    Connecticut: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven
    Washington, D.C.
    Delaware: Wilmington
    Florida: Clearwater, Delray Beach, Doral, Jacksonville, Lauderdale Lakes, Miami, Naples, North Port, Orlando, Palm Springs, Pensacola, Riviera Beach, Tallahassee, Tampa
    Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, Stone Mountain
    Hawaii: Honolulu
    Iowa: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines
    Idaho: Boise, Twin Falls
    Illinois: Aurora, Chicago, Moline, Rockford, Wheaton
    Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis
    Kansas: Garden City, Kansas City, Wichita
    Kentucky: Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro
    Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Metairie, New Orleans
    Massachusetts: Boston, Framingham, Jamaica Plain, Lowell, South Boston, Springfield, West Springfield, Worcester
    Maryland: Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Rockville, Silver Spring
    Maine: Portland
    Michigan: Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Clinton Township, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Troy
    Minnesota: Minneapolis, Richfield, Rochester, Saint Paul, St. Cloud
    Missouri: Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield
    Mississippi: Biloxi, Jackson
    North Carolina: Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, High Point, New Bern, Raleigh, Wilmington
    North Dakota: Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks
    Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha
    New Hampshire: Concord, Manchester
    New Jersey: Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Jersey City
    New Mexico: Albuquerque
    Nevada: Las Vegas
    New York: Albany, Amityville, Binghamton, Brooklyn, Buffalo, New York, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica
    Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo
    Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
    Oregon: Portland
    Pennsylvania: Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton
    Rhode Island: Providence
    South Carolina: Columbia, Spartanburg
    South Dakota: Huron, Sioux Falls
    Tennessee: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville
    Texas: Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
    Utah: Salt Lake City
    Virginia: Arlington, Charlottesville, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Newport News, Richmond, Roanoke
    Vermont: Colchester
    Washington: Kent, Richland, Seattle, Spokane, Takoma, Vancouver
    Wisconsin: Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Sheboygan,
    West Virginia: Charleston
    American Territory: Puerto Rico: San Juan

  26. SJ says:

    For those of you fans of Frontline on your local PBS station, the rise of ISIS in Afghanistan is being covered right now. Culture of teaching 8 yr olds about AKs, grenades and jihad. ISIS had kicked it all off by hanging 5 Taliban leaders to show how bad they are.

    Right now teens are training for suicide bombings.

    If you have never watched a Frontline, I highly recommend. It’s the news you don’t get from the MSM. More truth but more of the dirt you wish weren’t true.

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    G – Do you think that type of communication is helpful, or even accurate?

  28. Tim - Doulos says:

    Reasoned discourse is what’s needed in this, rather than all of the straw-man arguments presented by both Obama and Trump. Thank you, Michael for providing some of that here.

    I mentioned on my Facebook that wisdom and compassion are not contradictory to one another. It is only prudent to ensure that the people we allow to immigrate here are not prone to massacre our citizens. It is compassionate to ensure that the vetting is done well so that as many people as possible might come.

  29. Em says:

    right now from my corner of this world, it looks like the sky is falling – “perilous times?”
    good and evil become hard to separate in the minds of man

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34855800

  30. Xenia says:

    God ordained governments to keep order and to keep its citizens safe. Nations are not required to love enemy nations, they are required to protect their people.

    Individuals are a different matter. If G wants to invite a family of Syrians to move in with him, God bless him.

  31. Francisco Nunez says:

    The western EU countries(UK,France,Netherlands) have more of these enclaves some of which are unofficial “no go” zones. Whether we want to admit it or not we also have our so called “no go zones” here at home in the US but they are more due to drug and crime not necessarily religious persecution. Even businesses including, mortgage companies, banks, and pizza delivery businesses consider some of these areas no go zones.

    This said these “no go zones” are the mission field here in the US for the Church.

  32. Em says:

    reading my #17 posted yesterday, boy was i tired… no matter as many here have said what i was thinking and done so with cogent clarity (is that redundant?)

  33. ( |o )====::: says:

    Josh,
    Absolutely.
    Graphics summarize the horrible disconnects that debates miss, especially this one.

  34. Em says:

    i find G’s cartoon post disgustingly offensive … and a dishonest portrayal

  35. Papias says:

    Of course the cartoon G posted is offensive.

    The disconnect is G judging others in the worst possible manner for not seeing things the way he sees them.

  36. Michael says:

    I don’t think G’s cartoon is an accurate reflection of the current crisis.
    I would have put it on the cover during the Central American children crisis.

    This situation is too complex, too daunting for simplistic reactions.
    I believe the Christian is to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.

    Wisdom tells us that we are constantly at risk from an enemy that desires to destroy us.
    The state has a responsibility to protect us from such.

    Jesus told us there would be those who would hate us and kill us.
    He told us to walk in love anyway, without fear.

    He was addressing the church, not the state.

    He knew there would be no such thing as a “Christian” nation.

    What we need is the direction of the Holy Spirit to enable us to marry wisdom and gentleness, compassion and prudence.

    We do not have such wisdom on our own…

  37. ( |o )====::: says:

    Papias,
    It is my job, as an artist, to influence by my most effective visual means possible, hence my post.

    As to me “judging”, hell yes, I am judging in the same way Jesus dared to judge, by calling out failing religion and it’s practitioners and representatives, in this case, ours.

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nah, just demonizing the other side rather than actually listening.

  39. ( |o )====::: says:

    Michael,
    First off, YAY for your book! =)

    As to direction from The Holy Spirit, respectfully, we need no such direction. We are never to wait when God has already given us example after example, story after story, quote after quote. Its just one more reason to grant religious people an out when it’s clear that we are to step up and lead with compassion, not fear, we act with confidence, not temerity, and we individually do whatever we can to avoid denying the blessing and goodness of God as embodied in freedom.

    If our God is awesome, if there is none like our God, then our God can and will empower us to embrace “The Stranger”, even at the risk of our own lives.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G, how do you see this as a ‘religious’ function?

    I don’t have the same FB friends as some here seem to have – but I have yet to see a single post on FB say something to the effect of “In Jesus name, keep these folks out of America.”

    Now I have seen Americans say such things.- you launch pictorial grenades

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Since G and I live just a few miles apart in the same city, I will be anxious to see our first Syrian refugee family show up as G adopts them.

  42. Michael says:

    G,

    I would agree with much of what you’re saying in regard to the responsibilities of the church.
    However…
    I would also say that walking in compassion doesn’t negate the call to wisdom.
    I may choose to risk my own life or the life of my family…but I have no right to demand that anyone else do likewise.
    The reality is that among these desperate migrants may be those who wish to kill not just myself, but my neighbor.
    The state is empowered to act to protect us both.

    While I appreciate the power of art immensely, it must also be used to incite discussion, not just indict those with whom we differ.

  43. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have a little girl. I don’t leave her alone with strangers without a pretty thorough background check.

  44. Shaun says:

    That Bowden quote just made my sermon this Sunday…

  45. Michael says:

    Shaun,

    There’s more where that came from, but you’d have to clean them up a bit… 🙂

  46. ( |o )====::: says:

    Michael,
    The art did both. I make no apologies. The bloated Ms. America is supposed to be repugnant, especially as she screams her intolerance at the innocent unconscious child while justifying her hate and fear with her special book, completely ignoring Jesus and His story of The GOOD Samaritan.

    As to “wisdom”, there will forever be those who refuse to come into the 21st century, within Christianity, within Islam, within Buddhism, or within “no-religion” within whatever tribe. They will continue to kill us indiscriminately, and for us to practice and enjoy freedom there must always be risk, which is why we socialize, personally invest to move “stranger” to “associate” to “friend”, as God commanded. We who are foresighted and often old must continually “show how it’s done”, and if we claim faith in The Living God then we must live with boldness and compassion.

  47. ( |o )====::: says:

    One of our counselors at our church is from Aleppo, her family are refugees.
    We’re in dialog now as to the practical outworkings of our faith, what to do next, how to adi and embrace more.
    I assure you, to deny the esteemed disciple of the Eisleben his voyeurism,
    the effect won’t be paraded visibly for anyone to see, per Jesus.

  48. Michael says:

    G,

    For me, this is too complex to be addressed by memes.
    For us to make good choices where there are no real solutions, we must engage with the concerns of all.
    We simply can’t afford to keep being polarized.

  49. Josh the Baptist says:

    Adrian Cronauer: [impersonating an Intelligence Officer] We’ve realized that we’re having a very difficult time finding the enemy. It isn’t easy to find a Vietnamese man named “Charlie.” They’re all named Nguyen, or Tran, or…
    Adrian Cronauer: [as himself] Well, how are you going about it?
    Adrian Cronauer: [as Intel Officer] Well, we walk up to someone and say, ‘Are you the enemy? And, if they say yes, then we shoot them.”

  50. Em says:

    Here is what i see as the problem with bringing in the innocent woman and children fleeing the holocausts in their homelands… they are the embodiment of the 3 wise monkeys…

    lost in the crowd to the eyes of the Western gatekeepers will be terrorists and their countrymen (country women) will keep their heads down and never ever under any circumstances will they jeopardize their own safety by saying anything to a Western authority or even to one of their welcoming new neighbors
    the immigrants are trying to protect their children, to protect themselves and they have no concern or allegiance to their hosts beyond what might just be relief for a safe refuge for the present or at best a limp gratitude.
    i am certain that they are hoping that their hosts will go clean up the mess that they have fled, that some quirked thinkers declare is all the fault of the West to begin with… “You did it. You fix it. We’ll just wait here until we can go home.”
    It has nothing to do with the overfed, bloated bleached blond dressed in the stars and stripes, holding a Bible of the cartoon posted at #28

  51. Babylon's Dread says:

    G

    Is the guy who beat up the guys who didn’t pick up the beat up guy so they could be left for the guy that picked up the beat up guy to pass by because he was unable to pick up all the beat up guys. G didn’t actually pick anyone up but he analyzed the matter to the applause of others.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think quoting bible verses and posting religious memes to win this argument just uses Jesus as another means to an end and is a bastardization of the Christian faith. This is a human issue not a Christian issue.

    If you make it a Christian issue, you might as well say Jews , Muslims, Atheists, Boy Scouts are not allowed to help or intervene.

    You would be less offensive if you had Jesus on TV selling peanut butter

  53. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    G

    Terrific art piece that depicts the gravity of what each Christian must consider in how and for what purpose, we take a position, as well as, testing our own limits and boundaries in giving lip service to our faith or doing that which we have the calling to do. True, we must be wise and take caution, yet at the same time do not hold back in being generous to aid one in need, be it a stranger, a foreigner, or even one of our own.

    More than any other issue that God raises is that of what and how we treat those in need, those who are oppressed or abused. To the least of these, you have done it unto me.

    Your artwork depicts an accurate portrayal of how Christians (not all) treat a person who does not measure up to their standards or fit within their level of comfort and convenience. It is a wake up call, just as the story of the good Samaritan and so many others that can be read in the Bible.

    And yes, although in hiding and homeless, I do give what I can to help others who are brought across my path. I don’t ask for their stories. I simply give a good word, a smile, a greeting, and provide a concrete need, if it is in my possession to do. Not to earn a gold star, but because it is He who is in within me that compels me to do no less. For the love of Christ Jesus and for the glory of He who reigns in my heart.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I rest my case 😉

  55. Babylon's Dread says:

    The real problem is still that the USA created this mess, armed these enemies, destabilized these nations and politicized these refugees. Our politicians are simply taking advantage of short term fears and prejudice to gain electoral hedges. Someone should correlate the policies that have been made by politicians for votes that have had disastrous outcomes. From acting on wrong intelligence to destroy Iraq to leaving the nation in the hands of incompetent and double minded powers. Bush and Obama have both played their self-centered roles.

  56. ( |o )====::: says:

    “G didn’t actually pick anyone up but he analyzed the matter to the applause of others.”
    …oh Dread, you’re such a sweetheart. Sorry, no.

    “Is the guy who beat up the guys who didn’t pick up the beat up guy so they could be left for the guy that picked up the beat up guy to pass by because he was unable to pick up all the beat up guys”

    Hmmm, so you’re going to extrapolate the same thing as one of the hearers of Jesus’ story, and parrot the guy’s dodge of commissioning?

    Let’s break this down and simplify it.
    “Is the guy,” which guy? or maybe that’s not important, but go on…)
    “who beat up the guys who didn’t pick up the beat up guy,’ (easy to follow, right?)
    “so they could be left for the guy that picked up the beat up guy” (the Samaritan?)
    “to pass by because he was unable to pick up all the beat up guys?” (“All the beat up guys”? There’s only one beat up guy in the story)

    Jesus would answer,
    “What’s it to you? Pick up any beat up guy!”

    http://www.esc16.net/users/0020/FACES/Starfish%20Story.pdf

  57. covered says:

    I agree with MLD @ 59. Right now this country has it’s hand’s full with our own brand of hate for each other to let another reason to hate enter our country doesn’t make sense today.

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs,
    You forgot to put a Jesus quote in your statement.

  59. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Right now this country has it’s hand’s full with our own brand of hate for each other to let another reason to hate enter our country doesn’t make sense today.”

    Huh?

    How about simply ending the hate?

  60. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD,

    I pretty much did Jesus a service to leave him out of my repartee with meme man. There is an ode to something in there somewhere. Listen close…

    G-string Dread

  61. covered says:

    I agree G! That’s a great idea but we are a hot mess right now and as you can see from this thread alone, it won’t get better anytime soon. I just think that until we have some sort of viable plan in place then any talk of refugees coming here is just going to piss people off and scare others.

  62. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will ask the hard question. I am not very politically correct.

    “Anne Frank Was a Refugee Denied Entrance to the United States”

    So?

  63. Josh the Baptist says:

    The vast majority of people are not the fat bible-thumper in G’s picture, yelling in the face of a dead child.

    Most want to help the foreign child, while also providing protection for our own children.

    Apparently, that makes us bad, evil people.

  64. Steve Wright says:

    Anyone think G would ever post a meme of a male homosexual grooming a 16 year-old boy, or a transgender male traumatizing an 8 year-old girl in a public bathroom with his thing.

    Or a terrorist who…

    Or an abortionist who…

    Or would he vilify anyone who did so in the name of “an artist trying to influence in the most effective visual way possible” – Selective artists as to what is “worthy” are the worst.

    Now if G had painted the offensive art, but he just copied a partisan hack who is no friend of Christianity or the Bible…even the red letters. But G somehow is the “artist” trying to influence others effectively…

    yeah right…

  65. Papias says:

    “How about simply ending the hate?”

    And your offensive cartoon does not help to end the hate….

    As an artist, I am offended by it.

  66. SJ says:

    Some of folks in the discussion were for letting in gov vetted refugees.
    How is the vetting going to happen? They all have birth certificates and SS#s??
    They have their family genealogy paperwork all in line, stamped and approved?? We don’t find an ISIS membership card in their knapsack?

    Yes, yes it is much different than the Central/South American refugee children.

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yeah, G, honestly, the cartoon just redirects the hate. It doesn’t promote any understanding.

  68. Michael says:

    I admire G’s determination and committment to his expression of the faith.
    However, we have to extend that love to those who disagree with us…even those who consistently show no compassion at all in their political expressions.

    We cannot boil this down to a matter of being right.
    We have to find the paths of righteousness.

    I have great compassion for the displaced refugees from all places.
    I want to find good choices and act on them.

    I also want to protect my neighborhood from senseless violence and killing.

    If I only act in favor of one group, I have no compassion for the other.

    That’s not a good choice…

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Just as I don’t think Jesus needs to be brought into this, I don’t think hate needs to be either. I don’t hate Syrian refugees. So why does that need to be my discription because I have a different view.

    Now I do hate ‘christians’ who use Jesus to make a point. And it is usually a point that even Jesus never made.

  70. Em says:

    can’t say that i can follow all the logic here – getting old has its benefits, i guess 🙂

    was the U.S., the nation as a whole, wrong to not take in the Jewish refugees in the last century? was their intellectual class a threat to the Republic? some would, even now say the answer to that question is ‘yes.’ that question i can’t answer…
    i do know that communication was nothing like it is today, the average citizen had no idea of the depravity of the holocaust that was unfolding and the average citizen, narrowly educated, WAS, wrongly, suspicious of the “Christ killers.” (we were a very segregated nation at that time … another subject) – but there were good people all over the place doing what they could as #57 illustrates… even the R.C. church in the U.S. took in large numbers of Jewish children (hoping to convert them, of course) … and that is the point, is it not? if i am in a position to help a needy stranger and i don’t do so, i have sinned …
    but aren’t governments are in a different category with a different set of accountability IMHO

    FWIW – i think we, as a nation, will be held accountable to God for allowing the horrible practices of the meat and poultry industry today – so… is the individual sinning when they crack an egg or buy a package of wieners? dunno

    isn’t there something pharisaical in our examining of the rules and regulations here? or is it just me?

  71. Babylon's Dread says:

    http://bit.ly/1lu7gTK

    Putin weighs in on God and terrorism

  72. Michael says:

    MLD,

    If all the Bible is about Jesus (and it is) then all those commands in the Older Testament to “welcome the stranger” and the Newer Testament command to “love your neighbor” have some application here.

  73. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    G,

    What I understand that you are attempting to do is to address the Christian, individually and as a people. That is, what message that is being given, but doing it in a way that those who are seeking refuge may be receiving it. That is, loud and clearly being quite vocal and to the point, although in reality such messages being sent to these are done in more subtle ways, such as typical placating comments that give an appearance of concern, but in fact only serve to tie one’s hands or excuse to then point the finger at another group. I think the whole point is to remind us that as much as depends upon us, individually, or as a group being in the body of Christ, that is what we will be held to an account, and in this reveals our heart towards that which God speaks.

    Is this what you were depicting?

  74. Michael says:

    This gets more impossible to parse the more you look.
    I’m reading that the vetting process takes anywhere from 18-22 months.
    If necessary information can be discerned, that would seem to be sufficient.

    Then I read that it would be impossible to vet anyone from Syria.

    The reality here is that the issue of mass migration has been so politicized that there is now no way out of the morass.

    The backlash against the children on the border was even more virulent.

    Because we want to crush each other instead of finding righteous compromise, the only choice left is to pick a side.

    I refuse that choice…but have no other choices to speak of.

  75. ( |o )====::: says:

    Steve,
    I would never “post a meme of a male homosexual grooming a 16 year-old boy, or a transgender male traumatizing an 8 year-old girl in a public bathroom with his thing…”
    …sorry that your mind goes there.

    My mind is staying with the simple critique of how we’re letting our fear drown out Jesus and making Him to be impotent in our lives.

    Uriahisaliveandwell,
    In so many words, yes, I am calling out the huge disconnect between what we American Christians say we believe yet how we appear to those outside our faith and outside our country.

    #notinmyname

  76. ( |o )====::: says:

    “The vast majority of people are not the fat bible-thumper in G’s picture, yelling in the face of a dead child.”

    Just to clarify, the child is not dead.

    Also, stop and consider, this is exactly how non-believers and non-Americans view us, bloated, privileged, and completely ignorant of our holy book, to the point of denying it by our actions (just like Daesh denies Islam by it’s actions).

    Why is that?
    Because we’re full of FEAR instead of being full of The Holy Spirit, overflowing.

  77. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    G,

    In deed (pun intended).

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G, you are the master of making assertions with no evidence or anything to back it up.
    People hate Christians because they hate our God – not for any of the reasons you mention.

    “Because we’re full of FEAR instead of being full of The Holy Spirit, overflowing.”
    I have no fear as you suggest – but if you do I suggest you stop it!

  79. ( |o )====::: says:

    “you are the master of making assertions with no evidence or anything to back it up.”

    spoken by a person who typifies those who live in their own bubble

    Once one meets, gets to know, dialogues with and associates with those who aren’t our religion all that changes.

    The assumption is “People hate Christians because they hate our God”. That’s doctrine, not empirical.

    Actually, people hate a subset of extremist Christians, and most don’t really think twice about us because we’re all just trying to live lives and help each other.

  80. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G,
    Look what you just did – you went from; “this is exactly how non-believers and non-Americans view us, ” to – – (all of them look at all of us)

    “Actually, people hate a subset of extremist Christians,” — that is a huge difference.(some people / vs an extremist Christian group)

    And then you finished with ” and most don’t really think twice about us” (no one really cares about us)

  81. Em says:

    #80 – bravo, Mr.P

    FWIW – because of her interests one of my daughters – via their chat rooms – has a group of very educated, intellectual friends, U.S. and other places – some highly placed … i have met some of them and they are a great, kind, enjoyable group of folk, but they hate Christians and Christianity; they make no distinctions and so i’d say that’s empirical … and doctrinal

  82. ( |o )====::: says:

    try again without the sophistry

  83. Em says:

    since i jumped into the middle of a conversation between MLD and G i will assume that #91 is directed to the original conversant
    nothing fallacious about what i related, @90 i just saw the preceding comments as i was commenting on Putin’s sage comment and a thot struck me … 🙂 🙂 🙂

  84. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    the funny thing is, I really don’t care if they bring 10,000 Syrians over here. 10,000 in a country of 330 million is .00303% – they would fill up half of the Staples Center.

    So the next wave can fill up the other half … and the next wave, and the next.

  85. Josh the Baptist says:

    How can you tell for sure that the kid is not dead? I thought it represented one of the kids who drowned and washed up on the beach. But, I don’t know why that’s a big difference.

    Anywho, posting a picture to condemn everyone who disagrees with you takes no thought, or talent. Just google. It’s just condescending and “holier-than-thou”. I would think a well thought out discussion would do more to enlighten others to your views, but I guess calling us fat, biblically-illiterate Americans is easier.

  86. ( |o )====::: says:

    “How can you tell for sure that the kid is not dead?”

    Because the artist is being true to the story Jesus tells, of a victim who was left for dead, and the Samaritan has and takes the opportunity to act compassionately without equivocation.

    “Anywho, posting a picture to condemn everyone who disagrees with you takes no thought, or talent. Just google. It’s just condescending and “holier-than-thou”. I would think a well thought out discussion would do more to enlighten others to your views, but I guess calling us fat, biblically-illiterate Americans is easier.

    I didn’t use Google. It came from a dialog I am having with a dear friend who is also an atheist. It has come from a very well thought out discussion and reading what I see here motivated me to post.

    “Fat, biblically-illiterate Americans”… only take offense if the image produces guilt.

  87. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m just trying to help you be a decent person, man. I’m not offended by your stupid picture. I’m put off by your constant heir of moral and intellectual superiority.

  88. ( |o )====::: says:

    Thanks.
    Ethics are important to me.
    I’m stunned by any refusal to admit that either our God is powerless or that He is worthy of our faith in Him and will do what He wills to use each of us as the direct avenue of provision & blessing to those who are in need, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or national origin.

    It’s not an air of moral and intellectual superiority, it’s a heart broken by the repeat of history.

  89. Erunner says:

    This appears to be a topic that will never be resolved. We all have our opinions. I guess seeing believers sniping at each other and getting their digs in is also something that never will be resolved.

    As I’ve said our nation is in free fall. We glorify sin and mock the things and people of God.

    The President will not be able to stop this free fall now or in the future. Peoples hearts need to be transformed.

    I fear things are only going to get worse. Satan must be feeling pretty good about himself right now.

    Feeling very discouraged.

  90. Em says:

    oh Erunner, don’t be discouraged… the Church is more like you want us to be than it seems here and other places sometimes – i would trust any of those who post here to be kind and giving to the stranger at their door … we just can’t agree on what to do about the strangers coming in in droves with an unknown and dangerous element of hostility embedded …
    i really, deep down, think that this is a move of God, Himself … there will be souls exposed to our faith one on one and eyes will be opened to God’s holiness wrapped in the grace and mercy of the Gospel of the true meaning of the cross … it won’t be because we shared our material substance, tho … sadly, it may be because they will see those of their own faith performing deeds of destruction and the contrast, which will cost us, will move some of their numbers to repentance – IMHO – pray

  91. Josh the Baptist says:

    “It’s not an air of moral and intellectual superiority,”

    Nah, trust me on this one. It really is.

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sorry, erunner. Don’t be discouraged. We’re just doing what internet commenters do. I’ll take a break.

  93. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Nah, trust me on this one. It really is.”

    Perception =/= reality

  94. Babylon's Dread says:

    Don’t try to dialogue with G-man Josh… he is closed. He only intends to promote his radical agenda of Biblical deconstruction and human-centric belief.

  95. Here is a response to those who try to Jesus guilt you into opening the borders to the refugees. As I said earlier, it’s not that we can’t do this as an american people – but you pimp out Jesus when you use him.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427278/syrian-refugees-bible-argument-against?vvTfZ5WY1v87g3ux.01

  96. ( |o )====::: says:

    Christians are never taught how to question.
    These ethical dilemmas force us to question, personally struggle with the texts, and resolve to act based on personal conviction.

    I would much prefer us asking tough questions and debating instead of acquiescing to what some Imam or Rabbi or Pastor insists we believe.

    It’s why we can freely figure stuff out instead of remaining silent for fear of the Saudi thought police busting us for “blasphemy”

  97. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Don’t try to dialogue with _____ he is closed.”

    Dread = blackpotkettle

  98. ( |o )====::: says:

    “radical agenda of Biblical deconstruction and human-centric belief”

    …while demanding that choose faith in Jesus, which produces courage, over being overcome with fear?

    All day long my posts have been about faith in Jesus, how HE ALONE is our source and answer to our doubts and fears.

  99. Babylon's Dread says:

    G-spot let’s you and I and Jackie A sit and share a pot of coffee …

  100. ( |o )====::: says:

    “G-spot”?
    I’m proud to see your classy side.

  101. Babylon's Dread says:

    G — you take yourself way to seriously for someone who needs cartoons to ridicule others so consistently.

  102. Erunner says:

    Em and Josh. Thank you. The dialogue here is something I’ve been used to for many years. It’s everywhere and if you’re on FB it’s there in spades. I think things like this need to be hashed out. I would love to see Muslims come to faith in droves and I hope you’re right Em that God is in the midst of this.

    Josh, believe me you don’t need to stop participating. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately as my anxiety has ramped up greatly and I’ve been told I’m much more depressed than I thought. So I’m working on that now and I imagine it’s impacting what I post at times.

    This blog has been and will continue to be a haven for me. I admire so many of you so much. Thanks again.

  103. Babylon's Dread says:

    LOL

    My wife would rather I had told G he takes himself way TOO seriously but that would be taking myself way TOO seriously

    Dread II

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    E – Sorry you are going through struggles, brother. I consistently get caught up in internet squabbles and don’t take time to think about how my words might affect others. So, I do apologize. Hope things lighten up for you.

  105. Nonnie says:

    Erunner, I’m sorry you are suffering from increased anxiety and depression, but I want to let you know that in your “weakness” you have and continued to minister to me and others. I hope I can encourage you to not to grow weary in reaching out to others.

  106. Josh The Beloved says:

    Funny and interesting comments.

    MLD says he doesn’t care about Syrian immigration. I think MLD would very much care. If Fed Gov imposed a Syrian Refugee Tax attached to his pay check. Oh say at around 10% to start 🙂

  107. filbertz says:

    a basic error so far seems to be failing to differentiate between refugee and immigrant.

  108. Em says:

    hmmm… the refugee connotes temporary residence? no allegiance? no participation in the government, if any, of the place that they’ve taken refuge?

  109. Josh the Beloved is an honest on. The refuge issue brings fear to his wallet.

  110. brian says:

    Just my own opinion but this present issue has roots that go way back, in many profound ways the US lost ww2 politically Nov. 22 1963. Two who were key in this present situation are not really discussed too much anymore. The Dulles brothers helped pave a road that in some ways have led us to this point. Parts of our government on both sides of the isle are not free of guilt for the mess we find ourselves in.

  111. Scott says:

    The F.B.I. said there is no way to properly vet these people. They don’t know who they are.

    Obama yesterday at a press conference in the Philippines said we are using a sophisticated screening process before allowing these people in.

    One of them is lying through their teeth.

    Btw, did you hear how the president mocked and berated citizens who have legitimate concerns over this issue? How he marginalized people and turned it into a Republicans are evil issue?

    These people mean us harm. ISIL has already said they are sending in warriors among the refugees. The majority of these refugees are not 3 year old orphaned babies as Obama stated yesterday. The vast majority are young men in their 20’s and 30’s.

    I am not hysterical or panicked as Obama tried to characterize all of us who have legitimate concerns over this issue. I am deeply concerned that he is putting American citizens at risk. I don’t want to see what happened in Paris last Friday happen here.

    However, I’m not optimistic it won’t based on the stiff necked determination of the president who is politicizing and marginalizing citizens over this issue now instead of taking steps to adequately protect us in this time of clear and present danger.

  112. Em says:

    Obama (i voted for him the first time) 🙂 just erased the rant i wrote here

  113. Scott says:

    Four years ago while driving for a large trucking company I was also training entry level drivers.

    At the special request of my boss I took on a Somali national refugee. Little did I know.

    Within the first couple of hours I noticed he was looking at his watch frequently and becoming quite agitated.

    Suddenly he spoke out forcefully, “we must stop!”

    WHAT?

    “WE MUST STOP NOW! I MUST PRAY!!!”

    Why can’t you pray in the back sleeper area? Pull the curtains, there’s plenty of room to pray.

    “No! Stop now!”

    I pull into a truckstop. He grabs a prayer blanket, takes off his shoes, looks at the compass on his watch and right near the entrance of the truckstop prostrates himself facing Mecca and begins to bow and pray to Allah!

    This went on in varying ways 5 times a day until I persuaded the company to take him off my truck.

    He refused to drive when we picked up a beer load informing me that Allah forbids him to do so, it’s alcohol you know.

    I asked him what would he do if we picked up a load of pork? Same reply.

    How about a load of Christian bibles? Same reply, Allah forbids it.

    I guess I’m unloving and uncompassionate, because I started thinking, what if this kid becomes or already is radicalized and does something really horrible with one of these 80,000 lb missile we’re driving?

    What if he is already radicalized and now that he knows I’m a Christian, Allah tells him to stab me to death while I’m sleeping?

    This is what is coming and is already here in America.

    Btw, the EEOC just ruled in favor of 2 Somali Muslims who were terminated by a trucking company because they refused to deliver beer! Just google it if you don’t believe me.

    So, there’s my up close encounter with what is happening right now in our country with this issue.

  114. Jtk says:

    Wow.

    Thanks for the sober and clear thinking and writing on this, Michael.

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