After the recent, tragic bombings and shootings in Paris, there is a call in the United States to either delay or stop altogether the taking in of Syrian refugees who are fleeing their dictator and the terrorists in that decimated, war torn country out of fear that terrorists may try to get in as such.
Scripture is without question refugee friendly, God himself being a refuge for his people, and for the poor, needy and oppressed. God’s people were expected to provide for foreigners in their midst, certainly to help those in need. My reading of the prophets in the Old Testament seems to indicate that God doesn’t so much bless nations who take in refugees, as much as he curses nations who do not. In other words, God expects nations to help such.
The church, God’s people in Jesus should lead the way in taking in refugees, in this case the Syrians. Of course the concern that terrorists will slip through as refugees has to be taken seriously, even if terrorists likely would try to get in another, easier way. There is nothing foolproof in this life. No matter how good the intelligence, terrorist activity can’t be stopped completely. That is the world we live in.
The gospel is the ultimate answer in bringing down the wickedness which has brought about this crisis in the first place. There must be a change of hearts and minds, a new way of thinking and living. That new way is to be embodied in Jesus’ Body, the church. And a big part of the witness to the gospel is in love, to welcome such refugees, and help them in their trouble. To do so is the only human thing to do, embodied preeminently in the one who alone is completely human, our humanity being restored in him: King Jesus. A humanity which reaches out in love to the world.