Observations on Western Christians’ Recent Revised Views of Syrian Refugees
In recent days since the Paris bombings, I have felt a major increase in the chill in the air in the Christian media and in my own local Christian circles in regard to the fate of the Syrian refugees fleeing certain death in their civil war-torn homeland (a war itself aided and sustained with Western assistance). Recent reports state that governors in states across the Bible Belt are refusing to accept refugees now. Evangelical favorite Donald Trump is now open to restricting or closing mosques in America (other Christian favorite Ben Carson has already gone on the record as saying that Muslims should be forbidden from holding the office of President – a blatant religious litmus test and discrimination that always comes back to bite Christians themselves in history).
As one example in the media, Erik Rush, a regular commentor for the online popular news site World Net Daily, which caters most specifically to the conservative Christian community, described the refugees in his recent article as “human garbage”, while acknowledging his “good standing as a narrow-minded, far-right racist”. He describes people like me as those “who, due to reasons of naïveté, stupidity, or collusion, are advancing the notion that some sort of long-term coexistence with Muslims is possible. In truth, they are abetting Islamists in their mission to spread their putrefactive creed across America.” He adds that “Thirty years ago in America, it was understood – even by avowed liberals – that Muslims were the backward, belligerent aggressors in the Middle East”, as Americans unabashedly solely sided with Israel, whereas others who see the issues are more multi-faceted and deserving of or considering the rights of all as being “Islamophilic”. With his professional background as a musician and martial artist, his analysis of history tells him that “For the past 1,400 years however, Muslims – all Muslims – have repeatedly proved that they represent a societal malignancy; they will always perform as a body of enemy operatives, insidiously and incrementally worming their way into non-Muslim nations with the express intention of undermining and conquering them.”
Franklin Graham, son of “America’s Pastor” Billy Graham and one who until recent years focused on ministering to the needs of people in the Middle East and Third World (while pocketing close to a cool million a year in salary from his ministry to the destitute called Samaritan’s Purse, on top of a similar amount for running the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), said in a recent published address that “If we continue to allow Muslim immigration, we’ll see much more of what happened in Paris — it’s on our doorstep.” This is because he says “Islam is not a peaceful religion”, and “This is not the time to be politically correct. Our nation’s security is at stake.”
Back in the days of my youth, his dad was known for going to the ends of the earth to try to contact people of other cultures, even behind the Iron Curtain, to win them for Christ. Western Christians send woefully few missionaries – even tenmaker varieties – to Muslim lands, either because of their lack of spiritual concern for them due to their Zionist first priorities, or because they fear for their own physical lives in those lands as their overriding priority. As a result, even through the efforts of Western governments to remove their stable leaders and create civil war atrocities, God has presented an opportunity for Western Christians to still ignore their call from Jesus to “go out into the world” and share the Gospel in their lands, and rather send them here as a desperate people willing to accept help from anyone, including Christians, and thus be open to their message in a land where such dialogue is safe. Hence, an opportunity has presented itself for an unprecedented set of circumstances to minister and share the Gospel to those who are ready to hear, on a massive scale heretofore unforeseen as possible. In response, Western Christian leaders and their flock appear to be concerned about their own “skins” and personal security first, which evidently they are in unbelief that God Himself can preserve, and thus put their own interests above God’s agenda, and certainly the destitute Syrian people whom they are sending back to certain death, just like the ships of Jews they turned away that came from Germany before.
I know my comments section may get filled with retorts that while trying the “bless” these people would be ‘nice to do”, people like me are very naive, and the risk of a few terrorists mixing in with these hundreds of thousands of desperate people is just too much of a risk to tolerate. Certainly, the terror attack in Paris is a major tragedy, and civil governments should use every lawful and reasonable effort to bring the handful of true culprits to justice, while not molesting the innocent. However, it must be noted that we lose many, many magnitudes more of our loved ones in automobile accidents each day, and we do not see the same level of panic or outrage, and compromise of our supposed Christian beliefs, and we get in our vehicles every day without thought, or at least an acceptance of the much higher risk it entails. It is amazing how fast I have seen Christians around me quickly adopt this xenophobic view of these suffering people. I ask them where they got some of these sudden ideas, including the desire of all Muslims to lie and kill Westerners, or that “Barack Husein Obama” is leading all the Muslims in to declare sharia law. They don’t seem to know the origins of these ideas, but my experience tells me that I know – Christian media, the Drudge Report, World Net Daily, Fox News, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, etcetera. They turned Saddam Hussein from a US ally to an enemy overnight, our new ally Qaddafi into an enemy in the Arab Spring, and even Ho Chi Minh, who had been an ally of the U.S. rescuing US pilots from the Japanese in WWII not long before our Establishment (government/media) decided he needed to be our enemy. I know it certainly wasn’t from Jesus that they obtained this attitude.
Certainly our societies’ governments have a societal duty to protect its citizens by lawful means, but do its Christians also have a role in not letting it citizens forget those innocents who suffer in the crossfire? Are they expected by Christ to risk their safety, or rather to place it in the Lord’s lands, so that they can minister to the “stranger” and those in need, particularly those whom God has brought their way? Do Christians have any role in being the conscience of a society, or when they figuratively see a woman raped in the city street, desperately calling for help, they only lock their doors and draw their curtains?
Jesus said that when you offered a cup of cold water to the “least of these”, you are offering it directly to Him; likewise, when you refuse it, you refuse Him, and there will be consequences. American Christians are evidently more afraid of ISIS than they are of Jesus’ throne of judgment. They will find that with “the same measure with which they measure, they shall be measured”. These refugees are desperate fathers and mothers, just like you readers, who find themselves and their children (through no fault of their own) in immediate peril, and they are helpless and at our mercy. They have walked countless miles, leaving everything behind, to merely find safety for their families, as any of us would do. I have seen concervative media (and Christian commentators) insinuate that they are all deceptive and spoiled, taking advantage of those who help them, as an effort to purge any public empathy for them or concern to engage in assistance. To the Devil with these workers of iniquity!
Our supposed “Spirit-filled” American Christian flock has turned into an assembly of trained seals, or lemmings, rather than discerning people “as shrewd as wolves”. They do not even know how to ask the right questions, rather only consdering the narrative handed to them. They embrace total animosity toward the people of the Middle East when told to, and to be afraid of them when cued, even though they do not know them at all – their culture, religion, past experiences and sufferings, etc. – which could be legitimately gained by personal reading or better yet face to face contact, because they purposely avoid them, even though they are abundant on our universities and many neighborhoods. They suddenly stop their main focus on sports, leusire activities or entertainment when a terror attack is broadcast and analyzed ad naseum on their television screens (because it rings the cash register in advertising revenue from great ratings), to support draconian actions suddenly when told to. They also want an instant fix by “bombing the Middle East into a parking lot”, even though the experience in their own lifetimes has shown that this approach has not solved a single problem, and only made them worse. They support presidential candidates who pledge to continue the long-standing American policy in the Middle East for the “beatings to continue until morale improves”. They do not ask why people in another culture could be so wounded as to be desperate and take such actions, the role poverty and lack of economic opportunity as a region victimized by imperialism plays in their malaise, the reasons why they feel so exploited and betrayed by the West, and particulary their own refusal to do what Jesus insists that they routinely do, but is blasphemous to proud Americans – to admit that they made a mistake in years past, to apologize and make amends, as a “Christian” society themselves. They do not ask why their own government pushed so hard to eliminate the only stable Arab governments in the Arab Spring uprisings – in Libya, Egypt and now Syria – that could have handled ISIS and thus saved so many lives. They do not ask why the American, Turkish and Israeli governments armed and trained ISIS in camps in Jordan and Turkey over two years ago. They do not ask how the disastrus Iraq War led to the domino effect that we see today, and why continuing that same brutish path won’t produce the same results, and why the politicans who led American into such reckless acts are not being held legally accountable for the lives of many. As a result, they respond as their government desires, with a knee-jer reaction against a people group, rather than asking for answers from their own elected officials, whose salaries they pay.
People will do whatever they are going to do. However, when God gives America and its Christians what it deserves for its cold hearted indifference to others and selfishness, and – let’s face it – its ultimate unbelief in Christ and His instructions and values, these Christians will blame everyone else for their plight – Obama, the Muslims, atheists, gays, etc. – for their woes as a part of “Christian persecution”, and they will never recognize that their plight is a result of actions by their own hand, while their neighbors who see them as judgmental and bitter in their contempt for others will see it as their just desserts. Meanwhile, God will find others, probably not as outwardly pious, wealthy, politically-correct or even European-looking, to do His business and further His certain deliverance of mankind.
As I said, they can do whatever hateful and uncaring thing they want to do; however, if they continue on this self-serving path, I just wish the would not sully Jesus’ name and call themselves Christians, without following its primary imperatives.
(NOTE: An amazingly insightful analysis of how people of Godly wisdom should respond to terror today was provided by my good Christian friend FDLP, and can be read at this website. I warn you – this website is not “Christian” in its outer piety or self-perception, and in fact uses some naughty words now and then, but for a rough-hewn site its insights are indeed heavenly in its revelation, and I assume the readers here are grown-up boys and girls. It is indeed a shame when an outwardly non-Christian site shows more Godly wisdom and values than all the Christian sites combined, and states it far more eloquently than I ever could.)