A Christian reaction to the refugee crisis

Parker Snider, Columnist

According to the United Nations, there are more than 4.9 million Syrian refugees who have been forced to leave their homes because of civil war. The question is, how should we respond?

I believe the answer is clear.

As Christians, because of our eternal hope and belief in the Gospel, we ought to be the most passionate and relentless in petitioning all levels of government to bring Syrian refugees to America.

Why risk allowing an influx of refugees when there is a very real threat that the Islamic State may find ways to infiltrate our country? My answer: the Gospel.
As Christians, our priority should not be our security.

If we really do believe all that we say we do, that there is an eternal heaven and hell, that God is in sovereign control of the universe, we ought to recognize the Syrian refugee crisis for what it is, God taking immense turmoil and turning it into an unparalleled opportunity to further the Gospel.

In Germany, droves of Syrians are turning from Islam to faith in Jesus. How amazing is that?

Imagine if we brought them to America, to our home state of Alabama, or dare I say even to Birmingham. How many people, previously on a path toward an eternity without God, will encounter Jesus for the first time through our proclamation of His love for them by welcoming them into our nation?

With that in mind, let’s imagine the worst. Let’s say that our intense vetting policies fail and the Islamic State infiltrates the U.S. through our resettlement program. Perhaps many of us are victims of a terrorist attack on American soil.Let’s even say that our nation faces the most intense concentration of terrorism in history. Perhaps America, as we know it, ceases to exist.

Even if what the most anti-refugee pundit argues will occur actually comes to fruition, our generosity is still infinitely worth it.

As Christians, we ought to gladly exchange our lives and security for the eternal joy of others. This is so true because, for the Christian, death is not a period. Instead, death is but a comma, ushering us into complete fulfillment with our savior.

As we are strategizing how to reach those who have not heard the Gospel outside the U.S., our sovereign God is actively bringing unreached peoples to our doorstep.
This is a test of our faith. Will we act on our beliefs or comfortably tell God and refugees “No”?

It is not only our calling as Christians, but also our privilege to welcome refugees, Syrian or otherwise into the United States.

In 10,000 years, as Christ-followers stand around His throne in heaven, I doubt any of us will wish we had taken less risks during our years on earth.

Instead, I hope to gaze at our beautifully multi-ethnic church and rejoice, knowing that, because of trust in Jesus and the Gospel, many previously Muslim Syrian refugees are standing right beside us.

Snider is a senior political science major.

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