Church

The Unwanted Mission Field

There are a lot of hurting refugees out there. They need hope and a home. Syria, Turkey, and many more countries are in upheaval. And we as a Church can help.

“Build a wall!” “We don’t want those kind of people in our country!” “There could be terrorists among them.”

These are the statements we are saying to the masses that are in need. No longer can I hear these statements without my heart wrenching.  As an American citizen who’s lived in the United States all his life, it is easy to bury my head in the sand and just focus on what’s happening around me. I find that remaining in a state that we find comfortable is most of the time contradictory to the teachings of Jesus. As I look beyond the borders of my home country I see a people in extreme need. People that Christ loves and died for; that are the innocent bystanders in the path of the fight against ISIS.

ISIS is an evil group of people. Now as a coalition of countries take the fight to them in Syria, a massive humanitarian crisis has come. Artillery shelling, targeted drone strikes, and mass executions, the people of Syria have lost their homes and livelihood. According to Amnesty International, there are currently 4.5 million displaced Syrian refugees.

As I sit here in the comfort of the USA, I hear statements being made commonly as, “There could be terrorists among them.” Then I watch as the church and the people that make up that church body sit back and say, “We don’t want them.” Or maybe they sprinkle some niceties into the statement by saying, “We’ll take them but only when we have a screening process that works for us.”

I apologize. I forgot that Jesus instructed his inner four apostles to do an assessment and a background check on the Samaritan woman at the well before he would share the Gospel with her. Oh wait a minute, that didn’t happen. Jesus went and sat with her, someone of a different culture who was seen as dirty and dangerous, and on the spot met her needs by telling her about the Gospel. Then later the apostles return and are upset with the actions of Jesus.

So let me say this. The church is in danger of being those narrow-minded apostles, who at that moment missed the point of the mission of Christ. There are 4.5 million people caught up in the Syrian refugee crisis looking for refuge. The answer to them needs to be the church with open-arms, not disdain that has grown from our comfortability. For Christ didn’t call his people to be comfortable or safe.

The answer to them needs to be the church with open-arms, not disdain that has grown from our comfortability.

Some of you might see me as foolish for casting off the desire of a safe environment. Yes, I’m aware that terrorists could take advantage of such a humanitarian situation. Terrorists have launched horrific attacks on innocent people in Paris, Belgium, Turkey, and many other places in the past several months. That is neither here nor there and has NO weight when carrying out the mission for Christ. After all, those terrorists need to see the light of Christ as well. To those of you reading this that say, “I believe in Jesus,” I want to remind you of the teaching “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Love your enemies.”

That is neither here nor there and has NO weight when carrying out the mission for Christ.

Too many times in the past century the church has been comfortable when it comes to humanitarian crises— the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and the Sudan refugee crises that still rages on today. I ask for the church to rethink our approach and our position, for we are not to be people that spout off an isolationistic mentality of “Build a wall,” “We don’t want those kind of people in our country,” or “There could be terrorists among them.”

The first step to solving any problem is admitting we have one. Therefore what is the church and the people that make up the church to do?

1. Pray for the refugees and terrorists!

2. Find in ourselves the courage to cast off this false idol of safety.

3. Let our government know that we will answer the call and will take in the widows, orphans, and the displaced.

4. Show love to everyone through words and actions, even those who want to do us harm.

Something to think about: The Hartford Institute estimates that the United States has 350,000 Protestant and Catholic churches. If each one hosted 13 refugees, then the crises is over, and multitudes would be won over to Christ.

I ask all of you to join me in pulling our heads out of the sand. Far too many times we worship our own comfortability and safety, which completely hinders our effectiveness in carrying out the message of Christ.

41 comments on “The Unwanted Mission Field

  1. Isn’t that what the Iroquois Confederacy said about the Europeans?

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    • Sounds like you are right on this one. My question is this, was there a thriving church in Europe that was able to show light to the dark souls that moved in? All power was given to Jesus, who interned gave it to the CHURCH the people who answered his call to serve this world.

      My next question is are we as the CHURCH of Jesus the Christ lodated in the USA prepared to show light and love to people who do not deserve it. To me it’s what the Christ is all about Jesus loved us first before we loved Him. We first loved ourselves, which in my humble opinion is darkness.

      Now because of exploring and beginning to understand the richness of the Gospel that was given us to spread to the world, I am changing. My hope would be that if we express the same Gospel to the people in the dark similar changes would happen. As a Christian our weapons are not carnal or physical in nature. But we attacked darkness with love that was so freely shown to us on the cross of Jesus Christ. And this love is a response to the love that we were given not out of a forced hand. But in a free will choice that God is worthy of the risk to step into faith.

      I am being challenged for sure by the words that I find in the Scripture of God’s. Right now I have no answer of a course to take. But I do believe there are some false beliefs in me being shaken and challenged. What do you think my brother?

      In Christ,
      Denny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Should we take care of our poor first as a church before we take on our neighbors? Help reduce welfare roles,,… Then we would have credibility to take on more responsibility. Jesus loved His home peoples first then the world. Judea, Sumeria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. What do you think…? I will not cast the first stone. Yes there is wrong going on, but the whole counsel of the word of God is needed not just parts….

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    • Your thoughts have merit to them. Absolutely we should help those who are poor and in need in our home land. However, I feel that sometimes many of us use that as an excuse not to step out and help the global body though. I have to disagree with Jesus loving his home people first. The scripture you reference comes from Acts chapter 1:8, which is really a summary verse of the start of the church. It naturally started where the disciples were at the time and progressed from there. What I’m saying is all deserve and need the love of Christ home and abroad immediately. Thank-You for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Please let me know if this is out of bounds or not, please.

        In Abrahamic covenant I have always struggled why God gave us land before he gave us the promise of His Son. My Argument Was It Did Not Seem Consistent with God That He Would Put Land before People! But It Seems, I Was Looking at a Very Wrong. It Was God Looking into Our Hearts and Seeing Our Need of a Place to Be before Our Soul Needs Could Be Addressed.

        So my loose application of this would be; we need to have a place that is working and operational showing faith and living Jesus Christ and His tenants of faith. (The land) this would expresses itself as taking care of the poor, getting people off welfare, reintegration of prisoners back into society, as a reaction to our faith in our unlimited God. A place to go so to speak.

        Then we would have to have faith in God, as always, for his blessings to change hearts and souls into living believers. Government cannot do this on its own because it does not believe in God, which makes the church the only viable option. For example, when King David was King of Israel there was a theocracy in full operation as he governed God’s people.

        When King David drifted away from God, King David was hurt and the people he rolled over along with him. When King David was in good fellowship with God following his tenants and demonstrating faith, everyone was blessed.

        Where is this happening today inside our church? Have we become as inefficient as the government in doling out our love to those in need? I believe I am seeing some movement in churches to unify instead of cannibalizing each other in a very unhealthy spiritual manner.

        The CHURCH has stepped away from this “welfare service” over the years and allowed the government to really mess things up. So, we the CHURCH “need?” (better word) to practice our unity in one God, as God practices His unique oneness in His Trinity. Then we would have a relationship that would invite others, our neighbors, into an operational Christlike community.

        This call is only for believers to be in unity in Christ Jesus. Not the government not unbelievers! We need to create this place for ourselves, for until this is operational and visible to everyone it is only an idea. Ideas are tough to sell these days! We have stepped aside as God’s operational Church and allowed the government to do our ministry of helping others who are troubled.

        Government in general does not understand this principle! Today it is more lost than it was 50 years ago. God has given us an example to pattern after. Why should he bless us we do government our own way and exclude Him. Writing this makes me extremely uncomfortable, I do not think I’m the best example to be writing this.

        As I am being changed moment by moment, I ask myself, do I want to be a active agent in this unity? I do not believe it is widespread out there yet. But I am seeing rumblings of the Gospel being paramount in churches, from the pulpit, a call back to the foundations of the faith and practicing tenants that have been set aside.

        Am I going to enter this battle for my generation?

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  3. I want to help! Please tell me how. With no extra resources (ie. $, food, space) is there anything I can do besides pray?

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    • Prayer is most important. If you find yourself with no resources to help, then just talk about it. Awareness is crucial, and you never know maybe someone that does have resources will help because you took a minute to have a conversation about it. Feel free to share our website info on any social media that you use.

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    • Also…I forgot to mention that Samaritans Purse Intl. is a great organization that is helping many refugees. This organization has people on the ground supplying medical needs and heaters for many that are living in tents.

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  4. Mihaela Echols

    We need to look at these sad situations to reach out. I’m so thankful for organizations that help people out specifically for these needs!

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  5. I think praying for them is a good idea, but really, they don’t want to come here, the real refugees want to stay in their homes SAFELY. We really need to do our best to eliminate the threats. I don’t know how, but maybe missionaries going there to reach more people for Jesus would be better?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great point, Many refugees don’t want to come here and yes sending missionaries is vital. My focus is that we shouldn’t help prevent those that do want to relocate here.

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  6. I liked your comparison to the Samaritan woman. I appreciate you sharing your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree that the church is supposed to be the loving arm of Christ in this world, reaching out to a lost and dying world to share the gospel. But I disagree with the thought that this means we bring people who are bent on our destruction into our own country, when our moral and spiritual values are on the decline. The truth is that most of these people don’t want to come here, as a previous comment said, but they want to return to their own country and have peace. we only have to look at Europe to see that this group has no plans to become part of our country – they will set up separate communities, and not try to adopt our ways. We need to pray dearly, not only for these people,. but for our own nation, that one again the gospel will be strong, and the church will be stronger. Then, and only then. should we think about bringing them in

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    • Hello Pete,

      I was just wondering how you fit the apostle Paul in to your reasoning? The Pharisee who was name Saul was killing Christians. In his darkness he was doing the right thing much as our Arab neighbors are doing now. They obey their darkness in their darkness. (Blind)

      Anyway back to the Pharisee named Saul, he wants to come to the United States of America, fictitiously of course. Do we block him because he’s a killer of Christians? Or do we let him in with the hope him becoming Paul of Jesus Christ?

      No! I do not have all the answers to this! So I ask you how to fit it in or put it together. Do we invite Saul in in hopes that Paul will emerge? This is a challenge for me personally, anyway I look at it.

      Yes I want safety for my family and friends. My question to myself is this, is my safety of family and friends a god in my life that I cannot trust, but want to manipulate to my advantage for good as I see it. Which brings up the questions do I trust my unseen God in heaven enough that I’m willing to risk my family and friends on the hope of our Lord’s goodness.

      I have been struggling with these ideas for long time. Maybe it’s time for me to make a decision!

      Thank you for your strong reaction, it helped me to think more on God than me.
      Your indebted Brother in Christ,
      Denny

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      • I am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Still learning how WordPress works.

        I don’t see anywhere in scripture where Saul was invited to come to a Christian community before his conversion. I also don’t see anywhere in scripture where God or Jesus say to invite your enemy in to your home, provide for their needs, and let them reside with you.

        God does instruct us to love them, do good for them, and forgive them. These things we must do. But He also says to resist the devil, and to not be unequally yoked. We have often thought of the latter as petaining to marriage, but I believe it can also mean making a pact with someone else.

        In no place does God say to leave reasoning behind and welcome the enemy with open arms. This would be the opposite of wisdom.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the reply. It looks to be something to chew on for a while, Again thank you Pete.
      Denny

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  8. This is a huge topic, and there are so many sides. Prayer is certainly the first step. Then, if God puts it on your heart, take the next step in your community. As I know first hand there are many refugees that do want to become citizens, as I am currently in a city that accepts about 25 refugees a week into our community. But it isn’t a free hand out, and there are many needs. God has given us each a job, and while for some that will mean serving with, and for the refugees, there are many needs that others will be called on. It is also important to remember that the church is not the government. The decisions of a government that do not see God as their leader will not make decisions that Christians would want, but that just means God is asking us, as believers to act within the society He has placed us in. Daniel, Nehemiah and so many prophets were “limited” by government and yet did amazing work for God. Please remember that each is called to something different and do not get disheartened by a problem that seems huge, because our God has this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When 125,000 Cubans left the island in 1980 looking for freedom and a better life, the United States managed to handle the problem. It took a while (more than a year for some of them) and a lot of American citizens worried and complained, but in the end rumors that bad people (criminals and the mentally ill) were among the Cuban refugees proved to be largely unfounded. The same process can work in 2016. J.

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  10. We are to love others. Starting with those closest to us and then reaching out. I agree with the comment that most people want to stay in their own homes, own lands etc. We do need to be doing for them there, making their homes safe there.

    We also need to be reaching out to the homeless, widows and orphans in our own areas too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chase,

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Is your family currently fostering children? I know you mentioned in step 3 that we should let our government know we will answer that call.

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  12. Carrie Anderson-Woman Apologist

    I appreciate your ideas, Chase. Some of the things I am being reminded of from Scripture are that the Church is to be concerned with its own first. The reason for this is because if the Church is not healthy, than it cannot effectively make disciples, who will then go out into the world and make more disciples. So bringing refugees to the Sates is not the Church’s concern, but the government’s. Also, Scripture that admonishes us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves definitely applies here as well.

    I have a Syrian Christian neighbor that came here 5 years ago, to flee the government. He does not want to remain here, he wants to go home. I think this is indicative of the feelings of most Syrians – they would rather live in their own home and be safe.

    It’s pretty arrogant of us (the USA) to assume that they want to and should live here, no?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your thoughts. Let me clarify something that I should’ve made more clear when writing my initial article. Under no circumstances do I want to remove someone from their homeland who wants to stay there. Im talking about the many refugees that are displaced in camps, and realize that returning to their homeland is not a viable option for them. I will strongly disagree with the statement that it’s not the churches concern, but the governments. Yes, the government has a role to play, but my main point is the people who make up the church shouldn’t be ones saying statements like, “Build a Wall” or “we don’t want those kind of people”.

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      • Carrie Anderson-Woman Apologist

        I agree with you that the people who make up the church should not be campaigning for walls 🙂

        The main reason why returning is not a viable option for them, is because none of the world’s leading countries are making real efforts to wipe out the threat.

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  13. I am certainly guilty of burying my head in the sand. I hardly ever pay attention to political issues and I need to do a better job of educating myself. Thank you for encouraging me to learn more. I too have had thoughts pop into my head that I want to keep the US safe, but you reminded me that Christ cares for each and every life He created. So we should too!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Such a good and relevant post. I need to be better about opening my arms and loving more too!

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  15. Controversial topic. Thanks for writing on it. Just found you on Christian bloggers group.

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  16. Very well-written post. I do disagree with some of your points on this and agree with a few of the commenters who have said we need to be careful about allowing them here and take care of our own people in our own country before, but I appreciate you writing your feelings on such a controversial subject and being so kind in your replies. I most certainly need to do more praying on this subject and you’ve convicted me to seek God more on this before deciding where I stand myself! Thank you!
    http://www.thedivinepresence.wordpress.com

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  17. I’m not from America but I do agree that we should wear off “holier-than-thou” attitude and receive refugees with sincere love as Jesus exemplified in the account of his encounter with the Samaritan Woman.

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  18. This article had made me rethink the general attitude towards refugees. It is a very sensitive topic because the instinctive attitude of humans is to protect their lives and the lives of those they love. It will be especially difficult for those who have lost loved ones through such attacks to agree with this post. However, who said Christianity is easy? I will begin with prayer. Interesting perspective.

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  19. Well written post. I appreciate your willingness to share your heart on a difficult and emotional topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. miragonz

    Wow, very eye opening that if each church just hosted 13 refuges, the crisis would be over. That is amazing! I do have to agree with you, but at the same time–I worry about the safety of my children and the future of our country. Although, we are destroying it as much with immorality from the inside as the outside. Great food for thought, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When it comes to safety its hard to say that’s not important, because it is. Its just finding the right balance of making sure the Gospel is always first. As time goes on us here at Rethink will be writing on some of those morality issues. Appreciate you leaving a comment.

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  21. tara8910

    We need to get out of our comfort zones, as you suggest. There really isn’t an easy answer, but somehow, we do need to care for these people. Prayer is a good place to start, but not enough.

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  22. theancients

    I agree with you. Christianity is not about doing what is comfortable or convenient. In the parable of the good Samaritan, he did what was uncomfortable and inconvenient to his very safety and life…he brought a very wounded man to a people who would/could easily blame and kill him for the fella’s misfortunes. He had no idea what would happen to him by taking the fellow to the inn; but he did, regardless of the consequence to his own person/life.
    Not easy by any stretch of the imagination but it’s what we’re called to do… it’s what we’re called to be.

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Chase,

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Is your family currently fostering children? I know you mentioned in step 3 that we should let our government know we will answer that call.

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  24. This is definitely something to think about and, as believers we should certainly be well-knowledgeable in these topics. At this point in time, I am not quite sure if I can share specifically how we need to address this. I do however, agree that we should love with open arms with people right next to us, and people who are far from us who also may be in need – but I think there is wisdom in what that looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Hallelujah. I though not reside in USA. But I believe God is with us, and when he has given you friend, this idea, he is giving it to others too, and soon we will see the difference, only we have to allow the spirit to lead us and the world will be one again, with father and with Christ, brother to brother, sister to sister. What a present world would it be, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. I believe the miracle of unity has begun, and that we those who cannot do anything atlest for now, we should pray for those who can, that God leads them and this Miracle finds its fulfillment.
    Hallelujah

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