I’m learning that developing a Biblical theology is hard work; it’s much easier for me to be driven by emotions like fear, anger and bitterness.
But this is NOT the way of Jesus.
To have a biblical theology means that I must have a developed relationship with Jesus- a relationship built on study of, and time spent with, Jesus.
In Acts 17, we read about the Bereans- these people were highlighted because they compared everything that Paul said to the scriptures- they were his accountability. Our task is to be Bereans- to compare the words and actions of others to scripture and then…obey scripture.
I know, these are complicated matters. There are legitimate security concerns and the government does indeed have “the lead” role; because our government is (and ALWAYS has been) run by sinful man, it will make both good and bad choices- the ramifications of which we will not likely know for years.
Individual Christians however, are to be different. The church, is to be different.
When I see my good Christian friends on Facebook labeling refugees as “invaders”, I have to wonder if they’ve ever actually even read the Bible. The way of Jesus was to not only side with the marginalized and the oppressed, but to become the marginalized and the oppressed.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven”- Jesus, in Matthew 5:43-45.
“You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?
No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the hungry. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help…Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors. Feed the hungry and help those in trouble”- Isaiah 58:5-9.
The people fleeing political or religious persecution are not our enemies. The ones fleeing economic brokenness are not our enemies. The ones fleeing a drug war that is fueled by the brokenness of our own citizenry are not our enemies.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places”- Paul, in Ephesians 4:12.
Our “what” is simple- We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.