Is the church missing the mark in the current refugee crisis?

by Jalil Dawood

The world is advancing and developing faster than ever before. Yet still, the issues of war, famine, and poverty continue to plague us as they have for millennia.

And the result is that while the vast majority of people seek to live in peace with others -- and build a future in their own homeland -- that just doesn’t happen for a sizeable portion of our planet.

This leaves many asking, “Where is God in all of this -- and are we doing enough to help?”

After all, if God is good, then why would He allow families -- people with young children -- to starve, suffer, and die seeking refuge?

C. S. Lewis, in his book, The Problem of Pain, writes, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Could it be that the reason the plight of refugees -- and all those suffering in the world today -- has become so great is because the church has become deaf? We’re deafened by sin, and deafened by self-focus.

The church today is missing the biblical mandate to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

And who, according to Scripture, is your neighbor? Everyone.

The Iraqi father of six who’s home was destroyed by ISIS… he’s your neighbor. The young South Sudanese girl who saw both of her parents murdered before her eyes during the country’s civil war… she’s your neighbor.

And the militants and extremists who commit these atrocities? Yes, the Scripture tells us they’re our neighbors too.

The current global refugee crisis gives the people of God a unique opportunity to wake up -- to cast aside our prejudices and wholeheartedly pursue the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:34-40…

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"

My prayer is that God would use the current global refugee crisis to wake up the Western church, shake them to the core, and show them what it truly means to love their neighbors as themselves.

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