The Syrian Refugee Problem #TraditionallySouthside

Syrian refugees. Has there been a topic on Facebook any more divisive than this one? I have read postings from Christians that will make your hair curl, and I have read postings from lost people taking Christians to task for their lack of love for their fellow man. I have seen the opposite, too. Christians have posted stating that we have no choice but to accept these refugees and non-Christians that have begged our leaders to close the borders. I have tried to read some of these posts only to close them down half-way through because of the rhetoric that is mind-boggling. So I decided to add my thoughts to the mix.

First, let me say that as a grandfather and a father, I say, “Stop the insanity.” Nothing is more important to me than keeping my family safe, and if stopping the flow of Syrian refugees can do that, let’s do it. But that’s the question, isn’t it? Will saying no to this group of refugees make my family any safer? Maybe for now, but how long will it be before the very same dangers find their way to Pensacola or Pinson or Decatur? How long before evil people find new ways to get into our country where they long to do great harm?

Second, as a Christian and as a pastor, I say, “What about the true refugees who are fleeing the horrors of Isis?” Not a day has gone by in the last couple of years where we haven’t read about or seen on television gruesome images of people being brutalized by these Muslim terrorists. How can we say to these innocents, “Stay away!” Didn’t Jesus tell us that love demands that we meet the needs of people regardless of their race or religion? Could you look into the eyes of these people and literally condemn them to death by refusing to grant them asylum? I know that I couldn’t.

But then, I’m not sure that is the problem in all of this. I truly believe that citizens of this great country – Christians and non-Christians alike – understand that the world longs to enjoy the blessings that we have as Americans. I would guess that the majority of Americans truly want to take care of the needs of hurting people, and they would honor the invitation written by Emma Lazarus and imprinted on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

However, while our hearts are open to those who fit this description, we are not willing to open the gates and say to the terrorists, the murderers, and the rapists, “Y’all come!” What we are asking for, and what Congress is proposing under the threat of Presidential Veto, is that a more rigorous screening process be undertaken to ensure that the people we receive into our great land are who they claim to be. We are also asking that the invitation be extended not only to Muslim refugees but Christian refugees as well because it is the Christians who are being targeted by this demonic horde, by these evil men. And yet, it seems that it is Christians who were being turned away by the very ones who are demanding that we accept these Syrian refugees.

Finally, I think that the best remedy for this situation is not resettlement of these refugees. I think the solution is to release our brave men and women in our Armed Forces to do what they do so much better than the armies and navies of every other country. Why not let them take care of this threat of radical Islamist terrorism once and for all? Is that possible? I don’t know for sure, but if I were a betting man, I would bet everything that I have on that outcome. In reality, though, I believe that radical Islam is here to stay – at least until the end of the age. I believe that the Antichrist of the Bible is the 12th Imam of Islam. I believe that only when Jesus returns in power and glory will that threat ever be dealt with completely. But in the here and now, wouldn’t it be great to know that our political leaders had the intestinal fortitude to allow our military leaders to do what they do best to save countless thousands, if not millions, of lives threatened by ISIS?

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