Many of my Christian friends over the last few months have assured me that part of their reason for supporting Donald Trump for the presidency has been his grasp of Christian values. “God will be back in America,” they tell me.
I’m still not entirely sure what that means. “Did He leave?” Is He in Canada? That’s where I hear a lot of people are thinking about moving to, so maybe God’s already up there? Just waiting?
But today I’ve had a bit of a “come to Jesus” moment of my own.
With the passing of today’s ban on refugees from 7 Muslim nations – on Holocaust Remembrance Day, an irony not lost to Jewish groups, Trump has led me to wonder, what does Christianity say about refugees?
Surely, if this President has Christian values – and he’s banning refugees from some of the most massively destroyed and war-torn nations in the world – then this must be what Christianity teaches. Right?
Let’s have a look at a few of the Bible’s teachings on refugees:
Love Refugees As Yourself
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
The Sin of Sodom: They Did Not Help the Poor and Needy
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)
Do Not Oppress a Foreigner
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)
Leave Your Door Open to the Traveler
No stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler (Job, discussing his devotion to God) (Job 31:32)
Invite the Stranger In
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.’ (Matthew 25:25-36)
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
Have Mercy on Your Neighbor
He asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29-37)
(Borrowed from “What the Bible Tells us About How To Treat Refugees” at RelevantMagazine)
This is beautiful.
I know some of it – having long been fascinated with the book of Job and knowing the story of the Good Samaritan from countless cultural references. But now, thanks to Trump, I’ve gained new appreciation for these other works.
I hope others, too, both Christan and non-Christian, spend time with the Bible in the coming years. I have a feeling I’ll be consulting it frequently.
In the meantime, will this lead to a Christian revolt against Trump in light of these Biblical teachings on refugees? Or perhaps a good chastising? Do Christians still follow these teachings?