The U.S. Migrant Crisis is a Test for Christians

The U.S. Migrant Crisis is a Test for Christians June 30, 2019

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez left El Salvador with dreams of giving his 23-month-old daughter Valeria a better life in the United States. 

His journey ended on the bank of the Rio Grande when their lifeless bodies washed up on the Texas border.

Their deaths were sadly similar to the death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi,  who drowned in the Mediterranean on Sept. 2, 2015. Photos of his body on the beach symbolized the refugee crisis in Syria.

Refugees aren’t generalities or stereotypes. They are suffering children with desperate parents struggling to find a better life.

And for those who survive the dangerous struggle and enter the U.S., their children are taken away and tortured. The Trump policy of separating children from refugee parents has led to a humanitarian crisis.

Evil is being perpetrated against children.

Children, on American soil, are being deprived of basic human rights. Families are being torn apart forever. Intentionally.

That some people still accept it, is horrific.

 To make excuses is inhumane.

To even begin to excuse it for a moment demonstrates how far our national morality has fallen.

This isn’t policy from previous administrations. This isn’t because of lack of funding or resources. This is the official, intentional policy of the Unites States government, under President Trump. No matter the history — this is a national disgrace.

From the border agents making arrests, all the way up to Trump and self-avowed ‘christian’ Vice-President Mike Pence, there is not a Christian involved in this situation. You can not participate in this evil and truly be a Christian.

This is one of the most stark, clear choices a Christian can make:

Defend torture of children,


support Christ.

You can’t do both.

You can not be a Christian and support what the government is doing to families and children.

The scripture is crystal clear. To deny these children is to deny Christ himself.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” ~ Matt. 25: 41-45

The refugee crisis at the United States border is a simple test that Christians either pass or fail.

If you see this suffering and want it to stop, you’re doing what Christ teaches.

If you make excuses, you’re not a Christian.

You are not a Christian, if you support this policy. You worship a false god of your own creation. Your prayers are empty words to yourself.

You either support the government driving nails into the Body of Christ or you defend the children made in the image of God.

Psalm 83:16-18:

Fill their faces with shame,
that they may seek your name, O Lord.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace,
that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are the Most High over all the earth.

Jim Meisner, Jr. holds a Master of Divinity.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • CroneEver


  • Alan Drake

    Sadly, tragically yes.

    Christ knew these type of false followers in Matthew 25:41-46, and their fate is in the last verse.

  • Ron Swaren

    So, is there something wrong with supporting orphanages, missions, evangelism, etc. in Latin America? My understanding is that they are jettisoning the obsolete Roman Catholic faith—-and along with it very poor family planning practices—and opting into various evangelical movements.

    So now you feel compelled to draw a line in the sand:”If you see this suffering and want it to stop, you’re doing what Christ teaches. ”

    Just a thought, another effort you can support is the USDOJ National Gang Center which offers training on an international scale. Includes community programs, not just police work. Here’s an upcoming conference associated with them; You can even to the US Attorney General, William Barr and urge him to expand this program again, which languished under the previous Administration.

  • stannous

    The flow of asylum seekers from Central America continues because of the decades of poor US foreign policy in the region. We are the root cause, and then we compound it be claiming we have no responsibility for these who legally seek asylum here. The writer is correct. The evangelicals have sold their souls to the Trump Antichrist and will be judged accordingly.

  • Stephanie Wells

    Get the facts straight. Obama wasnt unleashing tear gas on children or asylum seekers.

  • Scott

    Get my facts straight?! What did I write that was factually inaccurate?

  • Jim Meisner Jr.


  • Cathy McMahan

    You should be angry, we impose sanctions which take away food and jobs to countries that have done nothing to us and then when they come here people get mad, if you don’t like it then use your voice to stop the sanctions. We as a country should not be doing such things.

  • Everett Kier Jr

    what are you talking about?

  • plungingforward

    Scott, that’s straight-up illogical. If I feed seven people poison, three die, three are left crippled for life but survive, and one gets very sick for a while and fully recovers, I still poisoned seven people.

  • plungingforward

    Again with the shoddy logic. Both. Can. Be. Wrong.
    Even if the offense is the same and the response is uneven, you’re still not responding to the actual problem.
    “Well, Lord. The last administration didn’t invite you in, either!” is no defense.

  • Scott

    Why don’t you try responding to my primary point. Where was the outrage when this was occurring during the previous administration? It’s a rhetorical question because we all know there wasn’t any.

  • plungingforward

    My response is still that your primary point is illogical.

  • Scott

    In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means”. There was nothing illogical about my point.

  • plungingforward

    As a response to this post, it most certainly was. There are a wide variety of logical responses to the premise “this is not Christian behavior,” including logical objections. “You didn’t criticize the Obama administration” is not one of these. It’s an attempt to make the argument about something other than the premise at hand, rather than a reasoned response to it.

  • fred5399

    this is happing on his watch Obama hasn’t been president since jan 2017. News for you so called illegals work, pay taxes , fight for America and on the whole do less crime than so called citizens .Too bad these people are the wrong color.

  • Rosa Cruz

    Dude, your guy has been there for how long now? That is a sorry excuse. I don’t care who started what, your guy has been in office long enough. If he has time to golf, he has time to fix this. Get your head out of b.s..

  • Scott

    I am glad. I just think their motivation is their ideology and not their theology (Christianity). Conservatives are no different, that’s why I think everyone is the other side of the same coin.

  • cvryder2000

    There has been a 10 year drought (approximately) in Guatemala which has spread to Honduras, making farming exceptionally difficult for poor families. Guatemala also has horrible land policies which I do know something about because a friend from high school is married to a man she met while in the Peace Corps there who has spent his life working for land reform. He has been a political prisoner at least 5 times (!), probably more since I saw her last–it depends on which political party is in power at any given time. Both countries have hideously corrupt governments, and El Salvador is and isn’t corrupt, there again depending on which party is in power, but the US has interfered in the politics of all the Central American countries so much that the region is constantly unstable. We can’t seem to keep our dirty fingers out of the area! Do you even know where the term “banana republic” came from? Perhaps you should read some Latin American history and learn about William Walker and United Fruit Company. It only got worse in the 1980s, thanks to Ronald Reagan and Ollie North.

  • cvryder2000

    Love the whataboutism…..sadly, it’s all the rage among Republicans lately…..

  • cvryder2000

    She is talking about the Republican government stopping all aid to the countries where the migrants are coming from…..which if you watch Faux Nooze you won’t hear a peep about because they never tell you stuff like that. But tRump did indeed do that. He stopped ALL aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Period. ALL OF IT. And this is supposed to be deterring people from coming.

  • cvryder2000

    Nice try at whataboutism. Really nice.

    I guess you don’t call children being locked in cages where they can’t even find a place to lie down on a concrete floor torture. Or being fed unthawed frozen vegetables and undercooked rice, or having to sleep with the lights on all night, or having their sleeping mats taken away if they complain about the food, or having to take care of an unrelated 2 year old when you yourself are only 8……all of which have been documented. And all of these children have been separated from their parents in the first place. But no, that doesn’t concern you in the least.

    Oh, and by the way, seeking asylum is NOT ILLEGAL. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter whether they come in at an “approved checkpoint” or not, they are still allowed to seek asylum by presenting themselves to the nearest border agent. It’s the LAW. Read it. Furthermore, this government is perfectly able to care for both immigrants AND homeless veterans. They just choose not to. They prefer to care for the top 1% instead. Now take your arguments somewhere else. They don’t fly with me.

  • cvryder2000

    Funny thing, the REPUBLICANS didn’t do a thing about when they had both houses for two years. Fold that 5 ways, put it in your pipe and smoke it if you can…it’s wet.

  • The truth is hard to handle so deflecting helps some ease their guilty consciences.

  • Christiane Smith

    Thank you for writing this. It’s so much better than those posts where ‘christians’ tell other ‘christians’ to say nothing against the ‘annointed’ leader whose policy it is to separate families. But the worst of it was the tormenting of little children . . . lack of proper food, clothing, places to sleep, no baths or showers, no medical supervision, no DIAPERS for heaven’s sake for toddlers who soiled into their clothing . . . . . older children watching and caring for younger littles as best they could . . . you know, the thing that gets me most is that IT’S THE VERY PEOPLE WHO SHOUT THAT WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION WHO SUPPORT THIS ‘LEADER’. . . . . . . it doesn’t make sense, and I’m heartbroken . . . for the children, for what we have become as a nation . . . God have mercy!

  • This is such a great response and scripture based! So many supporters of these policies twist and turn to justify this but how can it be a righteous to imprison infants or those who simply need help?

  • fractal

    Stay in the now.

  • swiftly forgotten

    You’re wrong on both counts. You can’t excuse border ‘detentions’ of families due to progressives generally being pro-choice. ‘Deflection’ might be the case if this article was about abortions, it’s not, so any ‘deflection’ is coming from YOU.

    ‘You avoided having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser – you answered criticism with criticism.’

  • Scott

    I did attempt to engage. Stephanie told me to “Get the facts straight.” I asked her to point out what she thought was inaccurate about my reply. She chose not to reply.

  • swiftly forgotten

    ‘Whataboutism’ is a form of tu quoque – you’re avoiding tRump’s behavior by commenting on Obama’s.

  • Scott

    This is pointless. You’ve now moved the goal posts. Your original criticism was that I was trying to avoid engaging by answering criticism with criticism. I pointed out how I tried to engage but did not receive a response. Now you are criticizing me for supposedly avoiding Trump’s behavior by commenting on Obama’s. My complaint is with either men. My complaint is the moral subjective outrage in the press and by supposed Christian’s. This is all about ideology. None of these progressive Christians were complaining when migrants were dying every year, in greater numbers, before Trump was in office.

  • swiftly forgotten

    I didn’t move the goalpost – I posted twice about ‘whataboutism’. If that’s not what you were doing by bringing up Obama to avoid dealing the tRump, I apologize.

  • Ronald Langdon

    well I guess I share my mental illness with Jesus Christ. It is His word!!!!

  • DuckyShades

    Truth. Good luck telling these readers anything remotely objective.