If you are Christian, it's time to put up or shut up. I know that's harsh, and hopefully, you know I don't mean it that way - it's just a little Brooklyn sneaking out the sides - but there's truth inside the edges of these words too.
Christians can no longer talk from both sides of their mouths. The conservative party's relationship with Christians has made them look like ogres for a long time. Not only does much of the world dislike you, but sadly, this disdain is not for the reasons Jesus said people would hate you. Sadder still, other Christians run away because of you too. Countless people who once associated or identified as Christians have stopped doing so, and from where I sit, they're embarrassed and fear they'll be perceived as someone like you.
So, here's the question. Are you or aren't you?
Ogres, that is.
The situation in Syria could not be more dire.
This is the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.
Even worse, now the world is seeing Christians through the eyes of the Kim Davis story. There is an alternative you know. You could be seen, instead, as someone who helped the stranger. Is fear, Kim Davis, pundits, and hate really who you want to be the voice for?
What is wrong with you?
Is there any directive more clear than feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger?
Oh... and then there's that love your neighbor thing too.
C'mon People. Show the world who you are now. This is an opportunity for all Christians to show up and make a difference in the world. It's also a chance to test your true heart. You know what I'm talking about.
Every single Christian I know who has the habit of choosing the anger, fear, and political rhetoric, over the spiritual and peacemaking story that heals and loves knows it doesn't feel right.
Are you vulnerable in the face of it? Does the fear and complaining feed your spirit? Does your heart break open seeing people suffering? Or do you ridicule and judge, talking about them as if you know them?
You know. Search your heart and ask God which person you are. I know you know which one is aligned to your spiritual truth, the truth that lies in the place your heart is connected to God. I absolutely know who you really are and I know that you know too. Don't you think we'd all have a lot more fun rising up and changing the world for the better?
The real answers lie in a change of heart. In an opening of our hearts. This cannot be a PR move, or done reluctantly. We each must reach deeper and access the heart of who we are as Christians. This calls for authentic love.
Will you close your door to these refugees because pundits twist them into the enemy; or will you welcome the stranger and clothe the naked because Jesus Christ, who Christians call Lord, has made it very clear this is their call as disciples?
I'd like to hear an argument against the latter. The answers aren't easy, all motives aren't clear, and we have to stretch; but these aren't reasons not to do the right thing. We all know that.
This will take everyone. Everyone on every side of everything, not just Christian sides - of which there are many of late. Public/private partnerships will lead the way if we support Washington with confidence to vote towards helping in ways that make sense. Plus, it's not like we didn't participate in getting the world to where it is today. We were part of the equation that created this situation; not saying we are to blame. But we did participate ...
Can't we be the change, folks? And don't tell me no because Gandhi said it.
Tell me YES because Gandhi said it.
Do Not Be Afraid is said 366 times in the Bible.
Do Not Be Afraid.
They are not the enemy.
Muslims are not the enemy.
The enemy is the enemy.
If you want to do something about this, and make positive change in the world, help us help them. Email us - Linda Ellwein Schwarz and Pastor Wally Schwarz at email@example.com; and sign your group up at WeWelcomeRefugees.com to be in the loop with other Christians taking action.