After giving this weeks events much thought, I wanted to respond to the Muslim refugee situation. It is not going to surprise anyone that Loving All Peoples wants refugees here and loves Muslims. You have seen that consistently from us for many years. We were of course deeply saddened by the decision. I thought it would be best to encourage you with three points that I believe will be helpful in this situation.
1. Please go befriend refugees before you decide what stance, viewpoint, or judgement you are going to take. And this doesn’t just apply to refugees. This includes all people: black people, white people, gay people, Muslims, and even “illegal” immigrants. It does a disservice to refugees or any other people group when we do not take the time to look in each others eyes, learn from each other, and hear the stories of other people. I guarantee you that if you get into the lives of refugees it will surely change the way you view them, even if it doesn’t change your political stance.
2. Please go love Muslims regardless of where you stand on Muslim refugees being allowed to come here. I say this with passion in my heart and tears in my eyes. Can you imagine being a Muslim in this country right now? My heart breaks for these people. I have of course seen many stories of people going to love and support Muslims which makes me so proud, but we can do much more. We need to be running to these people. Go find them, befriend them, have them over for dinner, serve them. My prayer is that some of you respond to this challenge and I would love to hear your feedback on that experience. It will not only impact the hearts of those Muslims but will also impact yours. I have said this before, but what is the better solution in how we treat Muslims? Ignore them, hate them, marginalize them, have prejudice against them? Wouldn’t that just add to the problem? Or wouldn’t it be better to love them, serve them, help them, and share the love we have in us with them? What will be the greater outcome?
3. Go talk to someone who has dedicated their life to ministering to Muslims. Nothing breaks my heart more, than for someone to take a stance or make a judgement in their heart based on naive assumptions or a lack of a quality perspective, which unfortunately is usually the case. I want to encourage you if you are someone who has a fear or hate for Muslims, or even just uncertainty about what Muslims are all about, just go seek someone with experience to talk to…not the scholar on Islam, not the guy or girl who thinks they have everything politically figured out, not the TV correspondents, not even the pastor who doesn’t have relationships with Muslims. If we do not take steps to genuinely take the time and effort to humbly be a learner, then it is us who are in the wrong.
Thank you all and I hope this encourages a few to action.