Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention are urging Christians to respond to the refugee crisis with faith rather than fear.
During the Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Summit, a three day event which was held from March 29-31, leaders urged the American Christian community to welcome refugees because God welcomes those who are outcast.
"I fear that most people in our churches and maybe even in this room are paying very little attention to this – or if we are paying attention to it, we are looking at it through political punditry and partisan debates regarding whether or not we should allow relatively few refugees into our land," said David Platt, president of the SBC’s International Mission Board, speaking about the refugee crisis.
Other leaders at the summit added that many Christian Americans’ approach to the refugee crisis is “far more American than it is biblical.”
“It is a sure sign of American self-centeredness that we would take the suffering of millions of people and turn it into an issue that is all about us,” said Platt.
"Our God seeks, shelters, serves and showers the refugee with his grace," he continued, also giving the biblical example of Boaz, the Israelite, welcoming Ruth, a Moabite woman who was a refugee in Israel.
Platt stated that American Christians should be more concerned with following God’s Word than in preserving the country.
"Whatever response is seen [in our churches] often seems to come from a foundation of fear, not of faith, flowing from a view of the world that is far more American than it is biblical, and far more concerned with the preservation of our country than it is with the accomplishment of the Great Commission,” he said.
John Klaassen, another Christian leader who spoke at the summit, added that "Most importantly, we teach them the gospel. We teach them the gospel by the things that we say and the things that we do."
Publication date: April 7, 2016