When I first posted a few days ago about the controversy at Wheaton College about a professor’s comment that “Christians and Muslims worship the same God,” I had no idea how involved the backstory was. I tend to live in a “media-less” bubble. I have no cable TV, and I have no desire to get it (OK… I do miss watching ESPN sometimes).
It is quite apparent that a lot of American Christians (and others) are exceedingly anxious over the prospects of radical Islam doing great harm, and thereby wanting to distance themselves from those from traditionally Islamic-based cultures. The issue is quite controversial. Just this week, a public school system in Staunton, Virginia, shutdown when enraged citizens discovered that a teacher, as part of a calligraphy assignment, asked students to draw out the Islamic shahada, or statement of faith, in Arabic.
The controversy is no less intense when it comes to the question of allowing more Syrian refugees to enter Western countries. The situation has changed dramatically, since I first blogged about this topic two years ago, and since the persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq became front page news. I am not an immigration expert, so I really do not know what the best answer is. But as a Christian, I simply want to try to follow my Lord in obedience to His Great Commission, loving my neighbor with the Good News of Jesus Christ, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
I found the following video to be very helpful in explaining the background of the situation with the Syrian refugee crisis, in view of the crisis of radical Islam motivating the leaders of ISIS. It is more focused on the challenges in Europe, and it does not address spiritual concerns, but as followers of Jesus it would help us to better educate ourselves as to what is going on. You may not totally agree with the suggested solutions in the video, but I would hope that you might prayerfully consider how God might call you to respond to the crisis.
For example, I have a friend of mine who leads small teams for 10-day trips to a refugee camp near the Syrian border inside Jordan. There my friend and his team help to feed hungry refugees, provide education for the children of these desperate families, and build relationships with these lost people, all in the name of loving them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you want more information of how you can get involved, please let me know, or leave a comment in the blog.