Where’s the Sacrifice?

There is a trend among American Christians that has been troubling me for some time. I was once caught up in the same trend, so if anyone feels I am pointing fingers, I have first pointed it at myself.

The trend I am seeing is that of being willing to modify, or ignore completely, Christ’s command to love our neighbors in the interest of preserving the standard of freedom of religion, lack of necessary sacrifice, and prosperity that we have enjoyed in this country in the 226 years since the constitution was ratified. It’s been sweet, and rare in the history of Christianity. But is it our duty to preserve this cushy situation to the degree that we turn our backs on those in need?

I’m talking, of course, about the Syrian refugee crisis.

I sympathize with those who say this is a very dangerous people group and that it is extremely dangerous to take them in. And for the non-Christian, I have nothing to say if that is your mindset, for it is a rational, common sense one. My point is directed at the Christian – the church, actually. And for those, too, I totally understand your concern and your determination to keep your families safe. But I can’t help but notice that a lot of the resistance, not only toward this issue, but others over the years, is not always about safety, but about preserving a comfortable standard of living.

And that is a shameful posture for a disciple of Jesus to take. In fact, if that is your posture, then you may be a believer, but in my opinion, you are not a disciple.

But a resistance based on fear is a different story. As I said, I sympathize with it. But is that really the proper response for a disciple of Jesus?

We have in our history outstanding stories of sacrifices made for the Gospel. These heroic stories continue to the present day. People who left all comforts, and even families, behind, who moved into leper colonies, knowing they would likely contract the disease themselves, Moravians who sold themselves into slavery so they could minister to slaves. People who faced death daily but did not turned back. I am a missionary, but I have a relatively cushy mission field. This past weekend, I did an outreach that is held in a hotel. I had my own room, with all the hot water I cared to luxuriate in. I had wine in the evening with friends. I went about in my socks. I often wonder, where is my sacrifice? I certainly feel like a lightweight compared to some of the missionaries I know and have read about.

Will taking in Syrian refugees be dangerous? Yeah, it’s dangerous. Suppose God visited you and asked you to face this danger and minister to these “neighbors”. What would your answer be? Since those people are asking for refuge, it seems He IS asking.

Yes, I know we can’t afford it. I know it may drag us all into a third world living standard. I know many of us could lose our lives. I know the USA could be tossed into the dustbin of history. Will we really not lay all that at the Lord’s feet, and say, “Yes, Lord. Do with me and mine as You will”?

Will we?

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