Internal Dialogue

“So, I see you’re pretty resistant to the idea of bringing these Syrian refugees to the United States.”

“Yeah. So?”

"Jesus told us to take in the refugees because it is the right thing to do!"

"Wow, Jesus told you that?"

"...It's implied."

"Nothing is implied. What is commanded is to love your enemies."

"Exactly! You seem to think of these people as your enemies.”

“Not exactly. I think enemies are amongst them. And I think much about their culture is antithetical to ours.”

“The point stands. Love your enemies. Even the enemies of your culture."

"That doesn't automatically translate to, 'Bring your enemy into your house and let him room with your teenage daughter.'"

"Don't be crass."

"C. S. Lewis talked about loving others as we love ourselves, but how he elaborated was interesting. We love ourselves in the basic sense, even if, as Christians, we hate the evil that we do. Our love is represented by the hope that we aren't too far gone; that the Grace of God extends further still."

"You're just proving my point."

"Not really. You see I can love my enemy in that sense - hoping that he isn't too far gone, praying that he comes to salvation, and helping him with worldly needs. At no point does that automatically become, 'Love your enemy and trust him completely.' We can reasonably help those genuine Syrian refugees as well as the non-Syrian 'refugees' without giving them the figurative key to the city."

"How else would you help? Giving them food when they're running for their lives isn't helpful."

"True. But that's where simple facts come in. Not many of these people entering Europe as refugees are refugees at all. They are coming from Turkey and Eastern Europe. They are trying to get into the countries with the best welfare. They are mostly young men coming as anchors in order to bring the rest of their family in eventually."

"You know all this for certain?"

"Well, I'm reading frontline reports from people actually dealing with the crisis. That's all I can go on because the most of the European media is prevented from reporting honestly about this."

"Well, even if what you're saying is true, we are called to love our enemies, do good to those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute us."

“Indeed, but does that automatically translate to bringing people in en masse? Aren’t there alternatives? Many of the true Syrian refugees are escaping to refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Why not send support there? Why must our only choice be to let a massive amount of people from parts unknown into our countries? How is this responsible?”

“It’s all fine for you to say that, but I know your heart. There’s no small amount of hate there. You are contemptuous of these people and of those Christians that are encouraging their migration.”

“Sure. Yeah. That piece is there. I’m angry about the situation. I’m angry specifically with those Christians that are so often coopted by those in power. They push for things that are positive on their face, but are really ways for power brokers to accomplish ungodly things. They won’t lift a finger to help the community around them, but they wax poetic about the needs of people half a world away.”

“That could easily describe you.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it could. But does that invalidate my point?”

“We are to be, ‘Harmless as doves.’”

“And before that, ‘Cunning as serpents.’”

"And you are being cunning this way? Can you ignore their suffering?"

"I don't want to ignore it. I want to help these people. But I don't want to be manipulated by my emotions into a course of action that is ultimately damaging to all involved."

"So what will you do?"

"I don't know... Pray."

"Is that enough?"

"He'll let me know."