I have had several discussions, both in person and on Facebook regarding what to do with the Syrian Refugees. Several have made comments that it is the moral and Christian duty to receive them into our country no matter what the risk. Others have stated that the concern for potential terrorism ties should keep them out of the country.
Having thought about this, I have formed the following opinion:
- It is the duty of individual Christians to be hospitable to strangers, travelers, and immigrants. We should express love and concern whenever and wherever we can. This means meeting the various physical needs as well as praying for the spiritual salvation of people. It is our Christian duty and obligation to love, pray for, minister to, and seek the very best for those whom God allows to cross our paths.
- It is the responsibility of local congregations and churches as well as para-church organizations to seek to find ways that will allow individual Christians to fulfill their God-given responsibilities. This includes loving, praying for, financial support when needed, as well as other logistical support. It is better if local churches work together with other Great Commission Christians to share this load.
- The government has a role to play in this matter. It is the responsibility of the government to secure its borders. This is a God-given mandate that the state must bear. God has ordained the borders of ancient Israel. Also, Acts 17:2 tell us that God has “…predetermined their reappointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling.”
- A government must also protect her people. It is the responsibility of our government to make sure that her citizens are in as little danger as possible concerning any immigration actions or policies. When government creates an atmosphere of danger or allows unwarranted and unnecessary danger to enter our borders, the government does err. Here in the USA there are constitutional methods to deal with government incompetency and error. State and local governments should be prepared to act should the Federal government endanger the people.
- The government has a third area of responsibility and that is to make sure that justice is maintained and delivered appropriately. The Scripture tells us that the state does not bear the sword in vain (Romans 13). It is the responsibility of the state to track down and punish evil in our society. Given the increase of sexual assaults that have happened in Europe as these refugees have flooded the borders, it would be best if our government exercised extreme caution.
- So what should we do with these refugees? A certain number of them should be allowed to enter the USA under very cautious circumstances. Of those who left Syria, there were many where were Christian (both culturally and by religious profession). These individuals should be allowed to immigrate for their own safety. They were not safe in their mother country and they are not safe mixed with the Muslim population of current refugees. Many were downed in the sea on the journey to Europe. Those who survived should be allowed in the country unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- Because of the current existential threat of Radical Islam, Muslim refugees should be bared from entering the country until such a time as it can be ascertained their exact circumstances and background. The risk is just too great to assume that all who would seek to enter this country do so with good intentions. One of the bombers in Paris entered on a forged Syrian passport. To allow unfettered access to our country would be an unwarranted risk that the government should not take, no matter how politically correct such a decision would be.
- Safe havens should be established, preferably in Arab nations until such a time that the Syrian crisis subsides and allows for the safe return of the refugees. These safe havens would include areas of humanitarian relief as well as physical protection.
- These refugees are of military age with most being males between the ages of 20 and 60. The US should consider arming and training these men with the purpose of retaking their country and ridding the world of the Assad regime. This would be in their best interest as well as that of the world. Our forefathers fought and died to procure the blessings of liberty and to protect every square inch of this great country. These Syrian refugees should be afforded no less a responsibility.