Thursday, November 19, 2015

#PorteOuverte



In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Parisians did something amazing, and probably unexpected to most of us westerners.

A twitter campaign #PorteOuverte was started to let people who were impacted by the attacks, where an open door was, a place to stay that was safe.

This is a stark contrast to the response American Governors have had. 30 Governors, as of 3 days ago have said they will not accept any Syrian refugees into their state.

There are strong opinions on both sides so let's look at what scripture tells us on how we are to deal with refugees and our enemies.

What does scripture say on how we are to treat a refugee?

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)


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He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

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“As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name. (1 Kings 8:41-44)


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No stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler 

(Job, discussing his devotion to God) (Job 31:32)

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He asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he  passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:29-37)
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What do scriptures say about how to treat our enemies? 
I include this question because many cite that the Syrian refugees are our enemies. If this is true then it is important to look at what scripture says about how we are to treat our enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:38 - 39
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To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:20 - 21
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“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:27 - 28
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Themes the permeate these verses include love, open doors, mercy and welcoming the stranger. If I take what these verses say I have to go out on a limb and say that the Christian church needs to look at the example Paris is giving, as it relates to refugees and anyone in need for that matter, and ignore the words of the American Governors.
We have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ by welcoming refugees who are fleeing war torn countries. Let's follow Jesus' and Paris' example,