Inside Out: Seeking Refuge

08.31.16 | Martha Manikas-Foster

With millions displaced by the Syrian War and no end to the conflict in sight, should the United States welcome a greater number of war refugees? Whatever policy decision wins in the current debate, Matthew Soerens suggests that, essentially, Christians ask, “What Would Jesus Do?”

“I don’t think it’s unsafe to serve refugees, but it may not always be convenient,” Soerens says. “I think our call as Christians is the same: to love our neighbors as ourselves, it’s to make disciples of all nations, it’s to practice hospitality, which, in the Greek of the New Testament literally means to ‘love strangers,’ not just to have your friends over for lunch. I think we let ourselves off easy. We read those commands in Scripture to practice hospitality and we think it means to make a nice dinner for our friends.”

Soerens is a co-author of the book Seeking Refuge and the US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief, a branch of the National Association of Evangelicals. World Relief began after World War II in response to the humanitarian crisis in Europe.

With the topic of refugees increasingly in the news, Soerens says he reflects on Chapter 5 of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew. This is where Jesus tells his followers to let their light shine before others so that people will see their good deeds and, as a result, praise the Father in heaven.

“When Jesus talked about being a shining city on the hill, He wasn’t talking about any country. He was talking to His people, his disciples, the Church,” Soerens says. “ I really feel that—even in very small ways—there will be millions of people in the world today who are going to make their determinations on who they think Jesus is based on how the people who profess to follow Him respond to this global crisis.”

Listen to our 19-minute conversation by clicking on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above.

Learn more about World Relief.

Learn about the book Seeking Refuge, by Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and Issam Smeir.

 

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 09.03.16 Wayne commented

You should do a better job of researching these featured speakers and their claims. The vetting process for Syrian refugees is not taking 18 months and is not being completed in their own country. Obama has announced that the 10,000 Syrian refugees he sought to bring here are already here and placed throughout America. This so-called "vetting" process must have taken all of maybe 4-6 weeks IF it took place at all! They are here now and are already causing all kinds of havoc in American communities. They are not all "innocent" women and children, but many are single young men already trained in Jihad warfare here in the US.
In addition, the Biblr verses your speaker referenced regarding taking care of the "strangers" among you are simply not accurate and do not apply here. They deal with those already living here among the Israeli people, not illegals who have broken the law to arrive in their country. God is a God of law, of establishing order and calls for obeying the law of the land. These "Christian" ministries helping the refugees to resettle are being paid BILLIONS of dollars by the Obama administration and are building up their coffers while forbidden to share the gospel with these people. They are simply in it for the money, not the sake of Jesus Christ. We get very tired of these stories lauding the bleeding hearts who are not standing for the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Worldly Pharisees, who Jesus always condemned.

on 09.04.16 Wayne commented

As og Aug 31, 2016, 10,801 Syrians have been fast-tracked into the US. Of the, 10,722 were self-declared Muslims, only 29 were Christians. (US State Dept data)

on 09.04.16 Wayne commented

As of Aug 31, 2016, 10,801 Syrians have been fast-tracked into the US. Of the, 10,722 were self-declared Muslims, only 29 were Christians. (US State Dept data)

on 09.04.16 Wayne commented

As of Aug 31, 2016, 10,801 Syrians have been fast-tracked into the US. Of these 10,722 were self-declared Muslims, only 29 were Christians. (US State Dept data)

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