I want to share an article written by a dear brother in Christ that I have been friends with since childhood. His name is Brandon Price he is a missionary and has lived in the Ukraine for many years. Please keep him and his wonderful wife in your prayers! May we challenged to be doers and not just hearers. - Charlton
I am ashamed
Written By: Brandon Price
Tonight in our Bible study we were reading through Acts 23. Paul is in custody while the Romans are trying to figure out what to do with this peaceful man that so many people seem to hate. Those doing the hating, as you might recall, are the Jews. They hate Paul for teaching what they feel is against the Law, and time after time throughout Acts we see zealous Jews trying to stop him.
So in chapter 23 there are forty men who are so frothing with hate that they make a vow not to eat or drink anything until they kill Paul. Kill him. We stopped and discussed the sad irony of these extreme measures. These men were so eager to defend and keep their law that they were willing to kill a man—an act which was completely against that very law.
Their fear and hatred had blinded them to the truths they claimed to be upholding.
In Luke 10 Jesus tells the story about the Good Samaritan. A man is lying beaten and bleeding on the side of a long, lonely road between two cities. Two different religious men pass by and choose not to get involved. It’s not like they can call an ambulance; to help this man would require serious time and energy. Plus, he’s got no ID. Who knows where he’s from? Maybe he deserved what he got. Maybe he’s a murderer. Maybe I’ll end up suffering for choosing to help.
“It’s just not worth the risk.”
I can’t say I’ve been disappointed with my fellow Christians’ comments regarding helping the Syrian refugees—I’ve been appalled by them. Millions of men, women, and children are literally fleeing for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and with eyes blinded by hatred over a few who have caused us pain, Christians are taking to social media to shake their first-world fingers in the faces of those suffering and saying, “You’re not worth the risk. You might be one of them.”
I am so ashamed.
Forty men in Acts 23 were so blinded by hate they were willing to break the law in order to keep it. We will sit and read that text together on Sunday morning and shake our heads in disbelief at their foolishness, and then we’ll go out to lunch with our Christians brothers and sisters and talk about how allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country next year isn’t worth the risk.
Thank God that Jesus didn’t look at us the same way. Thank God that Jesus felt we were worth the risk. Even though he knew most would reject Him. Even though he knew he would die at the hands of religious terrorists.
As a citizen of the United States, I get it. Our safety is at risk. We don’t want another 9/11 or another Boston Marathon bombing or a repeat of what happened in Paris last week. An earthly kingdom thinks in terms of the physical. A nation’s gotta do what a nation’s gotta do.
But the thing is, my citizenship is in heaven, and my King commanded me to love my neighbor as myself. He commanded me to show hospitality to strangers. He commanded me to feed and give water and clothe and visit those who need help. My King commanded me not to fear those who can kill the body but who cannot kill the soul. He told me that if I really want to be a citizen of His kingdom, I need to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me.
You cannot claim to love God whom you have never seen if you don’t love the Syrian refugees who are staring you right in the face. Please, brothers and sisters, do not fight terror with hatred. Innocent people are dying because we are afraid.