For those of you who follow our blog, you are familiar with our Peoples Next Door project. We spend a good deal of time around here talking about this unprecedented movement of people. God is bringing so many unreached peoples from around the world and settling them in our neighborhoods. The least reached are increasingly within arms reach of the gospel.
In light of recent statements made concerning Muslim immigration, we thought it best to point out a humble, and correct, response.
Marty Duren’s post “Dear Franklin: It is Not a Good Idea”, provides careful and loving insights. He highlights the gospel opportunities available to Christians as well as the importance of maintaining a Christian perspective on important world events.
Here is an excerpt from Marty’s response:
Do you realize for millions around the globe who yet think of America as a Christian nation, your call to halt the immigration of Muslims could be interpreted as a Christian attack on Muslims?
Do you realize the wedge you’ve potentially driven between Christian missionaries the world over–including in the United States–and the Muslims they are trying to engage with the gospel?
Is it not problematic to conjure a darker era of our nation’s history–immigration policies affecting Japanese and Germans–to make a dark case toward Muslims? Do you realize many of the Germans were German Jews trying to escape Hitler and the Holocaust?
Do you realize if we “stop all immigration of Muslims at the border” we will in essence be asking ICE officers to give theology tests?
Do you realize “Muslim” is not a nation, that Muslims live in many, many nations around the world? Do you purport to halt or restrict immigration from any nation with Muslim citizens? Even from our allies?
I encourage you to read the rest of the post, “Dear Franklin: It is Not a Good Idea,” on his blog.
These are interesting times in America for many reasons, and as you think through the Christian response, may it be one that exhibits love of neighbor. Marty points out the obvious flaws in an isolationist approach. Tomorrow, we will advance the conversation by sharing some positive steps forward.
Keelan leads the Peoples Next Door project and is a Senior Church Consultant with the Union Baptist Association in Houston, TX. He is working on a PhD in Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In previous years, he spent time as a church planter in West Africa with the IMB and doing ethno-graphic research in Washington, DC with NAMB.