Some Missional Thoughts About the Migrant Caravan

Unless you have signed off social media and have turned off your television, you have read/heard the stories about a so-called caravan of migrants making its way across Central America toward the US border. Thousands of men, women, and children have been traveling for weeks across Honduras and Mexico in the hope of entering the United States. It has become a political crisis in Mexico as well as in the United States. Everyone has an opinion and, as far as I can tell, no one really knows what to anticipate.

Regardless of your personal political ideology and your thoughts about immigration, this current situation is problematic. As Christians, we need to be careful about how we think, and especially how we talk about this situation. In this post, I want to suggest two ideas that we should all keep in the forefront of our speech.

1. The Caravan is Not a Faceless Mass. They are Real People.

In Sherlock Holmes The Sign of Four, the detective observes: “The individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate, he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never tell what a man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary. . .”

It is quite easy for us to talk about the mass of people crossing Central America. As Sherlock Holmes anticipated, we can predict, judge, and categorize a faceless mass. But as Christians, it is our responsibility to remember that within this mass there are individual souls. Each of which is created by God and all of whom, he loves enough to have sent Jesus to die for them. When Jesus said,  “Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds?” It was for men, women, and children of this caravan that he spoke too.

My purpose is to challenge Christians to maintain a Christian perspective of the individuals within the caravan. If God thinks more of them than the birds, we dare not reduce them to a faceless mass. Click To Tweet

My point here is not to suggest political solutions. Much more informed people than me have this responsibility. My purpose is to challenge Christians to maintain a Christian perspective of the individuals within the caravan. If God thinks more of them than the birds, we dare not reduce them to a faceless mass.

2. Our Primary Responsibility is to Represent the Kingdom of God.

Most of us have opinions about politics and policies concerning this issue. Our concern is usually rooted in compassion, financial protection, border security, love of neighbor, or some other good thought. If you are like me, you sometimes wonder how “thinking people” can hold such divergent opinions.

On an issue like this one, it is important to remember that, even though we live in here, we are ambassadors of God’s kingdom (See 2 Corinthians 5:20). This means that our public message must be delivered with allegiance to Him. It is tempting to allow pride, fear, anger, or even unbridled sympathy to control our thinking. These emotions cannot serve as the anchor for us.

Many have believed the lie that it is permissible to demonize or dismiss those we disagree with... We may disagree, but we represent God, and when we mock fellow believers we bring shame on his name. Click To Tweet

We should also remember that, as citizens of God’s kingdom, we have fellow citizens, men, and women who are part of our spiritual family. We may disagree on how some of these political issues should be handled, BUT we never have permission to slander, mock, or purposely embarrass brothers and sisters. The climate of our current culture is polarized, and many have believed the lie that it is permissible to demonize or dismiss those we disagree with. Christian brother and sister, this is not an option for you and me. We may disagree, but we represent God, and when we mock fellow believers we bring shame on his name.

Moments like this provide Christians a chance to display the character and glory of God. We dare not miss this chance because we are taking our cues from opinions and behavior from news sources or social media feeds while we ignore the teachings of Scripture.

We dare not miss this chance to display the character and glory of God because we are taking our cues from opinions and behavior from news sources or social media feeds while we ignore the teachings of Scripture. Click To Tweet

Photo from IMB.

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