I’ve been following several interesting discussions and opinions on Syrian refugees and Christian values from all possible angles, from the perspective of propaganda and social engineering to just plain insane, to some sound and well reasoned theology.
I’ll just link to a couple of diverse opinions. First we have Chris Martin who makes an emotional appeal in A desperate plea from a father and husband. Where is our mercy, our compassion?
Than we have Luther Siler, sci/fi guy, non believer but with a masters degree in biblical studies who writes, In which I tell you how your religion works.
Then we have the middle school mean girls and the never ending drama between Vox Day and John Scalzi, in which they compete for the honor of who will look the most foolish. VDs post is here, McRapey Tries Theology.
Never let it be said that I don’s access diverse sources and “chose to live in my little echo chamber.” Actually that was said again just yesterday and I found it somewhat amusing. I don’t think so.
Let me share my opinion on these 3-4 blog posts. Martin’s compassion and love is admirable, but it is an emotional appeal not rooted in reason, but rather desperation and dire circumstances. Heart breaking yes, but devoid of much more than “do something, this hurts.” I empathize deeply there, but that is seldom the way to go about solving problems.
Next we have Luther Siler who says, “All religions concern themselves with charity…” and than goes on to say, “That said, though, this is really, really, crystal clear.” Uh yeah, clear as mud. Sorry to say, not all religions concern themselves with charity. Some concern themselves with chopping off people’s heads. This theme however, the one were non believers lecture Christians about how they ought to behave and think, is a common one. It always begs the question, if you advocate for these values, if you perceive them as such desirable qualities that you would preach to believers about the importance of following them, why are you not a believer yourself? …..Never mind, I can only go down so many rabbit holes at once.
Which leads me to Scalzi and Day. John Scalzi the non believer appeals to emotion and Christian values with a story about the Good Samaritan. Vox Day mangles scripture with an attempted attack using the Canaanite woman from Matthew 15:21-28. Except he leaves off the most important part! He ends with, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Hey buddy, we don’t get to edit scripture to make it more to our liking. The next two sentences don’t exactly support your theory of refugees being nothing more than dogs, hardly entitled to crumbs. The next words in that passage are, “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
I’m reminded that even the enemy knows scripture and that he has spent thousands of years whispering in people’s ears, “did God really say that?” Didn’t he tell you to lay down before your enemies and let them kill you? Didn’t he say it’s okay to engage in hatred of those you perceive as foreigners? Didn’t he say this issue is clear as mud? Didn’t God say…..
Didn’t God say you must be kind to the widows and orphans, even those who desire to make widows and orphans of you? Aren’t you people supposed to be entertaining strangers, aren’t they angels?
To which I can only reply, aren’t you an angel, too?