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All of my heroes seem to have blind spots. Martin Luther was inexcusably hostile towards the Jews. John Wesley was a terrible husband. Jonathan Edwards owned slaves.

These men and their tragic stories remind me that no one is perfect; no one has equal light on every matter and all are affected by the prejudices of their times.

That isn’t an excuse, it is a sad conclusion. Luther sinned in his attitude towards the Jews. Wesley sinned in his treatment of Molly Vazeille. Edwards sinned by owning other human beings. I know why they did it, but it doesn’t make it right. They were tragically and culpably enslaved to the values of their time and culture.

Every time I think about that I wonder what future generations will say about us. What are we missing? What seems right and acceptable and normal to us that future generations will judge us for? What things do we think and believe that we ought to be ashamed of as Christians?

I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t our attitude towards Muslim refugees. I have recently been disturbed by the attitude of some otherwise commendable Christian saints towards the influx of Muslim peoples from the Middle East. These dear saints, who might be well qualified to lead a prayer meeting, mentor young people or serve in Children’s Ministry, nevertheless seem blind to what the Bible has to say about refugees, mercy, and evangelism. They talk a lot about the increased dangers to public safety; they talk a lot about rape, terrorism and sharia law – but they don’t seem to talk about loving our enemies, praying for our persecutors or turning the other cheek.

It seems very much as though we have a blind spot.

It feels like we are coming at this whole issue of Muslim immigration in the wrong way. It feels like we are perceiving this as a threat to cultural privilege and personal safety. It seems like we’ve missed the fact that it is also the greatest opportunity for evangelism in modern history.

I think we need to hit the reset button.

I think we need to take a deep breath, turn off the news, ratchet down the rhetoric, read our Bibles, pray, and start again.

Towards that end I offer the following 5 thoughts about Muslim immigration.

Jesus Never Promised You Safety

Some Christians operate as if completely unaware that we follow a man who was executed.  Our founder died on a cross. How does that story inspire expectations of perpetual safety and security among his followers?  And yet it does, at least in North America.  Many Christians assume that safety is their birth-right, but Jesus said: “they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9 ESV).

Where did we get the idea that we could pursue the Great Commission in relative safety? Jesus told the disciples: “Behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3 ESV).

The Christian mission has never been safe.  It has always involved risk, uncertainty, suffering, hardship and tribulation.  Who promised you safety?

North American Evangelicals have wrongly assumed that if something isn’t safe then it must not be God’s will.  But God sent his Son to DIE for our salvation.  He sent his Son on a mission that he knew would end in his death.  Clearly this is not a God who absolutizes personal safety.  This is a God who lives in the heavens.  This is a God who knows the beginning from the end and therefore this is a God who calls on us to take up our cross and follow him. As Dietrich Bonheoffer said: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Are their terrorists hiding among the masses of innocent refugees? Almost certainly. Will we see more deadly attacks here, like the ones we’ve been witnessing in Europe, if we let more Muslims come here? Almost certainly. But when has the Great Commission ever gone forward without a price to pay in terms of personal safety? It wasn’t safe for William Carey to go to India. It cost him an infant son and the mental health of his wife. It wasn’t safe for Adoniram Judson to go to Burma. It wasn’t safe for Hudson Taylor to go to China. It wasn’t safe for Jim Elliot to go to Ecuador.

Evangelism isn’t safe.

It isn’t safe when we go there and it isn’t safe when there comes here.

Who told you that it would be?

You Were Refugees Once Too

The Bible frequently reminds the people of God of their lowly origins: “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9 ESV).

You know the heart of a sojourner.  You remember, or at least you should remember, what it was like to be weak and poor and powerless.  You remember being at the mercy of evil forces.  You were a slave.  You were as good as dead.  You were trapped in darkness.  But God took pity on you. He set you free. He led you through the wilderness. He brought you into a land of promise and he gave you peace, security and a future.

Think about that and act accordingly.

Jesus told a story once about the attitude of God toward people with short memories and hard hearts.  It’s not a terribly encouraging story, as stories go.  It’s known as the Parable Of The Unmerciful Servant.  There was a man – a lowly servant, who squandered and lost a great deal of his master’s money.  The master was angry and was well within his rights to have the man and his entire family thrown into debtor’s prison, but the servant begged for mercy. And the master, being a kindly man, forgave the debt in its entirety.  The man, however, quickly forgot the mercy that he was shown:

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. (Matthew 18:28–34 ESV) 

According to the Bible God expects the memory of our indebtedness and our experience of God’s mercy to motivate us in extending undeserved pity and mercy towards others.  Failure to do so invites the anger and judgment of God.

Think about that and act accordingly.

God Is Sovereign over Everything

Its hard to deny that God is ultimately Sovereign over everything that happens on planet earth – at least its hard if you take the Bible seriously. The Bible says: “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39 ESV) and “Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?” (Amos 3:6 ESV).

The Bible teaches that human beings are morally responsible; they make real decisions for which they are finally held to account.  And yet nothing happens that does not ultimately serve God’s plan and that includes terrorist attacks and the mass movements of people. 

Let me bring this down to street level. There can be no doubt that God is the ultimate author of this present mass migration of people. That is not to say that he is the author of the evil of ISIS or the Taliban but it is to say that the heart of kings and tyrants is still like a watercourse in the hand of the Lord – he moves it wherever he will.

God is ultimately responsible for this unprecedented movement of people out of the Middle East and into Europe and North America. Underneath and behind evil human agency lies the mysterious providence of God. He is doing it. He is moving these people and a thinking Christian wants to know why.

Here is a thought we should at least consider: Could it be that God is bringing us masses upon masses of people who have seen the worst and suffered the most under the demonic religion of Islam?

Could it be that God is preparing for the greatest mass conversion of peoples EVER in the history of Christian mission? Could it be that he is doing it not by sending missionaries there but by bringing the mission field here?

We could be standing on the cusp of the great movement of the Spirit for the conversion of souls in human history. Will you oppose it? Will you close your door to the sojourner who has fled the land of oppression? Or will you let them in? Will you give them shelter? Will you give them Christ?

History watches for our response.

There Will Be People from Every Tribe, Tongue, And Nation Worshipping God in Eternity

The Bible guarantees that every single people group will be represented in the New Heaven and the New Earth.  The Apostle John was given a glimpse of the final worshipping community in Revelation 7; he said:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10 ESV)

All tribes, peoples, and languages. 

I think we can reasonably assume that there will be Syrians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Lebanese, Libyans, Iranians, Iraqis and Kurds in that crowd. I wonder how many of them will be there because of the warm welcome they received from North American Evangelical Christians?  I wonder how many will be there because their kids were welcomed into Children’s Ministry at our churches, they were taught English, they were taught to skate and hit a ball and play Minecraft while playing with our children?  How many will be there because of our cheesy church suppers and our sociable Small Groups? I hope for many.  I hope God can still use middle class, over fed, over privileged white evangelical Christians us to accomplish his purposes in all the earth.

I hope we don’t opt out – out of fear and self entitlement – of the greatest missionary harvest in human history.

Heaven And Hell Are Forever

Life is short.  This world is not our home.  If you could ask yourself 40 billion years into eternity how you should feel about the absolutely minuscule increase in risk to your present personal safety represented by this massively significant gospel opportunity, I cannot help but wonder what you would say. When you reflect upon the souls of those who perished in ignorant defiance of the living God, I wonder what you will think and say?  We do not forget the damned in eternity; not according to Isaiah 66:

For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.

And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (Isaiah 66:22–24 ESV)

I think that I’ll want to know when I go out to look upon the dead bodies of those who perished in their rebellion that none of them perished because I was obsessed with my personal safety.  I think I’ll want to know that I cried more about their place in eternity than my peace on earth. I think I’ll want to know that I poured out my life to the dregs because Jesus poured out his life for me. 

Christian friends: this is the hour of decision. We are on the cusp of a great opportunity. These people will come. They are penned up in Europe and they cannot stay and they cannot go home. They will come. And the world watches to see how you will respond.

Young people are watching us to see if we truly believe the things we say and sing.

Our critics are watching to see if there is substance to their slander.

Immigrants are watching us to see if the lies they have been told about us are true.

And God is watching us to see if we will show others the mercy and grace that we have known in Christ.

This is a most significant hour.

Choose your words and actions carefully.

Read your Bibles.  Take a deep breath.  Pray for wisdom.  And then speak and shine the glories and the goodness of Jesus Christ.

And May God Alone Be Glorified, 

Paul Carter

To learn more from pastor and Bible teacher Paul Carter be sure to check out the new cycle of the Into The Word podcast. The most recent episodes take you chapter by chapter through the whole Gospel of Mark. You can find it here.


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Comments:


48 thoughts on “Dear Middle Class White Evangelicals: A Few Thoughts on Muslim Immigration”

  1. James Bast says:

    A tremendously wise word for today. Thank you Paul!

  2. Moyur says:

    Thank you for this refreshing comment. I worked as a missionary in two Muslim countries. We spent a tremendous amount of time, energy and money maintaining our visa status to stay there. Now, I teach ESL in a local school district where 95% of my students are Muslims. We have opportunities to impact Islamic people groups as never before, right here in our own home countries.

  3. Kari Jakola says:

    The loving Christian’ response to his neighbor does not preclude a nation’s right and responsibility to have effective immigration policy for the health and benefit of it’s citizens .

    1. Donald L Williams says:

      Exactly.

    2. Irene says:

      The nation has that right, because this is a secular nation.
      But the priority for the Christian is to follow Jesus and obey him, not to shape a protective immigration plan.

      1. Bat Masterson says:

        “The nation has that right…[b]ut the priority for the Christian is to follow Jesus and obey him…” And how does that play out in your way of thinking? Allowing anyone and everyone across our borders??? Whatever happened to *LEGAL* immigration?! I can add much further by stating the following. Unless you and numerous others here in the United States have been hiding under a rock, are you aware of what’s been going on in several countries in Europe and the U.K. (e.g., Germany, France, Sweden, etc.) since 2015? I’m not talking about terrorism (which from one angle is right at the top of the list!) but the ruthlessly bone-headed “altruism” that they have shown towards Muslim migrants and foreigners who have done nothing but turn their countries into virtual hell-holes!!! Try scoping out numerous videos over on You Tube from 2015 and work your way forward to the present year. (I’ll be more than happy to cite a wealth of You Tube links next time around if you find yourself at a loss as to where exactly to start.) Take a gander also at a video of a young Roman Catholic girl from Poland during a huge rally, and what she had to say regarding Jesus Christ and especially to Muslims in general. In short, stay the hell out because you’re not welcome here! I’m quite sure several jack-asses from within the European Union must have seen and heard that particular video! The bottom line is that being a disciple of Jesus does not exactly translate over to bending way over backward and getting porked up the rear end by certain religious groups who don’t care in the least bit to 1) assimilate and/or blend in with their host country, and 2) want to turn that host country into a backward and reprehensible medieval version of the Ottoman Empire. Looking at things from here in America and the immigration problem we’re facing, we don’t want let alone will stand idly by and have this country turn into a virtual Third-World hellhole like various parts of Mexico and Central & South America. I say all that as a *LEGAL* immigrant of 45+ years from a predominantly Hispanic country in case I get confused for a “Middle Class White Evangelical.” I’m actually Caucasian (re: white) but I digress.

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  5. You really take on a difficult and complex topic with thoughtful points. As I am a citizen of the lower 48 and of the original 13 colonies and on my surname side a descendant of an executed Scottish Presbyterian covenanter, whose wife and son fled to America to escape persecution, without travel visas for sure, I am often torn on this subject. What we really must determine is, what are our duties as citizens of Christ’s kingdom. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. Doug Jones says:

    There’s no denying the truth of God’s Word. Thank you for an excellent article (A white middle class evangelical immigrant of Canada)

    1. Howard Nelson says:

      Doug Jones, my roommate at Chico, is that really you?

  7. Paul says:

    1. Show me evidence that the vast majority of white middle class evangelicals are against Arabians coming to Christ like you claim.
    2. So it’s only bad for white middle class Christians to be against refugees. So if one is an Asian or black and against it refugees they are not a bad person. Unless your claim is that only white middle class Christians are against refugees but I don’t think that is true.

    1. Paul says:

      Hi Paul, another Paul greets you and thanks you for your engagement! The title was more realistic than generalistic. I had several conversations with, as it happens, older, white, upper middle class Evangelicals on this issue over a short period of time. The general tone of those conversations was distressing. Many appeared to be focused on the issue of safety and more or less indifferent to the corresponding opportunity. The post was meant to rebalance the conversation. Safety is an important concern – but so is the need to reach people with the Gospel!!! Thanks for your kind remarks.

  8. T J A says:

    Another blog written by a north American not dealing with the stark reality of this first hand. Here in Europe we have legitimate concerns about the “refugees”. Yes we need to help those in need, but not all these refugees are in need and aren’t seeking refuge. They want a new life in a better place and want the easy way to get it. And that’s play on the heart strings of the compassionate to let them in and take resources. I’d rather use space, which we don’t have much of here, and resources to actually help those in need.

  9. Alma says:

    With due respect, I could not disagree with you more. This article relied on a poorly interpreted Gospel presentation to make people on the other side of the aisle as you politically on this subject think that they have somehow forgotten the Gospel. “When God calls a man, He bids him come and die.” – Right, individually! Not all of Western society, the vast majority of which no longer even knows the Gospel in the depth in which you shared it. In fact, let’s address the political side of this: I have seen the Gospel enter freely wherever in the world there has been a collapse of oppressive regimes, whether they are Muslim or communist. In the void, all new ideas are welcome and people turn to the Gospels as missionaries pour into the country. I am an Albanian immigrant in Canada and as a country, we declared democracy in 1991, causing for 50 years of one of the most oppressive Communist regimes to come to an end. That’s when Albanians began to go to church and listen to the Gospel that the missionaries were spreading as they came into the country. I came to Christ from that. However, what we are dealing with is an ideology that makes it the job of any ordinary Muslim to not integrate in other cultures so that they can stay truthful to Islam. It is very difficult to contend with as all ordinary Muslims have a zeal rivaling that of Christian missionaries. Worse, we are inviting into our home countries masses of people, about 20% of whom are bent on violence against infidels.
    This is where Christians are failing their own people and Christian men have all but abdicated their duty to protect the weakest among us: the women and children in their own countries. Sweden is now the rape capital of Europe. Why must one have to wait until it’s one’s own daughter that is raped before they see the problem with mass migration? By the way, according to UN statistics, the vast majority of refugees are in fact economic migrants from countries like Ethiopia, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc, NOT Syrian refugees. http://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/mediterranean. Therefore, we are not dealing with Syrian refugees who are leaving their country because of horrors of war, but with economic migrants who have admitted that the reason they are in the West is because they have heard that they get money without working, which they could never do in their own countries. It would be useful to listen to interviews that independent journalists in Europe take of these migrants and to see that they expect help without any thankfulness to express toward the countries that take them in. These are the things that mainstream media will not show, but since Europe is my home, I have researched the issue in depth. Excuse me then when I have an issue with the interpretation that you presented. I believe that God loves me and cares for me. Yes, there may come a time when atrocities against God’s people happen, but welcoming them with open arms and allowing ourselves to be purposefully put in harm’s way is not the biblical way of doing this. Sharing the Gospel and defending your civilization do not have to be mutually exclusive things.

    My conclusion: For the first time as a Christian woman, I feel let down by the Christian men around me who have all but surrendered any compassion toward me and are putting me in the position that I have to be defenseless in the face of evil. Women like me are widely being heckled, touched inappropriately, harrassed, sexually assaulted and raped in Europe, and I fear this is a losing battle for me which will soon follow me and other women in my country here in North America. The response of our men is not a staunch defense as has been done in the past; hence, the constant fighting between Europe and Ottoman Empire/other Arab countries in the past that sought to defend Christian civilization, the only one with freedom, from crumbling. I’m not afraid of adversity or violence as a result of being Christian. I stand with Christ in his suffering and would suffer death for my Saviour, but, as Jesus said, only if it’s the only way. I have been on a mission trip to a closed country and, if God called, would go again short or long term. However, that is a specific calling. It appears however that the men in government and in the church have all but handed over our civilization with the pretense of upholding a much lowlier noble cause, which is helping the refugees. The great noble cause that seems lost to you all is the defense of the civilization that through its freedoms and access to the true God’s Word, provides the only beacon of hope for spreading God’s Kingdom on earth. While we live in a time of restlessness because of this and the continually eroding freedom of religion rights in Western countries for which the church is guilty of being so complacent, at the very least please do not judge me for being concerned about my safety not because I’m being persecuted for my faith, but because my brothers think that my right to safety unless I choose to go on the mission field is an impediment to their virtue signaling about the refugee crisis. In my understanding, when all is said and done, I’d rather there continue to be a place in the world for future actual refugees to go to as a safe haven where the Gospel could be heard rather than contribute to turning the world into a caliphate that will not allow God’s Word to be heard or read.

    1. Travis says:

      Great thoughts i agree

    2. elainebitt says:

      I agree with you, your conclusion is excellent, especially this:
      “In my understanding, when all is said and done, I’d rather there continue to be a place in the world for future actual refugees to go to as a safe haven where the Gospel could be heard rather than contribute to turning the world into a caliphate that will not allow God’s Word to be heard or read.”

    3. Paul Downey says:

      Your response to the article had not posted for me to read by the time I’d posted my remarks below, but I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’m a Baptist minister in the southeastern US who believes in the Commission of the Lord to share the gospel, but I have to do so while still fulfilling my obligation to shepherd God’s flock. I must not invite the wolves in among them on the presumption that I might have an opportunity for evangelism. And, as you so eloquently expressed, in our mindless rush to embrace anyone who claims refugee status we abrogate our responsibility to protect those seeking true refuge.

    4. Lee says:

      Yes, I agree. Christians need a balance. We will sell our country to the devil by not being as wise as lions and gentle as doves. Jesus knew what was in man. And loved them. Love can be tough’

  10. Paul Downey says:

    The author says nothing I haven’t considered or heard elsewhere. Here are a few thoughts:

    1. Like many others, this author has tunnel-vision, seeing only the institution of the church and ignoring the other two institutions God established: the home and the state. The God-given mandates for each are not identical, but this article conflates them all under the rubric of the mission of the church.

    2. The state fails its mandate when it fails to enforce justice and promote good, including protecting the safety of its citizens and their property (Romans 13:3-4). Continuing to welcome hordes of Muslims while incapable of filtering out the terrorists makes for a potential invasion rather than a rescue, and is grossly irresponsible of any government.

    3. The home fails its mandate when it surrenders its obligation to protect the family from invaders in order to attempt to win an attacker to Christ. As a husband and father with a mandate to protect my family, if I’m awakened at night to find intruders in my home I’ll greet them with a .45, not a gospel tract.

    4. Many of the supposed Muslim refugees fled their own obligations to their own homes and governments, abandoning families for their own personal safety, seeking shelter here and expecting us to risk our lives (or our sons lives) to secure their homeland. Part of teaching them Christ involves instruction in godly character that would include defending their own homes and families and supporting themselves instead of relying on the naïve largess of “the great Satan.”

    5. Nevertheless, the author is correct in expressing many reasons why we should seek to evangelize Muslims like we should anyone else, and the fact that many are here makes that easier and less threatening than going there.

    6. Because I believe in a sovereign God, I also recognize His hand in any such migration.

    7. Therefore, I will continue to petition our government to do its job and protect our borders by stopping the Muslim (and Hispanic) invasion, while still attempting to testify of Christ to any with whom I have contact.

    1. Donald L Williams says:

      YES!

  11. Linda says:

    We need to see this as an opportunity. In their native countries, these people had vey limited ability to hear the Gospel. World Bible School, partners in progress, and eastern European missions have joined together to equip European Christians and provide native language Bibles and are facilitating the conversion of, on average, one Muslim immigrant a day to Christ.

  12. Paul says:

    I’ve received a lot of mixed feedback to the article above, both here and in other places where it has been shared. I can’t respond to all people in all those places so I will just post a closing thought here. In general, I agree with a lot what has been said by way of response – which I think indicates that the feedback does not really address what I originally asserted. I agree that nations are part of God’s will and I also agree that governments should act prudently to maintain order and security for their people. My concerns are more pedestrian than that. In my experience a lot of (older) white Evangelicals seem to be operating out of simple fear. They are afraid of Muslims. They worry about the loss of their cultural privilege and they exaggerate fears of social unrest from a small percentage of people. They also seem indifferent to the evangelistic opportunity and the general parameters of the kingdom call. Jesus sent his people out as lambs in the midst of wolves – which I’m sure means many things, but one thing it must mean is that our safety is not guaranteed and that it is not to be our primary focus or concern. I am not trying to advocate for a ridiculous posture on the issue of immigration, rather I am trying to change the tone and direction of Evangelical conversation. Let’s ask our officials to be wise, prudent, and sober while at the same time erring on the side of kingdom ambition and evangelistic zeal in our own thoughts and reckoning. Those were and remain my modest objectives. SDG

    1. Jeff Setzer says:

      I posted a lengthy comment on this blog piece, but don’t see it yet. Do you have it in que?

      1. Staff says:

        The comment is here now.

    2. Paul says:

      So there are no older blacks, or Hispanics or Asians acting out of fear well. Or do you only hate whites who do or give other groups a free pass. So wanting to vet refugees and make sure they are not part of a terrorist organization is wrong?
      Ok. So that means when someone come from Norway comes we should not investigate to see if there are a member of the sons of Odin. Or are you okay with doing a background check in that since their white.
      Sounds to me you have your own bigotry.

    3. Alma says:

      1. As I laid out, 6% of people who have gone to Europe were Syrian refugees; the rest are economic migrants.

      2. There is good reason in light of constant news out of Europe and the US to be afraid of some Muslims. To say that one shouldn’t be afraid is naive and shows that you lack concern for the families of those who have suffered because of Muslims who have become radicalized and therefore have destroyed human lives.

      3. With these final comments, it occurred to me that in fact, this is an article that seeks to paint an entire race (namely the white one – right from the title in fact; I’m surprised it escaped me before) with the same brush as if whites somehow have a particular inclination to being afraid of Muslims. Ask the moderate Muslim, they have even more reason to be afraid of radicalized Muslims. Of course white people do not care about diversity of immutable features in their society. It is preposterous to suggest that they do. You realize only Western countries have immigration policies right? We are the ones that came up with immigration and all patterns of immigration are toward Western countries, not away from them. It is irrational of you to make the point that whites are somehow afraid of other cultures when Western countries are more multi-cultural than all other countries in the world. By the way, another racially divisive implication of your article is this: do you make this accusation against any other non-white nations? Would you tell China it’s afraid of other cultures because there are too many Chinese in China and not enough people of other cultures? Would you suggest that about Nigeria, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan or Korea? Why is it that there’s a double standard?

      By the way, it is very immature not to realize that of course Western countries welcome diversity; they’re the only ones that do because in these countries you can be whatever you want, say whatever you want, believe whatever you want, and do whatever you want. The thing current citizens are afraid of is changing values. We do not want to sacrifice our values of freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, equality between the sexes, etc. for virtue signalling. That is the problem; sacrificing the only civilization in which spreading the Gospel is allowed for a seemingly short term evangelistic venture. Unfortunately, no other immigrant groups behave in such a way, demanding our societies to change as to accommodate their way of life. In Denmark now, minarets are being placed in the mosques so that everyone in the vicinity is woken up to public Muslim prayer 5 times a day, including at 5am. These changing values are the issue, not the societal change as a result of immutable features. I hope you realize that if our values change as drastically as those bent on creating a world caliphate would have it, our focus will shift from evangelism to survival/safety. That is the issue if we do not preserve our freedoms now and continue to do God’s will while protecting the freedoms that so many of our brothers and sisters in the past fought to preserve.

    4. Richard Alexander says:

      You left out that Jesus didn’t command His disciples to seek out persecution. To the contrary, He said, “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 10:23) We, as Christians, are under no obligation to endanger ourselves or others without specific reason for doing so. I do not believe that the vague idea that we might somehow evangelize a few immigrants justifies putting all of society at risk, either from physical danger, or competition for jobs.

      Let me share with you a bit about myself. I was born in this country a half-century ago. My dad was a Navyman; my mom a teacher. My parents divorced when I was seven, but, thanks to my mom, I grew up in Christian churches and schools. I lived in poverty, because we were trying to survive on the pay of a single parent Christian school teacher… and the Christian schools weren’t too keen on having a divorcee as a teacher. Eventually, my sister and I had to go back to the public schools. Our lives became worse and worse, until, as a freshman in high school, I was scavenging for food from the trash cans in the cafeteria. The cooks (illegally) gave me extra food. Sometimes, that was the only food that my family had to eat at night. All my clothes were a mix of donated extras. We had been evicted from our home over Christmas vacation and moved into unheated apartments owned by my great-uncle. That was 36 years ago, and a lot has happened over the years, but my life has been a struggle with poverty most of that time. I managed to buy a small house at one time, but now I’m selling my house to pay my debts. I have no family, I’ve been banished from churches, I hang out with no friends, and this is the way I’ve lived most of my life! So, don’t tell me how much you want to extend mercy and charity to a bunch of Muslims (as Christians generally weren’t allowed to flee their countries to ours) in hopes of evangelizing them. You already *have* a mission field here! I don’t believe that importing a foreign mission field is the correct way to evangelize, at least not a regular business.

  13. Jeff Setzer says:

    There are some very good thoughts here, and challenging. However, the writer forgets this particular founding statement of this nation: “WE hold these TRUTHS to be self evident, that ALL men are created equal…” People who come here, while a great opportunity for believers to evangelize and influence for Christ, must at the very least comply with the “we” and the “truths” that we hold. When any person or group of people comes here with the express purpose of undermining, eroding, destroying the very foundation of our freedoms, which include proclaiming the Gospel, that individual or group must be hindered or restrained in a great degree. Anyone who advocates for a carte blank acceptance into the country of such a destructive belief system is either woefully ignorant of the founding of our nation, or willfully desirous of undermining our freedoms, or both. We must balance Biblical truth with modern culture. It is true that God hates “putting away,” yet this culture tolerates, makes excuses for it, defends it, and rarely confesses it. We have to wisely stand for the truth regardless of the consequences. While i appreciate the writer’s willingness to do just that, I could not help noticing some things he left out While individuals are opportunities to win for Christ, they also can be reached by the Bible directive to “go. ” The beliefs of Islam are directly contradictory to and destructive of our nation’s freedoms that are founded on Biblical principles. Why not go to them instead of bringing them to us? Isreal was told to eradicate the pagan Canaanites, NOT bring them into their midst and try to change them. We are to go TO the lost to tell them of Jesus, NOT bring them in, coddle their own beliefs, and let them influence us. It certainly is an opportunity to reach more for Christ when they come here, but as pagans are gaining positions of authority in our land, thereby working to erode the freedoms of a nation that was built on the foundation of a Creator, the God of the Bible… NOT a vengeful, destructive false god named Allah. We must be forewarned about the coming destruction, work to prevent further erosion, and win the lost wherever and whoever they may be.

    1. Paul says:

      Hi Jeff, just a small point of clarification. I am writing as a Canadian in Canada. Perhaps you found us through a referral? My article was not advising America on its immigration policies. Blessings

      1. Richard Alexander says:

        I would not be surprised if Trudeau gets a law passed banning evangelizing Muslim immigrants. The UK and Australia already prosecute street preachers who offend Muslim feelings. Then, where is your argument for allowing hordes of Muslim immigrants into the country?

  14. roger legacy says:

    The blind spot here is a (1 John 4 ) one and not a Muslim immigration one. This is a Spiritual matter stemming from churches who are not separated to Christ and who have no walls. They have brought the world into the Pure Body of Christ. The sad thing about this is, through the quality of Religious Christian benevolence we fail to see the difference between the freedom of religions and the freedom of Gods when there is only ONE Many know “about ” God.. but don’t “know God personally”. This can only be achieved through a personal relationship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Churches are beginning to allow Muslims to pray to Allah in their worship and prayer. This, is blasphemy. Jesus said, “that where two or more are gathered in My Name there I Am among you The is the Body of Christ of those He redeemed with His own blood…The Muslim Islamic Religion is Anti-Christ and against that redeeming blood…..Read these scriptures on denying the Incarnation …..1 John 4.
    1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world…rl.

  15. Donald L Williams says:

    Yes. I am afraid of Muslims. Muslims hate non-Muslims. They seek dominance and tyranny. I don’t believe God would have us invite vipers into our bosoms through some naive and misguided sense of His will. We cannot bring in everyone. We have to have limits. Bringing in people (regardless of national origin or supposed intentions) who hate us and proclaim their plans to conquer or kill us cannot be pleasing to God. Our Government has responsibilities to all US citizens and God put it in place. Famous missionaries went to other countries. surely we have them in the Middle East; although many Christians have been killed in those nations. Many things in your article are true, but I resent the idea that older, white, Evangelicals are worried about our culture, privilege, etc. Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden and Italy probably wish they had not let millions of murderers, rapists, thieves, etc. into their countries. I don’t believe God wants us to be foolish; cast pearls before swine; accept evil into our midst in the name of the Gospel. Muslims have been a scourge on this world for centuries. Thank God they were stopped at the Battle of Vienna by the Polish King and his Christian Army.

  16. Jack Brooks says:

    “Are their terrorists hiding among the masses of innocent refugees? Almost certainly. Will we see more deadly attacks here, like the ones we’ve been witnessing in Europe, if we let more Muslims come here? Almost certainly. But when has the Great Commission ever gone forward without a price to pay in terms of personal safety?”

    You’re fine with our neighbors and their children paying a price they didn’t choose to pay.

  17. TITUS MUNIZ says:

    Thank you for the article. I have worked with immigrants for the last few years as a teacher and a soccer coach. I have studied what the Bible says about immigrants and I have come to a similar conclusion as the author. Anti immigrant sentiment is rooted in selfishness. Many Christians do not want people dissimilar to them to come into their towns and neighborhoods. That mindset is foreign to the Scripture. Many Muslim majority countries are closed to missionaries so the only way to witness to them if they come here. We must be willing to come out of our comfort zone and be witnesses to all people. Of course, we need to make sure that criminals and terrorist are not entering our country to the greatest extent possible, but we should not use that as an excuse to be opposed to all immigrants.

    1. Richard Alexander says:

      Encouraging immigration based on the wish to evangelize is a misuse of the immigration process. We don’t bring people to this country to convert them to our religion. Scripture never says to do such a thing, which itself doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it does mean that we are not obligated to do it, either. What nations actually do when they bring in droves of immigrants who don’t speak the language and reject the culture is set up ghettos and social trauma that is going to cause social unrest and grief for many people without regard to religious affiliation. Immigration is not the solution to world poverty, world unrest or repressive regimes, and it sure isn’t part of the gospel call given in Scripture. We should use the opportunities we have, including immigration, but evangelism is not sufficient justification for mass immigration and ensuing terrorist attacks.

    2. Alma says:

      But Titus, we have been unsuccessful of converting even the Muslims already here who have immigrated a generation ago and are more assimilated than new ones coming in. What makes you think there’ll be greater success with new arrivals?

      Also, when you say dissimilar, I am afraid you mean dissimilar in appearance. This is not the case since there are many Arab and Syriac immigrants in our countries who are Orthodox, Catholic or Christian. The difference is therefore not in the race, but in the values. If we are helping people, why should we help those who are going to do harm to us rather than those who won’t being that so many people groups need help? Are not other people groups entitled to hearing the Gospel?

  18. Mark says:

    This is a good word which should be heard from our pulpits. As Christians, we must be reaching out to the poor and refugees in all the world. Our little church is currently housing a homeless family with 7 children on property and working with them to secure permanent housing. This is different then just giving money for the lifestyle of our assembly needed to change to accommodate this God given intrusion into our comfortable lives. I wish more local churches would be willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty for the Gospel. But the Church’s responsibility to care for the poor and needy does not negate the American government’s responsibility to protect it’s citizens from the dangers that Muslim immigration poses. There must be a balance here. How many Christians, who want the government to open the boarders to all without reasonable vetting, are currently living in a Muslim immigrant neighborhood, leave their doors unlocked at night or have refugees living in their house? I am all for reaching out to our Muslim neighbors and intentionally going into Muslim neighborhoods with the love of Jesus and the Gospel as some from our church are doing – We must not just talk about this! But the American Government is not the Church nor should it be and it has different responsibilities then we do. What say you?

    1. Bo says:

      Why won’t the wealthy middle east countries open their doors to these Muslim refugees? By virtue of the fact that the Muslim population is increasing significantly over the native population in the countries to which they have migrated, they will take over the government without firing a shot or slitting a throat just by exercising their right to vote. In England today numerous cities (including London) have Muslim mayors. Just look at Dearborn, Michigan, if you want to see the Muslim minority taking over the reins of government., blocking highways to exercise their call to prayer 5 times a day. A Muslim politician is running for Governor of that State now. Should he be elected, his next stepping stone would be the White House. The money now being spent on welfare benefits for undocumented Muslim refugees could be spent more in taking care of our veterans who are responsible for the freedom that we enjoy today. In closing, I would like to ask you, how many Muslim nations would accept an influx of Christian refugees today? Just a reminder — in the eyes of the Muslims all members of any other religions are INFIDELS and should be killed, according to the Quran. I rest my case.

  19. Steve says:

    Great article, but I do have a few questions. How do you define “refugee” and how is this different from an “immigrant”? You mentioned that ‘Edwards sinned by owning other human beings’. I’m not arguing for slavery, I understand the Christian stand against it, and I understand the Biblical argument against it. However, but I have never heard it called a ‘sin’ before. Paul (the apostle) never mentioned that to Philemon in his letter when he sent Onesimus to him. How did you arrive at that?

  20. Richard Alexander says:

    This is a terribly misguided article that simply ignores reality in favor of promoting idealism. The first question I should ask is, what is the desired goal in facilitating Islamic immigration? I suspect that the answer is humanitarian, that by giving people from war-torn countries a place to live in our country, we give them prospects for a better life. Let me point out to you, however, that this Planet has 7 billion people on it, most of them with worse lives than ours in the West (especially the US). We cannot possibly accommodate everyone on Earth who is suffering. In other words, immigration is not the solution to the problem. It is, at best, an ad hoc, temporary work-around to big problems. The correct solution must involve people succeeding in their own countries as much as possible, rather than trying to set up their lives here. In fact, from what I read, many immigrants don’t want to be in another country; they want to be back home, in their native country.

    By bringing in huge numbers of immigrants, people who often don’t speak the host nation’s languages, know nothing of the host nation’s culture and have no employment or means of productive employment, combined with culture shock, boredom, alienation and homesickness, we set up a disaster waiting to happen. I suggest that in the name of mercy, you are causing great harm, both to the refugees and to the host countries. Nobody should be expected to live on charity all their lives if at all possible for them to thrive on their own.

    God’s commands to show mercy to strangers isn’t a call to suicide. It’s one thing to help someone who is trying to catch up to his peers, but another to consign 100,000 people to lives of poverty in a strange land, particularly when many of them are healthy-bodied young people from the war zone. God didn’t tell us to be stupid. Some of those people *are* violent and dangerous, as demonstrated many times all across Europe. Don’t be a fool in the name of misguided charity.

  21. Raymond of Canada says:

    Again, a Christian leader gets caught up religion and followers. Can one hate Islam without hating its followers? I sure hope so. In the meantime, to begin showing our boundless love to everyone, should we begin writing letters of apology to dead and living Nazis and apologize to Germany and Japan for destroying their cities, and hence “innocent” people. If only we could recall all the soldiers who fought and died to protect our freedom. They didn’t really need to die. We could have sent “love teams” to Germany and Japan or invited them to your shore for a lovefest!

  22. Marc says:

    Please explain to me how you know God is causing this ‘movement’. Allowing it, yes, controlling it??? I’d love to know how you know this. Do you believe it’s even possible that Satan’s behind this movement?
    Also, Christians can forgive and pray for Muslims, yet disagree with you that they should be allowed in. This is a separate argument.
    Are you willing to go out to the wolves?, or are you only willing to allow them to come a bit closer to you than half way around the world? How about putting into practice what you preach? You don’t even need to leave your country to do so. You could, but you probably won’t if you haven’t already. You could, however, go out and LIVE in a Muslim community and share the Gospel there.
    I appreciate your passion but I don’t think you’re applying wisdom in this situation. I believe others have made valid points against this so I won’t be redundant and repeat what they’ve said. But regardless of whether you agree with me or not, please don’t ever assume you know what God is doing when it certainly Is Not Clear. That’s dangerous.

    1. Paul Carter says:

      How do I know that God is causing this movement?

      37 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
      38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? (Lamentations 3:37–38 ESV)

      “ ‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39 ESV)

      There may be secondary causes and some of those causes may be malevolent, but when something happens, a Bible reading Christian looks for the hand and purpose of God. Even the invasion of the Assyrians in the Old Testament – perhaps the greatest disaster in the Bible – is ascribed to the Sovereign ordination of God. He calls them “the rod of my anger”. Reading Providence is the task of every believer. Blessings.

  23. Chuck Love says:

    Thank you for your blog. Although I am not white, I do consider myself an evangelical. You have made me think about the safety and security of my life. I often wonder if this is not God’s way of reaching more people. We cannot be as free in their country as we are in ours. Their country is in turmoil and they are coming here. We just need to be ready to reach them with the gospel. It should begin with us. Thank you again and I will share this.

  24. Anna says:

    Wow , It`s not a black and white , easy to discern subject. Each of us responds to it according to past experiences, background, and spiritual state. As I understand , our main motivation to welcome large grooups of Muslims into the country is to evangilize them with the Good News, and bring them to Jesus. How amny of us are ready to do just that when we encounter Muslim persons or groups? Has the author experienced living in a country where Christians were illegal and persecuted for long periods of time? Would that change his outlook? On the flip side – Is God bringing persecution on the North American comfortable Christian church to test her and purify her as through fire if needed and separate wheat from chaff ? These are big and valid questions to which I don`t nkow the answer. But as a Christian who experience persecution ia a Communist country , I say : Take me Lord and use me as you want, and help me to live for you and die to myself. Your KIngdom come , Thy will be done.

  25. Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I will send this information to him.

    Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

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Paul Carter


Paul Carter attended Moody Bible Institute and is a graduate of York University (B.A.) and McMaster Divinity College (MDiv). He has been in pastoral ministry since 1994, serving in both Fellowship and Canadian Baptist churches in Oakville, Mississauga and Orillia, Ontario Canada. He presently serves as the Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church, Orillia, a large multi-staff church with a passion for biblical preaching and local mission.

Along with his friend Marc Bertrand he is the co-founder of the Covenant Life Renewal Association (CLRA) seeking Biblical and Spiritual revival within Canadian Baptist Churches. He also serves on the TGC Canada board.

Paul has written two books and is a frequent blogger on issues of Christian faith and living. You can find his devotional podcast at www.intotheword.ca

Paul is the happy husband of Shauna Lee and the proud papa of 5 beautiful children, Madison, Max, Mikayla, Peyton and Noa.

You can find him at:

www.intotheword.ca
www.adfontes.ca
www.firstbaptistorillia.org

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