In the United States and around the world, immigration and the welcoming of refugees continue to be among the most controversial issues. Domestically, debates about policy have divided our lawmakers, our judicial system, and even our churches. Refugees continue to seek out a safe place for their families away from the conflict, drought, and turmoil of their home countries. Immigrants continue to seek greater opportunities in wealthy nations. Meanwhile, terrorism also continues, turning many away from the idea of welcoming the stranger.
But aside from the political and legislative complexities surrounding immigration, what does the Bible tell us about how Christians should approach foreigners seeking refuge and opportunity?
As a son of immigrants myself, I’m keenly aware of how past immigration policies affected my own family and the struggles immigrants have in assimilating into American culture. My parents were afforded an opportunity that changed my family’s lives forever.
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)
Currently residing in Dayton, OH—which prides itself on being a welcoming city for immigrants—I decided to host a conversation about the current circumstances and how they can be viewed through a Christian lens.
On Tuesday, February 28th, at 6:30 p.m., join us for A Community Conversation Concerning Refugees. A panel of local scholars, pastors, and community leaders will lead the discussion about what our faith has to say about immigrants and refugees.
The panel will be comprised of Drs. Peter Bellini, Brad Burroughs, Anthony Le Donne, Joni Sancken, and David Watson, all faculty at United Theological Seminar. The panel will also include community leaders Benjamin Holmes and Erin McKenzie.
This event will take place at The Point Campus, 506 E Main St. in Trotwood. Follow me on Facebook for a livestream of the discussion. Or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937.667.1069 for more information.