Good Christian Or Bad American?

Maybe you haven’t been hearing about the terrorism and refugee crisis. Silly me. Of course you have, unless you live under a rock or (to be culturally relevant) you don’t have Facebook or a TV.

I’ve been observing and praying and evaluating my motives and asking questions for a few weeks now. There are some answers, but also a lot more questions. I’ve felt rather unqualified to weigh in on this topic, but God keeps telling me I don’t have to be smart to get wisdom.

I have a really hard time being political, so therefore I’ll just be human. All I ask is that you read this without political pretense and open yourself up to questions as well. (Apparently, God likes when we ask questions.)

I don’t like sides. They divide, and right now, more than ever, humanity needs a reason to be united. I’ve tested the waters a little, and I’ve noticed this sensitive (now global) crisis generally seems to be portrayed with two sides by media.

I hear:

  1. If you even second guess opening wide your arms and (and your borders) to refugees, you are probably not even a real Christian at all. 
  2. You can’t even be a real American if you are stupid enough to let muslims infiltrate the US of A. Welcome to America, terrorism!

By these two standards, my crotch is burning from sitting on the fence. Apparently, I’m a bad American and an even worse Christian.

To be clear, being Republican doesn’t equal being a disciple of Jesus by a long shot, but with the understanding that most conservatives profess Christianity, here is one conclusion I have gathered about this subject:

Believers have a really hard time embracing contrasting truths. 

Calm down; I’m raising my hand here too.

(Technically, that answer is just another question, but it’s a start.)

  • Example: Jesus did not violate love when he cleared the temple with a whip, and He did not violate truth when he healed on the Sabbath. It wasn’t a choice between values. He embodies them all!

Context is just as vital in discerning the times, as it is vital to understanding scripture. Our circumstances are just as relevant for divine discernment as the circumstances we read about. It’s easy to look back and say, “Oh yeah, that was an easy choice,” because it’s in the past, but when a mountain looms in the present, it is terrifying, just as it must have been in the moments we read about.

Divine discernment is always relevant.

There is a time to turn the other cheek, and there is a time to protect. We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The only way we will know which context to pull from is if we are fulfilling our job description: intimacy with God.

So please, let’s not make this issue a politically spirited choice between compassion and first world comfort. It is not that simple, and I, for one, am opening my heart with a lot of questions so I can hear (beyond the noise) God’s thoughts.

© Brenda Kanagy




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