He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” -Micah 6:8
I came across this lovely list today a fellow Orthodox Christian shared. An Orthodox priest I don’t know named Fr. Barnabus Powell wrote this. Don’t have a website to link to since I don’t want to link to his Facebook, but I agree with these all except the proselytizing. I don’t welcome immigrants just to make them Christians and feel like that isn’t something any Christian should do. Nonetheless, this list is great:
1. The Christian faith demands we extend mercy and help even to our enemies. This is not negotiable, open for discussion, or amendable. Christians do this. Period.
2. Physical death and suffering is not the greatest tragedy that can happen to a person, therefore the fear of physical death is not a motivating factor for a Christian.
3. It is immaterial whether the refugee is a Christian or a Muslim or a Pastafarian! Persons created in the image of the Holy Trinity have intrinsic and unrepeatable worth.
4. The sad and weak and obviously wrong notion of equating Faith with ethnicity simply doesn’t hold water. Islam is not an ethnicity. Christian is not an ethnicity. Hindu is not an ethnicity. These are Faith systems that are subject to varying degrees of wholeness and spiritual health. As an Orthodox Christian, I am convinced that this Faith is the fullness of the Faith and is the birthright of every human that has, is, or ever will live.
5. Therefore, I am thrilled the world is coming here, even our enemies, so that I will have the opportunity to share by deed and word the joyous and life-giving Faith of the Orthodox.
6. The poverty of our current political system that sees the President of the United States petulantly ‘popping off”‘and the counter foolishness of some on the Right playing to fears reduces respect for our leaders and makes them merely politicians and not leaders.
7. For those who insist there is some moral equivalency between an understandable concern for wisdom, safety, and the basic purpose of government to provide a safe environment and knuckle-dragging racist, you’re childish behavior is why many Americans don’t trust you.
8. For those who insist that we ‘shut down’ the borders and leave scared and hurting people ‘outside’ because there is a chance there may be a ‘bad guy’ in their midst, please know your fear mongering is why many Americans don’t trust you.
9. Finally, the wisdom of the Faith and the Holy Scriptures are clear: How we treat the stranger and the sojourner in our midst reveals our confidence and love. Is this dangerous? Of course it is. Is this risky? Of course it is. Will we be taken advantage of? Of course we will. Could they kill us? Of course they could.