Why a Muslim Ban Is a Bad Idea for Christians

 

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This administration has already done some wonderful things through actions taken and statements made to restrict abortion. I pray these continue. And I desire to the best of my ability to follow the guidelines of Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2.

But there comes a moment where I cannot stay silent. I care too deeply and know too many friends affected to just blindly go along with what many other Christians are applauding.

I am aware that the President’s executive order signed this weekend was NOT in fact a “Muslim ban.” Instead, it banned citizens of certain countries from entering the US. I use the term “Muslim ban” loosely to describe both what the President desires to do and this executive order, which is the first step toward that.

I firmly believe a Muslim ban and this executive order are very dangerous to global Christianity. Let me defend that statement:

1. A Muslim ban could lead to a Christian ban.

Christians may have just voted in their own persecution. I do not mean to say that this current administration will persecute Christians in America. But think of this – if this administration puts forth a law that allows religious identification as a Muslim to play a role in “filtering” humans entering the US, why couldn’t another administration do the same for Christians?

If the courts uphold a Muslim ban, what would stop a Democratic administration from issuing a Christian ban? And if they can use religion to restrict people in one area, why couldn’t they in another? The President has proposed having a database on all Muslims and having surveillance at mosques. Why couldn’t a future government do the same for Christians?

2. This executive order has already stopped Christian refugees.

Did you know that a Syrian Christian family, coming to America with VISAS in hand, were stopped by authorities at the Philadelphia airport and told to get back on a flight to Doha? CHRISTIANS – our brothers and sisters who managed to escape the clutches of ISIS to finally get access to America – sent back because of this executive order!

I’m glad he did not ban all Muslims from any country. But banning citizens of whole countries is almost worse. Because that means that Christians fleeing for help are denied access along with Muslims.

This executive order is unclear, at best. If green card holders have been denied, will American citizens be denied? What about the American missionary who becomes a legal citizen of one of these countries in order to not so easily be deported? When he comes back to give a report to your church, will you support denying him entrance?

It’s time we Christians pushed for some clarification on this order for the sake of our dear brothers and sisters.

3. These actions will lead to more attacks, not less.

If the administration communicates that it believes all Muslims from certain countries are terrorists, what will Muslims in these countries do? Become terrorists! “If that’s what they think I am, I’ll show them!” There’s already enough American hostility festering in these regions.

What about Muslims already in America? No doubt many ISIS fighters lie hidden among us. Such a ridiculous overstepping on the rights of Muslims could lead to Muslims – even moderate ones – rising up to commit great acts of evil.

Both abroad…and on our soil.

4. Safety should not be our top priority – the Gospel should.

Let’s stop and ask ourselves – why are we as American Christians so obsessed with our safety anyway? Show me where in the Bible Christ calls us to be concerned for our own safety above everything else, much less concerned for the safety of our country? Patriotism is fine and good, but not if it puts country above God.

Ethnocentrism is a sin. We ought to pray for our country and enjoy and respect the freedoms we have. But we are not of this world! This is not our home!

Our priorities lie with the eternal kingdom.

Here’s a radical thought – let’s sacrifice our own personal safety for the advancement of the Gospel.

Let’s let the refugees in! May it lead to terrorist attacks? Maybe, but it’s too late anyway – they’re already here. Let’s sacrifice our precious Western culture for a nation where Spanish and Arabic are spoken all over and yet the Gospel has been shared with more Muslims than ever before!

It is not our chief concern to worry about terrorist attacks. What will stop attacks from occurring is not radical political actions but radical Gospel transformation!

If you’ve spent more time complaining about Muslims on Facebook than sharing the Gospel with the ones in your neighborhood, then your priorities are off.

To close, picture this conversation between two Christians:

“We should let Muslims in, so we can share the Gospel with them!”

“No, that’s too dangerous.”

“Then we should go over to Syria and Iraq and share the Gospel with them there!”

“No, that’s too dangerous.”

“Then at least let’s share the Gospel with the ones who are already here.”

“No, that’s too dangerous.”

 

“Then let’s pray for others to share the Gospel with them.”

“I don’t have time for that…”

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2 thoughts on “Why a Muslim Ban Is a Bad Idea for Christians

  1. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your overall premise: it would be very unwise for Christians to support a Muslim ban, for many reasons. But I found parts of this post a little hard to follow. Perhaps you could provide some clarity.

    You say that the president’s executive order is not a Muslim ban, yet go on to say “I use the term ‘Muslim ban’ loosely to describe both what the President desires to do and this executive order, which is the first step toward that.” That’s a pretty big charge to level against the president. Do you have any quotes of him saying that he would like to ban all Muslims from coming into our country? And is it fair to say, “This is not a Muslim ban, but I’m going to call it that anyway and argue against it as if it is?”

    As to your final point, if this was a nation that was entirely composed of Christians, I would understand better where you are coming from. But we’re a nation, not a church. Bringing refugees who might pose a threat here will give them better access to the truth, no doubt. But what about my unsaved neighbors, who don’t know Christ? Is it loving to put them in harm’s way so that someone else can have an opportunity to hear the gospel? And does not our nation, as a nation, have the right and even responsibility to protect itself against those who might endanger the lives of its citizens? Or should President Trump let in what he believes poses a threat to the people he has sworn to protect so that evangelicals can share their faith? Is that what we expect the world to do for us?

    I agree that once here, Christians should reach out to refugees to do good and to share Christ. I agree Christians should not be overly concerned about this, and that we need to keep a kingdom perspective about politics. I do find it exciting that disenfranchised Muslims are coming to our nation in droves. I agree a Muslim ban would be bad. I’m just not sure this particular executive order is. (Although between the two of us, I’m getting a little uncomfortable with all these executive orders, but that’s another conversation for another day.)

    • Great comment. Thanks for your input. I admit that sentence was not well-worded. I was trying to be brief (something I’m not good at) and criticize both ideas in one post. The EO is very different from the proposed Muslim ban, but the President has called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration

      As to the second point, your analysis was most helpful. I suppose my criticism is directed more at Christians who supported him or are in positions of influence with him rather than the President himself. Obviously, I don’t expect the world to cater to Gospel priorities. But I would hope Christians would. I believe that this EO will actually further endanger American lives (see my other points), and I believe there is no proper way to vet incoming refugees. Thus, I think it would be in the best interest of both the nation and the Gospel to come up with a solution that allows refugees in while at the same time using cautious vetting to keep ISIS out. Which, by and large, has already been happening under the Obama administration, and I hope will continue under this one.

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