The New York Times recently ran an article explaining the rise of a voting base in the U.S. that is “characterized by a desire to shut out the world, ruthlessly promote American interests, reject cooperation and meet threats with overwhelming force.”

This constituency is afraid, angry and isolated. They want to close the door.

I’m not.

Why?

Because I’m a Christian.  Jesus said to go into the whole world and love people of all nations and bring the forgiveness and concern of Christ to them all.

You can’t do that if you shut the whole world out.

Christian’s aren’t called to promote only their own interests. Christians aren’t called to isolate themselves from people who are different from them. Christians aren’t called to fear and hate and harm. We would do well to remember that in the Old Testament God opposed and judged the nations who were overly harsh and brutal in battle with other nations.

According to Jesus, we Chritians are the people of the other cheek, we are the people of go-into-the-whole world, we are the people who are to be known for their compassion, their generosity and their love. Yes, we protect the weak and innocent, no we don’t shut out the world.

I’ve gotten out a little, as a Christian — to Nicaragua, to South Africa, to Swaziland, to Italy, to Canada, to Brazil, to Puerto Rico, to Mexico, to England and to France — and from the small slice of the world that I’ve seen, the nations are full of beautiful people, people just like me, people who enrich and add to me whenever I get to know them, people with the same hurts and hopes that I have.

Worshiping in Zulu in Johannesburg, in Spanish in Mexico City, in Portugese in Campinas, in English in London, I have been overwhelmed with a powerful, deep and meaningful connection with the nations. There is someting profound beyond words about how much we have in common with others who are different from us, rather  about how different we are from those who are the same as us.

Unfortunately, some Christians leave their Chritianity at the slamed door when they enter the political battlefield. But closed doors, closed minds and closed hearts  — there is nothing Christian about that.

 

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