Good Reading About Refugees

As the debate around refugees continues to grow, both in popularity and intensity of tone, here are some helpful articles to aid us in understanding these difficult and complex things.

First, here is Trevin Wax’s call in the Washington Post to not allow fear to drive out compassion. But be sure to read Kevin DeYoung’s more measured response, where he reminds us that wisdom and compassion don’t have to be competitive in the end. 

Here is a very brief introduction to the refugee vetting process the United States uses; it is a fairly impressive and thorough process.

Two weeks ago, World magazine published a prescient article about the church’s attitude toward refugees. It balances the story well and encourages us to ask the right questions.  The end of the article includes some helpful statistics.

Russell Moore reminds us that we can pray for justice against evil and the advance of the gospel at the same time: “Should We Pray for ISIS To Be Converted Or Defeated?”

Please post in the comments other articles you’ve found helpful and balanced.

And finally, some very brief thoughts by way of application:

  • Pray for refugees, because God cares about people who have no home and because we are spiritually descended from the wanderers in the wilderness.
  • Pray for our leaders, that God would grant them the wisdom to balance the need for true humanitarianism and safety.
  • Don’t wait until actual refugees come into your neighborhood to be compassionate and helpful. Help the hurting God has already put in your midst.
  • If you’re an American, be glad for all the love and compassion our nation has shown and continues to show to the world around us.
  • Be careful with what you write online, realizing that most who read your online thoughts will read you in the harshest possible light. Conversely, be gracious when you read others’ opinions, not assuming the worst possible reading of what they’ve written.
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  1. Jeff Kessler November 18, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    I don’t know if the author is a believer or not, but his argument needs to be heard.

    • Jared Olivetti November 18, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks Jeff. That is a compelling argument. The most good for the most people. I have a hard time swallowing the idea of greater care for some is somehow immoral. Scripture seems to indicate that we can have various levels of care for various people (Gal. 6:9,10). Regardless, the point is well taken.

  2. Steve Rockhill November 18, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Thanks Jared for pulling these articles together in one place. We had a discussion about this issue at the dinner table last evening with the kids – 1)to make them aware of what is going on in the world and 2) to help them think Biblically about how to respond in such cases. It was a profitable discussion and these articles will help to encourage more discussion. I appreciate also you application points. The last one is especially pertinent as I have noticed a lot of emotional responses that could easily be taken the wrong way. Reasonable discussion is hard to find these days especially on social media and even among Christian brothers and sisters. Thanks again for your work.

  3. Jeff Kessler November 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    David French is a vet who was in Iraq. He is also a lawyer and I think a ruling elder in the PCA. What he says should carry some weight.

  4. Marie November 19, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Thank you for those articles. Here’s one I found interesting:

  5. Aaron November 28, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    Pastor Kit Swartz has a helpful sermon on this topic, “A Biblical View of Immigration”

  6. Jeff Kessler January 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

    200 German women reported sexual assault on New Year’s Eve. Most were by middle eastern men.

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