Christ at the Border
The clash between Central American migrants and U.S. patrol agents in Tijuana is on my mind. It is likely on your mind too.
How should Christians respond?
With compassion. (Matthew 25:34-46)
With respect for authority. (Romans 13:1-7)
With discernment, especially if we choose to exercise our conscience through a non-violent form of civil disobedience. (Acts 5:29)
And with a spirit of “Christian Liberty” if other followers of Jesus choose a response that is different than our own. (1 Corinthians 10:23)
This is a tough one for followers of Jesus, but I think one principle should reign supreme. In everything we should make sure God’s love is evident in our lives.
In our behavior toward migrant people groups.
In our behavior toward authorities.
In our behavior toward one another.
The struggle we face is understandable. Hate is not.
In the midst of the Tijuana situation, another border has come into view. A few days ago, we received word John Allen Chau had been killed by the reclusive tribe that lives on North Sentinel Island. John was attempting to share the message of Christ with the tribesmen.
No doubt about it. The tribesmen of North Sentinel Island need to know Christ. Yet, it occurs to me they were merely doing what we are doing as Americans. They were protecting their way of life. Medical professionals have warned that outsiders pose a tremendous health risk to the inhabitants of the island, since an intrusion would expose them to a number of dangerous diseases. There are also sociological risks to the community structure of the tribe, which has always been a dilemma as the church has sought to share Christ in remote regions of the world. It is unlikely the islanders are fully aware of these risks, but we can’t blame them for protecting their borders.
Please don’t misunderstand. I repeat, the tribesmen and tribeswomen of North Sentinel Island need to know Christ. There was nothing ungodly about John Allen Chau’s efforts. People will have differing views on whether or not he was misguided, but he certainly had no evil intent. And maybe someday someone will find a way to reach his killers and Chau will be credited with opening the door to the hearts of the tribesmen.
However, this further complicates our thought process as we attempt to resolve the Christian answer to the situation in Tijuana. Which side of the debate are you on in regards to the Central American migrant caravan? How do you feel about the tribesmen who killed John Chau? I must add, he was attempting to enter North Sentinel Island illegally.
I’ll admit, I am trying to stir things up.
Not among brothers and sisters in Christ (since the Bible identifies this as a serious sin against God).
But between me, myself and I.
Some internal struggles were not intended to be easy.
I am convinced followers of Christ who try to make them so are probably missing something.
Or choosing to ignore something.
Borders have a way of pushing the limits and forcing us to examine our walk with Christ.
Eventually, we all find ourselves at the “border of our hearts.” That’s where every clash begins.