By Emily Crawford.
I’ve been struggling to find a way to write something for this month, I’ll be honest. Lately I’ve been bombarded with all these tidbits of information about President Donald Trump and his latest escapades and I wanted to confront it from my personal Christian perspective. However, it wouldn’t be right to call him an idiot and list all the reasons why every other Christian should too.
What are we meant to do in these situations? Some Christians believe that he is doing right by trying to ban Muslims from entering his country and that our country (Australia) should follow suit. Others have sat back because he donated money to Christian organisations in the US, so he must be a good guy, right? Then there are those who have decided to stand against him.
It seems that there are few Christians who fit the last category. But the rhetoric that Trump brings is divisive to the point where it has caused division within our family in Christ. I have to admit that I can’t understand how I could be in the company of someone who just sees Muslims as only “ready to kill us in the name of Allah”. I don’t see why immigrants, who come as refugees, are all bad people when we’ve got just as many awful characters that were born and raised in our home countries.
In the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4:1-26), Jesus does not take heed of the social apartheid between Jews and Samaritans, despite even the woman calling herself despicable and Jesus knowing all her failings. Instead he offers her “living water” and chooses to ignore the social conventions that seemingly create a ravine between he and the woman.
In the story of the Phoenician Woman and her ailing daughter, she persists despite being considered lowly and a dog because she was a Gentile. Her perseverance in faith, despite the tests to her resilience, achieves the healing of her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).
Even a Roman Centurion approaches Jesus, asking for his servant to be healed (Matthew 8:5-13).
So what am I trying to get at?
In the midst of all of the hate, the politics and the divisiveness that has been brought on by the rise of Donald Trump, the conflict in Syria, the attacks in Paris, Libya, Nice, Brussels, Orlando, and countless other events, we must remain open to people who are not like us. I am not asking us to ignorantly and blindly do so. Even God asks us to reason with him, so should we not do the same in all aspects of life?
Do not choose the easiest and simplest perspective. Please choose to look at the world through “other” eyes. Yes, the world is dangerous and "other eyes" may be those of people who do not share every single principle as you, but God asks us to love one another, to love our fellow humans: “31 “The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.”
32 The teacher of religion replied, “Sir, you have spoken a true word in saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is far more important to love him with all my heart and understanding and strength, and to love others as myself, than to offer all kinds of sacrifices on the altar of the Temple.” (Mark 12:31-33)
There is no stipulation to that. “Others” means anyone but you. I remember as a child, there was a little song we’d have in our Sabbath school, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. I suppose sometimes instead of letting all the worries that adulthood and school and the world overwhelm us, we need to have a faith like a child in some ways.