There’s been a great deal of hoopla on the interwebs regarding the prospective border wall between America and Mexico. All-caps cries have floated through cyber-space (“RAPISTS,” “BIGOTS,” & “HITLER” being among the most popular) from parties on each side of the issue.
My electronic friends (at least those that the gatekeepers at Facebook deem worthy of my attention) seem to be obsessed with the border wall. Indeed, as someone who deliberately cultivates friendships with individuals from wide-ranging points on the political spectrum, I have been privileged to witness veritable streams of vitriol on the subject, flowing in opposite directions, crashing together in my own newsfeed.
I truly believe that some of my friends truly believe that the border wall is the single-most important issue of our day.
And, if you don’t believe in the existence of a sovereign God who loved humanity enough to come to earth in the flesh and die for the sins of humanity in order to restore to them eternal life and give them meaning and purpose by enlisting them in the task of taking this good news to the ends of the earth, maybe it is the most important issue.
But, if you believe the good news and you’re still convinced that what the world needs most from you is your support for the wall, may I humbly suggest that you re-examine your priorities.
This is not a post about the border wall, for or against; it’s about Christian priorities, on and off-line.
While you’ve been foaming at the digital mouth in your defense of this American Shibboleth, did you know that the Christian faith has been under attack around the world? That your brothers and sisters in Christ have been jailed, had their property confiscated, and even been killed? Not because of a political position, but because of their faith in Jesus Christ?
I just received a copy of Open Doors‘ World Watch List for 2019 from a fellow church member, and it brought some badly needed perspective to my world. Open Doors is a Christian organization that seeks to connect American believers with their persecuted brothers and sisters worldwide. Their Watch List is a ranking of the 50 countries where persecution is at its worst. And it’s incredibly informative:
Did you know, for example, that the number of Christians facing persecution has risen from 215 million to 245 million over the last year?
Did you know that 1 in 9 Christians worldwide faces high levels of persecution?
Did you know that, on average, 11 Christians are killed EVERY DAY because of their faith?
Did you know that in Iran it is illegal to share your faith or conduct a Christian service in the national language?
Did you know that there has been ongoing strategic imprisonment of Christians taking place in Eritrea over the past ten years?
Did you know that the two most highly populated countries in the world are also seeing an increase in their persecution of Christians?
If you’re like me, you’re much less aware of these things than you are the intricacies of the border wall debate. Why is that?
Because, based on what I see online and hear discussed in-person, American Christians are choosing to turn a blind eye to Christian realities in favor of American realities.
Think about it: every single person with access to the Internet has more potential influence that any pre-web newspaper baron ever had. With the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger, they can transmit words, images, and ideas to thousands, millions, and even billions of people.
Christ-follower: Is it really the best use of that power to contribute your own invective to the torrent already flowing regarding a border wall? Are the concerns of your chosen political party really worth sacrificing gospel opportunities for?
Could you not better use your online voice to draw prayerful attention to the needs of your brothers and sisters living under persecution? Could you not use your influence to call for a re-engagement of the American church in the life of the global church?
God has not called you to make Republicans or Democrats: he has called you to make disciples.
He hasn’t called you to give your life to a political party: he has called you to give your life to the King.
He hasn’t called you to stump for a border wall: he has called you to pray for your brothers and sisters and to meet their needs, regardless of which country they live in.
May our engagements, online and off, reflect the One who has called us and advance the mission he has called us to.
I know that some of you reading this won’t agree with it. That’s ok. But, just so you know, I am not anti-wall, nor am I anti-American; I am just pro-using-all-the-tools-we-have-to-preach-the-gospel-and-serve-others.