XENOPHOBIA AMONG CHRISTIANS
She has a name for everyone and a stereotype for some, this woman, a Christian I know. I challenge her when she refers to Koreans and Arabs in a derogatory way or stereotypes the way Caucasians and Asians drive. She’s only beginning to see something wrong with her views and speech, having historically held her positions because some of her observations seem to be true. Unfortunately she is not the only Christian who has these views. We know of all types of horrendous acts Christians have done to other humans and have even tried to justify them in the name of Christianity. We may not realize this, but when we attack others based on their race, nationality or ethnicity, we have gone beyond xenophobia (an intense fear or dislike of foreign people, their customs and culture, or foreign things) and into Jesus hate. But when you remember that an attack on another human being for any reason, especially based on intrinsic factors like skin color, ethnicity or nationality, is an attack on the Lord Jesus Christ, you should quickly seek to lay aside your opinions and dreadful actions and seek to really be like Christ.
I know my calling some of you Jesus haters may seem harsh, but consider some of my favorite scriptures: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; (n)either is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. . . .” (Acts 17:24-26).
“GOD HAS A WOMAN ALL OVER THE WORLD”
When we focus on God 1) made all things in the world; 2) gives all life; 3) gives all breath; 4) gives all things to all; 5) made all people from the blood of one man; 6) determined when we would be born; and 7) determined where we would be born, we see that any attack on another is an attack on people God intentionally created. They breathe the same as we do and want the things we want. My sister Jodie from Liberia wants to impart self-esteem in the young girls she works with; my sister Passion from Zimbabwe wants equity for the small churches in her area; my sister Elna wants social justice for all races in South Africa; another sister wants adequate funding for schools in Kenya; a sister from Canada wants to go deeper with the Lord; and a mother from India wants her daughter free from sexual oppression. These are just some of the women I experienced this past weekend at the World of Women Praying Convocation (WOWPC) with sisters from just about every continent, every skin color and every age all loving Jesus. “God has a woman all over the world,” declared WOWPC Founder and Organizer Rev. Dr. Cecilia Williams Bryant to highlight the diversity of Christian women from around the world who love Jesus. And when you love Jesus you love who and what Jesus loves. These women exemplified that by coming together with others who didn’t all look like they looked but all had Jesus in common. They set aside whatever xenophobia they may have had to connect in the spirit to effect change in the natural among nations.
Whether we come into contact with people of other races and nationalities who love Jesus or don’t love Jesus, our mission has to be the same: for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. This can be done when we view all humans—Jesus loving ones and non-Jesus loving ones—in the light of Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We, too, must love the world, not willing that they be eternally separated from Jesus. One way we can do that is to change our views about others not like us and think like Christ and our xenophobic talk will fade away. When our thoughts become thoughts of love, our talk becomes talk of love, and actions to bring others to Christ will follow.
Take a Risk Challenge: Examine yourself for xenophobic ways, renounce what you find and seek to display at least one act of love to someone culturally different from you.
One Thousand Gifts List
Being included on a group email though I’m the group newbie
Getting home safely from the movies
Taking the children to the fireworks display
My sister noticing that Caleb was missing and being able to grab him before he walked in the street
The children continuously thanking my sister and me for taking them to see the fireworks display
Avoiding the heavy traffic and big crowds for the fireworks display
Loaning my car for a week to someone in need
Chasing the boys around the house
Flynn and company arriving to Wheaton safely
Flynn enjoying the RZIM conference