President Obama has increased the quota of Syrian refugees from 2,000 to 10,000. Recently the director of the FBI James Comey told a House Committee on Homeland Security the Federal government does not have the ability to do thorough background checks on 10,000 Syrian refugees. This leads some to say that while the President’s humanitarian heart is in the right place, the increase quota makes our nation susceptible to infiltration by Islamic State terrorists posing as refugees, which seems to be what may have happened in Paris.
Christian sentiment on the refugee crisis seems fractured along these two fault lines; a desire to extend mercy to those who are merely fleeing senseless violence, and the need to secure the welfare of ourselves and our neighbors from the same violence that may follow them in the form of terrorists claiming to be refugees.
I am confident the vast majority of the Syrian refugees are non-violent, non-combatants fleeing the persecution of the IS in Syria, people like you and me, and they mean us no harm. But I am equally confident that IS insurgents would try to take advantage of this situation to gain entrance into our country. I find it difficult turning people away who are suffering untold privations while fleeing for their lives, but it would be equally difficult to explain to a neighbor I favored a policy that let a terrorist slip into our country and subsequently maimed or killed one of their loved ones.
It poses a dilemma. I’m glad I am not the one that has to make a decision on this matter. We should pray for those who will be making determinations regarding the refugee situation.
The terrorist attacks in Paris leave many worried about how safe it is to travel, and the real threats of IS to export their murderous plans make Homeland Security questionable when our borders are as porous as a sieve. I do not know if there is any place on earth we can say with absolute certainty is safe.
The psalmist David wrote, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid,” Psalm 56:3-4. In a very real sense the only trustworthy security comes from above.
As a Christian I believe God has a plan and purpose for my life and until God is finished with me here I am invincible. After all, you really cannot kill a Christian you can only change his location.
I realize there are those who do not share my faith, are afraid, and peace of mind is elusive. I suppose you are left to whatever man-made measures are available fallible and imperfect as they are. I choose to trust Him of whom it is said, “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep,” Psalm 121:4. He who keeps Israel keeps me.