The Difference a Border Makes

The Difference a Border Makes

I was in Canada this past Saturday speaking at a conference. As I listened to their news and conversed with Canadians, I detected a very different tone regarding the Syrian refugees.

A local Nazarene church was preparing to receive refugees. A denominational organization, The Christian Missionary Alliance, was working to help Nazarenes receive refugees. The commentators on news programs were suggesting to American political leaders that caution and compassion are not enemies. Both can be done simultaneously.

Then I preached to a wonderful congregation on Sunday morning. We sang about our God: “You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need.”

Then I flew home Sunday night, turned on the news, and heard Trump’s rant and governors’ statements and a senator suggesting that we use the National Guard to round up Muslims.

Monday morning we started pulling out all our Christmas stuff for decorating. It’s time to celebrate the story of the infant Christ visited by wise men from across the border, which becomes the story of the massacre of babies by violent powers, and ends up with Jesus being a refugee in Egypt.

I wonder what kind of Advent we are in for on our side of the border.


  1. Dr. Boone I am glad you addressed this issue. I always appreciate your insights and how you avoid making one-sided, unhelpful political statements. I think your experience sums up the way that Christians should be handling the situation. As a pastor it is hard for me to hear my congregation put up walls to refugees, both from Syria and those of different cultures in our own community. Keep us in your prayers down here in Alabama that we can learn to be more like Christ.

  2. Phil Thrasher says

    Have you heard that the U. S. government will not allow any of the vetted Christians, Glen Beck and the Nazarene project, into this country?

  3. Teresa Hodge says

    I was reviewing my presentation for a church on our district when a ding on my computer alerted me to your blog. I’m going to be presenting the need for supporting the young TNU missionaries who will minister to refugees this Sunday. Your blog, and the story of those young people laying down their lives to minister, reinforce my growing conviction that the best way to counter radicalism is to show our world, including moderate Muslims, how real Christians live out their faith. A few months ago, I was privileged to begin a new Christian Bible study with one of the bravest people I know. She came to this country as a political refugee after the first Gulf War. Her father was a Kurdish army officer when her family had to leave with nothing, live in caves, then refugee camps. After she came to the US with her family, she became interested in Jesus as she read about him in the Quran, then obtained a Bible to find the real Jesus…all on her own, knowing that her family would not approve. She was baptized, and through a series of miracles, came to my church. There is nothing sweeter than studying Gods’ word with her, over a cup of hot, sweet Kurdish tea. How blessed we are to have such people among us!

  4. Any people seeking to enter our country should be carefully and thoroughly vetted. It’s not about being unloving, it’s about love with knowledge and depth of insight (Philippians 1:9).

  5. Dr. Boone: Thank you for this post! The State does have the responsibility to protect its borders and citizens, but the Church has the responsibility to inform the State and ensure compassionate response with their caution. So many people are caught up in the myth of “Separation of Church and State” that the Church has lost most of its influence with the governmental process. As you suggest in your post, the government needs to be cautious, but Christians need to urge (and practice) compassion!

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