Christians have so many times ignored the teachings of Jesus and become racists instead. It happened during the crusades. It happened in Nazi Germany. It happened in apartheid South Africa. Christians argued for racism, xenophobia and inequality, claiming that white Europeans were elected by God to rule over and even kill other ethnicities. There arguments however, have been extremely weak, since the Bible does not support white pride. Come on, Europeans are hardly even present in the Bible, and the Saviour of the world is a middle eastern Jew!
Yesterday, the xenophobic Swedish party known as the Sweden Democrats forced re-elections after refusing to let the government’s budget go through, and they also threatened that they will do so with every budget that doesn’t accept their demands of cutting non-white immigration. Since neither the left coalition nor the right have majority, this means trouble. Needless to say, this has produced a lot of debate in our little country, and while most Christians emphasize that we need to push back against the rise of racism and neo-fascism, more and more Christians are either joining the Sweden Democrats, or lobbying for the conservative coalition, where the Christian Democrats is a member, should listen to and cooperate with the racists.
As we’re experiencing a racist revival among Christians in all of Europe, the old bad arguments that were used by Nazi Lutherans and Apartheid Presbyterians pop up again. I will deal with these in depth when I have time, but for now let me just give some quick comments to the most common ones:
“Acts 17:26 says ‘From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.'”
These words were uttered by Turkish Jew Paul when he was preaching the Christian Gospel to the philosophers in Athens. He was an immigrant, nationally speaking (of course, the Roman empire included both Greece and Turkey, but that didn’t stop other Christian missionaries from preaching the Gospel in Ethiopia or India). Xenophobic Christians read so much into this verse – that “boundaries” are equal to modern borders with passport controls, deportation mechanics and border police (non of which existed in biblical times, obviously), and that a “nation” is ethnicially or culturally constant and cannot change – something Paul defenitely not is arguing for, rather he is pointing to the fact that all nations come from one man.
“1 Tim 5:8 says ‘Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.'”
This is such a stupid argument against immigration. Firstly, Paul does not talk about your country, people or nation here, as racists often generalize it to, but about one’s family. Secondly, he does not in any way argue that our family should be more privileged than non-family members. The context is that Timothy’s church is overloaded with widows to take care of, and Paul notes that several widows have children who are well-fed bot do not take care of their older relative. Paul exhorts Timothy to convince those children or grandchildren to take care of them so that the church can take care of the most needy persons.
As I’ve stated many times before, God’s vision is economic equality (Lk 3:11, 2 Cor 8:13-15). Xenophobic Christians are economic inequality – they don’t have any problem with Sweden being one of the richest countries in the world, or that 20 % of the world’s population own 80 % of the world’s resources. Rather, they want to stop non-white people to come to their country so that they can enjoy the wealth on their own. This is unbiblical, sinful and heretic.
“The Antichrist is building a world government with a world religion”
This is actually a common argument against immigration among xenophobic Christians, I’ve heard it over and over again. One Christian Sweden Democrat even claimed that he had received a prophetic message about how Antichrist will use “multiculturalism” (the new term for miscegenation) to enslave the world in a demonic empire. Problem is, while the Bible says that Antichrist will rise in power, it does not say anything about him relating to migration, multiculturalism, or anything like that. Other problem is, the church is multicultural for God’s sake! This argument is even more stupid than the others.
“Well, it’s true that Jesus was a refugee, but he didn’t flee to a country with so many welfare benefits as ours!”
This argument dropped in today. When a biblical Christian pointed at the fact that Jesus’ family fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s persecutions (Mt 2:13-18), a xenophobic Christian responded that the refugees that flee for the lives from Syria and Iraq use our welfare system, and therefore they should not be welcome. The only way not to be a racist when saying that, is refusing to use all sorts of welfare ever for your own sake. This argument preassumes that white people should have privileges that non-white refugees shouldn’t have. It presupposes inequality. It presupposes that some should live in abundance and others should die in poverty and war.
God, bless the xenophobic Christians with wisdom and compassion. Show them Your true love that has no boundaries. Stir in them a passion to save the lost and help the poor, and make them campaign for peace and justice in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.