There are a lot of things I’m passionate about: Jesus, poverty reduction, community, evangelism, revival and many other things. But one thing I’m not passionate about is being a racist. Racism is terrible and insane and I’m praying every day that i will treat everyone equal, with love and dignity, and that the Holy Spirit will give me a humanitarian passion for everyone that is in need.
And so when I retweet Doctors without borders who point out that refugees are people who seek a better future for themselves and their children, I am devastated when another Twitter user responds with racism. Yes, this is racism, he knows nothing about these mothers other than that they are African, and yet he argues that they “bring a lot of pain and suffering for the country that accepts them”. Cold, hateful racism. And this guy claims to be a Christian.
Some will just tell me to ignore the trolls and go on with my life, but these comments don’t come from isolated dark corners of the internet anymore, this is a mass movement all across Europe that is occupying parliaments and governments. A movement filled with hostility against people from Africa and the Middle East, a movement promoting inequality, deportation and white supremacy.
I’ve encountered Christians involved in this movement who are extremely passionate about kicking out black and brown people form their country. How can they be so passionate about such an ugly cause? Why aren’t they passionate about something beautiful, like following Jesus and helping the poor?
I think quite frankly it is because the racist and xenophobic movement has a gospel of their own, a story about the salvation of the fatherland, while it is fully acceptant of sin. Hate and immorality are not condemned, they are welcomed. The only sins are to bless and welcome Muslims and other strangers, which the people involved in this movement aren’t interested in anyways, due to fear and egoism.
But I continue to pray for humanitarian passion. For a church that refuses to ally with xenophobic logic and that continues to stand with the oppressed and poor even as new gas chambers are being built. We will stand for what is right, just and loving no matter the consequences. That’s what following Jesus is all about.