Okay. I’m going to get this off my chest. I’ve dealt with it for the last few days, seen some absolutely vile and goofy things posted to social media, and heard from some whose hearts tend to leak faster than their brains can keep up. So let’s deal with it. I wrote a little about this a few weeks ago in my article “Innocent as Snakes, Harmless as Doves” (which you can find right here on the site), but I feel the need to write with more specificity about this particular topic…because one segment of Christianity (not to mention the President) is taking holier than thou potshots at another segment, and I’ve had enough.
We have before us yet another political football (and aren’t they all becoming political footballs nowadays? Sometimes social media just reeks); a political football that is being co-opted by a group of Christians with heart hemorrhage issues. To be fair, I know them to be sincere people, for the most part, but these are some of the brothers and sisters that are part of the “cunning as doves” crowd…and they wind up unwittingly becoming harmless as snakes as a result. The big question on the table is what to do with the proposed 10,000 Syrian refugees that Obama wants to plunk down in the US.
If you listen to the above mentioned, well meaning folks, (and the president) you’ll hear tales of doughy eyed children, malnourished and in need of care; of orphans who just need someone to give them a big hug and a puppy; of widows (I’ve even heard them called “single mothers” for effect) who just need a chance to get away from all the violence and hatred. And they’re coming here by the thousands, but…those mean old bigoted, racist, islamophobic, xenophobic(did I get all the usual epithets in there?) people would rather deny them access to food and medicine and let them DIE at the hands of ISIS! (Or something of the sort.)
For the record, neither I, nor any one I know who processes this information and what to do about it in like manner, comes remotely close to this idiotic caricature. This is what people do when they can’t stand dissent and disagreement. Shout it down with labels and epithets; attempt to drown the dissent under a tsunami of righteous-sounding invective. That’s the playbook, and it’s not surprising in the least.
But it IS getting really old.
And the world is just too damned dangerous to let it go this time.
My grandfather used to have a chicken house. When we were kids, we’d help “Papaw” take care of the chickens. One of the things we always had to be mindful of was predators getting in the hen house. One dog, one fox, one chicken snake, could wreak havoc and devastation in that house in no time at all.
Now imagine a truckload of chickens being delivered to a hen house, but, within the group, a few smart foxes manage to cover themselves with feathers and learn how to cluck just enough. Inside the hen house, there are thousands of chickens who have been, up until this point, perfectly safe…because the farmer has taken the steps necessary to ensure their safety. But today, it’s bitter cold out, and the chickens REALLY need to get inside to the warmth of the brooders. The farmer feels sorry for the chickens, and tries to hurry the process. Hurry it so much, in fact, that he doesn’t notice the handful of foxes within the thousands of chickens, and they get in. The farmer shuts the chicken house door, satisfied that he has helped the chickens survive. He’s only gone overnight, but…what do you imagine he will see upon opening the chicken house door the next morning?
Think about it. Think really hard.
The FBI chief recently stated, point blank, in congressional hearings, that they don’t have adequate vetting procedures to fully vet these refugees.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees does not tell us their ages, but does tell us that 75% are men.
Only 51% are Syrians, the rest are from all over the Middle East and Africa.
At least one of the Parisian attackers posed as a refugee to gain entry, complete with a forged passport.
So we know that foxes are attempting to dress up like the chickens to gain entry to the hen house. And the Farmer in charge (the FBI) admits that he can’t possibly tell if all of them are chickens.
Oh, to heck with it, a few foxes can’t hurt too much, can they?
Those of you who think it’s good and holy and righteous to not only to just go ahead and throw the chicken house door open and let ’em all in, sorting it all out later, but to also impugn the motives and even the very spiritual standing of those who tell you that it’s a bad idea, that we need to find the foxes FIRST? You need to stop. None of us who are sounding the alarms want innocent women and children to die. Do NOT insinuate that we do. (In fact, that is precisely why we’re sounding the alarm) It’s insulting. I swear, it seems these people don’t see even a glint of sunlight between Jesus and Gandhi, or Buddha. They act as if John Lennon was the disciple Jesus loved, rather than John the Son of Thunder. I’m tired of it, because I think they completely miss Jesus in reality: “I’m sending you out as sheep among wolves; so be as cunning as snakes, and innocent as doves”.
Do you know what he just said there? Do you?
Allow me a translation.
“Hey, guys, I’m sending you out into a very dangerous world, so keep your head on a swivel, and keep your heart pure.”
Without cunning, without keeping your head on a swivel, being innocent as a dove is going to get you killed.
I understand the folks who just want to hug the cute little koala bears that they see on youtube videos. I get it, they’re cute. They’ll also tear your face off. There is a very real need, despite what your feelings tell you, for exercising a healthy bit of discernment and caution with certain things, especially potentially dangerous things. It is foolish to hold a theology that tells you to walk headlong into a wood chipper just because you want to save someone caught in it. Guess what? You’re both mulch if you do that. A really passionate, sincere, authentic blind man can desire with all of his heart to lead another blind man to safety. What does Jesus say happens? No matter his intentions, they both fall into a pit. What is the purpose of the heart warning, the purpose of discernment, if it is so wrong to be discerning??
The sheepdogs want to care for the sheep, too. I’m a sheepdog. There are a lot of us. We love Jesus, and we love those folks who are earnestly seeking help. But we smell wolves among the sheep. And we simply won’t allow a wolf to get in…even if it inconveniences the sheep in the meantime. I can’t think of a more loving thing to do…for ALL the sheep.