A few years ago our Church eldership publicly denounced what was, at the time, the refusal to offer due process for asylum seekers. After listening to many in the WCC fam we registered with a few regional organizations to sponsor an asylum seeking family in their transition.
A local neighbor visiting WCC off-and-on (not a member) sent me a private message on Facebook that Sunday afternoon. They shared their concerns with the decision. They denounced my teaching (which wasn’t new to WCC). I replied in the hope that we could reason through the Scriptures together. In the end, ideology won. I’ll never forget what the neighbor said to me. It echoes in my heart (and I saved it in a phone note so I’d never forget). They said, “Pastor Fred, it’s deplorable that you would willingly put your own family at risk and encourage the Church to do the same by welcoming foreigners like these into our country. I will no longer attend the Church. You are a dangerous man.”
There’s much I could say about why I think the neighbor responded this way, but it wouldn’t be helpful. In the end, what I understood about the gospel then I still believe today: the people of Christ are committed to hospitality, because Christ is committed to us.
I’ll offer more in the next post. For now I just want to sit with that simple conviction.