The evangelical world needs to refocus how we see and embrace those who are oppressed and suffering. We are bombarded daily by headlines of terror, injustice, and persecution. Instead of taking sides or entering into divisive conversations over these headlines, we should be the first to rally around the many who are under attack and in need of real rescue.
Proactive gospel response
This is not a matter of western nations. It is a matter of how the hands and feet of Christ are supposed to react to broken situations. Like Christ, we are broken-hearted when we hear about the dire situations children and refugees are in. Putting personal opinions aside, we must focus instead on holding an eternal view in mind. Remember that Jesus came, modeled, and called us to invest in the spiritual development of people, which supersede socioeconomic, religious geopolitical, and any other mortal construct of man.
The best way to do it–invest in the indigenous Church. The ultimate solution to any suffering is to ensure that there is a healthy, local body in every community ready to meet the needs of the suffering among them.
Unite over what’s right, don’t divide over details
We may argue about the source of an injustice, or the social, economic, and political ramifications of those suffering oppression. However, what’s not up for debate is the fact that they are suffering. While we may not be able to influence or conquer the entities causing their hardship, we can provide a real and powerful remedy for their misery.
The answer is found in the Gospel lived out in their community. These places of refuge only happen when there are Bible-based churches being planted, believers growing strong in God’s Word, and proximal people cultivating relationships in and among suffering individuals and communities.
We can debate hot button topics like immigration and deepen the divide. Or, we can build bridges and serve the suffering of the world by investing in healthy churches able to serve their community. Period.
Jesus came to help the suffering. People enduring hard times are searching for answers and longing for hope. Are we doing enough to ensure God’s Word and healthy churches are universally available near and far to serve the suffering in their time of need?