Scenario I: You and your buddies Mike and Jim got up at oh-dark-thirty and drove three hours to your favorite ski resort. You got there before the sun, bought your lift tickets, and were really looking forward to a crisp, sunny day of racing down the mountain.
As you left the lodge for the lift line, though, three buses pulled up and disgorged a horde of foreigners — ignorant foreigners who mulled all over the place in their street shoes, ruining the snow pack at the bottom of the run. They obviously didn’t even speak the language, if you went by their confused looks when people started telling them to get off the trail. Great. Just great.
“C’mon,” you said to Mike and Jim. “Let’s get at least one run in before they figure out how to get up the mountain.”
You and Mike hustled to the lift line, and Jim said he’d catch up to you in a bit. You and Mike caught a chair, and you continued to grumble all the way up the mountain. When you got to the top, though, the sun was bright and the snow was fast, so you forgot about the foreigners as you set off down your favorite trail, Mike close behind. You forgot, that is, until you got down to the bottom and had to dodge around the foreigners who were still in the way and still wrecking the snow. Where was the ski patrol? Why weren’t they getting these idiots out of the way? This was getting downright scary. How many of them were there, anyhow?
As you tried to work your way back to the lift line, you realized you hadn’t seen Jim. You finally spied him heading toward … the beginner’s slope? Then you realized he was leading one of the foreigners, who had somehow acquired a pair of skis. They were laughing and Jim was obviously trying to teach the guy how to walk in skis.
Scenario II: If you substitute America for the ski resort, Muslims for the foreigners, and police for the ski patrol, I think you’ll have a pretty good understanding of what many American Christians think about the Muslims in our country today.
- We resent foreigners that show up at our mountain, ruining our day.
- We expect them to act like expert skiers, even when they don’t have skis.
- We get scared when a lot of them show up.
- We think they should know the language.
- When they don’t “get it,” we want the ski patrol involved.
Expecting anyone to act like a Christian when no one has told them about Christ is ludicrous. Making laws to that effect not only violates the First Amendment, it exposes our selfishness in wanting to keep the “mountain” to ourselves, and our hypocrisy in focusing on outward behaviors instead of a heart filled and changed by the Holy Spirit.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. (Matthew 23:4)