Receiving Faith vs. Rejecting Fear: The Hospitality of God Amid the Crisis of Global Migration

With 272 million people outside their country of origin, many of whom are forcibly displaced, it is important to explore the Christian response. Alan Cross urges the church to consider receiving refugees as essential to the ways we think about mission. The full paper is here. Below are some key points from his research. 

  •  How Christians receive immigrants, sojourners and refugees into our communities, homes and churches says a great deal about our values and the source of our hope.
  •  A community that idealizes its past places its hope in bringing back the glory days.” An insular community can express hope in re-establishing its past identity, which often plays out along racial/ethnic lines. By contrast, a developing Kingdom-oriented” community aligns itself with transcendent values that include newcomers in order to move forward together.
  •  Actively welcoming” newcomers creates a dynamic experience that helps move a community from what anthropologist Paul Hiebert called a bounded set” to a centered set.”
  •  Countering rising xenophobia, nativism, ethno-nationalism, and ethnic violence happens through Jesus’s gospel of peace as he reconciles us to Kingdom citizenship. Advocating for hospitality does not exclude advocating for order, border security, and rule of law, which are also important components of human flourishing and provide groundwork for welcoming.
  •   “Migration and Cultural Change” from Hillel Rapoport, Sulin Sardoschau, and Arthur Slive released in June, 2020. Authors argue that migration has more of an effect on the migrant’s home country than it does on the destination country: “While migrants do act as vectors of cultural diffusion and bring about cultural convergence, this is mostly to disseminate cultural values and norms from the host to the home country 
  •   “We are commended to the ministry of hospitality. 1 Peter 4:9 tells us to show hospitality without grumbling and Hebrews 13:2 tells us to not neglect to show hospitality to strangers. Hospitality, or philoxenia means love for the stranger. When Jesus tells us that those who belong to him are those who welcome strangers (Mt. 25), he is saying that receiving strangers (foreigners, sojourners, migrants) is akin to receiving him. If we have received Jesus by faith, then we’ll also receive those he died for the same way Jesus welcomes us.