GP normally has a glass of wine while sitting in a rocking chair at night. But all of this internet junk pile of supposed human relationship makes Grumpy Pastor pour a second glass of wine. GP would love to pour a third glass of wine, but then Mrs. Grumpy Pastor would express a stern and strong look of concern. A really, really full second glass of wine it is.
In this latest internet carnage, there is the side of folks who say no to Syrian refugees in the United States because some of them might be terrorists. Then there is the other side that condemns the anti-refugee folks with equal and opposite force using emotion, facts, logic, and the bible.
The thing is, this stuff isn’t new. It’s old. And the same sides exist within the same people, and it’s all a predictable jackwagon full of jibber-jabber. It’s the same story whether the topic is Syrian refugees, Treyvon Martin, gay marriage, or any other of the already forgotten internet wars that once happened.
It’s all condemnation of the other… all of the time. And it gets old.
The death Syrian refugees are fleeing sucks. Because of a horrible civil war, their lives are in shambles. If GP or any one of us were in the same situation, we too would be looking for the best and quickest way out to enjoy the glory and wonder of not dying. And if you are a follower of Jesus and aren’t so in love with the idea of accepting 10,000 of them through the U.S. Border, I am sorry to inform you that scripture is pretty clear how we are to treat foreigners, and it is by saying “welcome.” And yes, this sucks too. Sometimes what Jesus tells us to do really isn’t very fun. That whole “take up your cross and follow me” thing Jesus talked about? That’s what he was getting at… how following isn’t fun. Or nice. Or safe.
You know what else sucks? Being afraid of both terrorism, and of losing your way of life. That’s what is behind those internet-o-rants about not allowing in refugees, and Muslims being evil. Even when reading some really awful stuff about getting rid of Islam, Grumpy Pastor had to take a big couple of breaths before remembering that those things came from hearts full of fear. That’d be the reason why statistics about refugees and throwing bible verse around do not change folks who feel differently. Facts and logic will not change fear. Only love will change folks and their fears.
When GP’s 4 year-old daughter runs into the bedroom at 11:30 pm waking Grumpy up from a wonderful, two-glass of wine induced slumber, GP doesn’t dictate to her all of the ways in which she is actually safe from skeletons and mummies, followed by the reasons she should return to her own bed according to the latest pediatrician manual. That’s not how fear works. What Grumpy does is cradle her up, give her a kiss, lets her crawl into bed and after 15 minutes when she’s fast asleep she gets moved back to her own bed. Unless GP accidentally falls asleep first. Then Grumpy Pastor wakes up with feet in his face and a back ache from being confined on the side to 4 inches of bed space. People are afraid. And that’s okay. The refugees are coming anyways. Instead of lobbing Matthew 25:41-43 at your neighbor, tell them God loves them, Muslims aren’t evil, and everything is going to be okay.
Extending the love of Jesus is really hard. Extending the love of Jesus to your enemy is even harder.
Grumpy Pastor and Mrs. Grumpy Pastor decided Syrian Refugees and all of their internet supporters are very welcome in the Grumpy Pastor household. But so are Governors who don’t want Syrian refugees in their state, as well as their internet fan base. Grumpy just asks that you all call ahead so Mrs. Grumpy can put some new sheets on the guest bed. And GP also asks that if you opposing sides are going to get into a fight, please don’t do so in the Grumpy kitchen, as the kitchen chairs were just re-glued and it’d be a shame if one of them broke.
Oh... and, um, Mr. Trump, you are invited to the Grumpy Pastor's house too. GP will tell you however Muslims don't need to wear their own special badges or be registered in a database. Let's not go there. There's a pretty big dark spot in history when that was once practiced. Grumpy will also tell you the same thing as the 4-year old. It's going to be okay. However, you are not sleeping in Grumpy Pastor's bed.