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In 2016, I released a book in Swedish together with pastor Stefan Swärd called Jesus Was Also a Refugee. We commented the recent migration debate, providing the biblical teaching on loving, welcoming and blessing strangers (Lev 19:33-34, Mt 25:35).
I was not at all prepared for the huge amounts of Christians who would object to the book title. “Jesus was certainly not a refugee!” The same thing happened as the Christian Post published my Christmas reflection, inspired by Shane Claiborne, urging people to welcome refugees as they would welcome Christ. The comment section on CP’s Facebook page overflooded with arguments against the asylum status of our Savior and his parents.
Most of these arguments are bad. I mean, really bad. Here are the five weirdest ones I’ve come across so far: (more…)
Today is 50 years since Martin Luther King‘s extremely famous “I have a dream” speech at Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. He has inspired countless people through the decades to passionately work for justice and freedom using non-violence, and also to seek the God he so zealously followed. The problems he adressed – racism, injustice and violence – still exist in various forms, and so we should take his example and keep up the good fight against it. Here are three areas I think needs special concern:
Racism and Xenophobia in Europe
The ugliness of racism sadly exists in most places arounf the world, and even though the situation for African Americans have become better it is far from optimal. Yet, as a European, I think what we are seeing here sometimes are even far worse. In Greece a neo-Nazi party got 7 % of the seats in the parliament. In Hungary, a neo-Nazi party got 12 % of the seats in the parliament. Hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, Blacks, homosexuals and other minorities are on the rise. Just a couple of weeks ago, a Muslim woman here in Sweden got beaten by a racist for wearing a hijab. The event caused a massive protest where thousands of women weared hijab in solidarity. Then, a new group of racists found the woman and beat her up again. What can we do? Use the example of Luther King: be a light in the darkness, use nonviolence in the midst of violence, be loving in the midst of hate, welcome the stranger in the midst of xenophobia. (more…)
In response to my blog post on how following the Sermont on the Mount is a key to revival, my friend Drew Gordon Meakin wrote:
Great article! I thought of some instances that back up your point.
In Acts 6:8-8:1 we see Stephen praying for his enemies while being stoned to death. Saul of Tarsus, the church’s greatest persecutor, was one of the people there that he was praying for. Saul later has a dramatic supernatural encounter and becomes the Apostle Paul. I fully believe Stephen’s selfless prayer while dying was a seed in Paul’s conversion.
The movie “End of the Spear” tells the true story of five missionaries reaching reaching out to the most violent tribe in Ecuador. All of them are killed, but they die loving their enemies, and this leads to a dramatic supernatural encounter which eventually leads to the whole tribe coming to Christ.
David Wilkerson’s loving words to the violent gang member, Nicky Cruz, who threatened his life, led to Nicky’s conversion which also was a precursor to the founding of the most successful “Spirit-filled” drug rehabilitation programs in the world and the largest church in New York.
Martin Luther King’s commitment to the peace teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, while advancing his cause, not only changed policies, but changed hearts and led to the greatest civil rights movement in history. (more…)