When headlines become complicated, stressful or even downright frightening, many Christians may want to avoid reality as best they can.
But religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland says just the opposite should be true. Christians especially must engage with the culture—being in the world but not of it—and not only inform themselves about pressing societal and global matters, but also share their Christian worldview on these topics with others.
Namely, headlines surrounding Israel, Syria, Russia and the U.S. response, as well as how immigration here at home in sanctuary cities and abroad, have been dominating the news cycles.
"These are complex issues and the appropriate position takes thought," said McFarland, who is also director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University (NGU) in Greenville, South Carolina. "That being said, there are the proximate responses and the ultimate response. What do we see and do today, and what do we do that has long-lasting impact? Whether considering sanctuary cities, immigration policies, Israel and her allies historically being seen as the aggressors and a host of many other issues, we should not do a proximate good by committing an ultimate wrong. It would be wrong, for example, to undermine national security and empower terrorism, and therefore, weaken a nation in the quest to do some good deed today.
"In the proximate sense, we want to achieve good for human beings; people need food, clothing and shelter—and as Christians, our hearts tell us to serve and be a light to those in need. But in doing good for one person, we've not really done good for the world if we force a nation like Israel to sacrifice its own preservation and security. Likewise, here in the U.S., sojourners and proponents of open borders don't live that way at home. They lock their doors to keep their families safe. They are imposing a standard on the rest of the world that they don't follow themselves."
Ultimately, Christians want improved situations for people everywhere, McFarland added, but the best way to do that may be to preserve democracy in places where it already exists and is thriving and help build democracy in places where there are pockets of angry, frustrated people who yearn for freedom.
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