Christianity and foreigners

35 StrangersI heard an old person saying recently that they were voting for UKIP because they are ‘standing up for Christianity’. I am not sure which bit of the Bible says you should be unwelcoming to strangers or foreigners.

Indeed, Leviticus says:

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself…

Jesus said “Love your neighbour as yourself”. When he was asked who our “neighbour” is, he told the parable of the Good Samaritan:

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Somehow, I don’t think this means that we should kick up a fuss about Romanians.

Christianity stands strong in the power of the Holy Spirit and the recorded words of Jesus Christ.

There doesn’t need to be a political party “standing up” for Christianity, especially as that tends to mean demonising Islam. In my view, we have much to learn from Muslims. Are our churches full five times a day with people on their knees praying?

Here’s a report from The Tablet of what Bishop William Kenney said this month:

Bishop William Kenney, who represents the English and Welsh hierarchy at the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (Comece), said: “I am not at all convinced that the policies that Ukip are proposing are the best things for the poor and underprivileged.”

Bishop Kenney added that he did not support Ukip’s policy of Britain withdrawing from the European Union.

“One of the things the EU has always stood for from its very founding is that all its members should have a standard of living which is in conformity with human dignity,” he told The Tablet. “I honestly believe we should be members of the EU. I just don’t see what the alternative is for a country like the UK.

“My big reason is the maintenance of peace. What has happened in the Ukraine should be convincing people that peace is not a given, you have to work for it. And you can only work for peace with other people, you can’t become a little of island of peace on your own.”

Published by Paul Walter, 12 Stanley Road, Newbury, RG14 7PB

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