Pastor Dan Scott of Christ Church Nashville, 30 percent of whose congregation is made up of immigrants, says President Donald Trump’s attempts at a travel ban for refugees is “at odds with the Gospel.”
Scott told The Christian Post in a phone interview that Christ Church, a “spirit-filled evangelical Christian community” in Tennessee, has been helping refugees from different nations settle into the United States for many years now.
Christ Church, he explained, has been assisting many people from Nepal, as well as from a number of nations in Africa and Asia, along with Latin America, learn the language and other important things they need to know, such as the U.S. financial system.
“We help them with things like clothing, and just make friends with them, open up our church for them,” so that they can “become members and part of our spiritual family here,” he told CP.
Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27 that temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days; indefinitely suspended Syrian refugees, and barred visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.
The travel ban was hit by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington, on Friday, who halted the temporary measure. On Sunday, a U.S. appeals court denied a request from the Department of Justice to restore Trump’s order.
Scott criticized the temporary ban for the lack of proper explanation, and for not giving people time to prepare for it, at least two weeks or so in advance.
“I think it was mean spirited, I think it represents a rising tide of nationalism that is at odds with the Gospel,” the pastor said.
Speaking about the Christian responsibility when it comes to refugees, he argued it should always be one of “openness and kindness.”
Scott said that in both the Old and New Testaments, Christian faith “as such does not recognize national boundaries.”
“It is a nation without boundaries, it is an international nation itself. A kingdom. All Christian are dual citizens: where they reside, and the Kingdom of God,” he continued.
“As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we ought to see all human beings as created in the image and the likeness of God. As Christians, we believe that Christ died for all, and we are to give witness to all, and kindness and consideration to all. We risk harm to ourselves in order to show care to others.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post