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Justin Beiber's Pastor Carl Lentz Says The Church's Job is to Love Refugees

( [email protected] ) Feb 02, 2017 11:21 AM EST
Justin Bieber's pastor, Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz, has urged the church to love and pray for refugees, warning that how we respond to the hurting "is perhaps the greatest indicator of what we really believe."
Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz Getty Images

Justin Bieber's pastor, Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz, has urged the church to love and pray for refugees, warning that how we respond to the hurting "is perhaps the greatest indicator of what we really believe."

In a recent Facebook post, Lentz weighed in on President Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily ban refugees from seven countries from the United States.

"We can have opinions about who we vote for. We can have opinions about policies and law making procedures. We cannot, however, have opinions about who we love. 'The least of these' are not an option, they are not an afterthought, they are not a hindrance ... they are the lifeblood of the gospel and how we respond to the hurting, is perhaps the greatest indicator of what we really believe ... may we not be found wanting," Lentz wrote in a Facebook caption to a video in which he addresses his congregation on the matter.

"We're going to stand together and we're going to pray for the refugees. We're going to pray for the ostracized. We're going to pray for those that have nowhere else to go, nobody to put a roof over their head, nobody that would open the door," he said.

"It's the government's job to create laws to protect our country. We do need reforms, we do need things to change, but it's the church's job to love," he continued. "It's the church's job to not see where you're from, to not see the color of your skin, to not see what you have in your possession - to love you simply for the fact that we have been loved."

In a separate Facebook post, another prominent religious leader, evangelist Franklin Graham - who has actively supported the ban - similarly suggested that the job of the government isn't the same as that of the church.

Graham, the leader of the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, said that President Trump is simply protecting the Constitution and the safety of Americans by signing the executive order.

"Taking action to secure our borders had to start somewhere," he said. "Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is a first step. As they work on solutions during this 90-day travel ban, unfortunately there are some innocent families caught in this time of transition."

Graham took his argument a step further, arguing that the vetting process needs to apply to people coming into the U.S. from all countries-not just seven.

"We have to be sure that the philosophies of those entering our country are compatible with our Constitution," he said. "If a person does not agree with our principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty, which we cherish, they should not be allowed to come. Without question, Sharia law is not compatible."

Billy Graham's son went on to address a number of critics who slammed him for supporting the ban, arguing that the president's job is not the same as the job of the church.

"As Christians we are clearly taught in the Bible to care for the poor and oppressed," he said, pointing out that Samaritan's Purse has provided aid to those in the Middle East for over three decades and recently opened a field trauma hospital in Iraq to help Muslims persecuted by other Muslims.

"As Christians we are commanded to help all, regardless of religious background or ethnicity, like the Good Samaritan Jesus shared about in the Bible," he said. "Our job is to show God's love and compassion. I believe the best way to help is to reach out and help these people in their own countries."

Graham went on to say he supports the establishment of "safe zones" inside Syria and Iraq that would be protected by the international community until a political solution is found.

"We need to pray for political solutions that would bring peace and allow them to return to their homes as they desire," he concluded.

The executive order, part of Trump's campaign promise to crackdown on immigration, targets seven Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.

Tags : Hillsong, Carl Lentz, Justin Bieber, refugee, Franklin Graham