Evangelicals Are Less Likely to Welcome Refugees Than Non-Believers. How Did We Sink So Low? | Opinion

A study by Pew Research is making the rounds on Twitter and it has progressive Christians shouting into the void about the state of the church.

Respondents were asked if the US has a responsibility to accept refugees. Want to know the highest group committed to mercy and love toward the stranger? Those who said they are religiously unaffiliated. No, that wasn't a typo.

Sixty-five percent of those who claimed no religious affiliation also said they felt the U.S. had a responsibility to care for those who are being displaced by violence or war.

The definition of a refugee, according to Dictionary.com, "is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster."

You'd think the church would be all over helping the vulnerable. Think again. Only 25 percent of white evangelicals felt a responsibility to help people who have been forced to leave their country due to horrifying circumstances.

White evangelicals were the least likely of all groups to feel any responsibility for the very same people scripture says in Deuteronomy 10:18-19 that God loves.

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt."

Again, in Exodus 23:9, "Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt."

And listen, I could clap back like this all day. So when you have a minute feel free to browse Matthew 25:25-36, Job 31:32, Exodus 12:49, and a personal favorite, "cursed in anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow" (Deuteronomy 27:19. And all the people tweeted #amen.)

The fact that non-Christians, are more than twice as likely as white evangelicals to take the commands of Scripture seriously should tell us all that religion, as we know it, is broken.

We have a form of godliness, we call ourselves Christians, we like to sit in church pews and talk a good talk, but very few of us are actually walking the walk that Christ called us to in Matthew 25.

Paul warns his protégé Timothy of this in 2 Timothy 3:5. He says that in the last days, the church will have a form of godliness, but deny all the power of God, because they'll be living apart from Christ. Actually, if you read the text, when Paul warns Timothy of the last days, he doesn't warn him of terrible events, but terrible people.

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

In today's culture, while we have never had a generation more committed to rejecting religious affiliation quite like millennials and Gen Z, 90 percent of the US population say they do believe in a higher power, they just don't believe it is necessarily the God of the Scriptures. I personally think this is actually a rejection of many Christians' misinterpretation of God, a God that I believe Jesus himself would also reject.

One of my favorite sermons is by Pastor David Asscherick. It's called 5 Good Reasons NOT to be religious. Memorably, he says that religion is a pretty good place to hide from God.

When 65 percent of religiously unaffiliated people believe that we have responsibility to care for refugees, and only 25 percent of white evangelicals agree with them, I'd say he is right. Religion in the U.S. has become a lot of things but holding the power of God isn't one of them.

In fact, if you want to hide from God and His word, religion increasingly looks like a good place to start.

Dr. Heather Thompson Day is Communication Professor at Colorado Christian University, and a contributor to the Barna Group, an evangelical research institution. She can be found blogging on I'm That Wife.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.​​​​​