With a Chinese husband, an Indian son-in-law and a Malay daughter-in-law, I am very familiar with those from a different background settling in Australia, but they have become part of our society while still retaining their culture, especially their delicious food. Not many people seem brave enough to say it, but with the rise of fundamentalism in Islam, Muslims are not being encouraged to integrate with the community - the Australia Day poster of 2 young Muslim girls fully covered except for their beautiful faces- is an example ( young girls used not to be compelled to do this).
Christians should be welcoming but are not always ( I can name 3 churches I have attended, where no-one spoke to me) but what of those who do not wish to be made feel welcome because they are intent on changing or damaging our society? A recent Facebook commentator made a good point - 'the role of government is not the same as the role of the church'. The government's role is to protect its citizens and the church must make every effort to be welcoming, even to the more mature like me.
As immigration has become a hot topic in the media this past week it is not surprising that extreme views are being expressed, and in Christian circles, ( from what I have read) the emphasis has been that we should welcome all refugees with open arms. This could lead to a very complicated theological debate but the reality of this in Europe, has opened huge gaps in society there.
Loving our friends and enemies is sound Biblical teaching but that does not mean we disengage our brains. Could the rise of Hitler, for example, been halted? As the saying goes, ‘not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims’. So what is my attitude towards refugees? I welcome all those who wish to be part of our society and contribute what they can to make this world a better place.