Australia Christianity Justice Politics Theology

What should the Church do about Refugees?

Right now the EU countries are meeting and desperately trying to find a way to save Angela Merkel’s skin.  Having invited 1.2 million refugees into Germany she is finding that the price is a heavy one.  Meanwhile in Sweden a far right anti-immigrant party is about to become the main opposition party – in Italy and Malta refugees have been turned back.  The EU nations can and should complain about the callous attitude shown to immigrants and their children both by the current Trump administration and the previous Obama one; but the fact is that the EU policy of relying on the Mediterranean as their wall has resulted in thousands of deaths.    Meanwhile in Australia they are congratulating themselves that the rest of the Western world seems to be now following a policy that they all condemned.

What are we to make of all of this as Christians?  My fear is that we will respond according to our political views, rather than biblically.   We will use the Bible to justify those views.  We make simple issues that are really complex and we offer easy solutions where there are none.

But I want to reflect upon this from the perspective of what the church should do.   Last weekend I had the privilege of helping at a refugees picnic in Australia – I found the whole thing profoundly moving – and I know that Annabel has been greatly impacted by being involved in this work whilst we are in Australia.

I met a young boy who had spent one-third of his short life in a refugee camp in Lebanon and had just been in Australia for four months.  I really enjoyed getting to know him, his brother and his parents.  I can only imagine the trauma that that boy has been through.  So well done to Australia for taking that family in – and well done to Anglicare for seeking to provide real and genuine help.

On the plane back I was reminded of another story which we came across in Australia.  The BBC news on the plane had an interview with a Rohingya Muslim lady who had been gang raped by Burmese soldiers.  She said that aborting her child would have been a sin because neither she nor the child had done anything wrong.

She reminded me of a woman whose testimony was that she also had been raped and abused and seen all her family killed.  She came as a refugee to Australia and found she was pregnant.  She wanted to kill herself but found that her desire and love for her child kept her alive.  (a note for those Western liberals who want to impose abortion upon other countries as a condition of aid – perhaps killing the child in the womb doesn’t really help the victim of rape?).

Whilst the political and economic questions are complex and difficult for me the question as to what the church should do is easily answered.  Christ tells us.

  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.   “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’     “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25)


We are to do whatever we can to help.  The teaching of this passage is that those who refuse to take in the stranger, provide them with clothes, do not visit them in prison and do not give food and drink, deserve to go to hell.    After meeting with my young refugee friend I understand that passage so much better.  His name and face (which will remain anonymous) have been etched in my memory and will stay I hope in my prayers for the rest of my life.  But not just in my prayers.

I have one simple question to ask all of us in the evangelical church – We believe that the teaching of the Bible is essential and must be followed by the church, whatever the wider culture says.   God willing we will defend that doctrine and teaching to the end of our days – but what are we doing to practice what we preach?  Faith without deeds is dead.  This is should be on the priority list of every single Kirk Session and Deacons Court. For me it is a very personal question.  What will I say on the Day of Judgement?   What will you?

LED 20 – Refugees in Scotland; Saving the Jews; Anti-Nazis in Dundee; Banning Franklin Graham; Another Brexit Bus; Feminism; Bermuda and SSM; A Christmas Carol


  1. You desire a biblical response. So should we not prioritise doing good to the household of God and have a policy which discriminates in favour of refugees who are (nominally at least) Christian?

    1. That’s probably where we should start, along with a healthy dollop of ‘The poor will always be with you’ to remind us that jumping on ‘Make poverty history’ bandwagons is unbiblical.

      1. Dominic,
        I have occasionally had the thought that my calling in life is to stand in front of bandwagons and be run over by them but it is just as unbiblical to misimprove ‘The poor will always be with you’ to stop us from doing with all our might what our hands find to do to help [cf. Ecclesiastes 9:10]. Rather than jump on the bandwagon (or stand in front of it for that matter) I think that investigating the work of the International Justice Mission would be a good place to start.

      2. Nowhere did I say do nothing. I DID say that to join a bandwagon which has as its title something Jesus himself told us would never happen is not the action of a wise Christian.

      3. I’m quite happy for you to advise against signing up to such programmes, Dominic,
        but I’m not happy with your exposition. What the Lord Jesus was saying is that there are always opportunities to help the poor, not that asperations to eradicate poverty are wrong. One doesn’t have to be a Postmillennialist to work for the kingdom and using this remark — so obviously out of context, by the way — to excuse inactivity is woeful. We can do better.

      4. So when he said “For ye have the poor with you always” you don’t think he meant it, but was saying something entirely different instead? Either he said the above, which is clear in meaning, or the Bible is in error. Which are you going for? And don’t try twisting the words, they are absolutely clear in their meaning – poverty CANNOT be eradicated in this world.

      5. In my experience, Dominic,
        it’s not normal for a person who begins: ‘What the Lord Jesus was saying is …’ to then go on and twist the meanings of words. I’m pretty sure that that’s not your experience either. I respectively suggest you go back and read the context of the passage. It seems pretty clear to me who it was that would not always have the Lord Jesus with them and if we ought not read oureelves into that number, we may not insist that poverty cannot be eradicated, at least, not from this verse.

      6. It is clearly what Jesus says. Add it into the reality of a fallen world and sinful and depraved mankind it is clearly also true.

      7. No, Dominic,
        we have reached the pantomime stage of this discussion and nothing will be served by me ineptly trying to reason with you about this. All I can do here is deny that Jesus ever said that poverty cannot be eradicated in this world. I did not mean to push you into saying such a thing, so I apologise.

  2. Good intentions about refugees are not enough. We must still answer two related and difficult questions: who is a refugee and who is a migrant? And what is the right level of immigration / refugees to take in?

    We cannot help everyone. One needy person coming to the UK must compete with all other needy persons in the UK for the limited state or charity or church support available. Therefore, we must limit and choose and draw lines. These are political questions which have no clear biblical answers.

    We cannot do whatever we can for 7 billion human beings. We are forced to decide who to help and who not to. Choosing to help local population over refugees is a hard choice but as valid as the other way round.

  3. Hi David,

    Thank you for your article, a very important issue.

    I live on the tip of Africa and we see the same issues here, we have millions of refugees from further north and it is draining South Africa’s resources.

    What caused these poor refugees to leave their own country in the first place.

    War, created by the arms industry in the West? Famine? Poverty? Banking Globalist debt? Corrupt Politicians?

    Where can Christians can play an important role in their own countries to stop the wars, famine, banking debt, unfair trade deals and hold their own and African countries politicians to account.

    We suffer from weak Christian leadership. Forgive us Father.

  4. The UK sends more aid to refugee camps in the Middle East than anyone else. It is this kind of outreach support that is best for everyone.

    There is one charity (as an example) with shops in our town which sends money and aid to improve the lives of orphans IN Romania.

    1. Outreach support does not protect women from gang rape. Getting them to a safe country does.

      1. So why are we taking people from the safety of France?

        And given the massive group grooming and rape crisis in every city in this country why is this a safe haven?

  5. Thanks David I am aware from my conversations with Australian Baptists in Melbourne a few years ago what a blessing work amongst refugees has been to the churches there. The same testimony can be given in parts of Europe as well. What is needed is a grown up policy on immigration not a hysterical reaction to it amongst government leaders. I heard some interesting comments from a small number of Middle Eastern Christian leaders on what Angela Merkel did re letting so many Middle Eastern people and others into Germany recently – they raised the pertinent point that not all those people had a legitimate reason for coming to Europe and they doubted we in Europe would be able to identify those who, for example, were supportive of various Islamist terror groups. Had there been co-operation with Middle Eastern countries on that senior police officers and others could have been seconded to advise and easily identify certain individuals who should have been prevented from settling there. Too many of the problems have been of our own making as European countries.

  6. Have you ever wondered why here in U.K we have so few Christian refugees from Syria? It stems from the innocent policy of David Cameron to get needy refugees from U.N camps in both Syria and surrounding countries.The fact is ,very few Christians are in such camps.
    not a safe place for Christians to be.BarnabasAid working amongst persecuted Christian worldwide is helping to re-settle needy Christians from the ground In Syria to Australia and other open countries.

  7. One thing your piece doesn’t feature is a distinction between economic migrants and genuine asylum seekers. If life is hard it’s easy to see the west as some sort of promised land; where folk are coming from where there is little or no war, persecution or political upheavals they are economic migrants. To burden another nation with these folk is unfair and our governments have been remiss in one of their central roles; to protect and defend our borders. This aspect of the debate needs to be debated and looked at honestly and we need, as a British nation, to understand that if we have 2 million illegal immigrants, what the real cost of that influx actually is.

    1. It was noted yesterday that the UK population increased by a further 390,000 last hear. That is a phenomenal amount. More than live in Plymouth, which has numerous schools and surgeries, and a general hospital, and a private hospital, and I could go on. We simply cannot build enough, fast enough, nor staff it – even if we could afford it. By overstretching this country we are making it gradually become impossible to help anyone in their own countries. Is it really Biblical to turn our country into a place which can’t even look after those who live here, and then bring people into a country which has numerous abuse issues, and untold social and housing problems?

      1. Some immigrants are living in appalling conditions and look what happened at Grenfell tower. The UK is often known abroad as ‘that free country’. When people arrive they find they are worse off. There isn’t enough manpower to vet every potential immigrant. It is an impossible situation isn’t it?
        There is also the need for people to organise a revolution in their own country but perhaps with modern weaponry it would be impossible. The UK though is proving to be an unsuitable place of refuge for anybody, even its own citizens!!! May the Lord return soon!

  8. Compassion is a virtue, but there is a need for borders. Borders are biblical – God gave his people their own land. A refugee is someone who travels over a border to seek refuge as did the holy family. Countries like Lebanon are taking an enormous strain at the moment and we should put our efforts into assisting them and getting people back to their home land. Giving an open invitation as Merkel did is tantamount to civilisational suicide.
    England is becoming a country I know longer recognise. I grew up in an area with a large Jewish community, which was swelled after the Holocaust. The Jews are different, but peaceful, and business community minded and there were no major problems. The influx of Muslim refugees is totally different. I detest the burka and the exclusion that they place around themselves. We now have second generation Muslims becoming more radical than their parents and have Jihad attacks by those who have benefitted from refuge. Some major cities in the UK are now over 80% Muslim, the death of Imam recently had 10,000 men (only) kneeling and praying in Birmingham. Our only response as Christians must be to get on our knees and humble ourselves before God to enable us to convert the secularists and the Muslims to ensure that we pass on a peaceful and godly governed land to our descendants.

  9. Dominic Stockford and John Kilpatrick
    I think the context makes the meaning very clear:

    Matthew 26:6ff

    Jesus Anointed at Bethany
    While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
    When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
    Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.

    1. It may not be irrelevant that the disciple who makes that over-quoted objection was named, in John’s account of the incident, as Judas – and his reason was about helping himself, not anyone else.

  10. John K and Dominic S.
    Poverty in this country in some areas has sunk to levels not seen since wartime!
    We are grossly grossly over taxed in this country, in every way possible. Governments and Local Councils keep inventing taxes to take more of our money. Large corporations and millionaires avoid tax every year. Not so easy for the rest of us to do that!
    Government wastes, misuses tax revenues. How much did the Iraq war cost us?

    This is my ‘man on the street’ attempt at economics put together in 10 mins. What would a ‘real’ economist tell us?

    What is the internal and external debt of the UK? (I don’t know)

    1)The NHS has been mismanaged for decades. The NHS has been misused and abused for decades – costing the tax payer billions of pounds. People with self-inflicted illnesses, drug abuse; alcoholism; obesity; violent crime; – drain NHS resources. How much money is spent on sex-change operations? In order to save money, supervisory roles were done away with resulting in shoddy practices, infections, and clinical negligence lawsuits costing £1.6 billion last year alone (according to The Independent).

    2)The Social Welfare Benefits System has been misused and abused for decades costing the tax payer billions of pounds.(My husband and I just recently bought a bed in a store and the lady serving us said that a couple with 4 children had just been in before us ordering a load of furniture for their house. They bought it on credit. She said she did the financial assessment for them and they were getting £2,500 a week on benefits. They had every scam going. She was his carer and he was her carer etc etc. She could not report them because of data protection laws and they knew it. They were protected by the law. That is only one case). (The Guardian cited an estimate of £1.3 bn annually in benefit fraud)
    Meanwhile, genuinely needy people and the disabled got their benefits slashed so severely they are pushed into poverty.
    3) Personal Debt: According to The Money Charity:-
    People in the UK owed £1.576 trillion at the end of January 2018. This is up from £1.52 trillion at the
    end of January 2017– an extra £1,077.51 per UK adult.
    The average total debt per household – including mortgages – was £57,943 in January. The revisedfigure for December was £57,820.
    4) Students: The Guardian reported in 2017: Students from the poorest 40% of families entering university in England for the first time this September will emerge with an average debt of around £57,000.
    5) One of the last bastions of truly “British Values” is charitable giving. Where does our money go both for national and overseas giving? People are dying and fleeing because of corrupt governments.
    The Spectator (2015 report) “The problem is that fundraising is entirely self-regulatory. The Charities Commission is the government body in charge of how charities perform their good works, while the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) receives complaints from the public about how money is being raised.” Not sure how true this is but “A Sun investigation recently found that Peter Wanless of the NSPCC, a charity supported by Olive Cooke, was earning £162,000 a year; Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty was on £200,000; Age UK chief executive Tom Wright earned £180,000. The RSPCA — whose website home page is one huge advert in large print screaming ‘Help Save Animals Today Donate Now’ — paid its last chief executive, Gavin Grant, £160,000.”

    How do we tackle all this?!!!

    1. Martha,
      we can quite legitimately tackle all these issues by surrendering them to God in prayer. Saints who do this don’t make a noise about it; whereas those who ‘pray’ by telling God just how he should reward them seem to want all of us to hear them ‘thank God that they are not as other men.’ The world has a saying that such and such a problem is ‘above my paygrade’ and we should not despise the reasoning for — [Luke 16:8b] — ‘the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.’

      However, if we are to talk about it and vote about it, we need to pray for wisdom for, in many ways, it is much more complicated than Rocket Science. First of all, we need to realise that money and wealth are not the same thing. This difference is epitomised by the proverbial man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. We can be thoroughly deceived about wealth, as well, of course — cf. Luke 12:15b: ‘… one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ — but it is specifically the love of money that is a root of all kinds of evils [1 Tim. 6:10a]. We are not to put into the same category: the American of Scots extraction who beomes a prodigious accumulator of wealth; and the miser who keeps his money in a shoebox under his bed and is forever rifling through his banknotes. If you like, wealth is a possession and money is a promise; wealth is cultivated whereas money is controlled; money grows on the magic money tree [aka the Economy] whereas wealth is the soil that the tree needs and doesn’t always get; and our wealth is ours to use as we see fit whereas we only have stewardship of money which in a very real sense is never ours.

      (As always, when we make a distinction between one thing and another, cases will arise where ‘wealth’ ought to be treated as ‘money’ and vice versa.)

      God is not poor.


      1. John K. Not sure I follow all of what you say. My amateur economics was to show that ‘economically’ the UK is in a bad state, although we are considered a wealthy nation. I spoke to a top level economist I know over the last year and he said we have only seen the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as to how bad our economy really is. I am curious now to send him an email and pick his brains.
        What happened to the great Greek empire? Greece was bailed out just a few short years ago. What will happen to the Great British Empire? Is it not already on it’s knees?
        Maybe you don’t do the shopping in your house, but I find myself alarmed at the huge price increases in staples over the last few years. It is getting increasingly difficult to feed a family. Families are under terrible financial strain and pressure. You can eat neither money nor wealth!
        We can’t pray our way out of everything as we always ‘reap what we sow’. We will reap what our government sows.
        For me the problem with immigration and refugees is that the issue cannot be dealt with, with a blanket approach and dealing with it properly requires too much manpower for which the government won’t pay.

      2. Sorry to be obtuse, Martha,
        but people do, quite legitimately, have differing political opinions and I was trying to put forward a couple of Christian principles in such a way that all might be able to apply them. Obviously a ‘One-Nation’ Conservative is going to see differently from a Democratic Socialist (and a Nationalist ought to be pointing out that the smaller a liberal democracy is, the better it is able to handle welfare.)

        That apart, acts of mercy are part of the family business and we ought to be investing in it: [Jas. 1:27] ‘Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.’

        Furthermore, we can just pray our way out of everything — Does the name George Müller of Bristol mean anything? — but you are right that if we don’t sow we won’t reap.

        Have a look at this version of Ps. 126. I wrote it to fit the big tune in the fourth movement of Brahms’s First Symphony; the tune that Neil Kinnock was playing in his car when he had his near-fatal accident so I call the tune Kinnock’s Escape.

        The LORD turned around the
        captivity of Zion.
        We found ourselves like
        those who awake still dreaming;
        our mouths filled with laughter,
        shouting, rejoicing.
        Nations report the news:
        ‘The LORD who does great things
        has done so for them!’
        We gladly say, ‘Amen.’

        Turn round now our capture
        like rivers return to deserts.
        Precious seed’s sown therefore
        soon we shall reap with shouting.
        He who goes out weeping,
        doubtless, returning,
        will come again with joy —
        The LORD who does great things
        has done so for us —
        with sheaves at harvest home.


  11. I think some of these comments show the depressing hypocrisy that outsiders see when they see Evangelical Christianity. On the one hand, they demand the Bible be taken literally with respect to LGBT people, when it doesn’t concern them. However, when you post an excellent article on taking the Bible literally with respect to the poor and refugees, actions which may make your evangelical readers uncomfortable or inconvenienced, suddenly there is nuance, distinctions and excuses in the comments.

    For example, things like we must look after Christians first, we send them lots of money and that’s enough, and we need to decide whether they are economic migrants or not, do not seem up to the standard expounded by Jesus.

    Thanks for the challenging article.

    1. LGBTism DOES concern the church of Christ. It is sin. We have to speak and preach against all sin. We cannot allow it to be presented as acceptable in the Church, nor should we allow it to be thrust down our children’s throats.

      1. Dominic,
        Since Frederick is talking about ‘ the depressing hypocrisy that outsiders see when they see Evangelical Christianity’ it’s not enough for us just to say that the impression that outsiders get is wrong. Moreover, not only predatory, scandal-hungry journalists need to be told what sin is, because we too are liable to forget. [James 4:17] ‘So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.’ We have been for far too long, conscious of our inadequacy but not seeking our sufficiency where it is to be found in God — [cf. 2 Cor. 2 & 3] — we demonstrate our devotion to duty by passing by on the other side.
        Just how are we to let our light shine before men? By what measure ought we to be meting out good to all men? Doesn’t ‘the victory that overcomes the world’ also ‘move mountains’? Just asking.

  12. I agree Dominic. It is not a simplistic solution of helping anyone and everyone. We are told in the Bible to help our neighbour ‘if it is in our power to do so’. Prayer is a sure and certain start! Sometimes it is not within our power! My husband was listening to this by R C Sproul following today, I thought it was very apt and insightful. It is 12 minutes long.

  13. Let us be careful when quoting passages such as Matt 25. Are we subtly pressing Jesus into our socialist mode? Who is the ‘you’? Is it a collectivistic you? Or is he speaking to me?

    1. “And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

      That part of Matthew 25 could be used to present a very interesting case against giving aid….

      (Probably quite wrongly).

  14. Matt 26 was quoted as there was some discrepancy about what it meant. Jesus said “The poor you will always have with you”. I don’t believe in the Make Poverty History Movement. I don’t think it is workable. But I do believe, as Christians, we always need to be ready to help those in need. But poverty is complicated and throwing money at it doesn’t work as we know. One example, in this country, is government cutting benefits for sick and disabled people, who genuinely need the support, thereby pushing them into poverty.
    With regard to the Rohingya people, let us not forget the Rohingya Christians, the outcasts of the outcasts. Open Doors is a good organisation to support. Some good prayer points below too. Let us pray!
    The Rohingya people are a Muslim minority in a Buddhist country, who face intense persecution. Myanmar refuses to acknowledge Rohingyas, saying they are Bengali immigrants. Bangladesh, on the other hand, says they’re indigenous to Myanmar. They are denied citizenship and only receive highly restricted access to healthcare and education. They have no freedom of movement and suffer countless violent attacks.

    There are a number Christian converts among the Rohingya people. To be a Christian Rohingya is to be an outcast of the outcasts. These believers from a Muslim background are doubly disadvantaged and are ostracised by their own people. Many Rohingya Christians choose to keep their faith a secret, living in a manner which will not arouse their community’s suspicion.

    Praise God for His protection over our team as they distributed the aid.
    That a proper place of refuge and safety would be provided for the refugees
    For the UN and those in power as they find a resolution that will put an end to this crisis.

    1. Your comment is sensible, not filled with pious rectitude, but acknowledging the difficulties of life along with the power of God. Thank you.

  15. This is now a huge problem and impossible to help everyone everywhere. First of all we should be helping our own brethern that is what we are called to do then we are called to help others. How can we always put the unbeliever before those of the household of God? How can we always favour other ‘religions’ before our own? Yes we are called to witness by faith in action, have compassion on the lost (where are these incompatible?) yet are we not also called to be wise with resources? We cannot help everyone where does the Bible say so? Where does it say we are called to eradicate poverty in this lifetime? We are called to help where we are and for each of us it will be different. Where does the Bible say we are all called to be social justice warriors? We are called to be obedient to God, to Jesus and His Word. We will always have the poor, injustice, the homeless (for various reasons) the hungry again for various reasons etc…..but first, again I repeat we are called to help our brethern in need. What about the UN/UK/Europe giving refuge to the many Christians around the world who genuinely are being killed/persecuted for being Christian?
    Yes, non-believers are our mission field, I get that, but what about our own, it’s heartbreaking. Come quickly Lord.

    1. Well said Jacqueline! Maybe we are too afraid of sounding mean and uncharitable. But you are right we have to be wise …..and biblical! I was reminded of Galatians 6: 9&10. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” We desperately need to spend too on spreading the gospel both here and abroad…the church’s primary call!

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