Russell Moore’s ERLC favorite Jenny Yang of World Relief says ‘Human relationships are more important than theology.’ And, ‘Almost every major Biblical figure was a refugee.’
Yang: Bible from Genesis to Revelation provides a Theology of Migration. ‘King Herod central figure in Christmas story.’
Jenny Yang is no stranger to making interesting statements. She’s claimed immigration to the United States is fulfilling the Great Commission. She’s claimed that National Security is the new Prosperity Gospel. Now, Yang has declared that relationships come before theology.
During a Christianity at the Border: Immigration Today event presented in November, Yang extolled relationships over theology as the basis of immigration policy. The IRD was first to report on this shocking statement in a post:‘Relationships before theology,’ Declares World Relief Official .
Yang said, “Relationships with people that are actually directly impacted can make a huge difference because it’s actually said behind every statistic is a human story.” And, “I think in general it always comes down to first relationships and secondly to theology.”
This won’t end well.
Without theology to anchor us, emotions will drive evangelicalism into heresy.
But don’t worry about that. Just keep those borders open.
And open they are. Yang said about 300,000 refugees were re-settled “over the last few years” by World Relief. That sounds lucrative since World Relief gets paid for this work.
According to the IRD report, “World Relief is a Baltimore-based Evangelical humanitarian nongovernmental organization that is a contract partner with the U.S. State Department in refugee resettlement.”
According to some research, it is a significant source of revenue in the World Relief budget. It accounts for perhaps as much as $215 million over the last decade from the government.
And Yang is promoted by Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Evangelical Immigration Table.
The ERLC included Yang on many panels over the last few years discussing immigration.
While Yang declares relationships should play a major role in Christian thinking about the border, she doesn’t abandon the Bible. In its pages, she sees a “theology of migration.”
“There is a theology of migration from Genesis to Revelation,” Yang said. “Almost every single major biblical figure” and story involved a migrant. Yang cited “whether it was Abraham who was called out of his homeland” or Ruth the Moabite woman who “was a migrant worker working the fields” or Joseph “who was a victim of human trafficking” and even Paul and Jesus were examples of migrants and refugees.
The holiday season even gives Christians the chance to dwell on a major character in the birth of Jesus.
Yang reinterprets the Christmas story to make King Herod a central character.
“King Herod was a central figure in the Christmas story. Because we know that when there was Jesus was born there was an edict out now all Jewish babies under the age of two were to be killed off and Mary and Joseph literally had to take Jesus and go into Egypt in order to save his life.
“Now in the story of Jesus is a story of a refugee. It’s a story of an individual who literally had to cross borders in order to find protection. And I think for many of us who follow Jesus and are in the church that these lessons and the reminders of what this holiday season is all about should remind us in our personal response our individual response to the immigrants that are coming into our communities, but I believe these biblical values and principles of hospitality and of welcome and even of compassion should also be reflected in how our government creates its laws in this policies.”
For a good synopsis of what was said at the event by Yang and the other participants, read the IRD report. They do great work.
So, where should theology rank in how a Christian views immigration? Above or below theology?
You can watch the entire event on Youtube.