War Zone or Comfort Zone?

In recent days, I have been confronted with the thoughtful challenge as to whether or not it is right for a Christian to leave a country that seems to be falling apart. The conversations and questions have been honest and sincere. I have appreciated the opportunity to revisit this matter, for this is certainly not a theoretical issue for those of us living in South Africa. The question of “fight or flight?” is once again being put before us.

Recent dialogues on talk shows have at times shared the common thread of comparing South Africa with the downgrade of Zimbabwe. Some business leaders are saying that we are “heading north,” as it were, with our economy (which is another way of saying that our economy is actually heading south!). Are they correct? I don’t know.

Of course, the violent eruptions on most of our state-run universities is a cause for deep alarm. As I read many of the accounts, the word “anarchy” comes to mind. The most recent crime stats released by the Minister of Police are not encouraging. Generally speaking, crime is a long way from being under control. We are justified in questioning, what does the future hold for us in South Africa? In many ways, our country at times seems like a war zone and so, again, should we stay and fight or is flight the wiser course? After all, what about our children, what kind of a future do they have here in the land of the Protea? I don’t know, and none of us are prophets. And so, in light of the current unsettling realities, if you have the opportunity to emigrate from South Africa, should you? Again, I don’t know. As Paul reminds us, it is before the Lord our Master that we stand or fall (Romans 14:4). We answer ultimately to Him.

Nevertheless, though each of us must decide for ourselves, such a decision should be made only in light of a full-orbed scriptural picture. In this article I want to make the argument that the Christian should give strong consideration to remaining within a kind of “war zone” rather than fleeing to a perceived comfort zone.

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