Christians and Immigration Reform

30 05 2014

In my opinion everything is America has become political. This speaks to our shame not our benefit. The seriousness of the problem is not just that we have become hyper political but that the church has become so involved in politics that she can in many ways no longer minister the grace of God properly as she should. Being a Christian and a Republican have unfortunately become considered synonymous. I think we approach everything as conservatives or Republicans more often then we approach them as Christians, servants of the Most High God and representatives of Jesus Christ.

I think we need to stop asking ourselves if something is conservative but instead ask ourselves if it’s Christian. When the issue of immigration reform comes up we automatically respond with the line of the Republican Party and not the Word of God. We need to consider the Biblical aspect as well as the human aspect of any such reform. We (and I mean Christians) act as though we have some special place in this world that nobody else needs to have. We act as though we need to keep others out of this blessing that we have. We often forget that we were once immigrants to this land and took much of the land from the natives already here.

We were seeking success, and wealth, and freedom and we forget there are still those out there seeking those things in this land. We fail to ask how God would treat such individuals. We fail to ask if they as humans should be granted the same freedoms we have here in America. I am not necessarily in favor of blanket amnesty for illegal aliens but I am in favor of treating them in a Godly and human manner.

I’m not going to throw out a series of Bible verses to justify or to condemn immigration reform but there are a few things the Bible says. First of all the Bible says that Governement is ordained of God an the powers that be are ordained of God.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)

The Bible commands kindness to the sojourner or immigrant.

“And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)

I think we need balance when approaching political subjects from a Biblical perspective. We need to apply our faith and values not the party line to our political stands. So what can we say about the immigration issue from a Biblical perspective? Well first things first: the government has the right to set the laws and we don’t have the right to disobey government unless they violate God’s laws. Illegal immigration is wrong plain and simple. Those who violate them should be held accountable.

What do we do with those who are here illegally? Well the Republican in us says kick them all up and seal the borders. What should the Christian in us say? I have seen situations where a child born here is a citizen and the parents are illegal. The parents were being watched by the government and were taken and deported while shopping leaving the child in the custody of family. In some cases the child didn’t know anything for weeks except that mom and dad never came home. Is this Christian? Does the breaking up of family glorify God?

We need to approach the issue from a compassionate and yet Constitutional point of view. We can’t have a policy of deporting parents when their children are citizens and we can’t Constitutionally deport the children who are legal citizens. So what’s the answer? I will be honest that I don’t have it nor am I coming to this as a know it all. I’m just making a sincere plea for us to be sure that we view all things in light of the Bible and the compassion that is becoming of the people of God.

We know the system is broken and none can argue there. I think we need to secure our borders and enforce the laws that we have or change those laws in a legal, Constitutional manner. We need a way for those brought here as children and have grown up here to become citizens and carry on the only way of life they have known. This could be graduating college or joining the military. I think anyone who risks life and limb for our nation should be granted full citizenship. We need to deal with those who are here and that may involve giving legal status.

Most illegal immigrants are not vicious criminals or seeking welfare. Most of them are coming from poverty and hunger seeking a place of opportunity. Seeking good education, clean water and the chance to give their families a better life. We need to be compassionate in our immigration policy. Right now most will agree our system is expensive and drawn out. This encourages the behavior we see. It can be so expensive the poorest seeking a better life cannot afford to seek it. Is God pleased by our casting them out? I don’t think He is.

Cubans come here and receive automatic citizenship. This makes our system biased and unfair. We show partiality which the Bible never encourages. We need to be fair with those seeking the refuge and benefits of the American life. Secure our borders…yes. Have a penalty for those who broke the law…yes. Fix our system…of course.

How do we deal with those already here? Those brought here but had no control need to be given a way to stay here. Those who have children who are legal citizens need a way to be able to stay here. Those gainfully employed and contributing to our society need a way to stay here. Those who only want to be here at certain times to work need to be given a way to come do that. All others need to be dealt with in a compassionate but fair way to either be sent back or given a way to stay. All prisoners being supported by taxpayers need to be sent back to their country of origin and the burden taken off the American taxpayer.

How ever we deal with this issue it needs to be Constitutional, compassionate and in light of what the Scriptures teach.

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