I’ve been thinking about immigration reform for a while. The OT verses by the Prophets speak about caring for the alien or the stranger in our midst: Jer 7:6, Jer 22:3, Ezek 22:7,29,Mal 3:5. So I was wondering if the US is acting in the same way as Israel was. I read a book that spoke to this:
and I am currently reading:
These verses and readings have convinced me that the correct thing to do as a Christian is to advocate for amnesty for illegal aliens and to make it easier for them to find work to become productive citizens. Not to grant them instant citizenship though. The author of the second book mentioned a group created to advocate for this that is made up of a diverse group of Christian leaders; the head of Assembly of God is one of them. After reading about this group I ran across an ad they placed on the internet. Here is their link: http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/
Here are their principles (as written on their website). I’m still waiting to hear back from them regarding several of the points below; how do they intend to secure the borders and what does it mean to respect the rule of law? But I think I agree, in principle, with what they are advocating.
As evangelical Christian leaders, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Respects the rule of law
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
I’m going to start writing my elected representatives to let them know I favor grace for these human beings.
The key verses for the author of On God’s Side are found in Matthew 25, particularly verse 35. Christian principles aside, the poem on the Statue of Liberty says:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
So a question for me is what should I do to care for the poor, the alien, the other? I don’t know…but I am searching.
On another subject…as a believer in the sanctity of life I have always felt that it is wrong for the US to execute prisoners. The US is one of the few developed countries that still do this. I know there are many Christians who believe the Bible supports capital punishment, citing Gen 9:6. I ran across another verse that makes me believe I am right in advocating a consistent pro-life ethic: the second half of James 2:13…mercy triumphs over justice.
Anyways, I would encourage you to read Jim Wallis’s book, On God’s Side. There is a lot to chew on in it. Your thoughts are certainly welcome. I gotta go…