Part one of this series showed the lying and hypocrisy by the Left concerning the enforcement of illegal immigration laws. It also noted that the National Association of Evangelicals has chosen to join in the criticism by the Left.
However, the NAE is not the only Christian organization which agrees with the critique. The largest Protestant church denomination in the country and a sizeable group of Catholic Bishops forcefully concur.
The NAE, SBC, and Bishops are guilty of selective outrage
The NAE is guilty of an ideological bias and selective outrage against the current president. The bias is apparent when the last statement by the NAE concerning illegal immigration had no condemnation for separating children from parents even though that policy was in force then. Simply put, it was all good when Obama did it, but demonic when Trump does it.
The same hypocrisy is evident with both the SBC and Catholics. They did not express such outrage in 2014 at Obama, though there is much shrieking about Trump now.
There is one other factor common to all these groups. They have a supply of scriptural justifications for their positions. And they are mistaken in those justifications.
The Mistaken Biblical Justifications
One example of these mistaken biblical justifications is from the SBC Resolution “On Immigration and The Gospel,” from 2011. There are similar examples of such statements in the Catholic church and other groups.
WHEREAS, Our ancestors in the faith were sojourners and aliens in the land of Egypt (Exodus 1:1-14; 1 Chronicles 16:19; Acts 7:6)…
How this applies to illegal immigration into the United States is an exegetical mystery. This seems to equate 400 years of slavery with people trying to illegally enter the country.
There are numerous other verses cited. All used to attempt making the case for amnesty being given to illegal aliens within the country. However multiple millions there may be in the nation at present.
RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country…
There are sections within the resolution which stress the right of the nation to secure borders and to control immigration by law. However, the same document seeks to exempt millions of illegal aliens from doing what 1 million legal immigrants have to do every year; get in line, legally.
The Refugee Plea Is Disingenuous
One of the key concepts within the Christian community concerning immigration is the idea that Joeseph, Mary and the infant Jesus became refugees when they fled to Egypt in Matthew 2:13-14. Because of this, it is claimed that God favors immigrants who are refugees themselves.
While this seems straightforward, it is disingenuous to claim that the plight of today’s ‘refugees’ is comparable to the plight of the Savior’s human family. The proper term today for a family in that circumstance would be an asylum-seeker.
Most of those called ‘refugees’ today are not in life-threatening situations of persecution, as Jesus was. The SBC resolution lays out the acceptable motivations of those who seek to come here illegally.
WHEREAS Many of these persons, desiring a better future for themselves and their families, are fleeing brutal economic and political situations
Jesus’ family was not running from ‘brutal economic and political situations.’ They were fleeing for their lives from a ruthless king. That is a justifiable and legal reason to seek asylum in the United States right now.
The New Executive Order Will Not Satisfy the Left or the NAE
President Trump issued a new executive order on June 21, 2018, which would mandate keeping families together in holding facilities while their claims are processed. That sounds like a quick fix for this problem the Left has been screaming about, and now all should be well, right? Wrong!
Instead, the minions of the Left lined up to denounce this executive order as being worse because now whole families were going to be detained. Moreover, the chief objection in the misguided NAE stand is the “zero tolerance” policy, and this EO explicitly keeps it in force.
There is a saying worth remembering by folks at the NAE, SBC, Catholic Bishops and others. When you sleep with dogs you’re going to wind up with fleas. The leftist power brokers are like dishonorable dogs. They would love to infect those of faith with their socialist ‘fleas,’ as I have chronicled elsewhere.
The Biblical Teaching on Borders and Immigration
The Apostle Paul says the following during his speech at the Areopagus in Athens.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place… Acts 17:26 [ESV]
People divided into nations after God scattered them at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11.
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:9 [ESV]
We know they became nations because, in the next chapter of Genesis, God begins calling Abram to be the father of “many nations.” In fact, verse one states that Abram was to leave his ‘country.’
The Authority of the Law
The Bible classifies what we call ‘immigrants’ today as “sojourners” and “foreigners” in the land. The LORD calls upon His people to treat them with kindness and charity. However, this is subsumed to the command to obey the lawful authority of the nation in which His people live.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1,2 [ESV]
This passage should not be understood as giving the ruling authorities a tyrannical power to do whatever they wish. Nor should it be interpreted as requiring absolute obedience to unlawful authority.
Moreover, those who were “sojourners” in the Bible are never automatically given a citizenship status. Instead, they were required to observe all the same laws as those who were citizens.
You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 24:22 [ESV]
The entire 24th chapter of Leviticus and many other passages reinforce this notion that foreigners, i.e. illegal aliens or legal immigrants, must be governed by the existing law of the land. In fact, this multitude of passages requires that foreigners must assimilate to the law and customs of the land they reside in.
That kind of wisdom governed the United States’ immigration law many years ago, and we were a better country because of it. We should return to that policy today, and pray that the LORD will give our leaders the wisdom and strength to enforce it.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
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