Evangelicals and Immigration Reform
By the Cross Examinations Group
The Cross Examinations series asks pastors, professors, and writers to explore questions of vital importance to the church in a coherent and constructive manner. We hope that reflecting together will stimulate thought, focus conversation, and ultimately prove more edifying to online readers and to the church. Previous installments in the series have considered theological renewal amongst evangelical churches, the right relationship between evangelistic and social justice ministries, and evangelicalism and homosexuality.
The present installment asks the following question:
Immigration and illegal immigration are matters of grave ethical concern. Does the Bible give principles or insights that should guide Christian thinking on this issue? Is there a 'Christian position' on illegal immigration? Would it be un-Christian to expel illegal immigrants who have built their lives in the United States?
In addition to regular members of the Cross Examinations group, experts and activists in the area of immigration were invited to contribute. Thus our responders to the question are:
M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary, asks why "Christian responses" to the immigration crisis have so often been indistinguishable from secular responses.
John March, a church planter, pastor and blogger, offers four reasons why Christians should care about the plight of the immigrant.
Juan Martinez, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, suggests that "as Christians we need to look at the log in our own eye before we can remove the mote in the eye of the undocumented."
Kelly Monroe Kullberg, campus minister, bestselling author and Christian thought leader, encourages Christians to love "not only the foreigner who comes to us in need, but our neighbors, such as those in Arizona, whose needs are being ignored."
Glen Peterson, a founder of community organizations and partnerships serving the poor, writes that "Leaving the broken immigration system as it is only offers amnesty to human traffickers, smugglers, and unscrupulous employers who take advantage of migrants."
Mark D. Roberts, prominent speaker, author and blogger, supplies four biblical principles that pull Christians in different directions on the immigration debate.
Matthew Soerens, a citizenship counselor and author of a book on the immigration issue, points to "commonsense solutions that both honor the law and welcome the stranger."
Miguel de la Torre, professor of social ethics at Iliff School of Theology, speaks of "a moral obligation...to be illegal" and how Hispanic immigrants come "following what has been stolen."