Conservative Christians and immigration reform

A group of Bible-believing Christians has formed the Evangelical Immigration Table to promote immigration reform. It is promoting what it is calling the “I Was a Stranger” Challenge.  They give you 40 Bible passages that have to do with how we should treat immigrants.  They ask you to read, meditate, and pray about each one, one a day, over 40 days.  And then see what you think about immigration reform.  After the jump, read the details and see the 40 Bible passages.

The organization includes lots of religious conservatives, though also some on the evangelical left. (See this.)  At any rate, it is clear that the Bible tells us to be kind to “sojourners.”  One could make a case that Christians should champion immigration reform because it is the right thing to do and also because the immigrants in question tend to be religious, pro-family, pro-life, anti-homosexuality, and potential cultural and political allies.  Do you agree?  If not, could reading the 40 Bible passages at least in theory change your mind?

From Religious conservatives make moral case for immigration reform – The Washington Post:

Advocates of a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s immigration system are hoping to use their allies on the religious right to prod the Republican Party to embrace reform.

They aim to use a broad consensus among religious leaders and institutions to promote a rewrite of immigration laws as a moral imperative, mobilizing conservatives to pressure the Republican politicians they have long supported on the basis of other issues. . . .

Religious groups — some of which have previously sat on the sidelines in the debate to avoid becoming embroiled in a politically divisive issue — are aiming for a new and potentially divisive push.

The Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of religious groups that represent more than 100,000 churches, is making grass-roots phone calls and a widespread effort to get Christians to read 40 Bible verses that deal with how to treat strangers and neighbors as part of a prayer challenge called “I Was a Stranger.”

The name is taken from a verse in Matthew 25:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

The main targets of the effort are lawmakers who in the past have paid closer attention to constituent concerns about amnesty or whether illegal immigrants drive up the costs of government services.

“I think in the past many of us thought it would be the economic argument that would bring Republicans along,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of the group America’s Voice. “But for many Republicans . . . this has become viewed more as a cultural issue — almost a social issue. So when you have pastors preaching that the Bible says we should welcome the stranger in 40 different ways, that becomes a very powerful message.”

 

Bible Passages for The “I Was a Stranger” Challenge [Click the link for the accompanying materials.]

1. Genesis 1:27-28

2. Exodus 12:49

3. Exodus 22:21

4. Exodus 23:9

5. Exodus 23:12

6. Leviticus 19:9-10

7. Leviticus 19:33-34

8. Leviticus 23:22

9. Leviticus 24:22

10. Numbers 15:15-16

11. Deuteronomy 1:16

12. Deuteronomy 10:18-19

13. Deuteronomy 24:14

14. Deuteronomy 24:17-18

15. Deuteronomy 24:19

16. Deuteronomy 26:12

17. Deuteronomy 27:19

18. Job 29:16

19. Psalm 94:6-7

20. Psalm 146:9

21. Jeremiah 7:5-7

22. Jeremiah 22:3

23. Ezekiel 22:6-7

24. Ezekiel 22:29

25. Zechariah 7:10

26. Malachi 3:5

27. Matthew 2:13-14

28. Matthew 25:35

29. Mark 2:27

30. Luke 10:36-37

31. Acts 16:37

32. Acts 17:26-27

33. Romans 12:13

34. Romans 13:1-2

35. Ephesians 2:14-18

36. Philippians 3:20

37. Hebrews 13:2

38. 1 Peter 2:11-12

39. 1 Peter 2:13-14

40. Revelation 7:9-10

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Grace

    ” “But for many Republicans . . . this has become viewed more as a cultural issue — almost a social issue. So when you have pastors preaching that the Bible says we should welcome the stranger in 40 different ways, that becomes a very powerful message.”/blockquote>

    No it doesn’t become a “powerful message” –

    We, the church in the United States have sent endless amounts of funds, giving food, help, and those who could build whatever was needed below the southern border. It isn’t a matter of not helping, or sharing what we have, what it is, and what those who live above the southern border believe and find OFFENSIVE is:

    1. No respect for the laws of the United States.
    2. Lying and cheating to come to the U.S.
    3. Taking that which is not theirs, ie; education, health benefits
    4. Continue to hide their identity to receive that which isn’t theirs
    5. No one has the right to thumb their nose at the laws of the United States, but they do, with smug righteousness.

  • jim

    This is bigger than our United States citizenship. Our nation, blessing that it is, is not a city that will last. We need to seek the city that is to come.
    Hebrews 13:13-16 says Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

  • Kirk

    Grace @1

    Did you just mess up the formatting for the whole thread again?

  • Kirk

    I guess not, it’s a miracle!

    Anyways, your assertion that Christ’s command for Christians to help and provide for the helpless in contingent upon whether or not the those we wish to help have broken our laws is silly for two reasons. 1.) There’s nothing in scripture saying that our moral obligations are contingent upon the morality of others. Quite the opposite, in fact. 2.) The fact that we’re discussing immigration reform is a tacit admission that our immigration policy has failed and that our laws are bad. It’s not right to hold someone accountable to poor law making or to laws that, if you agree with the “I was a stranger” folks are immoral.

  • Carl Vehse

    Political correctness (like the code word, “immigration reform”) has even infected the Missouri Synod, as evident in a recent weaselly-worded publication, “Immigrants Among Us: A Lutheran Framework for Addressing Immigration Issues, produced by the LCMS’s so-called “Commission on Theology and Church Relations”, November 2012). One example of such weasel words can be found in this Pecksniffian propaganda on pp. 24-25:

    Most Christians are not against immigration law in general, but some (if not many) question how fair and reasonable some aspects of such law are. What is an appropriate response when there is no clear and broad consensus among Christians on the way in which immigration law specifically conflicts with God’s law? If a Christian considers a civil law to be in conflict “with the higher law of God,” and thus decides to engage in some form of civil disobedience, he is encouraged to “carry out his act of disobedience in a nonviolent manner,” and “direct his act of disobedience as precisely as possible against the specific law or practice which violates his conscience.” He must also be willing to bear the cross and thus suffer the potentially “punitive consequences” of his actions. For example, a Christian might provide assistance to a father who is seeking to avoid (or evade?) deportation because it will separate him from his family. But such a Christian should also be prepared willingly to accept the possibility of penalties imposed because his involvement. [47]

    47. While a Christian may in good conscience provide assistance to an undocumented immigrant in dire need, offering extended sanctuary to the same in order to avoid dealing with a deportation order can be construed as concealing or harboring an immigrant illegally while lying to government officials. This is especially problematic if the immigrant has a criminal background. If Christians believe that they might find themselves in such a situation, they should proceed with caution and seek legal advice as soon as possible.

    In June 2006, the President [Gerald Kieschnick] of the LCMS and the Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care [Matthew Harrison, now LCMS President] issued a joint memorandum titled A Statement Regarding Immigration Concerns… the statement declared that, “in order to fulfill our Christian obligation, we also request that the charitable act of providing assistance to undocumented aliens not otherwise engaged in illegal activity not be criminalized ipso facto.”

    Today with increasing attacks on American citizens, law enforement officers and prosecutors by drug gangs and other criminals associated with illegal alien activity, such hypocritical LCMS publications and pronouncements, with no balanced statements about the problems of illegal immigration should be sharply denounced for their failure to demonstrate Christian obligation to support and protect legal citizens and residents in the United States.

  • http://homewardbound-cb.blogspot.com ChrisB

    Reading those passages would only change my mind if they addressed my concerns. They don’t there was no concept of legal vs illegal immigration in the Bible. So we have no decide now how to handle a situation in which some people follow the rules and some do not but expect the same benefits. In my mind, the Bible has quite a bit to say about that, too, starting with the golden rule — how would I feel if I was waiting in line and some people were welcomed in ahead of me after breaking every rule?

  • Kirk

    @Chris,

    Again, you’re missing the point. The question of morality in illegal immigration shouldn’t be one of how moral illegal immigrants are, it should be of how our laws are shaped. Meaning, instead of asking “is it moral that someone skipped the line” ask “is it moral that I want to force someone from a peaceful life in my country to one of poverty and violence in their home country?”

    I mean, am I completely missing something here? If we want to change the law, shouldn’t we be talking about the law? Why are we talking about the people that broke the law that we want to change?

  • Kirk

    @Carl,

    Could you please point me to the part in scripture that discusses the “Christian obligation to support and protect legal citizens and residents in the United States” by not providing for the basic needs of illegal immigrants? Thx!

    Also, could you explain logically how providing food, shelter and clothing for needy illegal immigrants harms American citizens?

  • DonS

    We have a tendency in our modern culture to confuse personal and national responsibilities from Scripture. In helping the poor, for example, many have perverted the teaching that we give sacrificially from our own resources to help our brothers in need to contend that we must support a government that confiscates the resources of others (not ourselves) to give to others. This seems to be an initiative that is moving in the same direction — most of the scripture they cite seems to be directed to individual Christians or the church, not a secular nation as a whole.

    Nonetheless, the actual stated policy goals of the group are uncontroversial enough:

    The group favors immigration reform that upholds the following principles:

    Guarantees secure national borders
    Respects the God-given dignity of every person
    Ensures fairness to taxpayers
    Protects the unity of the immediate family
    Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
    Respects the rule of law

    I’m big on the last one — respecting the rule of law. We certainly haven’t been doing that for at least the past 25 years, resulting in a terrible injustice toward those who choose to attempt to immigrate legally, and a huge security risk for our nation, as we have no idea who is staying in our country illegally. That cost a lot of lives on 9/11/01.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I believe that Romans 13 takes care of this. There are laws in place concerning immigration. Those laws do not violate (to my knowledge) any specific Scriptural doctrine. Ergo, for conscience’s sake and for the glory of God we are to abide by those laws. It’s not rocket science, folks.

    This of course leads to another question: why is it always the conseravtive wing of the Church that must always compromise and capitulate? Why does the liberal wing of the Church (granting the possibly too generous assumption that they really are part of the Church) never compromise on its standards?

  • Steve Bauer

    Immigration reform is surely needed. It is not a “code word”. It comprises border security, amnesty, and restructuring of how the system of bringing people in and leading them to citizenship works. I another words, it’s a big and hard problem that’s going to take a lot of thought and introspection to carry off. Unfortunately those items are in short supply in our political climate right now. It’s so much easier for liberals and conservatives to get in their respective corners and shout epithets at each other.

    This effort among Christians to start discussing this issue could change minds–or at least steer us toward some kind of compromise. To start with, why don’t we as a country have a discussion as to why we have immigration laws in the first place. I see nothing in the Bible that demands Christians should be trying to keep foreigners out of their country. I would think limited government types and libertarians would want to see less gevernment control in this area, not more. What is the motivation and purpose of doing so? I imagine most of our ancestors got here before there were any immigration laws whatsoever.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    I took a look at the verses, and a couple of things are remarkable. First of all, nothing from the book of Ruth in a discussion about immigration? Somebody missed something obvious there!

    Going further, and this is a reflection of the painful omission of the book of Ruth, the simple fact of the matter is that while the Bible says a lot about how we treat the immigrants who are here, it doesn’t say as much about under what conditions they immigrated. That takes a lot more work than these guys have devoted to the task.

  • Grace

    Kirk 3 and 4

    “Did you just mess up the formatting for the whole thread again?”

    No I didn’t, “mess up” the formatting, nor did I do it a few days ago, although I was accused of doing so. Typing blockquote, without the proper letter doesn’t “mess up” anything. LOL Nor does typing one letter before another, as in /b or b/ at the end of a quote, when it should have been the opposite –

    Just for your information Kirk – - You’re welcome! ;)

  • helen

    Kirk @ 8
    Also, could you explain logically how providing food, shelter and clothing for needy illegal immigrants harms American citizens?
    You forgot medical expense… illegals in the ER of your local hospital have to be cared for, whether or not they can or will pay. Hospitals which aren’t going broke over this, make it up by increasing charges to people who have got money/insurance. [Or, in the case of "county" hospitals, the taxpayer makes up the shortfall.]
    Food: area food banks “don’t ask” when people come there; they hand out food. There is seldom enough for all who need it. So some go without. They are as likely to be citizens as otherwise.
    Nothing, contrary to our government, is “free”.
    The resources spent on illegals for clothing and shelter are not there for citizens.
    Recently in California, American citizens were displaced in the University, by the “children of undocumented workers” who get financial aid; children of citizens are not eligible for it.

    [It wouldn't be PC to bring up the crime rate in Austin neighborhoods dominated by "undocumented workers" or that the mostly elderly people who couldn't afford to sell their homes and get out of a changing neighborhood are afraid to go out in their own yards on weekends because of illegals' "block parties".]

  • Grace

    Helen @ 14

    Your comments about medicine are correct:

    More Docs Plan to Retire Early
    Six in 10 physicians said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next 1 to 3 years.

    By David Pittman, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today

    WASHINGTON — THURSDAY, March 21, 2013 (MedPage Today) — “Most physicians have a pessimistic outlook on the future of medicine, citing eroding autonomy and falling income, a survey of more than 600 doctors found.

    Six in 10 physicians (62 percent) said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next 1 to 3 years, a survey from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found. That perception is uniform across age, gender, and specialty, it said.

    Another 55 percent of surveyed doctors believe others will scale back hours because of the way medicine is changing, but the survey didn’t elaborate greatly on how it was changing. Three-quarters think the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine, although that is an increase from the 2011 survey result of 69 percent

    “Physicians recognize ‘the new normal’ will necessitate major changes in the profession that require them to practice in different settings as part of a larger organization that uses technologies and team-based models for consumer (patient) care,” the survey’s findings stated.

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/more-docs-plan-to-retire-early.aspx

    This is a serious problem for everyone. Illegals have lied and broken our laws – now the system is breaking apart like an earthquake, and STILL, the majority can’t see it!

    What right does anyone have, to come here and TAKE what isn’t theirs – and DEMANDING it, as though they have the right to take what others have invested in.

  • Kirk

    @14

    Basically every problem that you described (aside from crime in Austin which is at best anecdotal and at worst erroneous – Austin has low violent crime rates and decreasing rates of property crime. Besides, studies fairly consistently suggest lower rates of crime among immigrats) can be solved by basic immigration reform. Immigrants will continue to cross our borders. If they continue to do it illegally, they can’t be accounted for or required to pay taxes. If we set up a system to normalize them, then they start paying for the social services that they use. Accordingly, there’s more to go around.

    And Grace, surely you can’t fault someone for wanting to provide for their families. What’s the greater evil: letting your children go hungry or taking from the social services of another country to which you are not allowed to contribute whether you want to or not?

  • Grace

    Kirk @ 16

    “And Grace, surely you can’t fault someone for wanting to provide for their families. What’s the greater evil: letting your children go hungry or taking from the social services of another country to which you are not allowed to contribute whether you want to or not?” </blockquote

    I do fault anyone who disobeys laws, when in fact they CAN provide for their families below our border.

    Those who plead, that they are unable to feed their families, might consider all the illegal gardners, especially in Southern CA. They could, if they chose to, plant and cultivate their own gardens, raise their own chickens. But they don't. They would rather come here and and receive free education for their children and FREE Health care which they have no intention of paying for.

    You must have forgotten all the money they send back below the border, it's a great deal more than you realize. They invest in their own country, buying houses, etc. That's the story people like you and others fail to understand.

    When you need help Kirk, when you rush to ER, you might be surprised at how little you will get, even though you have insurance. Doctors are leaving, they can no longer make a living as physicians (and I don't mean liviing well, they don't live in high priced homes any longer, they are barely able to pay for the nurse in their office. The doctors are all CUTTING BACK, that means you and the rest of us, are not going to get the care we've paid insurance for.

    Some of the doctors I know very well, have had to let at least one person go from their office staff, meaning a nurse. Using others who have no experience, have no clue as to medications, or what they are used for. It's a mess.

    Our schools are not as safe as they were, even in the best areas. Gangs are difficult to deal with, parents ferry their children, even older teens back and forth to school – these aren't small, young guys, they just don't want their kids hurt, or shoved around after, or before school starts.

    ILLEGAL activity starts with lying, cheating, and taking what isn't theirs – it doesn't end with placating and a free citizenship card, or a free green card, as a REWARD for lying and cheating.

  • tODD

    Grace (@13), I know this isn’t relevant to the thread (but then, neither was your comment), but nor do I want you teaching everyone incorrect HTML and borking comment threads willy-nilly (as indeed you did on that earlier thread; I’d encourage you to view the HTML source to check this, if you know how).

    In short, you are quite wrong when you say:

    Typing blockquote, without the proper letter doesn’t “mess up” anything. LOL Nor does typing one letter before another, as in /b or b/ at the end of a quote

    The order does matter. But here, I’ll prove it to you. Why don’t you try entering <b /> into a comment here and let’s see what happens. I won’t do it, because I don’t want to mess things up again. But if you’re so sure about yourself, feel free to show everyone that I am wrong.

    For everyone else who wants to use HTML formatting in comments, the correct way to bold something is like this: <b>this part is bold</b>. Please note: slash first, then B.

    Honestly, Grace, you’ve got to know that people know when you’re bluffing. But then, maybe you yourself don’t know that you’re bluffing. Ah well, I do.

  • tODD

    Side note: users of Internet Explorer will not see this aforementioned borking (in my testing). Users of the other main browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), in my testing, do see it. So odds are good that Grace is using Internet Explorer, and thus doesn’t see it when she borks the comment formatting.

  • tODD

    Anyhow, Veith said:

    One could make a case that Christians should champion immigration reform because it is the right thing to do and also because the immigrants in question tend to be religious, pro-family, pro-life, anti-homosexuality, and potential cultural and political allies.

    Bleah. One could certainly make a case that Christians should do it because it’s the right thing to do (I’m sympathetic with this, the devil being in the details).

    The rest of that sentence, though, is a pretty lousy reason for Christians to do something. Let’s help these people, as it will be good for us politically! Call that good politics, if you want, but let’s not pretend that’s anything but a selfish motivation.

    I haven’t read all the verses (nor do I feel like this particular group is calling me to, as I’m already sympathetic with the [admittedly vague] notion of immigration reform), but I did think that Leviticus 19:9-10 was a particularly good one. God wanted his people not to maximize their return, but to leave a little for “the poor and the foreigner”. And, interestingly, this was a national law.

    ChrisB (@6), you do realize that for most of the illegal immigrants in this country there is no “line” for them to wait in, right? (If not, ask Kerner; he usually shows up in these types of threads eventually.) So your question doesn’t really work out.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Maybe instead of squabbling about the costs–and reasonable people do disagree on this–maybe a bit of exegesis on the idea of “one law” for the native born and the foreigner, and what that meant.

    In Israel, that would mean that, as idolatry was punishable by death, one practically speaking should have been required to be “Yahwist” in theology before moving there. We would also have to assume that those who had committed other capital or otherwise heinous crimes would not be welcome.

    Going further, we know from Ruth that refugees were allowed to cross borders, as did Ruth and her sons during a famine, and as did many into and out of Egypt and other nations. Joseph’s experience with his brothers indicates that Egyptians were concerned with spies and invasion, as does the experience with David’s servants being wrongly accused of the same.

    I’m going to infer that if we take the Scriptures as our guide, we would have some qualification for moving to our country. No criminals, and perhaps we would ask that they not be willing to overthrow our government. I’m not ready to kill all the Buddhists and Muslims, of course. :^)

    Now comes the sticky question, IMO; given that there are literally billions of people in abject poverty and oppressive government in this world, hundreds of millions of like precious faith, is our country required to accept anyone with a thousand bucks for a plane ticket and a background check?

    Let’s look at Israel again. Land was allocated largely on the basis of one’s family, so if you weren’t descended from Jacob, you would be (as a rule) a tradesman, a day laborer, or a beggar. In other words, subsistence was pretty sparse for the person without a trade. To paraphrase Milton Friedman, there was not an extensive welfare network to draw people.

    Seems to me that our path to immigration reform is to control the borders, do adequate background checks on those coming here, and to reform the welfare system so people can not get fat on the public dime. Kirk, Grace?

  • tODD

    DonS (@9), you said:

    We have a tendency in our modern culture to confuse personal and national responsibilities from Scripture.

    A popular right-wing rebuttal. My question is: where in Scripture are Christians prohibited from using laws to help their neighbor? If that is off-limits, as you suggest, than ought we also not decry charities, which similarly act on our behalf, but are not “personal” actions? Maybe we should prohibit all corporate action and just demand that Christians do all their charity in a very inefficient “personal” manner because at least that will please God?

    Moreover, to this particular topic, the issue is how our current legal system affects these foreigners in our midst. So why in the world would you take adjusting the legal system off the table as one of the possible tools to addressing this issue?

  • tODD

    J. Dean said (@10):

    I believe that Romans 13 takes care of this. There are laws in place concerning immigration. Those laws do not violate (to my knowledge) any specific Scriptural doctrine. Ergo, for conscience’s sake and for the glory of God we are to abide by those laws.

    “Hey, I’ve got mine, financially speaking, and I’m good with God. Whatever problems those other people have are their own, but I’m certainly not going to do anything about it.”

    Because, you know, Romans 13 precludes us from ever legally participating in our democracy, even if laws could be improved. We only ever vote to keep things scripturally in line.

  • Grace

    Bike @ 21

    “Seems to me that our path to immigration reform is to control the borders, do adequate background checks on those coming here, and to reform the welfare system so people can not get fat on the public dime. Kirk, Grace?”

    Oh that makes a lot of sense. ;)

  • Tina

    Why do people think that the US is the only country on earth that it is humane enough to live in? There is nothing wrong with living in another country. We are not abusing people by denying them residence here. They can have perfectly good, prosperous and fulfilling lives in their own countries. Look at Canada. They sure as heck don’t have open borders. Shall we claim we are abused if we move to Canada without permission and are then deported?

  • Grace

     ‏

    What does HOLY Scripture teach us about stealing, and lying? Can we all take what isn’t ours, lie about what we make on our income tax, cheat the government, and then not be prosecuted for it?

     ‏

  • Grace

    Tina @ 25

    Very well stated.

    They can learn to grow their own food - if they can grow HEMP, and the COCA plant, and sell it, haul it over our borders –  ‏ Why not grow vegetables, and fruit, and learn to raise chickens? What a novel idea!

     ‏

  • Tina

    FWIW, Mexico is so prosperous that is #2 in the world for rate of obesity. They sure aren’t going hungry, but probably would like a new flat screen and a Chevy Suburban. After all, anything less is suffering!!

    Why is it we can never bring ourselves to just come out and criticize Mexico for its bad policies? There are no shortage of social ills, not related to general prosperity, that plague Mexico. Why do we blame the US for the dysfunction (it is not poverty) in Mexico?

    As for those truly abused, we already take more asylum seekers than any other country. How about asking China to take some?

  • DonS

    tODD @ 22: “A popular right-wing rebuttal”. OK. I guess that makes it per se invalid? Because it’s “right-wing”?

    I never alleged that Christians are prohibited by Scripture from using the political system to help their neighbor. It’s just a mighty poor cop-out for excusing yourself from doing that work, using your own funds and time. And advocating the taking of other people’s resources, involuntarily, to help your neighbor, rather than your own, seems mighty selfish. Question — isn’t the person you are taking the resources from also your neighbor? Are you helping them by placing them under a more confiscatory tax system, especially when you don’t want to place yourself under the same one? Somehow the concept of “sacrificial giving” has been lost when your approach to fulfilling Christ’s commandments is to cause sacrifice for others.

    Charities are voluntary. Taxpayer funded schemes are not. That is a huge difference, don’t you think?

    Now, with respect to immigration, the real topic of the thread, my point was that the Scripture is commanding each of us, individually, to be kind to the strangers and aliens among us. It is by no means advocating the dismantling of a national system for orderly immigration for the U.S. To answer this question:

    So why in the world would you take adjusting the legal system off the table as one of the possible tools to addressing this issue?

    I DON’T want to take adjusting the legal system off the table. In fact, I have long advocated the need for significant immigration reform. However, in the meantime, we need to obey and respect the laws that are currently in place. Which, in the area of immigration, we (including our government) don’t. At all. That is NOT a respect for the rule of law, and not in keeping with Romans 13.

  • Tina
  • Tina

    Here is the reasoning, Don.

    The government has not enforced immigration laws, therefore the citizens should support changing the laws so they reflect the behavior of the negligent authorities.

  • Grace

    Tina,

    When one travels to Mexico, or Central America, one can’t help but see how large the majority are. They eat, that’s how they expand their waist. From hand to mouth!

  • sg

    oops, I just realized I was posting under the name Tina, which I had used on another blog and must have carried over to here. Sorry for any confusion.

  • Grace

     ‏

    What laws are to be obeyed? Are they just for the citizens of the United States? ILLEGALS can break the laws, but LEGALS need to excuse stealing and lying to help the ILLEGALS gain what we’ve worked for? How very strange!

     ‏

  • sg

    The whole premise these pro immigration evangelicals are operating under is false.

    First, we are treating immigrants humanely. That is why they keep coming!!!

    Second, some of the immigrants are not treating our fellow citizens very well at all. These pro immigrant folks need to have some compassion for their fellow citizens who suffer when they are abused by illegal immigrants who have higher criminality and dependency rates than legal immigrants.

  • tODD

    Grace (@34), maybe if you’d scream louder, it would help.

  • Jon H.

    Well, after reading this blog today, I have no doubt the GOP has lost the growing Latino vote for at least the next generation, not merely because the party can’t grasp the importance of immigration reform, but because so many reject it in the most dehumanizing terms.

  • Grace

    Jon H.

    “Well, after reading this blog today, I have no doubt the GOP has lost the growing Latino vote for at least the next generation, not merely because the party can’t grasp the importance of immigration reform, but because so many reject it in the most dehumanizing terms.”

    I reject lying, stealing and cheating – and then giving those who do such illegal activities either citizenship or LEGAL residence in the United States, they don’t deserve it.

    When some of you people realize the drug trade, the lives of our youth and adults who have been caught up in the web of drug use, you might come to grips with one of the worst problems ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION has brought across our borders.

    When the illegal aliens start standing against drugs, and stop WIMPING OUT, because they wouldn’t want to squeal on one of their own – When the drug runners are reported by those who know who they are – then maybe those of us, who see the destruction drugs have on our youth and others, might feel differently, IF AND WHEN drug use begins to deminish, in a sizeable way, and not beforehand!

    As it stands now, drug use just gets worse, our borders aren’t protected, but the ILLEGAL ALIENS are!

  • sg

    “Well, after reading this blog today, I have no doubt the GOP has lost the growing Latino vote for at least the next generation”

    There is no way for the GOP values to resonate with those voters. Reagan granted amnesty and it did not attract Latinos from the lowest echelons to the GOP and no amnesty ever will. The Democrats offer freebies and that is what they want. There is no way to get the majority of them to vote GOP because they fundamentally do not agree with the GOP. Bucket of duh. Low performers are not going to vote for personal responsibility. They want/need subsidies to live at the same standard as those who can provide it for themselves. That works better when they are a small fraction. When they are the majority, you get trillion dollar deficits or you have to reorganize spending. High quality education and health care do not grow on trees. They are services rendered by high functioning people. If providing those services do not render high incomes to the high performers who provide them, the high performers will move to jobs that do, like finance.

  • Grace

    sg

    ” High quality education and health care do not grow on trees. They are services rendered by high functioning people. If providing those services do not render high incomes to the high performers who provide them, the high performers will move to jobs that do, like finance.”

    Doctors ARE moving on, in large numbers. They can no longer afford to work endless hours, and then not be paid accordingly. Physicians are seeking ‘care facilities, including private, “assisted living” – “nursing homes” and other types of care, as administrators. Many of the doctors who are in their mid thirties, cannot begin to pay off their school loans, therefore, they find ways, other than ‘private practice, etc., to make a living.

    You cannot bargain with those who are already steeped in cheating and stealing – it didn’t work during Reagan’s era, and it won’t work now. Everyone should have learned that lesson, but alas, they aren’t able to see it.

  • sg

    Reagan’s amnesty set of a baby boom among those amnestied as well as massive chain migration of the relatives of those who had originally entered illegally. Rewarding bad behavior. That is why 90% of legal immigrants are relatives of Mexicans, crowding out others wishing to immigrate. The grandchildren of those amnestied have lower educational attainment than their parents. That’s right. The 3rd generation is lower performing than the 2nd generation. Previously unheard of among immigrants to the US. So, no, there is no way most will be GOP voters.

  • helen

    Kirk @ 16
    The people who told me their problems lived in a section of Austin that a police detective told me not to go near as a renter, because it wasn’t safe. One of their neighbors complained about trespassing and got his tires slashed. How many illegal acts went unreported after that, do you think? Men were drunk and using their lawns as a urinal every weekend. Several miles from there, “low cost” housing was built across the street from my first apartment complex, which had been a fairly decent place, inhabited by university students and employees.
    As soon as the new complex was finished, there were police out there several times a week and fire trucks, too, every now and then. My internist’s tech lived there one year. She told me, “I got out; my apt was broken into three times.” I got out of that neighborhood, too.
    University of Texas students have a group organized to walk single students studying late on campus to their apts. or cars from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.. From mid-terms to finals, the main library is open 24-7 to faculty, staff and students. (ID’s are checked.) They’ll do it the whole semester, when they can find the money. This is a combined library/administration/outside donor effort spearheaded by Student Government.
    [We also carry cell phones to receive alerts of crime on campus.]

    Austin is a low crime area…. west of MoPac, I think.

    Oh, Kirk, the little old lady who told me about the people on their block being afraid to leave the house was a member of the church. But I suppose you’ll just say Lutherans can lie, or she was senile. I needn’t believe you in either case, of course. And the detective was still on the Austin police force, last I talked to him.

  • helen

    On second thought, maybe west of MoPac isn’t crime free either. Another church member, on the “right” side of town, put her purse on the trunk of her car in her garage and went over to the separating fence to talk to her neighbor. A car load of young men drove in her driveway, snatched the purse and drove away, while her back was turned! Anecdote, of course. Probably didn’t happen…. (She was our DP’s sis-in-law, but then, even I am underwhelmed by the quality of DP’s in Texas.) :(

  • Timothy

    Politics is tiring and unending. Christian charity is lacking and sorely needed. My Polish ancestor jumped a Norwegian prison ship and stole aboard a ship bound for America over 200 years ago. Hence, I have been illegally born as an American citizen?? Then again, I was born on Canadian soil, of American parents, and so technically a ‘citizen,’ my father being a Lutheran pastor and his first assignment to dual mission parishes in oil producing regions in Alberta…. Am I American? Then again, I’ve spent more than 18 of my 45 years abroad working in volunteer mission in Asia (minus the early childhood Canadian years, and the half-year spent abroad in a university study-abroad program). Conclusion: the majority of those vocal Americans opposed to immigration have never lived abroad, nor have any inkling of what it means to live as an alien or foreigner abroad in an unfriendly, foreign society. Christian charity demands more of that from those of whose namesake is Christ. The sermon on the mount was not just an object lesson in moral/mental gymnastics, nor just an object in Law/Gospel. Jesus was serious.

  • Hanni

    Does the LCMS have any sort of national effort to help immigrants in need? Some Baptist churches have drives for clothing and food specifically for people from below the border. What is their position on charity? I am sure I could read it on website, but just felt social.

  • Trey

    @1 Grace

    I agree that illegal immigrants do violate the law, but the rest of your list is specious and speculative. We don’t know if they are lying to come to the U.S. Perhaps cheating. Your argument about receiving education and health benefits without contributing is up to debate. Since they pay sales taxes and these taxes fund most public universities and some hospitals how are they taking what isn’t theirs? Not sure what you are referring to in regards to health benefits, but people without health benefits go to the hospital and are treated who are legally here. What’s the difference? If illegals do a job they are receiving what is theirs. They earned it. How do you know they are being smug? Many are here to earn money for their families. This is not morally wrong. What is wrong is breaking the law. You assume the complete worst with these people. Your straw-man arguments are easily knocked down let alone your hasty generalizations. So much for putting the best construction on what others do. What happened to love your neighbor as yourself? We need to give them the benefit of the doubt unless proven otherwise.

  • Paul Reed

    SG gets it (#39). Sg’s comment is worth reading several times over. Most people seem to be blinded by political correctness. Let us grant that Mexican immigrants are anti-abortion and anti-gay-marriage. (Disregard the insane percentages that voted for Obama.) Now, let us start with something we know: That most people on this forum are against abortion and gay marriage. Let us then suppose that a political party comes to power, and this party is firmly against abortion and the radical homosexual agenda. However, under this political party none of us will get as good of health care, jobs, housing, and education as middle class. That is, our kids will be the ones without health care, good jobs, and a middle-class standard of living. Sure, some of us will still vote for a godly party no matter what it does to us. But we shouldn’t be surprised then, if queers and fetuses get put on the back burner, and government subsidies suddenly becomes important.

  • fjsteve

    Hanni,

    This blog has a link to an LCMS position paper on immigration.

    http://blog.lirs.org/lutheran-church-missouri-synod-releases-immigrants-among-us/

  • Hanni

    fjsteve@48
    Wonderful link, to be honest I was surprised at how positive it was. Is the actual report there tho? Everyone who is LCMS should go to the link since it is official report. The Love of Christ was certainly reflected in the introductions. I’ll keep up with this blog, since it seems to concentrated on LCMS immigration policy. Thanks for taking the time.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Looking through the comments, I’m not seeing much of what the project desired; actual exegesis of what our response ought to be to immigrants. Maybe I’ve got to give the project a bit more credit than I’d initially thought appropriate.

    Brothers and sisters, may I suggest it’s time to come “on task”? The argument has left the Word and is now all about talking points.

  • fjsteve

    Hanni,

    Is the actual report there tho?

    Yes, that page has a link to the 60 page report. As far as the blog is concerned, I’m not exactly sure how official it is for LCMS. It’s the blog of president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (http://lirs.org/), which lists LCMS, as well as ELCA and LELCA as “partners”. So, it seems pretty official but I wouldn’t say that they and LCMS hold exactly the same position on everything related to immigration.

  • Grace

    Who are they, which cannot buy Health Insurance? This might shed some light on why the citizens of this country are made to pay for those who are ILLEGAL ALIENS –

    Read the statistics. These poor people don’t pay for education either.

    Amid U.S. unemployment crisis, illegal aliens sending even more money to Mexico (Photos)
    July 6, 2012
    By: Dave Gibson

    On Tuesday, the Hispanically Speaking News reported that wire transfers or remittances to Mexico increased by 7.8 percent in May 2012 over the same month in 2011.

    In May, Mexican workers sent home 7,096 transfers, totaling $2.34 billion.

    The average size of the remittances also increased over last year by 3.7 percent to $329.21.
    Even more impressive, Mexico’s central bank reported that the amount of cash received by such transfers increased by 15.32 percent between April and May and this year.

    The recent figures are further evidence, that as U.S. workers are being left out of the job market in increasing numbers, illegal aliens are taking the place of their American counterparts.

    The Pew Hispanic Center study released in late 2010, which found that while every demographic of native-born workers had lost millions of jobs during this deep recession, foreign-born workers have actually increased their employment numbers.

    Between June 2009 and June 2010, immigrants (including illegal aliens) have gained 656,000 jobs, while U.S. born workers lost 1.2 million jobs during that same period

    The Pew study found that 57 percent of those that they refer to as “immigrant” workers, were actually non-citizens.

    Remittances, such as Western Union Moneygrams from the United States represent the second largest source of income for Mexico. In 2009, Mexican workers, mostly illegal aliens, sent home $21.2 billion in such transfers

    http://www.examiner.com/article/amid-u-s-unemployment-crisis-illegal-aliens-sending-even-more-money-to-mexico

  • Holgrave

    I suppose one can make the point that illegal immigrants aren’t “rendering unto Caesar,” but is that our concern? Should I never tip in cash then, in case the waitress “forgets” to report her taxable earnings? It seems that “We, the church in the United States” should also be concerned with amending the laws, insofar as we can, to make them more just for the sojourner, and also, in the mean time, “rendering unto God” by helping people in need.

    A lot of the structure problem behind the argument in #1 is our ridiculous welfare state, and I do think immigration reform can’t really work without simultaneous welfare reform. But the other clear problem with the person who makes that argument is the angry, elder-brotherish self-righteousness of the “Christian” who won’t help her neighbor because her neighbor is an illegal alien who came to the U.S. to have an anchor baby.

  • Grace

    Holgrave @ 53

    You’ve thrown together, whatever you’ve thought of first, concoting an “illegal immigration MALT” –

    This is not about helping our neighbor, it’s about those who break laws, continue to lie and cheat to come to the U.S. The illegal’s will not stand in line and wait their turn, but instead, insist they be first, no matter how they accomplish it.

    The Bible has a lot to say regarding cheating, lying, and stealing -

  • sg

    “But the other clear problem with the person who makes that argument is the angry, elder-brotherish self-righteousness of the “Christian” who won’t help her neighbor because her neighbor is an illegal alien who came to the U.S. to have an anchor baby.”

    We are talking about neighbors who do not need help. They can live and work just fine in their home countries. They are greedy and want to live in the best country, rather than use their abilities to improve their own country. How is it we arbitrarily take the position that these people are somehow noble despite all the evidence to the contrary? They who cheat to come here and take the benefits we give to citizens are somehow “better” neighbors than our fellow citizens? They who have higher crime rates are somehow “better” than American citizens who have lower crime rates? They who don’t allow immigrants to stay in their countries illegally and punish illegal aliens much more than we do are somehow “better” than mean old Americans? Yeah, whatever.

  • Grace

    I have noticed some commenters using the word “sojourner” in this conversation, but it doesn’t fit what we are discussing. A “sojourner” is not a permanent resident, they are passing through. The illegal aliens we are speaking of, are staying, and DEMANDING to do so, they haven’t nor do they consider “passing through”

    Definition – sojourner

    To reside temporarily.
    A temporary stay; a brief period of residence.

  • Timothy

    Echoing bike bubba@50
    Brothers and sisters, may I suggest it’s time to come “on task”?
    The argument has left the Word and is now all about talking points.
    Thank you bike bubba, the opinion is mutual. That is the problem with this sort of blog commentary, it often dissolves into unrelated opinionated comments neglecting the heart of the matter. Perhaps that is part of the problem, not only the issue of immigration in this instance, but as a whole. Contemporary American cyber-society has been handicapped people in their thinking. More depth and reflection are in sore need.

  • Grace

    Timothy

    “Thank you bike bubba, the opinion is mutual. That is the problem with this sort of blog commentary, it often dissolves into unrelated opinionated comments neglecting the heart of the matter. Perhaps that is part of the problem, not only the issue of immigration in this instance, but as a whole. Contemporary American cyber-society has been handicapped people in their thinking. More depth and reflection are in sore need.”

    Timothy, I would suggest you look upon your OWN “thinking” – The immigration/illegal/alien situation is a serious one. the more that is allowed the worse it gets. Our prisons are FULL of those from below the border who have brought drugs in mass to the U.S.

    There is nothing un-Christian about curtailing, and controlling the southern border. If you understood the burden, and illegal activities, and crime, you just, just might think differently. However, you’ve decided to judge those of us who see it first hand, and disagree with your LOFTY opinions.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist

    I guess there are two aspects of this thread that disappoint me. The first is that in many comments I see a basic lack of the great commandment – a lack of love God and for our neighbor. And in case you were wondering who our neighbor is, Jesus told this story about a Samaritan guy…
    The second aspect that disappoints me is an occasional lack of serious thinking. For example, the very first comment says, “No one has the right to thumb their nose at the laws of the United States.” Really? So all those people that illegally smuggled slaves to the North to free them were immoral? A law is not righteous by virtue of its creation. No, rather, we should be asking how our values are informed by Scripture – and how our laws relate to our values. I am disappointed that millions of distinct and independent humans with equally distinct stories could be lumped together and dismissed with such casualty. Hundreds of desperate illegal immigrants die – or are killed – each year in the desert trying to get to a place where their family can flourish. Woe to us if we ignore their plight.

  • sg

    Hundreds of desperate illegal immigrants die – or are killed – each year in the desert trying to get to a place where their family can flourish. Woe to us if we ignore their plight.

    This is like woe if we do and woe if we don’t. Those folks have high crime rates starting with their first crime of coming in illegally. The only thing they are desperate for is an American style air conditioned house and luxuries. Mexico is the second most obese country in the world. They ain’t starving. You are just gullible. They have high crime and low academic performance and the highest illegitimacy rates of any group. You are living in a fantasy.

    I am disappointed that millions of distinct and independent humans with equally distinct stories could be lumped together and dismissed with such casualty.

    It is called the truth. Their average group performance is known. It is low. Taking individual differences into account is the provenance of legal immigration. Got that? In a legal immigration situation each individual is considered and either admitted or denied entrance. If you want them considered as individuals as I do, then you don’t support illegal immigration which brings in the good with the bad. Giving amnesty to criminals is a crime against all US citizens. And yes, our immigration laws are both righteous and virtuous and I would add far far more generous than anywhere else in the world or even in North America. Mexico and Canada aren’t putting up with this crap. Good for them.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist

    sg, your comment is frankly ignorant. I am from Texas, and know some of these people personally. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about – in fact, you are making up your own narrative as you go along, without any facts at all.

  • sg

    I live in Texas, too. I know them, too. Duh. And my grandma was a Mexican. So what? You are the ignorant one with absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You are the one with the anecdotes and no facts at all. Go look up DOJ stats on incarceration rates. Go look up our immigration numbers and those of Canada and Mexico, as well as the stats on the performance of illegals, aka educate yourself. All you are doing is trying to play the holier-than-thou position. Not working. I just stated that illegal immigration lets in both good and bad, if you had bothered to read what I wrote. If you just want the good, then you want an orderly system that screens out the bad. There is a name for that. It is called INS.

  • sg
  • Grace

    Fundystan @ 59 and @ 61

    59 – “So all those people that illegally smuggled slaves to the North to free them were immoral?”

    You’re confused, this isn’t about slaves, it has nothing to do with that era – however, if that’s the best comparison you can make, go at it! When you made that analogy, you proved just how uninformed you are, and to what lengths you will go to make a point you don’t have.

    61 – “sg, your comment is frankly ignorant.”

    No, sg’s comment isn’t ignorant, but your comments ARE!

    We as parents have the right to protect ourselves and more importantly our children, and grandchildren from what has become a monster drug problem, ie; drugs smuggled through and around the borders. Our prisons are full of them, but the drugs keep coming. Sg lives in Texas, I live in Southern Calif., we KNOW what the problems are, we LIVE in BORDER STATES, and the effects this has had on our schools and safety for all has been harmed.

  • Grace

    Here you go Timothy and Fundystan

    DEA

    Drug Enforcement Agency

    “A 2005 DEA study determined that during 2003 and 2004 there were excess U.S. dollars present in Mexico that could not be accounted for from legitimate sources totaling at least $9.2 billion and $10.2 billion, respectively. It is estimated that the four major drugs that are smuggled into the United States from Mexico ( i.e. methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana,) generate as much as $22 billion per year for the sources of supply.”

    http://www.justice.gov/dea/ops/money.shtml

  • Grace

    Other important facts for Timothy and Fundystan and anyone else who is blind to the problem of illegal aliens and the drug situation.

    We as parents and citizens are to protect our children, and ourselves we cannot do that with the onslaught of illegal aliens who lie, steal and cheat to come here.

    Justice Dept. Figures on Incarcerated Illegals

    “One of the more popular claims by illegal immigration proponents is that those who enter the U.S. by breaking the law are invariably “hard-working” and “law-abiding” once they get here.

    That argument, however, has one major flaw. According to Justice Department statistics and the analysis of immigration experts, the “law-abiding” claim often isn’t true.

    ANOTHER EXCERPT ___________
    “The U.S. Justice Department estimated that 270,000 illegal immigrants served jail time nationally in 2003. Of those, 108,000 were in California. Some estimates show illegals now make up half of California’s prison population, creating a massive criminal subculture that strains state budgets and creates a nightmare for local police forces.”

    Citing an Urban Institute study, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies Steven Camorata noted in 2004: “Roughly 17 percent of the prison population at the federal level are illegal aliens. That’s a huge number since illegal aliens only account for about 3 percent of the total population.”

    Former California Gov. Pete Wilson places the percentage of illegal aliens in U.S. prisons even higher. In 2001, he told Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly:
    “We had problems related to the costs of educating children who were acknowledged to be in the country illegally, healthcare costs. One in five in our prison population were illegal immigrants who had been convicted of a felony after entering the country illegally.”

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/27/114208.shtml

    PLEASE NOTE: illegals make up half of California’s prison population BUT, they represent ONLY 3 percennt of the total population.

  • Grace

    This reminds me of Rick Warrens ideas and the book he wrote: “The Purpose Driven Life” Emergent Church anyone?

    Using ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION to correspond to Matthew 25 is not correct. What this insinuates is, that all those who are ILLEGAL ALIENS fall into the category of the passage in Matthew. This might be true for a very, very small minority, but it doesn’t cover the entire millions who come here and steal what isn’t theirs, expecting even MORE.

    Churches have been giving untold amounts of money, sending many people below the border to help those who need it. That doesn’t mean the entire area is destitute.

    I would hope those who question this REFORM of IMMIGRATION, study the statistics, study Matthew 25 carefully, before believing everything you’ve read. Research the web, using the names of those who are involved, and what organizations, and churches they represent, that includes the “EMERGENT CHURCH” as well.

    Below in FULL, some of the passsages they use.

    Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV
    “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

    Matthew 25:35 ESV
    For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

    Exodus 22:21 ESV
    “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

    Malachi 3:5 ESV
    “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

    Deuteronomy 27:19 ESV
    “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

    Zechariah 7:9-10 ESV
    “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

    Jeremiah 7:5-7 ESV
    “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

    Ezekiel 47:22 ESV
    You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

    Romans 13:1-7
    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. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. …

    Deuteronomy 26:5
    “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

    Leviticus 25:35 ESV
    “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.

    Hebrews 13:2 ESV
    Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

    Deuteronomy 10:18 ESV
    He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

    Matthew 5:46-47 ESV
    For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

    Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV / 11 helpful votes
    Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    Genesis 18:1-8 ESV / 9 helpful votes
    And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” …

    Genesis 12:1 ESV / 9 helpful votes
    Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

    Matthew 5:40-42
    And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

    Ruth 1:16
    But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

    Psalm 137:1-9
    By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! …

  • Paul Reed

    Coast Guard cutter spots 4 Mexicans entering U.S. waters in a row boat.
    The cutter Captain says, “Ahoy, foreign vessel. What are your intentions?”
    One of the Mexicans stands up and says, “We are invading the United States”.
    After the captain and cutter crew regain their composure from laughing the captain says, “Just the 4 of you?”
    The Mexican stands up again and says, “We are the last 4, the rest are already here”.

  • sg

    There has come to be this sort of presumption that those who are not as rich are somehow different from the rest of us, that we must do some charity for anyone who has less even if all of their needs have reasonably been met. The typical illegal alien is not desperately poor. He has had access to education and health care and is well fed. He is not desperately poor. It just is not the case. He does have less material wealth than the average American and has had less education etc. But that does not constitute extreme deprivation when you consider that the average American has access to more education than he can even take full advantage of, and has far more possessions than he needs, and so much food that he overeats to his own detriment. Heck even Mexicans overeat to the point of obesity. The deprivation angle is just false. Mexicans are not substantially materially deprived. They have high life expectancy as well. Now their very high rates of crime and illegitimacy suggest they could do with some more preaching of the law.

    “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” Leviticus 19:15

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “Hey, I’ve got mine, financially speaking, and I’m good with God. Whatever problems those other people have are their own, but I’m certainly not going to do anything about it.”

    Because, you know, Romans 13 precludes us from ever legally participating in our democracy, even if laws could be improved. We only ever vote to keep things scripturally in line.

    Yeah… that’s not even close to what I said.

  • Timothy

    @Grace

    What is needed is some biblical exegesis of the English biblical translations of ‘sojourner’ and ‘alien’ who are ‘in your midst’ and how that may apply to today’s American society. (Tall order.)

    In the meantime, may I suggest taking a step back and re-reading the comments from the start?

  • CW2

    There is only one overriding question that should be asked when it comes to discussing immigration & the Bible:
    Is religious salvation contingent upon a believer supporting open borders?If salvation is by Faith Alone,as Lutheranism teaches,then the answer must be a resounding NO!

  • CW2

    @ Dr.Veith,

    “…One could make a case that Christians should champion immigration reform because it is the right thing to do and also because the immigrants in question tend to be religious,pro-family,pro-life,anti-homosexual,and potential cultural & political allies.”…
    I have a lot of respect for you,Dr.Veith,but your assertion that Hispanics are religious,pro-family,and potential cultural and political allies ,is not supported by objective facts.
    Not only are Hispanics in favor of much stricter gun control laws,they are also supportive of a much larger government,have significantly higher levels of unwed pregnancy,higher levels of infidelity ( think Mexican machismo ),and have repeatedly demonstrated a pervasive alacrity when it comes to committing crime.
    Here are a few articles that PROVE why the Republicans’ pining after Hispanic votes ,to the detriment of their base,and,more importantly,our country,is a losing propostion:

    http://www.as-coa.org/articles/gun-control-debate-grows-latinos-largely-favor-reform
    http://nbclatino.com/2013/03/12/poll-regardless-of-political-party-latino-voters-supprt-gun-control-laws
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/332916/why-hispanics-dont-vote-republicans-heather-mac-donald
    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/11/the-gop-shouldnt-count-on-tapping-latent-latino-conservatism

    “Hispanic Family Values ?”
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_4_hispanic_family_values.html

    “The Republicans’ Hispanic Delusion”
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2007-06-06hm.html

  • CW2

    J.Dean @10

    Mr.Dean,you might be interested in a book ,”Romans 13:The true meaning of submission”,by Pastor Chuck Baldwin.Go to the following for details:
    http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/3754-2

  • tODD

    CW2 (@72), if you want to think as a Lutheran, then it’s imperative that you rightly divide Law and Gospel. You have not done so here.

    I would agree that our salvation is not contingent on our supporting open borders. Or cracking down on illegal immigration. Or opposing gay marriage. Or supporting it. Or opposing Roe v. Wade. Or supporting it. And so on.

    But you are wrong when you say that “there is only one overriding question that should be asked when it comes to discussing [some topic] & the Bible”. Because you have forgotten God’s Law. The Gospel does not abrogate the preaching of the Law.

  • CW2

    Bike bubba @ 21,

    …”Seems to me that our path to immigration reform….reform the welfare system so people cannot get fat on the public dime…”
    If amnesty is passed,all hope of ever reforming the welfare system will be lost forever.As every honest person knows,Hispanics are major supporters of the welfare state.That is why Democrats are so eager to pass so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform’;by doing so,they will effectively institutionalize a hopelessly dependent constituency that will ensure their stranglehold on the body politic in perpetuity.

  • tODD

    CW2 said (@76):

    If amnesty is passed,all hope of ever reforming the welfare system will be lost forever.

    Right. Just like the amnesty in the 80s forever precluded any chance of welfare reform in the 90s. Ahem.

  • CW2

    Todd Stadler @ 77

    “…Right.Just like the amnesty in the 80s forever precluded any chance of welfare reform in the 90s.Ahem.”

    What you fail to acknowledge is that the Hispanic vote in the 90s was statistically irrelevant.They did not have the political clout to back up their DEMANDS in the voting booth.AHEM!!!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    “Fundystan” noted something interesting about illegals dying in the desert to get here. Well, as I read my map and the Scriptures, getting from Egypt or Babylon to the Holy land on foot is no walk in the park, either.

    If we are to remain “on task” here, we need to remember that the path to get to Israel is difficult, even if it qualified as a highway at the time. So we then would concentrate on the real question; are we treating immigrants as the Word says–holding them simply to the same law that we enjoy?

    On both sides of the equation, I think the answer is “no”. We’ve been refusing to enforce our borders for decades, and on the flip side, we have many legal immigrants whose right to work must be sponsored by an employer. Both are wrong.

  • tODD

    cW2 (@78), congratulations, Sherlock, you figured out my full name! The real question is why you replied to that (and not my handle here), even as you’re still hiding behind your remarkably anonymous handle. Hypocrisy?

    In 1988 (the closest to the Reagan amnesty I can find for data), there were 7.7 million Hispanics in a pool of 174 million eligible voters. That’s 4.4%. In 2012, there were 23.7 million Hispanics in a pool of 223 million eligible voters. That’s 10.6%. A significant increase, to be sure, but Hispanics were neither “statistically irrelevant” in 1988, nor has their voting bloc (to the degree they vote monolithically) become insurmountable now. In short, your “all hope is lost” routine is a bit silly.

  • Grace

    Timothy @ 71

    “What is needed is some biblical exegesis of the English biblical translations of ‘sojourner’ and ‘alien’ who are ‘in your midst’ and how that may apply to today’s American society. (Tall order.)”

    Check out my post @ 56 for your “Tall order”

    Definition – sojourner

    To reside temporarily.
    A temporary stay; a brief period of residence.

  • CW2

    Tina @ 28 & 30
    “…Mexico is so prosperous that is #2 in the world for rate of obesity.They sure aren’t going hungry…”
    You are exactly right.I live in an area which is heavily Hispanic ,and I can easily verify that starvation is decidedly NOT a problem that they have to worry about!If you’re interested in a good laugh,check out the following:
    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/03/mexicans-illegally-immigrate-to-avoid.html

    That obese Mexican man in the picture is thoroughly representative of the kinds of ‘poor,desperate’ immigrants The Pious Ones want us to show sympsthy toward.

  • Grace

    Timothy

    You should study the words yourself. The word alien is used only in the Old Testament, and it used five (5) times. Look up the passages and what they are about, instead of throwing out the word.

    And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:
    Exodus 18:3

    Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
    Deuteronomy 14:21

    They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
    Job 19:15

    I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.
    Psalms 69:8

    And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
    Isaiah 61:5

    alien

    nekar – nay-kawr’
    foreign, or (concretely) a foreigner, or (abstractly) heathendom:–alien, strange (+ -er)

  • Grace

    Timothy

    Below are three more passages for you to ponder.

    Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.
    Lamentations 5:2

    That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    Ephesians 2:12

    Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
    Hebrews 11:34

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Grace, it’s worth noting that if that particular word is used only 5x in the OT, the majority of the texts used by the group involved (26 in all in the OT) necessarily do not use this word. No?

    I’d agree wholeheartedly–as should be obvious from my comments–that all should be under one law, and that the law ought to be plausibly enforceable and reasonably enforced. I’m thinking a bit deeper exegesis ought to be done, though.

  • Grace

    Bike,

    The words “alien” and “sojourner” have been used to mean that which they are not, within this thread, as is so often the case.

    Many of those who have proposed “I Was a Stranger” Challenge – are not those to whom I would agree with, very often on doctrine. Many of the passages of Scripture they have used to further their cause do not match what they are proposing.

  • Timothy

    @Grace81,83

    Your @56 fails in exegesis. What you have succeeded in doing was providing an English definition for an English word.

    Correct exegesis would be going to the Hebrew and seeing when and where it is used, and in what kinds of context. That would exegesis.

    @83 I am studying the Hebrew myself. Though it seems pointless to spend any more time as you would rebuff the results. FYI, however, you are incorrect about “only used 5 times.” Apparently you haven’t been researching the original Hebrew. KJV may only use it 5 times. Nice try.

    In the OT, the Hebrew word for ‘sojourner/alien’ is גֵּר (ger). It is used once in Ex 12:49; twice in Ex 22:20-21; three times in Exodus 23:12. There, that is six times and I am only on No. 5 of the 40 passages initially listed.

    BTW, in @83 you make an attempt at the original Hebrew. However, what you cite as ‘alien’ (nekar) only applies to the Job 19 and Ps 69 passages. Isaiah uses the noun form of (nekar) in Is 61. In the other passages you list גֵּר (ger) is used. The OT Hebrew word that you listed would be equivalent to “Gentile” usage in the NT.

    In passing, it would seem that there were at least two classes of גֵּר (ger) in ancient Israel. Both of whom dwelt among the Israelites. There were those who were observant, following the Torah (Law), e.g., circumcised and celebrating Jewish festivals like Passover and offering sacrifices; and there were those who were not observant.

    This is my last post to this thread. It is quite unfortunate that cyber discussion often boils down to shouting matches and name-calling. I think the best quote I heard to describe the situation is from the former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, William Willimon. He stated that the tone of discussion in America is “shrill.” Until we can get passed “shrill,” I will refrain from posting in threads here.

  • Grace

    Timothy @ 83

    I am studying the Hebrew myself. Though it seems pointless to spend any more time as you would rebuff the results. FYI, however, you are incorrect about “only used 5 times.” Apparently you haven’t been researching the original Hebrew. KJV may only use it 5 times. Nice try.”

    Yes I can see you might be trying to study Hebrew, and as such, you believe you’ve cracked the truth. It is pointless to believe you’ve arrived, when you’re a ‘student, it’s a common mistake. Take your time!!-

  • CW2

    Hanni @ 45 & 49
    Fjsteve @ 48 & 51,

    I would not speak so highly when it comes to discussing the Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services organization.This cartel ( and it is nothing else ) is not approaching the immigration issue with an altruistic concern for the plight of immigrants and refugees.
    Far from being the pious humanitarians that they claim to be,the track record of this dubious ‘organization’ has been proven to be one of rampant corruption,greed,profligacy, and widespread abuse.
    When you also take into account the depredations committed by the so-called ‘refugees’ that LIRS (and others like them ) have ‘helped’ , it all adds up to an ‘organization’ with the kind of sordid history one would expect from the mafia.They have insinuated themselves deep into the immigration & refugee racket precisely because – echoing Willie Sutton – that’s where the money is.To them , this issue is nothing more than a cash cow!
    The list of shameful exploits perpetrated by LIRS,in particular, is far too lengthy to recount here.But I will offer a few examples to prove my point:

    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/lutheran-church-group-funded-by-you
    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/industry-news-lutheran-immigration-and-refugee-services-president-to-resign-tuesday
    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/lutheran-says-glenn-beck-was-right
    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/boy-those-lutherans-sure-are-busy-distributing-diversity-in-the-dakotas
    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/radical-open-borders-group-the-us-chamber-of-commerce-and-lutherans-prove-my-point
    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/more-refugees-to-wisconsin
    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-ordeal-of-immigration-in-wausau
    http://www.vdare.com/articles/sojourners-and-subversives-cataloguing-the-treason-lobby

  • Pingback: looking for a job


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X