Welcoming the stranger

Welcoming the stranger October 21, 2011

Separate items, common thread:

1. Evangelical conference preaches support of immigrants

Evangelicals are gathering at Cedarville University to talk about the importance of showing compassion to immigrants, whether they are documented or not.

The evangelical Christian college in Greene County, east of Dayton, is hosting the G92 Immigration Conference, headlined by a list of high-profile evangelicals.

The conference began last night and continues today and Saturday.

The name G92 comes from the 92 passages in the Old Testament in which the Hebrew word ger occurs. The word is translated into stranger, alien and sojourner.

The idea is that, “as Christians, principles of Scripture should guide how we think about immigration,” said Carl Ruby, vice president for student life at Cedarville University. He hopes the conference encourages “a mindset to minister to these people,” he said.

2. Colin Harris, “Immigration Issue Far More Than a Legal Problem

“What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?” is a popular piece of the narrative that supports the hard-line perspective of the legislation.

One wants to reply, “What part of the Gospel’s clear admonition to offer hospitality to the stranger don’t you understand?”

Is it a legal issue, or a faith issue? If both, then which should have priority among people of faith?

Reducing the issue of immigration to a matter of legality (as in the prevalence of referring to our undocumented neighbors as “illegals”) seriously oversimplifies the economic, social and theological dimensions of this arena of our common life.

3. Timothy B. Lee, “America’s Illegal Pioneers

Today’s undocumented immigrants exemplify the American character far more than those who angrily insist that they wait in line until we fix our immigration system. Like generations before them, they have followed the American dream and are waiting for the law to catch up with them. It would be un-American to hold that against them.


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