July 13, 2006
evangelicals promote illegal immigration
Okay, well maybe it isn't "illegal" technically. They get legitimate visas under a false pretense.
Many evangelical churches and individuals support overseas missionaries who have settled in a country under pretext.
Let's just say that all I've known are now or have been in "Asia"
Without exception they do not receive mailings directly to them, all mail has to be screened. God, Christianity, Bible, etc are taboo words. Emails are encrypted and some have had to write with code words. They give the code to friends prior to leaving their homeland.
The real purpose of the mission is to spread the love of Jesus to nations where doing exactly that is ILLEGAL. Are they being "law-abiding" -- yes and no. But that's okay. And I'm fine with it.
But I'm also fine with the father who comes here out of desperation to feed his family, or the mother who follows him determined to keep the family united.
And that is where my practical theology parts with many evangelicals.
If I am asked to pray for someone who is "coming" to the States, I pray for God's protection over their lives and for the reunification of the family.
Many evangelicals (but not all) are living contradictions. Apparently they believe God's law takes precedent over the law in OTHER countries, just not in this one.
There is a misperception that the U.S. laws are already consistent with God's laws. And I just don't get it.
April 18, 2006
Dr. Albert Reyes, President, Baptist University of the Américas has written an excellent article which brings the Biblical perspective to the immigration debate. Here is a glimpse:
To argue compliance with current U.S. immigration law while ignoring the agenda of Jesus is myopic, self-serving, and legalistic. I love the United States of America and her laws. My question to those with an eternal perspective: Isn’t it time that our laws reflect the agenda of Jesus? Protect our borders? Absolutely! Mistreat the poor? Absolutely not!
Click here for the entire sermon.
April 9, 2006
"God and Country" theology
Many prominent evangelical associations are letting their "God and Country" theology cloud their understanding of the current immigration issues we face. In this article, one such organization mocks Sen. Clinton's remarks in particular and admonish that anyone using Scripture must understand the "whole counsel of God." The article then goes on to list many passages to support their anti-immigrant stance. While I certainly agree that we must consider the whole counsel of God, I find it ironic and telling that they don't heed their own admonition. Read just a few of the passages that didn't make it to their list:
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one, answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him. "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. Mark 12:28-34 (NIV)
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:17-21 (NIV)
You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance," declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 47:22-23 (NIV)
Latino evangelical groups have had a different response.
When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:33-34 (NIV)
The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD. Numbers 15:15 (NIV)
"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laboters of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:5-6 (NIV)
If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. Jeremiah 7:5-8 (NIV)