Friday, June 10, 2005

Aliens in the world

Noel Castellanos has a great post about the church's responsibilities in immigration reform. One would think that Christians, whom the Apostle Peter and the writer of Hebrews both refer to as "aliens in this world," would be especially sensitive to the needs of immigrants in our country. Yet often the most strident "close-the-borders/send-them-home" activitists are evangelicals. Just the other day I overheard a dear friend and respected urban pastor reference the supposed need to get rid of illegal aliens. I definitely concur that an antiquated, unenforceable immigration system that begs to be violated needs substantial reform. The questions are how and to what extent. Call me idealistic, but I still believe in the American Dream, etched in stone at the base of the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
These ideals sound much more similar to Matthew 25, Isaiah 58, and Leviticus 19 than much of the rhetoric we hear from church leaders today. As American citizens continue to clamor for change, we Christians must measure our advocacy and proposals against this Biblical standard:

"Do not exploit the foreigners that live in your land. They should be treated like everyone else, and you must love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I the Lord, am your God." - Leviticus 19:33-34


At 6/10/2005 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Excellent tie-in. Not only is the contemporary discussion about immigration void of any biblical accountability, but also void of most historical accountability. The discussion seems centered around xenophobia & economic concerns. And yet since Plymouth Rock, immigration has been as American as baseball and apple pie. Or more so. I believe that too much is being made about security concerns and not enough about the witness of the church that Noel highlights. Thanks for pushing this out. (FYI-Thanks for your address at UYWI, also.)


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