Under President Obama, over two million unauthorized immigrants have been deported, that is more than previous presidents combined. But what does that say about us as a Christian Nation?
Some argue that the immigrants are creating a grave sin, in coming here illegally. Romans 13:1 says “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.”
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. So that suggests that the fact is, unauthorized immigrants are in fact, in violation of the laws of God. The United States has immigration laws, and regardless if we feel them to be unjust, or immoral, God is telling us we are to follow those laws. But, what if the laws of men, are contrary to the laws of God?
Acts 5:29 says “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
We are to be in the world, but not of the world. So how do we subject ourselves to the laws of ungodly men? The Christian duty is to God first and foremost, and even men of God are acceptable to sin, or to fall by the wayside.
I struggled with this, with understanding, because History shows us some truly horrible leaders. Hitler to name just one. If God appoints the Government, how was it that Hitler came to power instituting the massacre of God’s chosen people? This to me didn’t add up.
I searched the Holy Bible for answers to a question that seemingly there was no answer for. To be perfectly honest, I still struggle to understand this concept.
In reading, I came across Matthew 5:41 and found it most interesting. Apparently, a law was needed because Jews kept giving Roman soldiers the wrong directions. The law stated, that if a Roman soldier asked of a Jew directions, the Jew was required to walk with the soldier one mile. (NOTE : One mile)
Matthew 5:41 “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
What does that mean? The law of the Government was to walk one mile with the soldier, but this verse is telling them to walk two miles. It’s essentially telling them to follow the law, then find away around it.
What about Daniel and the Lion’s Den? A clear case of Daniel not following the laws of the Government, because they conflict with the laws of God.
What about the fleeing of Mary and Joseph? King Herod ordered the murders of children, and so they fled. According to the Government of the time, (Herod) they were to present Jesus to the authorities so he could be killed. Yet they defied the law and ran for their sons life, for the life of our Savior.
God called King David “A man after my own heart”. God loved King David deeply, to the point of picking David to be the seed from whence the Christ would come. Yet, we know David as a murderer, an adulterer, and a liar.
The Bible is packed full of stories of people not following the laws of man, yet they were righteous and loved by God. So, are unauthorized immigrants sinning when they come here without inspection and or overstay their visa’s?
God’s authority is the authority. That doesn’t mean we are not to follow the laws of the lands. We are. But not if it means contradicting fundamental laws of God.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
And then, Jesus comes, and he replaces the old. (Not to say the Ten Commandments become moot.)
Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
We aren’t showing love, by ignoring the plight of the sojourner (who we are told to welcome 102 times in the Bible.) (Link to those verses HERE!)
Millions of United States Citizens find themselves caught up in the immigration limbo. Each and everyday, thousands of our citizens are finding themselves facing the decision between separating their families, or moving to countries that are not stable. Most of these people, over 90% are in fact what society and God deems, “our most vulnerable.” Women and children.
What does God say about Government interference in marriage?
From the very beginning God has asserted the importance of Marriage, and keeping the union together. Gen 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
1 Cor 11:11 “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman.”
Ecc 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Mark 10:9 “What God has joined together, let no man separate.”
There isn’t one instance in the Bible that says separating families is godly. There also is not one instance in the Bible, where it is OK to deport immigrants. There also, is no law in the Bible, that creates borders between the nations.
Are we to follow the institutions laws? Yes, when they are godly laws. Is migration godly? I guess that would depend on the circumstances. The Israelites were Immigrants. When Mary and Joseph fled, they were immigrants. When Jesus went on his mission, he was an immigrant. None of which, stopped and asked permission from the Governments to reside therein.
Perhaps immigration laws didn’t exist back then. Perhaps they shouldn’t now? Perhaps God truly sees us not as Nationalities but as believers vs non-believers and not intending us to separate. The Bible does talk about those who are unequally yoked with us. We are to disassociate with them, but no where does it say, we are to distance ourselves between believers and believers.
In any case, the Bible makes it very clear. Men are to leave their families, take a wife and reside with her! It is clear that men are NOT to separate spouses. It is clear that we are to welcome the sojourners. It is clear that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. It isn’t perhaps clear what one should do in regards to immigration laws, but those things which it is clear about, we as a Nation need to take seriously.
We need to practice love. Truth. Compassion. Forgiveness. Justice. Harmony. Not division, discontent, and hatred.
I see in the News all the time, people asking that God be brought back into society. They ask for God to be returned as the head of this great Nation. But I see those same people, asking for the dissolution of the sojourners in America. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t ask to be one Nation under God, while ignoring the laws God set forth. If we are truly not a Christian Nation, perhaps the immigration system as a whole is not Godly.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Two wrongs never make a right. If a wrong was committed by those here unauthorized, it is not just, Christian, or godly to hold them in that wrong. We must provide a way for the wrong to be righted without separating families and violating the union to which God ordains.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Editors Note: I am in no way suggesting that unauthorized immigration is OK. I think however WE have a collective responsibility to practice what we preach, and respect the Gospel we claim to believe. The Gospel we wish to guide us, can only guide us if we allow it to. We can’t forgive people their transgressions, by punishing them severely. We can’t label these people rapists, drug dealers etc in an effort to gain mass support. We have to show integrity and be the people God told us to be. Welcoming the stranger, forgiving their transgression of doing it unlawfully, and creating a pathway to citizenship that respects family unity. That is one way in which we can return our Nation to it’s Godly roots.