Illegal Immigrants

immigrationIn recent months, I have received quite a few emails from Christians bemoaning the number of illegal immigrants in our country.  It is not the purpose of this brief post to discuss what our national policy should be with regard to this issue.  Frankly, I don’t know enough about this issue to suggest a policy, or for that matter, to criticize one.

What I would like to address is what I perceive to be a “calloused,” “hard-hearted,” and sometimes a downright “mean-spirited” attitude taken toward those who are illegal immigrants.

Now, don’t misunderstand me.  I love the United States of America.  The older I get, the more I am touched by the National Anthem and other patriotic hymns.  I am very nationalistic.  During the Olympics, I am grieved when the USA doesn’t win gold.  I want us to excel in everything good on the world stage.  But what I believe I am seeing is nationalism gone to seed!  Do we love our way of life more than the life or lives of other human beings?  It appears that way, at least by some of the rhetoric I’ve read.  Am I suggesting that the law doesn’t matter, and that we can disobey it at will?  Absolutely not.  I believe God demands obedience to the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-7).  What I am writing about is the hypocrisy (maybe that term is too strong, for some may not comprehend what they are doing) I am witnessing.

I see brethren in an uproar, forwarding emails demanding that these “law-breaking” illegal aliens be unceremoniously sent packing!  Again, while I do not defend their “law-breaking,” I certainly understand the circumstances, and can have sympathy regarding why they break our nation’s immigration law.  But for those among us who callously want these souls given a swift kick back to where they came from for “breaking our laws,” let me ask you a question.

  • Do you ever break the law by willfully driving above the speed limit?
  • Do you ever break the law by not wearing your seat belt because you don’t think the government should have the right to tell you that you must wear a seat belt?
  • Do you ever break the law by having music on your computer that you did not legally obtain?
  • Do you ever break the law by sharing or receiving software with or from a friend or installing it on more computers than the license agreement permits?
  • Do you ever break the law by not reporting all income during the year?
  • Do you ever break the law by littering?
  • Do you ever break the law by sharing a prescription pill with your spouse?
  • Do you ever break the law by not licensing your pet and keeping up to date with its shots?

Do I need to go on, because if I do, I can.  For a willful “law-breaker” to point a finger at another “law-breaker” is hypocritical, isn’t it?  Shades of Romans 2:1.  Frankly, I can understand and have sympathy toward those who break U.S. immigration laws easier than I can those who, without batting an eye,  break these “lesser” laws,” while at the same time point their finger at others.

I am reminded that God “administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.  Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19).  Friends, the purpose of this post is that we reconsider our attitude toward those who find themselves in a struggle for a better life for their families and themselves.  Again, I’m not suggesting that we disregard our laws, but can we do a better job of upholding the laws of our land while at the same time making it clear that we love all men?

What do you think?

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Comments 8

  • Seems like you have quit preaching and gone to meddling! I, too, have been conflicted over this issue and have wondered what the appropriate Christian response should be. As you have well pointed out if law breaking is cause for deportation, then America would soon be a deserted place.

  • We are all aliens. Our citizenship is in heaven, not here. Christians in the first few centuries were even “illegal aliens.”

    Sadly, in many American churches, brown is the new black.

  • I always love reading your blog, even though we don’t know one another. I recently addressed this “off the cuff” in a sermon and wondered out loud, with a degree of sarcasm, if maybe the Lord is sending them to us since we seem so unwilling to go to them. If we won’t go into all the world, perhaps He is sending the world to us. Ultimately I feel that it is up to the authorities/government to enforce our border laws and up to us as Christians/citizens to remember to do good unto all men. Our country was “founded” by illegal aliens.

  • Hi daddy! I like your website.I sent my friend a link to your website. I sent it to Savannah.

  • Brandon,
    I enjoyed your musing about God’s providence and illegal aliens. I am reminded that Jesus said that if he remained silent, the rocks would cry out. May God’s will be done, with or without our cooperation.

  • Interesting thoughts on illegal aliens. We are a country of
    laws, as you pointed out. However, every law broken carries
    a penality. Even God’s law. Will God summarialy accept
    illegal ‘Christians’? If we are to be so accepting of ‘illegals’ when we have immigration laws to be honored, how can we as the Lord’s church refuse membership to unrepentant sinners? Yes I agree that we need to focus our efforts on showing our love to all mankind. But all laws are made for a desired result are they not?

  • Hello Jim, I may be reading you wrong, but you seem to be taking a bit of issue with what I wrote. Well, actually, if there is any disagreement, I believe it is with what I “didn’t write.” Nowhere in my article did I suggest that we should be “accepting of illegals.” In fact, I thought I made it clear that we are to obey the laws of the land. My comments had to do with our hearts, our compassion, and understanding of those who have violated the law. Basically, all I said was “hate the sin, love the sinner.” In my judgment, many Christian seem to find it hard to muster understanding toward Illegal aliens. I’ve heard and read the rhetoric from some Christians who, if they used the same vitriolic speech toward any other sin or sinner, would be considered harsh and insensitive. My guess as to why we treat this issue different is twofold, 1) Illegal immigration hits our pocketbook, 2) It awakens some racism within us. Just my thoughts from my observations.

  • I agree with the thrust of your comments on illegal aliens, but there is a question I have often wondered about yet have never posed to sister congregations with Hispanic ministries: Does not repentance require the illegal alien newly converted to Christ to voluntarily return to his country of origin until such time as he can lawfully enter the U.S.? Deplorable as slavery is, the conversion of Onesimus required that he voluntarily return to that state. Paul sent him back to slave owner Philemon. If this were consistently done in the Hispanic ministries in churches of Christ, I wonder how long many of these ministries would continue?

    In posing this question, I do not wish to imply that the church should dismiss the value any soul of any race or in any unfortunate circumstance. The Onesimus parallel is simply one that I have not heard addressed within the current illegal alien discussion.

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