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Activist Faith

Guest post from Activist Faith co-founder, pastor, and author Daniel Darling offering a balanced, graceful perspective on one of the most pressing issues in America today from my perspective–immigration. Read, dialogue, and enjoy!

-Dillon

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girlimages.jpgA few days ago I posted a blog expressing some of my frustration
regarding what I perceived as some callousness on the part of
evangelicals toward immigration. It provoked some discussion, mostly
offline, among friends. Having some time to reflect, I realized that my
post was written in haste, with little editing, and didn’t serve to
edify. So I pulled it.


That
being said, God is really working on my heart on the issue of
immigration. I really feel this is an issue we need to approach with a
Great Commission perspective.
Increasingly, the nations are coming to us, here in America. Most
evangelicals I talk to consider this a welcome thing, an opportunity for
evangelism, building community, and greater diversity in the body of
Christ.

For some, it is a bit of a threat, as they see the fabric of their
neighborhoods change. I really think this issue is going to challenge
Christians in the coming years as we address this global reality.
I’m also being challenged about the plight of the undocumented worker.
This is a very difficult, complex issue and there are good people on
both sides. I think, increasingly, Christians are viewing the illegal
immigrant as someone for whom God cares and loves and that as followers
of Christ it is our job to minister and love them because they were made
in God’s image. We should treat them no differently.

And we might use our platform to advocate for a just solution to the
situation, for more effective border control, more simplified
immigration system, and a good solution to legalize and humanize the
undocumented workers who are here.

I’m stilly trying to learn more about this issue, especially as it
relates to the church’s role in serving immigrants in our midst, but
here are a few thoughts on the issue:

  • I believe Christians have to affirm the rule of law.
    Imagine leaving your front door open and allowing people to run in and
    out of your house. I would be a terrible father if I was lax in ensuring
    that my family was protected by sealing the “borders of my house.”
    Sealing the U.S. Border is a bit more complex than that and the
    government has struggled in doing it. Again, Christians are for law and
    order. Romans 13 and other New Testament passages are pretty clear that
    God has ordained government to enforce the law because man is sinful and
    prone to evil.
  • The Bible also has much to say about the immigrant, even the alien.
    So while we affirm Romans 13, we must obey the Bible’s admonitions to
    care for the immigrant, within our midst. A few passages to ponder are:
    Exodus: 12:49; Ezekiel 22:7; Deuteronomy 24:19-21.
  • Christians should also strive for a balance of grace and truth.
    This was the heart of Jesus’ ministry. We’re not just about “law and
    order”, we’re also about grace. We should speak with grace about this
    issue.
  • We must remember that God loves the illegal alien.
    They are precious souls in his sight. His Son, Jesus Christ, died for
    the alien just like He died for me. The offer of salvation is open to
    him as it is to me. And I think as Christians with a worldview of
    wanting to see the gospel spread to all corners of the globe–we can’t
    hate the illegal. We should want to introduce him to the gospel. That
    doesn’t mean we should have a porous border. Again, there are laws that
    the Bible call us to uphold. However, we should pray for the welfare of
    these men and women. We should care for their safety and the safety of
    their children. And we should advocate the most humane way for them to
    go through the process of legalization. We should also advocate for a
    less complex immigration system, something people on all sides of the
    issue seem to want. We should realize there are human beings involved,
    families, etc. So a radical policy of removal might work to break up
    families unnecessarily.
  • Christian businessmen should refuse to exploit the
    illegal alien workforce for cheap labor, regardless of how common it
    is, how much it will increase margins and profits. The Bible is clear
    that the “laborer is worthy of his hire.” Christians should lead the way
    in paying market value for their employees.
  • The bottom line is that this is a complex issue,
    but Christians should a) not shy away from engagement and b) should
    look for ways to reach out to the immigrant for the purpose of
    demonstrating Christ’s love through the gospel.

I’d love to see your input. How are you engaging this issue?

Originally posted here.

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