The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Immigration Reform: A Christian Perspective

Today, President Obama addressed comprehensive immigration reform. He even invited a number of prominent evangelicals to attend.

Have you heard of Colorado Christian Leaders for Immigration Reform?  
It’s a collation of Christ-followers who have thought long and hard about how Christians should lead, encourage and advise our political leaders when it comes to this vital issue of our day.  CCLIR has crafted a statement that they are hoping pastors and ministry leaders will sign thus allowing them to go meet with politicians and say, “Look, there are hundreds of Christian leaders who are asking you to do something about immigration reform.”
I think that you will find the statement thoughtful, biblical and bi-partisan.
Here’s the website:
Join the Groove:  I’d like for us to discuss the statement in more detail, but for now what’s your first impression?
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posted July 1, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Yes! Good start. I am happy to sign this.

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posted July 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

This is reasonably bi-partisan. 95% of the words lean left, 5% right. But as long as all aspects of the plan are embraced equally, I am totally for it.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 12:19 am

I should probably be more specific.
First bullet – securing the borders: The statement reads, “A fundamental responsibility of the government is to secure its borders. We must improve safeguards and the monitoring of our national borders.” Great stuff. Why keep talking? When we add words about “the incomparable value of the family,” it sounds like we’re trying to weasel something else in. As Jesus would say, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” The borders must be enforced. Period.
Second bullet – make needed immigrant labor legal: I totally agree! We need immigrant labor and our laws should provide for the legal entry of a sufficient number of workers.
Third bullet – path to legality: Again, totally agree. Jesus would want people to make it right and then go and sin no more.
Fourth bullet – central importance of the family: Sorry, I can’t remember where Jesus said the family was centrally important. But let’s suppose He did. What do we mean by “reconsidering the number of visas available for family reunification?” Does that mean, “once Dad gets in, the whole family gets in?” Not cool. Extra-legal. Not Christian.
Overall, the proposal is better than the laws we have now. (And maybe it would make us more likely to enforce some other laws we also have now.)

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posted July 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Dale, I was wondering if you could expand on this thought a bit–
“I can’t remember where Jesus said the family was centrally important.”
Do you mean that the way the US connects family and immigration is unbiblical, or do you actually mean that Jesus didn’t teach that the family was one of the building blocks of society and of extreme importance.
Jesus compares His Church to a family–indeed, more than a comparison, we are family. Additionally, throughout scripture there are specific instructions laid out for how to care for children, wives, and the elderly.
I think of all the examples given of both loyal and faithless family members. People like Joseph–who was going to divorce Mary “quietly” so that she would not be disgraced, but ended up sticking by her. Or the other Joseph, who I remember for forgiving his brothers. And, of course, there’s the story of the Prodigal Son…

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posted July 8, 2010 at 2:43 am

I found that many of the ideas for reform echo my thoughts on how other humans should be treated. As a teacher in neighborhood that is mostly made up of immigrants I have come to know the humanity behind the term immigrant. It is easy to become desensitized by using terms such as immigrant and illegal alien, but when you come face to face with the families and children behind the title, you learn that they too have hopes and dreams. What they have lacked is the proper means with which to obtain them. I appreciate the parts of the reform that spoke of giving our neighbors the opportunity to become constructive, flourishing members of our society.

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