Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts


Seeking a Christian Perspective on Illegal Immigration: Living with Divided Loyalties

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Suppose you live in a country that is home . . . but not quite home. You find yourself fitting in to the culture of the place you live, but not quite. You embrace the values of your current home, but sometimes find yourself at odds with those values. You want to see the place you live flourish, yet feel a deeper commitment to another place and its well-being. Your heart is unsettled; your loyalties divided.

Am I describing the experience of undocumented workers and their families who live in the United States? Yes, I am, given what I’ve read, seen, and heard. Many who are in this country illegally love the United States, yet they feel a deeper loyalty to their homeland, the place of their people, their family, and their culture. Their situation is similar to many first-generation immigrants to the United States, though it may be exacerbated by the trials associated with being in this country illegally. I can understand why undocumented workers live with divided loyalties.

But I did not write the first paragraph of this post as a description of the experience of immigrants to the United States, either legal or illegal. Rather, I was attempting to illustrate the experience of Christians who, though at home in this world, are not at home here. In particular, I sought to describe what it’s like to be a Christian and an American, especially when considering issues where our divided loyalties are felt most strongly, issues like illegal immigration.

Dual Citizenship in Philippians

Scripture helps us understand our situation as Christians in terms of living in one place while being a citizen of another. In Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi, he contrasts those whose “minds are set on earthly things” with those who follow Jesus: “But our citizenship [politeuma] is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:20). Earlier in this letter, Paul urged the Philippians to live consistently with the good news of Christ: “Only, live your life [politeuomai] in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. . .” (Phil 1:27). The verb translated here as “live your life” actually means “live your life as a citizen.” In other words, Paul was exhorting the Philippian Christians to live their life in Philippi as citizens of heaven. (Photo: The Via Egnatia, a Roman road in ancient Philippi. Photo courtesy of holylandphotos.org. Used with permission.)

philippi-via-egnatia-5.jpgIt’s not just an accident that this language shows up in Paul’s letter to the Philippians but not elsewhere in his writings (politeia, a related word, appears in Ephesians 2:12). People in Philippi were familiar with a kind of long-distance citizenship. Because Philippi was a Roman colony, its citizens were also citizens of Rome, a city on the Italian peninsula some 500 miles to the west. Citizens of Philippi were given all of the rights and privileges of Roman citizens, and thus felt a profound connection with the capital of the empire.

In a similar way, Christians belong to this world. We are residents of the places where we live, citizens of our countries. Yet, at the same time, we are citizens of heaven and are called to live our lives according to the values and vision of that citizenship. This means that Christians who live in the United States are, in a sense, dual citizens. But our primary citizenship, and that which should always govern our behavior, is our heavenly citizenship.

For most of us and for most of the time, we are able to exercise our dual citizenship without conflict. Because, for example, we are afforded exceptional freedom in the United States, we are able to practice our religion both in private and in public without fear of reprisal. Whereas millions of Christians throughout the world cannot be openly Christian without risking imprisonment or worse, we are free to live as citizens of heaven and citizens of this country.

But there are times when our citizenships pull us in different directions at the same time, forcing us to choose between our divided loyalties. Christian pacifists, for example, are never able to support American military efforts with their words or their participation. In the 19th century, many Christians who opposed slavery on religious grounds not only labored for a change in laws, but also helped slaves escape from their bondage. These Christians broke the laws of the nation because their heavenly citizenship trumped their earthly one.

When it comes to the issue of illegal immigration, most Christians feel a powerful tension between our citizenships. As citizens of the United States, we are concerned for the well-being of our country. We are distressed that so many people have broken and are breaking our immigration laws. We are worried that our porous southern border invites the influx of organized crime, and allows for the immigration of terrorists.

Yet, as citizens of heaven, we are deeply concerned for the well-being of undocumented workers and their families, not to mention our neighbors to the south who might seek to escape from poverty and oppression by entering our country illegally. We recognize that millions of so-called illegal aliens are contributing to the flourishing of our country through their work and their moral character. As Christians who are committed to marriage and family, we cannot imagine how it would be just, not to mention merciful, to divide families by sending undocumented workers back to their home countries. And as people who have a vision for the fruitfulness of each human being, we have no desire to maintain a social system that keeps people from flourishing.

Thus, when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration, Christians live with divided loyalties. There is no other way. But we cannot simply stand by and let injustice get a free pass because we can’t make up our mind on things. We have to think, speak, vote, and act. When we do these actions, we will feel an unavoidable tension between our citizenships.

I want to close with three interim conclusions. First, I believe it’s essential for Christians to admit this tension. Sometimes Christian on either side of the illegal immigration issue speak as if there is no such tension. This, it seems to me, is not truthful or helpful. Only when we can be honest about our divided loyalties will we be able to figure out how to work with them to forge a more just and godly society.

Second, I believe that our heavenly citizenship takes precedence over our earthly citizenship. If there is an irresolvable tension between the two, then we should go with God. This means, for example, that we must be committed to the flourishing of all people in the Americas, without undue regard for national borders. No, no, I’m not calling for an open border. But I am saying that God is not more committed to the well-being of someone who lives in El Paso, Texas than he is to someone who lives right across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. As Christians, we must share God’s concern for and commitment to all people, regardless of national origin.

Third, as Christians seek a Christian perspective on illegal immigration, we must do so in community with other believers. All of us have the opportunity to learn from others, including and especially those with whom we disagree. It seems to me that when it comes to the matter of illegal immigration, the amount of genuine listening to folks who see things differently from ourselves adds up to about zero. Few issues bring forth such hard-headed and hard-hearted certainty as this one, even among brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, as we seek a Christian perspective on illegal immigration, we would all be
well served to keep in mind a key passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

    who, though he was in the form of God,
        did not regard equality with God
        as something to be exploited,
    but emptied himself,
        taking the form of a slave,
        being born in human likeness.
    And being found in human form,
        he humbled himself
        and became obedient to the point of death–
        even death on a cross.
   Therefore God also highly exalted him
        and gave him the name
        that is above every name,
    so that at the name of Jesus
        every knee should bend,
        in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    and every tongue should confess
        that Jesus Christ is Lord,
        to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:1-11)

May God grant us the mind of Christ when it comes to illegal immigration. 



  • Joe. M.

    Well Mark, it looks like you’ve issued your final thought, your final decree on the issue of the Christian Perspective related to Illegal Immigrations. And I’m disappointed.
    You continue to generate wonderful platitudes about the Christian experience, our “dual-citizenship”, and the fact that we should treat with equal regard the illegals amongst us as well as those with legal rights to be in this country, without once addressing the multitude of problems and dangers this laissez-faire stance poses for families who currently reside in this country. (BTW: I posed a number of scenarios related to this problem in you “Big Goal” post, just in case you missed it.)
    You frame it as “Christ-like”, this open-armed, non-judgmental approach to the issue you’ve taken, but the lack of respect for the rights of others and the laws of this country are anything but “Christ-like”. You need proof? The bible says in Romans 13:
    “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.”
    Paul was so committed to the law of the land (unlike, apparently, you) that he sent back a slave that ran away from his master because IT WAS THE LAW (read Philemon). Do you believe your position on this matter more Christ-like than Paul’s?

  • Joe M.

    Again. I’m hugely troubled by your lack of concern for those here legally, rightfully, in this country. The ranchers in AZ who have been murdered; the folks who cower in fear in many neighborhoods in LA due to the influx of Mexican gang members; and the victims of crime everywhere in the US at the hands of illegals. It’s true that we need the labor of many of the people who have come into this country. But it’s absolutely mandatory that we have a controlled and legal process for them to enter. Much of the chaos and crime is due to the fact that there is no review of these persons, and no means or incentive for assimilation into this culture.
    .
    I think the reason for your sanguine attitude is that others, not you, pay the price for your ideology. I mean, sure, it’s sad that occasionally people get hurt when a few of the wrong types come over the border. But hey, gotta trust the Lord when you’re doing good works in His name, right?
    .
    Fine. Then let’s put your deeply-felt convictions to the test, ok? [Note – I will not do the foregoing. But it will reveal – at a minimum – your lack of thought on this subject].
    Let’s do this: You have SUCH a huge heart toward the alien, the “undocumented” person made in Christ’s image, let’s start putting up signs EVERYWHERE on the Net:
    “LAITY LODGE: AN OPEN HEART AND SAFE RESIDENCE FOR THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT. The Lord has put it on our hearts that, in addition to our regular programs, we need to be servants of those who have no home, no voice, and nowhere to go in this strange new land. So come on down!”
    I’d love to see that. Laity Lodge, innundated with 100, 200, 500 (more??) folks that need the love and the care of Jesus that you ardently want to share. Tents pitcheed along the grounds. Beer cans, cigarette butts, litter everywhere. Hey, that’s ok – the Lord loves them right where they are. Occasionally, unfortunately, some of the paying guests will be accosted, and yeah, there was that rape 8 months back of the young teenage girls that went out on the hike to explore the grounds. Sad. And truthfully, the smell of urine in some of the areas is a bit strong, and we don’t like the smell of pot and other substances we sometimes encounter wafting through the grounds. And the drug problem is not what we’d like. But these are folks in God’s image, and our job is to serve them!
    Enrollment will decline sharply; I mean, who really wants to spend a vacation in a place where they could be hurt, or have to live amongst this poverty, sin and need. But you’ll just trust the Lord to keep the place open, right?
    WHO ARE YOU KIDDING? You’d call the cops so fast, because it would be bad for business, bad for ministry, and bad for your guests.
    So: WHAT RIGHT DO YOU HAVE TO INFLICT THIS UPON THE REST OF YOUR COUNTRYMEN – Christian and non-Christian? Some of the neighborhoods, schools, and community services in California and across the nation, are buckling under the weight of this unchecked onslaught. Is it fair that you’re idyllic community is spared this fate, especially since, as a “Christian of the Hemisphere”, you actually encourage it?
    Of course this won’t happen. Great sentiments; a bit more problematic in practice. Something tells me that, in 6 months: a)Laity Lodge will not be any more of an Illegal Immigrant mecca than it is today, and b)That you’ll continue to espouse the same idealistic and dangerous viewpoint you do right now, gladly allowing others to pay the price of your mistaken notions of “Christ-likeness”.

  • Dr. Goff

    Mark, Thank you very much for so eloquently articulating what I have been feeling as I have followed (and sometimes joined in) the discussion about immigration. As I read the first paragraph of your most recent blog entry, I thought “I wonder if Mark knows that he is not only describing the situation of immigrants in America, but also the situation of all Christians.” Of course you were.
    I am currently living with my Russian wife (who is a US citizen) in St. Petersburg, Russia. We are here for the summer. So I have the experience of being a temporary immigrant. While I enjoy and admire much of Russian life and culture, I often have homesick longings for the US. Occasionally I try to cure my homesickness by going to a local McDonalds and gorging myself on a Big Mac and fries – just like home!
    A few days ago I completed reading a new (2010) biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas entitled Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. It a hefty read of more than 500 pages, yet it reads like a novel. I don’t know when I have ever been so deeply moved by any biography. I’ve known about Bonhoeffer since my college days, have read most of his books and a couple previous biographies. I agree with his theology – at least as much of it as I understand. But this new biography helped me see the man in a new way – in the context of his wonderful family, his work in and for the church, and his battle against Hitler. Bonhoeffer struggled heroically most of his adult life to live out his citizenship in Heaven and his citizenship in a Germany that was taken over by the terrible evil of Hitler.
    As I read about the many devout German Christians who followed Hitler and the increasingly evil laws of the Third Reich, I wondered what our contemporary devout American Christians who so boldly advocate obeying the law would have done if they had lived in Hitler’s Germany.
    It seems to me that we who are followers of King Jesus must usually obey the secular laws, sometimes resist them, and, when we have the opportunity, try to change them. Of course this takes discernment, courage, and humility. We may often end up like King Jehoshaphat who said, “We are powerless… We don’t know what to do for our eyes are upon you”. That is my translation of II Chronicles 20:12, the text for a sermon that was preached at a memorial service for Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
    Thanks again for your thought-provoking series on illegal immigration and thanks to all those who joined in the discussion, even those with whom I most vigorously disagree. Everyone helped me sharpen my thinking about this important issue.

  • pacer

    Dear President Obama,
    Pennsylvanians rallying there in Arizona on Saturday June 5th in 107 degree sun helped make the support Arizona rally a success. Really wish I could have went, but I have been following this really cool poll, and you are only allowed to vote one time. When you click back on the link later all you view is the latest number of votes. A friend in Virginia sent me this poll, another friend in Texas said a few other ones are also out and have similar numbers.
    Poll: Do you support Arizona’s tough new law on illegal immigration?
    Vote here
    http://world-news.newsvine.com/_question/2010/05/12/4274124-do-you-support-arizonas-tough-new-law-on-illegal-immigration
    503,202 YES Votes – 20,385 N0 Votes
    those were the numbers Saturday June 5th
    presently showing 1,520,361 YES votes – 68,118 No votes
    For God’s sake Mr. President all Americans have had enough of this liberal bull-crap. I do not believe all these individuals could fit into DC, but I do know they all want to stuff their numbers down your throat.
    Look at what the people which built the corrupt Luzerne County Pa. are facing here; our property taxes reassessed for 2009 almost doubling and another 15% tax hike again Jan. 2010. Not even a COLA increase for many, many homeowners, we have nothing left but our blood, and you do not want to buy mine because I have had to use government run VA hell-care for 31 years.
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
    REMEMBER US?

  • Your Name

    Dr. Goff:
    Your post made me change my position on this subject. I really had NO IDEA that folks south of the American border were being systematically rounded up and put into death camps, awaiting extermination. Nor, did I have the slightest inkling that our own government, with it’s facist, godless laws was complicit in this wholesale slaughter. Mark – I was kidding in my above post, but I now think it is IMPERATIVE, based on Dr. Goff’s analysis, that you turn Laity Lodge into a haven for illegals escaping certain genocide. It is the ONLY biblical alternative.
    It devalues your argument immensely when you both:
    a. Ignore the real problems presented on the other side, and
    b. Create facts that don’t exist in order for your argument to have merit.
    I expect this from the godless; I don’t expect it from men of good will, seeking a Biblical stance on anything. And NO ONE in this forum, advocating the stance that you and Mark have taken, has yet to deal with the very real problems and costs of your idealism.
    Also Dr. Goff: I notice that you, living in Russia, are yet another who advocates a position you personally will not have to shoulder the cost to enact. Nice.
    Pacer: I completely understand Obama not caring – we knew who he was when he was elected. It’s the fellow believers who turn a blind eye to the suffering of their countrymen that disappoints me.

  • Kozak

    1) Everyone should live in the country to which he is most loyal. And I disagree that divided loyalties are typical of the immigrant experience. My parents were immigrants, and I know many European immigrants, none of whom has what I would call divided loyalties.
    2) Ironically, a more or less open-borders policy actually perpetuates bad governance in Mexico. Their number one export is now surplus people. They send $25 billion home every year, and Mexico rids itself of the people most dangerous to its regime: the discontented who will actually act. The money eases the poverty, and the would-be revolutionaries are in the US instead.
    3) Interested to see how Latino activists would view your statement about divided loyalties. They always attack people who make that assertion.

  • Norski

    Jesus was very demanding of his followers. Those who immigrate illegally to the USA break laws that Jesus consistently supported, such as never bearing false witness, not lying or cheating, and not coveting what one’s neighbor has. As the following verses illustrate Jesus was not very tolerant of those who put too much emphasis on worldly things.
    Luke 9:57-62 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
    Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
    He said to another man, “Follow me.”
    But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
    Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
    Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”
    Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
    To Jesus, the end did not justify the means. So why is it that no supporter of Illegal Immigration seems to be capable of listening to or understanding those with whom they disagree when they are saying that the massive amount of law breaking and immoral behavior that supports illegal immigration violates many of the provisions of Biblical Law? You are right in saying “when it comes to the matter of illegal immigration, the amount of genuine listening to folks who see things differently from ourselves adds up to about zero.” But the people who are doing “zero” listening are those who refuse to see Illegal Immigrants as anything other than poor benighted souls innocent of any wrong-doing. So who is really not listening, those who know that Illegal Immigrants have it tough but are against illegal immigration for the Law breaking it represents, or those who are unwilling so see illegal immigration in its true light?
    Illegal Immigration is a violation of the law and Deportation is a reaffirmation of that same law. Why is it that Illegal Immigration supporters only complain about “hurting families” and claim enforcement is an act of injustice when talking about an act represents the affirmation the law yet are totally silent to those same acts in connection with the violation of the law? Where they were when children were ripped from everything they knew, the culture and language of their youth, to be hauled off as Illegal Immigrants to the foreign land, the United States of America? Where were they when parents deserted their children to illegally work in the USA? When the parents entrusted their children to criminals to smuggle them illegally into the USA? When the children were dragged across harsh desert where they could have easily died? Or forced to leave everything behind by overstaying a tourist visa? Why were they not at the Hospital warning the Illegal Immigrant mother of the problems that lie ahead? To condemn the separation that deportation brings without also condemning the separation that Illegal Immigration brings is to point out the splinter in someone else’s eye while ignoring the log in your own eye.

  • Kurt

    Joe M., Mark’s posts contain plenty of carefully-worded qualifiers about how he’s not advocating open borders, and how what he’d really like to see is people being able to flourish in their own countries. etc., etc. It’s beyond me how you manage to read all that and then go off on rant after rant about how he’s encouraging illegal immigration.

  • Joe M.

    Kurt:
    You must have read Marks’s post much more carefully than I did. Please show me the quotes from Mark’s words where Mark advocates or defends tight border security. The only thing I gather from his writing is that, while he would prefer everyone has plenty in their own countries, making Illegal Immigration unnecessary, he would NOT stop them from coming through our borders to seek a better life. How is this not advocating a de facto open border?
    Also, Mark has been posed a number of questions and scenarios where he could easily clarify his position. He even stated he would weigh in on three questions pose by John in the “Helpful Resource” post. He has not done so, because to answer these questions would remove the ambiguity that allows you to still think he’s for protecting our borders, our families, from an unchecked onslaught.
    Dennis Prager states he prefers clarity over agreement. I’m not looking for Mark to agree with me. I am looking for him to clarify his statements, especially since he continuously implies his view is Christ’s – and what the Bible advocates. Abiguity is a common technique amongst politicians wanting to be elected, and wanting both sides of an issue to hear what they want. But it’s anathema to a Bible teacher wanting to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”.
    Mark has every opportunity to clarify. Let’s see if he does.

  • Kurt

    Joe M, your tone in this post seems to me more reasonable than in some of your other ones. However, I don’t see the value in getting drawn into a long debate with you, since as you say, Mark can weigh in for himself if he wants. So I’ll briefly state my understanding of Mark’s position and leave it at that.
    Mark’s position (my interpretation):
    1. Mark understands that government plays a God-ordained role that has to be considered and respected. He even quotes Romans 13, which you unnecessarily quote back to him above.
    2. He’s not advocating any particular solution, at the level of government policy, to the problem of illegal immigration. He says explicitly that he’s not advocating open borders.
    3. Speaking “Christian to Christian” (in other words, talking about Christians acting as private citizens, alone or in groups), he says we need to care for the well-being of those who managed to make it across, even if they did so illegally. He doesn’t say this means tolerating ongoing criminal activity on their part, such as vandalism and rape, and I think it’s a cheap (and clumsy) shot to even bring those kinds of things into the picture.
    4. He urges Christians to work for an admittedly hugely idealistic goal, the reform of social policy in the entire hemisphere, so that people don’t feel the need to cross borders in order to flourish as human beings.
    That’s pretty much it. Obviously there’s room to challenge Mark on some points–for instance, his idealism or his choice to avoid certain questions. But it’s unreasonable to accuse him of favoring an open, undefended border when he’s stated (pretty clearly, I think) that he’s talking “Christian to Christian” rather than about government policy, and when he says flat-out that he’s not advocating an open border.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfwYU2pmWYQ&feature=related Joe M.

    Kurt:
    I appreciate your response on this subject, as it proves my point: Mark has written so ambiguously “the Christian Citizen’s response” toward illegal immigration that we both are absolutely conviced that the pastor has taken opposite positions on this issue. The ambiguity is evidenced in your first point:
    “Mark understands that government plays a God-ordained role that has to be considered and respected.” Really. What exactly does this mean?
    1. Government is “God-Ordained”, and unless the laws are evil, Christians should follow them – is that right? So, when there is a law that our God-Ordained government has in place, should Christians just “consider” following it? Is it optional for us to obey valid laws, and to still please God?
    2. Along those lines, I read these questions posed to Mark in another post, and while he said he’d answer it, he has yet to make the effort: 1) Is it ok for a Christian employer in the US to hire illegal immigrants, even though he knows it’s against the law? 2) Is it ok for Christians to help smuggle illegal aliens across the US border, or to help pay for their passage here, helping them to a better life? These are simple questions, and easy to answer if one wants to really do some teaching.
    3. Here’s another good question: Should a Christian Citizen advocate a wall and a strong presence on the border, knowing that passage for these undocumented would-be immigrants would slow to a trickle, or stop completely? Can one who follows Christ biblically advocate that position?
    These are really straightforward questions, presumably readily answered by the teacher using the criteria researched and laid out above. The fact that he will not come out and answer these questions really points to the fact that either Mark does not know what the Biblical standard is (and probably should refrain from teaching on this subject altogether), or he really doesn’t have the courage of his Biblical convictions. An “ear-tickler” If this subject is SO important to the well-being of millions of people around the world, and such a great opportunity for Christians to allow the love of the Spirit to shine through, then I cannot understand the Pastor’s reluctance lay out the truth, and let the chips fall where they may. Clearly, if one wilts at speaking the truth boldly in a little blog, God help us all if real persecution arises.
    I’ve attached a YouTube video of another popular Pastor that wants it both ways, and enjoys his popularity more than speaking the Truth in love.

  • Paul

    Dr. Roberts,
    There are a couple of things about your analysis that are troubling.
    1. You have strongly tied the term “fruitful” from Genesis 1 with American materialism. In so doing, you seem to negate the possibility that Mexicans, in this case, can live “fruitful” lives in their own country. That is not an observation I would share having seen many happy, fulfilled Mexicans in their own country living fruitful lives there. I also wonder how “citizens of heaven” become so preoccupied with “earthly” fruitfulness.
    2. Secondly, this statement from your June 28 post is simply shocking – “We recognize that millions of so-called illegal aliens are contributing to the flourishing of our country through their work and their moral character.” – and three points come immediately to mind:
    a. We are not at all concerned about “so-called” illegal aliens. We are very concerned about illegal aliens. Your cavalier obfuscation of this critical distinction is, well, ungodly. Geerhardus Vos, former president of Princeton Theological Seminary writes, “…an imperialism that would, in the interest of one people, obliterate all lines of distinction, is everywhere condemned as contrary to the divine will.” (Biblical Theology, 1948, p. 72) He goes on further , “Nationalism has the divine sanction.” Not “so-called” nationalism but real nationalism with real borders.
    b. Contributing to the flourishing of our country? Apparently your sojourn to Texas has erased your memories of California. By way of reminder, the illegal problem here has resulted in the closure of many emergency rooms – one in your former city of Irvine. The school system is bankrupt because, not of the “so called” burden of illegals, but because of the very real burden. The per capita income of the county seat from which you came is undoubtedly now half what it once was and where lovely, well kept neighborhoods once existed, we now find 5 and 6 cars parked, not in streets or driveways – but on the lawns! And to our east, we now have a national park in Arizona that is off limits to U.S. citizens because of the danger from armed, illegal gangs! Flourishing of our country – nonsense.
    c. Their work and moral character. What exactly is the moral character of someone who willingly and consciously violates the law by entering the country illegally?
    While I appreciate your efforts on this topic, I must say that I am sadly disappointed by the outcome.
    As they say in Texas, “When there’s a rattlesnake in the livin’ room, all talk of animal rights goes right out the winder!”
    Peace.

  • P.J.

    Yes, a touchy emotional issue to say the least. I hope to read further postings from CHRISTIANS as to their opinion on how to SOLVE this problem.
    Whether we agree with Mark or disagree, let me put forth what I think is the foundation that will hopefully solidify serious followers of the God of this Universe and his son, Jesus (Jeshua).
    “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”.
    Are illegal /undocumented people/families seeking the Kingdom of God first and foremost?
    Are the fortunate people/families/Christians/church members seeking His kingdom first and foremost?
    Subtext: are we rendering to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s?
    We have laws here in this country.
    We have ways (thank the Lord) to change those laws.
    Was it Christian to follow laws that allow slavery?
    Was it Christian to follow laws that prohibit women from voting?
    Was it Christian to prohibit selling alcohol?
    Do share your thoughts, as we Christians must come and reason together.
    As there is wisdom in many counsellors, give us wisdom , Oh Prince of Peace.

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Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling
Can We Find God in the City? Psalm 48:1-14 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever,

posted 2:05:51am Apr. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 3
An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and trendy jewelry to associate the cross with love. But, in the first

posted 2:41:47am Apr. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 2
The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (15:3). Yet this text doesn’t expl

posted 2:30:03am Apr. 07, 2011 | read full post »




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