As we seek to cultivate the mind of Christ on the matters of our day, one of the issues we need to think through is immigration. Immigration is not a simple, singular issue but a constellation of complicated and often nuanced, deeply personal stories of human beings longing for a better life. As Christians, how can we get beyond the heated rhetoric to the truth and then speak the truth into the cultural conversations of our day?
When we think about the biblical principles related to immigration we start in Genesis 2 with the revelation that all people are created in the image of God and are due the full dignity of that reality. The idea that all men are created equal and endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights is actually not limited to the United States of America. It’s a statement of reality that extends to all people.
Indeed, all people are created equal and all people are endowed by God with certain inalienable rights. Among those rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
So, if there is risk to life, what is our responsibility to those whose lives are at risk? If there is tyranny, what is our responsibility to those who are enslaved? And how simply are we called to live that others might simply live?
These are the questions we must ask without regard to the nation-state in which we presently find ourselves. As Christians, we are citizens first of another Kingdom and our brothers and sisters live in every nation under heaven. We are here, Christ’s representatives, agents of grace, ministers of reconciliation. Indeed, we are ambassadors bearing witness to the principles with which our Father, the King, governs without partiality.
What then does it mean for us to advocate for liberty and justice for all without becoming fools who might unwittingly allow bad-actors to move right into the house and destroy all who live therein? That is the conversation at the crux of the immigration debate. But the other issue is the myth of scarcity.
We have allowed ourselves to become convinced that if we let others in there will somehow be not enough for us. Not enough what? And what exactly is enough?
Enough is a myth. There’s not enough time by our way of thinking and yet, from God’s perspective, there’s just enough. From a materialistic worldview there’s not enough room on the earth for more babies, not enough food, not enough water, not enough – and yet, from God’s perspective, there’s more than enough. From the view of the functional atheist, there won’t be enough jobs or enough resources if all those people who have so little come here – and yet, from God’s perspective, they are somehow just enough of what we need in order that we will have the opportunity to do all the good God has prepared in advance for us to do.
Do you have an extra room? Then you have more than enough.
Do you have an extra bed? Then you have more than enough.
Do you have an extra coat? Then you have more than enough.
Do you have an extra anything? I think you get the point.
We have so much that we fail to see the abundance of it all.
Here’s something to chew on:
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, more than 60 million people have been aborted in America. From a pro-life perspective, that means America is actually 60 million people short of what God intends. So the question, for pro-life Americans, is not is there enough room or are there enough resources in America to support an additional 60 million people. The question is will we take them as God sends them?
Yes, I understand the security concerns and yes, I think there should be a process. But there should be a process that closes the possibility of legal immigration, needful refugee resettlement and very real asylum for those fleeing persecution and tyranny.
Have you ever done a 23 and Me or Ancestry.com profile? The reality is we are in fact a nation of immigrants. Every single one of us. If we believe the Bible’s account of creation and we believe the Garden of Eden was very likely in modern day Iraq then how exactly do we imagine our ancestors got to wherever it was we think we’re from?
Human migration is the story of history. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, migration is a continual theme.
Have you ever considered the reality that missionaries who we send around the world have to have some kind of immigration status in order to enter those countries and do what we believe God has sent them to do? What if God is sending missionaries to re-evangelize America right now? How would they achieve the immigration status necessary to accomplish His will?
Yes, I’m being provocative because I’m trying to get us to think outside the closed boxes we’ve constructed around this topic. I want us to think constructively about what we’re believe. And I want us to cultivate the mind of Christ on this matter of our day.
Join the conversation! Comment here, email me, or leave me a message at 877-93-FAITH.Examining immigration with Tony Suarez