The controversy continues over executive changes to America’s immigration and refugee policies. Carmen Laberge says while this issue is being hotly debated in the nation, it’s an opportunity for Christians to expand the discussion toward the Gospel and our eternal citizenship.
“Citizenship matters, and I think this is where Christians need to press into the conversation. We actually have a unique way of articulating what it means to be a citizen of a kingdom that’s different than the one we happen to be living in right now.”
“Being a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, there’s regulated entry into that kingdom. The sovereign God actually determines who gets to be the citizens the Kingdom of Heaven…We believe Jesus is not only the way, but the gate and the door: nobody’s going to immigrate into the Kingdom of Heaven without passing through Him.”
“There’s an opportunity here for a conversation that shifts from who should or shouldn’t get into the United States at any given point of entry, to a conversation that it really does ultimately matter.”
Our approaches to immigration policy should also reflect our worldviews and values.
“If you only have a natural worldview, then I understand the very deep desire to get the very best life you can now, because you think now is all there is.”
“Christians do not have that worldview. That is not our cosmology. We know that every single person we encounter every day is an eternal being. They are going to spend their eternal life in one kingdom or another. I am far more interested in talking about the status of my neighbors in relationship to their kingdom citizenship then what kingdom of this world they happen to be a citizen of.”
As we work to find the best way forward for the country, Laberge says we must understand the president’s broad constitutional authority to establish immigration policy:
“It’s absolutely the responsibility of the government to be concerned about the protection of its own people and the control of its own borders and boundaries. So from that viewpoint, the president can do whatever he wants to do, in relation to who can come and how long they can stay and what they can do while they’re here.”
It is certainly appropriate for God’s people to care for those who need physical refuge, especially those being persecuted. However, our concern should not be limited to a person’s temporal needs or political identity, but focused most of all on their eternal citizenship:
“So I think Christians have a really unique opportunity right now to lean into a conversation that ought to be expanded, not just in terms of borders and boundaries, who’s where and what’s happening– but really eternal cosmic boundaries in terms of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Carmen LaBerge is the host of “The Reconnect” radio show. She seeks to bring the Biblical worldview to bear on whatever is happening in the world and help people cultivate an understanding of critical issues from God’s perspective.Immigration and the Gospel, with Carmen Laberge