What the Bible has to say about America's immigration crisis. 02/28/2017

What the Bible has to say about America's immigration crisis.

1. God demands people respect national borders. The American Family Association says, “The Scriptures make it clear that national sovereignty, including clearly defined borders, is God’s idea. In Acts 17:26, we read, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place…Two things, we are told, are under God’s sovereign control: how long a nation lasts, and where its borders are. The verb translated ‘having determined is the Greek verb ‘horizo,’ from which we get the word ‘horizon.’ It means “to mark out, to define.” So God has marked out and defined the borders of each country. Bottom line: borders are biblical, and are there by God’s sovereign design.”

2. Romans 13:1-5 makes it clear that government had the resonsibity of punishing all who disobey the nation’s laws: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

“Crossing a border without permission is like breaking in the back door of a house to help yourself to goodies instead of being invited in by the host through the front door. You might get to eat either way, in the same house and from the same cupboard, but in one case you would be doing something respectful and civil and in the other doing something that rightly should land you in jail.” (http://cis.org/ImmigrationBible)

3. God demands Christians respect the sojourner, or alien. But governments are to distinguish between those traveling through a nation and those moving into it.

James K. Hoffmeier is professor of Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity exaplains,
“The relevant Hebrew word is “ger,” variously rendered in different English translations of the Bible as ‘stranger,’ ‘sojourner,’ ‘alien.’ There are other Hebrew terms for foreigner — for example, ‘nekhar,’ or one who is passing through another country and not seeking residence. ‘Zar’ is another Hebrew term rendered ‘foreigner,’ but it has a more hostile nuance: a squatter or an enemy. The ‘ger’ alone has obtained legal status to live in a different country and might be seen as a foreigner who has become a ‘protected citizen.’

“Charging interest to fellow Israelites or ger was prohibited, but the foreigner (nekhar) was fair game (Deuteronomy 23:20). These passages show that aliens or strangers received all the benefits and protections of a citizen, whereas the foreigner (nekhar) did not. The reason is that the ger had legal status; they were, so to speak, documented! None of these benefits was available to the nekhar (the foreigner without legal status) in biblical law. The ger had legal status; they were, so to speak, documented!”

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