• What Does the Bible Say About Immigration?

    Does God want a wall? Does God want us to all live freely in harmony with no borders?

    How does God feel about our dreamers? Should they stay or should they go?

    My friend, Shane Vander Hart from Caffeinated Thoughts has done the research you always wanted to do. He wrote a piece titled The Bible and Immigration. It is well worth reading the entire article.

    Does a sojourner constitute an immigrant? If so, here are scriptures describing how they should be treated:

    God’s compassion for the sojourners.

    • “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt,” (‭‭Exodus‬ ‭22:21‬, ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus‬ ‭23:9,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt,” (‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭10:18-19,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow’s garment in pledge…. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this,” (‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭24:17, 20-22,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you,” (‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭26:11,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God,” (‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭19:10,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin,” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭146:9,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord God,” (‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭47:23,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    • “do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart,” (‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭7:10,‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

    Shane goes on to explain how respect for the rule of law is essential. Christians are commanded to obey the authority of the ruling law.

    Implications for the immigration debate.

    So what does this mean for us? For starters, the United States is not Israel, but there are principles that can be applied.

    • God does not command open borders, nor does He require closed borders. Nowhere in scripture do we see anything about border security or lack thereof. It should be noted, however, that while nations at that time did not have secure borders; cities did have walls and gates. Nations at the time of Israel’s exodus also were nervous with Israel’s mass migration.
    • We are to treat immigrants with kindness and respect – period. There are some who have an anti-immigrant attitude to those who are even here legally, and I don’t believe that reflects the heart of God. We are to treat even those who are here illegally with dignity.
    • In ancient Israel, sojourners were expected to assimilate. That’s good advice for those who come to the United States legally (and I think most do try to do this).
    • Immigrants are to respect the laws of the land. Christians who are here in the United States illegally are in violation of the law. We are called to obey our governing authorities. We are not allowed to pick and choose what laws we will follow. Also, often those who are here illegally are not paying taxes, another violation of the law. If they have false documents, that too is a violation of the law. They need to repent and come clean. It’s certainly hard to do, but it is the right thing to do. I certainly understand they have come here to try to make a better life for themselves, but that is no excuse to break the law.
    • Christians shouldn’t knowingly hire illegal immigrants as that is a violation of the law. Also, Christians who employ legal migrant workers need to pay them a fair wage and offer safe working conditions. We should show compassion and mercy when and where we can in ways that do not violate the law.
    • Respect for the rule of law does not mean you can’t work to change the law that you view as unjust – which is why I support Congress passing a law allowing childhood arrivals (with parameters), but I didn’t support President Obama’s executive order allowing it as it bypassed Congress. Also, respect for the rule of law doesn’t mean one has to support deportation as the only consequence of illegal immigration, but it does mean you need to advocate for a change in the law, not try to aid those trying to avoid it. Also, support for sanctuary cities, etc. promotes lawlessness, something Christians shouldn’t support.
    It’s nice to actually see the quotes straight from the bible pertaining to this hot issue. Read it yourself. Form your own opinion without media bias.
    That is how it should be.

    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

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