Biblical Principles on Immigration
Since the President's immigration speech, I have read various articles claiming to be giving the "Biblical" Principles in this immigration debate. I found them all severely lacking. The common error in all of them was the propensity to mix up the role of the church and the role of the Government. Most even go so far as to say that because the church and the government have two different roles to play that Christians should not get involved in this debate. This is an error, Christians should be involved in all aspects of public discourse.
So let us examine this issue. First according to the Bible the role of Government is to, "Governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and thepraise of those who do right." - 1 Peter 2:14. The role of Government is to enforce the law of the land. The role of the people is to, "be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil." -Romans 13:1-3. It is only right to act against the Government when the government is 1. failing to protect its citizens or 2. commanding its citizens to do the exact opposite of a command of God.
Just from the above analysis one can see that the government has the duty to punish those who come to this country illegally. If the government were not to punish those who fail to follow our immigration laws it would be shirking its duty to protect the American people. Boarders exist to protect the Nation. Without boarders our enemies would have easy access to our country. So we must enforce the boarder. Even worse, when we fail to punish those who follow our laws, we fail to be a nation of laws.
Many of the above mentioned articles quoted the Old Testament passages the Israelites to welcome the alien. They note that the church is supposed to reach out to everyone. These are two separate topics and I will treat them as such. Firstly, though the Old Testament does command the Israelites to welcome the stranger and foreigner, it never commands the Government to ignore the laws of the land when aliens are involved. Secondly, yes the Church is supposed to reach out to everyone - and should, but this does not mean that the Government should ignore the laws.
Basic Biblical analysis leads back to a simple conclusion. It is the Government's duty to punish those who illegally enter our country, not to be mean, but because we are a nation of laws. The Church still must reach out to illegal immigrants, but should not shield them from lawful prosecution. Those who do wrong must face the consequences of their actions.
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