Borders and immigration are complex issues, especially for the faithful, and will again be top concerns for the 2020 election, says the American Pastors Network (APN), which is why Christians must be informed from a biblical and constitutional perspective on these hot-button matters.
APN frequently explores the topic of immigration on its popular daily, live, one-hour radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on more than 400 stations nationwide.
First, says APN President Sam Rohrer in his daily 60-second radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute,” the abuse of immigrants is mentioned in 2 Chronicles, where King Solomon focused on the “seven prayers for seven judgments.”
“There are seven warnings for nations that turn their backs on God,” Rohrer says. “One of those signs of judgment is the ‘abuse of immigrants.’ From our nation’s beginning, we’ve welcomed people to our Shining City on the Hill, in part so they could know our God Who is the Light. Today, immigrants are mere players in a political game of chess, introduced first to the god of government with social benefits offered as bribes for votes. Solomon perceived this horrendous government injustice to the stranger and saw that it would tarnish the testimony of God. Instead of pointing people to God, the immigrant was pointed to some other manmade god. In the ongoing debate about immigration and borders, how many Christians and pastors have considered this abuse of the immigrant to be an evidence of judgment? God does.”
But therein lies the complexity, Rohrer adds. False moral and biblical arguments abound, even from pastors, when it comes to addressing immigration—both from a legal and illegal standpoint.
“The moral component being cited by some religious leaders to justify a nearly unrestrained open-door policy is the biblical admonition to welcome the stranger and sojourner,” he says. “They then couple this with the biblical command to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan, to turn the other cheek and to love our enemies. While in some ways this concept is admirable and true, it falls entirely short in our current situation. We as Americans are known for our compassion for the poor, and we have perhaps set the highest standard in the history of all civilizations in giving of our bounty for others. That is, in fact, what Christianity is all about. Some pastors and religious leaders, however, are wrongly applying the command to the Church and individuals to governmental public policy. That is not only unbiblical and denies the clear
teaching of Scripture, but it is also dangerous and threatens the very foundation of our system of civil government that permits the Church and individuals to freely fulfill what God has commanded.
“Should the Church be concerned about helping to meet the needs of the poor?” Rohrer continues. “The answer is unequivocally yes. But this command only applies to these two jurisdictions—Church and individuals—here in our own nation, our own communities or our own neighbors. Can we help overseas? That answer is a resounding yes as well. Many organizations and groups meet the needs of the poor being displaced worldwide by war, unrest or famine. This is exactly what should be done. But, Jehovah God, the Author of Moral Truth, and Jesus Christ, the Embodiment of Truth, never told any nation to open their arms unconditionally to the ‘stranger.’ God never commanded any nation or His nation of Israel to invite in the sworn enemies of God or those committed to the destruction of their system of moral and civil law. There is simply no moral obligation for government to do what is currently being done or advocated. In fact, it is not only a violation of our civil law, it is a violation of moral law to bring in those who embrace the fundamental tenets of the very enemy who have sworn to kill us or to bring in people from countries who are training and harboring these enemies of freedom.”
In the end, Rohrer says, the matter has a simple solution. Government and government officials should do their lawful and moral duty to enact justice and protect God-honoring and law-abiding citizens of this nation. Likewise, church leaders and individuals should do their duty to extend compassion and kindness to all strangers, foreigners, the poor, the widow and the homeless, whether next door or around the world.
“If these simple lines of jurisdiction are followed, this current controversy would be eliminated,” he says. “God is not divided nor is He confused on this or any issue—and neither should we be. I pray to God that all in positions of authority would heed and lead. Our very freedom depends on it!”