How Should the Church Treat Illegal Aliens in 2012?

Deuteronomy 10:18-19

18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

There is no basis in scripture for granting someone mercy or not showing them mercy because of their legal status.  No matter how we feel about this issue on  a personal level it is clear that we are to act with kindness and compassion when dealing with illegal aliens.  I would caution that when dealing with old or young people finding themselves here without documentation we ought to be extra sure we act with the kindness of Jesus.

Deuteronomy 24:19-22

19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

God specifically calls us to share with the alien.  As Christians, if mercy toward the alien isn’t our first inclination, a spiritual check up is more than likely in order.

What it comes down to is understanding that we as Christians are called to be showers of mercy.  It really is that simple.  This is true even if to show mercy we must ignore our political and American preconceptions.  The truth is a hard thing to swallow sometimes but necessary nonetheless.

This is just a short thumbnail glance at this huge subject.  I am clear on this however Christians are called to welcome the alien; to comfort the alien, bind up their wounds, feed them, etc.  We live in a world where those actions maybe aren’t always possible to do because many of us will never come into direct contact with an illegal.  However, when you have the option to act I suggest you act with mercy as your compass.

Oh, one thing I am sure of: God is not pleased when He sees his followers putting up signs, billboards, internet posts that make it seem like illegals are not welcome and will be hunted down, all in the guise of “law and order!”  The vast majority of the time that is an excuse for bigotry.

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