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Featured What does the Bible say about illegal immigration?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Quasar92, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Note: We wholeheartedly believe that Christians are called to be compassionate and merciful towards immigrants (Exodus 25:35; Leviticus 10:33-34; Matthew 25:35). We also believe that the United States should have a more compassionate and merciful immigration policy. However, that is not the question at hand. The question at hand is whether it is wrong to violate a nation's borders and transgress its immigration laws.

    Romans 13:1-7 makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government. The only exception to this is when a law of the government forces you to disobey a command of God (Acts 5:29). Illegal immigration is the breaking of a governmental law. There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts a nation having immigration laws. Therefore, it is a sin, rebellion against God, to illegally enter another country.

    Illegal immigration is definitely a controversial issue in the United States (and some other countries) today. Some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory – giving individuals justification to immigrate illegally. However, Romans 13:1-7 does not give any permission to violate a law just because it is unjust. Again, the issue is not the fairness of a law. The only biblical reason to violate a governmental law is if that law violates God's Word. When Paul wrote the book of Romans, he was under the authority of the Roman Empire, led by perhaps the most evil of all the Roman emperors, Nero. Under that reign, there were many laws that were unfair, unjust, and/or blatantly evil. Still, Paul instructed Christians to submit to the government.

    Are the immigration laws of the United States unfair or unjust? Some think so, but that is not the issue. All developed countries in the world have immigration laws, some more strict than the USA and some less strict than the USA. There is nothing in the Bible to prohibit a country from having completely open borders or to have completely closed borders. Romans 13:1-7 also gives the government the authority to punish lawbreakers. Whether the punishment is imprisonment and/or deportation, or even something more severe, it is within the rights of the government to determine.

    The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have come for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping from poverty. These are good goals and motivations. However, it is not biblical to violate a law to achieve something "good." Caring for the poor, orphans, and widows is something the Bible commands us to do (Galatians 2:10; James 1:27; 2:2-15). However, the biblical fact that we are to care for the unfortunate does not mean we should violate the law in doing so. Supporting, enabling, and/or encouraging illegal immigration is, therefore, also a violation of God's Word. Those seeking to emigrate to another country should always obey the immigration laws of that country. While this may cause delays and frustrations, these reasons do not give a person the right to violate a law.

    What is the biblical solution to illegal immigration? Simple – don't do it; obey the laws. If disobedience is not a biblical option, what can be done in regards to an unjust immigration law? It is completely within the rights of citizens to seek to change immigration laws. If it is your conviction that an immigration law is unjust, do everything that is legally within your power to get the law changed: pray, petition, vote, peacefully protest, etc. As Christians, we should be the first to seek to change any law that is unjust. At the same time, we are also to demonstrate our submission to God by obeying the government He has placed in authority over us.

    "Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God" (1 Peter 2:13–16).

    Recommended Resources: Hard Sayings of the Bible by Kaiser, Davids, & Brauch and Logos Bible Software.

    Source: www.gotquestions.org


    Quasar92
     
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  2. NothingIsImpossible

    NothingIsImpossible Well-Known Member

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    Sadly many christians will twist the bible to fit their viewpoint on illegal immigration. I've seen all the arguments about how we should support "illegal immigration" because of the bible talking about helping the weary or how we are all one in Gods eyes. These are desperate people grasping at straws to help these people. In the end they cannot deny the bible says (As you pointed out) we MUST obey mans law unless it interferes with Gods laws. And someone coming here illegally does not interfere with anything God says. Nothing in the bible talks about someone coming to another country illegally.

    This doesn't mean we don't like the illegals. Most still have sympathy for them. Especially those coming from Mexico where the laws are horrible about them coming here. However as christians all we can really do is pray and ask those from Mexico that are here to try to change the laws of their country so their friends/family can come here easier.

    My great grandparents came here legally from Italy. My wife came here legally from an asian country. It cost alot of money, time and emotions. So when someone comes here illegally and wants a pity party I am insulted. Where my wife came from wasn't great either, but she still obeyed the law because its what we have to do. Most everyone who comes here comes for the same reason as everyone else. For a better life. No excuse makes it ok to come here illegally.
     
  3. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Did you know that some countries treat the issue of cross border movement and documentation processing in a vastly different way?

    For example, it's very common for Canada to accept and give necessary status to people whom the United States has rejected.

    In Argentina in some areas the local government has even stopped referring to some migrants as 'illegals'; the process to citizenship in Argentina is relatively simple anyway and can be completed in 2 years.

    In Canada many professional people coming from overseas can get registered in different professions without having to fulfill national or residential qualifications first. It is very widely accepted that immigrants benefit the Canadian economy.

    Paul went to Jerusalem because there were many Jews there at the time of the Passover; he used this as an opportunity to witness; this was his passion. He did not concern himself with whether individual Jews could prove their national status, or whatever. Beating the nationalist drum was not part of His heartbeat.
     
  4. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    When I studied scripture as to how to Love in all our relationships, the issue of immigrants came up. The only thing I could find that applied to the immigrants was found in the OT first treat them justly (Leviticus 19:33-37)
    Exodus 12:43-49; Exodus 20:10;
    Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 18:26; Leviticus 24:16; Leviticus 24:22; Leviticus 25:47; Numbers 9:14; Numbers 15:14-16; Numbers 19:10; Deuteronomy 16:11;
    Deuteronomy 31:12; II Chronicles 6:32-33; Psalms 146:9; Ezekiel 47:23

    IOw's the foreigner or immigrant is to obey the law of the land...that would include but not be limited to immigration laws
     
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  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    So long as they pass all the checks that Canada thinks we here ought not to bother with...
    and then if the number of such people is only a few thousand.

    You may recall that the Prime Minister made a big show of saying that Canada welcomes the people whom Trump wanted to screen...and then complained loudly that there had been 500 or so crossing the border into Manitoba without passing customs, and this was supposed to be swamping Canada!
     
  6. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Fascinating to compare this Gotquestions answer to the excellent Gotquestions answer about Civil Disobedience you posted just a few minutes earlier.

    They directly contradict each other.

    One can't help but notice the illogical sentence right in the first paragraph on this one:

    "However, that is not the question at hand."

    It's exactly the question at hand though -- because the verses cited are precisely about immigrants that belong somewhere else!

    Leviticus 19 is the intended quote actually.

    33 “ ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

    This Gotquestions answer about immigrants is an unfortunately great example of 'arguing from your conclusion' -- having a conclusion one wants to reach, and then ignoring what contradicts it, and insist even on ignoring truths as required in order to reach the conclusion one has decided is preferred, regardless of things like clear scripture to the contrary.

    It's quite sad that they are so political, worldly in this answer.

     
  7. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    Right there in Revelation it emphasizes that NO ONE that does not enter "legally" will have access to enter the gates of heaven, or anyone attempting to enter illegally, like "climbing the wall" or attempting to enter by "stealth" will be allowed into the gates.

    In heaven, there is a "gate", "walls", and a "legal precedence".

    Lawlessness will not be welcomed or tolerated.

    Thank you kindly.
     
  8. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Thank goodness us sinners -- you and me -- us at-times lawbreakers -- you and me -- thank goodness we will be shown Mercy! Thank goodness there is Someone Who redeems us from our sins!
     
  9. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Let me add a qualifier on that!

    He actually said it this way, Christ Jesus our Lord:

    "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

    In view of this, I know whether I want to show mercy to illegal immigrants!
     
  10. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    I agree that those without proper documentation should be encouraged to obtain it in a proper and legal manner.

    I don't get the nationalist drumbeating, however, in whatever jurisdiction. The believer's gospel that he or she supposedly lives by is not: "We the correct nationalists are the pure! those from someplace else with incorrect paperwork are the impure! let's beat up on the impure!"

    Matthew 28.18-19 is a better description of the Gospel to all nations.
     
  11. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    I was referring to what is written in Revelation, my friend. Jesus emphasizes that only HIS sheep will enter the gate, and that HE is the Shepherd and will not allow anyone who is not His sheep (His own) will be allowed into the gates. Therefore anyone who has repented and thus shown mercy by His grace are covered by His righteousness will be allowed entry, for they are His sheep.

    Are you saying that He is wrong?

    Walls and gates are not evil. Those who necessitate having them are.
     
  12. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    Wow, who's beating up who?

    Sounds ooooogly.

    Did i miss something?
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    What does that have to do with any of this????
     
  14. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Okay, so I could have used, 'being vehemently critical of, to the exclusion of other reasonable considerations', or some such phrase. :)

    I don't have any one person particularly in mind. To me, the whole matter involves the question of emphasis, I suppose. Like, why is the believer in the world?
     
  15. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Amen. And, we know that His sheep are those that believe in Him, and follow Him, He says.

    Would you like me to write to you this question: "Are you saying that He is wrong?" when I'm citing whatever scripture, as if you are intending to go against Christ, when we know you are not intending that?

    No?

    Then, by the rule He gave you in Matthew 7:12, you should not then say that to me, right?

    He is correct in all things of course! If you can find Him saying anything like 'send illegal immigrants back to their home countries' here on Earth right now in our mortal lives, then that would be indeed a good thing to learn, but I already know it's not in there anywhere.

    Instead, something very close to the opposite is indeed in scripture. Israel was told plainly to treat the foreigners dwelling among them well.

    34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

    .
     
  16. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    If you like myself have worked with Latin Americans for many years, you would probably know how migrants face constant pressures of a nationalist nature from those who are pleased to define them as 'other'.
     
  17. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    Not following you, my friend.

    I was merely sharing what Jesus Christ Himself said in Revelation about legal and illegal entry through His own gate.

    He died for ANYONE who repents and turns to Him as their Savior. He is emphasizing that anyone attempting to enter through His gates other than through HIM is a trespasser.

    Trespassers are not allowed through His gates.
     
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  18. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    I've known and worked with, and advocated for many from other nations who were attempting to gain citizenship here.

    Are you referring to those who seek citizenship or those who do not seek it?
     
  19. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    That's 100% correct I know, and also I agree with it long ago, and still, yesterday and today. Amen!

    But the essential requirements for salvation isn't itself the other rule He gave you to follow here and now, today, in your life, in regard to neighbors or in regard to foreigners.

    He told you how to treat your enemies even, here and now.

    If you feel the illegal Mexican here today nearby is a neighbor or an enemy, either, He gave you instruction on how to treat them.

    For me, being from Texas, they have been my neighbors for many years of my life, over 25 altogether (though we now have moved to another state), and I loved several of them I got to know.
     
  20. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    Down here in the states, most people who want some control just want immigrants to follow the law rather than thumb their nose at the law. We tend to be a very compassionate people when it comes to inviting foreigners into our land. However, the world hears a different story because there are people here who are trying to cause divisions and stir controversies. Some people down here are buying into the rhetoric but most of us are pretty level headed and welcoming.
     
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