A lot has been said about the recent, albeit unsurprising executive action that President Obama has taken on immigration. By granting millions of illegal individuals amnesty into our nation, he has slapped the faces of the many who have been standing in line, abiding by the rules of America. Further more he has ignored the outcry of the 2014 midterm elections, in which we as Americans spoke out against this kind of illegal action, and took back the House/Senate.
But in ongoing pondering of this issue over the past several years, i have come to believe Immigration is a social issue, one that we can tie to our faith. In my book i quote the well versed Dericck G. Jeter in his article, "The Bible and Immigration Reform". the following is an excerpt from my book, "Heroes of Faith" (C)2014
"Author and columnist Derrick G. Jeter provides us with his insights in an article titled, “ The Bible and Immigration Reform”, published in the Christian Post in August of 2013. [i] He says that people often misuse the verse found in Leviticus chapter 19, (“love your neighbor as your self….”)[ii] and use it to defend their more progressive views on immigration (amnesty). He goes on to say that the word “neighbor” is the key and finding out who they are. The answer is found later in Leviticus chapter 19 in verse 34.
"The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you and you shall love him as yourself,”
Jeter gives us a look at the Hebrew language of the Old Testament in which 3 words are used to describe foreigners, strangers and aliens. The first two, nekhar and zar, refer to immigrants whose loyalty still lies with their homelands. The third word, ger, has been translated “stranger” and refers to a person who migrated to Israel intentionally to become a citizen.
Jeter breaks it down finally saying,
“This is where modern notions of Christian love for immigrants runs afoul of biblical notions of love for sojourners…Many liberal Christians and politicians, and a few conservatives, would have us love-that is, accept-every immigrant that enters our borders, whether legally or illegally…Sojourners were accepted and given certain legal rights because their intention was to become full-fledged members of the nation…”
Immigration is an issue that takes empathy and compassion. You have to know history and respect history to be able to make changes for the future. But compassion does not mean that a nation must give up its right to choose by what means a person can enter that nation. It simply means that they understand the situation and are willing to bring ideas to the table which will help. "
i] Jeter, Derrick. “The Bible and Immigration Reform”. The Christian Post. 21 August 2013.
[ii] New International Version. [Colorado Springs]: Biblica, 2011.BibleGateway.com. Web. 3 Mar. 2011. (Jeremiah 17:9)
"Love is Patient. Love is Kind"