|Language of Liberty|
Friday, March 30, 2018
Open-borders advocates quote the Bible to justify their agenda
By Karen Lees, Guest Columnist
Isn’t it curious how open-borders advocates selectively use the Bible when it suits their agenda, but the same people ignore or even show contempt for scripture when it doesn’t?
So why would these folks go to the Bible as their standard of truth? Why co-opt its authority? Do they see it as an effective tool in shutting down opposition to their agenda? Shockingly, church leaders are not simply jumping onto this bandwagon…they are driving it!
Since the Bible is the authority open-borders advocates have chosen, let’s debate the issue using that same authority.
The scripture pointed to most often by the open-borders crowd is this:
"And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19:33-34)
The subject and key word in this sentence is ‘stranger’, or written in the original Hebrew pronounced ‘ger’, meaning “resident alien”, the same term used by the U.S. for a foreigner who is a legal resident.
The King James Bible Dictionary defines the word ‘stranger’ in this verse as: “a man of non-Israelite birth, resident in the promised land with the permission of the Israelite authorities."
“With permission of the authorities” is a privilege granted by the host nation, not an assumed right. Anything less is illegal, and always has been with every nation on earth.
So the ‘stranger’ in this verse is not an illegal alien, as some would like us to believe. It strictly refers to a foreigner who has entered the country LEGALLY.
Of course, as with all people, we should be kind to illegal aliens, especially if we see them suffering: if they are thirsty, hungry, or in need, we are instructed to help them. (Matthew 25:31-40) But it is equally as important to call the authorities. Otherwise, we are just as guilty of breaking the law. Harboring or enabling a felon to escape is a serious offense.
The scripture is clear. God never condones lawlessness against the just laws of governments and will hold us accountable if we enable or tolerate lawlessness. (Just laws are those that are not contrary to God’s higher law. For example, Nazi Germany violated God’s higher law.)
Romans 13 says, “Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn’t been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God. Therefore, whoever resists the government opposes what God has established. Those who resist will bring punishment on themselves…But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong.”
With no borders there can be no nation. The subject of nations is addressed in the Bible 677 times in the context of God’s destiny and purpose for each of them.
Acts 17:26 declares “He created all the people of the world from one man, Adam, and scattered the nations across the face of the earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and when. He determined their boundaries.”
And in Deuteronomy 32:8, “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.”
In Genesis 12:10-20, Abram, who we know as Abraham, violated immigration law in Egypt and was immediately deported. Although he was granted permission from the authorities to be in the country, he lied about the status of Sarai (Sarah), his wife, telling them she was his sister. When his deception was discovered, he was called before Pharaoh. Even though there was a famine in the land at that time, the reason for Abraham’s journey to Egypt, he did not argue with Pharaoh that he was “a hardworking person just trying to provide a better life for his family” or try to sneak back into the country.
Immigration law applied to Joseph’s family when they journeyed to Egypt to survive a famine. (Genesis 47) Moses was denied entrance to a sovereign nation in Numbers 20:21“…Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away…” Moses respected their borders. The law also applied to Mary and Joseph when they fled to Egypt for Jesus’ protection from Herod. (Matthew 2:13) Immigration law applied to the disciples when they went to other nations to preach the gospel as Jesus had instructed them. (Mark 16:14-20) Each of these individuals were specifically called to go to foreign nations and were expected to obey the law.
Immigration law must be respected - especially by Christians!
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a pathway that seems right to a man, but in the end it's a road to death.”
Perhaps church leaders promoting amnesty and open borders should spend more time studying the Bible instead of promoting lawlessness because it ‘seems right’ to them.
As the Declaration of Independence so aptly pointed out, “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” is the only authoritative and trustworthy standard. Not TV news. Unity only comes when we are in agreement with that standard, not each other’s opinions that ‘seem right’.
A negative term used frequently in the current political climate is “create division”. Apparently, it’s a really bad thing to create division. We are told that we must “create unity” instead. This is code for “If you don’t agree with us, you are creating division. You’re a troublemaker and must be silenced”. But it would seem the ones really creating division are those who fabricate their own truth by changing the meaning of words and standards.
Well, the open-border advocates started this debate by attempting to hijack the authority of the Bible. They seek to fabricate a new standard for immigration by appealing to our emotions. They believed their talking points would ‘seem right’ to most Americans. But if they thought they could justify lawlessness by using the Bible as their authority, they thought wrong.
Maybe their clumsy attempt will encourage us to search for truth and think for ourselves instead of letting the media do it for us.
Perhaps, instead of an agenda, we were inadvertently pointed to a more powerful authority - a loving Creator who calls us to live peaceably together according to His standards, not our own.
How will we respond to Him?
The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. Contact them at CenterForSelfGovernance.com