You need to take seven minutes and twenty-three seconds to view this video from Scott Hicks. Scott is an immigration lawyer, pastor, one of Pam and my friends, and one of my college roommates (he was also kind of an usher in our wedding – I say “kind of” because he was an usher but he couldn’t do his “ush”ing duties because he became violently sick minutes before the wedding). He (with another friend Joy, Pam, and me) is also apart of perhaps the longest Facebook message thread the world has ever known – aptly named “We Have All The Best Answers”.
Anyhow, watch this!
I love how often he uses the word “obligation” because if you are a Christian then how we treat the foreigner should be based off the commands of the One we call Lord. The Bible is full of commands concerning how we are to treat the outsider and the foreigner. If you aren’t a Christian then you have to make up your mind on other criteria, but if you are a follower of Christ you have proclaimed that Jesus is your Lord and therefore you need to do what He says. We need to do what He says. It is an obligation.
Far too often we choose to just think that God is on our side of an issue rather than asking if we are on His side. A while back I read Jospeh Loconte’s “A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War” concerning Lewis’s and Tolkien’s experience in WWI and how it shaped them. One of the things that struck me was how many of the parties in WWI were convinced that they were doing God’s work by fighting that war. For example,\ the German Kaiser makes the following statement.
“Remember that the German people are the chosen of God. On me, on me as German Emperor, the Spirit of God has descended. I am His weapon. His sword and His visor … Death to cowards and unbelievers!”
The same was true for proclamations of evil. If we were on God’s side then those opposed to us must be on the devil’s side. This is why Billy Sunday, the baseball player turned Christian evangelist, could make statements like the following and be cheered.
“If you turn Hell upside down, you’ll find ‘Made in Germany’ stamped on the bottom.”
Few people stopped to ask “are we doing what God wants us to do?” I would imagine it is hard to fight a war if both sides are asking that question. Those of us who are followers of Jesus (i.e. the Church) should be asking this question all the time. Are we doing what God wants us to do? I believe when we ask and respond to questions like that we will be more concerning with treating the immigrant as Jesus would have us to, than we are concerning with our political ideology.
The Church SHOULD act like the church. This means we need to act like the Church in regards to how we face the issue of immigration. One day we will face Jesus and He won’t just ask us about our personal piety, He will also ask how we lived out our faith in Him concerning societal issues like immigration.