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7 Inconvenient Biblical Facts About “Illegal” Immigrants

Some Evangelical Christians are particularly clever at cherry-picking Bible verses that support their political agenda while ignoring those inconvenient passages that disagree with their worldview.

For example, in recent weeks many American Christians have become offended by the imprisonment of Kim Davis, a Kentucky Court Clerk who was found in contempt of court for blocking the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her state. Her defenders were quick to point out the difference between man’s laws and God’s laws and supported Davis’ right to act according to her conscience and God’s higher law, as found in the Bible.

Interestingly, many of the same Christians who strongly oppose the cultural acceptance of homosexuality are also opposed to illegal immigration.

Why?

Well, of course, because America is a nation of “laws” and everyone must obey the laws of the land.

Hmm…

Unfortunately for those holding tightly to this double standard, the same Old Testament that prohibits the abominable practice of homosexuality also forbids the mistreatment of foreigners and/or immigrants, without regard to their “legality.”

If Evangelicals want to obey God’s law above man’s law, a careful study of scripture will reveal that their vehement opposition to the foreigners living among them is in violation of God’s commands.

Below are seven inconvenient Biblical facts that remind us of God’s view of the “foreigners” living among us.

1. God’s people are instructed not to oppress immigrants.

Exodus 22:21 – “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

Exodus 23:9 – “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

2. God’s people are to treat immigrants just like citizens.

Leviticus 19:33,34 – “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 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.”

Deuteronomy 23:16 – “Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.”

Ezekiel 47:22,23 – “You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign LORD.”

3. God’s people are to love and help foreigners as they would their own poor brother.

Leviticus 25:35-37 – “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.”

Deuteronomy 10:18,19 – “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

4. God expects His people to show justice to foreigners.

Deuteronomy 24:14-15,17 – “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin… Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.”

Zechariah 7:10 – “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”

5. Those who seek to withhold justice from foreigners are to be cursed.

Deuteronomy 27:19 – “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Malachi 3:5 – “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.”

6. God equates oppressing foreigners with mistreating orphans and widows.

Ezekiel 22:7 – “In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.”

Zechariah 7:10 – “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”

Psalm 146:9 – “The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”

7. God equates oppressing foreigners with the shedding of innocent blood and idolatry.

Jeremiah 7:6 – “if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm.”

Jeremiah 22:3 – “This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

THE ABOVE VERSES make it abundantly clear that God’s view towards the foreigner is markedly different than that projected by American Evangelicals.

Perhaps the most absurd Evangelical argument made against embracing illegal immigrants is made by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.

According to Fischer, the presence of illegal immigrants serves only to slow the American church’s attempts at spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

You can watch him make his comments below.

To Mr. Fischer and those who agree with his logic, consider this: If America is as special and exceptional as you believe, then how do you know that God is not speeding up the process of evangelism in these last days by literally bringing those who have never heard the message to our own shores?

While Washington bickers about its own immigration laws, why should followers of Christ engage themselves in that battle? Isn’t it only logical that those carrying the gospel, and who may not be able to “go out into all the world,” would welcome every opportunity to share the love of Christ with the migrant stranger, even if they are here “illegally?”

We should not be surprised when those who consider this world their home engage in political battles in an effort to maintain their nation’s “purity.” However, those who know they are just “passing through” on this earth should welcome the stranger when he knocks at their door. Not only is it an opportunity to witness, but the Bible tells us it could be Jesus himself.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink. When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”Matthew 25:37-40

So, in conclusion, which law will you follow regarding the foreigner in your midst? God’s law or man’s law?

 

* All verses taken from the New International Version (NIV), unless otherwise stated.



About

Jerry Robinson has been teaching the Word of God since 2002. His desire through this website is to help others know God's Word and to be sensitive to His voice. He is a grateful husband and proud father. He resides deep within the Boston Mountains in Northwest Arkansas.


'7 Inconvenient Biblical Facts About “Illegal” Immigrants' have 14 comments

  1. October 4, 2015 @ 10:46 pm richard

    Isa 1:7 Your land is a desolation; your cities burned with fire. Foreigners devour your land before you; and behold, ruin, as overthrown by foreigners.

    Reply

    • November 5, 2015 @ 6:17 pm Jerry Robinson

      History is fairly clear that only Native Americans can rightfully call someone a foreigner in North America.

      Reply

      • November 5, 2015 @ 9:13 pm Richard

        Justice Taney in Martin v. Waddell’s Lessee, 41 U.S. 367 (1842) confirms:

        “The English possessions in America were not claimed by right of conquest, but by right of discovery. For, according to the principles of international law, as understood by the then civilized powers of Europe, the Indian tribes in the new world were regarded as mere temporary occupants of the soil, and the absolute rights of property and dominion were held to belong to the European nation by which any particular portion of the country was first discovered. Whatever forbearance may have been sometimes practised towards the unfortunate aborigines, either from humanity or policy, yet the territory they occupied was disposed of by the governments of Europe, at their pleasure, as if it had been found without inhabitants…”

        The ideological legal foundation for the American colonists’ assertion of the right to English liberties and common law rested upon the validity of the claim that the colonies were vacant lands or “wastelands” settled by Englishmen and subject to English law. It is upon this foundation, in part, that the colonists justified their right to revolt against English acts of tyranny in regard to their liberties and rights.

        Reply

        • November 6, 2015 @ 11:18 am Jerry Robinson

          It is no surprise that American courts supported America’s original land grab. But here’s a more important question: Would you support the conquering of more lands and the displacement of more people groups who are deemed to be merely “occupying the soil” today? Why should Americans stop with North America? Why shouldn’t we push on and take even more territory from those who are not as sophisticated as ourselves?

          Reply

          • November 14, 2015 @ 8:23 pm Richard

            The link I provided referred to international law, not “American” court rulings. To define the growth of this country as a “land grab” is most definitely an indication of your bias. The United States (America is a continent, not a country) legally obtained every square inch of its’ territory from the original 13 colonies from England, from the midsection from the 1903 land purchase, Alaska from Russia…. tell me where we “grabbed land”? You are okay with Jesus “trumping the Mosaic law”, but we are beholden to it? I’m sorry, but I think you’re caught up in something that that simply isn’t about being biblical, love and everything else you claim it to be. Maybe it’s time to follow the money.

      • November 6, 2015 @ 7:13 am Peter

        Jerry,
        I agree with you on most things but we are not to encourage law breakers. God gave us government to protect us. They gave established laws for this purpose. Legal immigration is
        just and lawful. Illegal immigration is not.

        Reply

        • November 6, 2015 @ 11:29 am Jerry Robinson

          Peter, I agree with you. This article does not call for encouraging immigration. Illegal immigration is just that, illegal. And for good reason. Washington has laws to enforce. But as Christ followers, how does that issue find its way to the top of our list of concerns?

          If a man strikes you on the cheek, that is illegal. The law permits you to press charges. But Jesus says otherwise.
          If a man takes your coat, that is theft. The law permits you to press charges. But Jesus says otherwise.

          The point of this article is that followers of Christ are called to live differently and have a higher law. Yes, we should do our best to keep the law. But some of Jesus’ most powerful life examples occurred when he allowed the higher law of love to trump the rigidity of the Mosaic law.

          Perhaps the American Church is failing to spread the love of Christ because they are more concerned with protecting their “rights” and “keeping the law” than simply following Jesus’ example of love for the weak, poor, and broken.

          Thoughts?

          Reply

      • November 8, 2015 @ 11:31 am Steve

        Times have changed. today we have weapons of mass destruction that enables terrorist to wreak havoc on our country and the Bible is clear about protecting providing for our own (a nation) first. Thus, we don’t turn a cold shoulder to the needy, we go over to their country and help them there — not all here!

        Reply

  2. October 22, 2015 @ 10:36 am Richard

    This point of view confuses immigration with invasion.

    Reply

  3. November 6, 2015 @ 12:50 am KP

    I appreciate your compassion for these refugees from the atrocities that abound in foreign nations these days …But I have some questions and comments that I find difficult to set aside.

    If we are to welcome people who do not go through the immigration protocols as our national guidelines direct ….

    How then can anything be defined as stealing , adultery, coveting ? Social justice and the social gospel have muddied the waters of the way we are to conduct our lives in God ordained jurisdictions such as marriage ….property ownership is very costly with the cost of purchase and taxes , if boundaries and laws do not define what is useful to society and godly order then what is your use of scripture to those who are more than willing to enter wherever they can find a portal of entry.

    Is everyone my ‘brother” ? Are all people ‘God’s children”?

    Mar 3:35 For whosoever shall DO THE WILL OF GOD, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

    God is the Father of those who are born of ..God’s incorruptible seed.

    1Jo 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

    The true persecuted immigrant seeking asylum is difficult to determine among the huge numbers who are invading borders with many among them intent upon damage and pillage as the river of such have demonstrated in many countries across the globe.

    Also what of Romans where it speaks of those who live in this world are without excuse having had a conscience and creation that will cause them to seek the Lord wherever they may be and He will reward those who believe He IS and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

    Also Jesus pointed out ..contrary to the Secular Humanist that only “those who do my Father’s will’ are HIS brothers and mother.

    1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    As Christians we are not only to show compassion and help for those in need but the social gospel puts the emphasis upon flesh rather than the true need of those who are SEEKING the Lord and the Truth and if that is the case they will have that need met wherever they are.

    The hungry, the sick , the naked are to be given the bread of life, the garment of salvation and the healing of the soul in Jesus Christ.

    Many missionaries are going out and God ‘s hand is not shortened when it comes to people who sincerely desire to know Him.

    The scripture that is often misquoted is ‘Blessed are the poor’ ….but that is only part of the scripture…it goes on to identify what KIND of ‘poor ‘ and it is the poverty of the spirit …they are those who ‘mourn’ and grieve their lack of knowing God and the Savior .

    If you are suggesting we have no borders then will YOU start by opening your home to any and all who immigrate without distinction of their intent or character….will you put your whole family at risk of unknown danger for the sake of this stand ?

    Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones THAT BELIEVE IN ME , it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

    For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

    8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

    9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

    10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

    11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

    Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them,
    Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these MY BRETHREN, ye have done it unto me.

    who did JESUS say were identified as “HIS BRETHREN”? Those who DO the will of His Father….born again

    Now when a stranger came in the OT there was a constraining ritual to compel them to come in, three times the invitation was made to assure the guest that they were welcome …as with Lot. There were protocols respected and demonstrated throughout the Bible.

    God placed laws to govern life by to protect us .

    John 10:10 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold,

    but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

    Spiritually those who follow the Lord are to be separate and sanctified by His Spirit.

    The Lord directs separation and what is HIS is not redistributed.

    Not everyone who cries “Lord Lord’ will be saved…
    but those who come LAWFULLY.

    Matt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    also note that ‘knew’ is a word that speaks of ‘impregnating ‘ as when ‘Adam KNEW EVE and she conceived’

    Those who are born again are born of INCORRUPTIBLE SEED which IS the WORD of GOD …God’s spirit..

    It is to be RECEIVED with meekness ..a heart prepared …not a hardened heart ….those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness will HEAR HIS VOICE and believe…another they WILL NOT FOLLOW.

    “Iniquity ” is “lawlessness”

    Illegal entry to the Kingdom of God was denied those who tried to ‘come up another way”

    Boundaries and borders of all kinds are being assaulted today in our world as people are casting off all laws.

    The One world government , one world religion and the one world economy is preparation for the “many’ to accept the Anti christ or the ‘instead of ‘ Christ who they will be deceived into following because he comes in ‘by peace’ and what pleases the bulk of people who know not the Lord or the Word which He has commanded for us to study to show ourselves approved to HIM rather than appealing to the flesh of those who have chosen to follow after the world , the flesh and the devil.

    Anyone IN MY PATH I will speak the Word to for that is the command to ‘go stand and speak all the Words of this life’ that they may hear who have hearts prepared to hear.

    Anyone IN MY PATH I will do as the Lord directs.

    But the FLOOD is the preparation for the days ahead of destruction and God’s people are not appointed to wrath.

    Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.
    When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

    Isa 29:15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

    2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    Reply

    • November 6, 2015 @ 11:46 am Jerry Robinson

      KP, you asked: “If we are to welcome people who do not go through the immigration protocols as our national guidelines direct, how then can anything be defined as stealing, adultery, coveting?”

      I agree. Laws are good and are in place for a reason.

      But the actions of followers of Christ are not driven primarily by the government. We are called to a higher law. When the laws of this world and the greater law of love find themselves in collision, Christ followers choose love.

      For example, if a stranger (or even an enemy) struck you on the cheek and stole your coat, you have every right as an American citizen to press charges and to even take that person to court. But to do so would violate the spirit of Jesus’ teaching. Yes, striking someone in the face and stealing from them are wrong, and “illegal.” But, does that mean that we are to spend our lives suing our enemies and pursuing temporal revenge? Jesus teaches a different way.

      We have to choose our battles.

      If American Christians were as angry about “porn in the pulpit”, “abortion in the pews”, and the ineffectiveness of their own witness, as they are about brown people “illegally” defiling their land, perhaps there could be more common ground on these political matters.

      Reply

  4. November 6, 2015 @ 11:50 am Lynne

    My feeling on illegal immigration depend on who is the illegal. All of these Syrian “refugees” are not here for peace. They are muslims who want to kill anyone who does not conform to their “religion of peace”

    Reply

  5. June 5, 2016 @ 3:45 am LEH

    Even in the Old Testament, the Israelites were not to go into certain lands, or mingle with those “foreigners” as they may be persuaded to worship pagan gods. Also, would we not reject others who worship “another god” if they come in swarms in an attempt to convert us away from our God? We can have all the faith, good intent, and desire for obedience as Christians towards “foreigners”, but when foreigners in the past came to the U.S. as it was becoming a nation – their intent was not to destroy the U.S., but to find the freedoms we enjoy (and some came to steal its “resources”). As far as Native Americans go, we did not come here to conquer them – but needed to befriend them in order to survive. The Native Americans came from “somewhere” – many tribes were migratory, and few settled in communities – even then other tribes would “invade” them when they needed food, etc. So, how they claimed every inch of the U.S. as their land – other countries were invading also to take resources. Same things happened in the Old Testament – God even helped the Israelites kill and conquer to effect his Will for His people and His chosen land.
    If the “brown” people from the southern border came rightfully in order to support their families, find work, etc. – we have always made provisions for that. But today, “brown people” can mean extremists from the Middle East who are coming solely to destroy our “hospitality”, kill unbelievers, and usher in their caliphate.
    Oh…..as a final and hilarious note – I wanted to share – that the interpretation of the 72 virgins that Muslims are promised for being martyrs – they mistranslated the word used – the word for “virgins” was actually meant to be RAISINS!! That they would find paradise with all the fruits, etc (similar to being in Eden)…. maybe if they know if is raisins, they’ll reconsider martyrdom – and come to worship the true God who promises much more!

    Reply

    • June 5, 2016 @ 9:02 pm Jerry Robinson

      Hi Leh.

      I certainly can sympathize with many of your comments. You said “but when foreigners in the past came to the U.S. as it was becoming a nation”.

      This is sadly true. This nation was born in tragedy. The early American settlers turned their guns on their own Christian brothers and sisters from their own country of England as well as on the Natives living here.

      I sometimes wonder how many saints were killed in order to create America “for God.” Some are convinced that the example set forth in the book of Acts is completely irrelevant to our modern day. Does God specifically call his children to take up arms against their own Christian brothers in the last days? If so, where is that command in scripture in the New Testament? How deceptive! But appropriate for the last days.

      I read Matthew 25 and it mercifully tells me in advance some of the questions that I will be asked on Judgment Day. They include six things. I will be asked what I did for the 1) hungry 2) thirsty 3) foreigner 4) naked 5) sick, and 6) the prisoner.

      Imagine having to stand before the Lord Jesus on that day explaining that instead of serving the “least of these”, you actually killed your own Christian brothers and sisters — all in the name of “creating a new nation.” How sad. God’s elect are drawn to the “least of these”, not repelled by them. We don’t fear death, we long to follow our Savior to the cross. Death is gain for the Christian, apparently except in Christian America where we must kill others first before they kill us.

      Christians are marked by their love for one another. You will know them by their fruits. If our views towards the “foreigner” are motivated by our culture, by fear and not love, how can we claim to be walking in faith? Do we trust God, or not? Is death gain, or is it not?

      Atheists reject American Christianity because they can see it is full of inconsistencies. You love your brother, but only until he crosses the line. Then you shoot him. How is that different from the world?

      Sadly, many Christians don’t have as much discernment as a sincere atheist about the deception that is ravaging the American church. It is indeed a dark hour.

      Reply


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