Friday, May 21, 2010

The "Too Passionate" Email Exchange

I do not understand how you can answer a question about immigration from a "Biblical" perspective, and totally ignore the hundreds of scriptures that tell us to care for the alien. You might want to worry less about what Glenn Beck says and more about what the Bible says about a difficult issue.

Steve Davis

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Steve,

Can you give any scriptural support for the idea that it is acceptable to illegally enter another country? Can you give any scriptural support for the idea that we are allowed to break the law if it is for a compassionate reason?

Of course we are to care for aliens, orphans, widows, the poor, etc., but that does not make it right for a person to break the law. The issue of what to do with an illegal alien once he/she is in the country is another matter. The focus of our article is - is it right or wrong to enter another country illegally?

Sincerely in Christ,

Name withheld)
GotQuestions.org

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Thanks for the reply.

Of course there are no scriptures that say it is okay to break the law. By the same token, when I see someone who is obviously an "alien" I have no way of knowing how they got here. My job, then, is to live the other dozens of scripture verses that teach me how to deal with an alien on an individual basis. For you not to mention our Christian responsibilities, despite overwhelming Biblical evidence, in my opinion just feeds an anti-Hispanic bias that is insuring many Hispanics who are here legally will never darken the doors of our churches.

And, by the way, the answer you gave is also way too simplistic in dealing with a complicated issues. What is the proper Christian and government response to someone who has been here illegally for fifteen years, was smuggled across the border by his parents when he was twelve. Who married another illegal alien and the two of them now have three children--all of whom are US citizens--and has in all other respects been a solid "citizen." Is it best to deport him and his wife and put the kids in the foster care system? Deport the three US citizens? Provide a simplified path for this person to become a citizen w/o leaving the country? It's a complicated question and one that must be informed by the scriptures you chose not to include in your response.

Thanks for listening.

Steve

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Steve,

Thank you for your comments. But again, I have to say, the focus of our article is - is it right or wrong to enter another country illegally? The issue of what to do with an illegal alien once he/she is in the country is another matter entirely.

We could do another article on "What does the Bible say about what a country should do with illegal aliens within its borders?" but it is highly unlikely that we would undertake such a task.

Sincerely in Christ,

(Name withheld)
GotQuestions.org

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So, you intentionally narrow the target so you can ignore overwhelming Biblical evidence that is really at the heart of the issue. How, exactly, can I be sure that this is the only issue you choose to treat this way? Are there other questions you have skewed so as to give an easy answer instead of encouraging your readers to wrestle with difficult questions? And what is your response to "How did you encourage the church to treat the alien, the fatherless and the widow?" which is among the most common standards God gave for how to judge a person's (or a nation's) faith.


Steve Davis

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Steve,

At this point, it is time to end our dialogue. It is clear that nothing productive is going to result from it. In no sense did we "narrow the target" so we could "ignore the heart of the issue." If we were delve into every issue that is related to this one, an entire book would have to be written. We answered the specific question "What does the Bible say about illegal immigration?" If you are going to judge our specificity as seeking to avoid what the Bible says, you are too passionate about this issue to have a constructive dialogue.

Sincerely in Christ,

(Name withheld)
GotQuestions.org

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