What if Christians practiced what they preached? If you advocate for poor to be shut out and imprisoned, are you really loving your neighbor? When did riches and comfort become what Jesus advocated for you to attain?
I want to begin with this to anyone who is reading: I love you, and it is not my job to argue or be angry with you. However, our nation is hurting, and I want to bring that to attention in Biblical terms.
The phrase “what would Jesus do,” though extremely cliche, very well illustrates the disconnect I feel many people have with the Word of God and politics.
Even cutting God out of the equation, though our government claims to be founded as one nation under God, our roots were based in immigration. May I remind you what our Statue of Liberty says:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Your ancestors (unless you are a native American, and probably even then) were once a visitor escaping oppression and seeking a better life, a more free life. Many immigrants who come to the US are not coming to rob you, to steal from you, to cheat you, and even if they were, are you not called to turn the other cheek?
Granted, I will give you who oppose me this: there are bad people, there will always be people who murder, who fuel drug cartels, who sell and buy weapons that will be used for ill. But you must understand how that happens every day in America by natives. White, American born and raised men have been known to shoot up schools with innocent children, and things of this nature are not uncommon among the majority population just as much, if not more than the minority population in America.
I had the great privilege of going to Mexicali, Mexico and meeting some extraordinary people there. The poverty level is immense and expansive, but love is greater. We are so privileged here in America, and we, myself included, take advantage of that on the daily, not realizing the struggles some go through just to get a meal for their family on the table. Our illegal immigration systems are horrid, dehumanizing, and unnecessary in many cases.
Why shouldn’t we be a sanctuary state? Why shouldn’t we be trying to help refugees and immigrants? In the words of a wise man I know, “We have enough walls in this world; we need to build more bridges.” If you question any of my Biblical standings on this issue, please read some of the verses I picked out that I felt related very closely to this topic.
“‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.’” -Luke 4:18–19
“Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, ‘God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh . . . What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you. What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.’” -Luke 6:20–21, 24–25
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never give up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” -1 Corinthians 13:4–7
“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” -Galatians 5:14–15
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” -Colossians 3:17
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” -Hebrews 13:2–3
“If someone has enough money to love well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion — how can God’s love be in that person?” -1 John 3:17
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” -Isaiah 58:10
“‘No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.’” -Isaiah 58:6–7