Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CHRISTIAN GREEN CARDS?

I once wrote an article suggesting that Churches should issue green cards to converts who are baptized in order to remind them that they are resident aliens in this World. Perhaps we should examine our position as resident aliens more closely?

Today I received a very disturbing email from a family member that strongly suggested that every good American Christian citizen should be in favor of jailing and deporting illegal immigrants. It troubled me to think of Christians as those who would applaud as families were torn apart.

Somehow we fail to see that we are more like these resident aliens living here among us in the United States than we realize. Why aren't we out there standing alongside these people? Many of them are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should be demanding that they be treated fairly. We should do all we can to encourage people to see them as worthy human beings who deserve the same chances we've been given.

I understand that this issue is a difficult one. I understand that this issue affects jobs and healthcare and education and our economy on a variety of levels. I am not suggesting that there are any easy answers here. But, as followers of Jesus, as ambassadors of Christ, should we rejoice when others suffer? Should we take delight when families are broken apart or when parents are put in jail?

What about simply praying for these people? I wonder if those who authored this email, and if those who forwarded it on to their friends and family members, have even once gotten on their knees to ask God to show mercy to these aliens in our land?

"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

Do I love what God hates? Do I hate what He loves? Or do I embrace the political agenda of the masses and obscure the radical love Jesus has called me to?

We, as followers of Jesus, should take our place alongside those who are hated and outcast in our society. We should pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being imprisoned. We should be most comfortable among the the ranks of the misunderstood, the hated, the outcasts and the despised.

We, the Ambassadors of Christ, should go out of our way to embrace those who are, like us, always in the world but never of the world. That means the poor, the prostitutes, the unpopular, the prisoners, and yes, even the undocumented immigrant.

"So show your love for the alien, for you were once aliens in the land of Egypt."
- Deuteronomy 10:19

We need to remember that we, too, were once aliens and strangers in the land, and what's more, as new creatures who now live in the Kingdom reality of God, we are still aliens and strangers in this world.

Let us love in actions and in truth, as Jesus called us to be known for our love and not for our hate.

"The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God." - Leviticus 19:34

Peace,
-kg
**

6 comments:

Like a Mustard Seed said...

I remember being 17 years old, and crossing over the U.S./Mexico border for the first time. Before that moment, it had all seemed so straight-forward in my thinking... There were laws, and if people broke those laws, they had to face the consequences. But after seeing it all from the other side, standing face to face with people who had left everything, to travel all across Mexico to come to Tijuana, all for the slight chance of getting across the border, and finding some kind of work... All of the sudden the desperation became real, families strewn all over the place, as they tried to collectively survive. I thought about what I would be thinking, if I were in their shoes, and I realized, "I'd be trying to cross that fence too..."

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. ...

Daniel

Judith said...

What bothers me most about Illegal aliens is that many refuse to learn English and/or assimilate into the American culture. My dad came to this country from Russia, left his Russian culture in Russia, learned English, assimilated into America, became a U.S. citizen. Many, many others have done the same.. Why should it be any different with alot who come to this country?? My grandmother, on my mom's side, did the same as my dad. She came from Vienna, Austria.

Like a Mustard Seed said...

That is an interesting comment considering the verses Keith posted here...

It would seem that if we (as followers of Jesus) truly considered ourselves "aliens and strangers in this world", then we could not get upset with others for not "assimilating" or learning our language...

In the same way that your ancestors gave up their citizenship and identies in Russia and Austria, Christ calls us to give up our identities as citizens of this world, even in countries as privelaged as the U.S.

Anthony said...

Politics and Christianity have been a horrible mix from Constantine forward ...

Faith said...

Hallelujah!

Lionel Woods said...

American culture=Christian Culture right? I remember emailing a popular Christian radio personality and never getting a response. The truth is, if we really view ourselves as Kingdom Citizens then "our language" "our culture" and "our country" would be a heavenly-culture,country, language. As believers we should become as Paul and learn "their" language as a tool to serve at their feet.

We have lost ourselves in American culture and have put God's stamp of approval on it. When will we learn?