I don’t have considered opinions on the policy specifics of immigration. I’m struck, however, by how often discussions are driven by corrupted values — parties gaining seats in upcoming elections, crafting proposals to please this or that angry voting group, etc.
Our contested cultural climate shapes the way many Christian people to consider this issue, unfortunately. We think from values that don’t come from the gospel, but from this or that economic theory, this or that party platform, or simply from grasping selfishness.
Russell Moore argues that regardless of policy specifics, Christians must think about immigration as Christians. A few paragraphs from his blog post:
The larger issue is in how we talk about this issue, recognizing that this is not about “issues” or “culture wars” but about persons made in the image of God. Our churches must be the presence of Christ to all persons, regardless of country of origin or legal status. We need to stand against bigotry and harassment and exploitation, even when it’s politically profitable for those who stand with us on other issues.
And, most importantly, we must love our brothers and sisters in the immigrant communities. We must be the presence of Christ to and among them, even as we receive ministry from them. Our commitment to a multinational kingdom of God’s reconciliation in Christ must be evident in the verbal witness of our gospel and in the visible makeup of our congregations.
Immigration isn’t just an issue. It’s an opportunity to see that, as important as the United States of America is, there will be a day when the United States of America will no longer exist. And on that day, the sons and daughters of God will stand before the throne of a former undocumented immigrant. Some of them are migrant workers and hotel maids now. They will be kings and queens then. They are our brothers and sisters forever.
We might be natural-born Americans, but we’re all immigrants to the kingdom of God (Eph. 2:12-14). Whatever our disagreements on immigration as policy, we must not disagree on immigrants as persons. Our message to them, in every language and to every person, must be “Whosoever will may come.”