Blog Template Theology of the Body: Entertaining Strangers

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Entertaining Strangers

In the past few weeks, the US (that nation in which the Church sojourns, among others) has been grappling with protests and legislation pertaining to illegal immigrants. I am often puzzled by the way in which conservative, evangelical Americans turn to Scripture in controversies pertaining to criminal law, but in controversies concerning immigration, we merely turn to Pat Buchanan. As our own dear MMBX pointed out, the Biblical principles on point come directly from the Book of Exodus:

Exodus 22:21:
Thou shalt neither vex an alien, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9
Also thou shalt not oppress an alien: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Matthew 25
In as much as you have done it to (the stranger), you have done it unto me.

How can the Church enact its own obedient policies towards the current national events (and we must do so, if we plan to apply God's Word to all of life, including political life)-? I propose the following:

1) We can insist on legislation that guarantees the humane treatment and just representation of aliens who must be deported.
2) We can provide funding for attorneys to assist interested deportees in returning legally to the USA, if they so desire, and especially if proper living conditions or personal safety requires it.
3) We can train illegal immigrants (many of them our brothers and sisters in Christ) with the education, language capabilities, employment, and legal savvy to become legal residents.

...The opportunities are endless. It might be unreasonable for the national government to take on many of these acts of mercy; but what a blessing that we in Christ's Church CAN perform such "unreasonable" hospitality.