Recently, Nancy “Bibles” Pelosi told the Catholic clergy that amnesty legislation is “a manifestation of our living the Gospels.” Now, to be fair, Nancy isn’t alone: many Christians today pursue a type of social justice that can result if someone takes Christ’s words out of context, and due to either laziness or outright disregard refuses to look at the big picture. So what does the Bible actually say about immigration?
As Christians, all must admit that Pelosi is right about a couple of things. First off, Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and that means treating them with generosity. But while Jesus absolutely commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and spoke positively about individuals belonging to unpopular minority groups to show that His teachings apply to everyone, Pelosi and liberal Christians forget that the Gospels aren’t Christ’s first message, and that Christ had already made specific statements about how to engage in government. After all, His own personal style of government was given through Moses in the Old Testament.
And since Jesus is the same person as God, and He’s perfectly moral (which means His old instructions don’t contradict His new ones), we can assume that His commandments in the Old Testament were not only perfectly fair and just, but also loving, as confirmed by many statements in the New Testament. In Matthew 22-34-40, Jesus even claimed that the command to love your neighbor was summed up by the law, which conversely means that following His law is love. So if people are really interested in seeing Christ’s personal boundaries for a loving legal interaction, we should probably pay attention to how His Old Testament law dealt with foreigners. Otherwise, quoting the New Testament without an understanding of the Old Testament can quickly lead to a false testament.
The first aspect that we should note is that His law specifically commands us to treat aliens as our brothers, just like He does in the Gospels. Aside from a couple of major differences in rights (being able to charge foreigners interest, only being able to buy foreign slaves, etc), Christ made it very clear that foreigners were to be treated with both equality and respect. The Israelites were not to cheat foreigners, nor were they to keep justice–meaning, an equal application of the law–from the foreigner. If a foreigner wanted to celebrate the Passover, he could, but only if all the people in his household were circumcised, which was the sign that the foreigner had entered into a covenant relationship with Jehovah. In short, the Lord commanded his nation to treat foreigners fairly (according to His perfect standards of justice) and with love. Consider these verses:
Leviticus 19:33-34: “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 24:14: “Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns.”
Deuteronomy 24:17: “Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.”
Deuteronomy 26:12: “When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.”
Deuteronomy 27:19: “Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.”
And this is where the Christian Left’s case for amnesty ends, because Leftists aren’t interested in understanding what Christ’s justice really is. Content with their own man-made concept of “social justice,” they forget that Christian justice is very different from American Liberalism. In fact, Christ’s idea of justice would be referred to today as fascist, intolerant, selfish, racist, and ethnocentric, because He was completely opposed to giving foreigners autonomy or special protection from His and Israel’s law. As stated in the Pentateuch:
Exodus 20:10: “but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.”
Leviticus 17:12: “Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood.”
Leviticus 17:15: “Anyone, whether native-born or alien, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then he will be clean.”
Leviticus 24:16: “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.”
Leviticus 24:22: “You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.”
Numbers 15:15: “The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD.”
Numbers 15:16: “The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.”
Numbers 15:29: “One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien.”
Deuteronomy 31:12: “Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.”
As one can safely deduct from these verses, although Jehovah cares for both the foreigner and the Israelite, His protection of foreigners never circumvents the legal protection of the state. In today’s America, although Pelosi may be correct about the need to extend kindness to illegal aliens, nowhere does the Bible imply that a person should be exempted from the law simply because of their racial or economic status. And while one could argue that no such thing as an illegal immigrant existed in ancient Israel, they neither needed a border nor had the resources to police it, and it wasn’t necessary to do so anyway. When the ancient Israelites were surrounded by cultures which enjoyed having orgy festivals and worshiping demon gods, the last thing Israelites had to worry about was mass immigration. Unlike our system of law today, theirs wasn’t very hospitable to evil.
Regardless of differing opinions about Israel’s border, one thing in this fiasco is clear: neither political party would like to physically erase our border, and by that token they wouldn’t abandon the penalty for illegal entry. If this is the situation, then building a case for amnesty is unBiblical, since amnesty gives foreigners a special right to break the law, and places them ahead of other foreigners who follow the law. Not only would amnesty be unjust to the people of the United States, who report around 12,000 rape arrests and 6,000 murder arrests a year due to illegal immigrants, but it would be unjust to any law-abiding and patient immigrants who would be far better citizens. And need I remind the reader, the patient and legal immigrants actually have a basic respect for the United States of America.
Amnesty aside, if Jehovah’s concept of civil justice involves a completely equal dispensation of law, then illegal aliens and the children of illegal aliens must not be allowed in-state tuition at the expense of law-abiding citizens, or be admitted in place of law abiding citizens. It’s bad enough that illegal aliens have illegitimate children on our soil, and even worse that they’re granted citizenship due it it: we’ve got to replace any legislation which naturalizes the anchor baby. If illegals want to use medical facilities, they should pay their own bills, and if they cannot, they need to get insurance so they can, just like American citizens. Illegals can’t be exempted from our legal system: if they murder Americans, they should be executed like Americans. If an employer is punished for keeping American employees off the tax record, they should be punished for keeping illegal alien employees off the tax record. And most importantly, if the law states that illegal immigrants should be deported, then we should deport them.
It’s interesting to note that these Biblical arguments regarding the equal application of law were made (correctly) by many moral Americans during the 1960′s, when we abolished Jim Crow laws and segregation. But now, liberals have taken almost the opposite stance, preferring to go beyond true Biblical justice in pursuit of something abominable: the rewarding of illegally-situated racial groups due to economic inequity, and the purposeful replacement of and injustice toward whites. What else are we to call it, when a political party only hears the plight of one racial group, and not another? If this is the case, these “progressives” should know they stand in direct opposition to the just teachings of Jehovah Himself, and not only that, but they are twisting His statements to fit their own political agenda. To be sure, the only thing this behavior guarantees is a very terrifying meeting with Him.
So if you can learn one thing from this article, let it be this: if you don’t read and love the Bible, don’t quote it.
Further necessary reading: