Christianity & Immigration
Over the past week, I have had a number of church members reach out to me in various ways (emails, texts, phone calls) regarding what is happening in our country pertaining to immigration and the southern border. As you might expect, these members do not all share the same views on this topic.
On Sunday, I made the comment that if this was a simple topic with an easy solution, it would have been solved a long time ago. It is not simple. Both Democratic Administrations (Carter, Clinton, Obama) and Republican Administrations (Raegan, Bush, Trump) have struggled to find solutions for decades. It always seems to turn into a political battle.
Here’s the dilemma simply stated. Christ calls us to welcome the stranger and to not dehumanize people: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me..; Whoever welcomes one such child in my name, welcomes me.”
The Judeo-Christian tradition is a tradition of welcome and hospitality. At the same time, our nation has laws regarding the immigration process. There are people who have been waiting for many years to come to the United States legally and there are many (every day) who seek to come here illegally, primarily along the southern border. Many of these folks are seeking asylum because of horrible situations in their country of origin. Exceptions can be made once a hearing takes place.
Sometimes it is hard for us to truly understand how bad some of the situations are in these South American countries. It has certainly been heartbreaking to see children taken away from their parents. Thankfully, that has now stopped and families are being kept together while they await a fair hearing. There are many families that do remain separated.
Immigration is a hot issue where good people have fundamental disagreements. Our youth are currently in Guatemala continuing the amazing ministry and partnership that Woodmont has there through Unbound. We have now sponsored over 235 families and have built 25 houses in that country. That is incredible and needs to be shared and lifted up! We are doing our best to help families who are in need, and the needs there are great.
In terms of the current crisis at the border, I would ask three things from you. First of all, prayer. Pray for the people who are fleeing their home countries and pray for the children who have been separated from their families. Pray for members of congress as they seek to find solutions.
Second, I would ask for civil dialogue and engagement on what is a very controversial and complicated topic. Engage with somebody who might see this issue differently from you and see where you can find common ground. We should listen to each other and learn from each other.
Lastly, I would encourage ongoing education regarding the issue. It seems as though all news outlets have agendas (of some sort) so we need to do everything we can to learn more about the facts and learn about the policies. On polarizing issues, one of the best things we can do is commit to learn more and that will lead us to finding new ways that we can help.
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