Dear Fellow Believer,
I want to talk to you today about immigration and colonialism in the context of a Christian Nation. As if Christian Nationalism as a topic isn’t divisive enough, I thought I’d add some more winsome points of conversation.
If we want to have a Christian Nation some day, then what might our immigration policy look like? Jesus seemed to have a pretty strong opinion about the poor and the destitute that come across our borders searching for a better life.
Matthew 24: 35-40
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Seems pretty clear; if we’re Christians, and we have a Christian Nation, then we have to obey the words of our king and take in every person who needs our help, right? Scripture doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.
Except here we’re blending the roles of Church and State. It would be a mistake to assume that Jesus wanted a government who undertook charity as a part of it’s divine mandate. Jesus clearly charges his church to take care of the poor, the widow and the orphan. Our Lord’s attitude towards the government seems ambivalent at best (“My kingdom is not of this world” and “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”.)
Does the New Testament explain the role of government? The Apostle Paul had a lot to say actually, check out these snippets from Romans 13:
- There is no authority except from God, and those authorities that do exist have been instituted by God.
- Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.
- He (The Ruler) is God’s servant for your good.
- The authorities are ministers of God
We’ve all heard that God has ordained our leaders and we should respect them. But what is their job, these leaders whom God elects? To punish the wicked, to be a terror to bad conduct according to Paul. Do our leaders today fulfill this divine mandate? No, if anything, they are a terror to good conduct instead of bad, the exact opposite of what Paul said they should do.
If evil governments are abusing their authority, punishing good conduct and legalizing bad conduct, is that a legitimate government? Remember, these are ministers of God per the Apostle Paul. Are they engaging in their civic duties in the way that God has decreed? Who gets to decide what is good conduct and what is bad conduct by the way? (Hint: it’s God). If these governments are not abiding by the standards meted out by their creator, then are they truly ministers of God?
If you’re an American, the answer should be obvious. American Christians fought an entire war over the unjust practices of our former King.
Christians can and have overthrown illegitimate governments at many different times throughout the church’s history. I’m not saying that should be our modus operandi. Just because the local public library is hosting a drag queen story hour doesn’t mean I should go lay siege to the mayor’s office. But Christian’s have imposed the lordship of Jesus Christ onto their local governments. We are morally obligated to hold our civil magistrates accountable to be a terror to bad conduct, not good.
Which brings us to the issues of immigration and colonization. Should Christians support open borders? Not unless they’re the ones who are doing the actual feeding, clothing and housing that Jesus commands. If churches would band together to support immigrants or refugees, they could work with government officials to take in people who need help. Otherwise, should everyone who wants to come to America be able to come in? Absolutely not! Here’s a few problems we need to consider:
- Brain Drain
- Only the most capable people, ones with the most wealth, education and health, are able to make the journey to America. These sojourners end up abandoning their fellow citizens, the ones who could use their help the most!
- Nepotism Abroad
- Instead of a formidable opposition to work against, regimes whose preeminent citizens flee their reign are emboldened to continue being a terror to good conduct
- Where will they live?
- They must be able to provide for their families if we allow them to enter our borders. It would be negligent to let people fill our streets in unsafe conditions.
It’s easy to say open borders when the consequences of open borders do not immediately affect us. But if we don’t want strangers to trespass on our private property, why should we tolerate trespassing on our nation’s borders?
Yet if we don’t embrace open borders, how does the American Church help the needy immigrant and sojourner? Through the holy catholic Church of course (Small c catholic!).
Our mission societies are larger than they’ve ever been in world history. We have outreaches in almost every nation. We do a fantastic job of disaster relief, sharing the gospel, translating the Bible in multiple languages. There’s one thing that the Church does not do on a global scale right now; teach the nations to obey all that Jesus had commanded.
Here someone might accuse me of promoting some sort of Neo-Colonialism, a bastardization of the Great Commision and Manifest Destiny. I grew up in the 2000’s where W Bush commissioned our armed forces to spread the seeds of democracy using missiles and drones as freedom dispensers. That’s not what I’m promoting, although I do think the sword should always be on the civil magistrates table. But what if we empowered our local churches and missions to give the gospel to their civil magistrates? To call them to repentance, to submit to the authority of Scripture and to honor God in their role as His ministers?
If evil rulers do not heed the call of Christ to repent and turn from their wicked ways, and they insist on perpetuating evil against their citizenry, should a Christian Nation’s military get involved? Again, I think this is something that we must consider. Look at America’s border with Mexico. Drug cartels have free range to traffick drugs and people in and out of the border. The Mexican law enforcement seem unable to stop it. Shouldn’t the United States military get involved, and risk harming Mexico’s sovereignty in order to eliminate the evil from these cartels?
I’ll leave these thoughts with you, Fellow Believer. For now, think what our world would look like if the Church taught their local civil magistrates to fear and honor God.
Your Local Christian Nationalis