God’s Expectations On Government and the Church Regarding Immigrants

The role of government and the church are different.  God imposes a duty on a government to protect its citizens.  We can see an example of it in the Holy Bible.

Nehemiah was a descendant of the Jews expelled from their homeland by the Babylonians around 605 B.C.  When the Persian empire overthrew Babylon about sixty years later he was a royal cup bearer, an exalted and trusted position, to the Persian King Artaxerxes I.  One day he learned about the conditions the Jews living back in Jerusalem were suffering under.

The city walls, destroyed by the Babylonians, had never been  repaired leaving the Jews there vulnerable to frequent attacks from their traditional enemies.  So God softened the heart of the king when Nehemiah asked him for an extended leave of absence and the assistance to begin the rebuilding of the cities fortifications.  Now the role of government is vastly more complex today but that duty to protect its populace remains a government’s duty.

Think about it, don’t we righteously take for granted that some government official is looking out for our kids in school?  Don’t we expect that government has the traffic lights operating properly?  Who insures that someone claiming he’s a doctor, an airline pilot or CPA is indeed qualified?  Answer: Someone in government.  Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t an argument for overreaching government.  It’s just an assessment that we need government for some things because we can’t do them ourselves.  So, why then when it comes to immigration policy some with little if any informed knowledge of the subject consider themselves experts about it!

The Apostle Paul describes the relationship between citizens and government in 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”  Paul taught this in the time of ruthless Roman emperors so certainly the lesson applies to us!  Did you note what it implies government should provide: “..that we may live quiet and peaceful lives..?”

As citizens we have no logical choice but to yield to those with more than bumper sticker knowledge about immigration policy.  Oh we can go on our personal opinions shaped by where we get our news and information or what politics we follow.  That may be okay when pondering a candidate to vote for but when it comes to preventing a potential terrorist attack?

So what is God’s command to Christians about foreigners?  Simple- First, we are to obey and follow the laws of the government we live under.  We should pray that our leaders do the same; after all God has placed them into their positions of authority.

Second, we are to love the immigrant (even if here illegally) like our neighbor.  srebrenica_massacre_-_reinterment_and_memorial_ceremony_-_july_2007_-_male_mournersThat does not mean we should take part in violating the laws of our government!

No matter how many or few of them the government allows to come among us we Christians are to look upon them as creations of the Lord, made in His image just like us.   Until they are removed (if they’re removed) we should seize the opportunity to see to their  basic needs and to witness to them; to tell them about The Christ.  Some may be ripe for a new faith, weary of the death and destruction of whatever pagan faith they presently follow.  We should give them their first taste of the perfect, eternal freedom from being not just a creation but a child of Him, borne of the graciousness of the one, true living God.


Nehemiah 1 & 2
Images courtesy of wikipedia.org & St-Takla.org

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