Some Evangelical Christians are particularly clever at cherry-picking Bible verses that support their political agenda while ignoring those inconvenient passages that disagree with their worldview.

For example, in recent weeks many American Christians have become offended by the imprisonment of Kim Davis, a Kentucky Court Clerk who was found in contempt of court for blocking the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her state. Her defenders were quick to point out the difference between man’s laws and God’s laws and supported Davis’ right to act according to her conscience and God’s higher law, as found in the Bible.

Interestingly, many of the same Christians who strongly oppose the cultural acceptance of homosexuality are also opposed to illegal immigration.

Why?

Well, of course, because America is a nation of “laws” and everyone must obey the laws of the land.

Hmm…

Unfortunately for those holding tightly to this double standard, the same Old Testament that prohibits the abominable practice of homosexuality also forbids the mistreatment of foreigners and/or immigrants, without regard to their “legality.”

If Evangelicals want to obey God’s law above man’s law, a careful study of scripture will reveal that their vehement opposition to the foreigners living among them is in violation of God’s commands.

Below are seven inconvenient Biblical facts that remind us of God’s view of the “foreigners” living among us.

1. God’s people are instructed not to oppress immigrants.

Exodus 22:21 – “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

Exodus 23:9 – “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

2. God’s people are to treat immigrants just like citizens.

Leviticus 19:33,34 – “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

Deuteronomy 23:16 – “Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.”

Ezekiel 47:22,23 – “You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign LORD.”

3. God’s people are to love and help foreigners as they would their own poor brother.

Leviticus 25:35-37 – “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.”

Deuteronomy 10:18,19 – “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

4. God expects His people to show justice to foreigners.

Deuteronomy 24:14-15,17 – “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin… Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.”

Zechariah 7:10 – “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”

5. Those who seek to withhold justice from foreigners are to be cursed.

Deuteronomy 27:19 – “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Malachi 3:5 – “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.”

6. God equates oppressing foreigners with mistreating orphans and widows.

Ezekiel 22:7 – “In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.”

Zechariah 7:10 – “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”

Psalm 146:9 – “The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”

7. God equates oppressing foreigners with the shedding of innocent blood and idolatry.

Jeremiah 7:6 – “if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm.”

Jeremiah 22:3 – “This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

THE ABOVE VERSES make it abundantly clear that God’s view towards the foreigner is markedly different than that projected by American Evangelicals.

Perhaps the most absurd Evangelical argument made against embracing illegal immigrants is made by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.

According to Fischer, the presence of illegal immigrants serves only to slow the American church’s attempts at spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

You can watch him make his comments below.

To Mr. Fischer and those who agree with his logic, consider this: If America is as special and exceptional as you believe, then how do you know that God is not speeding up the process of evangelism in these last days by literally bringing those who have never heard the message to our own shores?

While Washington bickers about its own immigration laws, why should followers of Christ engage themselves in that battle? Isn’t it only logical that those carrying the gospel, and who may not be able to “go out into all the world,” would welcome every opportunity to share the love of Christ with the migrant stranger, even if they are here “illegally?”

We should not be surprised when those who consider this world their home engage in political battles in an effort to maintain their nation’s “purity.” However, those who know they are just “passing through” on this earth should welcome the stranger when he knocks at their door. Not only is it an opportunity to witness, but the Bible tells us it could be Jesus himself.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink. When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”

So, in conclusion, which law will you follow regarding the foreigner in your midst? God’s law or man’s law?

 

* All verses taken from the New International Version (NIV), unless otherwise stated.

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