Immigration

Jesus, Politicians and Scripture: Hillary Mixes Immigration and Religion

Even politicians can remind us of the sweet sound of amazing grace. It extends to one who manages to defame the Good Samaritan and the Good Shepherd in one fell swoop. Such is the forgiveness of Christ on the Cross.

We now have the Gospel on border control and illegal immigration, according to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.), who is using her “understanding” of the Bible to attack an immigration bill introduced in the Senate.

First, let’s acknowledge and give thanks that the United States is a nation of immigrants and descendents of immigrants. Two of my grandparents came through Ellis Island from Hungary and one came from Greece. They gladly joined the “melting pot” to become unhyphenated Americans. They never waved any flag but Old Glory or held allegiance to another nation.

Clinton told a press conference on March 23 that “Jesus Himself” would be judged a criminal under a “mean-spirited” GOP immigration proposal. Clinton said, “It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures. This bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus Himself.”

Call it “Scripture Smorgasbord,” “Cafeteria Christianity,” or “Erratic Exegesis”—it’s the practice of those who quote Scripture when it suits a personal preference but ignore it when the preference is condemned. It’s not the sole practice of politicians. Some members of the cloth and their followers also engage in it.

Those who quote the Bible should make sure that Holy Writ supports their position. There is a stern warning in Proverbs 30:6: “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

Politicians, who want to appear “faithful” to their religion while supporting policies that are inconsistent with it, employ an inconsistent, two-pronged tactic. They politicize moral and religious issues such as abortion, for example. How many times have you heard, “I’m personally opposed to abortion but who am I to legislate my faith?”

Conversely, we have the example of Sen. Clinton trying to make U.S. immigration policy a religious issue and citing Scripture as authority. So much for not legislating one’s faith.

While reasonable people can disagree on immigration policies, and would do well to do so in a civil manner as the President has urged, anybody who tries to use Scripture in support of their position should heed a principle of interpretation: “Text without context is pretext.”

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Who but Christ could remain unchallenged by asking, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?”[1] Jesus never violated the Law of Moses or Rome in order to do good. He didn’t call those who violated law “good.” He called them lawless.

Jesus told parables, “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,” to teach truth. Jesus told the parable recorded in Luke 10: 25-37, [2] in answer to a “lawyer” who tried to “test Jesus” by asking, “Who is my neighbor?” As Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and that includes the arrogance of lawyers.

Note first that Jesus immediately referred the “expert” in the law to the law. By the end, even the lawyer understood that it was the alien in Israel who was a “good” neighbor to the victim.

Second, there isn’t a shred of evidence in the story that the Samaritan violated any law or that the “certain man” who fell prey to robbers was an alien, much less an illegal alien. Jesus said the man was on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. He may have been a Jew and a citizen of Israel. That would more strongly make Jesus’ point that the other two men were neighbors of the man but failed to act as such. One was a priest and the other was a member of the priestly tribe of Levi. Both intentionally avoided helping the man. The irony of the parable is that the “good” guy was one of the Samaritans that Jews generally avoided because the Samaritans had intermarried with Gentiles and worshipped at a temple in Samaria rather than the temple in Jerusalem. [3] Ouch.
Third, the Samaritan, who made himself vulnerable to criminals by stopping to aid the man, used his personal resources to care for him at a private inn, and didn’t bill the government of Israel for reimbursement.

Is this to say that the Samaritan wouldn’t have given emergency aid to an illegal alien or that we in the United States shouldn’t? No.

Reasonable people may disagree over the interpretation of the bill to which Clinton objects. But one is hard-pressed to set forth a Biblical policy from the parable of the Good Samaritan or any Scripture to support the notion that the if the bill had been law in Israel, it would have required the Samaritan and Jesus to engage in a campaign against Israel’s immigration laws in order for a good neighbor to lawfully provide emergency aid to aliens or anyone else.

Sen. Clinton needs to spend more time exegeting Scripture before citing it in what appears to be an effort to turn the United States into a global village with citizen tax-payers footing the bill.

Anyone intent on using the Bible to support an immigration policy should consider the whole counsel of what Scripture teaches about God’s view of aliens within nations, the law of individual nations, respect for national boundaries and real property rights. The verses cited below and a Bible concordance would be a good starting point. [4]

Our Founders’ knowledge of Scripture and their Christian faith motivated them to acknowledge in the Declaration of Independence the God-given “unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness” and “to institute new government … as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” They further protested that the King of Great Britain was “obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither.”

The Founders secured protection and enforcement of these rights in the U.S. Constitution, which sets forth the authority and responsibility of the Congress to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization” and “for calling forth the militia … to repel invasions.” [Emphasis added.] They also placed all “executive Power” in the President and made the President the “Commander-in-Chief of … the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.”

What could be less “uniform” than to enforce a “rule of naturalization” against aliens who apply for legal entry into the U.S. to become citizens while failing to secure our borders from those invading them in violation of the rule?

 


 

1. John 8:45.

2. All Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible:

Luke 10:25-37: And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

3. John 4: 7-10: “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Luke 17:11-18: “Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off and they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

4. Nations, borders and real property rights:

   1. Deuteronomy 32:8: “When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of .”

   2. Deuteronomy 17: 14-15: “When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.”

   3. Acts 17:26: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.”

   4. Romans 12: 1-7: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” [The Bible also teaches that Christians “should obey God rather than man” when there is a conflict between God’s law and man’s law; however, there is nothing in Scripture that prohibits nations to secure their borders to prevent illegal entry. Christians who have assisted in the illegal crossing of national borders to smuggle Bibles or rescue those wrongly sentenced to death did so knowing they were subject to punishment by the nation whose law was violated.]

   5. Psalm 98:2: “The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.”

   6. Deuteronomy 28:15, 43-44: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.”

   7. Proverbs. 22: 28: “Do not move the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.”

   8. Deuteronomy 19:14: “‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”

   9. Job 15:18-19: “What wise men have told, not hiding anything received from their fathers. To whom alone the land was given, and no alien passed among them.”

  10. Exodus 23:31: “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River. I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you.”

  11. Ezekiel 47:13: “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel.’”

  12. Numbers 36:5-9: “Then Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying: “What the tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks is right. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them marry whom they think best, but they may marry only within the family of their father’s tribe.’ So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel shall be the wife of one of the family of her father’s tribe, so that the children of Israel each may possess the inheritance of his fathers. Thus no inheritance shall change hands from one tribe to another, but every tribe of the children of Israel shall keep its own inheritance.”

  13. Psalm 2: “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.’ ‘I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break[a] them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

  14. Acts 17:30-31: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

  15. Ephesians 2:11-13: “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”


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