Skip to comments.Evangelicals Push Immigration Path
Posted on 04/09/2013 5:26:52 AM PDT by Zhang Fei
Senior pastor Kenton Beshore said the first sermons on the plight of illegal immigrants didn't go over well with many members of his evangelical church, which sits on a 50-acre campus in Orange County and has a 3,400-seat sanctuary, sports facilities, restaurant and a man-made lake.
"We took a hit on it," said Mr. Beshore. "We had people who walked out and whose giving went away." It was part of the reason the church ended 2012 with a $500,000 budget shortfall, he said.
But much has changed in the two years sinceboth at Mr. Beshore's 14,000-member Mariners Church and at conservative evangelical congregations around the U.S.
After decades of sitting on the sidelines of the debate, evangelical Christians are prodding Republican lawmakers to support a path to U.S. citizenship for the nation's illegal immigrants, based on their reading of Bible teachings. Evangelical pastors from pulpits across the U.S. cite Scriptures about welcoming strangers. Some compare illegal immigrants with modern-day lepers, who should be treated with compassion by Christians.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
WSJ pimping for more cheap labor. Personally, I think this article is flat out disinformation. What about the rule of law. What other country on the face of the earth allows people to wonder in and then collect all sorts of government handouts? Name one.
Yes, come to this country, but come LEGALLY and through a orderly process that doesn’t wreak havoc on our nation.
I'd be interested in what sort of biblical exegesis this “conservative evangelical” pastor can possibly use to legitimize deliberate lawbreaking. Is there a government official somewhere ordering people to curse Christ or disobey the Bible? Fine; break that law. But immigration laws don't fit into that category.
Over the last decade and a half, we spent many thousands of dollars so my wife and several family members could immigrate legally. About 145 years ago, my father's ancestors immigrated legally from Italy to the United States. My mother's ancestors came here legally in the early 1700s.
We have immigration laws for a reason to encourage the types of workers we need and discourage workers we don't need. If the laws need to be changed, then change them. But encouraging lawbreakers is wrong for a whole host of reasons.
Just google the title (minus the stuff in parentheses) and click on the resulting link.
Having read the article, I notice a profound lack of serious efforts by these supporters of legalizing illegal immigrants to explain their position biblically. That may be unavoidable in an interview with a secular financial newspaper; I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until I see what they have to say in the church media where they will be (or should be) asked some hard questions on that issue.
What is more problematic is that this isn’t just a few local pastors. The National Association of Evangelicals is pushing this. I was already aware of the NAE’s position from internal church circles, but up until now I had treated it as an irrelevant position statement that wouldn’t do much in the actual world of politics.
However, if the NAE is going to aggressively push this issue, they are going to have a big problem with a number of their major supporting denominations.
It’s one thing for an individual church or denomination to take a stance on immigration if its leaders believes American immigration law is unjust and unbiblical. It is a very different thing for an interdenominational organization to claim to represent the “evangelical consensus” on an issue where no consensus actually exists.
Is this a moral position or is it a position motivated by the prospect of greenbacks? Are these men of the cloth or are they entrepreneurs looking to restock their diminishing flocks at the expense of the livelihoods of existing parishioners and ex-parishioners? Call me a cynic, but I suspect some of their motivations are less than divinely inspired.
These people don’t realize that what they are saying is that America does not belong to Americans anymore but instead belongs to everybody else and Americans should not have a say in this.
The politicians and businesses are motivated by money so why wouldn’t these churches be also? The political parties, and businesses hide their selfish motives with all sorts of altruistic sounding rhetoric, so why wouldn’t some of these clergy? I am getting very disgusted with the ruling elite in this country whether political, media, academic, business or religious. Remember what Jesus said about the clergy of his day who liked to be seen in the high status places at the best seats at the banquet tables. The big people like to schmooze each other and be seen in each others’ company and I think some clergy also like the limelight.
The NAE’s megachurches have their problems, but in general their memberships and attendance are growing, not diminishing. That's not the motivation here.
I am not speaking here of the immigration issue, but this push toward socially liberal agendas is happening for a number of reasons. Among them are the following:
1) The death or retirement from active ministry of a large number of major figures in the Christian conservative movement in just the last few years has left a vacuum. Newer leaders are rising to fill that vacuum, which is fine, but some of them have ideas which were not widely known outside the circles of their local churches and denominations until now. Those ideas need to be vetted, and some of the people who are leaders today will end up being driven out of the evangelical community once their views become better known.
2) There is a certain level of frustration among a number of evangelicals with a lack of progress or actual backsliding on traditional key issues such as abortion and homosexuality. There's a perception out there that evangelicals care only about a few key political issues and don't have answers to other problems. That's not true, it's never been true, but the result is that some people are advocating that new issues be added to the evangelical agenda.
3) Unfortunately, the results of liberal secular college education and the influence of liberal-trained professors at Christian colleges is resulting in a younger generation that knows the basics of the gospel and affirms evangelical core doctrines of salvation and biblical authority, but doesn't have a biblically consistent worldview. Churches simply haven't been teaching what the Bible teaches about private property, the role of the church and the individual in charity as opposed to the civil magistrate, and similar issues. The result has been that liberal political views have seeped into a vacuum.
I would not say that the NAE’s leaders have financial motives in advocating open immigration. The problems go considerably deeper than that, and will require a huge amount of education to fix.
As a Calvinist, I believe the Bible teaches far more than just how to get saved. It teaches us many things about how we are to live our life — including our family, business and political life — once we are saved.
Not all evangelicals share that view and since nature abhors a vacuum, some really bad views have entered the evangelical world which are not compatible with a fully-worked-out biblical worldview.
They are inspired alright, but it is not 'Divine'!