• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Should Christians Oppose Illegal Immigration?

I was reading some blog comments about the immigration debate recently.  There were, as you can imagine, more than a few opinions.  I have also noticed that there are churches and religious organizations with differing opinions on this issue as well.  I am not surprised by the difference of opinions, but please allow me to share some thoughts with you on this subject.

First of all, consider the purpose of government.  Government is the result of common grace.  God uses government to restrain evil in this world.  Unfortunately, governments too can become corrupt and encourage evil.  Christians are to be a positive influence on government to encourage laws to protect families, private property, human life, and citizens from any actions inconsistent with Biblical principles.

Paul says of this, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.  Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.  For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.  Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:1-7, ESV)

Immigration laws were instituted by the government for the protection of our citizens.  A Christian’s duty is to help enforce these laws.  Our Founding Fathers were not advocates of open borders.  They wanted immigrants to adopt our language and customs.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens?” (The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1887, 2:231)  Thomas Jefferson warned of unrestricted immigration in his Notes on Virginia, “Are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected by a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners?”  Alexander Hamilton thought it praiseworthy for the United States to permit immigrants experiencing true hardship, but he believed generosity had its limits if the welfare of the country is to be protected.  He objected to the idea that such people were entitled to the privileges of citizenship. (The Founders of the Republic on Immigration, Naturalization and Aliens, 1928, p. 47)  George Washington contended that there was no real reason to encourage immigration except for useful mechanics and some men of profession. (The Writings of George Washington, 1889, 12:489)

Consider the results of the failure to enforce the current immigration laws.  We should not forget that those who are here illegally are accountable for breaking our immigration laws as well as any other criminal laws they may break while here.  Also keep in mind the concern that those who immigrate here legally are accountable for becoming good citizens who are willing to become useful, participating members of American society who support American values.  This includes supporting our Constitution and government.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.  Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).

CIS reports that if illegal aliens are given amnesty and begin to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants, this would increase their average tax payments by 77 percent, but average government costs would rise by 118 percent.

A Government Accountability Office study found a minimum of 230,000 incarcerated illegals in the U.S.  This is a minimum number.  Ninety-eight percent of incarcerated illegals have committed at least two crimes.  Another GAO study of a “study population” of 55,322 criminal illegals found that they averaged eight arrests.  Twenty-four percent of the arrests were drug-related; fifteen percent for property-related crimes and twelve percent of the arrests were for violent crimes (murder, robbery, assault and sex-related). This study population covered approximately seventy-nine percent of criminal aliens in federal prison and twenty-three percent of criminal aliens in state and local prisons, or about thirty-one percent overall.  The same GAO report documented 5,992 homicide arrests of criminal illegal aliens from the study group of 55,322.

According to Congressman Steve King of Iowa, “The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day.  Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals.”

We need to look seriously at the values of the people who want to come here before allowing them to immigrate to this country.  Christians have a duty to support the enforcement of the immigration laws in order to prevent the immigration of individuals who would undermine our values and democracy, as well as endanger the lives of our citizens.  I would go so far as to suggest that all immigration should be halted until immigration is completely under control.  Let us not forget that God’s purpose for government is to restrain evil.  Sound immigration laws help the government to enforce laws to protect families, private property, and human life.  Liberal open border/immigration policies only encourage anarchy.  The elected officials who are responsible for letting illegal immigration get out of control in this country must be voted out of office.

Grassfire.org Alliance is organizing a 48 hour phone and fax blitz for Wednesday, July 9th and Thursday, July 10th.  Call your US Senators and Congressmen to demand reinstatement of the double-layered border fence that was originally promised to us.  We must stop the invasion of illegal aliens, drug smugglers, and terrorists into our nation by reinstating the original border fence mandate!

Contact Grassfire.org Alliance to help.

Do You Savor The Truth?

I would like to direct your attention to a small but excellent book by John Piper titled, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ (Crossway Books, 2004).  I think the theme of this book is best described in Piper’s own words:

“Seeing and savoring Jesus Christ is the most important seeing and savoring you will ever do.  Eternity hangs on it.  So my aim is that you see him as solid truth and savor him with great joy.” (p. 9)

Seeing Christ for who He really is determines our future in eternity.  Savoring Christ by finding in Him our greatest treasure and joy is the foundation for Christian living.  In 13 brief chapters, each ending with a prayer, Piper gives us a wonderful picture of the character of our Savior.  This book truly reads like a devotional, but it does not sentimentalize Jesus.  Piper writes:

“The glory of Jesus Christ is that he is always out of sync with the world and therefore always relevant for the world.  If he fit nicely, he would be of little use.  The effort to remake the Jesus of the Bible so that he fits the spirit of one generation makes him feeble in another.  Better to let him be what he is, because it is often the offensive side of Jesus that we need most.

Especially offensive to the modern, western sentiment is the tough, blunt, fierce form of Jesus’ love.  People with thin skin would often have felt hurt by Jesus’ piercing tongue.  People who identify love only with soft and tender words and ways would have been repeatedly outraged by the stinging, almost violent, language of the Lord.” (p. 93)

This is good reading.

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