Q: “Alabama just passed the nation’s toughest law on illegal immigration. How should the church respond?”
Stand with our neighbors
Church leaders throughout the state have been speaking out against this bill, writing letters to lawmakers pointing out how it impinges on the call of the gospel to care for the stranger. This is right and good. Though the men who drafted this bill may be Christians, the bill itself is contrary to biblical teaching about loving our neighbors. It makes criminal the very behavior Jesus commands.
However, there is an audience that is even more important for the church to address in this moment than lawmakers — the Hispanic community within Alabama. We must communicate to our neighbors that we stand with them in the face of hostility.
The creators of this bill themselves have made clear that it is designed to scare people away, and it already is. The bill is intimidation legislation, and it doesn’t have to go into effect to achieve its goals. Beyond keeping it from becoming law, the church is called to actively work against the impact the very introduction of this bill has had. Christians must speak up and reach out, with the love of Christ, to those whose lives and families are being threatened. The gospel demands no less.
— Rev. Rebecca Littlejohn, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), AnnistonJesus didn’t ask for papers
When Jesus went out to reach the multitudes or the individuals, he did not ask to see their passports before telling them about salvation or how much He loved their souls.
I do realize that as a nation we must control our borders. There are definite ways for people to become citizens of this country.
There is also only one way to get to heaven. A person cannot “illegally” jump over the gates of heaven or try to get into heaven “their own way.” It must be through Jesus. He is “the way, the truth and the life.”
We have spent millions of dollars sending forth missionaries to foreign mission fields to reach people with the gospel. Why should we not try to reach the people that have come here to the USA from other countries? The fields are “white” and ready to be harvested – let’s go get them!
—Dr. C.O. Grinstead, Trinity Baptist Church, OxfordState law vs. God’s law
The government has to run the country, and the church has to obey God’s laws. Whenever the laws of the government conflict with the teachings of God for His people, we’re told to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29-30). We’re to pray for government (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Christians show benevolence to those who are less fortunate in life, so if Christians are arrested for obeying God, then the government will have to answer to God.
When He was judged by Pilate, the Lord made no answer, for He was not under earthly jurisdiction. But when the high priest adjured Him by the living
God, then He replied. The church only has one answer to problems involving the government, and this answer never changes: “obedience to God.” God is the absolute authority.
— Bob McClain, Living By Faith Ministry, Oxford
Send your questions to Lisa Davis, Anniston Star, P.O. Box 189, Anniston 36202, or email email@example.com.