President-elect Donald Trump made bombastic comments about illegal Mexican immigrants throughout his campaign. Mr. Trump has promised to build a wall and deport illegal immigrants.
Obviously no Christian can condone illegal immigration, for “every person [is to] be subject to the governing authorities” (Rom 13:1). Yet, I fear that too often we fail to humanize the issue. If you were living in Mexico and you believed your weak, malnourished children could thrive in the United States, would you be more concerned about immigration laws or your children? I thought so. I’m not at all saying we should condone in any way, shape, or form illegal immigration; I’m simply saying that maybe, just maybe, we should put ourselves in their shoes.
Someone will quickly add that illegal immigrants place a strain on our own children—whether through taking jobs or straining public services to the breaking point. Yep, I would suggest that is very true and maybe, just maybe, those crossing the border illegally should put themselves in our shoes.
I don’t know the answer to the issue, and, honestly, I don’t think a simple, easy solution exists.
Whatever the solution to illegal aliens might be, Christians must remember that they are themselves aliens.
We are not of this world.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (Jn 17:16). Yes, Jesus was praying specifically for his apostles; however, the principle is borne out in the rest of Scripture. The child of God, while living in a physical world does not belong to this world but to the heavenly world.
“Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil 3:20-21). Like many of you, I have a U. S. Passport, and have used it for travel outside the United States; of course, our passports also can provide identification if we require assistance from U.S. authorities abroad. While a citizen of this earthly territory, my higher and far more important citizenship is in heaven.
Because we are aliens on this earth, our lives must reflect the reality of our “other-worldly” citizenship.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:1-2).
We must “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and . . . live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Tit 2:12).
“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Js 4:4).
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn 2:15).
May we never forget that we are aliens in this world; this world is not our home and our lives must reflect that truth.