By Rondell Treviño, Founder/Director, TiP
In recent years, Christians within the Church have become increasingly polarized and divided on the issue of Immigration. Even when you read this word, you might cringe a little. This issue is evident across the nation with Christians in conflict over Border Security and compassion. Some want Border security but don’t want to show compassion, and some want to show compassion but don’t want Border Security. Some want to show compassion to undocumented Immigrants by allowing them to earn legalized status, and some want undocumented Immigrants deported out of the United States and to “get in line.” The division is far and wide.
With all of these seemingly irresolvable differences in beliefs and values concerning immigration in the country, we as Christians are forced to ask–how can the Church ever live in peace with one another and Immigrants, documented and undocumented? One of many answers is found in never excluding Immigrants in these four ways:
1. ELIMINATION – When we push Immigrants out of your space. We do whatever is necessary to get them out of here. This is closely related to the sin of tribalism.
2. DOMINATION – When we believe Immigrants can be in our space, as long they take an inferior position. We don’t live in the same neighborhoods, or have the same jobs. Immigrants can be here, but have to have an inferior spot and must stay there at all times.
3. ASSIMILATION – We will accept Immigrants as long as they completely agree with our values, faith, politics, and everything we advocate for.
4. ABANDONMENT – We don’t care about Immigrants! They may have needs but we just don’t care.
Fellow Christians, do you struggle with any of these toward Immigrants? Remember, we cannot afford to exclude Immigrants, documented and undocumented, who are different from us no matter how much we disagree with their theology, documentation, and views. God calls us to evangelize and love our Immigrant neighbor while still respecting the rule of law (Luke 10:25-37; Romans 13:1-7). And all of us can live in the tension of doing both while not excluding Immigrants. This is the beauty of being the Bride of Christ.
TiP exists to equip the Church to embrace a biblically balanced approach to immigration that shows compassion to immigrants while respecting the rule of law.