Friday, February 1, 2008

OK, What Do We Do?

The lines seem fairly well drawn on this whole immigration debate between the presidential candidates, but as a Christian who just happens to be a citizen of the "good-old-USA" I am struggling. I want to be compassionate, but what does that mean? I want to say and do the moral, ethical thing but what does that entail? I want a policy that strengthens our nation, but what does that involve? How do we care for the last, the lost and the least without jeopardizing our security and our fragile economy? How do we get beyond the rhetoric of the extremes and "reason together" for a viable, practical, humane solution? One minute I am all for walling up the border and sending undocumented workers packing. The next, I am mulling over ways to sensibly welcome and integrate them into the fabric of our society. Help me out!


Don said...

I found you, neighbor! Congratulations and welcome to the Blogdom!

I definitely look forward to reading your thoughts, musings, and ponderings!

ValS said...

Hi There The Rev, It took me a while to find you on blogspot because the email from Resurrection lists you as instead of FYI :-)
And as for the question on immigration,yes, I agree that there isn't a really easy answer for me. Jesus told the Jewish leaders that we should render under Caesar so shouldn't we be protective of our border and only let people in legally? On the other hand, Jesus also gave his message of grace and welcoming into the Kingdom to all who asked for it. So, should we welcome anyone and have no immigration law at all? For me, I have a basic problem with the notion that all people who come here legally are good citizens and all people who come here illegally are bad citizens. I question whether the application of our existing immigration laws are applied with mercy and justice. And, I wonder if Jesus himself might see some value in my view. He often rebuked leaders of both the government and the church for using doctrine and law to punish the poor and needy. Is there a nugget here for us in how we define and apply our immigration policy?

Ed Zimm said...

Rev. Carl,

I wrestle with this type of issue every day. I simply have no good answer.

On one hand we should open our hearts and borders to those seeking a better life for them and their families but do we end up with anarchy?

I was hoping you had all the answers!!


Anonymous said...

Pastor Carl:
I share your ambivalence. In Matthew 25:35-41, Jesus challenges us to show compassion. In fact, in 1 Peter 2:11-13, we are all said to be aliens and exiles in this world. On the other hand, in Matthew 22:21, Jesus tells us to respect earthly authorities. His kingdom has a divine mandate (John 18:36). Where does this leave us? People should follow the law in order to gain legal immigrant status. Otherwise, those laws have little validity in practice. On the other hand, as Christians, we need to help our neighbors on a basic human level without condoning people making their own laws. We love others because God first loved us and forgave us (1 John 4:19). We can do no less for our neighbors.