Immigration, Fake News, and God’s Word

immigration

Your Facebook feed is filled with angry rants. Relatives, friends, and others shout their opinions regarding the many different political and cultural stories storming through the airwaves. What is a Christian to do?

We want to “take every thought captive” for Christ (II Corinthians 10:4 – 5), and make sure that as the news and “alternative news” fills our discussions, we acquit ourselves as faithful servants of Jesus!

Immigration & Refugees

As executive orders clash with media and protests, some Christians are quick to point out what the Bible says about refugees. For example, in Leviticus we are reminded, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them… Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt” (19:33 – 34). We are to leave food for the refugee (Lev 19:9 – 10), ensure they receive justice (Malachi 3:5), fulfill their requests (I Kings 8:41 – 44), and help them in their travels (Job 31:32). We are to remember that Jesus Himself was a refugee to Egypt (Matthew 2), and His call to love our neighbors and our enemies surely extends to the refugee as well. (See

It seems fairly open and shut, doesn’t it? God’s Word calls us to love the refugee, therefore the United States of America must ensure that her executive orders and foreign policy reflect these truths, right? (See a ridiculous article taking that point in Relevant Magazine here.)

Unfortunately, the incorrect assumption in all of this is that what is true of God’s people in the Old Testament can be automatically applied to the USA, or any other modern nation. But God’s covenant people before Christ are not the exact same as our geo-political nations today. In fact, Scripture is pretty clear who God’s people are now:

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.

Galatians 3:7
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Romans 9:6; 10:4
For not all Israel are Israel… For Christ is the end of the law for all who believes.

Galatians 6:14 – 16
But far be it from me to boast in anything except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, upon the Israel of God.

So the true people of God are defined by faith in Christ, being a new creation, and worship in the Spirit! God’s people today are not found in any one geo-political realm, but are a people of every tribe, tongue, and nation, who hope in Christ (Revelation 7:9). These Old Testament verses apply not to national politics, but have “general equity” for the Church.

This means that while people of good will may appeal to the wisdom of these verses for immigration policy, they are not binding on the US or any other nation. For those with a progressive agenda, Scripture will not be their servant to foist policy on the nation.

But conservative agendas can be just as misleading with Scripture. We often hear about II Chronicles 7 – “if my people who are called by my Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (7:14). We are told that this promise must be seized by Americans today for God to pour out revival. But as we have seen above, who are the people called by God’s Name? Where is their land? This verse is not describing the United States of America, but the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ! The offer of God’s free grace is not the property of any modern nation-state, but solely the covenant people of Jesus Christ!

Both conservatives and liberals can be guilty of hijacking Scripture and making it sound like it suits their perspective. But the Kingdom of God is not about the powers of this world, but the love of the King for rebels like us. Christians of good faith can disagree about how to balance concerns for security and sanctuary to immigrants and refugees, and may disagree on policy and procedure. But the world will know we are Christians by how the Spirit causes us to love in Christ’s Name; not by our foreign policy.

We who are not experts in these fields or problems should demonstrate the humility of Christ, being slow to speak, and quick to listen. We should pray for our leaders and legislators, and ask God to do better than we deserve. Christians may (and should!) insert themselves in the political process, but we ought always remember that our citizenship in heaven is foremost, and any policy we argue for must never be as important to us the faith of Jesus Christ, which we contend for with all passion and zeal.

May Christ receive the glory due His Name!

Come back next time as we think about how God’s Word applies to “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and more!

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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