Don’t mistreat any foreigners who live in your land. Instead, treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself. Remember, you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:33-34 (CEV)
From a Biblical perspective, borders have been encouraged from the beginning of civilization. God had given the children of Israel land that they conquered and inhabit to this day. Their neighbors regularly fought them to retake it which required wars, walls and maps to delineate to whom it belonged. All was necessary to preserve the sovereignty of the nation.
The Hebrew people also dealt with legal and illegal inhabitants. God was specific on their treatment. All were accorded the same measure of dignity as image bearers of God, however, they didn’t have the same privileges,
So what is the answer to this problem? Grace and truth. Jesus was the perfect example for us to follow:
There is a tension between those words that challenge us as we develop policies and attitudes towards those who seek to come to America. Do we want legalism or grace to flow from the Christian community? The guard rail is the love of Jesus. If we ask the hard questions about what is right and how do the rules need to be applied, love is the salve that smooths the rough edges.
May our hearts be soft and our words generous even as we look to truth for the roadmap to solve this thorny issue.