Saturday, February 13, 2010

Evangelical faith in America - Immigrants

Looking at a Facebook post by a friend this morning, he prompted me to read Ezekiel 47.  Yesterday, he got a tattoo on his arm related to this chapter.  The chapter concludes with the following verses: 

 21 "You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance," declares the Sovereign LORD.

We certainly need to recognize that America is not Israel, but it seems the biblical text gives us a sense of how we are to treat the foreigners within our midst. 

This past week several evangelical theologians from Grand Rapids called attention to perceived theological errors regarding how we understand human nature as it relates to God, most notably original sin.  

Much of the evangelical church would categorize immigration reform as left leaning politics or as a social justice issues rather than a theological issue.  

From my vantage point, a lack of concern for such an issue as immigration policy suggests that we prefer our faith to be lived within the confines of mental constructs.  I wonder how purely theological pursuits apart from life has breath.  Can it actually hold life if it does not breathe?

Ezekiel makes it exceedingly clear how we are to treat the aliens among us.  It seems helping people live into the challenges of the faith would be a most helpful witness for the church.

1 comment:

randy buist said...

Please note that Ezekiel is only one of many verses in the Old Testament & the New Testament where we are instructed how to treat the aliens among us.

This isn't a verse that stands alone as something to be used for a specific position. This is the position of Yahweh, Jesus, and his followers throughout both testaments.