As followers of Jesus Christ, are our lives and the politics of our lives different than those of any other American? I believe way too many of us have decided that simply following a party line on all issues makes for faithful following of Jesus.
After my picture post of how I envision the kingdom of God, I got some push back of which I didn't post several comments. I replied with my perspective in a comment of my own, but it was really insufficient in terms of depth and thoughtfulness. Whenever we talk about immigration reform, we need to look at the biblical text. I'm not suggesting the biblical text directly answers the question of immigration and particularly illegal immigration. I don't believe the biblical text is an answer book for all questions of life. But.
I do believe the biblical text tells us how to live as God's people in the midst of the culture in which we find ourselves. Regardless of time or place, the biblical text speaks to us. It demands that we live a certain way in our time and space. While we need to uphold the laws of our land, we also need to uphold our commitment to the biblical story. Following Jesus means that we have hopes and dreams and an understanding of reality that is different than those who don't believe in the resurrection. Living as people who hold the image of God, even if it is tainted, means that we are to live differently. A good friend of mine read a portion of the biblical text last night, and I couldn't help but imagine what it means for the issue of immigration reform. The particular text reads...
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. [Galatians 5:22-25]
It's interesting how Paul places "Against such things there is now law" immediately after mentioning the fruits of the Spirit. In other words, these are the ways by which we live as followers of Jesus Christ. We don't refer to the U.S. law; we don't refer to immigration laws; we don't refer to the law of Arizona when we consider the issue of immigration. No. We refer to how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ. It is this calling that shapes our politics and and our other life choices.