Open Borders: What Would Jesus Do?
I’m disgusted by open borders and immigration politics. Does the Bible have anything to say about this?
I’m thrilled you’re thinking about the Bible as a reference tool for our times, which are confusing and frustrating at best. Many of us don’t even watch the news anymore due to the infighting and recklessness of the political landscape. Yet, as I pondered your question, the Lord brought to my mind the numerous occasions when the Bible talks about walls, and “aliens” or “foreigners.”
First, the Bible discusses hundreds of rules given to Moses by God regarding immigrants. These are mainly found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy and can all be aligned under the umbrella of the Golden Rule. Though Jesus himself instituted the Golden Rule in the New Testament, the Bible validates Christ’s authority in every book of the Bible. So in the Old Testament, the Golden Rule looks something like this: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34, NASB.) One can almost hear “do unto others” echoing through the Lord’s command to treat immigrants well, since the Jews were technically in the same boat at that time.
In Moses’ day, over a thousand years before Jesus, God was busy instilling a specific way of life into the Jewish people. They knew nothing but slavery for hundreds of years, so their understanding of God, healthy lifestyle (eating and hygiene) and an ordered community government had to be built from the ground up. God included the alien, immigrant and foreigner alongside his important parameters for the Jews because foreigners were there beside the throng of nomadic Hebrews. The Jews were migrating at this time, from Egypt to Canaan, and they encountered people of other ethnicities along their journey. God graciously added them to his care of the Hebrews.
However, the Bible also illustrates an important distinction between those migratory circumstances of the Jews early years and their later years of established, organized colonies of tribal settlement. God had blessed his people, given them land and asked them to govern successful territories. This led to walled cities for their protection from invasion and evil. King Solomon later referenced this in a wise statement about self-control: “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” (Proverbs 25:28) Solomon was gifted by God with wisdom beyond his natural ability. He saw walls as an important security measure both in human behavior and also in urban planning.
Four hundred years after Solomon made that profound statement the Holy Spirit devoted an entire book to the meticulous details of wall-building: Nehemiah. I dedicated a Master’s thesis to that particular section of human history, and I can assure you the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls wasn’t only for security. It had more to do with honoring the geography that God himself had chosen as a special place. Fortifying a city or a nation also includes the aspect of honoring what God has done in that city or nation, if he had indeed authored its existence.
So what am I saying? I’m saying that America, in spite of the uneducated attempts to discredit her, is and was founded as “One Nation under God.” While we are certainly called to love one another—which has always been demonstrated by our legislation toward legal immigrants—we must consider our obligation to honor our citizens with security...while honoring our God who made us the most powerful nation in the world. Regardless of the political ignorance or the lies of our media outlets, building walls can be beneficial and even honorable. America is well worth fortification, don’t you think?
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