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I was a stranger, and you deported me.

IN EARLY MAY, a group called the Evangelical Immigration Table ("EIT") held a press conference and announced the unleashing of a $250,000 advertising campaign. The goal of this media blitz is to persuade American Christians to support the Gang of Eight's immigration legislation (The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013). The Gang of Eight's bill (S. 744) calls for amnesty--"registered provisional immigrant status"--for approximately 12 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. Groups associated with the EIT include the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, Esperanza, and Liberty Counsel.

Advertisements supporting S. 744, such as the "I Was a Stranger" campaign, appear to be funded by the EIT and/or member organizations. Headlines announcing the EIT's efforts proclaim that "Evangelical leaders spend more than $250,000 to back immigration reform." But as reported by Breitbart.com, the EIT does not exist as an incorporated political entity or as a nonprofit organization. Rather, the EIT is merely an armor bearer of the National Immigration Forum, which is funded by millions of dollars from George Soros. Soros, of course, has long supported amnesty and open borders. He is also an avowed atheist. Yet he is the money behind the EIT.

It is certainly an inauspicious beginning for a number of purportedly Christian groups to yoke themselves to Soros via the EIT, and to mask the source of funding for their advertisements. One wonders whether the leaders of the EIT ever considered the biblical injunction against bearing false witness before they ran disclaimers informing the public that the EIT paid for the ads.

Worse than the source funds are the advertisements themselves. At best they are shameful uses of Scripture. For example, in the "I Was a Stranger" ad, various evangelical leaders read from Matthew 25:31-46. In this passage, Christ describes the separating of the Sheep and the Goats. He speaks of being hungry, thirsty, and a stranger. His true disciples, He explains, fed Him, gave Him a drink, and welcomed Him when they attended to the needs "of the least of these my brothers." The obvious implication of the ad is that those who oppose S. 744 and amnesty are goats. They neglect the downtrodden and have earned eternal punishment.

One sympathetic pastor, Dan Krause of the Chugach Covenant Church in Anchorage, Alaska, avers that "I'm completely convinced that God has spoken on this issue. It is our job as Christians and as Christian leaders to love those who are here in Jesus' name."

Of course, the Bible does not endorse open borders or a general amnesty for lawbreakers. But it does recognize private property. God gave man dominion over the earth and instructed him to subdue it. We see multiple instances of property transactions in the Scriptures--such as when Abraham purchased a plot of land in which to bury Sarah and when the Lord instructed Jeremiah to buy the field in Anathoth and preserve the deed in a clay pot. Private property is also recognized in the Ten Commandments when the Lord told His people not to steal nor covet the goods of a neighbor.

The United States is a collection of privately held parcels plus land owned by the federal government--the latter being, in effect, held in common by the citizenry. The right of exclusion is a fundamental aspect of property and may be exercised by the people's representatives when making immigration and nationalization laws. Undoubtedly, any of the leaders of the EIT would object if strangers, without asking permission, simply moved into his residence and helped themselves to the groceries in his refrigerator. He likely would call the authorities to have the strangers removed.

Controlling the right of access to a country and its resources rests on the same principles as controlling access to one's home and belongings.

SO WHY THE REVULSION of evangelical leaders at requiring aliens to follow the rules and punishing them for disregarding our immigration laws? John Calvin correctly noted that the human mind is an idol factory. In the 21st century, modern man's most beloved idol is himself. The heart of true liberty and happiness, we are told, is the right to self-actualization. If a Mexican national believes that his greatest fulfillment will be found while residing in the United States, then who are we to obstruct him from reaching what he views as his highest individual end?

The fact that so many evangelical leaders have seen fit to join the EIT shows how enamored the American Church is with the City of Man. Just as so many Christians cannot summon the sense or strength to forbid same-sex civil unions, so they cannot contemplate immigration restrictions or the removal of those who are here illegally.

The EIT boisterously proclaims that it acts out of love. Undoubtedly, love is a motivating factor. But it is the love for the idol of self-actualization, not a love rooted in biblical authority.
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Title Annotation:AMERICAN PROSCENIUM
Author:Watkins, William J., Jr.
Publication:Chronicles
Date:Aug 1, 2013
Words:824
Previous Article:Entitlement devolution.
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