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A Short Statement on the U.S. Border


Blog title card; topic is a Christian response to the southern border
A Short Statement on the U.S. Border

In 2023 over three million people came into America illegally through our porous southern border. Approximately fifteen thousand migrants arrive on the southern border every day. This border crisis is unlike any that America has faced in the past. This crisis is not a Democrat problem or a Republican problem; it is an American problem. Yet, more than just a national issue, it is a biblical issue.

Like many churches, our church is diverse. Our congregation includes people from the Philippines, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. In addition, our church partners with 38 missionaries who minister in 31 different countries to give the gospel and plant churches. A large percentage of our annual budget goes to support missionary endeavors around the world.


I include these facts because, when people begin to discuss immigration in America, they are often accused of xenophobia. Our church is not xenophobic. We are a faith-family with a heart for others both locally and around the world.


Since we have a heart for our country, we must acknowledge the truth of its current condition. With respect to this matter of immigration, our country is truly in crisis. It is not just a crisis for border states like Texas and Arizona; illegal immigration is impacting most of our 50 states. Many of the individuals who are crossing the border have good intentions and legitimate asylum claims; others that are crossing are criminals and have ill intent. But, regardless of each immigrant’s intentions, many of our big cities are overwhelmed. A few months ago, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that ten thousand migrants a month arrive in his city.  He went on to say that “this issue will destroy our city.” Chicago also is overwhelmed. Hundreds of migrants are sheltered in one of O’Hare Airport’s terminals. A disheartened reporter recently described how “the smell was overpowering and repulsive, and the area was filthy.”


To do some research on the immigration problem is to see that this is a humanitarian crisis that affects not only for the immigrants coming to America, but also US citizens who are overwhelmed by the number of needy people.  As much as is possible, Christians should respond to immigrants with compassion. Deuteronomy 24:17-22, Leviticus 19:33-34, Luke 10:25-37 all contain principles for how Christians can compassionately interact with the “stranger” or the sojourner.


However, the problem of our porous border has begun to overwhelm many of the most compassionate Americans. Consider the words of President Bill Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union address. He said that “it is wrong and ultimately self-defeating to permit the abuse of our immigration laws… and we must do more to stop it.” He was absolutely right; immigration permissiveness is “self-defeating” because it can destroy the very country that is providing aid. Many Americans are overwhelmed. If something doesn’t change, America will be defeated by this crisis. Meanwhile, our governmental representatives and authorities are failing us. Immigration has become a political football, and the politicians of our two major political parties merely throw it back and forth.


Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty are these words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” That sentiment sounds good, and, while we the people have been saying that for the last 200 years, many Americans recognize that we are not managing our bigheartedness very well.


So, what is the cure to the border crisis? 1 Timothy 3:4-5 provides some guidance. In those verses, God instructs the pastor that, before he can care for the church of God, he must ensure that his own house is in order. This principle also applies to our country: before we can help the world, we must take care of our own house.  What is the situation facing “our house”? By all accounts, we are socially bankrupt. Our national debt continues to increase. We don’t have the money to help more immigrants without increasing inflation rates or adding to the national debt. Our nation is also hurting in other ways. We have a domestic homeless crisis. Local ministries like Waterfront and Ministry Village do what they can, but the needs of the American homeless population are increasing. We have our own drug addiction crisis fueled by both prescription drugs and street drugs. Additionally, we have a mental health crisis, and many U.S. veterans are struggling physically, psychologically, and spiritually.


Before we help our neighbors around the world, we must help the citizens of our neighboring states. What can America do to take care of its own house? First, it is time for us to temporarily close our borders. We cannot merely secure them. Instead, we must close them until we can care not only for the millions of immigrants that we already have, but primarily for needy citizens. Several times a week, people from different U.S. states ask our church for food or financial help. America is full of people who need help.


Second, we must acknowledge that, as a nation, we are limited in our ability to help other nations. Our financial situation is not up to the task. Not only must we close the border, but we must also restore domestic fiscal responsibility. Once we fix our own house, we can once more broadcast our Statue of Liberty’s invitation to the world.  Finally, as a nation, we need to steward our vote wisely. This November, we must elect politicians who will address our own internal turmoil and not just shift blame or toss political footballs. We must love our own people and show compassion to one another. And, most importantly, we must nationally return to God. After all, “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

 

The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at strengthforlife461@gmail.com.


Every Tuesday, SFL publishes relevant Bible-based content. Check back next Tuesday to read the next SFL article.

 

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Watch the full sermon where Pastor Johnson responds biblically to the border crisis.



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