During the ancient tradition of the public reading of the Law and Prophets, (which we do every Sunday morning as a part of our worship at Cornerstone), I have recently offered commentary, after the reading, on a popular abuse of God’s law-word that is going on across America in many churches right now.
So often, the social justice progressives who contaminate Christian pulpits across our nation, (especially among the Dutch-Reformed protestant churches and many Catholic churches) enjoy pointing out a handful of passages where God commands that we should “love the foreigner.”
“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.”
This necessary command from God is often misused to excuse, justify and encourage illegal immigration across our American borders despite the reality that it does not comport with our national security interests.
What is deliberately left undisclosed by protagonists of illegal immigration is that the same law of God which clearly commands compassion and respectful treatment of the foreigner among us ALSO commands the foreigner to see to it that they submit to the law of the nation they intend to journey among, else face serious consequences for their dishonor.
“The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”
“There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the LORD your God.”
“If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.”
“If an alien sojourns with you, or one who may be among you throughout your generations, and he wishes to make an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the LORD, just as you do so he shall do.”
“As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD.”
“There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.”
“You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them.”
“Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him.”
Conclusion: we are to love the foreigner among us, without partiality, just as we are to reject and punish lawlessness in the foreigner among us, without partiality. An objective standard of law is required before the presence or absence of impartiality can even be determined!
Upholding just statutes and laws that comport with informed Biblical reason are the only appropriate means by which one can love and honor both the native and the stranger by the same standard, and truly fulfill the purpose of the command of God.
Lawlessness from the foreigner is oppression against the native citizenry.
Ruthlessness from the native is oppression against the foreigner who has the disadvantage of no citizenship.
Neither lawlessness nor ruthlessness can be tolerated. The foreigner and native must never abandon the law standard at the expense of the other. Just law and its enforcement are not Biblical “oppression.” On the contrary, law without enforcement is oppression by dereliction of duty and impartial obedience to existing law is the contextual recipe for liberty and peace.
Both the native and the foreigner abiding the same impartial standard of law in a geographical jurisdiction allows the Biblical requirement of law-abiding peace to be met.
Does the foreigner dislike the laws of a particular nation? Let him either refrain from going to it, or resolve to obey them when he goes.
Does the native citizen dislike his own laws? Let him either change them by due process or resolve to obey them until he does.
*(The only caveat being that Biblically unjust laws that actively violate divine law are not legitimate to begin with, and require faithful civil resistance. This scenario is not determined by subjective feelings and/or opinions, but by Scriptural law carefully scrutinized).
Neither the native nor the foreigner honors himself or others by the willy-nilly transgression of existing laws.