Recently we published a post about the crisis on the Mexico/US border. Since then I came across a very helpful article by Erick Erickson, “Moral Clarity at the Border.” Erickson is an American political commentator and blogger.
Christians tend to divide into two streams of thought around this crisis. One school wants to show compassion for those who have crossed the border illegally. They cite scriptures like “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt,” (Exodus 23:9 ESV). They call for open borders. They want to eliminate the word “illegal” in discussions about immigration. Some are now promoting the encouragement of all the oppressed in Central America to come to the USA and be welcomed. If a fellow Christian disagrees he is indicted for a lack of compassion.
The other camp are those Christians who focus on the importance of respecting the law. They cite texts like, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God,” (Romans 13:1 NIV). They want to see the border closed and the deportation of those who have entered illegally. They often accuse those who show compassion to illegals of aiding and abetting lawlessness.
Are these the only two positions? Perhaps it is time to articulate a more nuanced stance. Should not Christians be both law abiding and compassionate? These two virtues are not contradictory. Both are needed to guide the discussion. What happens on the border needs to reflect both compassion and respect for the law.
Erick Erickson has shed a helpful light on this question with his piece, “Moral Clarity at the Border.”
– Darrow Miller