Immigration and the Sabbath
Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.
In the first chapters of Deuteronomy, Moses was standing in front of Israel, in the wilderness of the desert (literally), with the purpose of repeating the Law of God to the sons and daughters of the second generation of Israelites. These were not the actual slaves who came out of Egypt. These were not the people who actually stood under the mountain, who watched God speak from the Mountain, who rebelled against Moses, who wanted to go back to Egypt. His listeners in the wilderness beyond Jordan either had been born after God made the covenant with Israel, or were too young to understand what had happened under Sinai. The actual slaves were dead. As God vowed, not a single one of them would enter the Promised Land, not even Moses. With two exceptions, of course: The two men who 40 years before that defied their fear, defied the slave mentality developed after several generations of slavery, and called Israel to enter the Promised Land and take dominion over it: Joshua (an Israelite) and Caleb (a Kennezite, a foreigner of Canaanitic origin). The time period separating the two events is the same time period separating us today from President Nixon’s resignation in the Watergate Scandal; except that, there were no news agencies nor multimedia online storage facilities to keep the memory alive. Everyone among these listeners knew about Sinai from his parents and from the collective memory of the whole community. But none of them were really there, except for two men.
And yet, Moses told them that the covenant God made on the Mount Sinai was made with them, not with their parents. After which he proceeded to repeat to them the same Ten Commandments he gave their fathers. Well, not exactly the same. There was a slight change in the Commandments. Or, not so slight. The change was in the Fourth Commandment. Or rather, in the legal and logical foundation for the Fourth Commandment.
The text of the Fourth Commandment God gave to the previous generation was,
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy (Ex. 20:8-11).
But to the children he changed the reasoning:
Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day (Deut. 5:12-15).
The change is very interesting, isn’t it? And it is, again, part of a line of paradoxical statements by God to His people. After telling them that the covenant on Sinai wasn’t made with the fathers who were actually there, He must have gotten their attention. “Wait, what happened before us was actually meant for us?” Now God was telling, “Not only was it meant for you, you are expected to remember a slavery you have never been through yourself.” An interesting proposition given the fact that the Bible seldom advises people to look back to the past. The past has this power of attraction: from the distance of time, it always looks much better to us than it actually was. Lot’s wife looked back, even when forbidden to. The Hebrews slaves in the wilderness remembered Egypt with the things that were given to them for free. (Forgot about the whips?) But God’s true people always look forward, to the promised redemption, to a redeemed history of victory for the Gospel. As Paul said, “forgetting what lies behind, pressing forward” (Phil. 3:13), because, “the future belongs to you” (1 Cor. 3:22).
But there was a legitimate remembrance of the past, and it had to do with mistreatment and oppression. Mistreatment of God, and mistreatment of our fellow man. (Opposite to the two great commandments, “Love God” and “Love your neighbor.”) Deuteronomy 8 warns the Israelites to not forget God and His works when He brought them out of Egypt. Forgetting God and His works would be a mistreatment of God, an act of injustice to Him. Again, in Deut. 8 Moses was speaking to the children who hadn’t seen the great works of God, and yet were expected to remember.
And the other instance when the Israelites had to remember was when they were tempted to mistreat their neighbor, those weaker than them in the society, those who couldn’t defend themselves either by the use of force or by the courts. It started with their weaker ones at home, their servants, their employees, the children under their care, and even their animals. And the foreigners who stayed in their home.
We have this religious, ritualistic, mystical idea today about the Sabbath, that God gave the Fourth Commandment so that we have special liturgy and magic ceremonies to make God pleased with us. But the Biblical message is very clear that the central purpose of the Sabbath was to declare liberty and justice throughout the land; liberty and justice for all, from the smallest to the greatest in a culture. “Remember you were a slave,” God told the Israelites when they were about to enter the land to possess it. “Let this Day of Rest remind you of the days when you worked without rest, without hope in the world, under cruel oppressors, without any recourse against them, and without any future for your children except the same constant toil.” Egypt did not recognize Jehovah, and did not recognize a day of rest for the slaves. Pagan servitude was a constant toil. In another time, under another pagan regime, another committed pagan, Marcus Porcius Cato, incorrectly believed by many today to have been a champion of liberty, declared his maxim to be that when a slave is not sleeping, he should be working. Cruelty to slaves was the standard in pagan societies; and why not, if, as Aristotle believed, people who are slaves were “naturally so,” not being different in principle from animals.
The Sabbath rejected this standard of cruelty and substituted another standard for it: The slave—and all the weaker members of the society—were equal in status to those who are powerful, rich, and important. The worth of the individual—of any individual, not just a few—was established in this Commandment by making the Israelites stop and remember that they were slaves, too. Remember, o Israelite, you were a slave—not just your parents, but you, too. Remember, o American, you were oppressed and persecuted and declared an outlaw and a stranger in your own land; not just your parents several generations ago, but you, too. At the end of the week all those in a weaker position deserved rest; and the animals, as well. When an Israelite heard “remember,” it meant to him, “treat others as you would want to be treated in their situation.” The Sabbath was a day of freedom for man, and the Sabbath year was a year of freedom for the debtors in Israel, and the Sabbath of the Sabbaths, the Jubilee year, was meant to see the freeing all people from all bondage.
I believe our churches today are still ignorant as to the true meaning of Jesus’s words, “the Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). We still take these words casually, either as having no important meaning or as declaring the Sabbath to be simply at man’s disposal to be used pragmatically or according to expediency. But “made for man” means much more; the meaning is that man is valued and cared for on the Sabbath. His disciples were picking grains of wheat to eat on that day when Jesus declared that the Sabbath was made for man. Their hunger required that they picked grains, for “the Sabbath was made for man.” His multiple cases of healing on Sabbath pointed to the same truth. “And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Jesus asked in Luke 13:16. Of course she should; that’s what the Sabbath was for, setting the captives free. And again,
“Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” (Mark 3:4-5).
The “remember you were a slave” clause was not just an isolated little clause. It was repeated several times in the Law. “Remember you were a slave” and set your brother free in the Sabbath year, and furnish him liberally from your possessions; don’t send him away empty-handed (Deut. 15:12-15). “Remember you were a slave” an on the Day of Pentecost celebrate not alone, not with your rich buddies only, but invite the stranger, the orphan, and the widow (Deut. 16:9-12). “Remember you were a slave” and do not pervert justice due a stranger, an orphan, or a widow (Deut. 24:17-18). The next verse, again, “remember you were a slave” and do not go back to the field to pick up the sheaves you have forgotten while harvesting; leave them for the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. The next verse, again, “remember you were a slave” and do not go over your vineyard again when picking your grapes; leave them for the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. There was no government agency forcing compliance; God Himself was the enforcement, and the implicit threat was serious enough to make a God-fearing man stop and consider: “If you forget you were a slave and start oppressing these people, I will return you back to your slavery, and you will learn again.” And guess what, God returned them back to their slavery, and then again, and then again.
Stop here and think, before I continue: When the rest of the world is painfully shaking off the chains of socialism, why is America adopting it, in the face of all evidence against it? Could there be a higher, more transcendent reason for it? We like to blame the liberals. But could it be that the fault lies with us, the Christians and the conservatives in general? Could it be that we have forgotten that we were slaves and we have mistreated the orphan and the widow . . . and the stranger? Why are we losing the cultural war, why do our efforts in the culture seem so futile, as if we are fighting against a superior spiritual force? Does the enemy really posses such spiritual power to block the efforts and the prayers of the Church? Or may be . . . just may be . . . our opponent is the Holy Spirit Himself, enforcing the Law against us, the American church, because we have violated the Sabbath Commandment in its true meaning and intent?
Just keep this as a thought.
The Sabbath Law, of course, is much more extensive than we might want to think. As much as we’d like to limit it to two hours on Sunday, or to not working one day of seven, it goes beyond that. It covers every act of pretended service or worship to God, whether it is singing praises, fasting, celebrating days and new moons, etc. And everywhere God tells us, “Do not presume to think that what I need is your rituals and pageants. What I need is justice, and mercy to those weaker than you.” “Is this not the fast I choose,” says the Lord in Isaiah 58, “To loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke”? Because of the Sabbath, He says again in the same chapter, turn your foot from doing your own pleasure. Only then, He promises again in the same chapter, you will rebuild the ancient ruins and will be called repairer of the breach. Think again, why haven’t we, conservatives, been able to even conserve anything, let alone rebuild? Could it be because we have not set the oppressed free? Could it be that we have been accomplices in oppression instead?
Just like the Sabbath Law in general, the Remember Clause is much more extensive in the Bible. It is not just remember that you were a slave. It gets more specific than that. God returned their memory to the past on another issue, too. That they were slaves was an important foundation for how they treated everyone. But they were something else, too, and God used that as well.
“You were strangers in the land of Egypt,” He said in Exodus 22:21, therefore you shall not wrong nor oppress a stranger. Remember, the Hebrews became strangers in Egypt by economic immigration. They could have stayed back home and starved to death, in the time of Joseph. But they came to Egypt to ask for food, and because of a righteous Pharaoh, one who respected Joseph and the God of Joseph, they were invited to stay. The famine that brought the Hebrews to Egypt was the same famine that made all Egyptians slaves to their Pharaoh. The Hebrews—the immigrants—remained free in a land where the native population was enslaved. This may be the reason why the Hebrews became mightier than the Egyptians, as Exodus 1:9 relates. But then, by God’s design, they became slaves (see Gen. 15:13, “God said to Abram, Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years”). God Himself planned their slavery and their being strangers, with the purpose to teach them a lesson they were not supposed to forget. The memory was to keep them aware that the stranger in their land deserved special love and compassion, and equal protection under the Law.
That the stranger was given equal rights under the Law as the homeborn was a totally novel concept in the pagan world. Our modern liberal historians trip over each other to present Rome and Greece as the paragons of justice and social virtue. But the truth was, a foreigner had no equal rights in any of the Greek city states—in fact, he had no rights, period. Once a person left the borders of his hometown, he was without any protection. So horrible was the fate of a foreigner that in Greece, exile was considered worse punishment than death penalty. Even the homeborn who associated with foreigners were at risk of losing their rights. The great statesman and general of Athens, Pericles, who committed his whole life to the service of his city, could not marry the woman he loved, Aspasia. Why? She was a foreigner, and he risked being ostracized and exiled if he married a foreigner. And she was as Greek as anyone else in Athens, and of the same ethnic family, at that, Ionian Greeks, being from Miletus. But even that was too much for the ancient pagans. The stranger was not protected, not welcome, because the gods of the city felt offended by the presence of strangers. Many pagan cultures today brag about their “traditional hospitality.” Nonsense. Hospitality became a virtue only with the advent of Christianity. In the ancient world, hospitality was unknown outside the nation of Israel. Any hospitality shown was the personal whim of the host; but there was no ethical system that encouraged hospitality.
But in Israel, God specifically declared the stranger of equal rights with the homeborn. To teach the lesson, God made a whole nation become strangers in a foreign land, so that they knew and remembered what it’s like. The Remember Clause included the foreigners, and oppression of foreigners was forbidden for the same reason oppression of slaves and weaker members of the society was forbidden: “Remember that you were also a foreigner.” The Fourth Commandment protected the foreigner as well.
But God didn’t stop there. He placed even higher requirements on the Hebrew nation. In Deuteronomy 23:7, He commanded the following:
You shall not detest an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it. But remember, if you go to Numbers 20, you will find out that Edom actually refused to allow Israel to pass through their land, and they showed up with “heavy force” to prevent the Israelites from passing. Israel needed to use the wells and the rivers for themselves and their animals, and they were willing to pay for all the water they used. Edom said “no,” and lined up for battle, effectively instituting immigration restrictions against Israel; restrictions that could have easily led to Israel’s extermination in the waterless desert. Edom’s hatred against Israel continued for many centuries; in fact, in the last siege of Jerusalem in AD 70, Edomite troops were the most fervent allies of the Romans, and the Roman generals had to restrain them from committing barbaric atrocities against the Jewish defenders. Moses’s listeners were familiar with what Edom had committed, for they were the children who had to go without water for many miles, because of Edom’s hatred. And the Egyptians were exactly the nation where Israel was enslaved. And yet, God commanded, “do not detest them, but remember, you were a foreigner.” Not only was the stranger worthy of equal protection and respect, but even members of the worst enemies of Israel were to be treated without partiality, and not detested.
Now, let’s stop here and consider: Do you understand the grave significance of this command for you, Texans? Or should I say, Texians? Go back to the past and remember, were you a foreigner in someone else’s land? Do you dare detest the Mexican, in whose land you were a stranger, just as the Israelites were strangers in the land of the Egyptian? Do you think God only gave that commandment to the Israelites; that God’s moral principles are not eternal and applicable to all men? When you say the words, “Remember Alamo,” what is the motive deep in your heart? Is it the Biblical motive, to remember that you were a mistreated foreigner and therefore treat the Mexican with respect so that the trail of mutual distrust and hatred is broken and God’s Law and God’s peace prevail?
Or do you want the same for the Mexican as General Santa Ana would have for you if he had his way: walls, barbed wire, towers with machine guns, military helicopters shooting at unarmed people, and hatred and fear and hostility?
Are you a Biblical Christian, obeying God’s Law, when it comes to the Mexican? Or are you a Barbaric pagan, blinded by hatred to all that is foreign to you?
The words “because you were a stranger” appear in so many other places in the Law of God that we won’t have the time to cover them all. The very concept of being a stranger deserves a series of lectures in its own accord. But for our understanding of the Biblical policy on immigration, it is important to understand that the Fourth Commandment, of keeping the Sabbath, was a warning against oppression—oppression of the weaker members of our families and our society, oppression of the stranger, oppression of the slaves under our jurisdiction.
Given these principles in the Law, it should be of no surprise that the Law contains not a single prescription for limiting immigration. It couldn’t. Such a prescription would violate the whole character of the Law of God, and would violate specifically the “Remember Clause”: “Remember you were a slave, and a foreigner.” Limiting the freedom of movement of a man who hasn’t committed any crime, for the simple reason that he was a foreigner, would be treating a stranger more harshly than a homeborn. That was illegal, wicked, immoral, and totally anti-Christian. It would mean oppression of the weaker members of the society. It would make America . . . er, I mean, Israel . . . fall to the level of the Barbaric pagan nations in the antiquity. Israel was not allowed to close any borders, neither was the king allowed to have a swarm of bureaucrats who controlled the movement of foreigners through the borders. The decision of a man to move and settle was left entirely to the man himself; God refused the civil government the power to block the access of certain classes to the territory and the economic life of Israel. Caleb the Kennezite, Uriah the Hittite, Obed-edom the Philistine (later leader of the singers in the Temple), Ruth the Moabite, and countless other foreigners could come to Israel and take advantage of the opportunities there. Some could end up adopted by Hebrew families and also take ownership in the land. Those who chose to get circumcised and become part of Israel could receive political rights after several generations. Others could remain pagans and even worship their idols in the confines of their homes; as long as their worship was not public, they were safe from interference. As far as individual rights were concerned, there was to be one law for the stranger and for the homeborn. No passports, no border control, no extensive government apparatus to control the movement of people, no forcing private businesses to spend resources on verifying the “legal status” of their employees, no immigration crises, no compulsion on the local businesses to hire locals over foreigners, etc., etc. The access to political suffrage was limited; but the access to the land and the market and the job market wasn’t.
To our brainwashed modern Christians and conservatives such proposition sounds extreme. How would Israel protect their culture from all those unwashed Mexicans around them? Here was Israel, a small nation surrounded by greater nations, with open land routes to everywhere, with no central government, no police, and God missed giving them laws to restrict immigration? And the surrounding cultures were self-consciously pagan and hostile to Israel’s religion. Come on, God. We have 300 million people in America today, the most powerful nation that ever existed, protected by two oceans, the most obvious example to the world of the success of its culture, and we are panicking at the sight of a few thousand immigrants, how could You hope to protect the tiny nation of Israel without immigration laws?
To add insult to the injury, not only didn’t God give them any laws for immigration restrictions, He actually put a ban on deporting immigrants. In the same chapter where the Israelites were commanded to not detest the Edomite and the Egyptian, Deut. 23, the following commandment was given in verses 15 and 16:
You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him.
Not only Israel could not restrict immigration, they could not deport immigrants either. The Biblical principle of Israel as the shining city on a hill was applied thoroughly. Come to Israel, the Law said, and be free. Come to the only place in the world where a foreigner can find his true home and have peace. To understand the importance of this specific law we need to understand the ancient world: The largest slave owners in the pagan nations were usually the politically and militarily powerful. Slaves were most often acquired in military expeditions, and the powerful of the day took the lion’s share of the plunder. For Israel to refuse to deport a slave back to his foreign pagan master meant that the master could incite his government—or he may have been the government himself—to go to war with Israel. This law spelled possible international conflict for Israel for every slave who could decide to find asylum in Israel. God didn’t care. He was very specific, and very clear: Not only you will not deport a fugitive slave, but you will allow the slave to decide where he wants to settle and live. And if you have to go to war for every slave, you will go to war for every slave. Because, remember, you were a foreigner, and a slave, and therefore, if you want to be righteous before me, you will defend and protect the foreigner and the slave. Three thousand years before the US was founded, another nation was commanded to declare to the world,
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
How does America compare to this Biblical principle today? Let me remind you: Thousands of German Jews were refused entry in the US in the 1930s because of immigration restrictions. And the American church remained silent. And today, the same American church insists on more immigration restrictions, more government power to restrict the movement of individuals, not to mention radical murderous measures like machine guns and military helicopters on the border, to shoot at unarmed people. Who knows how many Christian brothers we have returned to their pagan masters with our immigration laws? Who knows how many decent men and women who were looking for gainful employment to provide for their children have we returned to their poverty and misery and darkness and ignorance? Let me ask you: Could it be that we are losing America to fascism today exactly because we have failed to search the Word of God on this issue, and have sided with the fascists, as a church? Could it be that God is bringing judgment on us because we have been acting as Barbaric pagans, mistreating and oppressing the stranger with our support for wicked immigration laws?
From a legal perspective, government control of the borders for movement of individuals would mean that the civil government declares itself to be the owner of the land, not servant of God for the good of the people. But the Law didn’t give the land to the government, it gave it to the families. If there was to be any “immigration control,” it was to be enforced by the true owners, the families. One family may not like foreigners, another may welcome them as workers and may be even adopted sons. Boaz specifically advised his workers to leave more sheaves for Ruth the Moabite immigrant. He was responsible to decide whether this immigrant alien would be able to take advantage of his land or not, not some government. One of the warnings Samuel gave Israel when they wanted a king was that the king would take their fields. Indeed, the evil king Ahab killed an innocent man to acquire his property. What is seldom understood by Christians today is that giving the civil government power over immigration actually declares the civil government to be the owner of the land. And indeed, most of the time the argument for restricting immigration is, “Can I stop someone from entering my backyard?” You can, but the land is not the backyard of the government, you fool. Because once you declare it to be the backyard of the government, you can’t complain when the government takes it away from you. Should we be surprised that the era of immigration restrictions in the US is also the era of the legal principle of eminent domain? If you want the government to act as owner of the land against the foreigner, the next thing you should expect is that it acts as owner of the land against you. God is not mocked. Not at a zero cost, at least. The way you treat the foreigner will be the way you get treated.
But weren’t there borders in the Bible? Weren’t there political boundaries between the states in the ancient world? If there were, wasn’t the government responsible for securing the borders?
There were. But here again, we as Christians have failed to think as Biblical Christians and have adopted a basically pagan, anti-Christian concept of borders.
Borders in the Bible were not meant to restrain individuals or to give more power to the civil government to control the movement of individuals. Borders were actually establish to limit the power and the geographical extent of the civil government. We already saw that a fugitive slave could settle in Israel, protected from the laws of the land of his pagan master. In Israel, the local city governments were limited in extent; a man could flee to another city if he believed he wouldn’t get a fair treatment in the courts of his own city. Cities of refuge were established for those who have killed unintentionally, to protect them from the wrath of the victim’s relatives; the legal authority for prosecution was in the hands of the city of refuge, thus limiting the power of other civil governments (Numbers 35). The Biblical principle of borders was: Individuals can move freely, governments are restrained. The same principle protected the nation from foreign invaders: for a foreign invasion was a foreign government overstepping its boundaries. Few things reveal more clearly the foolishness of modern American Christianity than this inability to distinguish between immigration and invasion; and the difference is very clear, one is an act by individuals, and therefore is legitimate and allowed, and the other is an act of a government overstepping its boundaries.
Today, we have turned the Biblical concept of “boundary” on its head: We believe our government has the right to overstep any boundary, and we cheer for our government invading other nations and murdering civilians around the world; and we have supported laws that limit the freedom of individuals. And then we wonder why that same government oversteps its boundaries and limits our freedom. We have ourselves to blame, as Christians, as a church, and as conservatives. Liberals did not cause this to us, we did it ourselves, with our Biblical ignorance and our eager adoption of pagan, anti-Christian concepts and ideologies concerning civil government, borders, and immigration.
Much more can be said on this issue, for the issue of immigration is related to many other ethical issues in the Bible. It is related to economic growth; to monetary policies; to children and abortion; to education, etc. To cover it all we need a book, at least. And it may take many years before we shake off the false ideologies we have adopted in the last two decades concerning foreigners and immigration, and return back to a thoroughly Biblical, Christian, righteous view of the foreigner. And demand the Biblical solution to the immigration crisis: Get the government out of immigration, and protect the liberty of all, the homeborn and the stranger.
“Do not be forgetful,” the author of Hebrews says in 13:2, “to show love for strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” But we, the American church, have demanded from our government to legislate hatred to strangers, to take away their liberty and to deny them justice, asking for man’s laws over the Law of God.
“Depart from me, accursed ones,” Jesus will say in the Day of Judgment, “for I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in” (Matt. 25:43). On this specific issue, as a church, we have been paying lip service to Christ, while at the same time we have demanded that our government kick the strangers out. And then we have been wondering why Jesus is not here to bless our efforts in turning America back. Could it be that He is not here because He has obeyed our immigration laws? Could it be that He is one of those deported strangers? You think Jesus would for sure be flying the stars and stripes today, and not present Himself as a stranger to test you? Could it be that we have sealed the fate of America by abandoning our true Christian heritage, buying wholesale the ideology of the enemy? Could it be that we have been hypocritically babbling about “evangelism” and “preaching the Gospel” and “missions,” and when God sends us people to evangelize, we have demanded that they be deported, or gunned down?
And could it be that the creeping totalitarianism in the US is largely due to our own blindness, in giving the civil government power over individuals that God never gave it?
We all know the story of the church in Germany situated by the railroad tracks used by the Nazis to ship Jews to the concentration camps. The church dutifully gathered every Sabbath to do their meaningless liturgies. When a train would pass and the human beings in that train screamed to get the attention of the church-goers, the church just sang their hymns louder to drown the screams. It wasn’t keeping the Sabbath. It was savagely violating the Sabbath while pretending to keep it. It was the moral equivalent of murdering a person while pretending to save them.
Pretty damning, isn’t it. And yet, if you think about it, they were motivated by fear. They did not oppose an evil pagan regime but at least, they did not actively collaborate. In a hostile, dangerous situation, it is understandable if a man loses heart and just passively lie down and wait.
Compare this to the American church today, where there is no danger if we speak out. We have not simply passively acquiesced with the evil laws of a pagan regime, we have actively rooted for those laws, and have demanded even more evil and anti-Christian policies. And then we expect God to be pleased with our own liturgies and Sunday pageants, in the face of our support of sending the slaves and the strangers of the world back to their concentration camps. We think we keep the Sabbath Law; but we have rejected what that same law tells us, “Remember, your parents were immigrants in this country, and came here from a land of oppression, to find liberty and justice for all.”
It is time to return to a true Biblical worldview, and a true Biblical view on immigration. And it is time for us Christians to dump the lies we have bought and demand that the civil government gets out of the immigration business altogether, and let people live. It is time for us as Christians to hear the commandment that “one law shall there be for everyone,” for the homeborn and the alien. We can’t afford to be driven by our fears, instilled in us by a gang of liberal politicians; we must strictly cling to the Law of God and its provisions. And never turn to the right or to the left.
Without that, we can’t hope to preserve Christendom, let alone restore it. And may God give us the grace to accept His Word, and obey it