Friday, January 7, 2011

How To Treat Aliens and Strangers

My wife, Nancy, and I are members of the Board of Directors of Caring Hands Pregnancy Center in southwest Denver. Caring Hands is a Christian compassionate ministry which attempts to help young women with unplanned pregnancies develop other choices for their unborn babies than abortion. In the process of doing that, we offer them free maternity clothes, baby items, counseling services, and community referrals for medical care. One of our main priorities is introducing them to the Savior. Most of our clients are illegal immigrants from Mexico or Central America; they are the poorest of peoples living in the United States. They are under extreme social and economic distress.

Frequently, we ask people to volunteer as counselors or Board members of our organization. Occasionally, Christian people will refuse to work with us, because they think that we are encouraging law breaking and more illegal immigration. They think that instead of helping these unfortunate people with their problem, we should be reporting our clients to the law.

In answer to that objection, we are not a law-enforcement agency; and there is no government regulation that tells us to report these people to the law. Indeed, it is against the law to hire these people; but we are not in the business of hiring anyone. All we are trying to do is to relieve their pain.

Furthermore, the paltry amount of material aid we deliver to our clients is so small that nobody in her right mind would immigrate all the way from Mexico or Central America to get it. Indeed, if all the aid from every compassionate agency in Colorado were poured upon them, it would not add up to anything significant which might stimulate more illegal immigration.

The problem with illegal immigration is a weak and ineffectual Federal Government that is not doing its job of stopping the chaos at the border and that does not establish a useful guest worker program. The job of Caring Hands is to help relieve social and economic pain among our very poor neighbors and to introduce them to Christ.

As Christians, we see very clearly mandates from the word of God for taking care of the alien and the stranger within our gates. For instance, Ex 22:21, 23:19, 23:12; Lev 19:10, 19:33 & 34, 23:22, 24:22; Num 15:16; Deut 10:18, 23:7, 24:14, 17, 19, 20, 21; 26:12 & 13, 27:19; Ps 146:9; Jer 7:6, 22:3; Ezek 22:7; Zec 7:10, the book of Ruth; Matt 25:35, 38, 43, 44.

Strict border regulations in combination with a meaningful foreign aid and guest worker program are not in opposition to Christian principles. But…neglecting the poor and needy among us is in absolute contradiction to Christian principles and practice.

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