August 26, 2020 Prayer Partner: What if the Bible, rather than politics, shaped our views on immigration?
I’ve been paying attention to immigration issues in the news for long enough to expect that, in the next couple months, immigration will likely become a significant topic of national political debate.
We all know that immigration is a political issue, and that immigration policies are consequential. But I believe that we make a mistake, as Christians, if we begin and end our conversations regarding immigration from a political perspective. Because, for Christians, our first lens to view any complicated issue should be through the perspective of the Bible.
Regrettably, though evangelical Christians would generally affirm the authority of the Bible as the inspired word of God, relatively few – just 12% according to a LifeWay Research poll – cite it as the primary influence on their thinking on immigration issues. More evangelical Christians cited “the media” than the Bible, the local church or national Christian leaders combined.
But that’s not because the Bible is silent on this issue. In fact, though there certainly is no specific U.S. immigration policy prescription hidden in the pages of Scripture, the Bible speaks frequently to God’s love and concern for the vulnerable foreigner. In fact, the Hebrew word ger, a resident foreigner or immigrant, appears 92 times just in the Old Testament.
That’s why, shortly after the Evangelical Immigration Table first launched in 2012, we began the “I Was a Stranger” Challenge, inviting Christians to read one Bible passage each day for forty days that relates to the topic of immigration – and to prayerfully seek God’s heart.
There is intentionally no commentary on the passages and no prescription for how to apply them: we leave that to you as you read and pray through the words of Scripture. We believe God’s word is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It does not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
So, in this contentious season, we invite you to ensure that your reflections on the topic of immigration (and your thoughts about immigrants as people made in God’s image) are steeped in Scripture by utilizing this 40-day Bible-reading guide.
We’d also invite you to take it one step further: beyond just reading these passages yourself, would you challenge others? We’ve made that simple, with easily share-able graphics that you can post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platform once per day for forty days, inviting your network of friends, family and acquaintances to also reflect on God’s word, adding your own reflection on passages if you’d like.
Imagine if, rather than having our newsfeeds saturated by articles and commentary that too often treat immigrants as a political football, they were saturated with the words of Scripture that focus on God’s heart for immigrants? Would you join us?
P.S. Esta oportunidad está disponible en español aquí.