istockphoto.com/Catherine Yeulet

Challenge your beliefs each week with topics on domestic and international politics, missions, Christian movements, persecution and global outreach with Steve Strang. Listen to the Strang Report at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


There are no biblical passages laying out the details of a just immigration policy for the U.S. today. A modern nation like ours is not analogous to ancient Israel, nor are biblical figures easily comparable to contemporary illegal immigrants. Immigration is a complex subject, and there are no easy answers for it, but here are 10 considerations that thoughtful U.S. Christians should bear in mind:

» 1. The oft-quoted command in Leviticus 19:33-34 that “you shall not oppress the alien” should shape our attitude toward immigrants. But the passage doesn’t say how many aliens should be admitted to the U.S. today. Compassion for the foreigner does not necessarily mean admitting all comers.

» 2. The “sojourners” in ancient Israel were not illegal immigrants. They were temporary residents who agreed to comply with Israel’s laws and respect its customs. They could expect to receive basic justice, but not the full privileges of an Israelite.

» 3. Mary and Joseph were not illegal immigrants when they fled to Egypt to protect the baby Jesus. They were refugees seeking asylum from political persecution—a right that is recognized under today’s international law. There is no evidence that they broke any Egyptian laws.

» 4. Alongside the biblical teachings about hospitality to strangers stand the teachings about the importance of the rule of law. Passages such as Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 stress a duty to obey properly constituted human authorities, when their demands do not violate conscience. 

» 5. U.S. authorities are within their powers when they attempt to regulate the flow of immigration into this country. Any state that loses control of its borders will not be able to fulfill its basic God-given responsibility to protect its citizens.

» 6. It is important to distinguish the callings of church and state. The church is called by God to welcome all with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ without distinction for nationality or immigration status. But the state is called by God to enforce justice. It properly makes distinctions between those who obey and those who break the law.

» 7. The state properly places first the welfare of its own citizens. It does not have to admit immigrants it believes will detract from national well-being.

» 8. There is no place for racism in the immigration debate. People shouldn’t be admitted to or excluded from the U.S. based on their ethnicity. 

» 9. There are cases in which a state may decide to show mercy to those who have broken its laws. It may conclude that strict enforcement of the law—for example, trying to deport all illegal immigrants—would be impossible or counterproductive. 

» 10. The possible unintended consequences of granting amnesty to immigration-law violators must be weighed. We saw this demonstrated with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, in which amnesty for most who had been in the country illegally led to a spike in new illegal entries. The problem of illegal immigration was amplified.

From “Immigration: A Brief Analysis”; ©2010 by The institute on religion and democracy; Washington, D.C. Used with permission. 

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Watch for these danger signals for choosing poorly.

    4 Signs You're Making a Bad Decision

    Avoid distraction and disappointment by testing your choices with these 4 principles.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit