Spotlight on the Border Crisis
Pray for me, will ya?
This blog entry is more or less a public service announcement. In just a couple of weeks (June 14-17), I will embark on a trip to the southern border of the US with Dominique Gilliard of the ECC and an excellent ministry called, The Global Immersion Project – (http://www.globalimmerse.org) One of my best friends, Dr. Shann Ferch, will be traveling with me as well, which will make the trip more fun and he is one of the most insightful people I know. The trip will be around four days, spending time listening and observing both the US and Mexican sides of the border, placing my own eyes on what I consider one of the most perplexing and discouraging issues of our time.
The immigration issue is undoubtedly complicated. I do not hold to the perspective that I completely understand it. People who say they do have probably been watching their “go-to” news outlet way too religiously. I know it has been one of the most polarized and heated issues in our country. The reason I’m going is to hopefully sort through some of the rhetoric that each of us is force-fed daily about this issue.
Matthew Soerens, in his book “Welcoming the Stranger” wrote, “Those of us who seek to follow Christ, in particular, face a challenge in sorting through the rhetoric to understand how we can reflect God’s justice as well as his love and compassion in designing a national immigration policy, and in the ways we relate individually to the immigrants in our communities.”
I am so weary of the bombast and bloated rhetoric we are being force-fed. Most of that content is ideologically driven, to persuade us to buy a particular perspective. Ok, I know I am coming off a bit cynical. Sorry. Like I asked already, pray for me.
There are two things that you need to know about me. First, I do not believe that our borders should be completely open. That is a flat out lie that many people on “the right” proffer about people on “the left.” I heard our President say those exact words this week. While I do not consider myself a democrat, I have actually never met one person who would hold that view. I feel l like Bob Newhart in his hilarious skit about his counseling technique, where he just yells “Stop it!” to any type of aberrant behavior. If you care at all about civility and have a hope for fruitful dialogue, stop saying “lefties” want a completely open border. “Stop it!” Secondly, however, I do think that as a Christian, we have to view this issue differently than from a purely American, nationalistic viewpoint. My commitment to Jesus and the Kingdom of God supersedes everything else in my life. That would even include policies that our nation may have or attempt to establish. If policies do not align with the noble reign of Christ, if there is a departure from a clear Biblical ethic, I am compelled to seek to challenge those.
This trip, at least I hope, will help me sort through all of the competing inputs. While it is a short trip, and I clearly don’t expect to capture all of the complexities of the issues from it, at least I will have my own eyes on some of the situations. That will equip me to think and speak more intelligently about how the church should engage this crisis.
So, back to my initial statement: Pray for me. Please?