If you haven’t heard by now, President-Elect Trump wants to build a wall spanning the whole border between Mexico and The United States. National exit polls reveal immigration was the most important issue facing our nation this election. Trump’s most loyal voting block among eligible voters was “White Evangelical Christians”. Yet, Trump’s wall and his stance on immigration hardly follows a Biblical perspective on the issue. I praise Trump for campaigning against a “America as the world’s police” foreign policy, but isolationism isn’t the Biblical solution to America’s problems. Yet to be determined is if the neocon warhawk establishment will align themselves with Trump’s campaign position, or force him to continue meddling in other country’s affairs just like his predecessors Bush and Obama.
When God’s people were establishing themselves as the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, part of God’s law was pertaining to immigration. Like the poor among us, we are to help the foreigner, as is written in Leviticus 25:35
“If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.”
In Deuteronomy 23:7, God commands:
“You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.”
and in the next Chapter, Deuteronomy 24:14, God commands
“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates.”
In the Old Testament, there was a real need for the Israelites to separate themselves from the nations around them in regards to customs; a foreigner who was not a part of God’s covenant would not take part in these religious ceremonies, nor would they be allowed to rule over God’s covenant people, unless they joined Israel’s covenant with God. Nevertheless, the foreigner, even those outside the covenant were to be treated fairly, helped with their needs, and never abhorred or treated with disrespect.
When the time passed, and God had now established the new covenant through Jesus Christ, no longer were God’s people just the nation of Israel. Certainly, God’s law was still applicable (exempting the Ceremonial Law), and much equity could be derived from it, but the old way of God’s covenanted people separating themselves from other nations through rituals and customs transformed into a separation between those who professed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and those who didn’t. Since the Gospel went out from Israel to the whole Pagan world, we should not think that it is Biblical to isolate ourselves from the nations around our homeland. If our bond to our fellow Americans is greater than our bond to God’s people across the world, then we need a new perspective on immigration. As Paul writes in his letter to Galatia, Galatians 3:28
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Elsewhere Paul writes in Romans 1:14
“I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.”
We know that God is no respecter of nations, as Isaiah the prophet writes in Isaiah 40:15-17
“Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales... Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless."
The Apostle Paul makes a clear case for the purpose of nations in Acts 17:26-27:
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."
God broke down the only national wall that ever existed, the wall between Jew and Gentile.—@wscott84
If we're isolating ourselves to preserve our national identity, then it's not Jesus Christ we're serving, but we are a faithful servant, adhering to the religion of statism, and our god is America. It shouldn't be a national identity we're trying to preserve, but our international relationship with God’s covenanted people globally. God broke down the only national wall that ever existed, it was a wall between Jew and Gentile; we became one people—every nation, every tongue, all unified through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The question must be asked, what exactly are we preserving? We’re the nation with the problems facing God's judgment. We’re the nation which has fully legalized abortion, pushed forth a perverted sexual agenda, allowed statism to become our religion -- sending our children off to public indoctrination schools, meanwhile continuing to fight race wars, struggle with drug addiction, and a pornography epedimic. Maybe the nations to the south should close their borders and keep us from entering, do they really need our American exceptionalism when it comes to abortion and the sexual agenda? Most of our neighbors to the south either completely outlaw abortion, or highly restrict it and more than half of our neighbors have continued to allow only traditional marriage between a man and woman. Maybe we should welcome them more freely, after all, they are better salt preservers than we have been. Lets not forget that the only reason our nations to the south became known for their drug production is because we Americans were more than willing to consume it. I will gladly welcome any Christian from any nation around the world; the tides have turned, and we’re the ones needing evangelizing.
Which brings me to my second point. In addition to restoring our Biblical perspective on immigration, we need to reclaim the Gospel we are sending out internationally. The sad truth is both parties are infamous for meddling in other country’s affairs, and starting or supporting wars when it serves our interests. The gospel we send to these nations is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the gospel of western democracy. It needs to end. As I made clear above, our western democracy gospel is flawed. Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations, as written in Matthew 28:19-20. Sadly, many nations hate us because we sent them the wrong gospel.
Part of the blame for our destructive foreign policy is our terrible view of eschatology in America. Based in Dispensational Premillennialism, our nation continues to prop up Israel, defending their destructive habits, even when it’s Palestinian Christians on the receiving end. American Christians love their support of Israel, and usually stand behind the Republican’s war and America’s military against all perceived threats, with an irrational fear of one world government, trying to relive many of the eschatological events that ended in 70AD. Honestly, I think the 1000 year millennium, that so many Dispensationalist yearn for, will end up being a disappointment to them, for in the Millennium, weapons of war are converted to farming tools, and the nations live at peace with each other, as is written in Isaiah 2:4
“He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
There will no longer be a military to idolize. But for us who view the millennium as the complete church age, we know nations must be brought under the feet of Jesus, not by weapons of war, but by his message of peace through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. This is what we should be sending out to the nations.
Our only identity is global, it is connected by our Lordship in Jesus Christ. When we wall ourselves in to preserve our flawed national identity, and send out weapons of war instead of the Gospel of Christ, we only restore the divide of nationalities that Jesus Christ broke down, and place our faith not in him, but in America. It’s idolatry, and causes non-believers to Blaspheme God on our behalf. Keep that in mind for 4 years ahead.