THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
The Law of Love for the Alien
May 5, 2010
The United States has had and continues to have its share of citizenry protests over a variety of issues,
such as healthcare, taxes, the size of government, and of late, illegal immigration, in which people have
taken to the streets around the country to protest Arizona’s illegal-alien law that was recently passed
because the Federal government has been lax in doing its job. It is such a hot issue that the national
politicians seem afraid of meaningfully tackling the issue for fear of losing their jobs.
All sovereign nations have a right to dictate what constitutes a legal citizen of their country, as well as
what constitutes a legal alien, including how aliens are to legally enter the country, what rights they will
have while there, even how long they can remain in the country. Of course, if a nation wants to ensure
that no one enters illegally, then they must protect their borders in order to prevent illegal entry.
The openness of our borders is one of the root causes of the illegal-alien controversy. The US
government has been negligent, even complicit, in allowing our borders, especially the southern border,
to be open in order to allow the flow of illegal aliens. For too many years, government and business have
turned their heads away from this problem because, as the thinking goes, low-wage workers are needed
to keep costs down, profits up, and the standard of living growing. The influx across our borders has
been ignored in order to ensure the necessary labor pool to achieve these goals. However, some see it as
a cynical political strategy to forge a new voter base. The reaction to the law seems so out of proportion
to the law itself that it makes one wonder if some cynicism is, indeed, in order.
Under this new law, if a person is suspected of or caught in the act of an illegal activity, then they could
be asked to prove their legal status to be in the US. For a legal immigrant, this would mean presenting
their green card, which by Federal immigration law they are required to have on their possession at all
times. As US citizens, we are asked to produce evidence of our status for a variety of reasons; whether it
is to produce a social security number, a driver’s license, a birth certificate, a passport, or even financial
records. Some companies go so far as requesting a job applicant’s credit score and a drug test as part of
the review process. But these things are not protested. Perhaps, some of them should be, since they
seem to intrude on our right to privacy. Add to this the disingenuous protest from the president of
Mexico, a country with more stringent illegal-immigration laws than the US, and the whole matter
seems, at best, irrationally misguided or dumb and, at worst, deviously deceptive, as if there is another
agenda at work. If there is an agenda, which I believe there is, it has to do with keeping the borders
porous and granting amnesty to all the aliens unlawfully entering the country.
Some might say that it is all about social justice . Regardless of what social justice meant in the past,
today it seems to refer to partial or special treatment of certain groups, often groups of people that are
considered economically or socially disadvantaged, disenfranchised, or wronged in some way.
According to this type of so-called justice, certain groups must receive special treatment, often by taking
from those who are considered advantaged and giving to those who are considered disadvantaged, as
defined by the social engineers. Thus, social justice advocates use terms like wealth and property
redistribution, progressive taxation, fairness, and equal outcomes, to name a few. I call it lawlessness!
Actually, in this context, the word justice is a misuse of the word, for justice is defined as “the quality of
being righteous ; impartiality, fairness ; reward or penalty as deserved ; the administration of
law.” Justice demands impartiality , that is, equal treatment, without prejudice and with fairness and
mercy. Fairness refers to “justice, honesty, impartiality, without prejudice.” Without prejudice means
that conclusions are not made without all the facts nor made in disregard of the facts. The social justice
of our day ignores or distorts these concepts by ignoring the facts and trying to force equal outcomes,
based on such things as race, social level in society, income, or wrongs, perceived or real. In the end,
something is taken away from one group to give to another group, based simply on some social criteria
and not based on true merit or impartial justice. Euphemistically, this is called “leveling the playing
field.” I realize that there are Christians who advocate this type of social justice, but does God? Is this
His way? Does He advocate partial treatment and injustice to right perceived wrongs? No!
Well, much could be said about God’s justice, but let us look at it in light of the topic at hand, the
treatment of aliens and strangers in one’s country. How does God view them? More specifically, how is
the alien to be treated in the kingdom of God?
Let us put aside the matter of one being in a country illegally and let us assume that the country has
placed adequate controls at its borders to control movement in and out. Let us also assume the nation is
a kingdom nation, that is, a nation under the one true God.
(33) “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. (34)
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall
love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”
(Leviticus 19:33-34 NASB)
(17) “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the
mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. (18) He
executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving
him food and clothing. (19) So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the
land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19 NASB)
We could call this the law of love for the alien , which is based on the law of impartiality . Ancient
Israel was the first kingdom nation, a nation under the one true God. God commanded that no partiality
be shown to any who were in His nation. It was a matter of justice based on God’s love, mercy, and
impartiality. Consequently, the aliens and strangers (non-citizens) were not only to be loved, just as if
they were citizens of the nation, but to be assimilated into the nation. You may recall that the mixed
multitude that left Egypt with the sons of Israel were assimilated into one of the twelve tribes (Exodus
12:38). With assimilation came the responsibility to abide by and adhere to God’s law.
It seems to be in the nature of citizens of nations to become very parochial in their attitude toward
aliens and strangers with their hearts becoming hardened toward them, as if they do not belong. But we
need to be reminded that the LORD protects the strangers (Psalm 146:9). As such, they are to be
welcomed and encouraged to join themselves to the Lord, to become a part of His kingdom, and in the
ages to come to enter into New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:24).
(6) “Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to Him, and to love
the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the
sabbath and holds fast My covenant; (7) even those I will bring to My holy mountain
[kingdom] and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their
sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house [New Jerusalem] will be called a
house of prayer for all the peoples.” (Isaiah 56:6-7 NASB [added by writer])
In the kingdom of God, aliens, strangers, and foreigners are to experience the love of God, and as they
do, they too will desire to know the God of love and come under the reign of His Son. This is why love is
extended to the alien in the kingdom of God. It is so that they will know God and His love.
Now, some might ask how this could be applied today when no nation has proclaimed Jesus as King.
This is true; but as Christians, we must apply the law of impartiality to aliens and strangers in our
respective nations. We are responsible for loving all of them, extending every measure of love that we
would to others. Praise God; a day is coming soon when Jesus will be declared the King of the nations,
so let us prepare the way for the Lord by extending love to all.
So, how do we resolve the illegal alien controversy in the United States? Of course, the best resolution is
for all the nations to declare Jesus as King and then come under His rule. Over time, controlled borders
would become less of an issue. But until then, we need to control our borders to prevent unlawful entry
and then welcome all the current aliens into our society, treating them impartially with equal justice as
one of us. After all, God is impartial and He protects the stranger; and God is love. If we say that we love
God, then we must not be partial or unloving. True justice and equality demand it.
The Upward Call: #04-1046
by: Stuart H. Pouliot