Much has been said about President Trumps travel ban. In fact, much has been said about his entire immigration policy.
Rhetoric has become visceral. “Fascist!”, “rascist!”,”religious persecution!”are accusations levied toward the administration. But the policy was popular during Trump’s campaign and a main reason he was elected.
As with most current political issues, there is division in our country. Trump’s detractors think the ban is not who we are. It will make America less safe. They cite history, American values and the Bible.
Trump’s supporters believe it is right and will make America safer. They also cite history, American values and the Bible. The dichotomy is clear. But who is right and what does the Bible say?
Mercy And Justice…
Mercy and Justice are at the center of the dispute. Browse social media and you will find numerous opinions rooted in these biblical themes. Opponents call for Mercy, advocates for Justice.
The plea for mercy is for the suffering throughout the world, especially in war torn Middle East.
“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:44-45 NIV)
The words of Jesus are clear, care for the disenfranchised is paramount. Mercy is a central theme of Christianity! So how can the Travel Ban and the Bible agree?
But what about Security, what about Justice?
“The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves…for the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. ” (Romans 13:1-5 NIV)
Imagine a world with no Justice. Chaos would be rampant. God’s role for our government is to balance Mercy with Justice. To protect its citizens from harm. Government is placed over us not for the eternal, but for the temporal. Its responsibility lies for those within defined borders.
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” (Acts 17:26 NIV)
In the United States we have three equal branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Presently they are deciding the validity of President Trump’s Travel Ban. It is cumbersome…it is contentious, but it is God ordained.
So where does that leave us, what is the Biblical perspective on Trump’s Travel Ban?
Recently my Pastor touched on walls and ethnic divide as it regards to our local assembly. He proclaimed that we will continue to tear down any cultural or ethnic divide within our church. All are welcome including different religious affiliations. I wondered as he preached if he were taking a political stand. I concluded he wasn’t, rather a Christian one.
It is the responsibility of the Church as well as the individual Christian to be charitable toward the disenfranchised. To reach out especially to the poor, orphans and widows. We are called to influence all people and all nations and show them the love of Jesus Christ. We are to show this love through our collective and personal resources as well as acts of kindness to all.
However it is the responsibility of our Government to protect us and all fellow citizens within our defined borders. We are to pray for and honor our leaders, that they would exercise their duties with wisdom and Godly council.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3 NIV)