Bernie Anderson
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Sunday Sermonizing: Gospel, Immigration, and Dehumanization

Christianity has a long and mostly unfortunate history of getting tied up with national politics.

Constantine in the West. The T'ang and Yuan dynasties in China. Henry the 8th. The Trump administration.

There is complexity to Christianity and politics. No question. More complexity than a blog post allows. I'm not even going to try to dive into a proper historic analytical piece. (Maybe another day ...)

Christianity and politics have been in American media quite a bit over the past few years. There is an unholy alliance between certain veins of Evangelicalism and the Republican party. But, there are followers of Jesus who hold to various political positions, from Christian democracy to Christian anarchy.

Individual believers land on every political spectrum.

But here's where we have no options:

Care for the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized is not optional for Jesus-followers. If we search for excuses, political or otherwise, for not caring for immigrants, foreign-born, refugees, and outsiders, we miss the heart of of the One we claim to follow.

The immigration policies coming out of the current US administration are hurting people, hurting families, and hurting nations.

Evangelicals in the US have long held up 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a promise for the US church.

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
— 2 Chronicles 7:14

Apart from poor exegetical practices, this is an incomplete picture of Biblical redemption at a national level.

Couple this with things like Isaiah 58.

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
— Isaiah 58:6-9

We are to reflect the Kingdom of Jesus. Kingdom means serving people who have been driven from their homes because of violence and oppression. Kingdom means thinking well about poverty. How we are a part of the cause - and how Kingdom is a part of the solution.

Hondurans, Nepalis, Mexicans, Muslims, DACA recipients - so many in our country are facing excruciating consequences from US government policies. We can never be for the destruction of people. That’s not pro-life. It’s not Jesus-shaped Christianity.

Whatever our political leanings, people are people. Dehumanization is never an option for a Christian - the Gospel speaks loudly against any such policy.