The Biblical Case In Favor of Strong Borders and Against Illegal Immigration

The Southern Baptist Convention publishes at least a couple of different Sunday School programs for adults. One of these recently journeyed through the book of Hosea. In my daily readings, I came upon the following verses:

Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake unturned.
Aliens have devoured his strength,
But he does not know it;
Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him,
Yet he does not know it.

Hosea 7: 8-9

“Ephraim” is a term used for the nation of Israel. The text rebukes Israel because of various offenses against God; but this particular passage dramatizes how Israel was weakened by aliens among them. For me, these verses jumped off the page because it was so obvious what was being conveyed.

The Sunday school lessons from the Southern Baptist Convention did not focus on this particular passage. Instead, other excerpts from Hosea were highlighted.

But in fact, there is a biblical case to be made for maintaining strong borders and acting to prevent illegal immigration.

Five years ago, a group of evangelical leaders prepared a letter that cautioned we should consider the “whole counsel of scripture”. Some have made it seem that the only Christian stance must be to welcome and accept unrestricted numbers into the country. That is a falsehood.

In fact, God institutes government for certain purposes– among them, to protect citizens at some level, assure their well-being and maintain some degree of order. The Hosea verses cited above emphasize the risks associated with allowing too many aliens who do not share our values.

St. Thomas Aquinas was a major philosopher and scholar during medieval times. It turns out that he ALSO opposed open borders:

Every nation has the right to distinguish, by country of origin, who can migrate to it and apply appropriate immigration policies, according to the great medieval scholar and saint Thomas Aquinas.

In a surprisingly contemporary passage of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas noted that the Jewish people of Old Testament times did not admit visitors from all nations equally, since those peoples closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close.

In the political sphere, there is a temptation to describe as moral or ethical the acceptance of large numbers of illegal immigrants. Some religions and denominations adopt this point of view. It has gained currency within the evangelical world because, in part, there is a desire to evangelize.

Within the Southern Baptist Convention, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission over the last ten years or so has aligned itself with George Soros- related organizations. That is probably why the Sunday School materials did not emphasize those two verses from Hosea.

Nonetheless, the church has a responsibility to help congregants understand the “whole counsel of scripture” as they face bewildering media and cultural messaging on current events. We need a
“black-robed regiment” instructing the faithful on how to interpret and respond to the world around them.

Describing acceptance of uncontrolled immigration as the moral position is one of the bigger scams we have witnessed during recent times. Yes, Jesus Christ calls for us to love and accept those among us. But that does not mean the government should not do what it needs to do.


5 thoughts on “The Biblical Case In Favor of Strong Borders and Against Illegal Immigration

  1. TC: John Vinson reviewed James Hoffmeir’s book

    “The Immigration Crisis
    Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible”

    At risk of carrying coals to Newcastle I am posting that review here:

    “For religionists sympathetic to mass immigration, legal and illegal, Old Testament Bible verses saying “welcome the stranger” and “love the stranger” are the ultimate trump cards and justification for their position. This absolute certitude is ironic when it comes, as it often does, from religious liberals who commonly regard much of the Old Testament as Hebrew mythology, with little authority to command ethical obedience in the modern world. The Old Testament’s condemnations of homosexuality, for example, carry little weight with these liberals, if indeed they notice them at all.

    In contrast, their literalistic embrace of “welcome the stranger” without reference to context or scholarship is characteristic of the uninformed dogmatism they often attribute to fundamentalists and other Christian conservatives. In fairness, this characteristic sometimes is true, but the general tendency of people who take the Bible seriously is to weigh verses carefully from every standpoint of learning and insight.

    One who has done so on the pro-stranger verses is biblical scholar and archeologist James K. Hoffmeier. In his book The Immigration Crisis – Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible, Hoffmeier sheds a great deal of light on these verses and the issue of immigration from a biblical perspective. Hoffmeier convincingly argues that Middle Eastern peoples in biblical times controlled their borders and regulated immigration much as countries do today. Among them was ancient Israel.

    To understand how Israel’s system worked, Hoffmeier shows, one must understand the meanings of different Hebrew words which English Bibles translate as “stranger,” as well as “foreigner,” and “alien.” The passages that command hospitality, love, and protection toward people so named use the Hebrew word “ger.” The ger, says Hoffmeier, was what today we would call an alien with permanent resident status. The Bible specified that such persons were to enjoy most of the same rights as Israelites, while at the same time requiring that they obey the laws of Israel. But others called stranger, foreigner, and alien did not have these benefits or obligations. The Hebrew words from which they derive are “zar” and “nekar.”

    Consequently, the modern day writers who claim that the Bible sanctions illegal immigration, by referencing the pro-stranger passages, are drawing a completely false analogy. The strangers in this context were legally admitted people who agreed to abide by the laws of the land.

    One of those laws, Hoffmeier observers, was that both the Israelite and the stranger (ger) were to receive decent and appropriate wages for their work. Interestingly, the open border religionists never seem to notice this requirement, as they endorse a policy also favored by cheap labor interests whose goal is to drive wages as low as possible for everyone in our country. Claiming to stand for godliness, these religionists offer little criticism of this greed.

    On the issue of legal immigration, while it is clear that Israel allowed a fair number of aliens to reside within her borders, the distinction between Israelites and the stranger (ger) evidently remained generation after generation. One such distinction was that strangers couldn’t hold legal title to land. Hoffmeier cites Ruth, a woman of Moab, as an example of an alien who was completely assimilated into Israel. This, however, didn’t seem to be a general rule, which means that Israel was not a prototype for the mass immigration Melting Pot model of America.

    Going to the New Testament, Hoffmeier discusses a scripture that open border advocates often cite, Matthew 25: 31-45. In them Christ welcomes people into his heavenly kingdom because “I was a stranger, and you invited me in.” When they ask when they did that, he replies, “. . . to the extent you did it to these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.” This means, say the open border religionists, that one must admit and embrace every foreigner who chooses to enter one’s country.

    The fallacy here is that this scripture addresses personal ethics, not national policies, as salvation is a personal issue. The Old Testament, on which Christ based his ministry, did not—as we have seen—command Israel to have open borders. The phrase “brothers of mine,” Hoffmeier notes, always refers to fellow Christians, not the world at large, so the matter is one of private benevolence among believers. Further, he points out, the word translated brothers, adelphoi, may specifically refer to disciples sent on evangelistic missions. And finally, though not mentioned by Hoffmeier, the Greek word xenos, translated as stranger, does not necessarily mean a foreigner. Another meaning is guest. Clearly the message of Matthew 25 is not related to the present day issue of immigration.

    Hoffmeier makes his case quite well, but a useful addition might have been a discussion of the general topic of nationality from a biblical perspective. The underlying premise of many open border advocates, religious and nonreligious, is that nations shouldn’t regulate immigration, because — first and foremost — nations shouldn’t exist as sovereign entities, if indeed they should exist at all. These advocates maintain that all men would live in peace if merged together under a one world government.

    History, however, offers little justification for this globalist vision. Professor R.J. Rummel calculates that the numbers of mass murders conducted under single governments during the twentieth century, the most bloody of all centuries, exceeded by six times the numbers killed in wars among nations. Certainly, a global government would have to be authoritarian, if not totalitarian, to hold all the diverse peoples of the earth together. Unrestrained world-wide oppression and the leveling of humanity to the lowest common level could easily follow from such a concentration of power.

    A worldwide authority, in any case, goes squarely against the biblical view, from Genesis to Revelation, that the division of mankind into nations is a fundamental facet of God’s order. Indeed, Acts 17:26-27 states that God set boundaries among nations so that they would seek after him. And indeed, in this situation, tyranny is limited and checked, and the particular genius of different peoples is allowed to flourish.

    Significantly, the Bible seems to predict that men in rebellion against God, toward the end of this age, will seek to create a world-wide financial and political power, described as Babylon the Great in the book of Revelation. Suggesting the rise of this godless tyranny, the Old Testament Book Isaiah (14:12) states that it is Lucifer who weakens the nations.

    The ideology of globalism is a powerful force in the modern world. Already we see the merging of nations in the European Union, and in the proposed North American Union in our hemisphere. The proponents of globalism are unanimous in their advocacy of mass migration, pretty much irrespective of national laws. For those who take the Bible seriously, the globalist movement should raise profound concern.”

    1. Great excerpt, Fred. The mere premise that sovereign nations ought not to exist, floated by some of the pro-immigration forces, flies in the face of the Biblical reality– and the fact that God Himself instituted the nations. But, as your second-to-last paragraph indicates, suggests the Satan is at work among the globalist/open borders crowd.

  2. I highly recommend the documentary “Enemies within the Church”.

    What’s interesting in the case of Micah and Amos (not sure of the other prophets) is that they were not affiliated with the political or religious class of their day. They were ordinary men, from the middle of nowhere, with no education, sent to the cities to declare a message from The Lord. The religious leaders of their day were just as corrupt as the the leaders we have today, exposed in the film mentioned above. Cultural Marxism is alive and well within the Protestant church AND being taught in major seminaries across the country, unfortunately.

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