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.