I was told that I’m not being compassionate because I want closed borders.
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Sorry for the long answer - lots of moving parts. The Bible speaks of borders, but not of "closed borders." God promises Abraham to give his descendants land "from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates--" (Gen. 15:18). Again in Exodus, God says "I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates;" (Exodus 23:31) These are national boundaries that help countries exist next to each other without encroaching on each other's resources. All nations have, and always will defend their boundaries if they happen to be encroached upon by a neighbor. The Biblical world was also full of nomadic people. Many individuals were on the move with their flocks in search of adequate grazing lands (Gen. 37:17). This would be commonplace. Those with their flocks though had to honor the farmers and their fields. There were laws against illegal grazing (Ex. 22:5). Israel - as a nation - sits right on the major highway between Mesopotamia and Egypt so foreign travelers are the norm. Scholars refer to Israel as "the land between" - because they were constantly caught in the battles for dominance between Egypt and Mesopotamia (Babylon or Assyria). God is also VERY concerned with the welfare of the "alien/stranger" living among the Israelites (Ex. 23:9). The reason is that the "stranger" has no natural support system around them and may also have to overcome a language barrier. This makes them prone to being taken advantage of. The reason God gives the Israelites is that "you were strangers in Egypt once" and were mistreated. You didn't like it so don't do it to someone else. The Hebrew word (v'ahavta) - translates "and you shall love..." only shows up four times in the entire Old Testament. Two times the object is God "and you shall love the LORD your God" (Deut. 6:5 and Deut. 11:1). The other two times are in Leviticus chapter 19: "And you shall love your neighbor" (Lev. 19:18) and "and you shall love the STRANGER" (Lev. 19:33-34). God is concerned that you treat the stranger/alien lovingly. Now - lets deal with the idea of compassion. Compassion is the desire to reduce suffering and is a component of empathy. Empathy is the idea of being able to identify with someone else's feelings. Compassion then moves you to act in an attempt to reduce suffering. Compassion though - must do what is best for the "whole person" receiving the help. Compassion must always be balanced with judgment (the ability to discern right/wrong). When your son is 2-months-old and wants to lie around and eat you act with compassion and feed him. When your son is 32 years old and wants to lay around the basement and eat - you use judgment and tell him to "get his act together!" Too much compassion for a 32-year-old who is fully capable may actually be destructive. You can "empathize" with someone but not act out of compassion when judgment tells you that action is not in the best interest of that person or the community at large. Jesus is a combination of compassion for those truly in need (Matt. 9:36) and judgment for those who are not (Mark 10:22). Paul is a combination of compassion (Col. 3:12) and judgment (2 Thess. 3:10). Matters of immigration are complex. There is no one "right answer." There never is. It is situationally dependent and must be a balance of compassion and judgment. Empathy is always good. It means you can see the "other" as a full human being with needs, wants, desires, etc. But to empathize does not mean we must always act out of compassion. Unfortunately, "acts of compassion" are often confused with "love." When acts of compassion are authentic and truly in need - they are wonderful. But acts of compassion that are not "truly" needed can be destructive and lead to unintended consequences. Striving toward a "Christ-like" character can help us stand firmly in the tension-filled gap between compassion and judgment.
All people of every nation love their homeland and no one wants to leave unless they are in a desperate situation - facing starvation, imprisonment, corruption, persecution or chaos. Everyone wants their family to be safe and their children to have a future. We live in a world filled with chaos due to corruption, evil and wickedness. People are fleeing their homelands all over the world to save their families and they are seeking a place of refuge and safety. If we believe that immigrants (legal or illegal) would somehow take advantage of us or our country, how would Jesus have us respond? Consider these words of Jesus in Matthew 5:38-48: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." The nation of Israel would have disappeared if Egypt did not welcome these foreigners and sell them food when the famine in their own country of Israel was so severe. God orchestrated these events with Joseph in charge of the food distribution so Jacob and his family of 70 could be saved from death by starvation. Jesus said that our good deeds would demonstrate our authentic and genuine faith. What did he expect of us in Matt 25:34-36? I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came and visited me. Immigrants leave their countries and seek a new home for all these reasons. Let's have a look at God's heart for "foreigners" [immigrants to our country]: 1 Peter 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. Hebrews 11:13-16 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Ephesians 2:11-13, 19-20 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. We are all foreigners on earth; our citizenship is in heaven.
I humbly submit for your consideration an answer to the current open borders immigration sideshow put forth by the faculty lounge commandos and their fellow traveling companions in the intelligentsia media. It is addressed in the second book of the Bible, Exodus chapter 20. These laws were written by the very finger of God in stone, for man everywhere and for all time, and were placed into the ark with a purpose. (Exodus 20:15) "STEAL" take without the owner's consent i.e. illegally receive some benefit not do you at another's expense. (Exodus 20:17) "COVET" wish, long, or crave for something, begrudge, envy, drool over that which you want, but is not yours to have outside of His will. "ILLEGAL" prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules. Words do in fact have meaning; now a few facts for your consideration on this matter: 1. America is a land of LEGAL immigrants and starting in 1892 and ending in 1954 only about twelve million LEGAL immigrants entered the USA through Ellis Island. 2. The true purpose of this Ellis (remember it's an Island) was to isolate any foreign diseases and treat them at the island hospital, thus protecting the mainland citizen population from exposure to the diseases of the world or who knew what at the time. 3. The immigration and nationality act of 1965 enacted on June 30 1968 fundamentally changed a system that had been working since May 19 1921. Under the new quota system setup ninety percent of all future spots would be given to third world countries and only ten percent to the educated from industrialized nations. Now each year Ted Kennedy's reform brings over one million LEGAL third world immigrants and future Democratic voters in, but somehow that's still that's not enough. 4.We are a constitutional republic founded on the rule of law where we are all equally subject to its statutes as LEGALLY written and not as IDEOLOGICALLY wanted. I may disagree with the concept of abortion, but I will follow the law as written and continue working to legally change the law. (John 7:24) 5. Just because a thief breaks into your home and puts on your pajamas, somehow you are now required to make them part of your family, this is not logical and the Bible seems to have a bit to say on the future status of thieves and liars. Heaven has a strict immigration policy; hell is open borders friend. Bottom Line: Leftists love to play the Christianity/morality card back on us. In essence, leftists like to use our “Good Samaritan” tendencies to our own detriment. They have always had a strong tendency to be very charitable with your money and now they’d like to be charitable with your life and the lives of those you love. But a truly moral person doesn’t do a kindness at the expense of someone else’s safety or life! Robbing via open borders “Illegal immigration” another's nation's best and brightest future generations deprives those nations of their very much needed God-placed resources to affect the change that HIS plan requires, also does it not appear to be somewhat covertness in it's very nature? (Exodus 20:17; Romans 13:9) The scriptures contain rules that promote a moral civil order; whereas those of man promote a chorus of chaos. And in my humble opinion scripture foretold of the current age before us all, when many would be lovers of themselves, offended in some way, thus granting themselves a grievance license to seek whatever they desire from the pocket or property of another. (2 Timothy 3:2, Acts 5:29, Luke 6:26) "To be loving; does not mean or require one to be gullible." Jack Ten "The problem with open borders lunacy is that eventually you run out of other people's neighbourhoods. ' Jack Ten In the Lord's freedom and let no one deceive you................warrior on.
I will overlook the not so veiled political undertone of the question and concentrate on the most important element of the issue. The ‘closed borders’ term is a misnomer and anyone suggesting such policy is wasting valuable time and energy. A closed border is a border that prevents movement of people between different jurisdictions. Even the most oppressive governments, like North Korea, allows some type of movements of people across its border. Everyday millions of people travel in and out of US via hundreds of ports of entry. To create a closed borders society (as Utopian as it might sound to some) and eliminate all or most entries into the country is not only impossible, but if implemented would severely damage the country’s economy, kill millions of jobs and bankrupt the tourism and hospitality industries. So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Eph 2:19) But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior (Phil 3:20)
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