Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Biblical response to refugees...

If you have friends or family in this turbulent time who claim to be Christian but do not support helping refugees, feel free to share this with them.

The Bible has a lot to say about aliens. Not the Roswell kind, the foreigner kind. I keep seeing people who claim Christianity who are all about the massive round-up and deportations gearing up in the United States. Please allow me to help you take off that mantle. You aren't Christian by the very definition of the term. You are not being a little Christ. You are, in fact, anathema to what Jesus taught. 

The Bible does not recognize illegal aliens, only aliens

Exodus 22:21 NIV “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt 

Exodus 23:9 NIV “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. 

Leviticus 19:33 NIV “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 

Deuteronomy 1:16 NIV And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you. 

Deuteronomy 10:19 NIV And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 

Numbers 15:15 NIV The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord:

Hebrew words for aliens:

GER – someone who chooses to immigrate and be part of the native people. A convert.
TOSHAV – a temporary dweller, a migrant.  The root means to “sit”
ZAR – simply means stranger, not part of a larger context.
NOCRI – a true foreigner who does not wish to be part of the native people, nor to keep their laws.

The word used by Jesus in the NT for the quote "When I was a stranger" *isn't* Ger. Properly translated from the Greek ξένος xenos is the Hebrew word Nocri.  Nocri means heathen or alien or foreigner . 

Make no mistake, this isn't optional for a Christian. To abandon these principals is to openly refute Christ.
 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 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.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
Read it here

These verses echo the commands given in the Old Testament:

Leviticus 19:10 NIV Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God. 

Leviticus 23:22 NIV “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”

Deuteronomy 24:19 NIV When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.