A Christian Perspective on Immigration and Charity

by Kevin Swanson

It is disturbing how the humanists and socialists have come to dominate our political System in this country. They have systematically destroyed our country through bad laws, their welfare state, "special" rights or political favoritism, graduated taxation, and other evils. Unfortunately, the conservatives have not helped. Rather than caging in the roving bulls, they simply collect some of the manure that is strewn throughout our society and congratulate themselves on their progress. A great example of this is the immigration problem.

The Marxists have set up their grand programs to redistribute the wealth. They have softened punishment for crime. They have relaxed our laws controlling adultery, abortion, pornography, and homosexuality, and have rolled out the red carpet for immigrants who would find a wicked, welfare nation attractive. And they have come. They come for the welfare, the free schools, and the pornography.

So the conservatives and nationalists respond to the increased criminal activity, drug problems, and welfare expenses, by insisting that we ought to tighten our borders. They have introduced the passport, strict immigration quotas, and increased funding for border guards, fences, building more prisons, and issuing timid threats to cut welfare funding. This is the44 conservative" solution.

None of this is biblical, however. The socialist pimps and their conservative prostitutes have altogether created a system that is neither moral nor biblical. It is a system that none of us should support with our votes.

The Bible allows for strangers in the land to live as resident aliens. They were subject to most of the same laws to which true citizens were subject. These laws included capital punishment for murder, homosexuality, public blasphemy, and other crimes (Genesis 9:6; Leviticus 20:13, 24:14-22). Examples of laws that may not have applied to a stranger were the proselytizing law or the prostitution law (Deuteronomy 13:6-11, 23:17).

Laws and taxation could not be more oppressive upon the aliens of the land. They are to be treated with respect, dignity, and without malice. This would certainly fly in the face of certain racist attitudes that mark our modern ungodly society:

Exodus 12:49, "One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you."

Exodus 22:21, "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Leviticus 19:34, "But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."

Factors that permitted aliens to become citizens in the commonwealth of Israel included circumcision into the congregation (baptism or public oath), multi-generational residency, and service in the military (Exodus 12:48; Deuteronomy 23:3ff).

The stranger was subject to the blasphemy law. This law did not prohibit false religions, idolatry, or proselytizing. This was a law that prohibited the act of publicly cursing God.

The poor and the stranger in the land could work in any field and collect grain for themselves (Leviticus 19:9-10). These laws were not state-mandated or financed, but were voluntary. These laws separated true charity from the wicked entitlement programs that are destroying our nation today. The advantages to this were that it encouraged voluntary acts of charity, discouraged compulsive greed that leads to poverty for the landowner, and encouraged hard work among the poor. The poor and the stranger could receive charity from the poor tithe. This was a voluntary tithe, and it usually consisted of food, the bare sustenance of life (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).

In his book, Tools of Dominion, Gary North listed six principles for biblical charity:

  1. All charity is to be based legally on the fundamental principle that God owns the earth.
  2. A third party has no legal civil claim on any asset that he does not own.
  3. Charity should not create a permanent dependence on the part of the recipient.
  4. Charity should not subsidize evil.
  5. Charity should involve hard work except in cases where the recipient is medically incapacitated.
  6. It should not provide living standards that are higher than the poorest workers in society are able to earn.
Political leadership could not consist of strangers or aliens but of those who were full citizens and members of the covenant community:
Deuteronomy 17:15, "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother."
Finally, the alien could borrow money with interest, whereas the citizen could not:
Deuteronomy 23:19-20, "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it."
These are the biblical laws on immigration and charity. May we soon see them replace the current welfare programs in modern society.
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