The Christian Response to Children Crossing Borders

children-of-immigrant

Children from Central America have been sent here by their families and they are being detained by the thousands. The debate rages on about how to deal with them and what to with the borders. The issues within the situation potentially breach various perspectives, from social to political to spiritual to economic. There is no easy solution, yet calls for simplistic responses are typically the loudest.

The most concerning “solutions,” in my estimation, come from those who would identify themselves as Christ followers. They have presumably put a stake in the ground and declared that their life is not their own and that they agree with the teachings and invitation of Jesus. In that, the old man that they once were is dead and there is a new man and new nature born by the grace of Jesus. That means that things should be seen and interpreted differently, yet much of the Christian community sounds like the Tea Party more than it does a family of God.

I read this morning in Proverbs that the Lord detests condemning the innocent. With that in mind, we have to consider whether or not these children or others like them are guilty or innocent. The most common response is that they are “illegal,” therefore guilty. The first problem with that is that they are not charged with a crime. They have not broken any criminal statutes so the standard attempted is actually being misapplied. Not a misdemeanor and not a felony and not punishable by prison or death. A civil infraction, maybe, but that is a whole different standard and outcome than “guilty.”

The solutions aren’t easy and the strategy isn’t simple, so let’s resist the mob mentality of redneck cries for justice and remember the lives that are in the balance. They are valuable with purpose and loved by the same Father we claim, even if their skin is a different color or they come from a different place with a different language. Let’s seek the heart of the God we claim to have aligned with and allow our opinions to be shaped from His heart over our misunderstanding of laws, sophomoric economic analysis or planks in a rigid political platform.

 

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