Immigration and the Bible – Literature review Example
Immigration refers to a situation whereby there is a movement of individuals from one country, or region to another country or region. This is for purposes of settling in these regions, either permanently, or within a specific period of time. Immigration normally occurs because of a number of issues or factors. These issues include search for political protection, search for economic prosperity, escaping natural disaster or conflicts, and also family re-unification. This paper analyzes the manner in which the bible views immigration (Alberts, 2007). This paper takes a stand that the bible is against illegal immigration, and it requires people to obey the law.
According to Leviticus Chapter 19 verses 33 to 34, the bible is clearly supportive of immigration (The Holy Bible, 2005). According to this verse, any stranger who is able to come into a foreign land should be welcomed and protected by the people living in that land. Furthermore, this stranger should be treated as a native, loved. God further denotes that this is mainly because the Israelites were also strangers in a foreign land that is Egypt. Based on this scripture, we can denote that God is supportive of immigrants. Furthermore, the bible wants people to treat foreigners in their land with respect, as well as honor. This is based on the fact that anybody can be an immigrant, and he or she will also like to be treated with respect in a foreign land (Alberts, 2007).
This view is further strengthened in Exodus chapter 22 verses 21 which warned the Israelites against mistreating a foreigner, mainly because they were also foreigners in the land of Egypt (The Holy Bible, 2005). Under the New Testament, the bible also advocates for better treatment of immigrants. For examples, in Hebrews Chapter 13 verses 2, the bible denotes that people should show kindness and hospitality to strangers, and this is because some may entertain angels without them knowing (Alberts, 2007). Based on this scriptural evidence, it is therefore possible to denote that the bible support immigration and it insists that immigrants should be treated with respect and honor. Furthermore, Deuteronomy chapter 27 verses 19 place immigrants in the same category as widows and orphans (The Holy Bible, 2005). On this note, immigrants are viewed as very vulnerable to the social ills that affect the society. However, it is important to understand that there are two types of immigrants, illegal, as well as legal immigrants (Snyder, 2010).
It is important to explain that the bible is not very clear on the issue surrounding illegal immigration. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the civil laws given in the bible regarding illegal immigration applies to the modern nations (Rynkowski, 2010). However, it is possible to identify one type of illegal immigration in the Old Testament. This is whereby foreigners residing in the land are unable to obey the various commandments and laws issued out by God (Cruz, 2010). For example, in Leviticus Chapter 25, verses 6, the bible denotes that everyone must obey the Sabbath, and this includes slaves, both female and male, as well as foreigners living in the land (The Holy Bible, 2005). This fact is further strengthened in Numbers Chapter 15 verses 15 to 16, which denotes that the same laws that the Israelites shall follow, shall be applicable to the strangers or aliens living in the land.
Furthermore, respect to authority is heavily supported in the New Testament teachings. For instance, Romans Chapter 13 verses 1 to 5; the Bible denotes that everybody should respect authority. This is because every authority emanates from God, and he who resists such an authority, therefore resists an authority that God has appointed (Cruz, 2010). Based on this scripture, it is therefore possible to conclude that the Bible does not support illegal immigration. This is mainly because it is against the law, which the Bible teaches Christians that they should respect. The acceptance of aliens in the land of Israel was an indication that God had a caring character. Israel was a land that was supposed to obey God, and in return He promised them abundance of prosperity (Lozada, 2003). Other nations of the world did not enjoy this assurance. Furthermore, immigrants who were persecuted or faced hardships at their homes were always welcomed in Israel, for purposes of enjoying the Grace that was upon the Israelites. Gods care for the immigrants is effectively depicted in Deuteronomy chapter 10 verses 17 to 18 which denote that God does not show partiality, not can He take a bribe. He gives justice for the widow, as well as the fatherless, and he loves strangers, constantly giving them food to eat, and clothes to wear.
In conclusion, the Bible heavily supports immigrants, and always wants them to be protected and treated fairly. However, the bible is against illegal immigration. This is because God wants people to follow the law, and authority. Any authority that exists on earth is ordained by God, and hence anybody who obeys the law, obeys God.
Alberts, T. (2007). Book Review: Religion and Immigration: Christian,. Journal for Islamic
Studies, 26(1), 381-404.
Cruz, S. (2010). Book Review: Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible.
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, 64(3), 328-329.
Lozada, E. P. (2003). Transnationalism, Religion, and Immigration. Anthropological Quarterly,
Rynkowski, M. (2010). Religion and Immigration. Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 12(02), 237.
Snyder, S. (2010). M. Daniel Carroll R., Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and
the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008. 174 pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8010-
3566-1 (pbk).. Political Theology, 11(4), 245-251.
The Holy Bible. (2005). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.