Sunday, May 3, 2009

How should Christians treat those here illegally?

Someone on FaceBook recently posted a link to some pictures that were taken of a private watering hole in an arid area in South Texas. There are a variety of animals that were captured on film visiting the watering hole. A cougar, a fox, two javelinas (type of wild pig) and various other wild animals. The last frame shows three Hispanic males whom were labeled "varmits" and "illegals".

It angers me that people and especially Christians have de-humanized these men by essentially categorizing them as wild animals. I guess you have to de-humanize them in order to hate them. Increase security, build the fence, enforce the law but don't forget these are your fellow human beings.

"Well if an illegal shot your kid, you would think differently about them." If someone from Switzerland shot my kid, would I then hate the Swiss? If a woman shot my kid, then would I hate all women? If I did think that way well, then I would be dead wrong. (no pun intended) Yes, I'm angry that men, women and children that are here illegally are getting medical care that I paid for. Yes, it is wrong and it needs to be fixed. But we can't forget that they are humans and should be treated as such.

Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? You can read in in Luke 10:30-37. Jesus blew away the meaning of the word "neighbor" to the lawyer who had asked it. The lawyer, a Jewish man, looked on Samaritans as lower class. They didn't keep the "law" and were a despised group in the eyes of the faithful Jewish. Even when Jesus asked him a question about the Parable he had just told, the lawyer couldn't even bring himself to say the word "Samaritan". Yet Jesus told him to have mercy on them (v. 37).

We need to ask God to help us have compassion for these men, women and children that are here illegally. We should remember that Jesus died for us when we were still sinners. We couldn't keep the "law". We didn't deserve mercy. Still he went to the cross for us.

Jesus, forgive us when we don't show others the mercy they need. Forgive us when we point and blame forgetting all that has been forgiven us.

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