Jun 242014
 

10384579_907346375957434_4202084972377067766_nI have been asked repeatedly offline about my perspective on the children amassing on our border.

I have lacked the courage to write this article, but I do so now.

 

 

The perspective I give is my own…I do not seek to force it on anyone, nor do I condemn anyone who disagrees with me.

My perspective is based on my best understanding of the Scriptures and is based on that understanding alone, not any political implications that may flow from my conclusions.

My perspective is based on what I believe the churches response should be…I care little about the political ones.

The thought of children sleeping in what amount to kennels after surviving the horrors of a thousand mile journey keeps me up at night.

This is first and foremost, a humanitarian crisis.

The church has always responded generously and sacrificially to such and should do so again.

Some identify these “illegal aliens” and legally, they are.

I do not identify them as such.

I identify them as refugees from oppression, aliens and sojourners as spoken of in Scripture, as my neighbor,  and finally…as children.

I do not believe the kingdom of God has borders.

They are, in my heart and spirit, the very people that Jesus said He came to and for and the people that He instructed us to especially care for.

Anything we do in regard to these children must be grounded in this understanding of who they are and what our duties are in front of Christ, not country.

My perspective is that the church should embrace and care for these children as Christ would, while praying fervently that He provide the financial resources, wisdom, and people to do so to His glory.

I am not unconcerned or ignorant of all the political and financial ramifications of what I believe…they are simply secondary to what the Scriptures and The Holy Spirit say to me.

That’s my view.

I could be wrong.

 

  53 Responses to “The Children On The Border”

  1. Michael, Amen. I agree whole heartedly with you.

    In the UMC, our connection has provided millions and millions of dollars to anti-malaria projects in Africa. There’s a weird dynamic in the U.S.: It sometimes seems more palatable for Christians to give money to a cause in some far away place, than to address humanitarian needs right under our noses. I am not suggesting that churches shouldn’t be concerned about suffering in Africa or S. America, only that there is suffering within one mile of my house, as well as the crisis you bring up here, which so far is only being addressed in the media as a political football.

  2. Jean,

    Well said…glad you’re here.

  3. How do we reach them?

  4. I had no idea they were caging children like stray dogs….how horrible and degrading. Someone /several will have some huge explaining to do when they have to face their Maker…

    I had no idea …so sad 🙁

  5. BD,

    I don’t know.
    The last I heard, donations for care were not being accepted by the Feds.
    This is a horribly complex situation…my prayer is that we choose a common foundation to solve it from.

  6. Michael, I am glad you wrote about this and agree with you…well done big brother

  7. Thanks, Dusty.
    I haven’t had time to do the research I would do normally on this issue due to things here at home that have demanded my attention.
    If able, I will endeavor to do so.

  8. I understand your trepidation in writing about this as it could turn into a huge project/ministry….or cause much controversy.

  9. Keep on speaking truth to power…

  10. The immigration laws for unaccompanied minors are different for Mexico/Canada than they are for children from Central America.

    This LA Times article may be helpful in background.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ff-immigration-answers-20140621-story.html

  11. #8. Great article with contacts to help. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Dusty,

    My views on immigration are very controversial and have led to conflict with people I dearly love.
    I’m not in any shape for controversy these days.
    By the same token, I was up all night hating my own cowardice in avoiding writing about something so important to me.
    So, here it is…

  13. Thanks Michael. What prompted a question I had on the other thread was prompted after I heard the children were being kept away from media and pretty much isolated. Because of that I wondered how the church could help children they did not have access to. Hopefully this will be a productive thread.

  14. Thank you, Erunner…you and Jean were used of God to prod my conscience. 🙂

  15. Steve,

    That L.A. Times article was well done.
    Thank you.

  16. Heartbreaking.
    I understand a parent wanting to send their kids to a place where there is more opportunity. At the same time, I am one of those that would say they are illegal. While they are in our custody, they should be treated humanely and with care.
    But, then, (I know this will not be popular) I think we need to send them back until they can come legally.
    I am probably talking out of a position of entitlement and ignorance…and I admit that. I just have a hard time reconciling the legal issues with the humanitarian ones sometimes.
    So, there ya go….

    Tomorrow, I may have another opinion…and I would likely be the first in line to help if I thought that I could…but that’s where I am today.

  17. Having said I that…I know, for a fact, that we provide school supplies and food boxes to people who are in this country without legal documentation and I would NEVER turn them in.

  18. London,

    Thank you for being honest with us.
    I know you and I know you’d be the first in line to help any child.
    For me the legal issues begin and end with the law of love…but I may be too simplistic in the face of these issues and I’ll admit that as well.

  19. Anyone here consider themselves a “noble Berean”?

    I DARE YOU….look up every mention of “alien(s)” in scripture.

    And believe and live accordingly.

    ESPECIALLY if you read about, don’t on this subject publicly.

    It rocked my world.

  20. I agree with London that while they are here they should be treated well, but they need to be returned to their country of origin. The message needs to be sent, loudly and clearly that there is nothing to be gained by risking your child’s life crossing 1,000s of miles of terrain and eventually desert.

    At the same time, they put our border patrol at risk.

    The humane thing to do is create a situation that it is not worth the risk.

  21. JTK,

    It rocked mine as well.
    What is your vehicle situation?

  22. MLD,

    The risk at home is greater for them.

  23. JTK – are you suggesting we go back to a time of no borders, no immigration laws? Are you suggesting that disease just travels as it will, criminals go unchecked? How are you going to know who is who.

  24. I agree with both of London’s statements.

    Also, as I have said before I think this whole thing is being engineered right now to create a crisis and I don’t like being manipulated by the government.

    Or, consider this. How about adoption?
    Apparently the parents have abandoned their responsibilities.
    Any parent here that allowed a child to do such a thing would just about abrogate their right to their child in the eyes of the law.

    I would say that might be an option.

  25. Parents sending their children north is a desperate act of love…these people live in hell.
    Some of which is a direct result of our economic, political, and drug policies.

  26. Are you advocating that the children just stay here without a guardian?
    Are you advocating that they be reunited? In their own countries? Bring the parents here?
    I mean what is the end state?

  27. I think it is morally irresponsible to have any policy that encourages families to break up and parent put their children at risk.

    I think it is morally irresponsible to have a policy that does not protect our own citizens from the onslaught of disease.

  28. Derek,

    If I knew the answers to all those questions, I’d be more than a blogger.
    They will need guardians here…and what we do past that point has to be examined and thought through very carefully.
    We need to address the crisis…and the root causes of it… if we are going deal with this with any success.

  29. MLD,

    Do we have any moral responsibility for our policies that may have helped create the situation we’re facing?

  30. Many of these children have a relative of some connection in this country. Our government will make the effort to unite the child with that relative. However, that uniting is only to take care of them until they can have their court case and be deported. That is the law as it stands now.

    In my opinion, the hell these children are fleeing is as bad if not worse than the Castros’ Cuba and our policy (flawed as the wet foot/ dry foot idea may be) is nonetheless to treat such Cuban children who make it to US soil as refugees.

    Communism is a far lesser threat to our nation’s national security than the drug cartels ruling these neighboring countries.

    If these children have family here, the family should take them in and the government should allow them to do so and stay as a legal resident.

  31. Steve,

    Needless to say, but I agree.
    Thank you.

  32. Let me tell you why we can’t continue to take in everyone who enters.

    Right now somewhere in the world some country is killing people for just being of a different ethnicity.
    We do not need that to happen here. But shifting demographics usually trigger things like this.
    It is sad, but unfortunately true. Man has not advanced as much as we would like to think they have.
    I would rather not have that happen here.
    If we don’t start figuring out a solution that starts with these peoples own countries improvements, then we have a future that will be rough.

  33. Thanks for sharing Michael. There seem to be no easy answers. On one hand, my heart goes out to these children and wants to do the best to take care of them. On the other hand, speaking not politically but from a national perspective, there are all kinds of difficulties to be encountered if we just start allowing anybody to come whenever they want to stay as long as they want. How do we best carry out God’s compassion while also maintaining some semblance of order so that things don’t deteriorate to the point where it is potentially worse off for everyone?

  34. Derek,

    I would agree that any solutions will have to address the situations in Mexico and Central America.
    Absolutely.

  35. KevinH,

    All those questions and the other ones that have been raised are important.
    My belief is that we start from the foundation I wrote about and work outward.
    My concern is primarily this…that at at least in the church we work from a place of love and biblical truth.

  36. Just a reminder from an earlier post. Most of these kids are not from Mexico, at least not most of the ones that are getting all the news in the last week or two.

    The relevant aspect to our immigration laws concerning non-Mexican/Canadian minors has been around for awhile. It is not new policy.

    These kids are not just fleeing to America for a better opportunity, they are fleeing their home countries ANYWHERE they can make it, in hopes of survival. This too is another contrast between Mexican immigration and this situation. And no doubt why there is a difference in our laws to begin with. Mexicans want to come to America. These Central American kids just want to escape.

    It is relevant and needful, IMO, to not conflate the issues here.

  37. A great many people coming from Mexico are coming for similar reasons.
    If I put up links to just the mass graves discovered this week it would nauseate the blog.
    However, it is probably best for these children if their situation is not conflated with those issues.

  38. Well said Michael. We are Christians first and our Christian response is fairly obvious. (What a nation ought to do is the harder question).

    Similar things here in Australia. No land border, so no huge numbers knocking on the door. But lots have tried to come by boat and we lock them up while we process them. They have been poorly treated under governments of both sides.

    On Monday some Christians had a pray-in in a politician’s office about this:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-24/immigration-protest-held-by-religious-leaders-at-jamie-briggs-e/5545850

  39. Eric,

    I saw that link earlier…it was one of the things that inspired this post today.
    Charles Bowden wrote about the immigration crisis in Australia years ago…I think theres a video as well.
    I’ll look…

  40. Bowden the prophet from five years ago…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8G-19HMwMs

  41. I physically no longer have the strength to actually participate in helping in such situations but I do try to help with financial means which are limited. What is not helpful is when any political group for political gains uses immigration as a chip in some game. No one here has done that in this discussion that is very good.

  42. It should also be noted that many churches are involved in trying to help children in many areas. A coordinated broad based approach may well help many of these kids. Until our country stops taking drugs there will always be collateral damage so to speak.

  43. brian,

    There is a very active Catholic relief effort all across the border…has been for years.

  44. What is compassionate at a personal level and what is effective government policy are two different matters.

  45. These kids were getting bussed to upstate NY also – perhaps the most humane thing to do is bus them all to Canada … they are always telling us how much more open minde they are than us and how their quality of life is so much netter and they have no gun violence.

    I say let’s put them to the test.

  46. I know that only Jesus can change a persons heart but does anyone have any experience with drug rehab that works? I have seen it work in some cases but it is a long hard road.

  47. Michael,
    You kind of gave the unseen children a public voice…

    http://www.newstaco.com/2014/06/23/how-the-immigrant-children-at-the-border-remain-unseen/

    MLD,
    Lets put them in your back yard…

  48. I really don’t know how everyone can claim they are unseen. I have known about this for weeks.
    Does no one here watch or read news?

  49. David,
    They are in my backyard – my office is literally across the street from Santa Ana.

  50. Still doesn’t change the fact that if I have $10 in my pocket, and it costs $10 to help an American in need or $10 to help a foreigner in need, I’m helping my neighbor first before I help another’s country’s neighbor.

    I understand they need help, but so does the WHOLE PLANET. And, I still only have $10. Now, if we have such abundance that we can care for every single American and still have a surplus…lets rescue the rest of the world as well.

    Help the cause! Forget that, after the 90% in operating expenses gets absorbed and my $1 reaches the actual people in need? I prefer to help people next to me where 100% of my dollar is put to use, no overhead.

  51. FWIW, the libertarian view is open borders without a welfare state. We can’t have both, as the govt ran out of other people’s money years ago.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

%d bloggers like this: