By Alistair Bell - WASHINGTON | Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:05am EST - (Reuters)
That is the message being heard from some leading evangelicals in the United States. After decades of promoting traditionally conservative causes like opposition to abortion, many evangelical leaders are now wielding their formidable influence to persuade Republican lawmakers to back one of President Barack Obama's top priorities.
With Hispanic attendance at their churches rising, these evangelicals are among the loudest advocates of a U.S. immigration reform. A group of pastors has launched a 40-day campaign to have churchgoers pray, read scripture passages about welcoming the stranger and lobby their members of Congress, many of them in the conservative South.
"We have pastors preach in pulpits to parishioners in Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas - in all the wonderful red states across America," that aiding immigrants, illegal or not, is a Christian duty, said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez [left], one of the country's most prominent Hispanic evangelicals.
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COMMENTARY: This Pastor's statements made me think... is it not our responsibility to be good citizens and report illegal immigrants? As a Christian I believe and know that it is my responsibility to share the love of Christ and the good news, but are we to break the law by continuing to support illegals coming into our country which is costing working Americans billions of dollars each year?
As Christians we are all concerned with following the teachings of our LORD. So what is our responsibility towards our government and those who rule over us?
The Nature of Government
Bible principles concerning the nature of government are as valid today as when they were first given.
“Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).
“God, give Your justice to the king and Your righteousness to the king’s son. He will judge Your people with righteousness and Your afflicted ones with justice… For he will rescue the poor who cry out and the afflicted who have no helper. He will have pity on the poor and helpless and save the lives of the poor. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious in his sight” (Psalm 72:1-2, 12-14).
“For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do good and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience” (Romans 13:3-5).
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This last scripture begs the answer to this question that we all must ask ourselves: When those who rule over us are no longer a terror to bad, but have become a terror to good … how then are we to respond?
Today we are faced with much the same situation as were the Founding Fathers. History speaks loud and clear on the course they took, with the pastors of that day leading the charge. As a result, we have enjoyed for over two hundred years the freedoms of religious expression in our country; and because of these freedoms, we have been able to evangelize nations around the world with the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What is going to happen when our religious liberties are taken away by evil rulers? We are seeing our God-given rights challenged almost every day by the very people we sent to Washington to protect these freedoms. Are we going to continue to the calling of The Great Commission or are we going to hide behind pastors who are wolves in fancy suits leading us to the dinner table where only they are the ones feasting on the flocks!
There is a better way and I would urge folks to read Jake's blog, "You Want to Do What With Illegal Aliens?" The answers found here would be good for the Mexican citizens, the entire Mexican economy and the U.S. economy as well. Continuing to foster "good will" towards anyone coming into America illegally is only going to continue the added burden on U.S. citizens and the ultimate collapse of our country.
Who then will be left to do that which the LORD commissioned each of us to do?