Consequences For Mistreating Sojourners

November 5, 2018

I keep seeing conservatives and Christians saying the most socialist things about the Honduran caravan. Our immigration laws were written by Ted Kennedy to control the labor market. I’ve never seen such passionate defenders of socialist labor market controls as “small-government conservatives”. They are also deeply concerned with maintaining the integrity of the welfare state–only us Americans should be getting welfare. I always thought it was a conservative ideal to end welfare and return to private charity. I guess I wasn’t in on the meeting when we decided welfare is as American as apple pie.

I’ve heard many say they like immigration, as long as it’s done legally. This presupposes that either men are free to make up whatever immigration laws they like, or that our current system is close enough to perfection that it should be strictly enforced.

What I don’t hear being discussed is what is right in God’s eyes, and Scripture certainly speaks on how we should treat the foreigner among us. Feel free to do your own search of Scripture; if you use ESV you can search for the word “sojourner” while other versions may use other words.

Here’s what happens if we treat them properly:

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever” (Jeremiah 7:5-7).

If we treat them poorly, we won’t be dwelling in the land, meaning we will become immigrants, if not refugees. Liberals have already placed this country in grave jeopardy by advocating for the legal murder of the fatherless in the womb. Conservatives generally don’t make that grave error, but are they in favor of oppressing the sojourner?

Numbers 15:15-16 says:

“For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”

There is to be one law for everyone–citizen and sojourner.

I’ve spoken with some conservatives who want foreigners to be treated differently than Americans. I wonder how government goons will be able to determine who is a foreigner and who is a citizen? Maybe checkpoints and government-issued paperwork? That sounds like the land of the free, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t a fitting punishment for trying to oppress foreigners be for God to take the unjust law we intend to apply only to foreigners, and make it the one law that is inflicted on everyone?

The truth is that the only job of biblical government is to punish evildoers (Romans 13:4). Government has no jurisdiction over people not committing evil (Romans 13:3). It is the government of the beast which is all about red tape, permits, and licenses for doing things that aren’t a sin (Revelation 13:17). It’s not a sin to move where your labor is valued the highest, even if it means crossing a border. It’s not a sin to put in an honest day’s work. What is a sin is to advocate for beastly government, where anyone needs visas, passports, permits, or licenses to earn a living.

I’m certainly not advocating for the U.S. government to step in and provide anything to the Hondurans–charity isn’t the job of biblical government, but Jesus said, that those who welcome strangers will inherit the kingdom (Matthew 25:34-35). Those who do not welcome strangers will be sent to eternal fire (Matthew 25:41, 43).

For an in-depth study of this topic, I recommend these lectures. America’s history on this topic is very interesting, and is covered in those discussions.