Stop! What does the Bible say?

Written by Jason Schoff

Stop! Too many times we fail to study the Bible before we consider how to address the issues of our day. One issue very dear to our heart here at Mission Adelante is the question of immigrants and how the church should respond to them. What does the bible say about immigration? This must be the starting point. How many sermons have you heard preached on immigrants? I can honestly say I had never considered the issue prior to joining with Jarrett Meek in 2005, much less listened to a sermon on the topic. Did you know the answers to our questions about the immigrant are spread throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament?

We invited Dr. Daniel (Danny) Carroll, distinguished professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary, to address our volunteers and friends this past weekend. He wrote the book, "Christians at the Border" and his 2.5 hour morning session led us to look at the lives of Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, Daniel, Nehemiah, and others who were all immigrants on the move. We also examined the OT law and its provisions for the foreigner as well as the teachings from the New Testament. Compassion, provision and justice all address the ways God provides for the immigrant, and he chooses to use us in the process. Danny emphasized reading the complete canon of the bible in context to answer the question of the immigrant and immigration and letting this change the way we shape the laws and our views of immigrants.

"It's okay to try and change the law because we do it all the time." This is the reality of the democracy we live in. Why wouldn't we change the laws to reflect God's values? Our laws have been discriminatory toward the Chinese in the late 1800's, the Irish and Italians in the early 1900's, and the Mexican migrants during the Depression. Perhaps we should consider our current laws and see if they are prejudiced in any way. The last major comprehensive legislation passed in 1965 and was signed into law by President Johnson. There are many pieces of legislation being considered today. One is the Dream Act, which provides a path to legal status for kids who complete high school, have lived in the US five years, and enter the military or complete two years of college. Otherwise these kids would be left with no option but to flip burgers all their lives or return to a country that they hardly know. What would God say about this? I would encourage all of us to read Danny's book and also to look even deeper into scripture and pray for God to guide us. Stop! Consider this for more than just a day because an immigrant considers it daily. Putting real life stories to this debate changes the lenses through which we see immigrants amongst us.

Investigating alongside you,
Jason Schoff

In other news:
  • A group of more than 20 volunteers visiting our area from Colorado was loaned to us by Marcia Merrick, whom they were serving alongside, to join many from our community and help a Latino family move last week. We were so grateful for the unexpected help, which made fast work of the move.
  • Friday evening, about 75 people belonging to our Latino church community gathered for pot-luck dinner and fellowship at the Meeks' home and to get acquainted with Danny Carroll. This type of social gathering does so much to energize our body of faith.
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for God's mercy upon 4 families dear to our community. Each of these families is presently separated from one another due to a variety of situations. Please pray for them to be reunited.
  • We're approaching the busy end of another trimester here at Mission Adelante. Please pray for God's hand to be over us, the staff, as we complete the tasks He's set before us.
Current needs:
  • A twin bed.
Upcoming dates:
  • Saturday, August 14, 5:00: Bhutanese End of Trimester Party @ Bethany Community Center
  • Sunday, August 15, 5:00: Latino End of Trimester Party @ Wyandotte County Lake Park
  • Saturday, September 25: Mission Adelante Five Year Anniversary Celebration @ Mission Adelante Headquarters