A missionary I know and respect posed this question on Facebook: “If Jesus were on earth today would he be at a Trump rally or in the caravan?” I did not comment on the post because it is at once deeply profound and not easily answered.
To start with we do not have any answers directly from the Bible. Jesus was never reported to be at any earthly political rally, all though sometimes people rallied against him. Also we read that sometimes Jesus went to the crowds and sometimes the crowds went to Jesus. Sometimes Jesus separated himself from the crowds altogether. We never see Jesus encouraging illegal activity of any kind.
I do believe the gospel message is political. I also think it is a major distraction to focus on earthly politics. How can I fully worship God while elevating politicians or political parties above all else? With a focus on the heavenly Kingdom it is easier to decide on who and what to vote for or against.
So what about the caravan heading to America? Would Jesus walk with them?
I hope that many of them have a faith in Christ Jesus. If so, then Jesus is walking with them. I do not believe Jesus would be physically walking with them for the purpose of breaking human laws by entering a country illegally.
Another statement made in Facebook was “Real Christians would be waiting at the border with food, water, and clothes for the caravan.” REALLY?!
I am a real Christian. At times I have gone above and beyond to help others. Often times without even a thank you in return. But until every person that truly wants help in my community is being helped there is no reason for me to travel hundreds of miles to help others. It may be that I would donate to an authentic missions program that is supplying needs to the immigrants but that would be the extent of my efforts.
The immigration history of this nation is not pretty on a bigger picture view. Slums of New York were because of immigrants that could not find work here. From those slums rose Mob Bosses, all sorts of violent gangs, and yes even Union henchmen. Our political system has been and still is influenced by violent people who rose from poverty to power through illegal activity and greed. Accept it or not that is a part of American history and even current politics.
Do I seem ant-immigrant? That would be a mistaken view of me. My father and his parents were refugees. It is my understanding that my father was born in a refugee camp in Hungary. A Christian organization in the 1950’s brought them to America. My grandfather worked in a factory in Aurora, Illinois until his retirement. My father became a radio repairman in the Air Force in the 1960’s and continued working as an electronics repairman until his death. My family entered this country legally and became tax paying citizens. I have this heritage because some Christians did something about a known problem from another country. I do not oppose immigration, I oppose illegal entry into our country.
Rev. Burt Schwab