Earlier this week, Ali Velshi of MSNBC decided to make a point about the Bible on illegal immigration. Of course, I do not believe that he used the word “illegal.” He was responding to Attorney General Jeff Sessions use of a passage from Romans 13 which exhorts believers to obey the laws in the country in which they live because the country’s authority is derived from God. This divine authority is inherently good and opposed to evil, i.e., anything that is contrary to the character of God (Romans 13:1-5). Go to the “Let’s Talk” tab and read the article entitled “The Authority of God.” Jess Sessions’ use of the passage was proper. The citizens of a country should obey the laws of that country; it should go without saying that noncitizens must obey those laws as well or, as do citizens, suffer the penalties associated with those laws. In this context, children of citizens may be separated from the parents; illegal immigrants who enter the United States illegally might also find themselves separated from their children. Lesson–don’t violate the law.
However, MSNBC host Ali Velshi, who affirmed that he has a B.A. in Theology (he did not say what the religion his degree covered or his major or minor), went to the Bible, not to argue the merits of Sessions’ use of Romans 13, but to show that he also could find many Scriptures that defend his argument, which he, with great confidence, suggests is the biblical defense of illegal immigration.
Below are the five passages the host used to make his spurious argument.
Matthew 19:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 But Jesus said, “[a]Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
This has absolutely nothing to do with illegal immigration. Our Lord is clearly saying that the faith of children is precious. Every effort must be made to ensure that children are not misled when it comes to their receiving knowledge of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The punishment for misleading or keeping children from the Lord is quite severe: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea (Mark 9:42). I think the children that are separated from the parents, due to their violation of American Law, should be given the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ. Do you think Ali Velshi would defend this view? After all, he is a theologian!
Jeremiah 22:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
This passage is written directly to the King of Judah, Zedekiah, a godless and wicked king. The King is under assault by the King of Babylon, whom God has brought into the land of Judah to destroy Jerusalem, many of its people, and send a third of them into captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 211-22:9). Jeremiah admonished the king to change his ways and do what is right for all the citizens of Judah–Do justice and righteousness to all but especially to people passing through the land, to orphans and to widows. There is nothing here that deals with people who are violating the laws of Judah. In fact, Zedekiah is the picture of wrongdoing. To study how sojourners, aliens or immigrants were to live among the people, please go to the “Let’s Talk” article entitled, “Love Your Neighbor.”
Matthew 25:42-43 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
42 “For I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”
So what has the US government done with the children whose parents have broken the law by entering the country without permission? An old Wal-Mart facility was purchased to house the children of these foolhardy and impetuous parents. Let’s look at the verses above and go one requirement at a time: 1) they feed them, 2) they provide drink, 3) they took these uninvited and unwanted strangers, foreigners, or guests into the country rather than sending the children of criminal parents back into Mexico or to their parent’s homeland, which truly would have been cruel, 4) they clothed these children, and 5) they continue to care for the medical needs of these children. The US government has behaved honorably by keeping these children safe in a foreign land. To suggest otherwise is to blindly pursue hate at the expense of reason.
Also, this is a prophetic passage (Matthew 25:41-46) that is directed at those who rejected Christ as their Savior. Jesus is telling these unbelievers that they care nothing for the truth of the Gospel, which is the eternal food and drink. Jesus is the one who was hungry, thirsty, a stranger rejected, beaten and killed. For this reason, these unbelievers have no eternal hope; only damnation (Matthew 25:46).
Isaiah 10:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Woe to those who enact evil statutes
And to those who constantly record unjust decisions,
2 So as to deprive the needy of justice
And rob the poor of My people of their rights,
So that widows may be their spoil
And that they may plunder the orphans.
Simply stated, this passage is a rebuke of the nation of Israel over its unwillingness to obey God, with whom it made a contract of obedience. The nation of Israel enacted laws that conflicted with the Lord’s, which led to disastrous decisions that then led to corrupt courts that punished the innocent, stole their divine rights, and left the neediest in the nation deprived of care. This passage has nothing whatsoever to do with foreigners or illegal immigrants who forced their way into Israel. A corollary would be an American judicial system favoring one group of people over another by violating or eliminating their divinely given rights. Or, it would represent a corrupt government institution trying to rig an election by violating the law and ethics.
Matthew 25:40 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'”
Matthew 25:31-46 is a prophetic passage. Verses 31-40 are spoken directly to those gentiles who have obeyed the Lord and become believers by faith in His death, burial and resurrection. Unlike the unbelievers, they did not deny him. Rather, they drank from the eternal well and ate from the Word of God and took Jesus into their hearts and served Him faithfully. Note these words of Jesus: “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” The word “it” refers to the manner in which “brothers” i.e., believers took care of one another. When believers provide for each other’s needs, they honor their Savior. To feed a fellow Christian is to feed Christ, etc….
There is nothing here about the treatment one is to give to individuals who violate the law which obviously would apply to US law.
Ali Velshi is guilty of one of the most common errors in biblical interpretation. The error is known as proof-texting–find a verse that supports your ideology or philosophical opinion regardless of the context in which the truth of the passage can be discovered. This is the lazy person’s approach to hermeneutics (interpretation of the Bible). Every verse that Velshi used to make his point was taken out of context and, therefore, misused. He took the Word of God and made it his own. Sadly, the priest who supported his warped findings chose not to correct him or is unprepared or unable to do so.
The truth is that America has deprived its own citizens of safety, justice, and opportunity through its horrible immigration laws and by allowing, no, encouraging people to violate US laws with little to no consequence. Like Zedekiah, our politicians have sacrificed justice and righteousness for its citizens in order to obtain or retain political power. They are equally guilty of murder, rape, theft and so many other abuses that have occurred since 1965 when immigration laws began to devolve into a “come one come all” mindset, “the law be damned.” Americans have also lost jobs and been told that illegals do jobs Americans won’t do. During my high school and college days, I learned to work doing the jobs that illegals do now. Those jobs shaped my character and my mental fortitude in so many ways.
It is critical that a nation maintain just laws that are taken seriously by both citizens and non-citizens alike. And those who live beyond our borders need to understand that we are a sovereign nation whose laws must be obeyed. Furthermore, America needs to do all it can to encourage other nations to develop and adhere to the divine principles that make the United States the envy of the world–this must be true since so many want to come to America rather than stay home. Our Constitution and its inalienable rights are the greatest gifts that we can offer to the peoples of other sovereign nations. And when we require the expertise of those who desire to emigrate to America, they must follow the laws that lead them to citizenship in the greatest nation in the world.
MSNBC and Ali Velshi, you have been zapped.