A Nazarene Wesleyan Call for Immigration Reform

My friend, Dr. Norman Wilson, recently informed me of an open letter to President Obama from Nazarene and Wesleyan leaders regarding the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform.  The list of signatories and information on how to add your name to this document can be obtained at Norman's blog, Evangelicals and Illegal Immigrants. 

An Open Letter To President Obama, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate:


As denominational leaders, pastors of churches, and lay leaders in the Nazarene and Wesleyan denominations, we express to you our deep concern over the broken immigration system facing our nation. Because of Congress’s failure to pass immigration reform in the last several years, we have seen this debate spill over into states in ways that may divide our communities, confuse enforcement procedures and contribute to the hateful rhetoric, which is currently dominating the national dialogue.

The United States is home to immigrants of all backgrounds – Hispanic, European, Haitian, African, Asian, and so many others. When immigrant families are afraid to send their children to school, go to the grocery store, talk to the police during an emergency or even answer a knock at the door, regardless of the nature of their immigration status, we must speak up. A divided, polarized, and frightened community works in complete contrast to the message of Christ’s love and reconciliation we strive to communicate in our world. It is time to re-engage the immigration reform debate in a civil and respectful manner. Solutions should be sought that integrate both rule of law and love of the immigrant.

As Evangelical leaders in the tradition of John Wesley serving a diverse spectrum of churches around the country we are united in the belief that every human being is created in the image of God. We come together in the belief that Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, and also to welcome the stranger, regardless of immigration status. We too want immigration reform that respects the rule of law while providing a path to citizenship to those who want to integrate into the larger U.S. mosaic.

Consistent with our Wesleyan heritage and commitments to minister, love, and work with all people and in particular those whom Jesus called “the least of these” we support comprehensive immigration reform. We urge our policymakers to work constructively to address the challenges and complexities of immigration. We understand that we must enforce our borders and respect the rule of law in this country. Similarly, we must also look with compassion upon the immigrants who are here, working in all walks of life and contributing to the common good. A deep respect for the laws of the land calls for obedience, but also for the evaluation of the effectiveness and humanity of our laws. We assert that comprehensive immigration reform can do both.

As Evangelical Americans, in a country as diverse as ours, we should proudly embody our history and values as a welcoming nation. We pray that our politicians come together to craft fair and humane immigration reform as soon as possible, because a crisis of immigration policy that results in divided communities and families is also a crisis of the church. We are joining a Nazarene and Wesleyans for immigration reform campaign as a sign of our commitment to common-sense immigration reform that reflects our deepest and noblest faith values of respect for the law and love of neighbor.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks...this will help me do get that paper done:)
Absolute hogwash!! The church has an obligation to advocate for the Constitutional God-inspired principles of our country. America already allots more LEGAL immigration opportunities than all of the other industrial countries - COMBINED!!

The illegal trespassers of our country overwhelmingly support the socialist big government giveaways that will destroy our country as we know it.

For the church where I grew up as a PK and served as Choir Director, Youth Pastor, Treasurer, Missions and Outreach Director etc. to buy into the lies of those who want to destroy the moral foundations we were founded on is very disheartening.

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