Many of the “Christian Right” in Indiana think that the only Christian position on the immigration debate should be in favor of ridding our state of all illegal immigrants with whatever means possible. They presume that those who do not have documents are “illegals” and therefore should not have any rights. To them, it seems so simple, hinging primarily on obeying the law.
In the immigration debate, however, this position is neither “Christian” nor “Right” (as observed by a reader of the Indianapolis Star article, cf. Judge Issues Injunction on Indiana's Immigration Law (Indy Star, June 25, 2011). Not because these sincere believers are totally wrong. Rather, they are only partially right, emphasizing one principle while ignoring many others.
In reality, the immigration situation is so complex that a legalistic punitive approach such as the one currently in question in Indiana is not an appropriate response, neither from a Christian perspective nor from a view to justice. The complexities of the immigration problem in our state are explored in much greater depth in previous posts on this blog.
The Wesleyan Church has set forth biblical principles that ought to be applied in the search for a Christian response to the immigration problem in our state (cf. link in right hand column of this blog). Obeying the law of our land is certainly an important consideration. But there are many others of equal importance. The Wesleyan statement provides a balanced biblical perspective for all Christians to take into account, as together we strive to obey both God’s laws, all of which are right and just, and those of our government, inasmuch as they do not violate God’s higher laws.