Nov 21, 2014

Response to Presidential Immigration Action

Calm Down and Do the Mission of God.

Dr. Alejandro Mandes, Executive Director of Immigrant Hope.

Last night President Obama announced executive action on immigration. People have asked for my opinion on the president’s decision because I lead Immigrant Hope.

Some people are speaking of political war and declaring that the president is taking unprecedented action. I want to ask believers to calm down and not be drawn into the vortex of political spinning. I’m old enough to remember that there were two Republican presidents that also used this presidential option.[1] Both parties have been responsible for rejecting an immigration law that the majorities in congress and in the American population wanted passed.[2]

Brothers and sisters while we may be of different political persuasion we must be able to step back and see this political posturing for what it is…politics. Immigration policy is not the only matter they do not settle.

The sad upshot is that the church is drawn into the vortex and drawn off its mission. There are many who can do the political piece of life but few who can do the work that God has called the church to do in this country. I am not saying abandon politics to the world. What I am saying is that we need to understand that the politics of man does not accomplish the Great Commission and Great Commandment. Some may have the special calling to politics and we should also do our part as citizens. Let’s remember though what the unique mission is that the church has that can never be accomplished by vote or the will of man: to love our neighbor, make disciples and plant churches.

There are close to 40 million immigrants in this country. Most of them do not know the Lord Jesus Christ even though I believe that their immigration experience predisposes them to be particularly open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as per Acts 17:26-27. Most of these forty million are legal residents but are isolated in immigrant neighborhoods and mostly unreached by the church. They are a mission field of God. When the church of God can get its mind around the fact that they are a mission field within our nation, the church of God will experience a fresh wind by their obedience and the fruit of their obedience…these immigrants.

Church of God do not let this political tempest draw you into its vortex. Calm down and do the mission of God: love the stranger, evangelize and make disciples.

Call to action:

  1. Pray for our leaders, they need it.
  2. Distinguish one’s politics from one’s God given mission.
    1. Gain some political perspective. Most religious leaders in Martin Luther King’s day considered him the devil, many now wish they had marched with him.
  3. Read Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform.
  4. Get to know one immigrant well.
    1. It will change the way you see them. They are the future.
    2. Your school age children already know them and are their friends.
  5. Challenge your church to apply the mission of God to immigrants.
    1. The Great Commission: to share the gospel with ALL people.
    2. The Great Commandment: to love others, not just people like us.
    3. Reach out to an immigrant and love the immigrant. There are many commandments to treat aliens well, Hebrews even says that those who do may even be entertaining angels.
  6. Explore two or more of the good organizations focused on building capacity to serve the immigrant: Immigrant Hope & The Immigration Alliance.

Immigrant Hope is an organization that has appreciated the advocacy of others on behalf of immigrants but is committed to equipping individuals and churches to provide the HOPE of the Gospel, HELP immigrants with the legal issues and a HOME in the church. Immigrant Hope is all about serving the church TO EXPAND CAPACITY to impact the immigrant community.

A fact to remember: Immigrants are a key component of the demographic shift that is propelling America toward the “tipping point” from Anglo/Caucasian majority to minorities/immigrants being the majority in America. The Department of Education has said that the public school system is majority minority already this year.

Another fact to consider: Most denominational leaders and religious leaders have united to encourage the church to welcome the immigrant.