Be sure to check out the sermon titled: Immigration and the Christian: The Balance of the Welcome and the Wall
You are undoubtedly aware of the media coverage related to the crisis at the border. Specifically, the stories and reports of unaccompanied immigrant children. As we seek the Lord on how best to love and care for these children, we sent Jeff Ward and Rick Howard from our External Focus team to spend Friday and Saturday at the border with some government officials, leaders from NG0’s (nongovernment organizations) and a few leaders from other faith groups. Before they left, I wrote a few thoughts to them I thought would be helpful in their discussions with others as they lead from a Biblical worldview. In this blog post, I thought it would be helpful to share those thoughts with you as well as update you on our efforts to serve Christ by actively engaging in the crisis.
- Rule of law is essential to a healthy community. (Proverbs 13:13, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, 1 Peter 2:13-15, Romans 13:1-7)
- Rule of love is essential if any place is going to be representative of Christ’s community. (John 13:34-35, Galatians 5:22-23)
- Rule of law is never compromised by rule of love. (We serve a God Who is FULL of grace AND truth. FULL of justice AND mercy) (Exodus 34:6-7, John 1:14)
- Rule of love has order/law built into it. (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Peter 2:15-17)
- While we continue to warn others of the grave dangers of ignoring the rule of law, we must model for others the rule of love. (Philippians 4:9, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Matthew 28:20)
(I shared some additional thoughts on my Twitter account on July 17th as well that I encourage you to check out.)
As the Scripture referenced above makes clear, God’s Word constantly reminds us of our need to humble ourself under governmental rule, even as we continually love others and, first and foremost, honor God’s Word and way. Sadly, America in the 21st century increasingly mocks the idea of morality/ law and perverts the definition of love by confusing love with the approval and celebration of almost any behavior. The mocking of law/morality and redefinition of love is fast eroding the foundation and strength of our nation.
As God’s ambassadors and citizens of the Kingdom of heaven who live in the United States, we should both seek the welfare of our nation while also caring for our neighbors (1 Peter 2:13-17) and speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:25). God’s people are called to respond to every situation with love and wisdom and to step up, speak out and stand firm, without fear, on the challenging issues around us with an uncommon sense and unwavering goodness (1 Peter 2:12).
Those with the most assurance of LIFE should be the first to jump in with those with the most trouble in their life.
— Todd Wagner (@wordsfromwags) July 18, 2014
While there are many opinions about why this crisis continues to grow, there are indisputably some suffering women and children who are now at our doorstep who we have the opportunity to respond to in love, even while we maintain our commitment to law and order. While we firmly believe in the rule of law and the necessity of order and discipline, we cannot ignore the present need to care for those who are suffering while law and order are increasingly compromised around us.
What Watermark Is Doing
Watermark is actively involved in the ongoing conversations with other government and faith leaders. On Tuesday, our External Focus team joined leaders from other local churches to discuss how the faith community of DFW could come together to best love and care for these children. On Thursday, Watermark Justice hosted a lunch where they shared with Dallas lawyers about opportunities they have to become trained and to serve within this issue. Finally, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, members of our External Focus teams were at the border to assess the situation first hand and serve many of the women and children currently being detained in Mission, Texas.
How You Can Help
At this time, needs are still being assessed and plans are being discussed, but we wanted to give you some specific ways you can best love and care for these children. We will continue to keep the Watermark body informed of any other needs we can help with as they arise.
1. Pray: For our national and state leaders as they make decisions related to the security and welfare of our nation and those who want to enter it. (2 Timothy 2:1-4) For the children being brought to the border, their families and for us as we respond to them.
2. Consider: Be open to anything the Lord might show you. How can my family or my community share our time, resources, or energy to help the hurting around us? Read the Scriptures and tweets I have shared with you and share them with others. Be unafraid to speak up to others about a right response for us as a nation to the border crisis, even as you actively engage with compassion individually with those around you.
3. Stay Tuned: We will continue to gauge the situation and discern ways we can honor Christ in this, as in all situations. Pray for the upcoming “Declaration” series this fall as I share from God’s Word all He has declared about life, liberty and the pursuit of true happiness. I will be sharing with you a Biblical perspective on the role of the church in the public square and how a nation’s view of life, liberty, marriage, immigration and economics determine whether or not it will go well with them or ensure their destruction as a people.