The Lutheran Pastor and Illegal Immigration
The issue of illegal immigration is hotly contested throughout the United States. Over 11 million people live illegally in our country, and their presence has sparked constant and passionate debate. Sides have been drawn, and even Christians have formed very different opinions. There are few communities—and Christian congregations—that have not been affected. But what does God’s Word say? More specifically, what guidance does God’s Word provide a Lutheran pastor as he ministers to undocumented immigrants in his congregation and community? As pastors struggle to make sense of the immigration debate, it can too often seem like God’s voice is silent. He is not! A thorough study of the guidance found in God’s Word concerning this difficult topic will lead us to this conclusion: The Lutheran pastor’s duty and privilege to preach both law and gospel to all people leads him to both offer the gospel message of Christ’s redemption free of charge to everyone he meets, regardless of legal status, and to address the sins connected with illegal immigration at the proper time in each individual Christian’s life as they mature in their faith and grow in their level of sanctification.