What does it look like to think biblically about immigration?
Arrive Ministries educates and mobilizes churches on the important issues of our day and speaks out to those in positions of influence so that the vulnerable, oppressed and poor will receive the dignity, rights and freedom God desires for them.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8)
Arrive Ministries’ commitment to advocacy for justice and on behalf of the poor and oppressed is based on biblical truths and on the example of Jesus. Scripture constantly emphasizes the importance of showing compassion (Matthew 25:31-46), seeking justice (Isaiah 58:1-14), defending what is right (Proverbs 31:8) and showing mercy (Micah 6:8).
Arrive Ministries seeks to follow the example of Christ, who intervenes on our behalf to God, as our advocate. Because of Christ’s love and support of us, we receive freedom and eternal life. As Christians we are called to be Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), representing Christ to the world and speaking on His behalf. For this reason, we also defend those who are oppressed, weak and who do not have a voice of their own, whether in Darfur, Burma or the U.S., just as Christ defends us.
What is advocacy?
Tearfund, an international development organization actively involved in advocacy, provides a great definition: “Seeking with, and on behalf of, the poor to address underlying causes of poverty, bring justice, and support good development through influencing the policies and practices of the powerful. Advocacy is not just responding to individual needs, but influencing policies and structures that create poverty and oppress God’s children.”
We see a perfect example of an advocate in the life of Esther. She was a normal woman suddenly thrust into a position of great influence; as the wife of a King. When she learned of the great injustice happening to the Jewish people, she risked her life to advocate and intervene for them and to persuade the King to show justice and mercy. “‘Who knows,’ said Mordecai to Queen Esther, ‘but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’” Esther’s story reminds us that although Arrive Ministries may just be one organization, God has given us resources and the ability to make a difference in the lives of many.
In a book from World Relief (U.S.), Welcoming the Stranger through Action and Education, you’ll find information on thinking biblically about immigrants and advocating for immigration reform.
The Refugee Council USA has developed an advocacy manual for agencies like Arrive Ministries. Many of the ideas related to contacting your Senator/Congressman can be used by individuals and small groups, as well as agencies.
The National Association of Evangelicals Resolution on Immigration
The significant increase in immigration and the growing stridency of the national debate on immigration compel the National Association of Evangelicals to speak boldly and biblically to this challenging topic. The complexity of immigration issues provides an opportunity to mine Scripture for guidance. A biblically informed position provides a strong platform for the NAE to make a contribution in the public square that will be explicitly Christian. Out of commitment to Scripture and knowledge of national immigration realities comes a distinct call to action.
– Read the resolution
– Resolution Endorsements
– The Durham Declaration on Immigration and the Church
Addresses questions about undocumented immigrants including answers to why they arrive undocumented, the impact on the U.S. economy and the opportunity for the Church in America.
– Watch the video
– Visit the website
Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
CCIR, a campaign of Sojourners, educates and mobilizes Christian organizations, churches, and leaders from across the theological and political spectrum to advocate for comprehensive U.S. immigration reform and compassionate immigration policies at the state level. Includes information on legal issues, relevant scripture, sermon resources, church ministry for immigrants and refugees and ideas for advocacy.
– Visit website