Pastor Robert Jeffress, of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, claimed today that the U.S. government should build a new border fence based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
During an interview with "Fox and Friends," Pastor Jeffress said that building a border fence to keep undocumented immigrant children out of the U.S. was "compassionate," noted RawStory.com (video below).
”What we are doing by having these unsecured borders is we are enticing children and mothers to make this dangerous journey,” said Pastor Jeffress. “Yes, we want to show compassion to the children who are here, but the most compassionate thing we can do is secure the borders.”
“[Christians are] wondering what the right thing to do is,” added Pastor Jeffress. “Yes, Jesus loved children, but he also respected law. He said, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars. So, we need to do both. Show compassion, but secure the borders.”
However, the Bible verse in which Jesus says, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" (Matthew 22:21) refers to paying taxes, not immigration.
There are numerous Bible verses in which believers are commanded to welcome people from other countries, including Leviticus 19:33-34: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt, I am the Lord your God."
Like Pastor Jeffress, the American Family Association’s executive director Bryan Fischer also opposes undocumented immigration and tried to justify his position with the Bible with an article he wrote on the conservative website BarbWire.com:
What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.
The Scriptures make it clear that national sovereignty, including clearly defined borders, is God’s idea. In Acts 17:26, we read, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place…”
Our southern border is there by God’s design. To disregard it, to treat it as if were not there, to regard it as something not worth respecting and defending, is an insult to the God who put it there for our benefit.
However, Acts 17:26 was written by the Apostle Paul after he crossed a border into Athens, Greece. The entire chapter of Acts 17 is Paul telling the Greeks that they should seek the God who created all mankind in all lands.