Monday, August 24, 2015

Immigrants Among Us - a review

Immigrants Among Us: A Lutheran Framework for Addressing Immigration Issues – a review
A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

60 pages

As we approach another “political season,” when Americans go to the polls and elect leaders, a topic sure to be hotly debated is immigration. As a Christian listens to the debates, they may wonder how the Lord’s call to us to be law-abiding citizens dovetails with the Lord’s call to us to show compassion to our neighbor, even the “foreigner among us.” Can a Border Patrol officer kneel at the same altar as an immigration lawyer who works with undocumented/illegal immigrants?

Such questions led to the CTCR being directed “to research thoroughly the historical and theological foundations relevant to this crisis issue affecting LCMS congregations across the country, where many immigrants attend,” to “address the issues of church and state that impact Christian response to neighbors who find themselves in ambiguous legal circumstances,” and to present the study’s “theological and practical directions and guidelines” to the 2010 convention.” This report is the result.

With such a controversial topic, it is not surprising to read in this report, “Some acknowledgment of the basic assumptions underlying our discourses about immigrants helps us to recognize that brothers and sisters in Christ with an equal desire to be faithful to God’s commands may actually disagree on how best to carry them out when it comes to dealing with their immigrant neighbor”. (page 22).

I recently did a review on the CTCR document “RenderUnto Caesar … and Unto God.” In that report the concept of two kingdoms was explained. This current document helps us see Lutheran two kingdom theology applied in a very real and contemporary setting. The document also brings into play the biblical teachings concerning vocation. 

Don’t forget to read the case studies at the end of the report. They really help bring the points of the report into focus, and helps us understand the complexity of the issue.

You can download a copy of the report: Immigrants Among Us

You can also download a copy of Render Unto Caesar … and Unto God.

You can also find, and download, many other CTCR reports: CTCR Report

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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