The immigration debate has slipped out of the news, but there’s been movement behind the scenes, and it involves Conservative Christians.
One of them is the man who was just elected President of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is Pastor David Platt, from Birmingham Alabama. He is a conservative who believes every verse of the Bible.
I called him up to talk about his latest book called “Counter Culture” where he says Christians should not be afraid to counter what today’s culture says about the Bible, and that refusing to bake cakes or supply flowers for a gay wedding is your right as a Christian.
That part is not news, we’ve heard that debate before, I just want to establish his conservative credentials because he surprised me when the interview got around to the immigration issue.
“We’ve got to begin to think about immigrants whether legal or illegal not as problems to be solved but as people to be loved,” says Platt, “and to think through how can we address what is clearly out-of-date legislation with the current labor market in our country, to think through how do we work to establish and enforce just laws that address immigration which I think should include securing our borders.
“I think there are ways to do that. Holding business owners accountable for hiring practices, taking steps that ensure fairness to taxpaying citizens of our country.
“Again, I’m not saying it’s simple by any means or there is easy answers. But there are Biblical foundations that drive how we think about this issue.”
Platt thinks God doesn’t consider someone who doesn’t have the right papers any less of a human being than someone who does.
“The core commands of Jesus are love God and love your neighbor as yourself and we’re talking about our neighbors,” says Platt.
I asked if he’s getting any push-back from conservative Christians because his view on immigration seems pretty liberal.
“The point is what we have a tendency to do is jump to political conclusions without considering Biblical foundations. So my aim of this book is not to propose necessarily political we must do this, we must do that, but that the Biblical foundations must drive,” says Platt.
“That starts with a respect and an honor for the dignity of people around us who are from other countries who have immigrated to the United States legally or illegally. There are complicated issues that you and I both know, but there are Biblical foundations that I know Christians have a tendency to bypass in jumping to a political position.”
Listen to the full episode of Rossfire featuring Pastor David Platt: