This weekend, I’m atÂ Urbana, a gathering of Christian students interested in the work of the church worldwide. Over the next few days, I will be blogging two kinds of sessions. Sessions likeÂ this morningâ€™s gatheringÂ [12/29/2012]Â are intended to inspire and challenge Christian students to consider international service. This afternoon, I blogged a fascinating talk on the theological underpinnings of evangelical action on immigration.
This afternoon’s speakers areÂ Lisa Sharon HarperÂ andÂ Matthew Soerens. Lisa is the director of mobilising atÂ Sojourners, an evangelical social justice organisation. She’s also co-author ofÂ Left Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics. Matthew is the US church training specialist forÂ World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. He’s co-author ofÂ Welcoming The Stranger, which sets out an evangelical social justice case for US immigration reform, and co-creator ofÂ undocumented.tv, an evangelical immigration media activism campaign.
Lisa starts out by mentioning that the Hebrew word for immigrant, “ger,” is mentioned 92 times in the Old Testament. That fact has inspiredÂ the G92 movement, which mobilises Christian college students around immiration reform in the United States. Matt and Lisa are also part of theÂ Evangelical Immigration Table, which brings together organisations like the National Evangelicals Association, the Southern Baptist Convention, World Vision, Bread For the World, Sojourners, and many others, including the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. The Evangelical Immigration Table recently launchedÂ a new immigration reform initiative. People across the evangelical world came together to say, “just immigration reform this matters to us.”
Lisa explains why immigration matters to evangelicals. Starting withÂ Genesis 1, she sets out a vision for the relationship between Christianity and politics. In the beginning, God called the world a good thing. The relationships among people and the relationship between humanity and its governing systems were “forcefully good.” Furthermore, humans were made in the image of God. We were created to be “markers of where God rules,” she says. Humans are to be stewards of the world we live in, andÂ the fall of humanityÂ in Genesis shattered the relationship between systems and the people they govern. Humans are made in the image of God. As a result, the way humans rule should follow the manner of God’s rule. That’s why we Christians should care about issues like immigration, Lisa says. [Read more…] about The Theology of Evangelical Action on Immigration Reform