Jubilee Institute – Overview
It does not take much to fall into one of the extremes regarding the immigration issue facing our country. On the one hand, there is the call for the expulsion or deportation of all immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants, from our country. On the other hand, there are those who want laws completely ignored and, in the name of care for the poor, actively work against the government on behalf of immigrants. The Jubilee Institute seeks to strike a Biblically rooted middle ground. This balance will not always be easy. But we honestly and earnestly believe this path best exemplifies how God would call us to seek to serve those at the edges of society while also paying due accord to our nation’s laws.
At the outset, it is important to remember that as Christians, we have a mandate to make disciples of all people, regardless of their background or legal status. In fact, those without status are often very receptive to the Gospel as they are desperate for hope. Moreover, God has repeatedly been involved in the movement of people. Even a cursory review of the Bible reveals this.
In fact, the Bible is full of stories of God using migration to open people’s spiritual eyes. In Acts 17:26-27, God decides when and where people live so that they will reach out and find Him. In many respects, if we do not share the Gospel message with our undocumented neighbors, we are failing in our reason for existence as a church and undermining the message that we can all become a part of God’s family.
The reality is that we have a responsibility to show love to immigrants because God loves them and because God loved us when we were still lost in sin. Immigrants are one of the classes of vulnerable people (along with widows, orphans, and the poor) singled out for God’s special care. In the Old Testament, God tells His people to love immigrants as themselves, to treat them as native-born. In the New Testament, Jesus says we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
But, where possible, we must also uphold the law. Just as law-breaking does not excuse us from loving and serving, loving and serving does not mean that we condone law-breaking. Whatever we do, we should strive to respect the government that God has established. Thus, while the Jubilee actively seeks to help immigrants, even currently undocumented ones, it will not employ an undocumented immigrant, help them obtain false papers, or encourage or assist them to break the law. But there is still much that can be done that both honors God and respects federal law and into that space the Jubilee will prayerfully step into.