Nathan Brown: Illegal Boat People

Stop the (Illegal Boat) People? (Nathan Brown, Record)

Nathan Brown writes from Australia on immigration issues the country is wrestling with. Part of his article draws on the relevant biblical material:

Among God’s repeated concerns about injustice, and the poor and the oppressed, His focus on the outsider, the aliens and the foreigners should not be overlooked. In short, “the Lord protects the foreigners among us” (Psalm 146:9). One expression of this in the New Testament is the command to hospitality (see Luke 14:12–14, Romans 12:13), hinting at Abraham’s experience of unwittingly “entertaining angels” as one motivation for such generosity of spirit and action (see Hebrews 13:2).

Jesus’ “golden rule” about doing to others what we would like done for us if the roles were reversed is also highly relevant (see Matthew 7:12, noting the echo of Leviticus 19:33) and Peter urges that our faithfulness to God gives us an insight of what it is to be “foreigners in the land” (1 Peter 1:17) in a similar way to the experiences of the Israelites.


This is a pressing topic the world over, including the United States with the re-election of President Obama. In an age of globalization, the flow of humanity is the final area of concern, following in the wake of the the flow of goods, money, and information.

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