Guest essay by Michael Hernandez
NEWBURY PARK—“Love the stranger is not a mandate for open borders, this notion is completely ridiculous,” said Pastor Rob McCoy as he addressed Leviticus 19:34: “The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Pastor McCoy’s comments were given to the Washington Post as a rebuttal to Russell D. Moore (an American evangelical theologian, ethicist, and preacher who is currently president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention and a leading critic of President Donald J. Trump), were then spoken to his congregation, Godspeak Calvary Chapel.
“Leviticus 19:34 is misused by Christians and by Russell Moore. This verse does not say what Moore claims it to say. The Bible has four realms of authority. When you quote a scripture, you must put it in context. Scripture speaks to: the individual, the family, the church and civil government. When you have a verse, you must find the sphere (context) in which the words are spoken to. In Hebrew, proselyte is a stranger, a foreigner with the intent of becoming a Jew—following the customs, laws, practices and language.
“There are three classifications of inhabitants: native-born citizens are Hebrews; a foreign born immigrant who wants to convert is called ‘a stranger of righteousness’ and a foreigner who lives by the law but does not want to convert is ‘a stranger at the gate or sojourner.’
“In the Hebrew culture as in the American culture, assimilation was always the objective. The stranger committed to the beliefs, habits and practices. If you became a citizen in Japan this would not make you Japanese. But in America, when you become a citizen you become an American. It is not a salad it is a melting pot.
“We compact to follow these laws. You compact with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to follow these laws. If you are committed to sharia law or your own practices, then you are not the stranger God instructed to live in the land. Citizens must embrace the beliefs, standards and practices that God has established. We must fully embrace what God has established for His Kingdom. Members of gangs, drug cartels are to be excluded.
“The immigration system is worse than ever been,” said Thousand Oaks Councilman Rob McCoy. “What can be done? We can build a wall. This is not racist. Walls should be built. Nehemiah built walls. God does not condemn walls for protection and security. The opposition to the 2nd Amendment is guarded by people with guns. Franklin Graham says that we lock doors because we love the people who live inside. We can have a pathway to legalization—not amnesty,” said McCoy.
“Democrats accuse Republicans and Republicans accuse Democrats on immigration and both are to blame. There are incentives for illegal immigrants. Democrats are dependent on an underclass system for votes. Republicans with business interests seek cheap labor. No one wants to take the issue up but the blame needs to be shared in a bipartisan way.
“The government does nothing to change the broken immigration system or fix the existing law. I don’t care about the right or the left. When you have something broken you don’t leave it broken for 30 years. In the last election, 70 percent of the voters saw immigration issues as very important for their vote.
What is the role of government? It is to protect its citizens and enforce the border. The role of the church is to get people to God through Jesus Christ. When you ask a pastor to give a biblical response to Leviticus 19:34 they don’t know what to say. The church does not know how to respond. The church is paralyzed and about to be annihilated.
“Our culture removes God and throws out restraints. This mindset dominates the universities, the press, television and the internet. Secularism dominates American culture.”
This article is an excerpt from one that originally appeared June 23, 2018 in the Ventura County Citizens Journal newspaper—Real News for Ventura County—featuring true investigative journalism and a voice for all sides.
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. Contact Mr. Hernandez by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (818) 263-9881.
© 2018 Used by Permission