Culture,  Current Events,  History,  Paul Backholer

Borders are Good! The Bible, Immigration, Refugees & Economic Migrants

Do modern slave traders control your borders? This is the question people avoid when confronted with the problem of chaotic, lawless borders. The Bible’s perspective on migrants, borders and immigration may shock you because the Holy Scripture is not woke! God does not conform Himself to the worldly pattern of thinking of this age (Romans 12:1-2).

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness

– 1 John 3:4

When governments surrender control of their borders to criminal gangs, they become hubs for sex and drug trafficking, and helpless minors are enslaved into horror. These gangsters with violent criminal records, prey on the most vulnerable in society and create debt traps that force migrants into economic bondage and prostitution where they’re travelling to.

God is a God of order, not anarchy

Many political theologians argue that borders are wicked and everyone should be welcomed, but is this lawful or even biblical? Empirical evidence reveals that if your democratically elected government doesn’t control your borders, criminal gangs, who run the modern-day slave trade, will. St Paul echoed the laws of ancient Israel recognising that citizens had rights and responsibilities

When they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed

– Acts 16:38

Many woke theologians claim God wants open borders, but they ignore biblical context and misquote Scripture, trying to make the Bible say something that makes them look good. Moses, representing the Old Testament law and Paul, representing the New Testament, both agree that borders are ordained by God.

When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel

– Deuteronomy 32:8

In the ancient world, sacred texts show that countries or empires had borders and recognised citizens, non-citizens, visitors and resident aliens. Each people acknowledged the importance of obtaining permission to reside in a foreign land, and understood the rights and responsibilities of living in someone else’s nation. The Bible addresses borders at least forty-three times.

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands

– Acts 17:26

The Bible clarifies that those who build their nation (or empire) on a set of godly values are not obliged to welcome those with a set of opposing values that would overthrow or undo their faith. The original languages and texts of the Bible recognise linguistic distinctions which are not as clear in the English translations, with words being translated as ‘foreigners, sojourners, strangers and aliens.’

Your children will return to their own territory

– Jeremiah 31:17

We will consider the distinctions and meanings of these words later, but as an example, the command, ‘if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him’ (Leviticus 19:33), refers to a person who has gained legal approval to be a ‘resident alien,’ or ‘ger’ in Hebrew.

Woke theologians who feel people smugglers should control borders, ignore the distinctions in ancient biblical Hebrew regarding the rights and responsibilities of ‘foreigners, sojourners, strangers and aliens’

In Hebrew, the  ‘ger’ is a person who has lawfully entered a nation (or empire) and has met all the legal criteria to remain, including contributing to it, otherwise, this person could only pass through as a ‘foreigner,’ or ‘nekhar,’ with few rights. The Israelites were forbidden to oppress both. But denying citizenship to a foreigner and sending them home was not regarded as oppression by God. In fact, it was regarded as legal, just and in the case of the ‘nekhar’ who follow false gods, holy.

‘Ger’ in Hebrew means ‘resident alien’ and ‘nekhar’ is a ‘foreigner.’ The distinction in the Bible is significant and neglected by woke theologians and politicians when considering migrants

Those in the West who want criminal smugglers to control the southern border of the United States, the English Channel and the borders of the European Union, ignore the Bible’s teaching on borders, citizenship and the sin of lawlessness.

In the Bible, Israelites were called ‘ezrach.’ An ‘ezrach’ was a native-born citizen of Israel. The great-grandchild of a ‘ger,’ a resident alien, received the right to be identified as a native-born citizen or ‘ezrach’

Translating ancient texts concerning civilisations that lived thousands of years ago is polemical. To further complicate the situation, in the ancient world there was no such thing as a ‘refugee’ or ‘economic migrant.’ People were known as ‘aliens’ or ‘sojourners,’ and almost everyone was poor and oppressed. To complicate understanding of the Bible, from the time of Moses to Jesus, approximately 1,400 years passed and the rules concerning the ‘Ger’ and ‘nekhar’ changed, as did the status of the people of the Bible.

Moses said, “Please let us pass through your country. We will not pass through fields or vineyards, nor will we drink water from wells; we will go along the King’s Highway; we will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory”

– Numbers 20:17

As Moses and Israel discovered, if you entered a nation (or empire) illegally, you could be killed. If you were permitted to enter a nation, you were required to support yourself and your family through hard work. There was no right to financial support just for crossing a border or living in a foreign land. You couldn’t claim citizenship in ancient Israel, you had to earn the right to citizenship.

In the Bible, the third generation of immigrants born in Israel could call themselves ‘ezrach,’ a native-born and claim all the rights as citizens

–  Deuteronomy 23:7-8

As prime minister of Egypt, Joseph still had to have permission for his family to enter the nation and receive the opportunities it gave them. Travel to another nation is a privilege, not a right and the Hebrews became ‘resident aliens.’ They never became Egyptians; they were always Hebrews living in Egypt (Genesis 45:16-28).

Pharoah said, “Bring your father and your households and come to me”

– Genesis 45:18

The ancient world’s legal status concerning ‘citizens, strangers and aliens,’ persists in the New Testament, with Christians recognising they are not ‘strangers’ or ‘aliens’ in the Kingdom of God, but have full rights as ‘citizens’ (Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 3:20, 1 Peter 2:11, Hebrews 11:13).

Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people”

– Acts 21:39

In a surprising and often ignored verse in the Bible, God told the Israelites to close Israel’s borders, except for those who were willing to live according to their faith and cultural values. God wanted the Israelites to protect their identity, faith, culture and way of life because the promise of Abraham was woven into the revelations of ancient Israel. To cede their borders, was to cede God’s promise.

I will establish your borders…do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you

– Exodus 23:31-33

Moses warned the Israelites that trying to establish a multifaith society will lead to the fundamental principles of Israelite society being abolished and the purpose of Israel will be undone. All of God’s plan for Israel would be shattered if they welcomed the followers of foreign gods to change the character and nature of Israel (Genesis 17:6-8, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, 2 Samuel 7:23-24, Psalm 105:5-7, Isaiah 43:4-10, Zechariah 8:3, Zechariah 14:9, Romans 3:1-3).

Do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise’

– Deuteronomy 12:30

Ellicott’s Bible Commentary for English Readers on Exodus 23:33 declares: ‘They shall not dwell in thy land: Individuals might remain if they became proselytes, as Urijah the Hittite, Araunah the Jebusite, etc.; and the Gibeonites remained en masse, but in a servile condition. What was forbidden was the co-existence of friendly but independent heathen communities with Israel within the limits of Canaan. This would have been a perpetual ‘snare’ to the Israelites, and would have continually led them into idolatry; as we find that it did during the period of the early Judges (See Judges 1:27-36; Judges 2:11-13; Judges 3:5-7).’

Moses warned that worshippers of foreign gods will be a perpetual ‘snare’ to the Israelites and should not be received as citizens of Israel

God’s purpose in prohibiting migrants from introducing their gods and culture to the Israelite Kingdom was to protect the covenant God made with Abraham. God was revealing Himself to the world through the descendants of Abraham and if they diluted their faith and culture, the heritage would be lost. The prophets rebuked the Israelites many times for doing just this.

Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles”

– Jeremiah 10:2-5

Assimilation, Integration or Transnationalism – What’s Biblical?

How did the Israelites assimilate and integrate foreigners into Israel? Did they create transnationalism based upon multiculturalism, within a multifaith society? In the Old Testament, God commanded non-Israelites to forsake their gods, as a condition to be welcomed into the Israelite Kingdom; this was to compel foreigners to accept their gods had failed them.

He cuts down cedars for himself…he makes a god and worships it. He makes it a carved image and falls down to it. He burns half of it in the fire…and the rest of it he makes into a god. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

– Isaiah 44:14-17

Without forsaking their gods and the culture established by their faith, the migrant would simply recreate the misery again, this time inside the Israelite Kingdom. The migrant had to ask himself, “Why did you want to leave your country and come here, if your god is great? Why has your religion failed your civilisation?”

When they heard the law, they excluded all foreigners from Israel

– Nehemiah 13:3

Those migrants who renounced their gods as failures were welcomed inside the Kingdom of Israel as converts. Hebrew law then provided a ring of steel around their rights, that they were not to be oppressed, used or harassed, because the Israelites had been migrants themselves, oppressed in Egypt.

There was no right to citizenship for foreigners arriving in ancient Israel and God never rebuked the Israelites for failing to open their borders. In fact, He did the opposite

From the days of Moses to King Solomon and King Hezekiah to Nehemiah, those who became resident aliens in God’s nation had to accept Yahweh. The Israelites were evangelists for Yahweh, not compromisers seeking to change Israel by learning about other faiths, cultures and beliefs.

Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, hear in Heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel

– King Solomon, 1 Kings 8:41-42

God cared for migrants and demanded the Israelites treat them with kindness, but first, they had to renounce the beliefs that had failed their civilisation. Also, if someone was travelling through the Israelite Kingdom, God commanded that these people should be protected, but they were not given rights as citizens.

Also, you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt

– Exodus 23:9

Those who refused to renounce their gods as failures were not welcomed as full citizens of Israelite society, even if they found a way to live inside biblical villages, towns and cities, such as the Jebusites, and later Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem (Nehemiah 2:10, 4:1). Sometimes, God declared foreigners who had renounced evil religions, still had to wait ten generations to be accepted as citizens, to purge all the taint of foreign gods.

No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the Lord

– Deuteronomy 23:3

Therefore, the right to remain for the migrant in ancient Israel was based on the expectation that the migrant renounced their failed gods, culture and beliefs. The laws were strict, declaring full Israelite rights were granted many generations after a migrant entered Israel, to ensure full integration. In other words, foreigners were not allowed positions of power so they would not introduce foreign beliefs and values into Israelite law and destroy the heritage of Abraham and Moses.

The children of the third generation born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord

– Deuteronomy 23:8

The need for foreigners to convert to serve the God of the Israelites was so vital that a whole biblical book was written about it. The Book of Ruth shows how those who accept the true God are welcomed into the promise of Abraham. Ruth becomes the great-grandmother of King David and is a direct ancestor of Jesus (Mathew 1:5)

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”

– Ruth 1:16

Ruth worked gleaning in Israel to support herself and her mother-in-law. The principle that one who converts to serve the God of the Bible must work to support themselves and others is repeated in the Old and New Testaments. In the early Church, Christian leaders discovered their charity was being exploited, therefore Paul declared that people had to earn their right to charity by serving. Everyone had to be prepared to give, to support and to work before receiving.

And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not

– 1 Timothy 5:13

Should illegal migrants today receive anything they want – just for breaking the law – and crossing a border? Billions are being spent to house foreigners when citizens live on the streets! When Jesus spoke about the Parable of the Prodigal Son, He noted several things that are important and often overlooked about migration.

  • First, the prodigal receives his legal inheritance and squanders it, and he cannot inherit it again.
  • Second, the prodigal needed permission to reside in another country.
  • Third, the prodigal had to contribute to the nation he was living in by working.
  • Fourth, his father welcomed him back as a son and citizen of his home nation.
  • Fifth, he had to start again with no other claim on his father’s inheritance.

Despite being disappointed by the angry brother, his father did not disinherit him, declaring all that the father possessed would belong to the faithful son. The prodigal was also a son, but not an heir (Luke 15:31).

The same principles of sowing and reaping, rights and responsibilities are found throughout Scripture. Therefore, we have found that the right to remain for the migrant in ancient Israel was founded upon the expectation that the migrant renounces their failed gods, culture and beliefs. The laws were strict, declaring full Israelite rights were granted many generations after a migrant entered Israel, to guarantee full integration. In other words, foreigners were not allowed positions of power in case they introduced foreign beliefs and values into Israelite law and destroyed the heritage of Abraham and Moses.

The children of the third generation born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord

– Deuteronomy 23:8

The New Testament is unequivocally clear that no one is allowed to embrace the role of only being a taker, rather than a contributor. The idea that an economic migrant could borrow money from criminal gangs to travel through five or six safe countries, to migrate to a country of his choice, where he could receive free money from hard-working taxpayers is an abomination to biblical writers, in the Old and New Testament.

When founding the colony of Jamestown, North America, in the spring of 1609, John Smith cited St Paul’s teaching on helping those in need: ‘For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat,’ (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

Countrymen, the long experience of our late miseries I hope is sufficient to persuade everyone to a present correction of himself…the greater part must be more industrious, or starve…You must obey this now for a law, that he that will not work shall not eat (except by sickness he be disabled)

– John Smith, Spring 1609, Jamestown

Those who work in charities providing for economic migrants in Europe have found that a substantial number are young men, with responsibilities, who have abandoned their young wives, children and elderly parents and their duty to run the family business. The pursuit of a wealthier life has led them to abandon their responsibilities at home; Paul says this:

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever

– 1 Timothy 5:8

Each nation has a limited amount of time and money that can be spent on helping refugees and refusing to acknowledge the difference between an economic migrant and a refugee, means the West will have no space or money left to help refugees. At the moment, tax-payers are paying billions to shelter economic migrants, who could have lived safely in the country next door to the one they left.

Britain, A Christian Country. A Nation Defined by Christianity and the Bible, and the Social Changes that Challenge this Biblical Heritage by Paul Backholer

The Old and New Testaments provide a great deal of detail about citizenship and the right to remain. One overlooked example is the promise of Heaven. You have to repent of your sins and accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour for the gates of Heaven – the border – to open to you. There is no automatic right to Heavenly citizenship. Remember, two Hebrew terms help us understand how the ancient Israelite Kingdoms dealt with foreigners, citizenship and borders: ‘ger,’ the resident alien and ‘nokri,’ a foreigner.

From a foreigner you may exact it (payment for debts), but your hand shall release whatever of yours is with your brother

– Deuteronomy 15:3

In the Hebrew Bible, people who were resident aliens, ‘ger,’ were welcome in the Israelite community on the understanding that they accept Yahweh. But as we have found, they are not full citizens until the third generation or more, so their descendants become fully integrated into Israelite society and faith.

You shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner (nokri) over yourselves who is not your countryman

– Deuteronomy 17:15

The term ‘ger’ is used nearly fifty times in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. As an example, the ‘ger’ must enjoy religious rest days, they can work to glean charitable food and should participate in some sacrificial rituals, as an act of worship to the Israelite God (Leviticus 16:29, 17:8, 19:10). Resident aliens were expected to serve Yahweh and participate in worship. The distinction between the stranger living amongst the Israelites and the native, ‘ezrach,’ is defined.

For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger (ger) or a native (ezrach) of the land

– Exodus 12:19

To protect the Israelite faith, culture and society, it was the ‘ger’s’ great-grandchildren, who would be fully integrated into Israelite society, but the ‘ger’ would always be regarded as a ‘resident alien.’ However, even though the full rights of Israelite citizenship were not granted to a stranger or resident alien, the ‘ger,’ should not be discriminated against.

The stranger (ger) 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

– Leviticus 19:34

As we have found, the Hebrew Bible says that the resident alien ‘ger’ is under the protection of the law for both the Israelites and the foreigner living amongst them. As the Israelites were once ‘ger’ in Egypt, they must not oppress the ‘ger’ living amongst them. Exploitation is forbidden.

Refusing full citizenship to a foreigner living amongst God’s people, as a resident alien, is not regarded as oppression in the Israelite and Judean Kingdoms of the Bible. Full citizenship was a right to be earned and was granted to the third generation of their integrated descendants

The foreigner, known as ‘nokri,’ who refused to live by the culture and beliefs of Yahweh, did not receive the same special rights as the ‘ger’ or resident alien. The ‘nokri’ could be sold as a slave or charged interest, but not the ‘ger.’ The ‘nokri’ was recognised as a person who served other gods, resisted God’s will and lived by different values than the Israelites and later Judeans. The ‘nokri’ was regarded as a threat to the continuation of the promise to Abraham and the Kingdom of Israel (Psalm 144:7-11).

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it”

– Exodus 12:43

In this passage, the Lord declares the foreigner shall not eat the Passover, nor enter the Holy places of Yahweh. Their pressure to get Israel to turn away from the true God must always be resisted.

The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them

– Deuteronomy 31:16

This theme of resistance to foreign gods and safeguarding Israel continues throughout the Bible:

The Lord said to me… “Mark well who may enter the house and all who go out from the sanctuary. Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “O house of Israel, let Us have no more of all your abominations. When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it – My house” ’ ” (Ezekiel 44:5-7).

When the Bible rebukes King Solomon for loving foreign women, who served other gods and led his heart astray, it calls these women ‘nokri’ (1 Kings 11:8). In other words, these women never became ‘ger’ – a resident alien who submitted to Yahweh. This distinction is hidden in the Hebrew text. The same word is used in Ezra 10:2, for the Jews who married foreign ‘nokri’ wives. The writer is explaining they married unbelieving wives, who refused the God of Israel, the language of Israel and the culture of Israel.

We have trespassed against our God and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land

– Ezra 10:2

As we have noted, it’s important to recognise the Hebrew Bible does not distinguish between refugees and immigrants. In Bible days, people did not receive benefits such as housing, income and healthcare. Therefore, the refugee and the economic migrant both arrived in the Israelite Kingdom on the understanding that they had to work and contribute. It is also important to appreciate that scholars do not always find the distinction between the ‘ger’ and ‘nokri,’ in the texts of the 1,600 hundred-year chronicle of God’s people in Israel, Judea and whilst under occupation by the Romans, etc.

The Israelites and later the Jews were often foreigners living in other lands, but they alway wanted to return home to Israel to serve Yahweh. Those who did not return home were integrated into pagan society and lost their faith

Jewish Culture was Protected by not Integrating Foreign gods and Pagan Culture

In the Books of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah, the Jews are foreigners in a strange land who hope for home. Some possess dual citizenship and when they return to Israel, Nehemiah demands that the biblical distinction between the Israelite Jew, ‘ger,’ and ‘nokri,’ is re-established. In Nehemiah 13, he declares that the new kingdom will not survive unless the distinction is clear. How can the Jews be Jews, if they marry non-Jews and follow their gods?

Whilst many ancient peoples have disappeared into history because of intermarriage and religious compromise, the Jews have not because of Nehemiah’s insistance to remain true to their God

Several times in the Bible, God’s people are warned that their compassion will be exploited by those trying to destroy God’s plan for His people. These passages are difficult to read, nevertheless, they are God’s word. The warnings about forbidden alliances are given by God (Exodus 23:32, Numbers 25:1-9, Deuteronomy 7:2, Judges 2:2, Isaiah 8:11-12, Ezra 10:1-44, Hosea 4:17, Jude 22).

If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell

– Numbers 33:55
How Christianity Made the Modern World by Paul Backholer

Responsibility or Bailouts? What’s Biblical?

It’s better to teach a man to build a boat that doesnt sink, than to keep rescuing him from the sea

The greatest gift rich countries can give to poor nations is to teach the culture that eradicates extreme poverty: ending wars, ethnic conflict, persecution, corruption, cartels and the power of criminal gangs, and encouraging intelligent planning, hard work, austerity, saving, investment, free speech, religious liberty and democratic accountability, etc. How did the West end extreme poverty and what can be learnt?

A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back to pervert the ways of justice

– Proverbs 17:23

Those who say it is their duty to help anyone who wants to come to a rich country, regardless of legality, need to think through their argument. If you try to make an argument that anyone who is poor has a right to leave their country and try to make it to a rich country, then you concede that the problems of the world can only be solved by everyone migrating to the West or the wealthy East.

You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute

– Exodus 23:3

The Bible says you should not act unjustly and show partiality to someone because they are poor.

Should five billion people all seek to live in the West, Japan, Singapore and South Korea or should they address the reasons for their failed states?

The Bible tells us to take pity on the poor and help those we can, but one of the hardest passages in the Bible is the command to ‘take no pity’ on those who reject God’s will for their own good. This phrase is used over twenty times in Scripture, in various contexts.

Foolish love ignores corruption, tough love speaks the truth for restoration

Those who ignore failed states and refuse to address their problems will ultimately hurt the nations, as they listen to their feelings instead of painful truths (Deuteronomy 13:8, 19:13, 21, 25:12).

Politicians, celebrities, CEOs and social media stars should live what they preach. If they want open borders, they should start at their homes. Tear down your walls, sack your security team, unlock your doors and put up a sign: ‘Everyone is Welcome.’ The chaos that followed will change their minds about open borders

The world’s problems can only be solved by addressing the lawlessness, corruption and failed economic policies of poor countries – by engaging with the world through leadership. As an example, in the year 1900, the average Argentine had the same income as the average American, but while Americans made good choices and grew their wealth in the twentieth century, Argentines wasted their nation’s wealth.

The Bible does not promote open borders. Israel never had open borders and never welcomed all to receive the benefits of citizenship and to worship their own gods (who failed them). Israel guarded the promise of their nation to serve God because their peace and prosperity was built upon it.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it”

– Exodus 12:43

Nevertheless, the Bible is the story of immigrants. Abram, Isaac and Jacob were aliens travelling in a foreign land. Moses fled to Midian and the Israelites fled Egypt. Even David fled to Moab. Later, the Israelites were exiled to Assyria and Babylon. Jesus was an immigrant with His parents fleeing to Egypt for protection (Genesis 11:30-12:20, 28:4-6, 35:27-28, 37:1, Exodus 2:11-22, 12:31-42, 1 Samuel 22:3-4, Matthew 2:13-23).

The Israelites were forbidden to welcome foreigners to enter their land to overthrow their faith and values: Integration was the price for citizenship

Despite being immigrants and sojourners, the Patriarchs and the Israelites came as workers, willing to support themselves and contribute to society. When David fled King Saul, he came to a foreign nation and offered his skills to contribute. Joseph also came to Egypt with provisions, willing to work and support his family. The gold, frankincense and myrrh given by the wise men meant Joseph could travel to Egypt and offer his services as a carpenter. However, the Israelites were forbidden to welcome foreigners to enter their land to overthrow their faith and values. Integration was the price for citizenship.

No layman, however, is to eat the holy gift; a sojourner with the priest or a hired man shall not eat of the holy gift

– Leviticus 22:10

The concept that anyone can enter a foreign nation and claim a free home and unearned income does not exist in the Bible. In biblical days, it was forbidden for one to receive anything without being willing to contribute. The Israelites were also forbidden to welcome foreigners who loved pagan gods and resisted the God of Israel.

On that day they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and there was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God

– Nehemiah 13:1

Criminal Gangs, the Modern Slave Trade and Open Borders

How should we balance the command to Israel to defend their faith and culture, with the commitment to show the compassion of Jesus to those in need? British Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech about migration to the UN General Assembly in 2016, outlining the problem with open borders and issuing three principles to help those in need:

“When criminal gangs do not respect our national borders, trafficking our fellow citizens into lives of slavery and servitude, we cannot let those borders act as a barrier to bringing such criminals to justice…

Despite the huge increase in international efforts, more migrants have died attempting hazardous journeys across borders this year than any other…

There is nothing wrong with the desire to migrate for a better life. And also that controlled, legal, safe, economic migration brings benefits to our economies. But countries have to be able to exercise control over their borders. The failure to do so erodes public confidence, fuels international crime, damages economies and reduces the resources for those who genuinely need protection and whose rights under the Refugee Convention should always be fulfilled…

First, we must help ensure that refugees claim asylum in the first safe country they reach. The current trend of onward movements, where refugees reach a safe country but then press on with their journey, can only benefit criminal gangs and expose refugees to grave danger.

Second, we need to improve the ways we distinguish between refugees fleeing persecution and economic migrants. I believe we must ensure the existing convention and protocol are properly applied to provide protection to refugees and reduce the incentives for economic migrants to use illegal routes. This in turn will help us target support for those refugees who need it most and retain the support of our populations for doing so.

Third, we need a better overall approach to managing economic migration which recognises that all countries have the right to control their borders – and that we must all commit to accepting the return of our own nationals when they have no right to remain elsewhere…

Organised crime groups, who are largely behind this modern slavery, lure, dupe and force innocent men, women and children into extreme forms of exploitation. Trafficked and sold across borders; victims are forced into living the kind of inhumane existence that is almost too much for our imagination. These criminals have global networks to help them make money out of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Victims are held captive in squalid conditions under the constant shadow of violence and forced into sex and labour exploitation…

These organised crime groups work across borders and jurisdictions. And they often use the internet and modern technology to recruit, transport, control and exploit their victims, all the while staying ahead of legal systems that are often constrained by traditional geographical boundaries. So we must take action.”

– British Prime Minister Theresa May UN General Assembly, New York, 20 September 2016

Today, criminal gangs control the Southern border of the United States, the English Channel and the borders of the European Union. Wealthy countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore refuse to cede their borders to such criminals. Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, there is a clear theological basis for a nation to control its own border and for criminals to be punished for lawlessness. Nine times the New Testament warns about lawlessness as a sin.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God

– Romans 13:1

Justice for all also means justice for the millions of our citizens who have no home of their own or who face eviction because taxes are high. It is morally indefensible that homeless Westerns should be paying billions in taxes, to address the issues that arise from giving criminal gangs control over our borders. Criminal gangs and people smugglers are called ‘evil doers’ in Scripture. They are in rebellion against God and the democratically elected order and laws, established by Him.

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good

– 1 Peter 2:13-14

In the New Testament, there is a separation between the state and the individual, who is a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Christians are told to submit to the state, to obey the law and be good citizens. In our personal lives, we are told to care for those who cannot care for themselves and love our neighbour. However, it is a theological fallacy to upend a passage of Scripture about caring for others and manipulating it, to overturn the rule of law and apply it to the state.

When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to

– Acts 16:7

Matthew 25 – The Jews in the End Times or Economic Migrants?

Woke theologians who want open borders argue that Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25 demands open borders. Is it true that a God of law and order wants chaos, lawlessness and criminality at borders? When you read the context of the Lord’s teaching, His primary concern is how the Jew will be treated by the Gentiles at the end of the age.

Jesus describes how the Gentiles will be judged on whether they gave food, drink and shelter to the Jews during the Antichrist persecution period (Matthew 25:31-45). The context is very important and theologians often take this promise of Jesus out of context, when he said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Notice Jesus said, “My brethren,” He is speaking of the Jews in the end times, as this chapter concerns the end of the age.

When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, He will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left

– Matthew 25:31-33

The sheep are those who helped the Jews, the goats are those who ignored their need during persecution. Nevertheless, the teaching of Jesus is fundamentally clear that we must care for those in need “and just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). Caring for those in need is right, but it must be set within the context of all Scripture. We are not serving God’s will by destroying Christendom.

The discussion on how we can be Christ’s hands and feet to those in need, and do so within the boundaries of the teaching of Scripture is complex. Those who reject all context and biblical teaching to embrace a woke open border policy, are teaching lawlessness, as modern-day slave traders abuse our naivety. But Jesus’ teaching on helping others is without dispute. The context of loving our neighbour is set within the boundaries of loving God first. Therefore, are we loving God when we establish houses of idolatry in lands once committed to Christ?

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”

– Mark 12:30-31

The Failure of Multiculturalism

Between 2010 and 2011, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all declared that multiculturalism has “failed.” They joined a chorus of Western leaders including Australia’s former Prime Minister John Howard and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to declare that multiculturalism was an “utter failure.” How then should we treat migrants in the light of their statements and the Bible? Did everyone get a free pass in Scripture?

One of the lessons that Jesus taught in Luke’s Gospel is found in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which showed how a despised outsider acted with compassion and justice, unlike the religious elites (Luke 10:25-37). He also mentioned the healing of Naaman the Syrian leper as an example of God’s grace to the foreigners (Luke 4:27). However, Jesus did not heal everyone who needed it. He only healed those who welcomed Him and repented of their sins, while He left the others at the Pool of Bethesda unhealed (John 5:1-15).

Jesus said, “And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian”

– Luke 4:27

Jesus also pronounced “woe” to those who rejected Him and His message, warning them of God’s impending judgment. He said that some towns and cities, such as Chorazin and Bethsaida would face a worse fate than pagan nations like Tyre and Sidon, because they did not repent despite witnessing His miracles (Luke 10:13). In other words, they reaped what they sowed for choosing to serve the god of their own hearts.

Jesus’ Parable of the Unjust Servant concerns a person who refuses to be scammed by an unjust system

Jesus taught we should be wise with our money and help others using spiritual discernment. “Woe to you who are rich,” Jesus also said, “and woe to you who are full,” because they ignored the needs of the poor and oppressed (Luke 6:24-26). In Luke 16, He told two contrasting stories to illustrate this point. One was about a rich man who suffered in hell for neglecting Lazarus, a poor beggar who lay at his gate (Luke 16:19-31). The other was about a shrewd manager who used his worldly wealth wisely to secure his future (Luke 16:1-13). Both stories represent deep truths about being willing to help those in need and not being scammed by an evil unjust system.

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him

– Luke 16:14

Jesus taught that both helping the needy and honouring God are essential aspects of His kingdom. He did not set the Good Samaritan and Nehemiah as opposite examples, one good and the other evil, but rather as examples for us to learn from. If we ignore either one, we miss the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

– 2 Timothy 3:16

Applying the example of the Israelite kingdoms in light of Christ’s teaching and balancing respect for the rule of law (with care for the stranger) is a contentious issue for many religious leaders. Some quote Christ’s words on welcoming the stranger, but disregard the rest of the Old and New Testament’s teachings on maintaining borders and rejecting lawlessness and idolatry.

Judah has dealt treacherously and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the Lord’s holy institution which He loves: he has married the daughter of a foreign god

– Malachi 2:11

Jihadi Citizens Undermine the West

Woke people in the West argue that it is just to give citizenship and passports to those who support the most extreme Islamist views.

Those who dissolve the value of citizenship, casting it around like confetti, undermine the very civilisation they claim to uphold

Some of these new Western citizens, who were welcomed joined Isis and committed atrocities in Iraq and Syria. In other cases, members of Isis told the West that they would enter Europe and carry out Islamic terror attacks and they did, killing many. Other migrants stayed in the West and held religious views that contradicted the basic values of Christian civilisation. They established Sharia courts that operated outside the law, conducting secret marriages, divorces, adoptions, punishments, and inheritances. In these areas, police officers have to seek permission from the elders to talk to anyone in the community and knowing the hardship, avoid doing so.

Jesus’ words on helping the stranger must be set in the Bible’s context about God’s will for borders, and rejecting lawlessness and idolatry

Author and political commenter Douglas Murray, in his book The Strange Death of Europe, declares the West is undermining its own Judeo-Christian value system, by refusing to believe what the Bible actually teaches.

For the Church of Sweden, the Church of England, the German Lutheran Church and many other branches of European Christianity, the message of the religion has become a form of left-wing politics, diversity action and social welfare projects. Such churches argue for ‘open borders’ yet are circumspect about quoting the texts they once preached as revealed

– Douglas Murray, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam

The teaching in the Bible about immigration is multifaceted. In my heart, I see Christ standing beside and helping the stranger, the alien, the refugee, and the economic migrant. But I don’t think He would be fooled by the Islamist, the scrounger, the ungodly or the worshipper of other gods. We forget He passed by those who refused to repent.

Jesus said, “But unless you repent you will all likewise perish”

– Luke 13:3

The Jesus of the Bible was full of compassion and wisdom. He left the ninety-nine to find the one. His anger was as profound as His love. He was the lion and the lamb. We should not try to make a god in our own image.

Jesus said, “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth”

– Revelation 2:16

Celebrities Don’t Live What They Preach About Open Borders

Before Rome fell, the enlightened rulers of Rome seemed indifferent to their own demise, as they disregarded all the lessons of history. Is the West doing the same? The elite is destroying the faith and culture of the West, whilst refusing to bear the consequences of the disasters of their own making.

“You’re welcome, but not here,” was the message of the millionaire celebrities, politicians and CEOs who lived in Martha’s Vineyard in 2022

The Jews endured thousands of years of persecution, but never lost their identity because they followed the teaching of Scripture to preserve their faith, culture and values. Thousands of ancient peoples and cultures have been lost, but not the Jewish legacy. They never learned to despise all the good that God had done for and through them, as the West now does with Christianity.

Woke celebrities say, “Build bridges, not walls,” but they don’t want bridges to their homes

Loving others does not mean allowing criminal gangs to invade your borders and create modern-day slaves in your nation. Welcoming someone who acts unlawfully is lawlessness. Moreover, sending someone back to their legal homeland is lawful.

Legal citizens, not criminal gangs, must choose how many people can enter their nation

Citizenship and Rights

When each nation controls its own borders, citizens can vote to allow as many migrants as they think is right to join them. Ceding that choice to criminal gangs is evil. Citizenship in the West, Japan, China and South Korea is not an automatic right for all foreigners.

“With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen”

– Acts 22:28

The Jews were told not to compromise on their faith and values because they were the light of the world, a witness to everyone that their God was the only God worth following (Isaiah 49:6). All other gods had failed. Moses, who tells us not to oppress the foreigner, also forbids them from setting up their false gods.

Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods” – which you have not known

– Deuteronomy 13:13

To have no pity on the poor is to reject the Spirit of Christ. To ignore the plight of the working homeless and poor in the West is also to disregard the nature of Christ. The West is getting poorer and millions of its legal citizens have no home of their own and will never earn enough money to buy one.

Woke millionaires refuse to open their mansions to the migrates they embrace with empty words, meanwhile working people don’t have homes

The Hidden Homeless or Migrants?

There are hundreds of thousands of ‘hidden homeless’ people in the West, who are sofa surfing, living with family or friends or staying in B&Bs. Those who can’t find help live on the streets. Many are veterans and wounded souls. Why don’t they matter to woke celebrities and politicians?

Why are the hidden homeless in the West forgotten and despised?

Trying to balance the priority between helping our homeless and discerning the difference between the economic migrant and refugee is an ongoing challenge. In the minds of woke theologians, Jesus ignores poor Christians at home and only sees the followers of false gods coming in their millions to the West.

Why do woke religious leaders ignore the hidden homeless in the West?

As we consider the plight of the poor in the West and overseas, Scripture gives us two great warnings: Don’t ignore the plight of the poor, the widow, and the stranger. And don’t give up everything that God has built for you – this nation – for those who worship false gods that failed them.

Demanding the working poor and hidden homeless to pay billions in taxes to house economic migrants in hotels is a twisted form of social justice

The spirit of Islam or the Spirit of Christ?

“What would Jesus do?” Ask the Messiah who held a whip, overturned tables and said a shocking thing in Mark 7:27. Ask the Saviour who helped just a single outcast and only healed just one person in a town, when so many else were in need. Ask the One with fire in His eyes who speaks with great boldness in the Book of Revelation. The ways of the Lord are beyond us and He sees a heart willing to repent. However, we must never let our hearts grow cold or indifferent to suffering of others. One day it may be us. 

Jesus said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him”

– John 14:23

In the last few years, ancient churches have burned down all over France. It’s happening all the time and the media is ignoring it. Who is burning down churches and why? In 2023, France was rocked by riots and chaos, mostly from Muslim migrants unhappy with their lot. The media says France is to blame for being bigoted, Islamophobic and intolerant. I wonder what the view from Heaven is. The same Bible with the claims of Jesus also includes the claims of St John, the beloved.

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son

– 1 John 2:22

Will Christ praise those who turned Christendom into a multifaith misery of chaos or will He scorn us for doing too little? Will He thank us for making Sharia Courts possible in the West and will He scorn us for welcoming unjust practices from foreign gods? Does blind compassion lead to conversion of the foreigner or us? Is the Muslim world surrendering its values and fundamentally changing or is it the West?

And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel

– Ezekiel 39:7

A multiracial society will be strong when it’s founded upon Christianity, but a multifaith society will tear itself apart, just as the news proves. Christianity gave us the United States, Britain and France; Islam gave the world Iran, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan. The power of faith to change nations is real and is outworking itself daily.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord

– Psalm 33:12

How the future of the West unfolds is dependent upon us embracing the warnings declared by Jesus in the Book of Revelation. If we refuse to be the light to the world, as He asks, He will remove our lampstands.

Jesus said, “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place”

– Revelation 2:5

The Bible is not a pick-n-mix bag where you can embrace one passage that suits your belief, but reject the others. The exhortation to care for the people and the demand to defend God’s Kingdom exist together. In my book, Britain, A Christian Country, I explain how faith in the Bible transformed Britain and how the rejection of this faith is creating a splintered nation:

For a society to function and be identified as one nation there must be shared values, and a sense of common identity. In a democratic society, with a strong Christian heritage, there are certain convictions which must be unwavering – the impartial rule of law, freedom of expression and religious liberty, the respect for all life, equality among the sexes and the need for a democratically accountable government. Unfortunately, events of recent years have proved that not all, in various cultures or faiths, are able to accept these minimums for a functioning cohesive and peaceful society

Britain, A Christian Country, Society and Shared Values by Paul Backholer, ByFaith Media, p199

St Paul ultimately exhorts that it is faith in Christ which unifies us, settles differences and makes us one people, under one God. Our citizenship is in Heaven, but as we wait for our redemption, we can be united in the promise of Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus

– Galatians 3:28

By Paul Backholer. Find out about Paul’s books here.

Sources and Notes