Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It has been proposed by some that people of any nation should be allowed to freely cross the borders of the U.S.A. without presenting proper identification, i.e., passport and visa. After all - who set these boundaries? Who really owns the land? Do people not have the right to pursue peace and happiness backed by good paying jobs? It was reported to me that the Maasai (a tribe in Kenya, East Africa) believed for years that all the land belongs to God. Cattle belongs to man. Cows, sheep, and women and children were their property. As long as there was water and sustenance they stayed in one place. When the grazing lands grew thin - it was time to move on. No one stopped them as long as they could find grazing land with water. Nowadays, however, the Maasai are laying legal claims to land in the courts of Kenya. Governments have found laws necessary to civil society.

Now it is being claimed by some that people who work for the government are "harassing" those who do not meet the conditions prescribed by law. They are accused of being unjust and oppressive. It's like a soccer coach being told that he is oppressive because he applies the rules of the game and penalizes a player who committed foul play. Rules/laws are a must if we are to live alongside each other. Romans 13 gives some basic rules for maintaining peaceful and orderly lives. So what is the responsibility of the Church to illegal aliens? Must we support them and help them? Or are we duty bound to protect them?
While I do love every immigrant (even those who are illegal) I do not feel that we are obligated by the Holy Bible to protect them and allow them to break the immigration laws. Yes, the Bible teaches that every individual is loved by God and is a person of worth. There is no one worth more - and there is no one worth less. As the song we learned in Sunday School says, "Red and Yellow, Black and White, all are precious in His sight!" This issue is not about race. This issue is about rules. Should we, or should we not obey or be subject to the civil law of the country in which we live and work?
One of the issues here is civil obedience to the law of a country. As many of you are aware, I have been a missionary, working in a foreign field. When I went to any of the many countries I have been to as a missionary I always did my best to obey all of their laws, including immigration laws. I made my presence known. I presented my passport and visa as required. I paid all taxes required by the host government. I felt that this was a Biblical obligation according to Romans 13. While some seem to believe that they have the right to dis-obey the law in order to be missionaries, I have not (in the past) nor can I now, advocate sending a missionary into a country illegally. I'm aware that there are some of my good respectable brethren who feel it is o.k. to go "undercover" as missionaries. I have no axe to grind with them; no quarrel with them. They do not have to give an account to me. However, I prefer to obey the laws of the countries involved.
One more point - on immigration laws here in America - I have some Christian brothers who are illegal aliens here in America. I'm convinced that they have accepted Jesus Christ as their only Savior and they trust him to go to heaven when they die. There are also some Christian brothers, saved by the same Lord Jesus Christ who work for the United States border patrol. They have a job to do. Just as in the case of the coach who calls the rules of the ball game, I cannot call them oppressive when they act on the orders of their government.

1 comment:

jack69 said...

A very good post Fred. I agree 100% with the facts and theory. I regret that the law was not enforced years ago. IF so maybe, just maybe, we would not be in such bad shape as we are economically. This is a tough situation, especially if a friend is an 'illegal'.

I hate it when law enforcement starts to pick and choose which rule or law is to be enforced.

Keep 'em coming this was a 'good-un'.
Love from NC
Sherry & Jack

BTW the Matthews said to say hi when I saw you.

About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton