The Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention shares a similar concern as the prior two denominations; that is, that the treatment of illegal immigrants is biblically grounded and formed around the Christian-Judeo principle of “caring for the least among us.” But they differ remarkably from the Catholics and the Mormons when it comes to taking the federal government to task for failing to secure the borders and for the lax enforcement of immigration laws.

In an October 2007 article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Richard Land, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention cited the resolution passed on illegal immigration in June of 2006, which called for the following:

The federal government to provide for the security of our nation by controlling and securing our borders;

The United States Congress to address seriously and swiftly the question of how to deal realistically with the immigration crisis;

The federal government to enforce all immigration laws; and

Christian churches to act redemptively and reach out to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all immigrants.

Mr. Land goes on to say, “The American people, many Southern Baptists included, wanted a far more tangible commitment from the government that it would take border security and enforcement more seriously first. Only then would they give their support to any plan to resolve the issues surrounding the millions of immigrants who are already in the country illegally.”

Mr. Land concludes with this paragraph. “Although it is our prayer that Congress would come together on a true comprehensive immigration reform package that addresses this issue in a morally responsible way, we serve a higher authority and will not be impeded in fulfilling our biblical injunction to care for those in need (Matthew 25: 34-40).”

Compared to the Catholics and Mormons, the Southern Baptists come down harder on the side of border security and law enforcement, and have not put priority on any immediate amnesty for those currently living in the shadows of immigration law. Nonetheless, Mr. Land makes it very clear that Baptists have a right under Biblical authority to render care to the undocumented, and will not be deterred by secular laws to the contrary.

Return to Immigration: A Noble Notion Gone Bad.