Summary: This sermon examines how Jesus would vote on immigration.
Ethnic jokes exploit ethnic stereotypes. The format is usually where the butt of the joke is a person who belongs to an ethnic group singled out for abuse. So, for example, the English tell jokes about an Irishman, the Canadians about a Newfoundlander, the Americans about a Polish person, and the English-speaking South Africans about a character named “Van der Merwe.”
When I was in the Evangelical Free Church of America, I learned that the Swedish people told ethnic jokes about the Norwegians. The President of the Evangelical Free Church of America at that time, Dr. Thomas MacDill, loved to tell jokes, and often ethnic jokes about the Norwegians.
One evening, while addressing several thousand people at the Free Church’s General Conference, in an apparent sense of contrition about the inappropriateness of ethnic jokes, Dr. MacDill said the following, “For years I have made fun of the Norwegians. I realize now that making fun of another ethnic group is insulting and offensive. But I have so many jokes, and I wondered if there was a way to use my jokes without insulting any ethnic group. Then I thought about the Hittites. They lived back in Old Testament times, and there are no Hittites today. So, I won’t be in any danger of offending anyone if I tell jokes about the Hittites.”
Then Dr. MacDill proceeded to tell a joke, “There were two Hittites. Their names were Olie and Sven. . . .”
Ethnic jokes often poke fun at immigrants. Immigrants are at a disadvantage because they are usually not in a position to respond without negative repercussions.
We are currently in a series titled, “How Would Jesus Vote?” We are examining key issues that confront us today and asking how Jesus would vote, if he were here.
Today, as we continue in our series on “How Would Jesus Vote?” I want to examine “Immigration.” What does the Bible have to say about immigration? How would Jesus vote regarding immigration?
I would like to draw your attention to Matthew 25:31-46:
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
One of the major issues in this election is immigration.
Last year the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a bill discussed in the 110th United States Congress. The bill would have provided legal status and a path to legal citizenship for the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. The bill was portrayed as a compromise between legalization of illegal immigrants and increased border enforcement: it included funding for 300 miles of vehicle barriers, 105 camera and radar towers, and 20,000 more Border Patrol agents, while simultaneously restructuring visa criteria around high skill workers. The bill received heated criticism from all sides in the debate, and was never approved as it died through a series of votes on amendments.