Rethinking Citizenship


Perhaps you remember as I do a tradition of immigration to this land. My first ancestors came to these shores in the first waves of migration following the deluge. They ultimately became known as the Penobscot Indians. Then those bearing my surname came here in 1635 Anno Domini. I am the descendant of immigrants.

Here in this land there is no one who can claim to be original. We are all descendants of immigrants to these shores. But I recall hearing about the immigrants that came through Ellis Island.  They wanted to learn English. They wanted to breathe free. They wanted to become Americans and not to make America in the image of the decrepit land they were leaving. 

Now it appears too many immigrants come here with demands.  They demand a handout, a welfare check, free medical care and government housing. They demand to be taught in their own language. They demand special privileges such as affirmative action. They demand ethnic studies that glorify their culture. In fact they even go further. Consider this statement made by Augustin Cebada of the Brown Berets de Aztlán, a paramilitary offshoot of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), delivered during a Fourth of July rally held outside the Federal Building in Westwood, California, in 1996:

"Go back to Boston! Go back to Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get out! We are the future. You are old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you. Leave like beaten rats. You old white people. It is your duty to die. Even their own ethicists say that they should die; that they have a duty to die. They're taking up too much space, too much air.... Through love of having children, we are going to take over."

That statement was made 18 years ago.

The question of immigration is a very real and very volatile one. As Disciples of Jesus Christ we cannot respond to this question by following whatever might be popular, or considered politically correct, or even where our own desires might lead us, we must follow the commands of God's Word. Jesus taught us in Mark 12:31 "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

Here is the important principle we saw in my last article. Because there is only One True God, there is only One True Law. That Law is therefore universal; it applies to all human's no matter what his condition. So those outside the Covenant are not committed to the legal system of the One True God. Nonetheless, that legal system is just, righteous and true, and therefore it applies to them whether they like it or not. Let us continue from last week's study by turning to Exodus 12:49, which provides: "One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you."

Strangers in the land do not have the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. Here is where I think we have the hardest time given our indoctrination in the unbiblical ideas of civil government in our day. Basically most American's believe that if you can put a mirror to the nose of an individual over the age of 18 and they can fog the glass, then they should be allowed to vote. But why do we believe that? Just consider what that means today.

As a country we are at that tipping point. More people are taking from the system than producing. That is a sure recipe for disaster. Currently I understand some 47% of American households receive some form of welfare. If those persons are allowed to vote, what will happen? Welfare recipients vote more money for their selves, and you see the plundering of the productive work force take place.

Loving thy neighbor means protecting their God given rights as Exodus 12:49 commands. That means preserving the structure of civil government from all who would pervert the civil government into an agency of legalized plunder, whereby the God given rights of no one would be safe and secure. This means, as we have seen in the commands of Scripture that we restrict citizenship to those who, because they are committed to the Covenant of Disciples of Jesus Christ, are willing to submit themselves to serve in the roles of responsibility in choosing leaders who will preserve God ordained order. Those who will serve as Jurors, committed to do justice in judging the law by the eternal standard of God's Law. Those who will serve when called up as Representatives to serve in civil government to do justice by God's Law, and those who will put themselves in harm's way serving in the Militia – only in just wars as defined by God's Law.

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About David Whitney
Rev. David Whitney has been teaching the Christian heritage and history of our country with Institute on the Constitution for over a decade where he serves as Senior Instructor, and Radio show host on Dr. Stan Monteith’s Radio Liberty. David is an Honors Scholar graduate from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree from Denver Seminary. A minister for 32 years he is currently the Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena, Maryland. As an member of Clergy, Activist and Radio personality David has appeared in Washington Times, on Voice of America, Fox, ABC, NBC, CSPAN, BBC, and more…