Jeffress: “When you are talking about a Biblical solution to immigration, yes, we need to talk about compassion, but we need to balance that with government’s real responsibility to protect its citizens”
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AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): So tell me about this letter that you penned to the Speaker [Paul Ryan]. Why to the Speaker, and what made you all do this?
ROBERT JEFFRESS: Well, first of all, I did not sign the letter. I was not a signatory on that letter. And look, I think that these leaders got one component of this immigration debate right, talking about Christian compassion. I mean, Jesus said we’re to love our neighbors as ourselves and that our neighbors are not just people like us, but people different than us. But while Christian compassion is one consideration, it’s not the only consideration in the immigration problem. I mean, the Bible also says that God is the one who established nations and its borders. God is not necessarily an open borders guy, as a lot of people would think that he is. And thirdly, the Bible says God has ordained government to protect its citizens. So when you are talking about a Biblical solution to immigration, yes, we need to talk about compassion, but we need to balance that with government’s real responsibility to protect its citizens.
EARHARDT: Isn’t that what they’re saying though? They’re saying valuing and protecting immigrants while also protecting national security.
JEFFRESS: They are, but I think they tend to lean on the side of compassion and don’t balance it like it should. For example, this week we had the pope, once again, lambasting President [Donald] Trump for not doing enough for immigration. And I think these leaders and the pope are sincere, but they’re sincerely confused about the difference between the church and government. And so I think we need to keep those roles distinct.
EARHARDT: It’s tough because the Bible does tell us to honor our authorities, to follow the rule of law, to follow all of the laws, and the laws are clear in this situation, but also have compassion for others. So it is a tough topic. Thank you, Pastor Jeffress, for joining us.