As Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, the oldest Apostolic Pentecostal church organization in the modern world, I join with other members of the faith community to implore the United States government to not only end its policy of separating children from parents at the nation’s southern border, but to reunify those families already separated.
We understand and respect the government’s responsibility to protect its borders. However, since April, the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has subjected all undocumented persons crossing the border to immediate prosecution and separation of families. We believe this is an unnecessary, cruel, and un-Christian approach and practice.
Regarding strangers, the aggrieved, and infirmed, our Bible teaches us to receive and care for them with dignity.
Jesus viewed the refusal to care for those in need grimly. “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.” – Matthew 25:45-46
Love for the entire family of humanity is a cornerstone of Christian living. It is God’s will, and we should endeavor to live up to that standard daily. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection exemplifies that reality.
The Apostle Paul proclaimed it plainly in his letter to the Galatians. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:12
Further, a famous creed on our Statue of Liberty points to this nation’s character. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Emma Lazarus 1883.
Obfuscation and deception is an affront to God as the Bible declares with these words, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20. After all… Zero Tolerance should not mean Zero Compassion!