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If you don’t know him, Rev. Joel Hunter is a senior pastor of the Evangelical Northland Mega-Church in Orlando, Florida. To outsiders, he may not seem like the most obvious leader in the fight for immigration reform. Turns out, he’s been a true leader on immigration reform, for no other reason than he believes in living out what the Bible says.
You know, that pesky verse that says,… “love your neighbor as yourself,” of all things.
He writes beautifully to this point in this month’s Sojourners Magazine — here’s a snippet:
The urgency of immigration reform is a spiritual concern, not only an issue of earthly problem-solving or curing the hellish hate and isolation that poison our society. Immigration reform could be the next iteration of our country’s great legacy of making the most of our differences. As I said to the Senate subcommittee:
Including the stranger is not just a matter of compassion but a necessity for greatness. “Loving your neighbor as you love yourself” is not only a moral commandment, but a path to national nobility; if we can build a nation of families and support networks that not only help the marginalized to be successful, but help the successful to be helpful, then we can better live up to our potential as a people.
In the end, I believe our nation will not be judged by the productivity of our budgets, or the genius of our laws, or even the earnestness of our faith communities. We will be judged, both by history and by God, by the way we treated people, especially those who needed our help.