IMMIGRATION: All the Gospel to All the World -- Next Door
With earnest regard to the immigration crisis, Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (USA) recently wrote in the Pentecostal Evangel, “The U.S. AG today is 23 percent Hispanic. In both Hispanic and non-Hispanic churches, concern has risen about the current immigration crisis and the rhetoric surrounding it. It is that same apolitical concern to reach every soul that led many of our U.S. AG district superintendents to convene to discuss the fear and confusion they were hearing following the 2016 presidential election.
- From a pastoral perspective, how would they handle homes potentially being split up from “mass deportations?”
- How could ministers continue to effectively reach the immigrants in their own communities who likely have significant fears — even unsubstantiated fears?
- How could the church be a source of healing in a divided land?”
- Dr. Wood continued, “Then a unique opportunity presented itself as many of these superintendents were able to raise questions and concerns with President-elect Trump’s transition team. They received the following clarifications:
- The ‘deportations’ mentioned by the Trump administration would only apply to criminal felons.
- The incoming administration would seek to protect children of immigrants by replacing Obama’s executive order (DACA) with official legislation.
- The president-elect intends to build a wall, secure the border, and end illegal immigration.
- Once the border is secured and e-verify components are incorporated within the workplace, Trump would work with Congress to legalize and integrate the ‘terrific, God-fearing, hard-working, undocumented individuals and families.’”
Further addressing his denomination, Dr. Wood writes, “While these clarifications may prove encouraging to some and discouraging to others, the mission of the Assemblies of God has never been political and we do not advocate for anyone to break or subvert the law. This Fellowship clearly exists for evangelism, worship, discipleship, and compassion. As a church we are far more concerned with who is saved or not saved rather than who is documented or undocumented. Our mission is “that none perish.” To read the entire article, click the link below.