The Mosaic Law, Foreigners, and the Church

A few days ago I posted Deuteronomy 10:17-19 on Facebook in reference to how Christians should respond to immigrants and refugees who come to America. It reads:

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

A representative of the New York Bible Society distributing bibles and religious literature to the emigrants at Ellis Island
A representative of the New York Bible Society distributing Bibles and religious literature to the emigrants at Ellis Island

Predictably, my post was met with comments informing me that I was wrong to apply this passage to the current situation because it’s part of the Mosaic Law, and therefore, applicable only to Israel, not to the Church. Every major Evangelical commentary, however, disagrees with that sentiment.

In Be Equipped, for example, Warren Wiersbe writes that “God has a special concern for the helpless, especially the widows, the orphans, and the homeless aliens” and that “God’s dispensations change but His principles never change,” while the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary says, “Clearly the Christian is no different from Israel in this respect and the emphasis of this verse on social concern is equally applicable.” The Word Biblical Commentary says, “What Moses emphasized was simply a vital relationship with God that is worked out in terms of specific responsibilities toward our neighbors,” and the New American Commentary emphasizes that loving the foreigner is part of loving one’s neighbor. Continue reading The Mosaic Law, Foreigners, and the Church