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What a fun post!

(1) The song 'I want to fall in love with you' was such a formative piece of music with me. For a good year or so, it was the vessel for my teenage angst, wanting to please God but also being desperate to fit in.

(2) I learned guitar in large part thanks to this album, playing these songs at campfires in early 2000's to impress Christian girls.

(3) When I worked at a Christian University in the mid-2010's, one of the funner projects that I had was coordinating mission and service-learning trips. For one of the trips, we sent a group of students down to Nashville, to serve and think about the intersection between faith and popular culture. I made a tonne of cold calls for them, helping them to connect with anyone willing to chat about faith and music. One of the guys from Jars of Clay (I forget who) agreed to meet with the students for coffee. When they came back, they were so impressed by his humility, hospitality, and eagerness to just get to know them. For some, it was the highlight of the trip!


Dan, you write that

"...people deserve the ability to immigrate legally, in search of finding a better nation than the one they left, one that was founded on Biblical morality, economic freedom, and political accountability... Such immigrants are welcomed with open arms!" (emphasis mine).

Your argument implies 'two types' of people crossing the: legal, and "illegal". This is too simplistic.

Many people who cross the border (at designated border crossings or not) are refugees, or asylum seekers.

A refugee is not an immigrant, but a person needing protection.

The 1951 Declaration on Refugees "asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom. This is now considered a rule of customary international law." Nations have a moral duty from both law and biblical precedent to welcome refugees and asylum seekers, even those who have illegally crossed the border.

At least, dividing people into "legal" and "illegal immigrant" pits Christian compassion against the rule of law obfuscates our real responsibility to people who've fled persecution.




I agree that asylum seeking is ideally done according to the 'legal' process.

However, asylum-seeking is a universal human right, whether people have crossed a border illegally or not.

When someone is fleeing for his/her life and the legal option can take years (and forces separation of children and parents) I wonder if this makes 'illegal' crossing the best option for people.

It's never illegal to be asylum seeking, no matter how you crossed a border. I am concerned about language of 'legal' vs 'illegal' that criminalizes people who are trying to make the best of a terrible situation.

Hi Marc,

Agree on all these points. Again, my concern is that legitimate asylum claimants are stereotyped as "illegals" or criminals in the current debate. As Christians we're specifically called to care for this group, and I mourn that the national debate doesn't allow for this.

Doug and Dan,

Thanks all for your thoughts. I agree with you that border security, including barriers and monitoring where appropriate, is crucial, and that false asylum-seeking is extremely problematic.

On the following,

(1) Doug, you write "I don't think "legitimate asylum seekers are being stereotyped as 'illegals' or criminals," Steve, at least by most people, on whatever side of the aisle." -- I'm not sure I agree. I think that much political discourse, from the top down, does serve to minimize the legitimate crises and challenges that many are facing.

(2) Dan, you write that "People seeking asylum are 100% able to do so safely and legally." In what I've read and my little experience with Canadian asylum seekers, I don't see that a legal asylum process that keeps people for 'folding' and separates families is offering a safe and fair process for all. This is course another conversation altogether though.

(3) Doug, you write "that most asylum claims, especially from south of the border, are in fact faux." I'd like to see numbers on this. Again, I'm worried that statements like this minimize the experiences of many vulnerable people.

I'll have to leave it here though. Much love to all of you living on my southern border,


Found this thread while searching for this info.


 The status test in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) context is normally met where an individual is ordained for service.  The function test requires the individual to be in charge of or ministering to a congregation (loosely defined) or to be engaged exclusively in full-time administrative service.

I serve in a non-ordained leadership role in a CRC. The function of the role is quite similar (in some cases identical) to what an 'executive pastor' might do. (staff supervision, oversight of ministry goals, etc.).


Does this mean I could qualify for a housing exemption?


If the answer is yes, then (to push things a bit), can our 'administrative assistant' also apply?

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