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The Stranger: Immigrants, Scripture, and the American Dream is a film by the Evangelical Immigration Table that takes a hard look at immigration and what the Christian attitude should be regarding these issues. One of the big current political issues is immigration and how we should respond to people coming over our borders, both legally and illegally. Many people claim that we shouldn’t allow other people into the country. We need to focus on who we have and grow America as it is. Many people, including many Christians, are incensed by the idea of “foreigners” entering our country and bringing their own traditions, customs, and heritage to our nation. We don’t like the idea of them trying to change America or shape it more like their country.
Many Christians don’t know what to think of this massive political issue. We know the Biblical description which says we should provide for them and welcome foreigners into our land. There is another side of us, however, the inner modern American in us, that doesn’t like the idea of others coming into our country. We like to think of America as a proudly English-speaking country with our own distinct nature and style. However, we forget about what America was originally designed to be and how it was supposed to be a welcoming place for all to come and enter. Even more importantly, we forget the Biblical standpoint which commands us to welcome strangers with open arms. The Stranger is a convicting documentary that will change the way you look at immigration and encourage you to study it anew from a Biblical perspective.
This is a 40-minute documentary produced by Emmy-award winner Linda Midgett. Commissioned by the Evangelical Immigration Table, this film chronicles the lives of three immigrants and their journeys and experiences in America. In addition, we will also hear from several prominent church leaders and come to understand their takes on the immigration issue. Through the thoughts of church leaders, bible verses, and the true stories of immigrants currently living in America, The Stranger tells a compelling story and makes a truly convincing argument. Produced by Vision Video, this movie appeared in theaters in 2014 and released on DVD in March of 2016.
The Stranger delivers a very strong message and is punctuated by several Bible verses – we as American Christians have been looking at the issue of immigration completely wrong. Whenever we begin talking about the issue or about immigration reform, we always discuss it from a very political standpoint. Very rarely do we mention God or discuss the issue from a religious perspective. We as Americans like to parrot the words we’ve heard through media sources and television and simply declare that we shouldn’t keep the illegal immigrants in the country and perhaps we shouldn’t even let others in at all. We hold very selfish ideals about the issue and question whether we should allow any foreigners into our country at all.
We hold this Modern American line of thinking that America is about our American culture, speaking English and all things that supposedly originated in this country. What we often forget, though, is that America was built as a place for any and all to come. We have a country of freedom here, and part of the original intent was to bring that freedom to the whole world. Anyone seeking refuge from persecution or mistreatment could come to America and find a new life and home here. Over recent decades, we’ve lost that vision, now trying to keep everything more contained and closed off in America.
There are many different reasons why we don’t want to let foreigners into our country. Some of these are legitimate reasons and need to be looked into, but most of these are just plain selfishness. We don’t like the idea of other cultures or influences being brought into our American culture. It makes us uncomfortable and selfishly, we don’t want any part of this. We don’t want to be accepting of others and we don’t want to share our freedom with others. This is a very modern attitude, and as this documentary explores, a rather selfish and non-Christian one.
What The Stranger helps to uncover is that as Christians, we’re supposed to take in strangers and accept people from other places and communities. Many American Christians today don’t accept this fact and try to live a very closed off and isolated life. We have become obsessed with the idea of protection ad security. We want to know that we will always be safe, and one of the ways we feel we can have safety is to keep other strangers out from America. If we truly claim to be Christians, though, we need to look at the Bible and see what it has to say on these issues. When we begin to do that, we find that there are numerous verses talking about feeding others and providing shelter to the foreigner. One of the men interviewed in this documentary asks a question of what is more important – keeping the illegal aliens out of our country, or letting them in so we can spread the news of Jesus to them? If we remember our calling in the Great Commission, it orders that we spread the news of His saving grace to the whole word. Couldn’t part of this be evangelizing to those who come into our country, rather than trying to get rid of them and live in our safe, isolated corner of the world?
The Stranger: Immigrants, Scripture, and the American Dream is an interesting film that focuses on a very unique issue facing America right now. It is sure to change a lot of minds and convict a lot of people about the issue and hopefully cause them to realize that their selfish attitude concerning this issue is not even close to biblical. Using verses from the Bible and real-life examples in scripture, the filmmakers hope to inspire hospitality and enlightenment concerning these issues. If you are undecided on issues of immigration or are interested in seeing a new perspective, The Stranger is an excellent documentary to watch.
The Stranger: Immigrants, Scripture, and the American Dream is an interesting film that focuses on a very unique issue facing America right now. It is sure to change a lot of minds and convict a lot of people about the issue and hopefully cause them to realize that their selfish attitude concerning this issue is not even close to biblical.