Mariner’s Church Featured in WSJ Story on Evangelicals Leading on Immigration

In the “good news, bad news” department, Mariner’s Church in Irvine is prominently featured in a page one story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal (and the story is behind a paywall–get used to it), and the story is about how Evangelical Christian churches are trying to lead the way in the debate over immigration reform.  And that’s the good news.

The bad news is the members of Mariner’s Church, which numbers about 14,000 people who are mostly conservative, are not responding to the message and sermons on the plight of undocumented immigrants.

Quoting the story, Mariner’s pastor Kenton Beshore told the Journal: “We took a hit on it (immigration).  We had people who walked out and whose giving went away.”  Beshore told the Journal the campaign on immigration reform was part of the reason why the Church had a half-million dollar deficit for 2012.

The story is about how Evangelical Christian churches and their leaders are now starting to urge Republican legislators to support a path to citizenship based “on their readings of Bible teachings.”  A Wall Street Journal poll of Christians of all faiths shows that 62 percent of white evangelicals believe undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the US legally compared with 35 percent who believe these immigrants should be forced to leave.  And while that’s striking, it’s also the lowest with Protestants weighing in with 69 percent in favor to Catholics at 73 percent to Black Protestants at 84 percent.

Rev. Beshore is one of 300 Evangelical church leaders who will descend upon Washington next week to lobby Congress, specifically Republicans, on pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  Good luck with that.

More tidbits from the story:

“Mr. Beshore said some members (of Mariners) accused the church of taking a political position that flouted U.S. law after preaching about immigration in the fall.

“I tell my people they need the poor far more than the poor need them. That’s what a follower of Christ should do,” said Beshore.

When the pastor announced a “conversation on immigration at a Sunday service in March 2012, the church campus erupted in chatter, recalled Fred Gladney, an associate elder: “People were asking each other, ‘Why are we doing this? Why do we need this? Is there a position the church is doing to drive?'”

The story cites a book by Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang, called “Welcoming the Stranger” which offers a Christian argument for changes to immigration law. Soerens told the Journal, “If immigrants are our neighbors, then we are called bibically to love them in interpersonal interaction and the public policy side we support.”

Rev. Beshore told the Journal in emails from members said the discussion in March was one-sided and anti-patriotic.

So while it appears Evangelical church leaders see a need to reform our nation’s immigration laws, it doesn’t sit well with those who fill the seats for services and place contributions in the basket.  Color my cynical, but with Ralph Reed aiding the effort of evagelical Christians on immigration reform, it’s not about helping undocumented immigrants but about providing a means of political cover for conservative candidates for the next election cycle.

  4 comments for “Mariner’s Church Featured in WSJ Story on Evangelicals Leading on Immigration

  1. April 9, 2013 at 9:09 am

    That’s funny: I don’t pay for the Journal, yet I read the article for free. Stop trying to make excuses for the Register’s laughable paywall.

    • April 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Good for you; we subscribe but ethically speaking, I’m only offering a public link that anyone can access. As for your instruction, it inspired a post.

      The only laughable thing about the paywall is the claim its not hackable. I don’t believe that for a second.

      Be consistent. You rag on Catholics, folks who bash Immigrants, but bestow hero worship to a mysogynist who degrades women for sport. Replace the word women with “Mexicans” and you’d be all over it.

  2. April 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Obviously the Mainer’s Church members that walked out and stopped donating have more concern for the poor than the delusional Church leaders.
    When an ‘illegal immigrant’ (a term that is offensive to the Associated Press) is rewarded with a ‘Green Card’ or a “Temporary Worker Status” then their immigration status in no longer illegal; and then the 11.9 to 20+ million previously illegal immigrants will have access to a wide array of public assistance programs including Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families TANF, Supplemental Security Income, child care assistance, food stamps, and a variety of other welfare benefits and public aid programs. The long-term unfunded liability for ObamaCare would grow to $2 trillion.

    The Mainer’s Church’s pastors are blind to the logical inconsistency between the $500,000 budget deficit for 2012 and the sited poll numbers that support Comprehensive Amnesty Reform legislation. The Pastors focus on selected verses that are taken out of context to justify their Open Borders Agenda. They become devils to America’s poor.

  3. April 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

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