I’ve noted that some in ACNA are dragging us into divisive immigration politics. The Anglican Multiethnic Network (AMEN) and Caminemos Juntos, self-described as “entities of the Anglican Church in North America dedicated to helping the province better reflect the diversity of North America in our local churches” are among the culprits. The latest from them explicitly asks for citizenship for “dreamers”:
We therefore ask those entrusted with the role of governing and legislating to provide a comprehensive solution to the wider immigration issue that includes a path to citizenship for those children raised here who only know this place as their home.
Leaving aside the question of whether the federal government should do this (Except for those who serve in the military, I am adamantly opposed to citizenship for illegals.), this is not appropriate for a church organization to do. If individuals in ACNA want to push for - or against -amnesty on their own time and without ACNA’s name being attached to it, fine. But AMEN’s act is as inappropriate and divisive as, say, me and the likeminded in ACNA forming the REAL Anglican Massive Edifice Network (REAL AMEN), associating ourselves with ACNA as AMEN and Caminemos Juntos does, and agitating to Build the Wall.
I very much want to “build the wall” and secure our borders. But I have enough discernment and concern for unity not to push for that under ACNA’s auspices. I do that on my own time and without attaching ACNA’s name to it.
Should the church ever intervene in politics? Yes, when there are biblical principles that clearly apply and when there is a church-wide consensus on how to apply them. Such areas are freedom of religion, abortion, and the persecution of Christians.
Whether illegals should have a path to citizenship is not such an area. There is not a consensus in ACNA about that. Therefore what AMEN and Caminemos Juntos just did puts secular political preferences above the unity of ACNA. Sadly, this is not the exception but a pattern from some of ACNA’s leadership.
UPDATE: I may have been overly charitable in saying ACNA was dragged into this. They have posted this statement on the church website itself. (You may have to scroll down.)