With the astonishing reports of the Church of England facilitating the ability of failed asylum seekers to remain in the country by accepting their approaches to be baptised, we are witnessing a vivid example of the attitude of so many mainstream churches to the whole issue of large scale migration into the U.K. over the last 60 years. As well as always being pro-mass migration, they have also refused to condemn the downright sinfulness before God of illegal entry into Britain.
Let us make no mistake here. The Christian greets and honours his neighbour whoever he is and wherever he comes from, but this is no reason for the United Kingdom not to rigorously control its borders and to allow this small and already overcrowded island to constantly have an open door to whoever wishes to come here from anywhere in the world. The ‘wokery’ of the political establishment and of so many churches ignores the Biblical reality that God Himself has ordained nationhood and national borders (e.g. Deuteronomy 32:8, Acts 17:26), and that Scripture clearly teaches the need to maintain the integrity of those borders.
With specific reference to baptisms into the Christian faith being employed as a means of helping asylum seekers remain in the country, having entered into it illegally, it needs to be emphasised that true baptism requires as a primary condition an acknowledgement of personal sin, and a profound expression of repentance, which must include a genuine setting aside of all known existing sin. Premeditated entry into Britain when one has no legal right to do so is sinful in God’s sight. So true repentance would require returning to the country where the asylum seeker was situated before the sinful act took place. The Lord Jesus Christ said concerning true converts, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). This means that for repentance to be real, there must be no further indulging in one’s previous sins.
With regards to illegal migration, true repentance would also have to include not receiving State benefits, which at the moment are given to those who have just deliberately broken the laws of the land by their unauthorised entry. Such law-breaking is in direct opposition to the Bible’s teaching (see for example, 1 Peter 2:13-14), and no true Christian would be willing to benefit materially from any sinful action.
There have been reports of up to 40 asylum seekers going through the process of becoming Christians on the Bibby Stockholm migrant barge in Dorset. Assuming in particular that many of these converts will be from a Muslim background, this represents nothing short of a mighty spiritual awakening, because such large scale conversions are not generally happening in this country, and have not happened for a long time. This writer should know, because he is out in the high streets most weeks preaching the gospel, and often in locations where there are many Muslim people passing by.
It is incredibly difficult to get our Muslim friends even to begin to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. Just this week in Slough a Muslim came up to me dismissing the Christian faith on the grounds that we worship a man, whereas they worship only God. I replied that I worship the eternal Son of God, who became a man in order to accomplish man’s salvation. However, the Muslim response to this is always, It is impossible for God to become a man – it would be too demeaning for Him, and anyway, how can God be man at the same time as being God?
So Muslims are taught from a young age how to reject Christianity. They often tell me that it is impossible for God to have a Son, which is to attack the very heart of the Christian revelation. I respond by asserting that they must not attempt to confine the eternal Almighty God to mere feeble human understanding. In the specific context of asylum seekers becoming Christians, are these converts now publicly asserting that they reject Islam in its core teachings of denying the Trinity and the deity of Christ?
The Bible teaches that true faith only comes from hearing gospel preaching (Romans 10:14). So has there been on the Bibby Stockholm vigorous preaching presenting Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved from the guilt of sin (and the obvious corollary of this, namely that other religions are false)? Has there been true repentance, which means a desire to stop sinning and so to leave the country into which one has entered illegally?
In September 2023 Pope Francis visited Marseille, a key area on France’s southern coast in respect of migrants heading from the Middle East and North Africa across the Mediterranean and into Italy, and then moving on into France. In many cases France will also be viewed as a mere stepping stone for ultimate entry into the U.K., the most cherished, it appears, of possible destinations.
One of the places which the migrants aim for is Ventimiglia in northern Italy close to the border with France and around 200 kilometres from Marseille. Here they hope to enter France illegally across various mountain passes. Francis focused upon immigration during his visit to Marseille, and stated that the primary need was to show humanity and compassion to the migrants, the clear implication of his words being that for countries to protect their borders and prohibit entry is quite simply immoral and unacceptable.
The Guardian newspaper reported on the Pope’s visit that his “position on migration stands in contrast to some countries in Europe that are emphasising border fences, repatriations and the possibility of a naval blockade to keep refugees out”. Indeed, the Pope has criticised European nations for not being more accepting of large scale migration, speaking of them as those “who live in their bubble (and) in a culture of prosperity”.
So we observe here how a major church leader with worldwide influence is presenting the whole migration debate very much in terms of the indifference of the rich to the plight of the poor, and of a failure by Europe and other western nations to show enough compassion. This kind of response also tends to reflect the attitude of the Church of England and many other U.K. churches, but it is a mere conformity to the politically correct worldview of cultural Marxism, and so must be rigorously challenged by Bible-believing Christians. The churches must stop endorsing the criminal behaviour of illegal entry into other people’s countries, and they must show respect for the integrity of Britain’s borders, and indeed for the retention of Britain’s national identity generally.
God has ordained the nation state with clearly defined borders, and these borders must be respected and strictly controlled, and I unequivocally assert this on solidly Biblical grounds.