WHEREAS, the Kingdom of God includes people from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language (Revelation 7:9); and
WHEREAS, the Old Testament includes repeated commands to love, welcome, and ensure fair treatment of the sojourner and
foreign residing among us, as an emulation of the unchanging character of God, who loves and cares for immigrants and
others who are vulnerable (Exodus 22:21, Exodus 23:9, Leviticus 23:22, Numbers 15:15-16, Deuteronomy 10:17-19,
Deuteronomy 27:19, Psalm 146:9, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Ezekiel 22:29, Zechariah 7:10, Malachi 3:5, Mt 25:35, Luke 10:25-37); and
WHEREAS, the New Testament commands all Christians to extend hospitality, which literally means the love of strangers
(Romans 12:13, Hebrew 13:2),and in particular upholds hospitality as a requirement for those of positions in leadership
within the church (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8); and
WHEREAS, the Church is commanded to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27), a commandment that
Jesus makes clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan is to be understood broadly, including those of different ethnic and
cultural backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, the original commandment to love one’s neighbor in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:18) was followed by a
specific command to love the foreigner residing among the Israelites (Leviticus 19:33-34); and
WHEREAS, a growing share of our neighbors within the State of North Carolina—more than 7% of the total population as of
2010—are immigrants, up from less than 2% of the State’s population in 1990; and
WHEREAS, the God who made each human person in his image (Genesis 1:27) and who desires for each person to come to
repentance and salvation through a relationship with Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:9) has sovereignly directed the times and places
of each person’s residence so that people would have the opportunity to seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:26-27); and
WHEREAS, the arrival of immigrants to our community presents a divine opportunity to participate in the Great Commission
of making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) within our own state, including reaching out to entirely unreached people
groups residing among us; and
WHEREAS, many of the immigrants who arrive within our State are already strong believers, who have breathe new life into
our local churches and our convention; and
WHEREAS, the suffering experienced among immigrant members of our fellowship is to be of concern to all, because when
one part of the body suffers, all suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26); and
WHEREAS, the Scriptures make clear that God has established the governing authorities to do good and maintain justice
(Romans 13:1-7) and we are called to respect and honor the law; and
WHEREAS, our country’s current immigration system has not been consistently enforced in a way that honors and respects
the law for many decades, during which time millions of immigrants have entered the United States unlawfully or overstayed
a visa, such that North Carolina is now home to an estimated 400,000 immigrants who are present in violation of U.S. law and
whose employers are also in violation of law; and
WHEREAS, a policy of amnesty for those who have violated the law, would not uphold the Rule of Law but a policy that that is
consistent with biblical standards of justice and compassion would restore the rule of law and provide accountability and the
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possibility of reconciliation for those who are present unlawfully, creating an earned legalization process by which they could
admit their violation of law, pay an appropriate penalty, and then earn permanent legal status and/or citizenship only if they
are able and willing to meet certain criteria; and

WHEREAS, among those undocumented immigrants are many Christians, including within our convention, who desperately
want to be reconciled to the law, while also being able to stay with and provide for their families; and
WHEREAS, it is not unlawful to minister to, share the gospel with, or associate with those who are or are suspected to be
present in violation of federal immigration law; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of those who are citizens of the United States to participate in our democratic system of
government to encourage our elected officials to enact more just laws that are consistent with biblical principles; now,
therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the messengers of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina on
November 11, 2014, call on our churches to demonstrate the love of Jesus and to proclaim the good news of salvation in
Jesus Christ to all people, regardless of country of origin, language, or legal status; and be it further
RESOLVED, that local churches should seek to encourage distinctly biblical responses to the realities of immigration, framing
our individual and corporate response to the immigrants among us as a matter of Christian discipleship that should be
informed, first and foremost, by the principles of Scripture,and be it further
RESOLVED, that local churches should pursue opportunities to tangibly meet the needs of immigrants within their community
as a demonstration of the love of Christ and in order to build relationships so as to more effectively be able to proclaim the
hope of the gospel, and be it further
RESOLVED, that we encourage our federal elected officials to act with urgency to pass immigration reforms consistent with
biblical principles, including, specifically, the principles set forth by the Evangelical Immigration Table and endorsed by the
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, calling for a bipartisan solution on immigration
that:
-          Respects the God-given dignity of every person
-          Protects the unity of the immediate family
-          Respects the rule of law
-          Guarantees secure national borders
-          Ensures fairness to taxpayers
-          Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent
residents; and be it further
RESOLVE, that we oppose any form of bigotry, mistreatment, or exploitation of any person made in the image of God,
regardless of their legal status; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that while North Carolina Baptists may not all agree on specific public policy responses, we are united in our call
to extend love and compassion to those who are vulnerable and to reach all people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

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