We are trying to approach this topic in a way that will bring a wide range of evangelicals together. We are also attempting to understand the concerns of both conservative evangelicals like Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and more progressive evangelicals like Jim Wallis, founder and President of Sojourners (both of whom will be keynote speakers). A number of noted evangelical leaders have published a document called An Evangelical Call for Bipartisan Immigration Reform. We are using this document to guide our approach. This statement recommends a bipartisan solution that adheres to the following objectives:
- 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
The goal of this event is to promote a high level conversation about immigration in a way that honors the example of Jesus Christ and the written Word of God. Keeping Jesus and his Word at the center of this discussion is critical. We want to transcend partisan and media sound-bytes and to model an exceptionally high level of civility as we think carefully about an issue that is both complicated and important. In the end, we want to equip a new generation of leaders to respond to this issue in a way that exhalts Jesus Christ and draws people to Him.