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Fair Treatment on the Farm, Part 2

September 23, 2018

“The Harvest” by Ivan Kolesnikov (1922), National Museum in Warsaw (Accession No. M. Ob. 1188), Source Digital Museum http://cyfrowe.mnw.art.pl/dmuseion/docmetadata?id=23551&show_nav=true (PD)

Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (Colossians 4: 1).

Across the globe, refugees, displaced persons, illegal immigrants, children under the age of legal employment, and others work as day laborers [1A]. Such people often find work in landscaping, agri­culture, and piecework manufacturing.

Both undocumented migrants and those employing them are operating outside the law.  Motives for this may vary.  But, in the long run, employers benefit more than employees.

Employers can rationalize paying less than minimum wage, providing poor living conditions, and even denying such basic necessities as rest, shade, and water.  This is not, however, Christian conduct.

Holiness

You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates.  Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you” (Deut. 24: 14-15).

While Christians may differ on the issue of strict adherence concerning the legality of employment, holiness must play a central role in our thinking [1B].  And holiness in labor matters arises “out of a concern for the needs of the most vulnerable workers [1C].”

Regardless of their legal status, undocumented migrants must be treated humanely…as Christ, Himself, would treat them.

This may not be convenient.  It is, nonetheless, the standard required of Christians.


[1A, 1B, and 1C]  The Theology of Work Project, “Treating Workers Fairly (Leviticus 19: 13)”, https://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/leviticus-and-work/holiness-leviticus-1727/treating-workers-fairly-leviticus-1913.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse https://avoicereclaimed.com

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