Fox News contributor and Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said over the weekend that Jesus wanted churches to turn over undocumented immigrants to law enforcement instead of giving them food and shelter.
During a debate on Fox & Friends on Sunday, Jeffress was asked why he would turn in immigrant to ICE if he "shows up at your church, he's hungry, he needs help, maybe he has a child with him."
Jeffress said that he would not check the immigration status of every person who came to First Baptist Church in Texas, "but we're also not going to harbor illegal immigrants who are criminals like some of these churches are doing."
"Look, a lot of these liberal churches that harbor illegal immigrants who are criminals say they are following the example of Jesus, the only problem is they are following the Jesus of their imagination rather than the Jesus of the Bible," he insisted. "Jesus was not this wimpy little guy who walked around munching sunflower seeds and saying nice things to people."
"The real Jesus of the Bible said 'render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's,' that is obey the government," Jeffress continued, adding that the "real Jesus" cared more about American citizens who were victims of violent crimes committed by immigrants.
Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land, however, argued that the church and the state had different jobs in God's eyes.
"When people show up and they're hungry, when they're thirsty, when they need shelter, the cross of Christ says that this is a place where you are going to get a cup of cold water, where you are going to get some shelter, where you are going to get some hot food," Land pointed out. "And it's not our job to be asking for green cards before we extend the mercy of Christ."