Kenton Beshore, Mariners Church Pastor, Tells His Wealthy Congregation to Be Sympathetic to Illegal Immigrants; Congregants Largely Refuse

kenton_beshore.jpg
Few Christian congregations are more notorious in Orange County for forgetting Matthew 19:24 (you know, the whole camel thing where Jesus essentially says the rich are going to Hell) than Mariners Church in Irvine. That's the church where Reverend Kenton Beshore essentially makes excuses for Jesus' admonition against the rich to a crowd where the oldest car on the lot is about seven years old.

But an amazing thing has happened to Beshore over the past couple of years, according to an article published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal: he's trying to convince his flock to be sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants. And surprise, surprise: a bunch of them ain't agreeing.


Beshore is pretty frank in detailing the sins of his faithful when it comes to the issue--in fact, he claims that donations to Mariners dropped so much after he started preaching on being sympathetic to illegal immigration that the church ended last year with a $500,000 shortfall, a gap he blames specifically on the subject. But Beshore is wonderfully not backing down on his stance.

"I tell my people they need the poor far more than the poor need them," he told the Journal. "That's what a follower of Christ should do."

The front-page story highlights the struggles Mariners have gone through, with some Mariners worshippers drinking Beshore's Aztlanista horchata, while others running kicking and screaming away, probably to Calvary Chapel or some other Know Nothing church. Kudos to Beshore for following the Lord's way: now, if he could only stop hating on the gays, he might be alright...

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52 comments
PitterPatter
PitterPatter

This pastor has really gone down the wrong path with this illegal immigrant petition to his congregation.  I for one liked his radio sermons but he shouldn't get politically involved in these matters and stick to scripture.  He's way out of line promoting on behalf of the Obama administration, way way out of line.  

stephen.hueber
stephen.hueber

I attend Mariners, live in Santa Ana, and tutor in the community centers run by our church.  I don't understand the controversy of a pastor asking his church to help people in need?  Boil this down, and that is all we are trying to accomplish.  Instead of buying that 7 series BMW, maybe just get the 5 series, and use your extra resources to help a family that is in desperate need.  Instead of spending your weekend in wine country, volunteer at a shelter.  It is about simple self sacrifice for the sake of those who want and need help.  


Alfredo Borunda
Alfredo Borunda

Susan, undocumented immigrants come here to work. They are not eligible for social assistance so your complaint is as baseless as it is petty and miserly.

Jeff Hill
Jeff Hill

Haha! Now this is funny, the Sheeeepeople are rebeling!!! Too funny!!!!

Frank Preciado
Frank Preciado

Y El Vaticano? Muy bien gracias. I remember when a Catholic priest could be elected to the U.S. Congress. Que paso?

howardaprouty
howardaprouty

 "There are many ways to debate immigration, but when it comes to economics, there isn’t much of a debate at all. Nearly all economists, of all political persuasions, agree that immigrants — those here legally or not — benefit the overall economy. “That is not controversial,” Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, told me. Shierholz also said that “there is a consensus that, on average, the incomes of families in this country are increased by a small, but clearly positive amount, because of immigration.”"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/magazine/do-illegal-immigrants-actually-hurt-the-us-economy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Re: “Kudos to Beshore for following the Lord's way: now,if he could only stop hating on the gays,he might be alright...”

Dude reminds me of the Pope.


justathought
justathought

You sound like you are pretty jaded towards religion and I was as well when I stepped into his church. I have never found a group of people (staff and congregants) more committed to helping out the community and faithfully serving god. I hope you decide to come to this church for yourself to see whether your beliefs of this church are in line with the reality of its message. You are invited.

Olivia Olivares
Olivia Olivares

What about Exodus 22:21? "You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." To stand in solidarity with the undocumented immigrant is to remember our own journey from slavery to freedom in Christ Jesus; to lighten the immigrant's burden is to lighten our own. Only then can we "... sing the songs of the Lord in a foreign land."

Susan Enstad Morris
Susan Enstad Morris

I'll be Christ - like and sympathetic to illegal aliens (they are NOT immigrants) when they follow the rule of law to be here legally and stop taking from my paycheck in the form of taxes for their free healthcare, food, and housing.

Jeff Cater
Jeff Cater

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

HotRodSaint
HotRodSaint

Wow so much vitriol and so much bad theology in so few words. I don't know who is and who isn't going to hell, but throwing stones at other people certainly won't get you to heaven. Fred Phelps called, he says your welcome to warm his hate filled pews with your hate filled derriere.

Hobal Grajeda
Hobal Grajeda

What a bunch of hypocrites(the ones who didn't follow)I suppose they just ignored Mathew 22:37 " Thou shalt alove thy neighbour as thyself."

Catherine Turley
Catherine Turley

no time to read this. too busy running an online auction to pay the bills for a disabled, poor woman. the way a person spends his time and money tells me more than any words he may speak.

Srmumz
Srmumz

Hey Gus! When was the last time you stepped foot in any non-denominational church?

Ryan Mccormack
Ryan Mccormack

Fuck this writer!... no for real. where did he go to school BIGOT U.

mgoldstein1
mgoldstein1

I Will Remember You, Sarah MacLachlan

Jon Martin
Jon Martin

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" they can vote however they want but a little sympathy don't hurt!

BiancaOlthoff
BiancaOlthoff

As a member of Mariners Church, I'm SO proud of Pastor Kenton's stance. He is a voice in a community that would rather be safe than risky, comfortable rather than giving. There is a remnant of people who agree with his stance and support our church mission statement: We are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God who are courageously engaging culture. 

Jerry Vazquez
Jerry Vazquez

Those mother efers are all racist. They dont even believe in religion its all bull. There all a bunch of Devil Worshiping cockroaches. There all nazis.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

BTW, if you believe this sort of stuff, the Holy Family did seek refugee in Egypt when they were in imminent danger. But then they *went back* when the danger passed. 

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

'Plight'? You put yourself in a situation, you deserve to 'suffer' the consequences. Of course, going back to Mexico (or wherever) isn't suffering. The country is about middle income when looked at in global context, it is (other than a few small Pac. Island Nations) one of the fattest in the world (we are, of course, number one, with 'Latinos' contributing more than their share). 

Now, are a good many people in Irvine and elsewhere hypocrites -- hiring lawn guys of dubious legality to mow their postage-stamp sized plots of grass, sipping lattes at the 'hand wash' place while 5 Mexicans wipe a few drops of water off their cars for tips -- sure they are. There is hypocrisy on both sides on this issue. See the 'Progressives' who think that we can add millions of immigrants (over 1 million legal last year, including 146,000 from Mexico), and yet have high wages, 'smart growth' and a decent local environment.

urhairfix
urhairfix

@PitterPatter  I believe the scripture is what he's sticking to here.  There are other issues he should consider.  Like that of the plight of registered sex offenders that have done their time, probation and therapy, but must be on some un-Godly, evil list that is a living death that has no cap on punitive measures that can be added against them and their families at the whim of politicians to get votes.  How did Jesus handle the woman (sex offender) caught in the very act of adultery who's sentence was death?  Grace, but today that's not acceptable.  I'm encouraged that a man of God like Kenton would dare to stand on the side of grace and love. 

PitterPatter
PitterPatter

@Alfredo Borunda Not at all true! I suggest if you don't like our laws in this country, go back to the one you came from. Stop spreading outright lies! Stop raping the U.S. taxpayers with these damnable lies!

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@howardaproutyI am shocked, SHOCKED that the NY Times thinks illegal immigrants are a net positive and quotes liberal economists from the Economic Policy Institute, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, UC Davis and the article is written by someone from NPR. In decades past even the Grey Lady would have made a show of objectivity by getting quotes from CATO, Heritage or CIS, but not anymore apparently, advocacy is more important than journalistic integrity it seems.

HotRodSaint
HotRodSaint

@howardaprouty The controversy comes from the racism of this (non) policy. If the US economy could add 500,000 people per year for the last 27 years, then we should have opened up those spots for Africans, Asians, Midde Easterners and other poor people seeking a better life so they could come here LEGALLY and fill those jobs. Giving preference to one race of people over other races and/or nationalities is racism. We were supposed to have grown beyond racism.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@howardaprouty Actually, it is controversial. See George Borjas's work. 

http://cis.org/immigration-and-the-american-worker-review-academic-literature

First, whatever 'positive' benefit typically accrues to upper income groups, while poor and working class people in the receiving population suffer. Mass immigration is one reason we have had wage stagnation for 30 years in this country, while 'the rich', holders of capital, get richer.

Second, a lot of that 'good for the economy', is actually mitigation of bads. For example, the salaries for the increased number of prison guards to keep the children of Latino immigrants in custody counts as increased GDP, but it doesn't increase our quality of life. Likewise, the spending on infrastructure necessitated by increased population (totally driven by international migration) is only treading water; expansions on, say, the 5, or toll roads through the foothills, don't increase our quality of life, they are simply necessitated by mass immigration.

PitterPatter
PitterPatter

@Howard Prouty The Lord's way isn't to pander to the anti-Christ Obama Administration's agenda which this pastor clearly is doing.

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@Olivia Olivares And yet you completely ignore Romans 13:1-7, the admonition to follow the law and lawful authorities? Do you just like the convenient scriptures? Treating strangers well is important, and we do, no nation has ever treated LEGAL immigrants better. However people have the right to demand that immigrants respect the laws of the nation. Kenton is very wrong to be encouraging sin.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@Olivia Olivares "sing the songs of the Lord in a foreign land."

Uh, thats when the Hebrews were *held captive* in Babylon. No one is holding Mexicans captive here. In fact, quite the opposite. Go home!

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@Jeff Cater Since everyone has sinned, then no one has to obey any laws because we are all sinners. Is that REALLY your logic?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@HotRodSaint Wait, when it comes to state sanction of sodomy, we are told to leave 'religion out of politics'. But now blow dried pastors and well fed Catholic prelates are telling us what to do as far as immigration policy? I call bullshit.

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@Hobal Grajeda Or maybe they obeyed Romans 13:1-7 on following lawful authority? Loving your neighbor does no mean you should not hold them accountable when they sin (breaking the law). Quite the contrary, loving your neighbor means bringing their sin to their attention and letting them correct their ways. In the case of an illegal immigrant that would be return home and follow the immigration policies of the country you choose to live in.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@Hobal Grajeda That doesn't mean inviting your neighbor to squat in your house. After all, our 'neighbor' Mexico has very stringent immigration laws.

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@BiancaOlthoff As a member of Mariners Church since Joe Aldrich was the pastor I am rather distressed that Kenton would encourage and support illegal activity. I think it is a sign of vanity that he is bigger than the law and God's Word.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@BiancaOlthoff Great Bianca -- how much of my tax bill can I send to you? How many illegal immigrants are you housing at your place? How many 'free' school breakfasts and lunches are you paying for? And will pick up my share?

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

@Mitchell_Young Spoken with your usual hard-eyed cluelessness... but then, you have a one-track mind.

Minimum wage for most jobs in Mexico comes to about $4.25 per day. Not per hour—per day. And I can tell you from evidence collected by my own eyes and research that it is not that much cheaper to live there, even without the appointments of a luxurious estadounidense life.

If it truly weren't so bad, there wouldn't be immigration.

Leslie.100
Leslie.100

@stephen.hueber Excuse me? You do realize that Jesus wasn't American, right? And, by the way, most of the people you are considering "home grown" came from immigrants, unless you're only helping Native Americans.

Leslie.100
Leslie.100

@PitterPatter Jesus always reached out to the disenfranchised. It's not a political agenda to help the poor. When did it become mainstream for Christians to refuse to love people?

Nemesis
Nemesis

@littlesthooker dupe

Nemesis
Nemesis

@littlesthooker So if we follow the scripture you have posted, Republican opposition to Obamacare, the law of the land, is encouraging sin...

HotRodSaint
HotRodSaint

@Mitchell_Young I agree. The left and the right use the church when it suits their needs, but only the left whines about it when the right does. My comments were directed at the author of this poor excuse for an article.

engineerswife
engineerswife

@Mitchell_Young @BiancaOlthoff Mitchell_Young, Should you ever decide to run for political office, you will have my vote ! Thank you, for being the voice of logic, common sense and, reason.

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@Dave_Lieberman @Mitchell_Young Whether or not Mexico is good or bad or expensive is not really the point, what is is that they are breaking the immigration system and disadvantaging those who go through the legal process. They should not be allowed to subvert the system. Let them stay in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc and fix their own governments, not undermine ours.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@Dave_Lieberman @Mitchell_Young It's pretty funny that one of the guys at OC Weekly who regularly sings the praises of Mexico is now conveniently changing his tune.

Yes, a Mexican can make more money here. Yes, they can get huge subsidies too ('free breakfasts and lunches for the kiddies, for example) 

 No, they aren't starving in Mexico, and if they aren't involved in the drug trade aren't likely to be victims of that situation. And if the escape valve of immigration remains wide open, there is no way that Mexico will ever reform.

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@Nemesis You continue to be very confused. Abortion is not the "law of the land", choice is. The protestors at abortion clinics are trying to sway women to make a different choice and they use, again, legal and political means to try and change the law.


You are going to have to do much better to find areas where Christians actively support illegal activity.

Nemesis
Nemesis

Uh huh, i figured as much. How about this one then, abortion is the law of the land, if one follows the scripture you quoted anti choice protesters are encouraging sin.

littlesthooker
littlesthooker

@Nemesis @littlesthooker well yes, if what they were saying was, "just don't obey this law", but that is not what they are doing. They are using legal and political means to overturn the law.


Now what Obama did, unilaterally deciding to delay implementation of the law for businesses, but not individuals, that is illegal and therefore sin. He has no power or authority to change a law without going back to Congress to do it.

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