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Church Message

Walls ~ A Moral Imperative
By Ronald Gallagher
CHURCH DIRECTORY

Church message imageChurch sponsors jul17Speaker Pelosi and her cohorts in the mainstream press declare that a Southern border wall is "immoral.” Since my allegiance is to God’s truth above all, I’d like to suggest pulling away from political rhetoric and party talking points long enough to examine God’s position regarding the issue of walls, and especially the purpose for having them — and any moral implications.

In a debate about walls, it’s worth remembering that God initiated a wall-building project and devoted an entire book in the Bible to it. The Book of Nehemiah is a chronicle describing the physical and spiritual challenges God’s people faced in repairing and reconstructing the wall around Jerusalem.

In spite of repeated warnings, God’s people persisted in giving themselves over to idol worship with its evil practices and sexual debauchery. Their spiritual rebellion eventually cost them their freedom as God delivered their homeland to a mixture of cruel foreign invaders. After 70 years of captivity, God allowed His people to return, but what they found was a pathetic remnant of what they left. Their broken down wall left them with no means of protection and no sense of national and spiritual identity.

God’s chosen people had always been identified by observable distinctions that set them apart from surrounding nations:
  • They had a divinely-ordained set of laws and ordinances that defined their values, established their system of justice, governed their personal and relational practices, and distinguished them as a nation.
  • They had a system of worship based on beliefs that were a physical exhibition of their covenant relationship with God.
  • They had a worship center that housed items of inexpressible importance to their spiritual and national heritage.
  • They had a city. Jerusalem was a symbol of their religious and national identity.
  • They had a wall that stood to protect the most precious elements of their entire culture.
Their wall wasn’t erected to declare that they were better than other peoples, but that they were distinct from other peoples. Others could come in and worship God, but doing so required becoming "one” with His people and the faith they shared.

The walls didn’t exclude people from God and His redemptive love. They protected an access to God for those who would come as He directed. God only allowed the destruction of the city’s physical walls after their spiritual heritage became so perverted and corrupt that there was nothing of value left.

Listen to Nehemiah’s heart after hearing news about the conditions in his homeland.

And they said to me, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days…Nehemiah 1:3-4 (NKJV)

Nehemiah’s reaction had nothing to do with a political position. His distress was because there was no protective distinction separating God’s chosen people from those around them. They were vulnerable to attacks from almost any point. Raising up a barrier to protect their distinctive identity and to preserve what God had given them was not just a commonsense idea. It was a moral and spiritual imperative, and it had God’s approval and support. Maybe some of our elected officials need to look at what we become if we surrender those rules, standards, and practices that identify us as a people.

"But that’s Old Testament stuff,” some will say. "Jesus wouldn’t have had anything to do with a wall.” Actually, the only wall Jesus condemned was the wall of sectarian bigotry established by civil and religious leaders whose only real interest was in maintaining power and control. Sound familiar? (See Matthew 23:13 NKJV)

Jesus’ death on the cross tore down sectarian walls and opened His Kingdom to everyone, but entrance is "conditional”. No one pushes in on their own terms, waving another country’s flag. Getting into God’s "homeland” requires a one-time, all or nothing surrender. Those fleeing sin’s pain and oppression are welcome, but only when they meet His conditions and submit to His authority. And the glorious result is that all who accept His terms instantly become citizens.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Ephesians 2:19 (NKJV)

Walls don’t just exclude what’s outside. They protect what’s inside. And regarding the question of morality, wouldn’t it be immoral "not” to protect and preserve the treasures you sacrificed everything to acquire? Those who think walls are immoral should check out God’s description of His heavenly city in Revelation 21:10-21. There’s a wall around it like you’ve never imagined. It has gates on every side and all are invited . . . , but Jesus is the only point of entry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In addition to being an active writer, speaker, teacher, and blogger, Ron Gallagher serves in a variety of roles as a ministry consultant for local churches. His Biblical insights are coupled with down-to-earth humor, satire, and relevant stories aimed at promoting "Right Side Up Thinking ~ in an Upside Down World.” Ron strives to apply God’s truth in a way that stimulates the mind, encourages the heart, and challenges the cultural norm.  Check out his blog, "Gallagher’s Pen” at www.gallagherspen.com

NEW BOOK . . .Ron’s new book, Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth, is now available on Amazon and through Lighthouse Bible Studies. Learn more at http://bit.ly/2IDsNpB

 





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