PMT 2016-041 by Don Strickland
Acts 17:24-26 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, (25) nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (26) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”
Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a commencement speech in which he spoke approvingly of a “borderless world.” Almost a week later, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) wrote an opinion piece for USA Today in which he stated that the coming presidential election will be a choice between nationalism and globalism. Will we remain a distinct nation, or lose our identity in the sea of the global community? Open borders, or nations without borders, is being pushed, and has been for years, throughout the countries comprising Western civilization – that is, those countries populated by the people native to Europe. Even otherwise theologically conservative Christian pastors have argued from a compassionate and/or evangelistic framework to justify the invasion crossing Europe’s and America’s borders. But what exactly does the Bible teach about national borders?
In the above passage, Paul is speaking to a formal forum of philosophers in Athens, Greece. Since these men were not Jews and thus may not have been familiar with the Old Testament, Paul has to start with the basics in order to build a foundation from which to present the Gospel. Thus, he starts with God as the Sovereign, Omnipotent Creator. For our purposes here, verse 26 is the key. Much can be taken from this verse, such as the affirmation that all men descended from one man (literally “one blood”), but notice what Paul teaches about the nations of men.
Political Christianity (book)
(by Christian Citizen)
Christian principles appliend to practical political issues, including “lesser-of-evils” voting.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
Every nation (ethnos, from which we get our word “ethnicity”) comes from God. Each nation has a set time (chronological) and boundaries (geographical) for its existence on the earth. Both are decreed by God. If a nation’s borders expand, God has decreed it. If a nation ceases to exist, God has decreed it.
But the primary point is that God has decreed boundaries. When the tribes of Israel settled in the land, God laid out specific boundaries for each tribe. Thus we see that boundaries are tied to the possession of private property. Certainly, the 8th Commandment assumes the concept of private property, but there are also specific commands concerning the moving of land boundary markers (Deut. 19.14), and condemnation for those who take land not their own (Micah 2.1-3). In commenting on Deuteronomy 19.14, the ancient Jewish historian, Josephus, considered this command a general prohibition. Therefore it was intended not only to protect private property, but also to preserve the boundaries of all nations.
If nations are to protect the people and their property, how are they to do so? They do so by enacting fair and just laws. But if there are no national borders, there is no sure jurisdiction to enforce such laws. Anarchy ensues. There have been many news reports over the past several months coming from the Southwestern states concerning the current lawlessness on the border there. Borders must be maintained for the rule of law to be maintained.
Borders must also be maintained to prevent tension between neighbors. The worse tension I have had with my neighbors was created because our property line was not adequately maintained when their house was built long before either of us moved into our respective homes. He contracted to have tree limbs cut, which were hanging over his house and driveway. The problem was that the trees were all on my property, and he neglected to ask my permission to have it done. I did eventually give my permission, but only after a few tense minutes elapsed with me confronting strangers as to why they were climbing in and cutting on my trees.
God Gave Wine
(by Ken Gentry)
A biblical defense of moderate alcohol consumption. Considers all key biblical passages and engages the leading objections.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
In the same way, many times, nations go to war. World War 2 began after Adolf Hitler decided to invade Poland in order to take back German land that had been taken away at the end of World War 1. The war in Kuwait began when Sadaam Hussein decided to take territory (i.e. Kuwait) that he claimed was a part of Iraq. And so it goes.
But what of compassion and evangelism? Is it not compassionate to bring as many as possible here in order to remove them from danger? And does it not create a wonderful opportunity for growing the Kingdom through possible conversion of these many souls? The short answer for both is “no.”
One needs to return to the idea of what is a nation. It is both cheaper and far more compassionate to help those within their own country. To rip families away from their own laws, customs and culture, and send them to a foreign land with a foreign culture, language, laws, customs, etc. is a shock that few can comprehend. A people’s religion is the primary influence upon their culture and customs. Placing them into a land where the dominate religion is opposed creates an explosive mixture.
And as far as evangelism opportunities are concerned, the Bible commands us to go, not for them to come (geographically speaking). For the most part, the average American does not know the newcomers’ language, customs, or cultures, thus ministries are still left to sending trained specialists as missionaries. Also, it is not just to the people of a nation to bring in refugees which can endanger the nation’s own laws, customs, culture, and religion. Nor is it just to allow massive immigration, illegal or not, which saps the economic vitality of the host nation and fundamentally undermines its Christian heritage and culture.
We will be faced with voting for many important offices on the local, state, and national levels. When voting, many issues need to be considered and weighed. One’s views of the nation’s borders appears to be crucial at this point of our history. Please consider voting for those candidates who support strong borders for not only our nation, but for other nations as well. The principle works both ways. By making our borders strong, we retain our national integrity. By supporting other nation’s borders, we protect ourselves from coveting what other nations have.
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