In many respects, this blog post has been on my mind for months. There has been many things said by both Presidential candidates that reflect poorly upon not only Americans, but Christians as well. I believe that Donald Trump’s plan to build a U.S./Mexico border wall is inherently opposed to his claims of being an Evangelical Christian. My assertion is this; it is impossible to be a follower of Christ and support the separation of the very people we are called to love as ourselves. Advocating for a wall to be built and praising God with the same tongue are mutually exclusive.
When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he responded by saying to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore, any attempt to separate ourselves from one another is actively going against Christ’s call to love our neighbor.
Christ sets the standard for us by tearing open the curtain that once separated us from God. Only through the death of Christ are we fully able to love God and love our neighbors. If Christ is willing to remove any separation in order for God’s presence to dwell among us, who are we to find reasons to wall ourselves off from our neighbors? Christ’s love for us should compel us to dwell among our neighbors.
The curtain is torn, the walls have been struck down.
If you identify as a follower of Christ, how is it possible to support the construction of a wall that would actively separate us from our neighbors? Put aside the rhetoric for a second and think about. Do we, as Christians, have any Biblical basis, for supporting something that would actively build a barrier between us and our neighbors? Trump’s claim to identify as an Evangelical Christian and his support of a border wall are mutually exclusive. It is impossible to be in fellowship with Christ when we refuse to be in fellowship with His church.
If we look at the life of Christ, we can see that he spent it tearing down the walls of ethnicity, economics, class and gender. Take, for instance, his interaction with the Samaritan woman. Let us look for a second at the ways the Samaritan woman’s identity gave Jesus plenty of reasons to ignore, exclude and wall her off. In Jesus’ time, it was socially unacceptable for men, especially Rabbis (which Jesus was), to associate with women in public. Moreover, she was a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans hated one another. So for Jesus, a Rabbi, to talk to not only a woman, but a Samaritan woman, was absolutely unheard of. This woman was the lowest of the low, a nobody, worthless.
According to human standards.
This Samaritan. This women. This five-time divorced, currently living with a man that’s not her husband, lowest of the social hierarchy, nobody, experiences a direct encounter with the living Messiah. If Jesus went out of his way to show love to this Samaritan woman, then why is it that we try to limit who we love?
Christ did not limit his love to Jews, to men, to Christians nor to Americans, but has extended his love to the most despised of society. The most hated of society. The ones that we refuse to love are the ones that Christ is calling us to bring into fellowship. If we are striving after a Christ-like life, we cannot limit our love for others based on our own preconditions. We cannot justify walling ourselves off from the very people Christ calls us to love.
The torn temple curtain means that Christ broke down any walls we could possibly construct between ourselves and others. It is impossible to support an action that would effectively work against Christ’s call to love our neighbors. Trump’s wall and Christ’s curtain cannot coexist. Trump can either be an Evangelical Christian, striving after Christ, or a politician striving after American votes. He cannot be both.