Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Walls can be quite useful. Trailers walls, like the one pictured, keep the freight in the trailer. Without it, you have a flatbed, and a need for chains and straps. However, walls of other types also exist and they serve other purposes.
Some walls are structural, and those are needed for helping to keeping a building from collapsing. This is particularly true with many modern concrete structures. However, once those walls start cracking, it is only a matter of time before they do collapse.
In a house, walls establish the perimeter of the house. In like manner, walls help to define rooms. Some of these wall are not structural, they are merely partitions. Such walls are quite useful, as many of us would probably prefer a distinct boundary between our bedroom, and our kitchen.
Other types of walls are meant for defense, and are simply a barrier to keep attackers out. These types of walls often have areas for soldiers to shoot rifles, or arrows, at the attackers. Sometimes there are even places on these walls for cannons. In some cases, these walls are extremely tall, wide, and long, such as the “Great Wall” of China, which is regarded as one of the greatest wonders of the world.
In this regard, walls are all well and good. However, walls can also serve another function. This function is nothing less than division. Yes. Walls can divide people. In that regard, walls are not necessarily physical. Often they are psychological barriers, erected by people who want nothing more than to segregate individuals and groups of individuals. Often that segregation is based upon a certain skin type, family lineage, or behavior. Ultimately, it is sin.
What? Sin? Yes. Sin.
Division by skin type or family lineage is quite common. However, this one is also the one that most people scream loudest again. One of the terms used when describing this type of division is “racism”. In our modern era, we even have laws that are meant to prevent racism. Yet, it still happens.
Many have their opinions on this. I would be lying if I claimed I didn’t. However, I believe much of the problem is due to the teaching of “evolution”. I know that may seem shocking, but if you were to take the time to review the beliefs of the early advocates of this philosophy, you would find many of them were racists. Even Charles Darwin was a racist. Sadly, his philosophy would also be espoused by Stalin, Hitler, and others. The result would be some of the most deplorable acts of depravity ever, some of which continue to this day. Just a hint, evolutionary philosophy has created more injustice and hatred than anything else, and in far less time.
However, for the Christian, racism is not allowable. Why? Simple. We believe that all of humanity is descendant from one man, and one woman, as should be expected from a literal understanding of the book of Genesis. Thus, we believe that all of humanity is related to one degree or another, and that there is only one “race”, human.
Another way people divide themselves is religion. Depending upon where you go in the world, some religious groups seem to seek to dominate and suppress others. This is especially true of Islam, which demands that non-moslems pay a tax if they refuse to convert to Islam. However, Islam also teaches it is permissible to kill to non-moslems. This type of division is wrong. Any religion that teaches it is permissible to kill those who do not practice that religion is wrong.
However, even the Bible discusses the segregation of the Jews and the Gentiles. In particular, the division of the Jews and Gentiles within the temple courtyard. The inner courtyard was reserved exclusively for the Jewish people, while the outer courtyard was where Gentiles, particularly proselytes, were permitted. There was also a wall between these two areas, dividing these respective groups.
The Apostle Paul discussed this in Ephesians. In particular, he writes in Ephesians 2:14 “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”. Paul further elaborates that Gentiles were “far off”, and even prior to 2:14, how they were without God, and having no hope.
Yet, there is one more wall in this that is of importance. This was the curtain of the temple. It is important to understand that this curtain separated the inner courtyard from the Holy of Holies. Yet, at the crucifixion of Christ Jesus, God tore the curtain. This is recorded in Matthew 27, and in that the curtain was torn, the wall separating humanity from God was taken away.
What walls are in your life? Do they hold things together, or divide them? Trailer walls hold things together, and are a good thing. Walls based upon dividing people by gender, age, ethnic background, or philosophy can be bad. Indeed, as it is written in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Yes, the promise of salvation is for all. This is no division in respect to salvation. Yes, there may be different vocations, but there is only one Christ who calls us to those vocations, and his standards of that calling are in scripture.
Walls can be a good thing. However, when they are used to divide people, they can become an evil thing. This is especially true when we allow for those things that deny the word of God into our lives. It is only the eternal word of God that can save us, that is Christ Jesus. It is Christ who breaks down all walls of division and hostility, bringing unto himself all of humanity. Yet, without repentance, we are all lost and damned. That wall of un-repentance we put up on our own. Without repentance, there is no salvation. Our love of sin is a wall against repentance, and is the only barrier left. Yet, there is no magic spell or prayer to remove this wall. All we can do is say “God be merciful to me, a sinner”. Apart from Christ, we are all trapped by walls, walls which do not exist if we are in Christ. Christ Jesus has taken down the walls which divide us from God’s grace and salvation. This is good news, indeed.