No borders in paradise, well wouldn’t that be nice. Unfortunately we live in an age in time in which borders mean a great deal to society. Unfortunately we are also far from paradise. I like many of you am a Facebook user I follow many people, some whom I like, some I don’t, and some I like but don’t necessarily agree with; I am sure you can relate. One of these individuals is the former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee who posted a Facebook quote stating “Secure the border. Without a secure border nothing matters.” How crazy is that! “Nothing matters but a secure border?” While I like the Huckster, like many conservatives they are very short sighted. I suppose I fall into the category of a moral liberal with conservative tendencies, or in other words I have radical ideas based on the teachings of Jesus.
So where did borders come from anyway? As a psychology and religion major I couldn’t tell you exactly. An anthropologist, sociologist or archeologist would probably have a good answer. I suppose I will look at scripture to support my arguments like usual. The book of Genesis gives us the creation story and tells us that God placed man in a garden located in the east of Eden. Eden in the Hebrew language is roughly translated as luxury or delight in other words paradise. Genesis chapter two gives us little information about the gardens location. We do know that four rivers are mentioned among the land of Eden. God told Adam he was free to do whatever he wished but he was forbidden for whatever reason to eat from the tree of good and evil. This would be the first boundary albeit not a geographical border. Obviously there was geographical borders that separated land masses a reading of Genesis 2:10-14 speaks of different sections of Eden and their attributes, the garden must have had a starting point and ending geographical location but we know little of them. So essentially there was no borders in paradise. At least not ones with walls and armed guards ready to check your papers. Yes life was good for the young couple Adam and Eve, until they decided to do the one thing God told them not to do. Whatever the tree symbolized whether it was an actual tree and fruit, or a symbol of something else such as knowledge they were not to touch it. Like us today the two just couldn’t leave well enough alone. I don’t blame Adam or Eve I would have done the same thing, I am a sinner and have missed the mark that God has had for me more than a few times. Now because of the sin of Adam and Eve we find ourselves facing something as far as we know that had not been seen before, a border. Not only a border but a guarded border. Genesis 3:24 states “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” It was the fall of man that created a border, our sins that divided us. Our enemy the devil seeks this division and this division that started because of sin still continues to this day. It continues by men who don’t seek to tear down borders and promote unity but by Christian men like the Huckster who wants to wall us in, and wall everyone else out. In my personal opinion Eden meaning luxury and delight probably was a representation of the whole world. God made the world and everything in it and called it good. Borders these man-made imaginary lines seem to be brought about by the sin of man.
If we are Christian we know that sin is not something that God wants us to do. Sin is harmful thus borders are harmful. We in America call immigrants illegal or undocumented and desire to send them back to their countries which they are trying to escape. Remember that the children of Israel were once slaves in Egypt. God told the people of Israel to treat the foreigner as one of their own. “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:34) While I am not saying that America must allow all people into the country we Christians such as Huckabee should read the words he once preached on Sunday mornings.
Okay, now I am about to become a little radical I am going to let my liberal side out. Why have borders at all? I cannot answer that. I don’t know why we have borders, or separate countries for that matter. I suppose if I was to try to guess I would say because of sin, the original reason for borders in the first place. What would be so hard treating everyone in the world as citizens of humanity and not citizens of a certain country? Think of the shocking events that would take place if this was practiced. No more wars, poverty, racism, injustice etc. Although we would have to convince all seven billion of us to agree to such a task. This goes for the immigrants in America as well. Come to this great plot of land but respect the land. Respect the people in the same way you wish to be respected. The earth is sacred and created from the mind of God. What you see around you comes straight out of the divine, all is divine. You and I are divine created in the image and likeness of God. The enemy Satan wishes to divide us and keep us separated, God seeks unity and a fellowship between men and women united under the banner of Christ.
You may say I am crazy, I won’t argue with you I am. I am a fool for Christ sake. I do not know what the immediate future will be in the world, but I do know what the final future for us will be. Again my argument is from scripture. In fact God plans to restore the Eden he created before man’s sin.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelations 22:1-5)
The plan of God will be complete and no one will be able to stop it. Since we know God’s ultimate plan why not start living it now? Isn’t being a Christian meaning to be like Christ? Politicians such as Huckabee and many of the other Republican candidates want to keep us divided as if the United States is somehow more special than the rest of Eden. We have a world to win for Christ this will not happen by keeping people out and separating each other because of the geographical location a person happens to be born in. Let’s seek unity and love our neighbors of Eden just as God desires us to do. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)